THIS WEEK MARCH 13 - 20, 2013 VOL. 23 ISSUE 52 ISSUE #1096
in this issue
At its heart, the body of work accomplished by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana over its six decades in existence has been in service to society’s underdogs. BY REBECCA TOWNSEND
37 CLASSIFIEDS 14 COVER STORY 25 FOOD 39 FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
ACLU: 60 YEARS OF FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS
THE LITERARY MAKINGS OF HAMMER
As Steve winds down his NUVO career, he reflects on his past, and how his parents’ love of reading helped him along his way of becoming a writer.
07 HOPPE 24 MOVIES 27 MUSIC
JENNIFER EGAN TALKS TWITTER AND POWERPOINT
37 WEIRD NEWS
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Egan will read from A Visit from the Goon Squad March 20 as part of Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series. She spoke with NUVO about her use of form, her love/ hate relationship with technology, and what she’s reading now. BY STACEY MICKELBART
EDITORIAL POLICY: N UVO N ewsweekly 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. N UVO is available every Wednesday at over 1,000 locations in the metropolitan area. Limit one copy per customer.
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SUBSCRIPTIONS: N UVO N ewsweekly 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 kflahavin@ nuvo.net. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to NUVO, inc., 3951 N. Meridian St., suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Copyright ©2013 by N UVO, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission, by any method whatsoever, is prohibited. ISSN #1086-461X
HAMMER The literary makings of Hammer
Turning now to tech
BY STEVE HAMMER SHAMMER@NUVO.NET
y dad worked at the Rough Notes Publishing Company at 12th and Meridian streets. They produced publications for the real estate and insurance trade. Upon the piles of scrap paper, my sisters would draw and color, and I would write. I found one of those sheets not too long ago. It described a fishing trip and a walk in the woods at my grandfather’s cabin at a pretty lake, Lake Lipsi, in Wisconsin. Our parents nurtured our family’s love of reading and supplied plenty of books. My mom, a Harlequin Romance novel fan, knew where to find the cheap used paperbacks. At The Book Rack, located in a tiny strip mall near Shelby Street on the poor, white Southside of my youth, I browsed the unwanted non-fiction paperbacks from the 1950s and 1960s: the Warren Commission report, all kinds of Watergate and JFK conspiracy books, the Autobiography of
Malcolm X, stuff like that. I also read Last Exit to Brooklyn and Naked Lunch before I got around to Catcher in the Rye and Sylvia Plath. At the age of 10 or 11, I read a book written by Don Novello, also known as Father Guido Sarducci from classic Saturday Night Live fame. It was a series of real-life goofy letters written to politicians and large businesses and the responses. I started writing letters on my IBM Selectric typewriter to many of these same people. “Hello, I am a 12 year old in Indianapolis,” I wrote to Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Hubert Humphrey and dozens of other politicians. I praised them, asked them a policy question and requested a photo or a copy of some report I’d read about in the newspaper. And packages started arriving in my parents’ mailbox, addressed to me. Mrs. Coretta Scott King sent me a handwritten letter. Jailed Nixon aide Bob Haldeman mailed me from the federal prison in Lompoc, Calif. where he was serving time on a Watergate charge. I started to realize that when you write something and send it to people, most of the time they will reply. They’re somewhat surprised that you are reaching out to them. I kept writing, for small music newspapers in high school, the daily paper at IU, stringer work for the AP, the Star and the Recorder. That opened the door at NUVO for me in 1993. When I started writing this column 20 years in the past, I was drawing upon what I learned
from the books my mom and dad bought me and obtained from libraries. I had grown up during the transformation of my hometown from disrepair to big-league status. It has been an honor and a privilege. I love Indianapolis and its people and am proud of them. I have one final column to deliver, next week. It will be NUVO’s 23rd anniversary issue and I want my part of it to be really good. We’ll see how I go out next week. That final column will be the first and last from my new permanent residence in the Alamo Heights neighborhood of San Antonio. There is so much beauty, culture and opportunity here. I miss Indianapolis already but am excited about my new home and my new job and its many challenges. All of the skills I have ever learned in my life are being tested here. I love technical support and fixing things that are broken on networking systems. They’re conducting those operations at a very high level at this center. We’ll be hustling every minute we’re on the clock and any successes we have will be earned. That’s what I’ve wanted all my life and have never had until now.
Loose Ends and Shout-Outs:
Attorney Matt Conrad of the GCH law firm in Indianapolis quite literally saved my skin last week. My rental application had hit a snag due to an untrue
statement on a credit report. He found the documents to refute those false allegations and made it possible for us to move into our new home on Friday. He genuinely cared about helping. I endorse his law firm fully. A good guy. The name of Mike Crowder came up on a Facebook conversation I had. Mike was one of my greatest friends growing up in Indianapolis. He became legendary for his ability to find good concert tickets and quality records. He worked at Karma Greenwood, the center of Indy’s music community for many years and was a legend there too. Josh Lethig, aka Wudearnt of infamous Indy music fame, has been bothering me for a mention. I had planned to tell the story next week of how he threw a speculum into the crowd at an outdoor show at the Monkey’s Tale, but I will have to find another story now.
HAMMER THROUGH THE YEARS At this time in the year 2000, NUVO celebrated its 10th anniversary, and long-time NUVO music writer Jeff Napier, in a feature on Hammer, highlighted a James Brown quote that Hammer felt best encapsulated his approach: “I don’t want nobody to give me nothin’, open up the door, I’ll get it myself.”
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HOPPE Those cuts at the IMA The end of an era?
BY DAVID HOPPE DHOPPE@NUVO.NET
he other shoe dropped. That’s what happened last week when the Indianapolis Museum of Art cut 29 jobs, or 11 percent of its staff. First the symphony, now this. It was just last summer that Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra management locked out its musicians, demanding wicked cuts to salaries and a truncated season due to what the symphony board said was an unsustainable business plan. The orchestra was drawing heavily on its endowment, a situation that threatened its future. So the ISO board found another way of threatening the orchestra’s future, by trying to impose cuts that would have rendered the ISO irrelevant as a major league performing arts institution. The lockout was eventually ended. But not before musicians made $11.5 million in concessions, including a 32 percent pay cut in the first year of their agreement. The board, for its part, succeeded in soliciting more money from the community in less than six months than it usually raises in a year, or $8.5 million. The lockout came as a shock because it showed just how precarious life has become for one of the city’s most venerable, and highly regarded, arts institutions. The ISO, for the time being, appears to be off the hook, though the professional musicians who give it life have taken a hit. Now we have the IMA to worry about. The city’s art museum isn’t going away. But recent comments by Charles Venable, its new director and CEO, coupled with last week’s staff cuts, make me wonder about the museum’s continuing relevance in this community. Like the ISO, Venable says the IMA has been drawing too heavily on its endowment. “We need to maximize audience and perform financially at a different level,” he told Will Higgins of The Indianapolis Star. Well, fine. But once you get past the pseudo-corporate boilerplate, what, exactly does this mean? Venable expressed displeasure with Beauty and Belief, a recent exhibition of Islamic art, for costing $500,000, yet only drawing 7,000 patrons. His answer, so far, appears to be an upcoming show of works by Matisse. That’s fine, but it’s rather like the orchestra deciding to program Beethoven’s Greatest Hits. It’s art, in other words, aimed at people who don’t think very much about art. That’s most of us, I know. But before we give in to yet another populist attempt to
persuade folks who could care less that art is good for them, it’s worth remembering what the IMA has managed to accomplish in the past few years. Since the museum’s expansion in 2005, the IMA has become a major venue for contemporary art. It’s hard to remember now, but prior to that time (and the arrival of curator Lisa Freiman), Indianapolis really was no place in terms of contemporary art. We had iMOCA, the inaptly named Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, doing one-off shows in a gallery space, the odd bit of funk at Herron, and that was about it. If you wanted to see new work of any significance, you had to travel to Chicago, Minneapolis or Columbus, Ohio. The IMA committed a floor to the stuff, practically a museum in its own right. And then there was the creation of the outdoor art park, 100 Acres, a truly unique — and decidedly Midwestern — wedding of contemporary art and nature. There was the blockbuster design show, European Design: Shaping the New Century, and such extraordinary exhibitions as the Gee’s Bend quilts and a Thornton Dial retrospective. All this work culminated in the IMA’s organizing the American pavilion at the Venice Biennale. I haven’t been crazy about all I’ve seen at the IMA during this stretch. But that’s not the point. The IMA, more than any other arts organization in town, has made Indianapolis safe for contemporary art in ways it never was before. This has meant two things to the city that are actually bigger than the art itself or, for that matter, the museum. Contemporary art and, especially, design, is now part of practically every conversation about the city’s future. There’s a critical mass of people here who understand that part of making things that work means making them cool. This doesn’t happen without ambitious, highprofile and ongoing support for contemporary art. The IMA has provided that. In so doing, the IMA has also made itself a place where people who care about these things can gather. Contemporary art isn’t just artifacts; it’s a way of thinking about the world. It is social and global. The IMA has been our local portal to this scene. In April, the IMA will present what promises to be a massive exhibition of works by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. The show, which predates Charles Venable’s arrival, opened at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. People will doubtless travel from Chicago, Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio, to see it. There will probably be long lines, and that should make the IMA’s new CEO very, very happy. The Ai Weiwei show represents a kind of high water mark for what the IMA has accomplished since 2005. That accomplishment has been to put Indianapolis on the map of contemporary American culture. Let’s hope it’s not the end of an era.
It’s worth remembering what the IMA has managed to accomplish.
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Because Ideas Matter-
by Wayne Bertsch
Recommended Readings by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University
Watching the Dark By Peter Robinson William Morrow/Harper Collins, 2012 Reviewed by Larry W. Riggs Part of the appeal of Robinson’s Alan Banks mysteries, for me, is the landscape of the North Yorkshire moors and dales in which much of Banks’ work is done. In this latest entry, the 20th Banks novel, however, Banks spends a good deal of time in Talinn, Estonia, investigating the six-year-old cold case of a young Englishwoman. This is a case that seems to be linked to the murder of a respected Yorkshire police officer. Bill Quinn, the murdered detective, had gone to Estonia to observe the investigation of the Englishwoman’s disappearance and had remained strangely preoccupied with that case. Quinn was shot with a crossbow on the grounds of a rest and convalescence facility for injured and troubled officers. Banks’ investigation of Quinn’s murder is complicated by the presence of a beautiful female Professional Standards officer, whose job is to follow up on vague suspicions that Quinn was somehow corrupted. When compromising photos of Quinn and an unidentified young woman are found among the officer’s belongings, the suspicions become more specific. While Banks and the Professional Standards officer are in Talinn, looking for the links between the two cases, Banks’ long-time partner, Annie Cabot, now recovered from the wounds she received at the end of the previous Banks story, follows the Yorkshire case into the world of people-trafficking, loansharking, extortion, and what amounts almost to slavery. Like all of Robinson’s books, this is a worthwhile read, but I missed the North Yorkshire atmospherics. —Larry W. Riggs is professor of French at Butler University. Go to www.butler.edu/BookReview for more recommendations by the faculty and staff of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University.
