Friday, December 20, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette volume 10 number 25

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Chad Mills and the Upright Willies, The Innocent Boys, Stampede String Band
Friday, December 27, 2013
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, doors 7:30, $5 presale

I've had the pleasure of hearing Chad Mills twice in the last few months. Once was planned, the second accidental – he happened to be playing at a fundraiser that I attended last weekend. Every single time I see him I’m blown away by his talent and his ability to win the crowd over. Whether he’s playing with the Upright Willies in a bar or solo in a room full of people seeming more interested in eating fancy food and drinking craft beer, Chad’s songs and voice always wins them over.

The Upright Willies are big rock fun. The band includes William Rood (upright bass), Grover Parido (cello), Bob Stewart (percussion), and Chad playing stringed things and singing.

The Stampede String Band is made up of a trio of banjo, guitar, and bass playin’ musicians singing beautiful harmonies. I look forward to hearing them in person!

It is hard to hang a tag on the Innocent Boys. They’re a little bit rockabilly, a little bit bluegrass, and a lot of fun. Banjo, guitar, harmonica, accordion, bass, and harmonies all add up to a big sound.

New Year’s Eve Roundup
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

There are plenty of great places in the neighborhood to ring in the New Year. Cheers!

Brenda Williams and Cold Fusion
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College
21+, 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM, $80 – includes dinner, dessert, champagne toast, party favors

Once you make a reservation at The Jazz Kitchen for New Year’s Eve, you don’t need make another decision. The ticket price includes dinner and dessert, tax and gratuity, champagne toast, party favors, and fabulous music.  If you haven’t heard Brenda Williams yet, you’re missing out. You have just enough time to remedy that. You’ll be charmed by her fabulous voice and talented, all-star band.  The menu looks great – the food at The Jazz Kitchen is always great.

Indien, Minute Details, Kaleidostars, DJ Diablo
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, music starts at 9:30, $6

It’s an indie Indy night at Birdy’s. They have a great lineup of local bands to ring in 2014. Go early and have dinner – the food is always good. 

The Kaleidostars are sexy rock fun. Lindsay Manfredi plays guitar and sings, Eric Klee Johnson plays bass, Marc Johnson plays guitar, and Brian Fields is the drummer. They deliver powerful energy, glam rock swagger and ambitious sounds.

Punk Rock Night New Year’s Eve
Melody Inn
3826 N. Illinois Street
21+, doors 8:00, music 9:00

The Melody Inn has a great lineup to celebrate the last hours of 2013. The Fuglees, The Crypto-Kats, Mr. Clit and The Pink Cigarettes, and Maella Cai Vane & Friends Burlesque will entertain with high-energy music and almost-naughty burlesque. In Melody Inn fashion, the countdown to the New Year toast will be with PBR and apparently there is a scheduled countdown to a bra drop. I hope someone takes photos.

Glitz & Glamour NYE
The Vogue
6259 N. College Ave
21+, 9:00 doors and show, $20, VIP packages available

The Vogue knows how to throw a dance party! Put on your party clothes and dance in the New Year. 

I sure enjoyed hanging out with you all in 2013 and I look forward to seeing you in 2014. Have a happy and safe New Year! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 10 no 21

first published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

“A Company of Women: New and Selected Poems”  Mary Sexson, Lylanne Musselman, Jayne Marek
Friday, October 25, 2013
Big Hat Books & Arts
6510 Cornell Avenue
6:00 PM,  free, all-ages

Big Hat Books & Arts is hosting an evening of poetry by the members of A Company of Women, a three-woman writing group based in Indianapolis. Their poems are insightful, frank, and humorous and draw upon their experiences as women, touching on friendship, family, loss, sexuality, and hope. 

I used to be afraid of poetry. I assumed that I assumed that I wouldn’t get it. I thought that I wasn’t smart enough or in-touch with my feelings enough to understand poetry. I was wrong. I now think of poetry like songwriting; lyrics without the music. And like music, I connect with some of it and don’t with others. I think we can all connect with this group of women (even if you’re not a women).  

