THISWEEK COVER PAGE 08 MAILING ADDRESS: 3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208 TELEPHONE: Main Switchboard (317)254-2400 FAX: (317)254-2405 WEB: www.nuvo.net EDITORIAL POLICY: NUVO Newsweekly covers news, public issues, arts and entertainment. We publish views from across the political and social spectra. They do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. MANUSCRIPTS: NUVO welcomes manuscripts. We assume no responsibility for returning manuscripts not accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. DISTRIBUTION: The current issue of NUVO is free. Past issues are at the NUVO office for $3 if you come in, $4.50 mailed. NUVO is available every Wednesday at over 1,000 locations in the metropolitan area. Limit one copy per customer. SUBSCRIPTIONS: NUVO Newsweekly is published weekly by NUVO Inc., 3951 N. Meridian St., suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Subscriptions are available at $99.99/year and may be obtained by contacting Kathy Flahavin at firstname.lastname@example.org. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to NUVO, inc., 3951 N. Meridian St., suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Copyright ©2013 by NUVO, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission, by any method whatsoever, is prohibited. ISSN #1086-461X
MONSTER ON THE MIC
ACE ONE: The hardest working MC in Indy.
NUVO.NET Vol. 24 Issue 47 issue #1145
PRESIDENT PENCE? VOICES PG. 05
WHAT’S ONLINE THAT’S NOT IN PRINT?
Timing is everything when it comes to White House ambitions. By John Krull
ROBERT INDIANA, SIGN PAINTER VISUAL PG. 14
ASK THE SEX DOC
The iconic artist with Hoosier roots calls us from his home in Maine. By Dan Grossman
A Kinsey researcher tackles all your questions with an assist from a NUVO editor. By Sarah Murrell and Dr. Debra Herbenick
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO ... FILM PG. 22
THE STARTING FIVE
Who will win — and who should win — at this year’s Academy Awards. By Ed Johnson-Ott
By Kyle Long
NEWS...... 06 ARTS........ 14 MUSIC..... 30
Five links designed to enlighten, enrage or entertain delivered fresh each weekday morning, Courtesy of The Ed.Blog
GOODBYE TO THE JUNGLE Photos of IUPUI’s Jaguars bidding farewell to their old stadium before they make their home at the Fairgrounds next season. By T.J. Foreman
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HOSPITALITY CUT WITH COAL ASH NEITHER HONEST OR GOOD I
DAVID HOPPE DHOPPE@NUVO.NET David Hoppe has been writing columns for NUVO since the mid-1990s. Find him online every week at NUVO.NET/VOICES
“ used to be disgusted, now I try to Hoosiers. That’d because we can be amused ...” is a line from an old claim more coal ash sludge lagoons Elvis Costello song. Over the past than any other state in the union. We week or so, this has been the prevailallow these toxic dumps to be located ing attitude expressed in reaction to in flood plains and near sources the unveiling of a new Indiana tourof drinking water. What’s more, as ism slogan: “Honest to Goodness.” our state’s Hoosier Environmental Most people, it seems, are underCouncil has pointed out, Indiana does whelmed by this attempt to rebrand not require lagoons to be designed Indiana in a way that, accordby professional engineers, or to have ing to Indiana Office of Tourism composite liners. There are no manDevelopment’s Mark Newman, datory inspections or groundwater “incorporates all regions of the state.” monitoring. Newman says the slogan speaks to Eight Indiana coal ash dumps have Indiana’s reputation for hospitality. contaminated groundwater; 60 perWell, OK. So we’re nice to strangers — as long as they steer clear of our cent of the lagoons inspected by the US EPA were given a “poor rating” for factory farms and refrain from asking structural integrity. why the air downwind is so putrid. Drinking water in the northern But I digress. Indiana Town of Pines was contamiThe trouble with “Honest to Goodness” is that people in Indiana know too much to believe it. The trouble with “Honest to Perhaps you’ve heard about the massive Goodness” is that people in Indiana coal ash spill in North know too much to believe it. Carolina’s Dan River. A coal ash pond belonging to Duke Energy burst on Feb. 2, releasing tens nated by a coal ash leak that the State of thousands of tons of toxic coal ash of Indiana knew about since the waste into the river. 1980’s but allowed to continue until Coal ash is what’s left over from residents wouldn’t take it anymore. burning coal for energy. It’s nasty People there were forced to rely on stuff, including such cancer-causing bottled water and municipal H2O substances as arsenic, manganese, brought in from nearby Michigan City. boron, chromium and lead. Now that’s Hoosier Hospitality. The US Attorney’s office in Raleigh And that’s why Indiana’s most has ordered the North Carolina recent effort to rebrand itself rings Department of Environment and so hollow. There is nothing honest Natural Resources (DENR) to hand nor good about the way we treat our over memos, email and other corenvironment. Instead, we continue to respondence related to Duke Energy because citizens’ groups have claimed be lead by lawfakers who act as if the right to pollute is a key to prosperthat the DENR has been allowing ity. What we really need is a massive Duke to play fast and loose with reguclean-up. That will brand Indiana a lations for years. place where everyone will want to This North Carolina story is all too work and live. n familiar to us Honest to Goodness
VOICES THIS WEEK
PRESIDENT PENCE? WISDOM SAYS GOV. SHOULD WAIT M
ike Pence refuses to rule out running for president. Here’s some other shocking news: The sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning. And Charlie Sheen likes to take a drink every now and then. Pence created a small wave in the national media ocean when he appeared on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” a few days ago. Host Chuck Todd pressed Pence on whether he planned to run for president in 2016. Pence demurred by saying that he wasn’t thinking about anything but doing the job he was “hired for” – serving as Indiana’s governor. (Translation: He’s already thinking about what desk he would have in the Oval Office and figuring out which of his friends and relatives will get to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom first.) Todd pushed the point and asked Pence if he was ruling out running for the White House in two years. Pence ducked the question and talked instead about the many splendors of Indiana. (Translation: see previous translation.) Asking a politician if he or she has aspirations for higher office is one of the more pointless journalistic exercises. It’s akin to asking an employee in any other occupation whether she or he ever wants a raise or a promotion. Only an idiot says “no.” And Mike Pence is no idiot. The conventional wisdom following Pence’s tap dance on MSNBC was that he wasn’t focusing on 2016 but instead just wanted to keep his name in the mix for presidential contests down the line. He’s a first-term governor from a small state, the reasoning goes, and he’ll have a better shot if he waits until he completes a second term and has more to show from his time running an executive branch. Maybe, but I’m not so sure. The fact is that Americans in the 21st century have been willing, even eager, to send relatively untried leaders to the White House.
JOHN KRULL EDITORS@NUVO.NET John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com.
Not having a long or deep track record in office didn’t stop George Bush or Barack Obama from claiming the big prize. In fact, both beat candidates (Al Gore, a sitting vice president who previously had been in Congress for nearly 20 years, and John McCain, who had been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for three decades) with much more extensive public service resumes and much longer lists of accomplishments. There’s also the fact that getting reelected governor isn’t a lock for Pence. He won in 2012 with less than 50 percent of the vote against a Democratic opponent, John Gregg, whom he heavily outspent and who still was building name recognition as the race entered October. Even so, Gregg came within 3 points of beating Pence – and was closing fast on Election Day. If Pence faces in 2016 a Democrat who gets out of the gate quicker or who can match him dollar for dollar in spending, he could have a problem. There are whispers that Democratic heavyweight Evan Bayh – a former two-term governor and two-term U.S. senator from Indiana – is contemplating another run for the governor’s office. Bayh’s willingness to be the focus of this year’s Gridiron Dinner – the Indiana political class’s answer to a celebrity roast – has done nothing to quell that speculation. Pence’s chances of making it to the White House as a governor defeated in a bid for re-election wouldn’t be good. Conventional wisdom says Mike Pence should wait to make his run for the Rose Garden. The realities that presidential candidates no longer need big resumes and that Pence can’t be guaranteed a second term as Indiana’s governor together suggest a different kind of wisdom. That wisdom says Pence shouldn’t put off for tomorrow what he can do today. Or at least in 2016. n NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // VOICES 5
WHAT HAPPENED? “No more stringent” no more Opponents of the so-called “no-more-stringentthan” bill, House Bill 1143, celebrated Monday after the Senate Environmental Affairs Committee opted not to advance the measure, which would have prevented the state from enacting any environmental regulations more stringent than federal rules. In a statement released by the Hoosier Environmental Council following the meeting, executive director Jesse Kharbanda said: “We appreciate the wisdom of Senator Ed Charbonneau, [the committee chair], in deciding not to move HB 1143 forward in his committee this afternoon. HB 1143 would have needlessly tied the hands of the Indiana Environmental Rules Board, which only recently was brought into being by the Indiana General Assembly itself, from heading off environmental challenges that the federal government has acted inadequately in addressing. Not moving HB 1143 forward is a victory for the health of Hoosiers, the quality of life of our citizens, and implicitly acknowledges that a clean environment is critical to economic development.” The limits of regulation In at least one area of local environmental oversight, IDEM’s hands are already tied on the regulation of coal ash ponds, of which Indiana has a greater number than any other state, according to the EPA. The coal ash issue made national news on Feb. 2 when more than 24 million gallons of ash water leaked into the Dan River from a shuttered Duke Energy plant in North Carolina. The Courier-Journal’s James Bruggers, in an article published Feb 5., noted that Duke has a similar pond in Terre Haute, last subjected to independent inspection in 2010. Whereas Indiana environmentalists often call for more stringent regulation of coal ash lagoons, IDEM officials say the feds claim jurisdiction. “We don’t specifically regulate coal ash,” said Dan Goldblatt, an IDEM spokesperson. “We are not legally allowed to.” If ash water were leaking into a stormwater outfall, however, it would violate one the plant’s permits and IDEM officials could intervene. And looking abroad (through a local angle) The Desmond Tutu Center’s Allan Boesak and his wife, journalist Elna Boesak, both natives of South Africa now living in Indy, issued a formal response to a law signed Monday by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, which criminalizes homosexual acts and dictates, in some cases, life in prison for those convicted. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Uganda and elsewhere in Africa who will from now on, even more than before, become the targets of persecution and death,” the Boesaks wrote. “We pray for their families who will as well suffer the consequences of all this and for individuals and organisations that step into the breach on their behalf.” The Boesak’s have started a change.org petition for a formal response from South African president Jacob Zuma. — REBECCA TOWNSEND 6 NEWS // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
ZARA (AND HER FAMILY) NEED SUPPORT
Family struggling with emotional, financial drain of child’s inoperable brain tumor
B Y REBECCA TO W N S EN D RTO W N S E N D @ N U V O . N E T
ara Schwer likes to draw fairies. She loves horses but has not yet drawn one to her satisfaction. The five-year-old is also the face of a new marketing campaign for St. Jude Hospital. She is a patient there, receiving chemotherapy and radiation for a tumor lodged so far into her brain that surgery could not extract it in its entity. As she busied herself with her markers on a recent February morning, her mother, Arpana, watched. A parade of emotions crossed the woman’s face: pride, love, fear, sadness. She absorbed as much as she could, knowing that the future holds no guarantees and that fate is cruel. Two five-year-old girls who the Schwers befriended while staying at the Ronald McDonald House during treatments have since died of the same type of tumor that is taxing Zara. “I’m dried up because I cry so much I don’t have anything left inside,” Arpana said. “I feel like no one should have to go through this. No one — because I know what we’ve been through.” Zara, however, has been surpassing doctor’s expectations since the beginning. The initial surgery, which extracted much of the 4-centimeter-long tumor, carried risks of total paralysis because of how interconnected it was with the area controlling Zara’s motor function. But she raced through recovery — up and around in 12 hours instead of the 34 it takes most similar patients. Biopsy of the tumor identified the malignancy as pleomorphic xantroastrocytoma, a high-grade, stage-four glioma brain tumor. It currently appears stable but still threatens to spread. About 700 children are diagnosed with so-called astrocytomas each year — about 20 percent are high-grade, according to St. Jude’s. Zara began chemo and radiation last fall. Arpana, who worked helping refugees at Catholic Charities, took leave from her job to help Zara through treatments. The illness means Zara had to stop going to school. In addition,
PHOTO BY REBECCA TOWNSEND
Zara Schwer (shown here with her mother, Arpana, and sister, Annika) is looking forward to a trip to Disney World before returning to St. Jude for continued treatment of an aggressive tumor lodged in her brain.
Arpana’s parents (who do not drive) live with the family and she has another child HOW YOU CAN HELP — a toddler. Also, it’s been a cold winter • Contributions to the in an old house and promises of aid from Schwer family can be sent online via a national home improvement chain http://tinyurl.com/ZarasFund. have yet to materialize. Zara’s father, Jeremy, continues to work as a 3-D rendering artist for Ratio Architects. Their family budget made “We want to tell the community, sense when both of them ‘You are lucky.’” her working. His salary covered mortgage pay— ARPANA SCHWER ments while hers was generally spent on food and other expenses. Her … Sometimes I just feel to see if she is extended leave has left Arpana feeling breathing or not … it is killing me.” helpless as a sea of medical bills — many More than $11,000 has come in to now in collections — flood the mailbox. Zara’s fund so far, but the unmet need The situation has led to the bitter cannot be overstated — daily expenses irony that Arpana, who is used to helpto maintain the family are ongoing and ing people through Catholic Charities, is more than $70,000 in medical bills loom. now the one seeking assistance for basic “Whatever Jeremy and I are making, provisions such as diapers. Zara’s aunt it all goes to medical bills,” Arpana said, set up a website to collect donations. noting that friends are shocked when Aside from spreading the word that her family really needs help, Arpana said: they learn about the extent of their bud“We want to tell the community, ‘You are getary constraints. “Life is not easy for us. It’s been really, really tough.” lucky.’ I feel they take for granted their Zara, however, continues to shine, kids, that they are healthy … and they dreaming of a princess castle and drawing don’t care. Now we are fighting for our fairies with which she can decorate the baby’s life. They should think how lucky walls. “Today my daddy is going to give they are. At least they don’t have to go me a lot of surprises,” she told me when I through what we are going through right came to visit. “Tomorrow is special.” n now; this is the worst experience of life.