HAIKU NEWS by Jim Poyser
Rand Paul drones into the wee hours disputing choice for the CIA strikes me strange Repubs don’t like drones, as they support all military guess the diff is when Demos are such bad assess hurts their party brand heckfire, I want me an assault rifle after all, shoot me a drone! we humans are all acceptable casualties in greed’s constant march Big Brother? Or it’s the democratization of technology? if I got a drone it would just malfunction like all my other shit still, if more drones means more moon walking ponies then I say bring ‘em on Editor’s note: after 20 years and thousands of haiku I am taking time off you could call it a syllable sabbatical, haiku hiatus
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THOUGHT BITE By Andy Jacobs Jr. Nothing more sincere than paranoia
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THUMBSUP THUMBSDOWN BENEFICENT BINS
Thanks to 9,000 recycling bins donated by Eli Lilly, the Indiana Recycling Coalition will expand its efforts to help Indiana schools implement recycling programs and other sustainable practices. The new Bins For Schools program now has the resources to spread bins to schools across Indiana, teaching students of all ages about the importance of waste management. A fundamental issue for starting recycling programs in schools, parks, festivals and just about any public space is the need for infrastructure like these designated recycling bins.
SUICIDE IN INDY
In 2010, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported that 864 people in Indiana committed suicide in 2010; nationwide a person’s life is taken by their own hands every 14 minutes. Mental Health America of Indiana aims to reduce these numbers by bolstering the ranks of the local crisis support with a suicide intervention training from 3-4:30 p.m. on March 22 at the Yellow Rose Inn 1441 N. Delaware St. To register, visit mhaindy.net and click on upcoming trainings under the “news & events” tab or call 251-0005 ext. 1010. Volunteers may also inquire about more in-depth training to work MHA Indy’s Crisis Suicide Intervention Hotline. Operators are on the line 24 hours a day to support people experiencing suicidal thoughts, stress, depression, substance abuse and relationships issues. People in need of support can call 317251-7575 or text CSIS to 839863.
After an advance screening of the new documentary “180 Days: Inside an American High School,” which follows the stories of students, parents, teachers and staff at a Washington D.C. school, Pat Rogan, executive associate dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI, will lead a discussion and take audience questions how issues raised in the film relate to the local education system. The event will be held March 13 at Central Library. Two weeks later, on March 27, following excerpts of the film “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System,” a related forum will explore the lessons local educators have gleaned from experiences in Finland, Both events begin at 6 p.m.
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news Local advocates outline various positions on gun reform M A T T L O U D E N & D A V ID C E R O LA • E D ITO RS@ N UVO . N ET
ur cover story this week features the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and its long-standing efforts to defend people's constitutional rights on a wide range of issues. One hot-button constitutional debate that will not be addressed in that story, however, is the issue of gun control. Because both federal and state constitutions codify citizens' right to bear arms, the issue of determining what controls, if any, are appropriate to protect the public from homicidal maniacs rests in the hands of the legislators, not judges. Two NUVO interns, Matt Louden and David Cerola, asked a couple local activists to outline their positions. Excerpts of those conversations follow:
PHOTO BY MARK LEE
Tinisha Simpson, age 13, at a recent meeting of Moms Demand Action, displays her version of paper dolls that advocates are using to illustrate their desire for reform.
ANDREA SPIEGELBERG Co-chair of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (formerly called One Million Moms for Gun Control.) Problems: PHOTO BY BRANDON KNAPP
As nationwide efforts to reform gun laws ramped up in January, an estimated 150 activists gathered at the Indiana Statehouse to protest potential restrictions.
ANDREW HORNING Libertarian Party of Indiana’s candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 Problems: We’ve never had a period where our government behaved itself. Not ever. And so when you think about what this is really all about, it’s us versus them. And I don’t know why we don’t get that yet. Why are we so dense, as to think that our government is a benevolent god? It is not, it never has been. It is a dangerous force; one that needs counterforce … Some people have this feeling that we’re evolving into celestial beings, but I sure don’t see it. I see, if anything, we’re heading back to our ancient default state of oppression, slavery, genocide, and war. And we’re doing it fast … Now, today we have this Tinker Toy view; we don’t debate things very deeply at all. We’re reactionary, we’re emotional, we think very rarely in terms of actual human nature terms or in the evidence of our history, we just don’t think very much and so we have a tendency to divide into shirts and skins teams like this is a sports event and we make it sound like, “Well, they’re for this so I’m against that.” And it’s a false dichotomy, false adversarial role where we’re missing the real enemy.
Opposition: I see no difference in the authoritarians of the Republican Party and the authoritarians in the Democratic Party. All of
them believe that government trumps you, that this abstraction of state, this idol that we think of in some kind of collective humanized form of government is something benevolent. I do not see our inherently violent, exotically expensive, evasive government — that’s got armies in well over half the nations of the world right now and it’s pointing its guns at the other half — … as this benevolent force. I see its violence and I see this violence as something that needs to be contained
Solutions: I see we have two big problems; one is mental health, and the other is sort of a social health where we’re denying that guns exist somehow, and that we’re acting as though they can’t fall into the wrong hands or we don’t need to know about them, so if you’re looking for what my solution to gun violence, I suppose if you wanted to put it in that term, it would be first of all look at the mental issues and second of all look at the ignorance issue … I don’t really have any problem with putting some kind of safeguards in place where somebody’s not supposed to be having a gun because he’s crazy and should be watched...Then the guns are not the problem, that individual person is an issue that needs to be watched.
Moms (and Dads) Against Gun Violence by Mark Lee
I would love to see more health statistics related to gun violence. All of those things are a part of this, just as any major problem in society has more than one side. Anyone has the right to own a firearm. I think where the NRA finds opposition is, first of all, in terms delineating which guns should be available and shouldn’t – it’s just open to any firearm you could consider. But there are exceptions to that obviously. I can’t buy a SAM (surface to air missile) and I can’t buy a bazooka. You know it’s just common sense with these laws, and you shouldn’t be allowed to have a machine gun. When you step back and listen to the lunacy of both sides arguing about how fast a gun can kill someone, we have to step back and say, “We shouldn’t even be talking about guns killing people.” I do think the assault weapons ban will be tough, it’s going to be the hardest one we’ll try to get through. I think background checks need to be strengthened, even a majority of the NRA are in favor of that. If you take a look at our polls, we do garner favorable support for these commonsense solutions.
Opposition: No, I don’t think more guns is the answer and I definitely don’t think guns in our schools is the answer. Teachers don’t want to carry guns; students don’t want to see them. We take our children to school every day and we need to know they’re safe, and they need to feel safe as well. It’s not a good solution, and I don’t think it’s one the
Lilly bolsters IRC program by Jordan Martich Thousands rally for educational by Lesley Weidenbener
American public will stand for frankly. They made it quite clear in their press conference, but they didn’t take questions. Their response is overall defensive at best. They launched a campaign called “Stand In Sight” to take this on. They made the commercial that talked about the President’s daughters. That was just in poor taste. But it’s complicated and the NRA does have a lot of money. They are backed by gunning manufacturers.
Solutions: I am fine if you want to have a firearm in your house, that’s your Second Amendment right. I believe that we really have to think about whose hands guns should be in and how we take care of that. What we said is, in terms of gun legislation, this is where we will take a stand as moms and we feel like we can take action. There are other organizations that we are partnered with at the national level … and I think all of us working together is key to finding the answers we need. And as moms or organizers we get together and, frankly, when we get mad we get shit done, right? That is what we’re about. We want things done and we want them done now. Editor’s Note: Moms Demand Action seeks: 1) a ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, as well as a ban on online ammunition sales; 2) required background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases 3) reports on sales of large quantities of ammunition to the ATF 4) to counter gun industry lobbyists’ efforts to weaken gun laws at the state level.
The State of City by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz Commuter Essays: Eric Moody Not much call for a tax cut by Lesley Weidenbener
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AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF INDIANA TURNS 60 SIX DECADES OF FIGHTING FOR THE UNDERDOG BY REBECCA TOWNSEND | RTOWNSEND@NUVO.NET
t its heart, the body of work accomThe current litigation, however, is not a plished by the American Civil Liberties personal matter between the commission Union of Indiana over its six decades and the ACLU of Indiana. in existence has been in service to society’s This case was filed on behalf of Eric underdogs. Smith of Lebanon, a disabled veteran, who The underdog may be the minority or a wanted to teach his son about exercisminority group. Sometimes the underdog is ing freedom by protesting an arms trade the majority, insecure in its constitutionally treaty under consideration by the United mandated rights. Nations that Smith considers to be a vioIn many cases, the underdogs are underlation of the Second Amendment of the dogs because they represent unpopular Constitution. Officials forced Smith and causes, unfamiliar practices or because his son from the property, explaining that they have limited capacity to rally financial, they needed a permit to conduct such social or political support. Underdogs are activities on War Memorials Commission voices crying in the wilderness. property. In its complaint, the ACLU of In 1953, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union Indiana suggests that requiring a permit was the underdog, denied the right to hold its for expressive activity involving a small inaugural meeting in a room at the Indiana number of people (in this case, two) vioWar Memorial and blacklisted from several lated the First Amendment. other facilities across the city. In the decades-long battle that followed, many As the biggest dog on of its opponents shared the geopolitical block, sentiments similar to the United States is Verne Cross, chairman of known to at times lose the Disabled American touch with its underdog Veterans, who, at a 1968 roots. By extension, hearing on the matter governing powers at before the Indiana War state and local levels Memorials Commission, not too infrequently said the group: betray the core prin“...defends those who ciples from which they would overthrow the draw their authority. government. It defends They forget that underkooks and cowards who dogs, rebelling against demonstrate in our the despotism and tyrstreets and refuse to serve –RANDALL SHEPARD, A RETIRED CHIEF anny of Great Britain’s our country and burn JUSTICE OF THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT monarchy, founded their draft card. Kooks this country with the and cowards have a right still-potent claims to their kookiness, but in the Declaration of only in the privacy of their own kennel.” Independence that among a people’s The ICLU found sanctuary at St. “unalienable Rights” are “Life, Liberty Mary’s Catholic Church Downtown. The and the Pursuit of Happiness.” head pastor, Father Victor L. Goosens, The Constitution established a legal explained his support of ICLU at the time framework through which those rights on Edward R. Murrow’s national television would be protected. Hoosiers built on this show See it Now: tradition in Article 1 of the Indiana State “We all of us, at some time or other, are Constitution when they declared, “That all going to find ourselves in the minority people are created equal … that all power group,” Goosens said. “Perhaps it might is inherent in the people; and that all free be politically, or it might be religiously, or governments are, and of right ought to be, it might be just a minority group on some founded on their authority, and instituted other question, but we are going to find that for their peace, safety, and well-being …” we are at some time or other a minority.” Both the federal and state constitutions The ICLU, now known as the ACLU of include a bill of rights to which every Indiana, will celebrate its 60th annivercitizen, regardless of underdog status, is sary at the Indiana War Memorial. entitled. These standards guide the ACLU “The fact that we weren’t allowed to meet in of Indiana as they determine which, of a public building demonstrated the need for the 800 or so calls the office receives each this sort of organization...” said Jane Henegar, month, to champion with its staff of two executive director of ACLU of Indiana. attorneys and a paralegal. “It took 20 years and a case won by The details of the cases vary from Henry Price [the groups long-time attorney issues of due process and freedom of and former board president] to get us into speech and association to election issues the War Memorial. So we’re having a talk, and prisoners’ rights. not about that case, but we’re having it at Some of these cases may appear to involve the War Memorial as a reminder that some more serious attacks on civil liberties than things you just have to keep fighting for.” others. There is the case of the Fort Wayne And, Henegar added, “They were very grahigh school students denied freedom of cious about it even though we’re suing them.” expression by the school’s policy that barred
Ken Falk “approaches very prickly subjects without being prickly about it.”