Jayne Marek is the author of “Women Editing Modernism” and a book of poetry, “Imposition of Form on the Natural World”. Lylanne Musselman is the author of three books and her one-act play, Surfacing, has been performed at Ball State University, and her monologue "Of Mother and Men" appears in “Mother/Daughter Monologues Vol. 2.” Mary Sexson is the author of the book “103 in the Light: Selected Poems 1996-2000.” Her work has been included in many journals and poetry projects and she is a kick-ass Scrabble player (I know this from painful experience). 

The evening promises to be full of laughter and wonderful poetry. 

Writer’s Harvest with John Green, Ben Winters, Susan Neville, Allyson Horton,
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Butler University
Atherton Union Reilly Room
4600 Sunset Avenue
7:30 PM, suggested donation: rice or pasta for Second Helpings, all-ages

Writer’s Harvest features a bounty of writers. Writers so amazing that I get nervous just by typing their names. Seriously, my palms are sweaty.   “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green will headline Butler’s first-ever Writer’s Harvest. Green, who delivered Butler’s 2013 commencement address, has recently been spending time on the set of the film adaptation of his #1 New York Times bestselling book. 

The evening will also feature other Indianapolis-based writers. Novelist Ben H. Winters is the author of Edgar Award-winning “The Last Policeman” and its 2013 sequel “Countdown City.” Susan Neville is a short-fiction writer who teaches English at Butler. Poet Allyson Horton is a Butler graduate student. 

Admission is free and open to the public. Those who attend are asked to bring a bag of rice or a box of pasta for Second Helpings. If you’re wondering what type of pasta to bring, elbow macaroni is great – kiddos will eat any vegetable that is tucked in in macaroni noodles. 


The Failers, Rick Dodd and the Dickrods, Finest Grain
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Birdy’s Bar & Grill
2131 East 71st Street
21+, doors open 8:00 PM

After you’ve tucked your little ghosts and goblins in bed or feel safe turning on your lights back on from hiding in the dark after running out of Halloween candy or however you celebrate the ghoulish evening– swing into Birdy’s for a night of great music and good people. 

I always say that all Indianapolis bands are related to each other in some way. In the case of this show it is pretty easy to connect those dots. 

The Failers is made up of Aaron Adelsperger, Jim Borders, Chad Dressler, and Stephen Fields – musicians that have played in some of my favorite local bands from days gone by; Paging Raymond and Odyssey Favor.  

Rick Dodd and the Dickrods members are Rick Dodd, Sean Jackson, Erik Styles, Andy Shutz and Chad Dressler. Chad also plays in The Failers. 

Finest Grain is the duo of Sean Jackson and Kent Vernon. Sean also plays in Rick Dood and the Dickrods. 

Sean also used to have legendary Halloween parties and his guests wore some of the cleverest costumes that I’ve seen. In fact I meat Sean when we lived on the same street and one Halloween I crashed his backyard party. I can’t wait to see what costumes appear for this show. 

Expect an evening of delightful original music leaning towards the singer-songwriter, pop, and folk sensibilities. 


Sunset Stomp Jazz Band Tuesday, November 5, 2013
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N College Avenue
7:00 – 10:30, 21+, $10

The Sunset Stomp Jazz Band was born in 2010 after a show that Robin Hopkins and Kathleen Miller both performed in. The result is a seven piece plus vocalist ensemble performing the music of the Jazz Age. The band name comes from Louis Armstrong’s “Sunset Cafe Stomp”, which came from the Sunset Cafe on Chicago’s south side, where Louis Armstrong played before going on to New York.

The group performs Dixie music, combining the traditional with new arraignments.  Whether you want to bring your swing dancing shoes or just sit back and enjoy a good time is promised. 

And did you know that The Jazz Kitchen was voted one of the “World’s Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World” by Downbeat Magazine? How cool is that? 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 10, no 19

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette 

I owe everyone a big apology. I was looking at the wrong week on the calendar and thought that Jazz Fest was a week later than it actually was. I hope you all attended some of the shows and had a wonderful time. 