BELATED BON VOYAGE FOR LOCAL PEACE MASTER Carl Rising-Moore moves to the Philippines
Give Peace a Chance Join the ongoing protest against continuing Middle East warfare. Bring your own sign or use one provided by the Indiana Peace and Justice Center. Fridays from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Downtown in front of the federal building. FREE. Indiana River Issues A day-long exploration of water access, water quality and water’s future. Register at http://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/events/current.cfm?eid=190, email email@example.com or call 274-3100. Fri., Feb. 28, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (reception to follow), I.U. Robert H. McKinney School of Law 530 West New York St. $25 General Admission. Free for students, teachers & non-profit employees. [Attorneys can pay $75 if they are seeking continued learning credits.]
BY REBECCA T O WNSE ND RTOWNSEND@ N U VO . N ET
he business of peace activism is not easy — and it is not always peaceful. At one infamous Indy peace march along 38th Street, the police arrested an activist for waving a United Nations flag. The flagpole could be used as a weapon, the cops said. That activist, Carl Rising-Moore, a core force in local peace activism circles — a former president of the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center and editor of its journal — left Indy on Jan. 23 to move with his wife, Alma, and son, Carlos, to the Philippines. Peace activists from around the state gathered Downtown at Central Christian Church, 701 N. Delaware, home to the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, to honor Rising-Moore’s contributions to the local movement, wish him well in his future endeavors and encourage him to remain involved with his local work. Rising Moore agreed to continue as the IPJC Journal’s editor for international affairs, but demurred when asked by one colleague to continue on as a board officer and he put out the call for an Indiana resident to step up as state peace beat editor. “I remember you waving the UN flag violently, as the charge was,” local author Jim Wolfe said, recalling that he and RisingMoore were involved in an alternative group that was “more radical” than IPJC at the beginning of the Iraq War. Still, he said, they both have supported IPJC in many ways as well — and continue to do so. “You showed me how to hold a sign,” activist Larry Miller told Rising-Moore during the goodbye gathering. During the Occupation Movement in the fall of 2001, what impressed Miller most about Carl was the big “Veterans For Peace” banner he and two others were holding. “And I’m a veteran, so I kind of latched on,” Miller said. “I always joke around that probably all I learned about protesting, I learned from you, Carl. About the sign and teaching me how to hold a sign. To this day, if you give me a sign, I’ll go out there and carry it.”
March Against Corruption The discontent of the 99% continues to simmer. Indy’s march takes places in conjunction with a world-wide day of action (other locations currently organizing including Cincinnati and London). For more information, see the “World Wide March Against Government Corruption Indiana Indianapolis” on Facebook. PHOTO BY REBECCA TOWNSEND
Longtime local peace activist Carl Rising-Moore on Jan. 23 moved with his wife, Alma, and son, Carlos, to the Philippines.
(“And you don’t care what it says!,” a fellow activist joked.) Demonstrating the sign-shaking technique, Miller said: “You’ve got to get the attention of the cars that go by — something to go home and think about. You stood for all that … And you’re going to be missed. Your shoes will be hard to fill. I’m gonna miss you, brother.” Miller pointed to the tribute video made by fellow activist Dave Lambert, commenting how many clips included Carl working for veterans’ issues. “I’m going to miss that, Carl. Because as a fellow veteran – you’re a veteran — and I think whether we’ve been in war – and all of us have seen the horrors of war – it’s all about peace – about peaceful resolutions to conflicts,” Miller said. “I think that’s what you stood for. There will always be conflicts, but you have to find peaceful resolutions.” On behalf of the board, IPJC President Vernell Miller presented Rising-Moore an award for his “undying commitment and energy” to peace and justice in Indianapolis. “We’ve been marching in protest and shouting out against every war since Vietnam, including Grenada, Panama, the First and Second Gulf Wars, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, the drone wars and Somalia and Yemen and every other incursion by this government … supporting the Justice Movement in
Fountain Square,” said Dave Lambert, a long-time cohort of Rising-Moore’s, handing him a whistle. “Hopefully you will not stop being a whistleblower when you are in the Philippines.” Lambert added: “Harriet Beecher Stowe said it best, ‘It’s a matter of taking the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done. You are an activist’s activist, and I will miss you, Carl. We will all miss you.” The average age of the dozen or so people gathered trended toward midto-later-range Baby Boomers, so the collective experience of the room covered a lot of territory from weeks of camping and arrests in support of Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas to protests on Monument Circle in bitter weather. Activist Tim King said a fellow activist had joked earlier in the evening that she hoped the National Security Agency would let Rising-Moore out of the country. Somebody else said they hoped the Philippine authorities would let him in. Peace activism boils down to “a struggle for survival on this planet earth … we have to raise our children in a manner where they do not want their kids to go to war,” Rising-Moore said. “I’ve been all over the world. I’m not going to bite my tongue in the Philippines. … The idea of American exceptionalism and full-spectrum dominance is the most dangerous thing this planet has ever seen.” n
Sat., March 1, 10:45 a.m., Downtown where West Street meeting the Canal. FREE. Be an advocate for children A lunch featuring an orientation program for the Marion County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program of volunteers who support kids in the court system who have experienced abuse and/ or neglect. Participants must be at least 21. Call 205-3055 ext. 2240 or email Dionne@childadvocates.net for more info. Tue., March 4, 11:30 a.m., Child Advocates, 8200 Haverstick, Suite 240. childadvocates. net FREE
THOUGHT BITE ARCHIVE Survey results: Most gossips are liars. – ANDY JACOBS JR.
NUVO.NET/NEWS A history of boycotts, poster by poster by Emily Taylor Senate halves Pence road funding request by Lesley Weidenbener Daycare shooting suspect turns himself in by Rebecca Townsend Senate committee passes digital privacy bill by John Sittler Pre-school pilot program bill heads to summer study by The Statehouse File NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // NEWS 7
R E T M O ONN S TH E M IC
ACE ONE, THE HARDEST WORKING MC IN INDY
EDITORS@NUVO.NET BY KYLE LONG
PHOTO BY KRISTEN PUGH
Ace One at Oranje.
8 COVER STORY // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
t’s well past midnight on a snowy Tuesday night when Ace One pulls up to Sam Ash, a music megastore on Indy’s Northside. Music shops like Sam Ash can be a sort of repository for unfulfilled dreams. Nearly every customer who walks through the busidoor has some desire to achieve fame and fortune in the music ness — and very few will ever come close. sAce One is a bit different, though. The MC has achieved an impre Ash sive level of success in Indianapolis music. But Ace isn’t at Sam on this night to pick out a new piece of expensive music gear. He’s there to clean the carpets.
Over the years I’ve often heard the charismatic rap veteran, born Michael Cobbs, referred to as the “the hardest working man in Indianapolis hip-hop.” I always assumed the title was a nod to his energy-fueled stage presence and rigorous live performance schedule, or perhaps even his large and tangled lineage of group affiliations and artistic collaborations. That’s all definitely part of it. However, while writing this story I would learn of another, entirely different dimension to that designation. It’s an irony I can’t help but notice as I observe Ace preparing for our interview, his first major cover story, while simultaneously readying himself for a night of hard manual labor. After several days of negotiation, this was the only time Ace could find to fit an interview into his relentless schedule of band practices, live performances and work obligations. “I work for a company doing carpet care. I’m the chief crew technician. I’m really good at what I do.” Ace says this with a tone of pride. “I try to be good at everything I do. I don’t believe in wasting my time or anybody else’s.” “It’s a physically draining job,” he admits, as I strain to hear him over the noise of his carpet vacuum. I’m asking how he balances his intense work routine with his even more intense artistic life. “It’s not about balance. It’s the realization that it has to be done. The music has gotta get done and it’s gonna get done no matter how tired I am. You take a shot and you keep going. You smoke a joint and you get busy.” Spending time with Ace, one gets the sense that he’s ready for anything at any moment. In fact, that’s how he earned his name. “Ace is an acronym. It stands for Always Come Equipped,” he says. “That name came around 1999 when I started doing music with Justice League and Wormusic. We would get together and do all night sessions — meet each other around noon and not leave until the next day type of shit. Whenever we would get together I would always have a backpack. The amount of stuff I would carry in my backpack was ridiculous; it was almost like a suitcase. So if somebody cut their finger, I’d literally have Neosporin and a Band-Aid.” “The second part of my name came later,” he says. “I was doing some
PHOTO BY JEREMY MCLEAN
Ace and DJ Spoolz at Rhino’s in Bloomington.
shows with the Mudkids and one night Rusty Redenbacher introduced me to the crowd as Ace One. I initially thought it sounded hella redundant. But the name stuck. When Richard Cook of the Justice League caught wind of that he said he said, ‘We’ve got to make an acronym out of that, too.’ So my full name became Always Come Equipped Or Never Endeavor.” Conversations with Ace are littered with references to the multitude of musicians he’s worked with. The amount of projects he’s been a part of and the variety of music he’s created is sort of staggering. Even Ace is hard-pressed to keep track of all his activities. At several points during the writing of this story I asked Ace for a complete list of all his musical partnerships. He never quite came through and I slowly began to realize the reason why: it’s a bottomless pit.
In the beginning Ace’s father was lead vocalist for the legendary Indianapolis funk group Amnesty, and I’d assumed he’d grown up in a musical environment. Not the case. “I didn’t grow up as a young kid thinking I want to do music,” Ace says. “As a kid, my dad and I were not close. My dad had drug problems, and he did some prison time here and there. The dude was a street kind of guy. We didn’t start getting close until I was in my late teens.” It was another family member that led Ace into a serious connection with
music, particularly his love for hip-hop. “I can vividly remember when I was ten years old, I was at [my cousin] Slim’s house. His older sister used to record all the Yo MTV Raps episodes. We would sit around and watch hours of videos. I remember being at Slim’s and seeing the video for “I Ain’t no Joke” by Eric B. & Rakim. It made a really strong impression on me and I remember thinking, ‘That’s what I want to do,’ ” Ace says. It was only a few more years before he’d start making hip-hop himself. Ace reflects, “I was fifteen years old, Slim and I were hanging out at my house. I was cutting class from Arlington High and we were just sitting in the kitchen smoking some weed. We hadn’t seen each other for years. We were passing the joint back and forth and playing music,” he says. “Then Slim started rapping. I was like ‘Damn, that’s hard, dude. Whose verse is that?’ He says, ‘It’s mine.’ I said ‘bullshit.’ So he does it again, making stuff up from the top of his head. I asked him again, ‘Is that really yours?’ He said yes, and I thought for a minute. We were around the same age and we were a lot alike. So I said, ‘I can do that too.’ And I did it. And I haven’t stopped doing it since.” Around the same time Ace began experimenting with music-making, a closer relationship with his father began to develop, as did his interest in his father’s musical past. “Growing up I knew my dad sang. He would tell me about some of the stuff he’d done. His band toured with the O’Jay’s and shit like that. But to be honest I didn’t know the full extent, and that’s partially because my dad was a real jokester. He was a funny, funny dude. A lot of times when he was talking about his music I thought he was just bullshitting me,” Ace laughs. “My dad had kept one of the original Amnesty 45s with the songs ‘Three Cheers for my Baby’ and ‘Lord Help Me.’ He’d play that record for me periodically and I always thought it was beautiful,” Ace says. “But it wasn’t until around the time that the Amnesty’s 700 West Sessions album was issued on Now-Again Records that I started to understand how bad my dad was. We were hanging out one day, and my dad says ‘I just got a call from Now-Again and Amnesty is number one on the
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NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // COVER STORY 9
funk and soul charts over in Europe.’ He didn’t even know that there was a soul scene in Europe. So at that point I really started believing him and started researching what he did.” Ace was blown away, and began to see his father is a whole new light. “The music was reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, but with gospel and soul,” he says, describing Amnesty. “It’s all over the place, but everything sounded right on. Those guys were ahead of their time.” Eventually, Amnesty’s daring mix of jazz, soul and psychedelic rock would be echoed in Ace’s own work. Ace spent the remainder of his high school career honing his rap skills with future Justice League bandmate and best friend St. James [birth name Santiago Garcia] over games of Mortal Kombat. After graduating from Arlington High, Ace enlisted in the Marine Corps and in 1994 made his way to San Diego for boot camp. But he kept in touch with his Indianapolis hip-hop connections. “St. James had met Richard Cook, who is the orchestrator of Wormusic, and they started doing music together [while I was gone]. St. James sent me a cassette tape of their project and when I heard what they were doing, it really struck a chord in me. At that point I had two years left in the Marines and immediately I started mentally preparing myself to come back home to do music with St. James and Richard Cook. And I did just that when I got back to Indianapolis. We all met together and, over a couple hits of acid, we decided to become the Justice League. That was in 1998, and we did our first show in 2000.” And then, he was off.
Making a splash
Ace at Rhino’s
10 COVER STORY // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
PHOTO BY JEREMY MCCLEAN
Even in the beginning, Ace made an impression. “I was hired to play a show on the Southside and I get down there and it’s nothing but gangster dudes,” Mike Graves, of Twilight Sentinels and Mab Lab, says. “I was like, “Oh boy, this is gonna be great.’ [laughs] Most of the night it was just one gangster group after another.”