THE ROOTS OF FREEDOM
cover story // 03.13.13-03.20.13 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
PHOTO BY MARK LEE
Jane Henegar is an attorney who served as deputy mayor for economic development under Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson. She joined the ACLU of Indiana as executive director about six months ago.
them from wearing “I < boobies” bracelets in support of breast cancer awareness. And there are cases that involve a person involuntarily committed under Indiana’s mental health laws who is not given the annual review hearing afforded to him by law or a person erroneously listed on the sex and violent offender registry who finds the Department of Corrections does not have a procedure to challenge a listing. The Bill of Rights, said Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana’s legal director, “is for people who, for whatever reason, cannot be heard through our majority political process.” Even in small cases, or cases that don’t seem to make that much of a difference to the majority, it is important to pay attention, he said. “Civil libertarians always talk about slippery slopes,” Falk said. “And I think sometimes people roll their eyes because they have a hard time getting from nude dancing to not being able to read certain books in the library, and I admit that you have to go through a number of stretches to get there. But when you think of it more, not as a slippery slope but as the right actually disappearing or eroding, I think it makes more sense.” And so, to offset erosion, the fight for
the underdog takes on proportions both humble and grand. Randall Shepard, a retired chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, observed that Falk “approaches very prickly subjects without being prickly about it.” And, he added, the ACLU’s work has had a definitive effect on Indiana’s legal landscape. “Twenty-five years ago, there was very little litigation brought based on the Indiana Constitution – they were all brought as federal,” Shepard said. “I’d say the ACLU was the main contributor to revisiting various pieces of the Indiana Constitution.” One of these cases he remembered as “one of the most transformative pieces of state constitutional law litigation law in the last generation.” The case, brought by the Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners as appellants and the Town of St. John as the petitioner, “prompted a complete revision to the way in which property taxes are collected and assessed and it ultimately promoted changes such as how much of government can be financed by property tax and the like,” said Shepard, who is now an executive in residence at the Indiana University Public
60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Wednesday, April 10, 6 - 7:30 p.m. @ The Indiana War Memorial 431 N. Meridian St. Speakers Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director and director of the ACLU Center for Liberty, and Dawn Johnsen, a board member of American Constitution Society Board and a professor of constitutional law at Indiana University, will address the subject of reproductive justice. RSVP at 317-635-4059 Ext. 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org. PHOTO BY MARK LEE
Policy Institute and a distinguished visiting professor at IUPUI’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law and the School of Public and Environment Affairs. “If you were to ask what case brought under the state constitution had the greatest impact for the greatest number of people, I’d say (the St John case was) it. And it wouldn’t have happened without the ACLU and the people who lended aid in bringing those cases.” The case, as monumental as it was, may be bittersweet for the ACLU of Indiana and rest of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. “That litigation represents a tremendous amount of labor over years – four or five,” Shepard said. He explained that common fund doctrine suggests that if litigation produces a sum of money that benefits a large number of people, part of money should help compensate the legal effort to bring it. But in the St. John case, the attorneys’ common fund request “ultimately was not accepted by the Supreme Court,” Shepard said, explaining that some property owners’ taxes increased as a result of the litigation. As a result of revisions to move everyone closer to fair market value, people who were overpaying across the state would benefit, but, Shepard remembered the court asking Falk, “What about the people who will pay more as a result of this?”
A WORD FROM OPPOSING COUNSEL
Few attorneys in the state are as familiar with the work of the ACLU of Indiana as Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who holds the responsibility of defending the state when it faces legal challenges. “In lawsuits where the state has been on the opposite side of a case from ACLU of Indiana, the cordial and professional working relationship we have with Ken Falk has served the court and the taxpayers well, by minimizing time-consuming disputes over discovery and depositions, so that both sides can focus instead on the real substance of the case: the legal arguments over whether a law is constitutional or not,” Zoeller said via email. He noted he does not begrudge the group’s efforts. “I never complain about individuals or various groups exercising their right to file legal challenges against state statutes they disagree with,” Zoeller said. “As attorney general, I have an obligation to defend our state from plaintiffs’ challenges, just as I challenge the federal government when it intrudes upon the authority of state government.
“Legal challenges are an important safeguard built in to the system to protect against all levels of government exceeding their bounds.” Zoeller’s sentiments underscore a position that the ACLU’s Henegar has advanced since her college days when she wrote a thesis about how McCarthyism undermined the fundamental philosophic tenants upon which the country was based. “If we are going to have the legal system that we have there has to someone who plays the role of defending the minority against the majority,” she said. “The constitution has stayed, not exactly the same for over 200 years, but it’s the same document with additions and amendments and different interpretations. But it’s essentially this same group of laws and aspirations that have guided our government. But what changes constantly are the individuals who are empowered to implement it … Someone always needs to be there to say, ‘Are you doing it right?’ “As long as all those implementers are changing there will always be a role for us.” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry identified some of the ways that role has been of service locally. “We appreciate that the ACLU of Indiana is committed to its mission to protect civil liberties and helps maintain fairness and balance in our criminal justice system,” Curry said in an email. “Its challenges in such matters as jail overcrowding and Indiana’s immigration law are just two examples of the ACLU’s positive contribution to the criminal justice system.”
THE YEAR OF THE UNDERDOG
Over the past year, the ACLU of Indiana was won several major cases on behalf of underdog clients across the state. It won on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana when the state tried to strip it of federal funding. That case may not yet be over because the state filed for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court. It won a case striking down the law that sex offenders aren’t allowed to use social media and another upholding the right to pray in a group sought by American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh, who is in prison in Indiana. And it won a case recently against the BMV after the agency waited eight years to revoke a person’s license. The state has sought review in the Indiana Supreme Court on that matter. In 2011, it won an injunction against the state’s immigration law that would have broadened local law enforcement’s powers
into matters of federal jurisdiction and made illegal the use of consular identification cards. This case is still pending.
A NEW APPROACH TO MENTALLY ILL PRISONERS
On Dec. 31, 2012, the ACLU of Indiana won a landmark case filed on behalf of mentally ill prisoners held in isolation and denied adequate medical treatment. Mentally ill prisoners who are subjected to long periods of solitary confinement because prisons do not have the capacity to otherwise deal with behavioral issues that prevented them from safely functioning in among the general prison population. “It’s a tough area because prisons are not meant to be mental hospitals. And they have — by dint of what’s been happening out in the general public, in the lack of mental health care and the deficiencies in that system — become mental health hospitals,” Falk said. “And what this lawsuit is seeking to do and what the judge’s order requires it to do is sort of retrofit prisons … the most inhospitable parts of prison, segregation units.” Most prisoners view solitary confinement as a punishment and will modify their behavior to avoid it or end the confinement as soon as possible, but for mentally ill prisoners, “the light bulb doesn’t go off,” Falk said. That is leading to larger problems. “Six percent of the population in DOC is in segregation at one time and almost 50 percent of the suicides are in segregation,” Falk said, noting that from 2007 through part of 2011, 23 prisoners committed suicide, and 11 of them — almost 50 percent — were mentally ill prisoners in segregation. Now, he said, the judge is forced to step into a role that should have been handled by the executive branch and tell the DOC to come up with a plan. The DOC is currently working to find a solution. “There’s a limit to what we can care about, I guess, and prisoners are way down on the list,” Falk said. “But, aside from all of the high-fallutin’ things to say about why we care, the real reason we should care, when you get right down to it, is that these guys and women are going to be getting out.” If the percentage of prisoners who never get out is less than one percent, he asked, “what state do we want people to be in once they get out?” He said the he hoped the case would help institute better mental health care overall. And, he added, a bit of sympathy for the DOC. “My experience with the DOC is that the people at the DOC are really good people
FIRST WEDNESDAYS April 3 - Immigration in Indiana ; Noon - 12:50 p.m. @ WFYI’s Reuben Community Room Co-sponsored by the Immigrant Welcome Center and Lewis & Kappes law firm, the panel will explore the issue of immigration from a variety of viewpoints. Brownbag lunches are welcome. June 5 - Art as Dissent; 6 p.m. The Toby @ the Indianapolis Museum of Art The IMA and the ACLU will team up to explore art as dissent, a timely topic in light of the exhibit “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” at the museum. IMA is one only three North American venues to host Weiwei’s traveling exhibit, which touches on culture, history, politics, and tradition. Back to lunch at WFYI for First Wednesdays Aug. 7, Oct. 2 and Dec. 4. Topics to be announced.
doing a really tough job with not enough money to do the right thing.” Henegar applauded Falk’s efforts. “Obviously, we hope it will improve the lives of the prisoners who have been affected by the practices of the prison system,” she said. “We hope it will improve their lives once they regain their freedom and they’re no longer in prison. We hope that then that will improve the lives of everybody who is around them, and I like to think it improves all of our lives by knowing we’re a society that treats people humanely.” Ultimately, she said, she hopes the people can see the difference between the policy positions of the ACLU’s clients, who have ranged from the Ku Klux Klan to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and appreciate the importance of ACLU’s mission to uphold civil liberties. “The role of our Constitution is about the role of law, which is so centrally important to our society. But it’s also about individuals’ lives and the quality of those lives,” Henegar said. “So when they support us they support that.”