Here are some events that I am telling you about at the proper time: 

Art vs. Art featuring Mike Wiltrout and the Modes of Death
September 27, 2013
Vogue Theater
6259 N. College Ave
$12 advance/$15 night of show, 21+, 8:00 PM

Are you a fan of art, chain saws, fire-breathing emcees, decibel meters, witty banter, audience participation, deciding fate by the spin of the wheel, and general bedlam? I can’t be the only one… Art vs. Art is a boisterous and fun art show with a twist. And the twist is worth $4,000 for the winning artist. 

Earlier this month artists gathered at Garfield Park and were given a canvas and paints and just a few hours to create a masterpiece. The paintings are all online ( to be voted on – now is your 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. 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 before the show even starts you can 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 cheering – 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 fates that I cannot type without blushing. You can spare the art by buying the painting from your perch in the audience; the price going up with each round (Round 1: $150, Round 2: $250, Round 3: $350, Round 4: $450). The Grand Prize is $4000, a title belt and a whole lot of bragging rights. 

I know it sounds a little confusing but it really is a fun night. Seeing Mike Wiltrout in action is worth the price of admission. 

Nathan Angelo with Micah Dalton
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Birdy’s Bar and Grill
2131 E. 71st Street
21+, $10 advance/$12 day of show

Nathan Angelo is touring in support of his new album, Out of the Blue. His intention was to channel the vibe of the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding. He did it admirably, recording on two-inch tape reminiscent of how recordings were done in the heyday of the 60’s and 70’s era bands. 

The record incorporates the signature “call and response” singing style common to Motown as well as the distinct orchestration: horn sections, strings, guitars, snaps, claps, tambourine and the unforgettable keys. Nathan’s live shows garner rave reviews and have created a loyal fan base across the country. Expect original danceable music and a whole bunch of fun. 

Micah Dalton has been described as sounding like a clever Ben Harper and musically reminiscent of Prince. How can you go wrong with that? 

Come Here Architekt: Jan Ruhtenberg
Opening reception: October 4, 6-11 PM
Show: October 4 – November 16, 2013
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art
Murphy Building, 1043 Virginia Avenue, Suite 5
all ages, free
I’ll admit to being an architecture neophyte. Like with most things I know what appeals to me and what makes me turn my nose up, even if I can’t put a name to it. Through his grandson, Vess von Ruhtenberg, I’ve become fascinated by the work and mystery of architect Jan Ruhtenberg.

Jan Ruhtenberg ‘s accomplishments are astonishing: an apprentice and colleague of Mies van der Rohe during his most significant projects; a close confidant of Philip Johnson who helped introduce modernism to America; a man who escaped Nazi Germany to design projects for Herman Miller, Greta Garbo, Nelson Rockefeller and the Swedish Royal Family. 

However, as Jan approached the pinnacle of his profession, he was outed as a gay man in conservative 1950's America. Jan's commissions disappeared and he all but vanished from the history of modern architecture. This exhibition, curated by Vess von Ruhtenberg and Jeremy Efroymson, begins the process of reintroducing the world to one of its great architects and designers.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 10 no 17

First published in the Broad Ripple Gazette
WARMFest (White River Arts & Music Festival)
Labor Day Weekend (Saturday, Sunday, Monday – August 31 – September 2)
Broad Ripple Park (1550 Broad Ripple Avenue) and surrounding area
All-ages (10 and under free with adult), $45 single day at gate, $100 all three days at gate, see website for presale), gates open at 10:00 am. 

I am getting really excited for WARMfest; it will be a combination of all of the best things about music festivals, our community, and our neighborhood wrapped up into three fun days. 