But then — Ace. “[When] Justice League came on, they were like nothing else happening that night. Ace One really stood out. After that I kept seeing him around town. He’s never come whack as an MC in the entire time I’ve known him. He’s kind of like Black Thought in that way. If you sit and break down his rhymes it’s all hot shit.” Ace’s prodigious microphone skills coupled with his reputation for being a remarkably likable person led to a flood of invitations for collaborations. A big part of Ace’s growing artistic legacy is his enthusiasm for developing creative partnerships. Ace has worked with almost every major figure in the Indy hip-hop community and everyone I spoke with testified to his ferocious onstage personality and his gentle offstage kindness. “Ace is an incredible artist; he’s a gladiator onstage,” MC Pope Adrian Bless told me. “But he has a golden soul. He has a way that radiates a room when he enters. It’s automatic; you’re gonna like Ace. He’s just a great person.” “The way he carries himself and the fact that he’s just a really nice guy made me want to know him as a person,” says another collaborator, Proforms MC and producer Joe Harvey. “But then when I saw him commanding the stage and heard the energy and overall power he has on the mic, I knew I wanted to work with him.” “When you meet Ace, you remember it,” Graves says. “When he’s onstage, he really commits himself to the performance. He’s never given a lackluster performance. I’ve seen him sick with a cold or flu but when he gets onstage, you’d have no idea.” When Ace’s notoriety seeped through the local hip-hop scene, a new set of musical opportunities appeared, allowing Ace to branch out into the world of rock and roll. Ace has since put in time with funk-rock party band Breakdown Kings and hardcore noiserockers Dead Man’s Switch. “Everyone should be in a rock and roll band at some point in their life, because it’s fucking awesome,” Ace says. “I didn’t know I even wanted to be in a rock band, but when the offer to join Dead Man’s Switch was made, it totally made sense. It worked out and it was beautiful. It was one of the best times I’ve had musically.” Dead Man’s Switch guitarist John Zepps agrees. “I’m far removed from the hip-hop scene. I respect it, and love it. But I’m a noise-rock, hardcore thrash guy,” Zepps says when I ask about his time with Ace. “The drummer I was working with employed Ace at a carpet cleaning service and we got together and jammed. His delivery was so
passionate, pure and honest. I knew he was selling tapes out of his car and working the underground hip-hop thing. ... When we started playing, there was an instantaneous connection. He has a dynamic that you can’t even describe. He’s 110 percent on his game, all the time. Being in a band with him was an amazing experience. He has an unbridled enthusiasm and passion and he can adapt to whatever you throw at him. I fucking miss being in a band with him.” “If you know Ace, you know he listens to rap, rock and even country,” Graves says. “He listens to some crazy shit, but it’s all a part of him. So when you see him in the Breakdown Kings, wearing a suit and he’s singing — and I mean actually singing — you’re not surprised. You’re just like, ‘Damn, he’s good at that, too.” Then you see him in Dead Man’s Switch and he has his shirt off and he’s screaming and he’s killing it. It’s so natural, like a fish in water. Because he really understands rock music. He gets it. He’s just a music person.” Ace likens his experiences in Dead Man’s Switch to a cold water bath. “For my first experience playing rock to be in 1990s style, post-hardcore band, that is like being in the Polar Bear Club, dude. That ain’t just sticking your toe in the water. That is stripping down all the way naked and jumping in freezing arctic water. It will wake you up,” Ace jokes, before touching on a more serious point. “Playing rock music brought me a lot closer to my father. It was the closest I’ve gotten to what he had done.”
The Monster With all these musical experiences under his belt, there was one thing Ace One had yet to accomplish: releasing a solo album. So, in September of 2012, Ace released the Rap Monster LP, his first solo album and perhaps the greatest musical statement of his career thus far. The album is 20 tracks of grimy, hard-hitting hip-hop music. It’s heavy use of samples creates a chaotic audio vérité sound reminiscent of classic hip-hop titles like the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique or Wu-Tang Clan’s 36
PHOTO BY TJ FOREMAN
Dead Man’s Switch
Chambers. And Ace’s rhymes and vocals are on point thought the entire project. “I love it when you go to church, and the preacher is talking about sinners and you know he’s talking just right to you,” Ace says. “I wanted to make something that gave people that feeling. I wanted it to make people dance and move, but I also I wanted it to shake them up. I wanted it to make them nervous. I wanted it to scare people. I wanted it to upset people.” Rap Monster stands as one of the hardest hip-hop albums ever released in the Midwest — the makings of a true Indianapolis classic. The only problem was almost nobody heard it. That’s where DJ Spoolz entered the scene. Spoolz, who had worked with Ace in the Proforms, added scratches to nearly half the album’s track and felt the project deserved more attention than it received at the time of its release. “Ace is a part of so many groups and does so much musically in the city that I don’t think Rap Monster got the focus and attention it needed. [So the thought was] let’s make it available again the right away, cleaned up and remastered.” When Spoolz approached Ace with
the plan, Ace told me he was in total agreement — with a few stipulations. “First, we release it for free,” he says emphatically. “The second stipulation was that we’d follow up the reissue with a sequel, Rap Monster Redux. It’s all coming to fruition now.” Everyone in Ace’s camp believes 2014 will be a big year for the rapper, and I’m inclined to agree. The newest? Ace just received the biggest national recognition of his career so far when a recording he made with producer and MC Dawhud was selected by hip-hop icon DJ Premier as one of the best songs of 2013. “That was an achievement I never expected,” Ace admits. “Primo liked it, and was spinning it in his sets and on his radio show. But the fact we made a song dope enough to make his list with a bunch of legendary hip-hop artists was beautiful.” It’s past 3 a.m. when I start wrapping up our interview and gathering my things to leave. But Ace’s night is far from over, as there’s much more carpet to be cleaned across the store’s massive floorspace. His statement hit me hard, a massive reality check to the
turbulent nature of pursuing music as a profession. It doesn’t seem right that an acclaimed, in-demand musician like Ace should have to work around the clock just to make ends meet. But that life is a reality for most musicians today. I leave Ace with one last question before we parted ways. Is he worried that his big break in music may never come? And if it doesn’t come, would he continue to make music and live life on his own terms? “I run circles around most human beings,” he answers. “I have a ridiculous amount of energy that I need to get rid of and music is the best way for me to do it. And chicks still dig me. As long as the girls like you, you still have a chance in music. “But I’ve long stopped worrying about the big break. The main thing is to get out there and do the music. For me if you can get out there and make money to pay your utilities, keep a roof over your head and clothes on your back, you’ve won right there. That’s all I want to be able to do. My dream is to be able to sustain my life through doing music. I refuse to ever give up.” n
“Ace is an incredible artist; he’s a gladiator on stage. But he has a golden soul.” — POPE ADRIAN BLESS NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // COVER STORY 11
E’S ONTEN ACE TOP SONGS Collaboration is a major element of Ace One’s style. From his myriad of hip-hop affiliations, to his work with funk rockers Breakdown Kings and hardcore unit Dead Man’s Switch, Ace One’s discography can get a little confusing. To help sort things out I asked Ace to review his catalog of music and select 10 of his best tracks past, present and future.
Justice League, Wormusic, “Garbage”
I’ve been making music with Wormusic and Justice League since 1998 and we have a catalog about as deep the Beatles. We did not tolerate bullshit hip-hop. This song touched people to the point that a young man in Poland got a hold of the song and loved it so much he took his very first trip to the United States to come and shoot a video in Indianapolis for “Garbage.”
Dawhud feat. Ace One, “Battle Anybody”
I fell in love with this beat the first time I heard it. The initial concept of this record was for me and Dawhud to belittle and rank on each other in true MC battle fashion. But me and that dude are so cool, we just couldn’t do it. So we just went hard in a true hip-hop style. DJ Premier listed this song in his top 20 hip-hop records of 2013. We were ranked at number 19 between a Jay-Z song and a Busta Rhymes record featuring Lil Wayne, Q-Tip and Kanye West. That was beautiful.
Proforms, “Get Ready”
This is the song set the Proforms off. In my mind, it embodied everything the group represented.
s.a.i.n.t. RECON, “Saint”
It’s one of the most beautiful beats I’ve ever been blessed with. It’s an acronym that means “speaking as I’ve never told,” and I literally did that on this song. I put my heart in it and opened myself up.
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Breakdown Kings, “Tomorrow”
It’s a huge song. I start it off with a verse; it’s not a long verse, but I think it’s one of the strongest verses I’ve ever written. It basically says you’ve never heard a sound like this, there’s a powerful energy we’re about to give to you.
Mic Sol & Ace One, “Hip-Hop Blues”
That song is an Indianapolis hiphop classic, period.
Dead Man’s Switch, “Bad News Bear”
Even though I’d never been in a rock band, when I joined Dead Man’s Switch as the frontman it came more naturally to me than anything I’d ever done musically.
Doo Doo Browns, “Frogs and Intestines”
This is a future project in the making with me, DJ Spoolz and Skittz. This is knuckle-scraping hip-hop and it’s hard as nails.
D.A.M.!, “Bali High”
D.A.M.! is a collab between drummer Devon Ashley (Lemonheads, Kate Lamont) and MC/DJ Michael Graves (Mablab, Twilight Sentinels.) I respect the shit out of both of them. Right now they’re getting together their debut project and they gave me a song. When I heard they wanted to work with me I was sincerely blown away and flabbergasted. There are people in this city that would cut off another man’s pinky toe to get to work with these guys. “Bali High” has a deep groove and goes hard.
Ace One, “Stutter Step, BANG! (It’s Not That Easy)”
I had an instant connection with this beat. Joe Harvey stepped outside his comfort zone when he produced that. This is one of my favorite tracks I’ve ever done.
s ot spone iveace topto fcatch live To fully appreciate the dynamic energy of Ace One, you need to catch him live. Fortunately that’s a fairly easy thing to do.Ace One has rocked just about every conceivable stage in Indiana, from an opening slot with Incubus at Klipsch Music Center to open mic nights at neighborhood coffee shops. Here’s his favorite five venues to perform live.
right. It’s awesome when I can go there and perform with a national act, but it’s even more awesome when it’s not a national act and you know the people are there to see you.
The Melody Inn
It’s freaking organized chaos. It’s always a great time. It’s no-holds-barred and pure energy unleashed at Melody Inn.
The venue puts a lot into the sound system and I appreciate that. It’s always an intimate show there, which lets people get a little more loose with it. It’s a place where you can have some good drinks and good food and still enjoy the music. It’s almost like a house party every time I play there.
Whatever stage you get to be on, just to be apart of Oranje is always a gas. People don’t even use that word anymore, but Oranje is a gas. Oranje is 23 skidoo.
I’ve been on stages at the Murat and Madame Walker Theater but in my personal opinion the Vogue is the spot. The stage just feels
It’s right in the heart of Fountain Square so you have people floating in and out all night. It’s a nice community down that way, and it’s always a good jam in there. The staff is professional. I really enjoy that place.
PHOTO BY JEREMY MCCLEAN
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A&E EVENTS Comedy of Errors EclecticPond Theatre Company is reimagining Shakespeare’s early comedy by having, as the news release puts it, “individual actors not only portraying multiple roles each, but all manner of props, set pieces, and scenery as well.” This prompts this anonymous scribe to recall the time that he played a tree in an elementary school production of The Princess and the Pea. Fond memories.
Feb. 28-March 9, times and tickets vary, eclecticpond.org Does This Show Make My Butt Look Fat? We’re going to say, “No, not at all.” Or, wait. We’ll say, “How could your butt look fat in any situation when you are not a fat person to begin with?” Yeah, that’s the ticket. Juli Inskeep returns to star in Joni Hilton’s one-woman show about body issues, one of Theatre on the Square’s all-time top sellers. Theatre on the Square, Feb. 28-March 29, $20-30, tots.org Ansel Adams Adams picked out the 75 photos that are at the core of a career retrospective opening at the Eiteljorg March 1. That traveling “museum set” — including iconic shots of Yosemite, the Pacific Coast and Southwest — will be supplemented by film clips and vintage prints from a private collection, plus special programming through the year, including a conversation between Ansel’s son John Michael Adams and curator Jonathan Spalding on March 1 at 1:30 p.m. Eiteljorg Museum, March 1-Aug. 3, included with museum admission, eiteljorg.org Bach’s Mass in B Minor The Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra is teaming with a similar group out of Kansas City, the Spire Chamber Ensemble, to present Bach’s Mass in B Minor in both group’s hometowns, starting with this weekend’s shows in Indy. Barbara Kallaur, a founding member of the orchestra, calls it a “small-forces” mass, in the sense that all vocal parts with be handled by eight singers, instead of a full choir as is often the case. That smaller lineup is more consistent with the way Bach might have presented the work, argues Kallaur. Here’s a nice testimony to the work’s greatness, from conductor Robert Shaw: “It may well be true that Bach’s Mass in B Minor — assembled, no less than created – has become, some two hundred and fifty years after he bound its 27 movements together, the most remarkable musical allegory of human existence — its pain, aspiration and promises.” March 2 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and March 3 at Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center; both 7:30 p.m. and $20 general admission; indybaroque.org
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A portrait of the artist: Hoosier native Robert Indiana.
ROBERT INDIANA: ALWAYS A SIGN PAINTER Artist calls in from Vinalhaven, Maine to discuss art, printmaking
B Y D A N G RO S S M A N ED I T O R S @ N U V O . N E T
obert Indiana knows Indianapolis well. He grew up before World War II, and he’s kept in touch over the years. As a young man he worked for Western Union, based at Union Station. His mother and step-father ran the officer’s club at Fort Harrison. He went to Arsenal Tech High School. While this world-renowned artist (born Robert Clark in 1928) had moved out of the state by the time he took his nom de brush, as it were, his youthful memories are a huge presence in his art. And you may think you know Robert Indiana well. You’ve probably seen his LOVE sculptures and prints on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and elsewhere. But you might not be so familiar with his later work, like The Hartley Elegies, completed during the years 1989-1994. They’re
THE ESSENTIAL ROBERT INDIANA
WHERE: INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART W H E N : F E B . 16- M A Y 4 T I C K E T S : $12 A D U L T , M E M B E R S F R E E
the stunners of an exhibition of his print work, The Essential Robert Indiana, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art through May 4. The American artist Marsden Hartley, the inspiration for the series of screenprints, was living in Berlin when World War I started. His abstract painting “Portrait of a German Officer,” which commemorates the life of his friend Karl von Freyburg, killed in action in 1914, is a classic of American Modernism. Melding Hartley’s “Portrait” style with his own, Robert Indiana achieves a synthesis that’s stunning in ambition
and physical scale. And this display of the Elegies is particularly timely as we approach the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Robert Indiana spoke with NUVO by phone last week from his home in the island town of Vinalhaven, twelve miles off the Maine coast. NUVO: What about Marsden Hartley inspired you? ROBERT INDIANA: I never thought much about Marsden Hartley until I came to Vinalhaven and I found out that Hartley had spent a summer here. And that ignited my fascination and interest in Hartley because he was a very tragic figure. He kept losing his best friends. And here on the island, he found a very cheap house and electricity and running water. However, one summer was enough. He never came back.
INDIANA: I consider them to be the most important paintings that I’ve done. There’s a whole series, about a dozen all together. And the original paintings have disappeared, but I happen to have them reproduced in print form. And they hang in the top floor of my building in Vinalhaven now.
INDIANA: That happened. I didn’t have anything to do with making it happen. It was all because the work was not properly copyrighted. I knew nothing about that when I did it. And know that all that damage now is forgotten. Everything’s okay now.
INDIANA: As I say, he was a very tragic figure, and I was always intrigued by the tragedies that artists sometimes suffer. Know that one of my contemporaries James Rosenquist lost all his work in a fire in Florida. These kind of things happen and I’m very much affected. I’m concerned with what the ocean can do on this tiny little island, and one day it could be very bad.
NUVO: You describe yourself as a sign painter. It’s easy to visualize images of signs along the highway with this remark. But I was looking up the definition of “sign” in Webster’s last night and one of the definitions is: “Something that shows that something else exists, is true, or will happen.” Are you this kind of sign painter too?
