Thursday, September 15, 2011

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol. 8, no. 19

 first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Sleeper Agent (with Indian City Weather, Alter Ego, Jeremy Johnson & the Bleeding Keys)
Friday, September 16, 2011
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, 8:00, $5.

I’m a sucker for young pop bands. Sleeper Agent is right up my musical alley. This talented band can back up their cool kid good looks with well-crafted songs and infectious hooks. Rolling Stone named them a “band to watch,” and who am I to argue with them? 

The Birdy’s show will be just the third stop on the Bowling Green, KY, based band’s twenty-five cities tour, so they’ll be fresh – in several ways. 

A little bit about Birdy’s: In the last several years, it has become one of Indianapolis’ iconic music venues. They have a full bar, and I suggest getting there early enough to eat – the food is way above the typical venue fare.

Indy Jazz Fest
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Opti Park/Indianapolis Art Center Grounds
820 East 67th Street
all-ages, 1:00, $30 general admission, $75 VIP

The week long Indy Jazz Fest culminates with Saturday’s all-day, three stages, concert. 

Yellowjackets - 2pm
Rufus Reid's "Out Front" Quintet - 3:45pm
Spyro Gyra - 5:30pm
George Benson - 7:30pm
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue - 9:30pm

Cathy Morris - 1pm
WOW featuring Tim Warfield & Bobby Floyd - 2:45pm
Melvin Rhyne Trio - 4:30pm
Indy Guitar Summit - 6:15pm

IUPUI Jazz Ensemble - 1pm
Bloomington North HS Jazz Ensemble - 1:55pm
Butler University Jazz Ensemble - 2:50pm
Fort Wayne Snider HS Jazz Ensemble - 3:45pm
University of Indianapolis Jazz Ensemble - 4:40pm
Indiana University Jazz Ensemble - 5:35pm
Ball State University Jazz Ensemble - 6:30pm

There is a free shuttle for the concert. Park at the overflow lot of Glendale Center (62nd/Keystone). The shuttle runs from 11:45 am to midnight. You can bring a chair or blanket (VIP seats include seating), but no food or drinks. There will be wonderful food and beverages available for purchase. No pets allowed.
They Might Be Giants with Jonathan Coulton
Thursday, September 22

The Vogue Theater
6259 N. College Ave
21 +, non-smoking, $23, 7:00

I once got some feedback on this column that I shouldn’t focus on my age and long I’ve been hanging around the music scene, but in this case, I feel like I’ve musically grown up with They Might Be Giants. I first heard of the Brooklyn rockers from my friend, John Gernand, who toured as their soundman. I first saw them in 1993 when they played the Vogue for the first time and I’m looking forward to seeing them 28 years later on the same stage. 

The alternative-rock pioneers are known for their use of quirky stage props – giant fezzes and cardboard heads – and general silliness. Over the years they channeled some of that into a Grammy winning children’s series of educational records. 

TMBG is celebrating their 30th year of uninterrupted rocking with a sparkly new record, Join Us, and a polished-up energetic live show. Jonathan Coulton will open the show.

Art vs. Art Main Event
Friday, September 30
The Vogue Theater
6259 N. College Ave
21+, non-smoking, $12 advance/$15 at door, 8:00

Are you a fan of art, chain saws, boxing matches, witty repartee, audience participation, deciding fate by the spin of the wheel, big band music and general bedlam? I can’t be the only one… Art vs. Art is a raucous and entertaining art show with a twist. And the twist is a big one!

Earlier this month over 100 artists gathered at City Market, were given a canvas and paints and a few hours to create a masterpiece. The paintings are all online ( to be voted on – now is your big chance to be an art critic in the privacy of your own home. The top 32 vote getters will be on display at the Vogue the night of the Main Event. Balloting that night will determine the top 16. The other 16 will be offered for sale for $100. The rest will be for sale for $50. It’s not as confusing as I just made it out to be – the bottom line is that you walk out of the Vogue with a great piece of original art for $50 or $100 – the artists get 70%.

The top 16 paintings are randomly paired on stage and voted on by audience noise making – the decibel meter has the final say. The winner moves on to the next round. The loser is subjected to the Wheel of Death. A spin determines the fate of the canvas – past year’s methods have included chain sawing, pizza making and black paint. You can spare the art by buying the painting from the audience.

The Grand Prize is $4000, a title belt and a whole lot of bragging rights.

The Main Event promises to be twice as fun this year. Emcee Michael Wiltrout will keep on his ruffled tuxedo shirt to front the Leisure Kings Big Band for the after-party concert.

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