WARMfest is managed by the Carl G. Fisher Society. CGFS’s vision is to restore and promote the White River to return it to the grandeur of a century ago. Each ticket purchased includes a donation to to CGFS. I am thrilled that the festival will be held along the banks of the White River in Broad Ripple Park – and you can take a paddlewheel boat cruise during the festival and see the majestic river up close. Cruises are scheduled each day for an additional $5 and there are three live-music cruises (G.Love, Todd Park Mohr – of Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Woodstove Flapjacks) with varied ticket prices for each show. You do need to have a festival ticket for the boat rides and there are only 50 tickets available for each cruise. I strongly suggest purchasing tickets ahead of time.
The music will be spread over four stages and a dance tent surrounding the Indie Arts and Vintage Marketplace. Food and beverages are sprinkled throughout the park. 

I won’t even try to try to tell you about all of the 40 musical acts that will be playing over the three days. Just know that it is a lovely mix of local talent and national musicians and you can’t go wrong no matter who you see.  Check out the website for a full listing of bands. 

Here are some tips for attending WARMfest and music festivals in general. Bring cash. I’m sure there will be ATMs in the festival grounds, but I’d rather be enjoying the music than being at the ATM. Bring your ID. You’ll need to buy beer. Make sure your phone is charged. You’ll be snapping photos, tweeting, and such. Bring a good attitude. Part of the fun of a festival is being part of the crowd. Have a meeting place. If you’re going with a group have a place where you can meet up at an appointed time. It is no fun to spend your time trying to find each other. Wander. Make sure that you have time to check everything out. The band you’ve never heard of might just turn out to be your new favorite group. 

Things you can bring to WARMfest: blankets, baby Strollers, non-professional camera equipment – the rule is that if it has a detachable lens you can’t bring it in – you can bring your point and shoot camera and use your cell phone camera, a small folding lawn chair, and the coolest thing I’ve seen at a festival they are letting you bring in a small EMPTY six-pack sized cooler (approx 9″ x 9″ x 11″ or smaller). You can enjoy the music and entertainment and limit your trips to the concession area by stashing your food in the cooler. And they will provide ice free of charge. I can’t tell you how that makes my little food-safety minded heart sing. 

Things you cannot bring to the festival: outside food or drinks (including alcohol, bottled water), any type of backpacks, weapons of any kind, including fireworks, binoculars, illegal or illicit substances of any kind, glass containers and metal aerosol cans (including sunscreen in aerosol cans), empty CamelBak or water bottles or other empty plastic containers, umbrellas of any kind, skateboards, scooters, carts, wagons, tents, pets (except for service dogs, of course), or professional recording equipment. I am really looking forward to WARMfest – I’ll see you there. 

Ripple Effect 4-mile Run/Walk
Monday, September 2, 2013
Start line and packet pickup at Broad Ripple Station (across from McDonalds) parking lot.
8:30 am, all-ages, $20 advance, $25 day of race, family package available

The walk benefits the Broad Ripple Village Association to help raise money for neighborhood improvement projects. The run/walk will circle Broad Ripple Village. The event includes a 4-mile competitive run (timed) as well as a 4-mile non-competitive run/walk.

Registration and more information on the WARMfest website. 

Labor Day Street Fair
Monday, September 2, 2013
Jazz Kitchen and Yat’s
54th  Street and College Avenue
all-ages, free, 2:00 – 7:30 pm

I can’t believe that this is the 16th year for the Labor Day Street Fair. I was working at CATH coffeehouse (in the corner of the Fresh Market parking lot) at the time of the first Labor Day Fair. I set up game for the kiddos in the parking lot and we all had a great time. I am grateful that David Allee and his crew have kept the tradition going. 

The lineup is: Bill Lancton & the Red Hot Whiskey Sippers – 2:00-3:30, Pavel and Direct Contact – 4:00 – 5:30, Rob Dixon and Triology + special guests – 6:00-7:30.
French Market Festival
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Saint Joan of Arc Church
4217 N. Central Ave
all-ages, free, noon-10:00 pm 

The French Market brings festival food to a new delicious level. You should plan to have both lunch and dinner there. Not only is this great neighborhood event filled with fabulous French food there is a wonderful lineup of music. 

noon – 2:15: The Stardusters
3:45 – 6:30: The Tides
7:00 – 10:00 Living Proof