NUVO: Is there a storm forecasted? INDIANA: We are having a series of storms. They don’t seem to stop right now. That will all end, of course. Summer can be very beautiful here.
INDIANA: I’ve always thought of myself as a sign painter. In fact, someone who used to work at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I think his name is [Richard] McCoy, he’s been checking up on my last hometown, it was Columbus, Indiana. He found in the newspapers the ad for my mother’s donut shop. I painted the sign for that donut shop in Columbus, many years ago. And donuts were forty cents a dozen.
NUVO: Is your house all right? Is it holding up? INDIANA: We’ve suffered. It’s been a very severe winter, and right now I’m having a show of my love poetry at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, which is where I catch my ferry to come out to Vinalhaven. It’s an hour and a half ferry ride to get out to the island. NUVO: Are there things that you’re able to do in Vinalhaven that you weren’t able to do in New York City?
INDIANA: Know that when I was in New York I had a very special place to live. [Coenties Slip] was an enclave of half a dozen artists, very much separated from the hubbub of New York. We had a very peaceful, quiet little turf that’s all disappeared now. Living here and getting away from Manhattan made a great difference as far as my own happiness went. New York was becoming more and
NUVO: You paid a price with critics for the success of your LOVE painting and its many offspring. Are you reconciled now to having one of the most reproduced — some might say plagiarized — images of the last half-century?
NUVO: Did coming to Maine allow you the space to do this work?
NUVO: Is there solitude that you find in Maine — that you didn’t find in New York — and is that helpful for you as an artist?
INDIANA: I’ve been working on that for the last year. A couple of years ago, I had to be operated on, and I’ve been kind of an invalid ever since. So I’ve been working on a photo-biography, and that’s been consuming me for quite some time now.
NUVO: I was really struck by the Hartley Elegies. I had never really seen work quite like it up close.
INDIANA: One thing, in particular, and that is that when I lived in Coenties Slip, I used to go out on the street and salvage wood that had been demolished from the buildings that had been torn down. Then when I came to Vinalhaven, wood was being washed up by the sea and I began again with my work in constructions.
NUVO: Marty Krause mentioned that you have a bunch of dogs and cats in your house.
“KvF I” from The Hartley Elegies: The Berlin Series (1990)
more of a difficult place to live. Know of course that Indianapolis is completely impossible and as a recent article mentioned, if I had stayed in Indianapolis, I would’ve never become Indiana. NUVO: You’d be Robert Clark. INDIANA: I’d be stuck with a name that I was never very happy with. There are many Clarks in every telephone book in America. NUVO: I was talking to your friend Marty Krause, who says that one of your
favorite spots in Indianapolis is James Whitcomb Riley’s grave, which happens to be the high point in Crown Hill Cemetery. INDIANA: Well, I have a photograph of myself — that was just found and reproduced — standing next to his grave area a long time ago. And of course, they’ve promised that if I’m so inclined they might save a space for me. NUVO: You describe your work as “verbal-visual.” Are you writing your own biography with your work?
INDIANA: No longer. I have one cat and one dog. But over the years I’ve had many, many animals. And of course, my house is filled with stuffed animals made in China. I’m particularly fond of giraffes. NUVO: It was a coincidence of some sort that you had this “HOPE” painting at Vinalhaven, and it inspired a sculpture. INDIANA: Which was done especially for Obama’s campaign. Of course, the building that I live in, the Oddfellows called it the Star of Hope, and I have been working with that word for many years because of that ... It was meant that it might be one of the slogans of his campaign. But as it was he favored “Change.” In other words, people were SEE, PAINTER, ON PAGE 16 NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // VISUAL 15
Robert Indiana in 1963, as seen in William John Kennedy’s photograph “Robert Indiana at one of his early exhibitions with his ‘The Demuth American Dream 5’ in the background.”
PAINTER , FROM PAGE 15 waving things that said “Change” and “Hope” sort of got lost in the shuffle. NUVO: You were able to contribute to that campaign by doing art. INDIANA: Well someone did that for me, but I was responsible, yeah. NUVO: People no longer think that art can save the world, that artists can save the world. INDIANA: I think we pretty well know that. NUVO: But in a small way, artists can contribute, to do something. INDIANA: I have tried over the years, mainly with my peace paintings, all from Bertrand Russell’s campaign. But that was a long time ago. NUVO: But you’ve also done other things. In the prelude to the Iraq war you did a series of prints. INDIANA: I only did something in relation to that because of 9/11. I was in New York when 9/11 happened. And I saw the buildings collapsing. And it was very dramatic. I came back to Vinalhaven. I was on my way to France 16 VISUAL // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
for a show, and I never made it because everything was cancelled. So I came back, and I painted American flags on the front of the Star of Hope simply to mark the occasion and did a painting in relation to that particular war. It’s never been exhibited though. No one has wanted to put it on public display. There might be repercussions. NUVO: I thought it was funny that there’s red and blue in the “Hope” painting but the colors have hard edges and don’t come together — like Democrats and Republicans in America. INDIANA: I worry about our president. I think he’s having a very rough time. NUVO: There’s a whole series of prints on the subject of racism included in the IMA exhibition, with the logo “Every nation has its hind part.” INDIANA: But I also did “A Divorced Man Has Never Been the President,” and of course that was Rockefeller. And I also did “An Honest Man Has Been President” and that was Mr. Carter. And, of course, I became friends with the Mondales. And Mrs. Mondale actually came to visit me on Vinalhaven and made a ceramic cup for me, which is in my closet right now. She just died, by the way. n
“HOPE”, 2009, above. “KvF X” from The Hartley Elegies: The Berlin Series (1991), below.
REVIEWS Butler Theatre: Terminal e A couple moments stuck with me from Terminal, a meandering but tight, ambivalent but passionate grabbag of skits, for both ensemble and solo performer, all considering some facet of death. One monologue explores the moral implications of inhumane behavior on a massive scale, citing everything from the Trail of Tears to last week’s string of local homicides in looking to the “bones” that call to us from beneath our feet. And the play’s funniest sketch sends up our dubious efforts to preserve a body after death, rendering them almost Egyptian and certainly farcical. Anyways, the first moment was a nearly wordless sketch that found an actor running from edge to edge of the stage, sort testing the limits of his universe, as a speaker deprives him of different abilities (sight, speech). It’s the sort of scene that isn’t neatly reducible to one interpretation, and it reminds of one of Beckett’s endlessly pacing characters. The other moment was a line, paraphrased — What I was given to work with was impossible! — which caps off a brilliant monologue that puts the moral weight of the world on the speaker’s shoulders. Lots to think about here, convincingly presented by a well-rehearsed cast. And bonus points for the historic importance of this version of a rarely-staged work of the Open Theatre. Continues Feb. 27 and March 1 and 2 at Lilly Hall Studio Theatre —SCOTT SHOGER
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Andre Watts e André Watts draws in patrons like a magnet no matter what. And it didn’t hurt that he played that mighty monolith, Brahms’ No. 2 in Bflat, last weekend. From the opening (Star Wars-like) theme through three movements to the jaunty, Hungarian-esque finale, Watts and the orchestra played as a unified ensemble. Hovering over his keyboard, Watts showed excellent control of dynamics through an exquisite sounding filigree of passage work, chords, trills and scale-work, though he may have leaned a little more heavily than usual on the damper pedal for the latter. A surprise entry into this Brahms was cellist See-Do Park, who is auditioning for the long vacated ISO principal cellist position. She dominated in the concerto’s third movement with its beautifully extended solo, her playing such that she’d be an excellent addition to the ISO’s principal player roster. During the extended applause afterward, Watts acknowledged her by walking over to her and twice clasping her hand. Also on the bill was Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, which found the ISO playing with largely excellent precision throughout the four movements. Read Tom’s complete reviews on nuvo.net. Feb. 20-22 at Hilbert Circle Theatre —TOM ALDRIDGE
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A SYMPHONY OF SORROW
Urbanski’s hopes to hypnotize the audience when he joins Shara Worden to perform a 20th-century masterpiece
BY S CO TT S H O G ER SS H O G E R @ N U V O . N E T
hara Worden was hard at work practicing her Polish when I called on Saturday afternoon. And not just mainstream, this-is-how-they-talknow-in-Warsaw Polish. She’s learning to pronounce the three texts included in Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 (also called the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs), which she’ll sing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra this weekend. One is a 15th-century Christian lament of Mary. Another is a prayer that was inscribed on a wall of a Gestapo cell by a Polish prisoner in 1944. The third is a folk song whose lyrics were most likely written during the Silesian Uprisings of 19191921, when Poles tried to break free of German rule to join a new Polish republic. Worden is practicing with the aid of ISO music director Krzysztof Urbanski and his wife, Joanna, both Polish-born, who called up Worden via Skype earlier last week and slowly read out the lyrics for her. And now she’s slowly rehearsing using a recording of that video call. It wouldn’t be the easiest piece to prepare for even if there weren’t language issues. As Worden put it, “It’s taken a lot to get me to practice it, for the reason that to dig into the subject of war is not the most pleasant of experiences. It’s not a walk in the park to say, I’m going to put myself in the place of someone who’s lost a son in war. I have a son myself, so it’s been a challenge to maintain a certain amount of emotional distance in it. It’s a piece where you can kind of lose control of yourself if you put yourself so much in that place.” Gorecki’s (pronounced Gor-es-ki) Symphony No. 3 was composed in 1977 when the Polish composer was moving away from harder-edged, mid-century modernism and toward a more tonal sound. It remained in the semi-obscurity where most new classical music languishes until a 1992 recording featuring go-to new music vocalist Dawn Upshaw became a surprise hit, both on radio and in terms of record sales. Gorecki lived long enough to enjoy the success, though
INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: GORECKI’S THIRD SYMPHONY WHO: KRZYSZTOF URBAŃSKI, CONDUCTOR ZACH DE PUE, VIOLIN SHARA WORDEN, SOPRANO W H E N: FEB. 28, 8 P.M. AND MARCH 1, 5:30 P.M. WHERE: HILBERT CIRCLE THEATRE TICKETS: T I C K E T S V A R Y INDIANAPOLISSYMPHONY.ORG
he couldn’t quite explain it, venturing, “Somehow I hit the right note, something they were missing. Something, somewhere had been lost to them.” Worden, who often performs in an art rock setting as My Brightest Diamond, first connected with Gorecki’s work on the weekend of his death in 2010: “There was a video going around of this piece, and they had put all these human atrocities — terrible videos of violence, doing horrible things to each other — to this music. I watched this whole thing and just wept.
Right after that I wrote ‘Be Brave.’ ” “Be Brave,” released on her 2011 album All Things Will Unwind, established, as Worden explained, “a particular friendship” to Gorecki’s piece that led her to agree to perform it with the ISO. It’s an unusual venture; because Worden typically plays in a singer-songwriter setting or works with fellow living composers, it will be “only the second piece by dead people” she’s performed “in a really, really, really long time.” She studied opera in college, but she said, “I made a decision in my mid-20s that I wasn’t going to pursue a career in opera and that what makes me tick as a person is actually being a songwriter.” If Worden’s stepping outside her comfort zone, so is Urbanski, who said this performance of Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3 will be “a crazy experiment.” He met me with a copy of the score, clad in customary black T-shirt and jeans, on a Monday SEE, SYMPHONY, ON PAGE 20
SYMPHONY , FROM PAGE 18 afternoon in the bare-boned musician’s lounge at Hilbert Circle Theatre. “The piece is obviously written for a soprano, so it’s probably never been written by someone who doesn’t primarily do opera,” Urbanski said. “I’ve performed this piece several times with very good singers, but the only problem that, for instance, there’s one passage in the first movement where you need to sing really loud to just manage to be overpowered by the orchestra. And you lose a little of this intimate quality that this very deep and very sorrowful text requires. That’s why I always dreamed of performing this deep music with a voice that can be perceived by the audience with no effort.”
A perfect fit And so when Urbanski heard Worden performing Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Penelope last year with the ISO (conducted by Edwin Outwater as part of the orchestra’s partnership with Brooklyn new music organization New Amsterdam), he thought, “She would be a perfect fit for this piece.” All the better that she’s classically trained, I put it to Urbanski. “Of course, she’s very skilled in singing,” he said. “She has a beautiful voice with a very wide scale and great control — and she can make it very intimate. Nothing against opera singers, but I’m hoping her voice will sometimes sound like a whisper.” It’s that kind of intimacy that could help Urbanski achieve one of his goals for the piece: “Because the piece is so different, some people might literally fall asleep during a performance. But there is another possibility, and I’ll do everything possible to make it happen, and that’s that people will be hypnotized. There are very few notes, very minimalistic, with groups of chords being played for almost ten minutes.” Urbanski gestured here to the score, which is indeed often barren of notes, a nearly clean white sheet in contrast to the ink-splatter messiness of a fastpaced Romantic behemoth. He continued: “There’s a reason the music is so simple: It’s to focus so much more closely on the text of the symphony. This is a three-movement symphony, and it’s basically a prayer on a grave of a child. It’s about a special kind of emotion, an emotion that most of us will never experience. Losing a child is the greatest tragedy that could ever happen to a human being, and this is what differentiates humans from other animal species.” Worden echoed Urbanski’s interpre20 STAGE // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
Krzysztof Urbanski with the ISO in 2012.
tation: “If you just take it on a textural, surface level, it’s very easy to listen to and very calming. The music is simple in a way; it’s all sort of heartstrings.” Urbanski said he considered translating the Polish texts and having Worden sing them in English, but he decided against it, noting that the third text is in a peasant dialect that doesn’t bear much resemblance to present-day Polish. “But we found a solution in using supertitles, which I think will make the connection between the listeners and the performance much stronger.
weeks ago, so in tribute to him, we’ve changed the piece to probably his greatest piece, a symphonic poem called Krzesany. He called me several months ago and said he had brain cancer and was fighting for his life, so he would not be able to complete the commissioned piece.”
