Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n13)
Buzzing Around Town - by Nora Spitznogle
posted: Jun. 29, 2007
I know that I have a tendency to binge - Girl Scout cookies, reading, television and concerts. There was a lot of music in the Broad Ripple last week and I saw most of it. Pop some corn and hunker down, there is a lot to read about.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Michele's Birthday Party
I had the wonderful pleasure of seeing Wilco play at the Murat earlier that evening. Our seats were close enough to confirm what I've always suspected - Jeff Tweedy cuts his hair with fingernail scissors. But he's Jeff Tweedy. I'd let him cut my hair with fingernail scissors. I was not ready to head home after the concert, so I stopped at Local's Only. Truth be told, I was trying to squash my inclination to follow the Wilco tour bus. I'm guessing that I would be fairly conspicuous in my S-10 pick-up truck and 4-H license plates.
Michele Kofski was celebrating her birthday. All Gemini's got in free. I asked the doorman if I could pay half-price since I was on the Taurus/Gemini cusp. He checked my I.D. and waved me in. I walked in just in time to hear Loretta. I've been a fan of these guys for years, but they have been on hiatus. I'm happy to report that they are back and sounding better than ever.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Ted Nugent The Vogue
Yes, Ted Nugent played The Vogue, and it was as surreal as you think it would be. The Nuge brought the quintessential rock show; the drummer was on a riser with a fan blowing through his hair. Ted was wearing his line of camouflage gear including the camo cowboy hat. He was playing his signature flag guitar and really can let the hard-rock licks rip with the best of them. The bass player also did a good deal of the singing. They sounded a lot bigger than three guys.
The Vogue was packed. With a bunch of middle aged guys. Not that there is anything wrong with that, really. Most of them were tipsy and playing air-guitar. There might be something wrong with that.
I'll admit to being out of my comfort zone and a little freaked out. The last musician I heard at The Vogue was the sensitive singer/songwriter Josh Rouse.
Ted played the first single, "Love Grenade," the title track from his next album. The single was released June 23 (the record will be available in August). As Ted said, "No one wants a love sparkler; we all want a love grenade." Ted has been recording albums since 1975!
Ted Nugent is a big proponent of hunting; "You can't grill it until you kill it." The stage was decorated with animal hides, guns (I'm assuming they were fake, but I don't know), animal skulls and a giant grenade. Visit his Web site; you can sign up for the Ted Nugent Sunrize Safari Dream Hunt.
I wormed my way closer to the stage during "Stranglehold" and turned around when a sweaty guy dove in and kissed me on the lips. I left The Vogue with "Cat Scratch Fever" following me down the street.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Hayes Carll, Robert Earl Keen
I already knew that I was a Robert Earl Keen fan, but I really enjoyed the opening musician, too. Hayes Carll was on this first gig of three-city opening tour for Keen. Austin, TX-based, Hayes is charming, funny and a darn good story teller. His stage presence is warm and affable, you feel like you are chatting with a friend. Not all singer/songwriters also have good banter from the stage. Some folks can sing confessionals songs with ease, but take the music away and they are not sure what to say. Hayes told us that his trip to Indianapolis started with a 6:00 am flight, which "defeats the purpose of going in to show business."
His songs are based in the American roots tradition. Think Steve Earle and John Prine wrapped in a younger package with a sociable bow on top. Hayes only other trip to Indianapolis was the Midwest Music Summit two summers ago. He played at Radio Radio to an audience of 12. Two of those were Otis Gibbs and Amy Lashley, who have become fans. Indianapolis showed him a lot more love this trip. He played to a full, appreciative house. I'm looking forward to his next swing through. Hopefully it will not be another two years away.
Robert Earl Keen is equally as charming and his fans know what to expect, including shouting "Robert Keen" at the appropriate times. His new CD, Best, was released on June 26. Robert's band is amazing, and they have all toured together for quite awhile. As we know, I'm a sucker for pedal steel and acoustic guitar. I was in stringed-instrument heaven. As always, the Music Mill is a great place to see, well music.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The Benders, The Only Children
The Melody Inn
It was a fun night to be at the Melody Inn (is there really such a thing as a bad night at the Mel?). All of the cool kids were out -- Jeb Banner, Vess Ruhtenberg, Jimmy Pruitt, Alan Hague and me, of course.
The Benders are co-fronted by David England and Tad Armstrong. They are a great blend of Dave and Tad originals and covers by local and national songwriters. Tad was named the #1 singer/songwriter by NUVO this year. The rest of the band is made up of the legendary John Byrne and the equally-as-talented drummer, Wade Parrish. Wade has an unnatural affection for my last name, and saying it over the microphone. I cannot tell you how much I like The Benders. They are everything a rock band should be. Great musicians, extraordinary songwriters and excellent singers.
The Only Children are in the middle of a two-week tour. Their new album, Keeper of the Youth, came out May 22. The band is lead by husband and wife team Josh Berwanger and Heidi-Lynne Gluck. I was so excited about seeing them again that I was dorky and wore my The Only Children tee-shirt to the show. There is an unspoken concert tee-shirt fashion rule: you don't wear the tee-shirt of the band that you are seeing unless it is an old concert shirt, or a tee from a former band of one of the musicians. Complicated, isn't it?
Heidi was not able to come on tour; the logistics of traveling with a toddler in the band van have yet to be worked out. Josh was armed with photos of young Oliver. Sharon Koltick filled in for Heidi on bass. Sharon was in the ska band, The Malcontents. Josh told me that every other show on the tour was going well. The Indy show was slated to be good and it was great; sorry, Chicago.
The Only Children
Friday, June 22, 2007
MKNA Twilight Party
In the spirit of stalking John Byrne, I crafted a very elaborate plan to go to the MKNA party. My plan involved years of infiltrating MKNA, including moving into the neighborhood and serving as president of the organization. It finally paid off by seeing John make a special guest appearance with The Impalas. I'm done with my MKNA commitment (or the party just happened to coincide with the end of my term).
You know The Impalas are good if I danced (or came as close to dancing as I get). The band is lead by singers Jamie Ridpath and Mike Wiltrout. The band is chock full of goodness -- horns, harmonies and break-dancing. I cannot promise break-dancing at every show, but I had the special treat of seeing Mike spin around the dance floor in his tux.
Greg Ziesemer, Kriss Luckett and Stasia Demos
Saturday, June 30, 2007 7:00 pm, $5. all ages welcome
Boulevard Place Café 4155 Boulevard Place
This is the CD release party for Virginia, Greg and Kriss' long-anticipated album. The vocals and guitar were recorded in a one-day super session with the legendary Ben Surratt in Nashville, TN last fall. The finishing touches were added this spring at Hit City Recording. Greg and Kriss are very proud of this project, so you know it will be bluegrass-tinged goodness.
As my Dad would say, "If you don't like Stasia Demos, you won't like Heaven." Stasia is a crowd favorite for good reason. She's charming and quirky and her songs reflect that. This promises to be a great show.
Heard around town:
-Vibes Music should be open in the old Funhouse Guitars and Records location (54th and the Monon Trail) by the time you read this. Behind the counter, you'll find the lovable Jonee Quest when he's not on tour with Here Come the Mummies and other recording projects. Jonee told me that this will be the first time he's used a cash register since his Burger Chef days.
-Latex Novelties will play Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn on Saturday, August 4. More on that later.
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