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A CONVERSATION ON CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES KEN FALK, LEGAL DIRECTOR AT ACLU OF INDIANA BY REBECCA TOWNSEND | RTOWNSEND@NUVO.NET
n discussing the significance of the ACLU of Indiana’s six decades of work, Ken Falk, the group’s legal director, addressed many aspects of constitutional philosophy that we thought were worth highlighting. NUVO: What’s your take on strict constructionist, literal interpretations of the Constitution versus more organic readings? KEN FALK: A number of years ago, the Supreme Court had a case, I think 15 years ago now, and it dealt with thermal imaging and the question was: I’m on a sidewalk, I have a thermal imaging camera so I can “see” (by heat). So I can look inside your house and see if you’re growing pot, for instance, at least there’s a hot source. But I can also see if you’re on the toilet, if you’re cooking, I assume when you’re having sex, I can do all that. The question is: Does that violate the Fourth Amendment? Is that an unlawful search and seizure? Now, James Madison was obviously a brilliant guy but I don’t think he was thinking about that. So whether we call it an organic Bill of Rights or whether we pretend that we’re somehow bending over backwards to say, “Well, if James Madison was here today, this is what he would think,” we have to adapt the Bill of Rights. See, that’s the difference between the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. You look up Article I of the Constitution, it says word for word what the president says when he or someday she is sworn in, right? It’s explicit: This is what the oath is. There’s no organicity … The Fourth Amendment says you have a right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. What does that mean? You have to interpret that, and what I think really concerns people like Justice Scalia is when you take a concept like due process to expand this notion of liberty to include things like the right to privacy, the right of family integrity … Where does that come from? Those are perfectly valid debates, but we have to start off with the proposition that somehow we have to interpret this incredibly nebulous document, the Bill of Rights, in a way that means something to us today. And once we agree that there has to be an interpretation, then I think we need to admit that’s what we’re doing and try and figure out what it means, keeping an eye on basically what the original purpose was, but knowing that that purpose has to be applied for today. NUVO: How has the War on Terrorism and the desire for security in an increasingly technological world influenced your thinking on these issues? FALK: I think the interesting thing after 9/11, what we heard was: We all have to basically give up some of our rights for the common good. … look at Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, about the fact that without society, life would be nasty, brutish, and short. The whole idea is, of course, that we come together and we give up part of our rights and we have society. But realistically, if you look at what hap-
pened after 9/11, what we really were saying was: If you look like you are an Arab or an Arab-American or Muslim, you had to give up your rights. It didn’t affect me. My life didn’t change. I’m always really wary when people are saying we have to give up someone else’s rights. If people want to tell me I should give up my rights, then we have a discussion as to why that is and what are you giving up. But when I hear we should make sure that we give up someone else’s rights, that’s very disconcerting to me. I think a lot of our post-9/11 discussion was directed towards that and I think that the notion of privacy, which is really the animating notion behind much of the Bill of Rights, I think that’s a very important both individually and societally. And the idea that we should give that up and let the government look at the emails we send overseas or get access to the videos we rent is really disconcerting because I think it is more than just the spot invasion of our rights. I think it’s a general degrading of what is important to us as Americans. NUVO: Why do you think that the ACLU’s quest to protect personal liberties and rights is so often portrayed as Communist or as being rabidly liberal? FALK: ACLU is frequently characterized by (the positions of) its clients. We try and keep the (Constitution’s) establishment clause meaning what we think it means, which is that government should not establish religion. But we represent religious groups who are being denied their free exercise. The other thing … is this notion of majority rules in America; most people’s understanding of our civic life ended around 3rd grade. Years ago we did a lawsuit challenging religious prayer in the General Assembly, and … someone (wrote) a letter to the editor saying something about, “Well, if the legislators don’t like having prayers with Christ in them, they should just not be legislators.” Unfortunately, it’s religion cases that I think I am most upset about just because whenever we file a case like that there are all these people around the state who say, “Well, the ACLU is trying to take away your religion.” And there are people generally who know that that’s not true … they know the difference between establishment and free exercise, but there’s very little effort made to educate the public. I’m more than happy to have a discussion about the establishment clause with someone, about what it means. Obviously there’s disagreement about (its) reach … but don’t try and tell the public that if the governor cannot put the Ten Commandments on the Statehouse lawn that somehow impacts your ability to worship. NUVO: Has it ever happened to you so far, that something that you’ve fought against as unconstitutional has ended up becoming a part of the constitution, either on the state or federal level? FALK: The closest it’s come to is I did a lawsuit challenging as unconstitutional the
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PHOTO BY MARK LEE
Ken Falk, legal director at ACLU of Indiana, has been fighting for Indiana’s underdogs since 1977 when he moved to the state for a job in Legal Services. He joined the ACLU of Indiana in 1996. “The area where our rights cannot be tread on is so small,” Falk explained. “But within that area the majority doesn’t mean anything.”
same-sex marriage bill in Indiana, but that has not become part of the Constitution. NUVO: What will that be like if it does? Would you then have to defend it? FALK: If I lose a case in whatever’s the last court I can lose it in, in this case the Supreme Court, then it’s over; I’ve lost, that’s not an issue anymore. If the Constitution’s amended, assuming the state Constitution doesn’t conflict with the federal Constitution, then that’s the end of it. But I just feel really strongly that, and this is not a political issue because I know there are a lot of very conservative people who feel the same way, that our knee-jerk reactions to the problem should not be to amend the Constitution. The Constitution is supposed to be there saying basically the same thing many years after we’re not around. NUVO: What do you think of the call for a constitutional convention? FALK: When you talk about a Constitution, you have to think about two different things. One is a structural constitution: This is how the president is, this is how Congress is, this is how courts are, this is the blueprint of how we’re going to do things. Now, there may be times when we want to adjust the blueprint. We don’t like the electoral college, so we fix that (although we still haven’t). We obviously changed
the fact that African-American slaves were five-eighths of a person. Those are structural things, and there are lots of reasons to change the structural things if, for whatever reason, in our current society things are not working just in terms of the rigid structure. When you talk about the Bill of Rights, my position is when you’re amending the Bill of Rights, you should be doing so only to expand rights. It doesn’t make sense to send 19 year-olds into combat to die when they can’t vote; we should give them the right to vote. Women should have the right to vote. In the past, when we experimented with the idea of restricting rights through the Bill of Rights, i.e. no one can drink, that hasn’t worked out so well. The expressing of rights is not a generational document, it’s a multi-generational document. So we don’t say, for instance: We’re really scared today of same-sex marriage; even though our kids don’t think it’s a problem, we’re going to enshrine that in the Constitution. My general position is that you shouldn’t be amending, you should never be amending the constitution willy-nilly … And you should certainly not be doing it to somehow encapsulate restrictions of rights. If, on the other hand, society believes there should be a major change in something structural, that’s what the constitutional conventions are for. But I don’t really see the need for one.
For comprehensive event listings, go to nuvo.net/calendar
STARTS 14 THURSDAY
EclecticPond’s Julius Caesar @ Irvington Lodge
STARTS 14 THURSDAY
St. Patrick’s Day festivities The thirstiest holiday of the year naturally includes a Thirsty Thursday in its liberal definition of week-end, and so we start our St. Patrick’s Day roundup with the Greening of the Canal (March 14, party from 4:30 p.m., greening at 5:45 p.m.), which returns this year to the Stardust Terrace at the Indiana History Center for a family-friendly kick-off featuring live music, dancing and free appetizers. And here’s the rest of the fun:
St. Patrick’s Day Parade (steps off at 11:30 a.m., free) and Festival (10 a.m.-4 p.m., featuring food trucks, kids’ activities, live music; also free)
Shamrock Run/Walk — steps off at 10 a.m. from Monument Circle and jaunts though Fountain Square before returning from whence it came ShamRockin’ the Circle — 10 a.m.4 p.m. on Monument Circle, featuring live music, food trucks; free) Going Green Festival — 11 a.m.4 p.m. at Indiana State Museum, celebrating greenness in its ecological sense with activities like garbage gardening, recycled art-making and water quality testing; featuring NUVO/ILG managing editor Jim Poyser’s climate change slideshow; free with admission Blarney Bash — noon-midnight on Georgia Street, featuring music by My Yellow Rickshaw and Flatbed Twitch and plenty of green beer; free
Downtown Irish Fest — from noon at the Rathskeller; featuring traditional Irish music by Brian Cunningham & The Irish Aires and Gordon Pipers and rock by Woomblies and Zanna Doo; free
What better place for a couple of Shakespeareans to meet than in Stratford-upon-Avon, on the very fields on which the Bard sowed his wild oats? Catherine and Thomas Cardwell, co-founders of the Irvington-based EclecticPond Theater Company and partners in marriage, couldn’t have contrived a more auspicious spot for a first date than Shakespeare’s mother’s farm. Cat, an Indiana native, was studying at the Shakespeare Institute and taking her life in a new direction after five years of working on Capitol Hill. Tom, a native Englishman, was a struggling actor at the time. When Cat’s visa ran out, they carried on their affair at quite a long distance. But, as Tom puts it, that time apart put things in perspective. “It made me realize that visiting this woman every few months wasn’t near enough,” says Tom. “I loved her, and I needed to be married to her.” Once married, the couple settled in Indianapolis and, shortly thereafter, started EclecticPond, which has devel-
oped a reputation for presenting succinct classical performances with their 90-minute versions of Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among others. “We wanted to start a company that primarily focused on works that are taught in the classroom, and bring them on stage,” says Cat. “In general, if you are learning about a play, you should see the play,” adds Tom. “There is a reason that people keeping doing the classics. The stories are good, and it’s not just Shakespeare; there is Dickens and Marlow and Wilde. I don’t think Shakespeare should just be the territory of academics and scholars. We have to remember that a play is an instruction manual for performance.” EcelcticPond is part of a new crop of companies producing full seasons in the Indianapolis area that includes Q Artistry, NoExit and Acting Up Productions. “Having clear missions on what kind of theater each wants to bring,” says Cat, “we can work together to support and market each other.” “We are in the same building as Q Artistry, the Irvington Lodge, which is great because they are very much new works, and we are adaptations of classic stuff,” says Tom. The couple describes a busy January night at the lodge when three theater groups made full use of the space: EclecticPond holding auditions for The Importance of Being Earnest, NoExit
STARTS 14 THURSDAY
Rita Kohn gave DK’s first Piaf production, the Fringe piece PIAF: A Celebration, a hearty 4.5 stars when it debuted in 2011, noting that “with love in its manifest meanings as the thread running through 14 songs, it’s the harsh flip side of brutality that grabs.” The “plus” in Piaf Plus refers to the addition of songs by Jacques Brel, the world-weary Flemish singer-songwriter, to the original Fringe show, which was an hour long in its Piaf-only form. March 14-24, times and ticket prices vary, dancekal.org
Opens March 14, 7 p.m., with KikuchiYngojo performance; exodusrefugee.org
go&do // 03.13.13-03.20.13 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
Julius Caesar review by Katelyn Coyne
March 15-16, 22-24, 29-30 @ 5515 E. Washington St.; times and ticket prices vary
Dance Kaleidoscope: Piaf Plus @ Indiana Repertory Theatre
Work by more than a dozen artists who happen also to be refugees will be featured in This Is Home, an exhibition coordinated in part by Exodus Refugee Immigration, the refugee resettlement agency whose efforts on behalf of Burmese refugees were spotlighted in our recent Burma issue. The show opens Thursday with a performance by San Francisco-based storytelling artist Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo entitled Listening East: Telling West: An Evening of Asian Myth .