All about tempo
Urbanski and de Pue performed the Symanowski Concerto — an early modernist work written in 1916 and first performed in 1922 — with the Trondheim Symfoniorkester earlier this month. Urbanski is chief conductor of that Norway-based “The biggest task of the conductor orchestra; he’s also principal guest conductor of the Tokyo is to find the right tempo.” Symphony, in addition to his — KRZYSZTOF URBANSKI responsibilities in Indianapolis. “I won’t say it was unsuccessful, but we’ll try some things differently,” Urbanski said of the Symanowski performances. “I listened to Gorecki will close out the concert, recordings, and I simply need to improve; with Urbanski conducting two other this is what happens when you listen to 20th-century works by Polish composyour own concerts, where you’re not very ers on the first half: Wojciech Kilar’s happy with some small details. Zach and Krzesany and Karol Symanowski’s I have a very different take on the tradiConcerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra, tional view of playing Symanowski.” with ISO concertmaster Zach de Pue as Urbanski went on to criticize a tradisoloist. All three are based on the folktion that includes brazen reinterpretalore of the Polish mountains, according tions of the tempos written in the score to Urbanski, but are quite different from — taking a passage five times slower each other in terms of style and content. than the previous passage, for instance, The program recently changed, when the score only calls for a slightly Urbanski said: “We were supposed to slower tempo. That part of the conversapresent a world premiere performance of tion was likely for specialists only, but Pastorale and Capriccio by Wojciech Kilar, it got us to this key observation: “The which we commissioned from him two biggest task of the conductor is to find years ago. Unfortunately, he died several
the right tempo; it’s the most important thing in terms of interpretation. I’m always trying to get the best from the piece I’m doing; that’s my job. I’m not trying to put myself in there. The point is to serve the composer and serve the score the best I can. I think the composer is usually right; they know what they wanted to write. Some composers were crazy; some composers were deaf, like Beethoven, and his tempi were sometimes impossible.” “But other composers, 20th-century composers, are different,” Urbanski continued, deep into explaining his craft. “Playing [20th-century Polish composer Witold] Lutoslawski, for instance: Have you ever seen a metronome [marking] of 71 [beats per minute]. On a metronome, there isn’t even a reading for 71; it’s either 68 or 72; it goes in four beats per minute. I spent an enormous amount of time to make myself conduct in 71; I made it my personal goal. Of course, no one would notice it, so why are you wasting so much time? But every morning, I woke up, I turned on my iPhone app where you can set the tempo, and I set it to 71 and practiced.” He taps here on the table at a tempo that might well have been 71; this reporter wouldn’t know the difference. Did he get the tempo right in concert? “Not all the time, but my goal is to do it as best as possible. But if the composer is crazy enough to put it in 71 — and Lutoslawski was so particular about these things, so brilliant — then my task is to present it the way it’s written. And now I agree with this decision to make it 71. It sounds silly, but this is the way I want to work.” n
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The Wind Rises It was supposed to be Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s final film, though he reportedly revoked that retirement announcement late last year and is working on a samurai-themed manga set. Critical notices have been typically strong for the story of a Japanese boy who dreams of building flying machines and eventually becomes a successful airplane designer; David Edelstein called it “romantic, tragic and inexorably strange,” set in a world where “everything is invested with spirit: levers, flaps and, of course, the wind.” Japanese audiences loved it, too; it was the highest grossing film of 2013 in the country. And it’s up for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Best Picture: WILL WIN: 12 Years a Slave
PG-13, Opens Friday at Keystone Art Son of God Heracles? Caesar? Muhammad? No, we’re talking about Jesus in this condensed version of a ten-hour miniseries that aired last March on the History Channel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the theatrical version will not include “scenes with an actor who played the devil but looked a lot like President Barack Obama.” But there will be neverbefore-seen scenes deleted from the miniseries.
12 Yeas a Slave actors Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor were all nominated for an Academy Award.
ACADEMY AWARDS 2014
PG-13, Opens Thursday in wide release Non-Stop Speed on a plane. Starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. PG-13, Opens Thursday in wide release
BY ED J O H N S O N -O TT EJOHNSONOTT@NUVO.NET
lous to warrant a look. Such a shame. Her isn’t the only nominee that doesn’t have a prayer with the voters. You can count out Nebraska he Oscars, Earth’s most grandiose employee (too small and quirky) and Philomena (charming, recognition awards, airs Sunday at 8:30 pm on but minor). Forget about Dallas Buyers Club and ABC (preceded by 90 minutes of inane interCaptain Phillips too, as both films are regarded views and fashion chatter from the red carpet). more as actor’s vehicles. The Wolf Here’s a look at the races. of Wall Street won’t win because it’s raunchy and some believe it glorifies bad people. American Hustle is a dark horse Nebraska American Hustle contender. It’s showy and has a Philomena Captain Phillips well-liked acting ensemble (remem12 Years a Slave Dallas Buyers Club ber, the bulk of the voters are The Wolf of Wall Gravity actors). Gravity has a real shot. It’s a Street Her SHOULD WIN: Her visually dazzling film that manages to pack an emotional punch as well. Lot of fine movies here. My favorBut I’m guessing it will be rewarded in other categoite is Her, Spike Jonze’s funny, sweet and thoughtries, while 12 Years a Slave takes the top prize. It’s provoking love story. The film looks at how we an important film that feels like an important film. relate now, with mobile devices allowing us to comIt’s British and Oscar voters looove Brits. Plus, the pose our thoughts from a safe distance, and specuAcademy has long been criticized for under-reprelates on how we will relate in a few years when the senting black artists and a win for 12 Years means first self-aware computer-operating system goes on the show will close with a stage filled with mostly sale. Alas, Her will not win Best Picture. Some found black faces from a prestigious film. it too talky and others refused to even watch the movie, believing any story involving a person SHOULD WIN: Her falling in love with a computer to be too ridicuWILL WIN: 12 Years a Slave
BEST PICTURE Steamboat Bill, Jr. Buster Keaton tries to save his dad’s steamboat business in a 1928 comedy that includes an impossibly dangerous, now-famous gag involving the two-story facade of a falling house. Part of the IMA’s Winter Nights series, with live accompaniment by Philip Carli. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., $9 public, $5 member
NUVO.NET/FILM Visit nuvo.net/film for complete movie listings, reviews and more. • For movie times, visit nuvo.net/movietimes 22 FILM // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
ACTOR Christian Bale — American Hustle Bruce Dern — Nebraska Leonardo DiCaprio — The Wolf of Wall Street Chiwetel Ejiofor — 12 Years a Slave Matthew McConaughey — Dallas Buyers Club For months I was sure Chiwetel Ejiofor had this locked up. He is so powerful in 12 Years a Slave — appropriately restrained given his character’s nightmarish circumstances, while superbly utilizing those remarkably expressive eyes. But the momentum is now with Matthew McConaughey for his stunning work in Dallas Buyers Club. How good is he? He lost 30-40 pounds for the role and after a few minutes you
don’t even think about the weight loss. Since 2011 McConaughey has been on a career-redefining streak with films like The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, Killer Joe and Mud. His work in Dallas Buyers Club is perhaps his best yet and he will be rewarded Sunday.
SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: Matthew McConaughey
ACTRESS Amy Adams — American Hustle Cate Blanchett — Blue Jasmine Sandra Bullock — Gravity Judi Dench — Philomena Meryl Streep — August: Osage County In the first sentence of my Blue Jasmine review last summer, I predicted Cate Blanchett would receive a Best Actress nomination for her performance as a woman reeling after her husband’s arrest for Bernie Madofflevel financial chicanery. The other fine performers in this category have
been touted as dark horse contenders, but that’s just fancy dancing from journalists trying to keep things lively. Blanchett has this award sewed up.
SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett
SUPPORTING ACTOR Barkhad Abdi — Captain Phillips Bradley Cooper — American Hustle Michael Fassbender — 12 Years a Slave Jonah Hill — The Wolf of Wall Street Jared Leto — Dallas Buyers Club Barkhad Abdi — the lead pirate in Captain Phillips — deserves the award. He makes his character terrifying while somehow still remaining sympathetic. And it was his first acting job! I would be delighted to hear his name called, but it’s not going to happen. Jared Leto is going to win for Dallas Buyers Club. He’s been winning this category in other award festivities for months now and will do it again this weekend.
Best Supporting Actor: SHOULD WIN: Barkhad Abdi WILL WIN: Jared Leto
SHOULD WIN: Barkhad Abdi WILL WIN: Jared Leto SEE, AWARDS, ON PAGE 24 NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // FILM 23
AWARDS , FROM PAGE 23
NOMINEES STILL IN THEATERS
Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animated Our fave is Possessions, which takes an old Japanese myth and turns it into a wonderful tale of a man lost in the mountains. The blend of visual styles is a treat.
Sally Hawkins — Blue Jasmine Jennifer Lawrence — American Hustle Lupita Nyong’o — 12 Years a Slave Julia Roberts — August: Osage County June Squibb — Nebraska
NR, At Keystone Art Oscar Nominated Short Films: Live Action Our top pick is Just Before Losing Everything. Every second feels real in this gripping look at the logistics of breaking free from an unacceptable situation.
The prize will be won by either Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle or Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave. Lawrence steals scenes with her bracing performance, while Nyong’o makes you ache for her character. Since Lawrence won Best Actress last year, I’m betting voters will opt for Nyong’o. But it’s going to be close.
NR, At Keystone Art Dallas Buyers Club Matthew McConaughey’s performance is a career best in this fact-based story of a tough-as-nails redneck diagnosed with AIDS in the early years of the epidemic. R, In wide release Nebraska A road trip movie directed by Alexander Payne, shot in black and white (gray and lighter gray, actually) to better accentuate the bleakness, populated mostly by people who are vacuous, quietly miserable or insufferable.
Best Supporting Actress: SHOULD WIN: Jennifer Lawrence, just barely
WILL WIN: Lupita Nyong’o, just barely
SHOULD WIN: Jennifer Lawrence, just barely WILL WIN: Lupita Nyong’o, just barely
R, In wide release August: Osage County A large, unruly Actor’s Circle, which is a bit like a songwriter’s circle, in that each participant gets to periodically step out of the ensemble and have a big, juicy turn in the spotlight. R, In wide release Her A sweet, sad, fascinating relationship story and thoughtful piece of speculative fiction that achieves transcendence while remaining accessible. R, wide release Philomena An investigative tale, a sometimes-funny mismatched travelers road story, an indictment of those who perpetuate and profit from sexual repression, and a touching account of determination and faith. PG-13, At Keystone Art Frozen The folks at Disney present a spirited adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, packed with good songs and peopled with appealing characters. PG, In wide release 24 FILM // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
Steve McQueen — 12 Years a Slave David O. Russell — American Hustle Alfonso Cuaron — Gravity Alexander Payne — Nebraska Martin Scorsese — The Wolf of Wall Street
American Hustle Blue Jasmine Dallas Buyers Club Her Nebraska
12 Years a Slave Before Midnight Captain Phillips Philomena The Wolf of Wall Street
It’s a race between Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave and Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. My guess is that Cuaron will take the trophy for his groundbreaking work. The award will make a nice consolation prize as well, since 12 Years is going to win Best Picture.
If Her is to be rewarded, this is the category. Spike Jonze’s screenplay for his visionary film is rich and rewarding. I look at the other nominees and can’t imagine any of them getting more votes than Her, which puts the “original” back in Original Screenplay.
Before Midnight is impressive and the collaboration between filmmaker Richard Linklater and stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy might take the prize, but John Ridley’s adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 12 Years a Slave will likely resonate more with voters.
SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: Alfonso Cuaron — Gravity
SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: Her
SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: 12 Years a Slave
THE REST CINEMATOGRAPHY: The seamless mix of live action and computer animation will lead to a Gravity win. COSTUME DESIGN: The 1920’s outfits of The Great Gatsby will beat the groovy excess of American Hustle. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: The Act of Killing is as mesmerizing as it is horrifying. It’s by far the best of the two nominees screened in Indianapolis.
Best Animated Feature: SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: Frozen
DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Haven’t seen any of them, but The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life is about a 109-year-old piano-playing Holocaust survivor, so …
FILM EDITING: Gravity gets the nod because it flowed so realistically.
The Croods Despicable Me 2 Ernest & Celestine Frozen The Wind Rises
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Italy’s The Great Beauty is the favorite. The dark horse is Denmark’s The Hunt, which opens locally soon.
Disney’s biggest hit in years is a lock. SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN: Frozen
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Can Bad Grandpa and The Lone Ranger beat Dallas Buyers Club? Only if there are a lot of wise-ass voters.
Best Production Design: WILL WIN: The Great Gatsby ORIGINAL SCORE: Gravity vs. Disney’s Frozen — too close to call. ORIGINAL SONG: Let It Go from Frozen. PRODUCTION DESIGN: I’d vote for the futuristic Her, but The Great Gatsby’s opulence will win. ANIMATED SHORT FILM: My favorite is Possessions, but the steam-punky Mr. Hublot has the best chance of beating Disney’s Get a Horse!, which screened theatrically before Frozen.
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: I’m rooting for the harrowing Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything), but the child soldier story Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) will likely win. SOUND EDITING: Gravity SOUND MIXING: Inside Llewyn Davis could eke out a win over Gravity, but probably not. VISUAL EFFECTS: Gravity and it’s not even close.
An 85-piece ensemble of the area’s finest amateur musicians FREE PERFORMANCES at the WARREN PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
WARREN CENTRAL HS 7:00-8:00pm
Tuesday, March 4th
With the Warren Central HS Honors Band
Tuesday, April 1 • Thursday, May 8
317-726-1607 • indyband.org NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // FILM 25
BY RITA KOHN
Sales of beer and wine at the Indiana State Fair are under consideration at the Statehouse. Will craft beer and local wineries be welcomed or will the fair favor one-taste-fits-all brands? We’re watching. Kahn’s at Keystone on Feb. 20 hosted eight tables of 45 brews awarded ratings of 90-plus points by RateBeer, with some specials brought by brewery reps. It was a fine opportunity to gain insights about regional tastes across the U.S. and learn from fellow attendees what perks up their individual palates. For daily food and beer pairing, I prefer flavorful recipes sans ‘hot’ spices and full-bodied, multi-layered beers with lower alcohol and hop bitterness profiles. Listening to others, it’s clearly food preferences that mate us with brews. Flat 12 was the Indy-based brewery along with Schlafly, Stone, Bell’s, North Coast, Founders, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada. I was particularly happy to have the latter at hand because I had just finished reading Ken Grossman’s Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing (Wiley, 2013, cloth, $24.95). Grossman’s passion for craft brewing and his engaging personality leap off this no-holds-barred memoir. It’s a must-read for anyone even remotely thinking about opening a brewery and assuredly an eye-opener for lovers of craft brews. Beer and food galore FEB. 26 • Rock Bottom, downtown and College Park: Annual special release Fire Chief Ale with a “fiery” menu including 3-Alarm Brisket Chili and Campfire Shrimp, daily through March 30. A portion of the proceeds from Fire Chief Ale benefits Indianapolis and Pike Township Fire Departments. • Plum’s Upper Room, Zionsville: Triton Beer Dinner with five beers and a ‘gastro-pub’ menu, 6-10 p.m., $35. • Big Woods, Nashville: 4-course “Big Beer Dinner,” includes four new beers, 7 p.m., call 812-988-6000. FEB. 27 • Mass Avenue Pub, Daredevil beers paired with a complimentary Girl Scout cookie. MARCH 4 • Traders Point Creamery, Zionsville: Four-course beer dinner of Old World-style beers made by New World craftsmen, paired with heartland farmstead cuisine hosted by Chef Brandon and Bob Mack from World Class Beer, 6:30 p.m., reserve at 317-733-1700. • Broad Ripple Brewpub: Fat Tuesday Fete, New Orleans-style five-course dinner paired a beer, including three new options on tap, with thoughts from brewer John Treeter, $40, call 253-2739.
