Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n11)
Buzzing Around Town - by Nora Spitznogle
posted: Jun. 01, 2007
Hi, Tammy Lieber here. Normally you'd find me on page 12 of this issue, but my good friend Nora was kind enough to let me serve as her guest columnist this week.
Nora has some of the coolest jobs (high-powered non-profit executive by day, music writer/Red Key waitress and cook by night) in town, so you can imagine how honored I feel to take over the Queen Bee hive, if only for a week.
Nora's still here, though-you can find her later in this column for the music previews, and in the Tammy's Take spot on page 12, which this week is really Nora's Notes. I'll be providing the music reviews this week, thanks to a pair of shows that I'll be talking about for the rest of the summer.
Friday, May 11, 2007
The Music Mill
Shawn Mullins would typically be described as a singer-songwriter, but the best description might just be Southern writer, in the tradition of William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams or my personal favorite, Larry Brown.
In contrast to most Southern writers, Mullins' stories are short and set to great music. Many of his songs are about people he's come to know; a cast of delightfully-tragic figures. The set was punctuated by Mullins, giving the backstory behind the people in his smoky Southern drawl, like the club where he met the Hollywood-born subject of perhaps his best-known song, "Rockabye."
I left the show feeling like I'd been let in on a secret and generally in awe of his writing abilities-what an amazing thing it is to be able to communicate the essence of another person in five minutes or less, with a great tune to boot.
The Music Mill, a quick drive from Broad Ripple, was set up with chairs, the perfect setting to listen to Mullins' solo show. A guy and his guitar on a stage-could it get any better than that?
Mullins, a Georgia native, has stopped by Music Mill three times in the 2-1/2 years that the venue has been open. During his set, Mullins hinted that he likes the venue at least partly because of the lack of beer-sotted fans screaming at him to play Lynyrd Skynyrd. We Midwesterners are nothing if not polite. Or maybe we're just able to hold our liquor.
Either way, Mullins shared the love by playing pretty much everything from last year's release, "9th Ward Pickin' Parlor," recorded in New Orleans a few months before Hurricane Katrina destroyed the studio for which the CD is named. The CD's big radio hit, "Beautiful Wreck," was a crowd favorite, but the real highlights were the album's closing two songs, "Solitaire," a Mullins-penned tune that serves as a prelude to a soulful cover of "House of the Rising Sun."
Hopefully Mullins will stop by Indy again soon. When he does, check him out.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Broad Ripple Art Fair
Let me start off by saying that seeing the lovemeknots outdoors in broad daylight was initially a bit disconcerting. My friends and I barely had enough time to down a beer and sandwich before the band took the Riverfront Stage at the Broad Ripple Art Fair at 1:15.
The lovemeknots have a big sound, produced by three guitarists (singer and all-around cool guy Evan Finch, Kyle Barnett, and Brad Shelor), bassist David Magee and drummer Rich Meyer. Together they make the kind of guitar-heavy punky pop music that compels you to grab your friends and drag them onto the dance floor late in the evening.
The lovemeknots at the BRAF
With the dance floor replaced by a shady lawn, we grabbed our second beer shortly after the band started and resisted the urge to stand next to the speakers and pogo dance. Instead, we choose a flat grassy spot near the Writers' Center of Indiana building. From our 'sun deck' we could see most of the band through the trees and could hear both the band and each other.
For the next hour-and-a-half-during which the band took no break-we bobbed our heads to lovemeknots tunes like "Naptown Blues" and watched a steady stream of fairgoers pass by, commenting on their art picks of the day.
The lovemeknots played regularly from 1990 to 1995; while they gave up touring long ago, they still get together occasionally. Seeing them, whatever time of day, is a rare treat.
Along with influences like the Vulgar Boatmen and Stereolab, the lovemeknots list one of their influences as "anything that choogles." I have no idea what that means; but, whatever it is, consider me a choogle fan.
Broad Ripple Farmers Market
Saturdays, 8:00 am-noon
Behind Broad Ripple High School
I am excited about the musical lineup for this years Farmer's Market. Here is June's roster.
Be sure to stop by and show the musicians some love. They are crawling out of bed early in the morning to do this for free.
June 2: Robert Scott (il Troubadore)
June 9: Sarah Grain
June 16: Vonnie Scott
June 23: Tom Duncan
June 30: Christine Barton
Battle of Birdy's
Fridays, 9:00 pm, 21 and over
Birdy's 2131 E. 71st Street 254.8971
The battle of the bands started last month and is still in the first round. At least 6 bands play every Friday night. The lineups are fun and eclectic and the crowd is enthusiastic. It is a great time to discover bands that are new to you. There is something for everyone every week. You can find the weekly line up on both the Birdy's and Indianapolis Music Scene's websites.
Back in the day, when the Benchmark Battle of the Bands was at the Patio, I was an occasional judge. I always enjoyed seeing the bands' families come out to cheer them on. People would always sidle up to me and ask who I thought the judges for the evening might be (we were anonymous to keep the cajoling and bribery-factor down). I got a good giggle knowing that no one ever suspected that I was one.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Rachael Sage, Martine Locke
Indy Hostel 8 pm $6-8. all ages
4903 Winthrop Ave 727.1696
I've had the pleasure of hearing both of these incredible women perform. NYC-based Rachael Sage has several prestigious songwriting awards under her belt. She plays keyboard, sings and tours her heart out. You can put her in the category of honest-to-goodness-touring-musicians. She plays at least 150 dates a year. She's played everywhere from the Lilith Fair to CATH coffeehouse.
Australian Martine Locke is currently San Francisco-based. She's a talented singer/songwriter, a damn good guitar player and very entertaining.
The Hostel is a great place to see music. It is a quiet listening room. Imagine having the musicians play in your living room, and you can picture the scene at the Hostel.
Not-for-profit director by day, music writer by night, Nora Spitznogle reviews music that happened and previews music and events around Broad Ripple Village. Nora managed CATH Inc coffeehouse at 54th Street and College Avenue for seven years. During that time she hosted hundreds of local and touring musicians, both at the coffeehouse and her home. When CATH closed in 2004 and the music was no longer coming to her, she had to wander from her corner of Broad Ripple to see what is happening elsewhere. You can find her at Second Helpings during the work day, waitressing at the Red Key on Saturday nights and prowling Broad Ripple music venues the rest of the time. Visit Nora's Web site nora-leona.blogspot.com
, send any questions, comments or suggestions to Nora@BroadRippleGazette.com