Piaf Plus review by Rita Kohn
doing a read-through of Yellow Wallpaper and Q Artistry rehearsing their recent production Grendel. “Theater is not a competitive sport,” says Tom, “it’s a collaborative art. The more theater there is, the better it is for everyone that is trying to see or do theater.” While Cat co-directed Romeo and Juliet with Tom, Julius Caesar marks her first time flying solo as a director for EclecticPond. The play features gender-reverse casting, such that all male roles are played by women, and vice versa. “It is modern, but not political,” says Cat of her interpretation of the play. “With the recent election I wanted to stay away from the strict political side of Caesar. So I thought to myself: what is the next most political atmosphere? The business world.”
STARTS 14 THURSDAY
This Is Home: An Exhibition of Refugee Art @ Indiana Landmarks Center
The cast of EclecticPond’s Julius Ceaser.
Classical music reviews by Tom Aldridge
Visual arts reviews by Dan Grossman and Charles Fox
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Massapalooza Sunday, March 17, at 4:00 p.m. Northminster Chancel Choir, Chamber Ensemble and Orchestra perform two masses composed by two Germans, sixty years apart. J.S. Bach: Mass in G Major, BMV 236 Franz Joseph Haydn: Heligmesse Admission is free. Childcare provided.
Northminster Presbyterian Church 1660 Kessler Blvd. East Drive, Indianapolis 46220 | Phone 317.251.9489 | www.northminster-indy.org
A&E FEATURE Radical forms of storytelling Jennifer Egan talks Twitter and PowerPoint BY STACEY MICKELBART EDITORS@NUVO.NET Critics and book lovers still haven’t stopped talking about Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the LA Times Book Prize. Each chapter of the book features a different character, though each character usually turns up in other chapters at a different point in his or her life. Subtract linear chronology and add one chapter that’s a PowerPoint presentation, and you can understand why the book has fascinated readers. Egan’s other novels include The Invisible Circus (which was adapted for film), Look at Me (nominated for a National Book Award) and The Keep (a bestseller). She’s published a book of short stories and writes non-fiction for The New York Times Magazine. Egan will read from A Visit from the Goon Squad March 20 as part of Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series. She spoke with NUVO about her use of form, her love/hate relationship with technology, and what she’s reading now. NUVO: Goon Squad was celebrated in part for its unusual form, and your story “Black Box” was written in sections of less than 140 characters and tweeted by The New Yorker. How do the story you want to tell and the form that it takes come together in your writing process? JENNIFER EGAN: I think the answer is on a wing and a prayer. For example, with PowerPoint, I was interested in it for a long time before I found a way to use it. Some of the problems I had were practical: I didn’t own it, I didn’t have enough memory on my laptop to hold it, and I was too cheap to buy it. Also, I didn’t have a story that wanted to be told in PowerPoint. What I mean by that is not something touchy feely, but just that if a story can be told in any other way than by using a radical structural form, then it should be—because structural stuff will just come off as gimmickry. I initially thought, “Well, who tells a story in PowerPoint? A corporate person.” Then, I suddenly had a brain wave, and part of what gave me the brain wave was a different problem Goon Squad had. When you think about it, without that PowerPoint chapter, the latest point we meet [the character] Sasha chronologically is chapter one, whereas with [the character] Bennie, we see his future life as an older person. That asymmetry seemed to privilege Bennie over Sasha, but I couldn’t find a way to get near her that seemed interesting. The brain wave was this idea of one of her children narrating the PowerPoint. As soon as I had that idea, I had an inkling of what the voice
might sound like and also, I had a sense of atmosphere: a sense of a time and a place and how it could be evoked in that form. Similarly, I was interested in using Twitter, but it took a while. There was a moment when I suddenly thought, “What if a story is told in the form of the lessons a person learns from each step in the action?” But as you’ve probably gathered, there are a lot of failures that have participated in the few successes that I’ve had with using radical forms. NUVO: As a writer you have an interesting relationship with technology. EGAN: I think there’s a paradox in my relationship to technology. I’m obviously pretty interested in it as a writer, but I’m averse to it as a consumer. And I would say I’m out and out at war with it as a parent. I absolutely abhor video games, to a degree that I realize is neurotic. If I could just get rid of screens all over the world, I would do it, from a parental point of view. But of course, then I never could have tweeted my fiction or used PowerPoint. So how do you reconcile that? I think it’s easy, actually. I’m interested in these technologies as a writer, because they have such a massive impact on human beings. But as a mother, I deplore much of that impact, which I think at the very least takes time and energy away from more worthy things, and potentially does even more damage in terms of concentration. But I realize I sound like a total old fogy as I say that. My job as a writer is really not to judge; there’s nothing worse than didacticism in fiction. Being a writer gives me free license to let my curiosity lead the way. One of the things I was very surprised by, with the reception of Goon Squad, was that young people seemed to really like it. I assumed this would be a book for people forty and over. I thought, “What do younger people care about time? What does it even mean to them?” Well, it actually seems to mean a lot to them. People who are 25 now
PHOTO BY PIETER M. VAN HATTERN
look at 15-year-olds and see that they are growing up in a different way, technologically, than the 25-year-old did. I think that makes all of us more aware of time passing. NUVO: Goon Squad plays a lot with music and its relationship to memory. How did you capture that? EGAN: The book was directly inspired by Proust, and I make that pretty clear. Music plays a huge part in that novel [In Search of Lost Time], too. While the famous madeleine is the memory touchstone in Proust, I think music is the real madeleine, especially in the Western world over the last 60 years. The music that we came of age with as teens is in some way defining. As music consumption has changed radically in recent years, I feel more aware than ever of the nostalgic impact of music, because I have my own playlists, like all of us, and a lot of the songs that I have on my iPod are songs that have meant something to me at other points in my life. I thought of music not so much in its relationship to memory, explicitly, but more in its relationship to time and change. I was thinking specifically about the industry itself, and its relative collapse as a result of digital technology, which was so unforeseen and so rapid.
NUVO: Is there anything that you’re reading or listening to at the moment that you love? EGAN: I recently read Call It Sleep by Henry Roth — an amazing masterpiece. Also, Jack Kerouac’s first novel, The Town and the City. It’s a really beautiful book; I think it’s much more accomplished than On the Road. It gets at some of the cultural dislocations brought on by World War II. It’s been really fun to revisit certain classics, which I find I read in a different way now. I recently reread Anna Karenina and Middlemarch. I find myself often wondering why naturalistic narratives from the 19th and early 20th centuries seem so compelling. They’re like catnip. Why is that so hard for me to do? Those always feel like nourishing books to read, because they are both so rich with ideas and so hard to put down. It’s the holy grail of a combination. It’s so hard, and yet they do it with such a light touch.
JENNIFER EGAN Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., free, butler.edu Reilly Room, Atherton Union at Butler University
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A&E REVIEWS MUSIC INDIANAPOLIS OPERA AND IU OPERA THEATRE: AKHNATEN CLOWES MEMORIAL HALL MARCH 8 AND 9 w Last weekend’s production of American minimalist composer Philip Glass’s Akhnaten was a huge undertaking, and proved a huge achievement for everyone involved. Good on IU Opera Theater for making the bold choice to perform an opera only 30 years old, and on Indianapolis Opera for presenting the production to local audiences. Let’s hope this isn’t just a one-time collaboration. For those who didn’t catch our cover story last week, the Pharaoh Akhnaten was something of a world-changer: He may have been the first monotheist, and he was certainly one of the first kings who drew within himself and styled himself a philosopher, with little concern for conquering or pillaging or other all-too-human activities. Following a prelude featuring projected images from the Arab Spring, we began to see the lush, realistic vision that set designer Douglas Fitch and stage director Candace Evans had for the opera. Absent were stereotypical pyramids and hieroglyphics; in their stead were simple, monumental sets and warm, vibrant ceremonial costumes, all glowing gold and luscious turquoises, made by costume designer Linda Pisano. The land’s three rivals to Akhnaten’s power (Keith Schwartz, Jacob Williams, Zachary Coates) were featured during the early scenes, singing a trio above the choir at times, with voices of rich depth and intensity. Akhnaten enters when crowned Pharoah; he (countertenor Brennan Hall), his wife Nefertiti (mezzo soprano Laura Thoreson) and his mother Queen Tye (soprano Shannon Love) sing a hymn of acceptance, with Hall singing much like he carried himself about on stage, gracefully, yet with enigmatical, perhaps capricious, power. Thoreson’s elegant, alluring voice complemented Hall’s countertenor, while Love’s voice was remarkably radiant. One more highlight worth noting: a sublime, touching setting of Psalm 104, performed by the chorus lined up in the aisles of the hall. Glass’s writing is at turns monotonous and hypnotic; however, he throws in little variations and an extra note to a theme here and there, which can throw off a musician as easily as it might revive or renew the interest of a listener. The IU Concert Orchestra played with skill and concentration; conductor Arthur Fagen did an excellent job of leading them through tough orchestral waters. — CHANTAL INCANDELA
BARB JUNGR CABARET AT THE COLUMBIA CLUB MARCH 16 e Barb Jungr is cultivating what she herself calls “an obsession” with Dylan’s songbook. The thing about Jungr is that she doesn’t seem to hail from any of the folk-country-roots-rock precincts usually associated with Dylan. She is simply, yet radiantly, a singer, able, if last Saturday night’s performance at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club is any measure, to lend her marvelously supple voice to virtually any musical idiom and make it her own. Not only is Jungr’s instrument formidable, she is
also formidably literate. And so her interest in Dylan as poet presented us with a chance not, as Dylan would have it, to be challenged, so much as to gathered in to the multitude of spells created by his grasp of language, story and restless vision. Jungr may be obsessed with Dylan, but she’s no acolyte. As she pointed out during her betweensongs commentary, which was, by turns, witty and informative, Dylan is a man of a certain generation — one without much purchase on his feminine side. This makes her angle of approach particularly interesting, fresh and frequently arresting. She made a compelling case for Dylan as probably the greatest living writer of songs of longing; her performances of such classics as “It Ain’t Me Babe,” “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” “I Want You” and “Like a Rolling Stone” made these pieces new. And her encore, a searingly understated version of “With God On Our Side,” addressed to the Soldiers and Sailors monument outside the Cabaret’s window, was a trenchant masterstroke. — DAVID HOPPE
ISO AND NEWAM PRESENT SON LUX AND SHARA WORDEN HILBERT CIRCLE THEATRE, MARCH 9 e The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is continuing to dip its toe into the new music waters through a residency with New Amsterdam, the Brooklyn-based “artists’ service organization.” Saturday’s show was the first full concert of their new partnership; composers, arrangers and performers all came from the immediate or extended NewAm family. The first half of the program featured genrecrossing performer Son Lux, who, putting to work his wide, vivid musical vocabulary, worked like a mad musical scientist over his keyboard and laptop, mixing sounds, beats and effects. His voice, at times sounding purposefully strained, was, much like his compositions, imbued with a strong emotional undercurrent. Following intermission was Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Odyssey-inspired song cycle Penelope, an organic, coherent patchwork of orchestra, guitar, drums, electronics and voice. Singer Shara Worden has a hauntingly pure voice that, perfectly suited to the work, struck both melancholy and hopeful notes — and all the emotional microtones in between. Conductor Edwin Outwater, a perfect choice given his history of being involved with and creating similarly innovative programs, led the orchestra with great precision. The concert, unlike anything the ISO has done before — from the lighting setup to the quantity of new music presented — represents an exciting step forward for ISO, demonstrating the organization’s sustained commitment to presenting new music alongside its typical offerings from the pre-1950 canon.