NUVO.NET/FOOD Visit nuvo.net/food for complete restaurant listings, reviews and more. 26 FOOD // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
BOOKS AND BREWS
I’m at the bookstore; I’m at the brewery, I’m at the combination bookstore and brewery
B Y J O S EP H S . P ETE ED I T O R S @ N U V O . N E T
he story behind Books & Brews, Indianapolis’s first combination used book store and nanobrewery, is straight out of a novel. A former University of Michigan baseball player who often had his nose in paperbacks dreamed for years of opening a cozy European-style bookstore. He was an English major who grew up reading Robert Jordan’s fantasies and later wrote novels and screenplays. Fatherhood deferred his dream for a few years, but that baseball player/ English major, Jason Wuerfel, had an idea for how to make a used bookstore viable in an age of Kindles and Jason Wuerfel ebooks. We need to start with beer. Wuerfel got into homebrewing because he’s a serial hobbyist who once picked up the ukelele on a whim and learned to strum all his favorite songs on it. Wuerfel was fielding complaints one Christmas about how tough he was to shop for when he suggested a homebrewing kit. His first attempt was awful, but he took that as a challenge. He brewed batch after batch, while rapidly morphing from a Coors drinker to an aficionado who appreciated a fine session-style beer or a rich Dunkelweizen. A friend told him about a combination craft beer bar and bookstore in New York, and the idea was planted. He
BOOKS & BREWS FACTS Wuerfel was able to raise $17,264 through a Kickstarter campaign to get the business off the ground.
BOOKS & BREWS
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would wed his fantasy bookstore with a brewery. That union proved popular enough that Wuerfel was able to raise $17,264 through a Kickstarter campaign to get the business off the ground. “Our bookstore is not going to be wallpaper for the brewery, or vice versa,” Wuerfel said. “We’re going to hold both to a high standard.” It will be one of the first such hybrids in the nation, but others are on the same path in the Midwest. In 2010, the Quarter Barrel Brewery — a combination brewery, bookstore, pub and coffee shop — opened in the college town of Oxford, Ohio. Carmel also is getting The Flix Brewhouse, a hybrid microbrewery and movie theater. Open mic nights, live music, book clubs, tabletop games, author readings, wine tastings and movie screenings are on the calendar for the space, located in an office/warehouse behind a Home Depot on the Fishers border. Wuerfel’s parents own the minor league Traverse City Beach Bums, and he handled the marketing for years, so he knows community events can be a big draw. His new venture’s slogan — “read, drink, converse” — points to the community-building potential of a bookstore Despite never having owned a circular saw before, Wuerfel built all the tables, 35 seats, barstools, charcuterie boards and flight paddles himself.
Jason Wuerfel designed the graphics for the merchandise, including this sketch of William Shakespeare.
that will stock many odd, obscure and out-of-print titles. The taproom will be separated from the bookshelves, to create an atmosphere that’s family-friendly enough for children’s performers. The place will be welcoming to kids but not smartphones or other mobile devices. “I don’t plan to be a hardcore Soup Nazi, but cell phones will have to be put away,” he said. “I’m considering making cell phone jails out of scrap wood.” Despite never having owned a circular saw before, Wuerfel built all the tables, 35 seats, barstools, charcuterie boards and flight paddles himself. He designed the graphics for the merchandise, including sketches of Jane Austen and William Shakespeare drinking pints. All the brews will be named after literary figures, such as Lord Byron’s Breakfast Ale and Charlie and the Chocolate Stout (which will come with a scoop of ice cream if the health department allows). Customers will be able to suggest new beer styles or names. “It would be a brew-ocracy with community events that would give it an anticorporation feel,” he said. n All the brews will be named after literary figures, such as Lord Byron’s Breakfast Ale and Charlie and the Chocolate Stout. Customers will be able to suggest new beer styles or names. “It would be a brew-ocracy with community events that would give it an anti-corporation feel,” Wuerfel said.
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Despite what we’ve represented here, NUVO advises moderation when visiting area breweries such as Fountain Square Brewing Co., pictured above.
Seems like a new craft/micra/nano-brewery is opening roughly every 7.48 seconds in Indy. (See our take on the cool new hybrid bookstore/brewery Books & Brews on p. 26.) What say we revisit some of the venerable local alemeisters who have been kickin’ it awhile, eh? Sun King Brewing Co. Sun King is one of the best-known and loved local breweries in Central Indiana, and NUVO readers know that, because Sun King is consistently anointed “Best” locally made beer. Creations like Osiris Pale Ale, which is dry-hopped toward the end of fermentation to capture the lovely floral aroma and flavor, Sunlight Cream Ale and Wee Mac Scottish Ale (four-pack cans $10-11, growlers $4, $6.50 fill) put Sun King on the map — and keeps them there. If you need a gift for a +21 friend, consider a growler of beer or a selection of beer swag. 135 N. College Ave., 602-3702, sunkingbrewing.com Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery Award-winning local brewery Rock Bottom offers big food and great beer in a downtown or Northside setting. Be sure to check for special brews on tap. Not only do they have a wide variety of beer selections, but they also prepare food with fresh ingredients, homemade bread and buns, and homemade desserts. Try the barbecue ribs or the famous Bourbonzola Burger, featuring a Jim Beam Bourbon glaze, Gorgonzola cheese, smoked peppercorn, onion straws, lettuce and tomato on an onion roll. 10 W. Washington St., 681-8180, rockbottom.com
28 FOOD // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
Flat 12 Bierwerks Located in Indy’s next culinary hotspot on Dorman Street, Flat 12 Bierwerks crafts an impressive lineup of regular brews, interspersed with specials and seasonal offerings. Although its inspiration may lie in Europe, the execution is allAmerican, with modern, freewheeling ales like the Nunemore Black and the Tangerine Porter playfully challenging traditional and established styles. Outstanding recently have been the Lacto-Matic Stout and the Pogue’s Run Porter, either of which could hold their own against some of the nation’s best. A place to find the perfect gift for the connoisseur on your list. 414 Dorman St., 635-2337, flat12.me Black Acre Brewing Co. The great thing about nanobreweries (another way of saying “homebrewer that really, really wanted to share”) is that they’re so darn nimble. The offerings in this Irvington artisanal shop run the gamut from regular to revolutionary, they’ve poured everything from a peanut butter porter (Elvis shoulda been alive for this) to a take on German rauchbier (‘smoke beer’) to an utterly terrifying Hop Pun Double IPA that packs an unbelievable 251 International Bitterness Units (IBUs) and an alcohol content of nearly 10 percent. After
a blast of this you might not taste anything but hops for 48 hours. 5632 E. Washington St., 207-6266, blackacrebrewing.com Fountain Square Brewing Co One was a chemist. One was a microbiologist. One was an automation specialist. Put ’em all together, they founded this joint to make beer. Justin Brown, Jeff Gibson and Bill Webster created a business that continues to make terrific brews (if only the average macro could be as tasty as their accessible pilsner) served up in a taproom that gives a brilliant architectural nod to the industrial-looking building that houses the vats. Add to that some creative names (Hop for Teacher, Preacher’s Daughter Amber) and inclusion in the taps of all the Fountain Square watering holes, and you’ve got the formula for success. Science! 1301 Barth Ave., 493-1410, fountainsquarebrewery.com Indiana City Brewing Ray Kamstra found the old Home City Brewing bottling building – a brewery shuttered during prohibition – and opened his microbrewery with over 35 grand in Kickstarter cash. Kamstra, along with wife, Leslie, and brewing partner, Dustin Dahl, soon found what trouble an historic building could be – plumbing troubles put a wrinkle in things
early on. The brewery has recovered, offering three regular and six seasonal brews – in addition to a taproom that features works by local artists. That flair for the aesthetic is communicated in Indiana City’s labels – and even the tap handles, too. 24 Shelby St., 643-1103, indianacitybeer.com Thr3e Wise Men Another project by Scott Wise (Scotty’s Brewhouse and Scotty’s Lakehouse), this brings together a back-to-basics approach to both food and decor. The interior of Thr3e Wise Men is mostly varnished unstained wood and concrete, with buckets of popcorn on each table and growlers available at the bar. They brew in-house, so everything off the tap is crisp, fresh, and always full of both flavor and innovation. Everything that comes out of their ovens is delicious, but pay special attention to the sandwiches and pizzas. Heads-up to those who want beer and a growler but don’t want to put on real pants: TWM delivers both food and fresh beer right to your door. Yes, heaven is a place on Earth, and it’s the radius of the Thr3e Wise Men delivery zone.
its Fishers cousin further north, but both occasionally bring in live acts to perform in the bar area. If you’re going gluten-free, the Ram has a menu of dishes to suit you, but sadly, there aren’t any gluten-free beers on the menu (yet). Beer nerds take note: the beer menu also features recommendations, and you can read up on the beers’ Untappd profiles on the restaurant’s website. 140 S. Illinois St., 955-9900, theram.com Broad Ripple BrewPub Not only does Broad Ripple Brewpub deliver some great beer, the food matches the quality, making for a great experience. Try the traditional, English-style cask ales for the real pub experience. Or maybe the Lawn Mower Pale Ale, a draft that is sure to quench your thirst during the hot summer months. After a few pints, the Drunken Tortelloni will satisfy your hunger with its five-cheese tortellini covered in spicy vodka cream sauce. Its great location by the Monon Trail means you can while away the time people-watching as they bicycle, rollerblade, saunter and walk their dogs up and down the trail.
1021 Broad Ripple Ave., 255-5151, thr3ewisemen.com
840 E. 65th St., 253-2739, broadripplebrewpub.com
Scotty’s Brewhouse Scotty’s Brewhouse poses the question: How many sporting events can a person watch at the same time? While, of course, eating from an encyclopedic menu of quality pub food. And quaffing from an epic selection of draft and bottled beers, with plenty of wines and cocktails near at hand by way of back-up. Scotty’s is a convivial place; you can find it packed even on a weeknight. They draw a lot of regulars who know exactly what they want from the extensive menu, and one taste of their “Mo’ Fo’ Mustard Sauce” tells you Scotty’s has figured out its customers’ taste buds.
Bier Brewery & Tap Room Winner of the Indiana State Fair’s Champion Brewery award in 2011 and 2012, Bier Brewery produces up to ten new beers every week, roughly enough to fill five hundred growlers. Offerings range from Witt and Kolsch in the summer, through IPAs
of varying intensity, to barley wine in the holiday season. The quality is seldom less than excellent: Bier Brewery proves itself impressively adept in a wide range of styles. Tasting is free and the staff effusively knowledgeable and friendly. Best get there early in the release cycle (ideally on Wednesday or Thursday) to ensure a growler or two.
838 Broad Ripple Ave 317-466-1555
5133 E. 65th St., 253-2437, bierbrewery.com Black Swan Brewpub Ignore the decor at this Plainfieldbased brewpub; it’s about the beer, and at $3.75 a pint, brewer D.J. McCallister offers excellent quality and a clear understanding of what he’s doing. Much kudos to the man for using Fuggles hops and Ringwood yeast, two seldom-seen ingredients which elevate this brewery way above the commonplace. The food, though offering a refreshing departure from typical brewpub fare, needs a lighter touch; missteps are common, though the grilled eggplant rolls could’ve come out of Indy’s better Italian kitchens. 2067 E. Hadley Road (Plainfield) 838-7444, blackswanbrewpub.com
EVERY MONDAY & THURSDAY
$2 Domestics w/ 32 oz. refills $4.75 Craft Beers w/ 32 oz. refills (not all beers available in schooners)
50 BEERS ON TAP!!
Outliers Brewing Company 534 E. North St., outliersbrewing.com
Triton Brewing Company 5764 Wheeler Road, 735-2706, tritonbrewing.com
WITH ER PRODUC REO JONES O
Tow Yard Brewing 501 Madison Ave., towyardbrewing.com
Oaken Barrel Brewing Co 50 Airport Pkwy. (Greenwood) 887-2287, oakenbarrel.com
BLOCK LOCAL MUSIC
Cutters Brewing Company 9973 U.S. 36 (Avon) 203-9675, cuttersbrewing.com Daredevil Brewing Company 7205 E. Short Blue Road (Shelbyville) (765) 602-1067, daredevilbeer.com
3905 E. 96th St., 574-0101; 1 Virginia Ave., #100, 571-0808; scottysbrewhouse.com Ram Restaurant & Brewery The Ram’s got it covered as far as a hugely varied menu, from seafood and tacos (or seafood tacos) to steak, burgers, and desserts. Good thing, too, because you’ll want to hang around to try all of the Ram’s regularly-changing seasonal menu. The downtown location is a little more regularly hoppin’ than
450 North 8111 E. 450 North (Columbus) (812) 546-0091, 450northbrewing.com FILE PHOTO
Darren Conner of Bier Brewery cuddles his growlers in the tap / tasting room.
Quaff On! Brewing Company 1934 Indiana 135 (Nashville) (812) 988-6006, quaffonbrewing.com
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Central Indiana musicians & bands can submit tracks at www.x103.com
NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // FOOD 29
ALBUM REVIEW TANNER STANDRIDGE AND THE WHIP CREAM WARS
HANDFUL OF HAIR, IN STORE RECORDINGS
w As frontman for Whip Cream Wars, Tanner Standridge has been quietly honing his singular voice and songwriting chops under the radar (mostly on the Northside of Indianapolis) for several years. Standridge’s combustible new EP, Handful of Hair, a limited edition (a mere 100 cassettes were made) release through In Store Recordings (the Indy-based label’s first foray into cassette releases), should solidify him as an exciting artist to watch in the Indianapolis music scene. It’s an assured effort with an urgency and gleefully eccentric approach that has the potential to turn more than a few heads. Too weird to be mere pop-rock, too unfailingly melodic to be highfalutin art-rock, Standridge’s songs come on like aural sugar cubes for those with a soft spot for true alternative radio. Partnered with Adam Gross (S.M. Wolf, Amo Joy), who produced the EP in his home studio and played drums, bass, slide guitar, and xylophone, Standridge’s tunes become fuzzed-out, lo-fi missiles of alt-pop delirium. Standridge’s vocals have always been an almost brazen force of status quo-smashing gusto. Potentially jarring for some, endearing for most with an outsider streak, his idiosyncratic voice is a daring musical weapon able to conjure whimsy, fragility, or fear on a dime. Coming on like the unlikely spawn of Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, Black Francis, and Stephen Malkmus with bastardized homages to Buddy Holly’s hiccupped melodies, Standridge often sounds like some craze-eyed conductor chasing butterflies in the field. However, Handful of Hair shows he’s a young conductor who (with the fine assist from Gross) is in complete command of his compositions. Handful of Hair is a strangely beautiful, fearless record with ramshackle spirit and thoughtful delivery. — JUSTIN WESLEY Sun Country, Caleb McCoach, S.M. Wolf, Tanner Standridge and The Whip Cream Wars, Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., Thursday, Feb. 27, 9 p.m., $7, 21+
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Gregory Alan Isakov at Radio Radio — by Stacy Kagiwada Airborne Toxic Event at Ale Emporium — by Jenn Goodman Becky Archibald at Jazz Kitchen — by Jeremy McLean 30 MUSIC // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
Clockwise from top left: Freddie Bunz, Oreo Jones, Grey Granite, John Stamps, Andy D, Anna Vision, Sirius Black
GUNNIN’ FOR SUCCESS
B Y K A TH ERI N E CO P L EN KC O P L E N @ N U V O . N E T
t was easier than I thought it would be to gather the seven local artists and tourmates who set off across the US together right around Valentine’s Day. Of course, did I think we’d be meeting inside a sex toy shop on Indy’s Southside? Well, I’ve interviewed artists in more unorthodox spots. Andy D, Anna Vision, Grey Granite, Oreo Jones, Sirius Black, Freddie Bunz and John Stamps have all appeared on stage together — and have definitely guested on one another’s music — at one point or another in Indy, but this is the first time they’ve toured together. In fact, for some of these emcees, it’s the first time they’ve toured at all. But they’re hooked up with a great duo to lead them, as Andy Duncan and his wife Victoria (Anna Vision on stage) are seasoned road vets by now, criss-crossing the US about once a year or so.
The lineup is an ideal sampling of what Indy hip-hop has to offer. Each show will feature Grey Granite’s intellectual bars, Freddie Bunz’ electronica-infused tracks, John Stamps’ fiery passion and humor, Oreo Jones’ shape-shifting musicality and Ghost Town ringleader Sirius Black’s acclaimed multiple releases. Tack on a set from musical unicorn Andy D, and this just might be the best tour setting out from Indy all year long — and it’s only February. When you read this, they’ll be exactly half way through their tour through the South — somewhere between Orlando and St. Augustine, by my guess. A full conversation with the tourmates will be online at NUVO.net — here’s a sampling of some of my favorite parts of the conversation. ON THEIR EARLY EXPERIMENTS WITH HIP-HOP “Walking home from middle school, people would freestyle rap. But I would write stuff down and give it to people to
Local rappers on massive tour through South rap to. But they would mess it up, so I would do it. … I would take popular songs and just write the words out and then change the words, just to learn how to do the structure and the schemes and stuff,” Bunz said. “I remember I did that for ‘Paul Revere’ by the Beastie Boys.” “Mine’s Beastie Boys related, too,” Andy D jumped in. “It was 1987; I was in the car with my cousin, six years old. ‘Brass Monkey’ came on, and I was like, ‘Lisa, what is this!’ She says, ‘It’s the Beastie Boys.’ And I said, ‘No, what is this?’ and she said, ‘It’s rap music.’ I didn’t actually start rapping until after I had a metal band in high school and a noise project in college. I wanted to start writing pop songs, but I couldn’t sing that well, and I remember seeing a poster for Def Jam Records that said, ‘Our artists rap because they can’t sing,’ so I thought I’d try rapping. S E E , G U N N I N ’ , O N P A G E 32
GUNNIN’ , FROM PAGE 30 And it worked.” “I didn’t know anyone when I first moved to [Indy] for college,” Jones said. “So I just locked myself in my room and made beats on the Xbox MTV Music Generator. I just made tons of beats and wrote rhymes the whole time.” “I started writing poems when I was in elementary school,” Black said. “I read Shel Silverstein when I was ten; the very next year I started getting into writing rhymes. I would write rhymes over radio tracks, rapping over lyrics and shit. My first song was called ‘School’s Out.’ The second verse was, “Shades, people looking cool, hangin’ out with a few homies at the pool.’ [laughs] I’ve been at it ever since.” “I started off like Sirius,” Stamps said. “I used to write poems, and I like Shel Silverstein. I played piano all of grade school and used to take singing lessons. Then, I got to that age where it just wasn’t cool anymore, by grade school standards. [laughs] So I collapsed to the peer pressure. All my friends played in bands and shit, and I didn’t necessarily want to play keys in a band, I wanted to be at the front of it. So I just started rapping.” “I’ve really been rapping for forever,”
32 MUSIC // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
Granite said. “I remember my cousin got me into it, but it was just really always there.” “I’m sort of an outsider here,” Victoria said, “Andy talked me very, very slowly into this. Years, it took him. I thought I was going to be a librarian. He talked me into writing a couple lines. I wrote my first song just last week. I’m sort of on this ride.” ON COLLABORATIONS AND NEW RELEASES “So we’re doing a split set; we’re all going to collectively put a set together with different songs. Most of the songs we’re going to be doing are collaborative songs we’ve done in the past together,” Jones said. “Like new ‘Bill Murray’ [from Black’s release Year of The Snake, which features Jones and Stamps].” “Me and [Sirius] will probably do a lot of Piggy Banx,” Stamps said. “Because that’s our most recent drop. And I love that tape.” “I’m probably not going to put it online, really,” Bunz said of the new album he released right before tour. “People can get it through me at first; I can spread it that way and interact. I have a lot of live-only stuff anyway, so I’m just going to play it by ear, really.” ON GROWING INDY’S HIP-HOP SCENE “When I came back in 2008, so much had changed, Andy D said.” So much was happening. And that wasn’t there 10 years ago when I left at all. It just gets better every
year. People call us Naptown, but no one’s sleeping anymore.” “I always talk up Indianapolis because it’s a really eclectic scene,” Anna Vision said. “And people with different genres really mix and play shows together. I [may have less] of a relationship with hip-hop than other people [on the tour] but we’re
it’s a done deal. It’s just a matter of time – we’ve got the snowball rolling. … If it snowballs the way I think it’s going to, Indy’s going to be like Atlanta in the mid-’90s.”
WHAT INDY MUSICIANS NEED TO SUCCEED “The music’s good, we’ve all agreed,” Granite says. “The scene’s nice. But what’s missing? The money’s missing. … Because every step of the way you’re going to get charged to do something you want to do in music. You can’t “People call us Naptown, but do some of the things you want to do without paying a lot of fucking no one’s sleeping anymore.” money to get a lot of exposure. “And it’s hard in the market, in this — ANDY D city for businesses in general to reach out to artists,” Jones said. “They don’t really understand the positive things not necessarily traditional hip-hop … The we can offer this city. They’re not really cool thing about that is that when one concerned with giving money to artists to be person goes up, it brings everybody up. able to create stuff for them, and offer that So it’s not about promoting hip-hop, or unique publicity and unique marketing.” promoting rock and roll. Every time a “There hasn’t been that breakout artband gets recognition it pulls everyone up ist that’s defined the sound of this area,” because people all work together. Stamps said. “There’s people in Texas, “When you get a well-oiled machine Chicago, New York … but nobody’s estabgoing with a good group of people in your lished that yet in Indy, so there’s no lane, or own city, it’s just a matter of time before something to fall into.” n the right eyes or ears hears it and wants to invest,” Black said. “That’s the plan. If we Find a full list of Ghost Gun Summer do it right, you can’t deny it. If you hear it, tour dates online at NUVO.net.
emphis-born singer-songwriter Valerie June spent years toiling in the underground roots music scene. But 2013 was her breakout year, the year her album Pushin’ Against a Stone (co-produced by Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach) brought her interpretation of traditional American roots music to a national audience. June will be opening for Sharon Jones Tuesday March 4 at the Vogue.
“Writing songs is pretty mystical.”
— VALERIE JUNE
NUVO: I’ve heard you describe the songs coming to you as a radio station only you can hear. That sounds almost mystical. VALERIE JUNE: Writing songs is pretty mystical. It’s a magical and spiritual experience in a lot of ways. The best way I can describe
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A CULTURAL MANIFESTO WITH KYLE LONG KLONG@NUVO.NET
it is that I hear a voice. I listen to it and stop what I’m doing and write it down. If I’m in the middle of something and I can’t stop, I’ll keep singing it over and over so I don’t forget and pray that it gets stuck in my brain.
Kyle Long’s music, which features off-the-radar rhythms from around the world, has brought an international flavor to the local dance music scene.
NUVO: Do you remember the first time you heard the voice? JUNE: When I was a little girl, that’s when it started. It was mostly silly stuff about rainbows, flowers and trees. When I got older I started thinking maybe I’m supposed to be some kind of writer. NUVO: I was just listening to your interpretation of the Kitty Wells’ song “It Wasn’t God Who Made HonkyTonk Angels.” Am I correct in saying that country music seems to be a foundation of your vocal style? JUNE: I love old country music. Kitty Wells’ voice is beautiful. You can’t get any better than Patsy Cline’s voice. Those voices are just beautiful and the stories are so real. I like to hear the sto-
ries in country music. Kitty Wells’ songs can break your heart, because she’s telling real stories. But a lot of things form the my foundation of my style. That’s why I call what I do “organic moonshine roots music.” Growing up in Tennessee, I was two hours from Nashville where I was surrounded by country music, and an hour and a half from Memphis where I got the feel of the blues, rockabilly and rock and roll. And I lived down the street from Carl Perkins who is the rockabilly king of the world. NUVO: How deeply do you dig into the history of American roots music? JUNE: I spent years going through materials at the Library of Congress and hang-
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ing out at the American Folklife Center. I was learning about the history of the banjo and minstrel groups and I would read through songbooks. It’s so funny to read through an English or Irish ballad book and then read an Appalachian folk song book or an old blues songbook. You realize all these lyrics and the stories are the same, just the details change. NUVO: When I read interviews with you, it seems a lot of journalists are hung up on your image. Does it bother you when writers imply your image is at odds with your music? JUNE: When people ask those questions I’m like, “Are you serious? It’s 2014.” People can do what they want to do. Why don’t they talk about that with Eminem? I feel like what they’re asking me is about the color of my skin. There’s so many black women who’ve done what I’m doing. Look at Elizabeth Cotten. There’s not a damn thing new. n
>> Kyle Long creates a custom podcast for each column. Hear this week’s at NUVO.net
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Branch Gordon, The Tap (Bloomington), 21+ Animal Haus, Blu, 21+ DJ Lockstar, Tin Roof, 21+
Moves and Grooves with the Chakras, Irvington Wellness Center, all-ages
Chris McShay, Chef Joseph’s at the Connoisseur Room, 21+
Old National Centre, all-ages
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WEDNESDAY Retro Rewind, Vogue, 21+ Red Hot Whiskey Sippers, Jazz Kitchen B-Side, 21 + Brenda Williams, Jazz Kitchen, 21+ The Innocent Boys, The Whistle Pigs, The Craft, Melody Inn, 21+ The Family Jam, Mousetrap, 21+ Open Mic Night, Tin Roof, 21+ Blues Jam with Jon Strahl, Slippery Noodle, 21+ Brett Wiscons Album Release Show, Plat 99, 21+ Cooked Books, Unions, The Bishop (Bloomington), 21+
THURSDAY SHOWCASE In Store Recordings Showcase with Caleb McCoach, S.M. Wolf, Tanner Standridge and The Whip Cream Wars, Bonesetters Before starting the label, Derek Vorndran ran the blog The InStore, which organically led to booking shows in Indianapolis and surrounding areas for bands he covered and championed. His approach often consists of signing bands for one release (a full-length LP, a cassette, a 7” or 12” vinyl) of a few hundred pressings with the option to resign but with no murky strings attached.
“Originally, I thought the hardest part would be finding bands that would trust in me enough to put out their work and not take advantage of them,” Vorndran says. “I’ve been fortunate enough to put out bands like The Dig, who I love and who should be on a way bigger label, but they signed with me. I met Tanner [Standridge] one night when I was out around town, and I went and listened to his stuff on Bandcamp when I was drunk and just fell in love with his music.” For Thursday night’s showcase, Vorndran settled on the Melody Inn for good reason. “I love White Rabbit Cabaret. It’s my favorite venue in Indy, but being a small-timer, I felt a smaller club would be fitting for the night. The Mel is smaller and awesome, and it’s that local music bond that everybody knows and loves and just seems perfect for the occasion.” Vorndran’s biggest hope for Thursday night and the future is for music lovers around Indianapolis to get out of the house, have a good time, and dive into all the quality music the city offers. “Support local bands,” he says. “Support them whether or not they’re on my label. I love all the great labels around town — Gloryhole and the rest. Just support what they do, and go see shows.” — JUSTIN WESLEY Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., 9 p.m., 21+
34 MUSIC // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO
BLEEPS AND BLOOPS Mega Ran, Danimal Cannon, Brentalfloss, Blake Allee This show will appeal to any long-time fans of Mario Kart – well, and a lot of other video games. It’s probably your initiation to chiptune, a genre of music inspired by video games. Indy’s Blake Allee (who always has a sci-fi, otherwordly bend to his music) will open. Then, Mega Ran, Danimal Cannon and Brentalfloss, three nerdy performers who all have their favorite type of virtual noisemaker. Sabbatical, 921 Broad Ripple Ave., 9 p.m., $5 or $8 in advance, $10 at door 21+ LEGENDS The Temptations, The Four Tops Part of having a world class theatre like the Palladium: we get world class legends like The Temptations and The Four Tops. We haven’t seen them in a while, so we’re not quite sure what their act is like now, but as long as we walk away hearing “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” we’ll be happy. Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, 355 City Center Dr., 7:30 p.m., prices vary, all-ages EDM The Chainsmokers There’s been a lot of great EDM artists coming through the Bluebird lately. The latest, The Chainsmokers, are a production duo from the East Coast who mash up dance tracks and indie pop vocals. The Bluebird, 216 N. Walnut St., 10 p.m., $8 in advance, $15 at door, 21+
Max Allen Band, Daddy Jack’s, 21+ Mardi Gras on Main Pub Crawl, Main St., 21+
247 Sky Bar, 247 S. Meridian St., 9 p.m., $5, 21+
For Today, Like Moths to Flames
Boo Ya!, Bartini’s, 21+
Latin Night presents Dominican Independence Party, Jazz Kitchen, 21+ Mousetrap, 21+
– and their nifty Jagermeister sponsorship means they can give away two guitars (and lots of other free goodies) to fans during the night.