— CHANTAL INCANDELA
PHOTO BY ZACH ROSING
The Whipping Man at Indiana Repertory Theatre. Alan Anderson and Tyler Jacob Rollinson) waiting among the ruins. What unfolds is a tense, vivid and bittersweet tale that takes place during Passover, which, in 1865, coincided with the end of a war and the assassination of a president. Anderson anchors the play, at turns gentle and formidable as a man embracing his first days of freedom. Rollinson’s brash young talent is perfectly suited for the role of the angry, frustrated and highly intelligent John. And Ahrens imbues Caleb with a naivete that makes his character both endearing and open to attack. Deft direction by Tim Ocel is complemented by other smart, understated production elements, including an original score from composer Gregg Coffin. — KATELYN COYNE
DIVAFEST INDYFRINGE THEATRE THROUGH MARCH 17 MARILYN MONROE, COMMUNIST BY MELISSA NUSSBAUM FREEMAN r In a one-woman show, Massachusetts playwright Freeman recites the joys and woes of growing up a “red diaper baby,” paying tribute to both her own family and cultural icons like Monroe. It’s a little stilted at first, but Freeman proves herself a deft performer, giving distinct life to each of her personalities through artful (and artfully repetitive) stage movements that signify each character. Freeman’s moving, personal performance will resonate in particular with audiences who lived through the era. — KATELYN COYNE
INVITATIONS BY SHARLA STEIMAN y Fringers will recall high school playwright Steiman — a senior at University High School, not Carmel High School as we misstated last week — from previous Fringe festivals. With her DivaFest debut she depicts four households and eight people in a voyeuristic production that brings to bear biases you might find in an average American community. The script’s strength comes in the way that it sharply separates what people want to have happen versus what probably will happen. — RITA KOHN
THE WHIPPING MAN INDIANA REPERTORY THEATRE THROUGH MARCH 24 q
GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES u
In Matthew Lopez’s Civil War-era play, young confederate officer Caleb DeLeon (Andrew Ahrens) returns to his deserted Southern home to discover the now-freed Simon and John (David
The Small Packages are three short plays, written by three adult students from the Writer’s Center of Indiana, each given the prompt to use a package or gift as a primary thematic element.
NOTE: Kohn is a co-founder of Divafest.
The first, Goodbye From Too Far Away by Tina Nehrling, shows a single-parent family in turmoil over a box sent from their long-gone father. Nehrling offers interesting characters and a simple yet intriguing plot. Also somewhat effective is Gari Williams’s Another Pandora, which depicts a whimsical meeting between two strangers who each want something uncommon from the other. By contrast, Jan White’s stilted Fruit Flavor is peopled by cliché characters that struggle through a modern love triangle. — KATELYN COYNE
THE JAZZY DETECTIVE o Laden with an overly complicated plot and peopled by far-fetched characters, The Jazzy Detective, by DivaFest vet Kearney, is convoluted, confused and difficult to follow. Director Brandon Allmon-Jackson did little to remedy that situation in the play’s opening weekend: Actors couldn’t always be heard or understood, blocking was clunky and unmotivated and impractical props worked against the suspension of disbelief. — KATELYN COYNE
DANCE EDITOR’S N OTE: Dear readers, we are shocked to report that longtime NUVO managing editor Jim Poyser has abruptly left town, allegedly a stowaway on the MOMIX bus. We surmise this is his current location after a long search of his home that resulted in our discovery of a hand-scrawled note, and this review, below.
MOMIX: BOTANICA THE TARKINGTON, MARCH 9 AND 10 q MOMIX strikes again. Is there any contemporary performance group that combines such an elevated level of excellence across so many artforms — movement, lighting, costuming, sound, film, physical contraptions and props? Let’s not neglect to mention the emotional content of their work, as the pieces swing from tear-eliciting, heart-wrenching beauty to giggle-producing delight. This tour’s theme was nature-infused, and nearly each piece beguiled us with strange creatures, mercurial landscapes, evocative imagery. MOMIX call themselves dance-illusionists, and pieces leave you scratching your head in a How the heck did they do that? way that doesn’t distract from the show. In truth, the whole performance feels like a dream, one from which you hope don’t ever awaken. In this instance, we awakened and found ourselves in Carmel. — JIM POYSER
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Are you in the mood for weird? Stoker, the first English-language film from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, works mightily on establishing a weird, creepy atmosphere and making it the main attraction. Can a memorable movie be made with Hitchcockian overtones but without the mesmerizing characters and intricate plotlines one associates with films of the genre? The answer is no, but Stoker offers rewards as a mood piece, and images from the production stick with you even if the film as a whole does not. Let’s address the title first. Stoker is intended to invoke the separateness of the characters in Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. The movie has nothing to do with vampires or Bram Stoker, so there you go. There is a gloomy house, however, and the film has everything to do with what such places conjure up. Wentworth Miller, who starred in the TV series Prison Break as the hero with the map hidden in the elaborate tattoos on his torso, wrote the screenplay, which goes like this: A dark cloud hovers over the Stoker home following the death of husband and father Richard (Dermot Mulroney, barely in the movie). Richard died under mysterious circumstances, a fact helpfully noted by the minister at the funeral. Uncle Charlie, possessed with good looks and an otherworldly smile, and played cryptically by Matthew Goode, attends the funeral and stirs everything up. Incidentally, if the name Charlie reminds you of the stranger of the same moniker played by Joseph Cotton in Shadow of a Doubt, give yourself a pat on the back, you big ole movie buff. Charlie’s presence makes the immediate
family quite antsy. The widow Evelyn, played by Nicole Kidman with the arch iciness of the wacky momma crafted by Genevieve Bujold in The House of Yes (if you were reminded of that film on your own, give yourself a gold star and consider becoming a movie reviewer), is excited but agitated – why did he stay away so long and why has he reentered her life now? Even more shaken is Evelyn’s daughter India, played by Mia Wasikowska as a hybrid of the girl from Beetlejuice and Wednesday from The Addams Family. She didn’t even know she had an uncle, and oh my, such a handsome and disturbing one at that (no matter where you stand in the room, his eyes seem to be looking at you). I can’t tell you more than that about the story, partially to avoid spoilers, but mostly because there isn’t much more to tell. The three principal characters circle each other like sharks. The director and screenwriter have them do all manner of unhealthy things. Some of the squirm-inducing bits fail, like the cheesy computer-generated spider headed … er, for the private beach. Others succeed, like the piano duet/Twister match between Charlie and India, and the trip to the basement to get ice cream which takes a tortuously long time before it reaches its frozen money shot. Other characters come and go, including Silver Linings Playbook’s Jacki Weaver, but no matter. Stoker is about the creepy games between three people in a creepy house. Hope you’re in the mood for a smorgasbord of atmosphere. — BY ED JOHNSON-OTT
FILM CLIPS LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)
I could feel at the time there was no way of knowing. Falling leaves in the night, who can say where they’re blowing. March 15, 7 p.m. @ The Toby at Indianapolis Museum of Art; $9 public, $5 member
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FOOD Beer Buzz
New brewmaster in Broad Ripple BY RITA KOHN RKOHN@NUVO.NET
Treeter comes on
On Feb. 20, Broad Ripple Brewpub showcased new brewer John Treeter’s inaugural brews — Longshanks English Brown Ale and Wallace’s 70 Shilling traditional Scottish ale — to general acclaim by regulars who appreciate real ale. Publican John Hill presided with pride. The brewpub’s fifth brewer, Treeter steps into a operation that’s as close as to ‘old time’ as you’ll get. Having come from a close to state-of-the-art set-up at Oaken Barrel with a team of brewers, going solo at the brewpub both intrigues and challenges Treeter. “It’s just me, creator of the living [brewing] museum,” he quipped. “It’s the oldest original system in the state — no automation. It’s by smell for timing, working from a feel. It’s fascinating, the very traditional way of doing things.” In the process of “making himself at home,” Treeter found a notepad left by the brewpub’s first brewer, Gilbert Alberding, with “recipes from way back.” Expect the brewpub’s English
line up to be augmented by brews drawing on Treeter’s brewing heritage.
We stopped at Chatham Tap Feb. 28 for Bloomington Brewing Company Night featuring BBC’s Ruby Bloom Amber, Rooftop IPA, Rye IPA and Ole Floyd Belgian Dark Strong — along with the new specialty release, The Simcoe Kid IPA. This single-hop IPA immediately befriends with its amber hue and a huge whiff of orange, passionfruit and earthy aromas. Its nicely balanced medium-body with a blend of special pale, caramel and Munich malts blended with Simcoe opens with sweet citrus flavor followed by a smooth finish and dry pine bitterness for a smooth experience at 6.8 percent and 65 IBUs.
Warmer Winter in Lafayette
Lafayette Brewing Company’s annual Winter Warmer is as big in heart as it is in barley wines and strong ales. Since its inception the event has generated over $35,000 in proceeds to endow the Laura Williams Memorial Scholarship. Seventeen Indiana breweries joined LBC with over 50 beers to sample. Within the two-hour limit Beer Buzz had time for Black Swan’s (Plainfield) perfectly balanced Belgian Quad, the powerful Stealth, rich American Brown Ale, chocolate-like Porter, spicy Saison and multiflavored Trappist; Figure 8’s (Valparaiso) equally pleasing spicy Lost Saint Saison
Ale, Rye Knot Baltic-style rye ale with a blend of 7 grains, and Date Night, an utterly complex black barleywine. Also on the bill was Sun King’s 666 — in a word, wow! — and Crown Brewing’s Pecan Coffee Porter. Lafayette Brewing Company’s run-down included the flavorful Big Boris Barley Wines 2011 and 2012; a sparkling ruby Scottish Ale; a crisp, refreshing Irish Red; and a very drinkable Amber. All those samples were teasers of sorts, enticements to visit breweries to sample the full scope of their wares. While in Lafayette we also stopped at People’s to scope out their planned expansion to increase brewing capacity and add another “green” element to their pub food fare. More news to come.
BOURBON DINNER AT THE JAZZ KITCHEN This week, The Jazz Kitchen kicks off a series of paired dinners with a four-course bourbon dinner highlighting small-batch offerings. On the menu are Makers 46 Bourbon, Blanton’s Bourbon, Basil Hayden Bourbon and Big House Tupelo Honey Bourbon, each paired with a dish prepared by chef and owner David Allee. March 14, 7 p.m.; $50 including tax and gratuity.
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WHAT YOU MISSED
Biggie, Dre, Dilla get Indy treatment Hip-hop icons featured at Jazz Kitchen BY K A T HE R IN E C O P L E N K CO P L E N @ N U V O . N E T
ld Soul Entertainment was born seven years ago because Doug Morris couldn’t find any music he liked in Indy clubs. “Instead of complaining about the void, we decided to fill,” said Morris. Enter Old Soul Entertainment, a collective with a focus on landmark hip-hop artists. They’ve thrown a variety of club nights and one-off events throughout the years, but we’re particularly excited about their Icon series, a monthly party celebrating one musical artist and their contributions. “[This party] highlights a particular musical artist or group that has changed the musical landscape forever. Their particular genre of music will never be the same. I guess I’m saying that their contribution to that style or genre is irreplaceable.” Below, we’ve rounded up three tribute shows hosted by Old Soul at the Jazz Kitchen. (Only the Notorious B.I.G. party was part of the Icon series; Dilla Day and Dr. Dre Day are celebrated nationally.) The diversity in genre generated by these musical giants draws a diverse crowd, too. “The socioeconomic things that sometimes keep us apart don’t apply at these events. These events are opportunities to bring diverse groups of people together for their common love of the music,” said Morris. Note: The Notorious B.I.G. party took place in the B-Side, a new room in the Jazz Kitchen open for smaller events and dinners. The next Icon event at the Jazz Kitchen will feature the music of Outkast.
Dr. Dre Day • Saturday, Feb. 16
without his beats and musical prowess? Aside from the musical banquet of the Doctor’s songs, the party had several other aspects that made it Dre-tastic. Vibrant blue, orange and red bottles of Mad Dog liquor menacingly from behind the bar daring the gleamed m partygoers to sample a “Mad Dog martini.” The partyg barkeep warned me against it saying, “It’s the bar worst thing we have on the menu tonight. w Don’t do it.” I did it anyways, and whew, I will never do it again. It sort of tasted like Kamchatka mixed with a dash of blue Powerade. Anyway, 40s were on deck, and when wrapped in a brown paper bag, seemed to actually channel anyone’s Compton style. There was also a The Chronic album cover photobooth, where one could capture their Dre side. o 2pac once rapped, “Heaven ain’t hard to find,” and I think the Dre Day party was a little find, slice of Indianapolis hip-hop nirvana. The fortitude and creativity symbolized by Dr. Dre’s career was truly honored and celebrated last Saturday at the Jazz Kitchen.
e Saturday night at the Jazz Kitchen was “nuthin’ but a g thang,” in the famous words of one of hip-hop’s -hop’smost most influential voices, Dr. Dre. This evening wass aa celcelebration of all things Andre Young, the Doctor’s tor’s civilian name, and it didn’t skimp on many details. Armed with a solid lineup of some of Indy’s finest DJs, the rhythms of G-funk played on through the night. DJ Metrognome and Mr. Kinetik were responsible for keeping the Dre-esque beats flowing that evening. In my mind, they paid a most respectful homage. The tunes of the G-funk era Dr. Dre, like his N.W.A. and The Chronic material, sounded as groovy as they did did during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The later cuts uts of Dre were dropped, as well, like the unmistakakable 2001 track “Next Episode.” Parliament Funkadelic unkadelic and a slew of other funky performers were given some spins, because this genre was highly influential to Dr. Dre. Of course, Dre protégés and contemporaries like 2pac and Snoop Dogg were played, because who would they have been
–– RACHEL HANLEY
Dilla Day • Saturday, Feb. 23
performances by Oreo Jones, Ajene the God, Rusty Redenbacher and Brandon Meeks, among others. Backed by a house band that featured Kevin Anker on keys, Brian Yarde on drums and Brandon Meeks on bass guitar, each performer gave their take on a notable e Dilla-penned or produced track. And the Jazz Dill Kitchen, with its cool fluorescent lights and K aqueous stage background, provided the ideal environment for such a tribute. The second half of the night saw the show’s headliners, Dilla’s brother Illa J and longtime Dilla collaborator Frank Nitt of Frank and Dank, giving the crowd their personal tribute to the legacy of J. Dilla. Illa J and Frank Nitt were both charismatic performers, yet they never outshined the emcees that preceded e them. This collectivism was refreshing in a genre that seems to be continually about a celebration of self. But on Saturday night, it was all about Dilla and the staggering bod y of work that continues to influence hip-hop today.
e What began as a two minute moment of silence 7 years ago during Old Soul Entertainment’s ’s “Soul “Soul Session” has now become a full fledged event. vent. Nearly every major figure in the Indianapolis olis hip-hop community was assembled for Dilla illa Day Indy at the Jazz Kitchen, a celebrationn of the life and music of Detroit producer James Yancey aka “J Dilla.” And he is certainly worth celebrating. Known for his soulful, organic production, J. Dilla worked with such hip-hop and soul giants as A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, Common, The Pharcyde, D’Angelo and De La Soul. He helped produce such landmark releasess as as Common’s Like Water for Chocolate, A Tribe be Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life, D’Angelo’s Voodoo and The Roots’ Things Fall Apart. The fourth official Dilla Day Indy was kicked off with
–– SEAN ARMIE
Celebration of Notorious B.I.G. • Saturday, March 9 r
OhBeOne at the Jazz Kitchen
ICON SERIES: OUTCAST & DUNGEON FAMILY WITH DJ LIMELIGHT, DJ JAY DIFF, DJ SOULCHILD Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave. Friday, April 26, 21+
ICON SERIES: JAMES BROWN & FELA KUTI WITH DJ METROGNOME, DJ KYLE LONG Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave. Saturday, May 4, 21+
Saturday was Notorious B.I.G. night, and given that the Jazz Kitchen is no doubt a venue run by people ple with with good musical tastes, there was strong potential tial for this to be a creative, soulful event if all the he right elements were present. It was a fun time for sure, and what worked about it was the same thing that makes Biggie appealing: that sweet spot between cool and classy, like combining the sound of The Isley Brothers’ “Between The Sheets” with a G-funk synth. And where Biggie night fell short? They didn’t have enough of that, whatever it is.. (Is anybody following me here?) DJ Metrognome and DJ Ohbeone are good att what what they do — honestly, I don’t have anything bad to say about their performances. They succeeded in delivering music to fit the mood of the event. That being said, my hope is that for the next ICON night, the guys at Old Soul Entertainment
Kat at SXSW; Guitar gear at Eiteljorg; Helado Negro at DO317; Neil Young Tribute at Mousetrap
place less of an emphasis on trying to get people onto the dance floor and more emphasis on the task of making it an authentic musical experience. I understand the desire to do it in an intimate setting, but I’m not sure that the Jazz Kitchen’s new B-Side is the ideal location for an event even like this. Perhaps it would function best as a a second room to allow for alternating performances on a big night. But for two DJs? With the booth taking up a large portion of the room and everyone bumping (into each other) and grinding (the wall) in what little space remained, it kind of felt like an awkward high school dance party. Meanwhile, the big front room was empty. Why not make use of it? For the record, if you want a model for a cconsummate sense of cool, you might do well to take ta some inspiration from the general manager of The Jazz Kitchen, Frank Steans, the grey-haired patriarch with the Philly-style e-cig posted on the stool near the entrance to the bar. That man seems to have it figured out. –– BEN SMITH
Eric Dill, Audiodacity at Birdy’s; Girls Rock! at Talbott St.; Dirty Heads, Shiny Toy Guns at Vogue
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A CULTURAL MANIFESTO WITH KYLE LONG 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.
In memoriam: Melvin Rhyne The death of legendary jazz organist Melvin Rhyne last week really got me thinking: another Indianapolis cultural icon gone with little notice and zero fanfare. As I contemplated Rhyne’s vast artistic contribution to the cultural heritage of our state and the relatively disproportionate appreciation he’s received in his hometown, sculptor Fred Wilson entered my thoughts. In 2011 the Bronx-born Wilson was embroiled in controversy when his proposal for a commissioned piece on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail was opposed by a concerned citizens’ group primarily composed of African-Americans. Indianapolis is said to rank second only to Washington D.C. in the number of civic monuments dotting our urban landscape. As Wilson toured Indianapolis he noted that the only African-American represented on the city’s many monuments is the image of a freed slave depicted at the base of Downtown’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Wilson’s piece proposed to reproduce this freed slave, but reimagined as a figure of African liberation. The aforementioned opposition group rejected Wilson’s proposal, suggesting the image of the slave presented a negative portrayal of black culture. Initially I was perplexed by this backlash. I sided with the artist and wrongly assumed those in protest were too shortsighted to appreciate the critical message contained in Wilson’s proposed design. But in the wake of Rhyne’s death, the resentment directed towards Wilson’s failed proposal became very clear to me. It wasn’t so much a rejection of the artist’s conceptual proposition, but a demand from a historically marginalized community that the city of Indianapolis begin to seriously acknowledge its enormous cultural contributions in a substantial and dignified manner. Born in Indianapolis in October, 1936, Melvin Rhyne will forever be remembered for his role in the career of Wes Montgomery. A member of the Wes Montgomery Trio, Rhyne’s connection with the guitar great earned him status as music royalty amongst hardcore jazz fans around the world. Rhyne would go on to cultivate a significant career of his own, particularly during his reemergence as a recording artist in the early 1990s. But I always viewed Rhyne as a living embodiment of the glory days of Indiana Avenue. During the early to mid-20th century, Indiana Avenue was the center of African-American culture in Indianapolis. It was the place where Rhyne and so many other Indiana jazz greats honed their craft and it was also the spot where Rhyne and Montgomery were discovered by saxophone titan Cannonball Adderley. During its prime years the Avenue represented something akin to Indy’s version of the Harlem Renaissance –– the birthplace of a cultural explosion where the arts flourished, and great careers were born. The collective output of the musicians associated with the Avenue represent what is in my opinion Indiana’s greatest contribution to the arts. Melvin Rhyne was one of the last remaining giants from this golden age of Indianapolis
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culture. A few others are still around, Larry Ridley and David Baker chief among them. But Indianapolis has let its greatest cultural heroes languish in obscurity for far too long. It’s past time for Indianapolis to take serious steps to preserve and honor what may stand as our city’s most significant artistic legacy. Perhaps a monument to Rhyne and other Indiana Avenue jazz greats would be a good step toward paying back a culture and people that have given so much and received so little. Throughout his six decade career Melvin Rhyne maintained an impossibly high standard of excellence. Rhyne never strayed from his soulful, hard bop roots, and every title in his catalog is worth hearing. The following list presents five highlights from Rhyne’s discography.