The 2014 Blues is Alright Tour We’ll run it down for you: this tour features legend Clarence Carter, Shirley Brown, Theodis Ealey, Latimore, Sir Charles Jones and Mel Waiters. Are the blues all right? Oh, yes they are. Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St., 8 p.m., prices vary, all-ages TRIBUTES Cash Bash It really doesn’t get any better than the Cash Bash, put together every year by our own Barfly Wayne Bertsch to celebrate a different aspect of The Man In Black. This year Andra Faye and The Rays, The Nosey Joe Band, The Innocent Boys, Stockwell Road and The Next Big Thang will perform the music that made Folsom Prison quake. Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St., 9 p.m., $10, 21+ HARD ROCK Kramus, Pragmatic, Soulsik Here’s Lee Lillie of Pragmatic, talking about their new band philosophy: namely, that they won’t release full albums anymore, and will instead focus entirely on singles. “We get to spend more time writing each individual song and not rush through on a whole album. A lot of times recording an entire album you get behind on one song and have to rush on the next. Or you get mentally drained creating all that music at once and may not give each individual song as much attention. We go in and are anxious to write each song and we get to give each song its own individual attention. We have noticed it is delivering better music out of us.” Pragmatic plans to release a single every month or two. This month, they’re releasing “Learn to Crawl.” Accompanying them at this show are local bands Kramus and Soulsik
One More Time Shall we expect a brand new legion of Daft Punk fans to flock to the Vogue for this tribute show after the success of the duo at the Grammy’s? The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave., 9 p.m., 21+ LOCAL Thelma and The Sleaze, Teenage Strange, Pravada, The Vallures, Christian Taylor Four local bands + one ripping Nashville group makes this an awesome night at the Mel. The Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., 7 p.m., $10, 21+ CELEBRATIONS Mardi Gras Featuring Robin Hopkins and The Sunset Stompers, V-Groove Band, Seven Pleasures and DJ Rusty Redenbacher, this debaucherous celebration includes a free Yat’s buffet after midnight and $5 hurricanes all night. The Jazz Kitchen 7 p.m., $15 before midnight, $10 after midnight, 21+ Possum, The Rathskeller, all-ages Square Social Circle, Coyote Armada, Dell Zell, Trackless, Birdy’s, 21+
Andrew Ripp, Judah and The Lion, Cory Williams, Deluxe at Old National Centre, all-ages
SATURDAY IRISH Danu If you’re already getting ready for St. Patty’s Day, this is your show (plus, mark down The Chieftains at the Palladium down next week, too). Danu combines ancient Irish music with contemporary work, along with all those fun Irish traditional instruments – tin whistle, fiddle, bouzouki, bodhran, uillean pipes, button accordion, etc. Clowes Memorial Hall, 4602 Sunset Ave., 8 p.m., all-ages MARDI PARTY Carnaval We’ll actually be shocked if there are any tickets left for this Carnaval by the time you read this, because it’s one of the biggest and best parties that happens in Indy all year long. The IU Brazilian Ensemble, which includes over 40 drummers, will be back to play the Carnaval music of Brazil. Our own Kyle Long will spin a mix of South American music; traditional food and drinks will be served. And on the big screen, a presentation of the Carnaval parades in Rio and Salvador. We’ll repeat: get your tickets immediately. Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave., 10 p.m., 21+ ALBUM RELEASE Veseria Album Release You may remember this band from our 4th of July cover – they’re a hard-working, positive group that just wants their music heard. So, not so different than a lot of local bands, just with a little extra … something. They’ll premiere their new album Voyager at a show at the Irving – it’s early enough to bring your kids to! Endiana, Bleedingkeys and Von Stranz will join them onstage.
Irving Theater, 5505 E. Washington St., 7:30 p.m., $10, all-ages
SOUNDCHECK ALBUM RELEASE Thee Tsunamis’ Record Release Party Those of you who remember our December cover story on Bloomington analog label Magnetic South remember our delicious anticipation of Thee Tsunamis’ EP Delirium and The Dark Waters. Well, the time is nigh, friends. That album will drop on March 1 at 4 p.m. at a show at Landlocked Music in Bloomington. A show at the DO317 Lounge featuring the band, Apache Dropout and Jorma Whittaker will follow on March 15.
Train Wreck, Shorty’s Pub and Eatery, 21+ DJ Skribble, Sensu, 21+ Masquerade Ball, Creative Arts and Events Center, 21+ Jan Aldridge Clark, Chef Joseph’s at the Connoisseur Room, 21+ Pink Martini, Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, all-ages Pre-Punk Rock Night with The Slimtones, Melody Inn, 21+ Machine Guns and Motorcycles, White Shag, Black Cat Rebellion, Sex Unicorn, Melody Inn, 21+ Stoner Blues Night 5th Quarter Lounge, 21+
Landlocked Music, 202 N. Walnut St. (Bloomington), 4 p.m., FREE, all-ages
2Chainz, Pusha T A familiar name in the rap game for his odd lyrics and edgy personality, 2 Chainz burst onto the scene with hit singles “No Lie” and “I’m Different.” His high-octane music, carefree stage personality and loyal fan base will make for an extremely interesting live performance. Pusha T quickly climbed the rap ladder using witty lyrics and great mic confidence to join the conversation as one of the best rappers in the game. He’s able to peacefully tell a story on one track and then turn around and angrily tear apart the next one. Two totally different rappers present fans a chance to diversify their live library.
Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings It’s the Great Funky Spring at The Vogue. Sharon Jones spent most of her life working as Rikers Island prison guard (with gigs on the side as an armored truck driver), before breaking out in middle age as the powerhouse vocalist for the DapKings. For their part, the Dap-Kings record everything on tape and analog, so their records sound as warm and soft as a shag carpet from the James Brown era of funk and soul. And that’s exactly where the band will transport you. Opener Valerie June recalls Eartha Kitt mixed with bluegrass and soul.
Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St., 8 p.m., $37, all-ages
Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave., 8 p.m., $26 in advance, $30 at door, 21+
Blue River Band, Casler’s Kitchen and Bar, 21+
Broke(n) Tuesdays, Melody Inn, 21+
Cloud Cult Lincoln Hall, Feb. 28 Hanne & Lore Primary Nightclub, Feb. 28 The Hounds Below The Hideout, Feb. 28 Markit 8, Double Door, Feb. 28 Neck Deep, Subterranean, Feb. 28 Paper Diamond Concord Music Hall, Feb. 28 We Are The In Crowd Bottom Lounge, Feb. 28
CINCINNATI Alejandro Escovedo Taft Theatre, Feb 26 Andrew Ripp 20th Century Theatre, Feb. 26 Cowboy Mouth Taft Theatre, Feb. 27 Sonny Moorman The Greenwich, Feb. 28 Thomas Rhett Bogart’s, Feb. 28 The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus The Underground, Mar. 1 Remedy Krewe, Legends, Mar. 1
LOUISVILLE Christian McBride Trio University Of Louisville, Feb. 28 Dark Tranquillity Diamond Pub & Billiards, Feb. 28 John Prine W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre, Feb. 28 St. Paul And The Broken Bones Zanzabar, Feb. 28 The Usual Suspects Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium, Feb. 28
BARFLY BY WAYNE BERTSCH
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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY © 2013 BY ROB BRESZNY Libra
ARIES (March 21-April 19): The battles you’ve been waging these last ten months have been worthy of you. They’ve tested your mettle and grown your courage. But I suspect that your relationship with these battles is due for a shift. In the future they may not serve you as well as they have up until now. At the very least, you will need to alter your strategy and tactics. It’s also possible that now is the time to leave them behind entirely -- to graduate from them and search for a new cause that will activate the next phase of your evolution as an enlightened warrior. What do you think?
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you are the type of person who wears gloves when you throw snowballs, Germans would call you Handschuhschneeballwerfer. They use the same word as slang to mean “coward.” I’m hoping that in the coming days you won’t display any behavior that would justify you being called Handschuhschneeballwerfer. You need to bring a raw, direct, straightforward attitude to everything you do. You shouldn’t rely on any buffers, surrogates, or intermediaries. Metaphorically speaking, make sure that nothing comes between your bare hands and the pure snow.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Life is like Sanskrit read to a pony,” said Lou Reed. That might be an accurate assessment for most people much of the time, but I don’t think it will be true for you in the coming days. On the contrary: You will have a special capacity to make contact and establish connection. You’ve heard of dog whisperers and ghost whisperers? You will be like an all-purpose, jackof-all-trades whisperer -- able to commune and communicate with nervous creatures and alien life forms and pretty much everything else. If anyone can get a pony to understand Sanskrit, it will be you.
Asbury Park (Sandy),” Bruce Springsteen mentions a disappointing development. “That waitress I was seeing lost her desire for me,” he sings. “She said she won’t set herself on fire for me anymore.” I’m assuming nothing like that has happened to you recently, Scorpio. Just the opposite: I bet there are attractive creatures out there who would set themselves on fire for you. If for some reason this isn’t true, fix the problem! You have a cosmic mandate to be incomparably irresistible.
and groom her baby daughter’s eyebrows? They look pretty amazing, after all -- elegant, neat, perfectly shaped. What do you think, Gemini? HA! I was just messing with you. I was checking to see if you’re susceptible to getting distracted by meaningless fluff like celebrity kids’ grooming habits. The cosmic truth of the matter is that you should be laser-focused on the epic possibilities that your destiny is bringing to your attention. It’s time to reframe your life story. How? Here’s my suggestion: See yourself as being on a mythic quest to discover and fully express your soul’s code. Pisces
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CANCER (June 21-July 22): The 19th-century American Pisces
folk hero known as Wild Bill Hickok was born James Butler Hickok. At various times in his life he was a scout for the army, a lawman for violent frontier towns, a professional gambler, and a performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Women found him charismatic, and he once killed an attacking bear with a knife. He had a brother Lorenzo who came to be known as Tame Bill Hickok. In contrast to Wild Bill, Tame Bill was quiet, gentle, and cautious. He lived an uneventful life as a wagon master, and children loved him. Right now, Cancerian, I’m meditating on how I’d like to see your inner Wild Bill come out to play for a while, even as your inner Tame Bill takes some time off. Cancer
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “If I was a love poet,” writes Rudy
Francisco, addressing a lover, “I’d write about how you have the audacity to be beautiful even on days when everything around you is ugly.” I suspect you have that kind of audacity right now, Leo. In fact, I bet the ugliness you encounter will actually incite you to amplify the gorgeous charisma you’re radiating. The sheer volume of lyrical soulfulness that pours out of you will have so much healing power that you may even make the ugly stuff less ugly. I’m betting that you will lift up everything you touch, nudging it in the direction of grace and elegance and charm. Leo
shots you don’t take,” says hockey great Wayne Gretzky. In other words, you shouldn’t be timid about shooting the puck toward the goal. Don’t worry about whether you have enough skill or confidence or luck. Just take the damn shot. You’ll never score if you don’t shoot. Or so the theory goes. But an event in a recent pro hockey game showed there’s an exception to the rule. A New York player named Chris Kreider was guiding the puck with his stick as he skated toward the Minnesota team’s goalie. But when Kreider cocked and swung his stick, he missed the puck entirely. He whiffed. And yet the puck kept sliding slowly along all by itself. It somehow flummoxed the goalie, sneaking past him right into the net. Goal! New rule: You miss only 99.9 percent of the shots you don’t take. I believe you will soon benefit from this loophole, Virgo. Leo
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In his song “4th of July,
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Some people say
home is where you come from,” says a character in Katie Kacvinsky’s novel Awaken. “But I think it’s a place you need to find, like it’s scattered and you pick pieces of it up along the way.” That’s an idea I invite you to act on in the coming weeks, Sagittarius. It will be an excellent time to discover more about where you belong and who you belong with. And the best way to do that is to be aggressive as you search far and wide for clues, even in seemingly unlikely places that maybe you would never guess contain scraps of home. Sagittarius
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): What words bring the most points in the game of Scrabble? Expert Christopher Swenson says that among the top scorers are “piezoelectrical” and “ubiquitarianism” -assuming favorable placements on the board that bring double letter and triple word scores. The first word can potentially net 1,107 points, and the second 1,053. There are metaphorical clues here, Capricorn, for how you might achieve maximum success in the next phase of the game of life. You should be wellinformed about the rules, including their unusual corollaries and loopholes. Be ready to call on expert help and specialized knowledge. Assume that your luck will be greatest if you are willing to plan nonstandard gambits and try bold tricks. Capricorn
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Sorry to report that you won’t win the lottery this week. It’s also unlikely that you will score an unrecognized Rembrandt painting for a few dollars at a thrift store or discover that you have inherited a chinchilla farm in Peru or stumble upon a stash of gold coins half-buried in the woods. On the other hand, you may get provocative clues about how you could increase your cash flow. To ensure you will notice those clues when they arrive, drop your expectations about where they might come from. Aquarius
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “You miss 100 percent of the
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Does Kim Kardashian tweak Taurus
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Avery, a character in
Anne Michaels’ novel The Winter Vault, has a unique way of seeing. When he arrives in a place for the first time, he “makes room for it in his heart.” He “lets himself be altered” by it. At one point in the story he visits an old Nubian city in Egypt and is overwhelmed by its exotic beauty. Its brightly colored houses are like “shouts of joy,” like “gardens springing up in the sand after a rainfall.” After drinking in the sights, he marvels, “It will take all my life to learn what I have seen today.” Everything I just described is akin to experiences you could have in the coming weeks, Pisces. Can you make room in your heart for the dazzle? Pisces
Homework: What is the best gift you could give your best ally right now? Testify at http://FreeWillAstrology.com. NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 02.26.14 - 03.05.14 // CLASSIFIEDS 39
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