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03.15 Note To Self 03.14 The Don Stuck Band Open Jam 03.16 Blues with Naptown Revue
WES MONTGOMERY TRIO –– A DYNAMIC NEW SOUND (1959) All of Rhyne’s recordings with the Wes Montgomery Trio are essential listening. But this edition comes highly recommended for the’s trio’s beautiful rendition of Thelonius Monk’s “Round Midnight.” Rhyne’s subtle shading provides the perfect backdrop for Montgomery’s nuanced performance. MELVIN RHYNE –– ORGAN-IZING (1960) Rhyne’s first solo outing, and it’s a classic. A brilliant showcase for Rhyne’s unique skills on the Hammond B3. UNCLE FUNKENSTEIN –– TOGETHER AGAIN (1983) Rhyne lays down a blistering piano performance on the stomping jazz groover “Uncle Funkenstein,” from Russell Webster’s legendary double LP celebrating Indy’s jazz heritage. MELVIN RHYNE QUARTET –– BOSS ORGAN (1993) Rhyne’s second solo LP, released 33 years after his 1960 debut. Featuring sax superstar Joshua Redman, Boss Organ is packed with soulful performances. Boss Organ was the first in a series of “comeback” recordings Rhyne would make for the Netherlandsbased Criss Cross label, which helped to permanently establish his reputation as one of the all-time great jazz organists. THE DIXON-RHYNE PROJECT –– REINVENTION (2008) Rhyne shines on this funky collaboration with Indy sax player Rob Dixon. A soul-jazz masterpiece for the hip-hop era.
LISTEN UP Kyle Long creates a custom podcast for each column. Hear this week’s at NUVO.net.
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REVIEWS MINOR CHARACTERS HEAL ME, HEALING TIMES JURASSIC POP RECORDS
SHED SYNERGY SELF-RELEASED
The Chicago quartet has created an EP of stellar dream-pop and soft-focus rock songs on a killer cassette. Heal Me, Healing Times threads ambient, melodic rock ‘n’ roll through progressive song structure and dynamic instrumental spaces. The guitar has a light glaze of reverb and tremolo, the bass fills out the low-end, the beats are original and the vocals shape the songs in both harmonies and solo. As the album’s title suggests, this music is medicinal as well as recreational. After about a 100 full listens-through I’m experiencing the same catharsis as I did on the first. These songs were crafted to reach deep inside and cut out the needless shit. The division of labor finds Andrew Pelletier doing vocals and guitar, Shelby Pollard on guitar and backing vocals, Adam Schneider on bass and James Ratke on drums. The expanded bass sound on the opening track “Heal Me” makes room for the vocal melodies that carry the song. The addition of piano into the group’s musical inventory on “Expatriates” introduces a soothing, mesmerizing quality to the music, which is a wonderful way to end the EP.
Modern rock may be dying commercially, but there is still the occasional artist that breathes life back into it. Case in point is local band Shed. For an unsigned act, the production values on their songs (available online on their ReverbNation page) are impressive. As is their music, a sound with traditionally heavy yet melodic guitars and a singer with a sinewy baritone who finds just the right balance of musicality and menace. Tracks like “Am I,” “Risen,” “Just Me” and “Fight for it All” are tumultuous noisemakers, but “On the Line” is a solid acoustic rocker. “Petty Lies,” a mid-tempo number with elements of spare ambience and a puissant croon that could rival Chris Cornell’s, also has an acoustic version. Those are good examples of the sound construction of Shed’s songs. In between are compositions like “Coin” –– which shows the band going for more moody atmospherics than cheap hard rock - sort of like a more conventional and less mysterious Tool. “Eclipse” has a hazy intro before abruptly shifting into
Just as with Radiohead –– one of their most evident and cited influences –– Minor Characters have evolved from their self-titled with experiments in sound. By taking risks with fundamental elements of their music they’ve both broken and united genres into a dreamy blend of aural fascination. In the coming year, they plan to begin recording a fulllength LP while touring extensively. –– JORDAN MARTICH
a grinding throwdown. “I Dream” leaves lots of room for purgatorial space, but still has a weighty chorus you can hang a hat on. Sprinkled throughout are touches that evoke an industrial/electronic Dystopia. Shed are far from inventing a new musical genre, but for only being a band a few years they already sound like they’ve found their voice. –– WADE COGGESHALL
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SOUNDCHECK Thursday ROCK ERIC DILL
Columbia Club, 121 Monument Circle 6 p.m., 21+
I wouldn’t believe you if you told me you hadn’t heard Eric Dill is back in town. The thirty-something singer relocated from Hollywood back to Indy (his hometown) late last year, and has been playing constantly since. He’s not with his pop band, The Click Five, anymore, but he’s spent the last few years perfecting his songwriting and selling tracks to other popular rock artists (example: “No Surprise,” which he penned in early 2007 was Daughtry’s first single on the album Leave This Town). But now it’s Dill’s time –– his first solo fulllength Forever Is Not Enough is out now. ROOTS TODD SNIDER
The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave. 7 p.m., $22 advance, $25 at door, 21+
Chicago Farmer will open for alt-country folkie Todd Snider at his show Thursday at the Vogue. Listen to Snider’s new album, Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables, before the show –– it’s worth your time. Snider’s howling storytelling has never been better –– and violinist Amanda Shires complements the 10 songs perfectly. EDM MINNESOTA
The Mousetrap, 5565 N. Keystone Ave. 8 p.m., $5, 21+
Tracks from Minnesota are heard in the headphones of dubstep fanatics all over the world. After initial success, the electronic music producer and DJ is taking some time off from school and setting off on a massive tour. He’s picking up big name fans along the way –– Bassnectar said of a new Minnesota track, “[Push It] is perfect for when I need a track that is epic and churning but also melodically hyped.”
OTHER THURSDAY PICKS
Full Monte, The Chicago Typewriters, Doomsday Sextet at the Melody Inn, 21+ The Whiskey Gentry, Attakulla at Birdy’s, 21+ Lund’s Concert Series at the Art Sanctuary, all-ages
Friday HIP-HOP MACHINE GUN KELLY
Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St. 8 p.m., $32.50 at door, all-ages
Bad Boy Records rapper Machine Gun Kelly spent his childhood in Egypt and Germany. Keep your ears out for his new mixtape, dropping soon and featuring Pusha T, Meek Mill and Wiz Khalifa. Important: local rapper Blake Allee will open the show.
ROCK NO DIRECTION ALBUM RELEASE Hoosier Dome, 1627 Prospect St. 7 p.m., $8, all-ages
We love the ladies of No Direction; these spunky dudes came together at the very first Girls Rock! camp and now are releasing their first full-length album. Come see them at their home club, The Hoosier Dome, and pick up their new release for just $5. They’ll perform with Black Sweater, The Red Streak, Crash21, Small Arms Fire and Amuse.
OTHER FRIDAY PICKS
Electronic Music Night at Emerson Theater, all-ages Monika Herzig and Friends at the Jazz Kitchen, 21+ Victor and Penny at the Jazz Kitchen B-Side, 21+ Dead Birds Adore Us, Death of Emotion, Bullet Called Life at the Melody Inn, 21+ Pink Droyd at the Vogue, 21+
Saturday OTHER SATURDAY PICKS
Mellencamp Tribute Band at Brown County Playhouse, all-ages Hogeye Navvy at Indy Folk Series, all-ages
ST. PATRICK’S DAY LISTINGS GREEN ST. PADDY’S DAY
Mo’s Irish Pub, 13193 Levinson Lane, Noblesville (Saturday – Sunday) 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. Sunday, $10 per day, $15 for both, 21+
Nine bands per day are scheduled at this Irish tent party bash. Come out early Sunday for kegs and eggs and to sample a beer from one of Mo’s 41 taps. GREEN ST. PATRICK’S DAY TRIFECTA WEEKEND
The Rathskeller, 401 E. Michigan St. (Starts Friday) 8 p.m., free, 21+
Three days at revelry at the Rathskeller: start Friday after the parade with Brian Cunningham and the Irish Aires; stay for Mother Grove at 8 p.m. Saturday begins at 6 p.m. with Mother Grove on the stage again. Sunday wraps it all up with performances by the Irish Dancers of Indianapolis, Gordon Pipers and the Woomblies. There’s plenty more planned for this green party trifecta, but the best part is it’s all free! GREEN LONGACRE 20TH ANNIVERSARY ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARTY Longacre Bar and Grill, 4813 Madison Ave. (Friday – Sunday) times vary, prices vary, 21+
Best part about this three-day tent party? Purchase a $10 tent party pass ahead of time, and they’ll issue you a card that lets you skip any entrance line all weekend.
ST I C K E RS F R E E KO O Z I E FREE C OA S T E R S FRE E P I N T G L ASS
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SOUNDCHECK GREEN CLADDAGH’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY WEEKEND CELEBRATION Claddagh Irish Pub (Downtown), (Thursday – Sunday), times vary, prices vary, 21+
There’s so much going on at the Claddagh this week, we won’t even try to fit it all in here. A brief summary: live music and DJs are booked for four days straight. Times and prices vary –– log on to NUVO.net for complete information. Your best bet? Head to the Claddagh on Thursday (three full days before the actual St. Paddy’s Day) for the Grand Irish Banquet and beer tasting. The event finishes with team trivia. GOODBYES ST. PADDY’S DAY JAM AND FAREWELL TO JOE HARVEY Sabbatical, 921 Broad Ripple Ave. (Saturday) 9 p.m., $5, 21+
A cast of Indy’s best emcees, producers and DJs will gather to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day and wish fond farewell to one of Indy’s best, Joe Harvey. Harvey is moving, and the Twilight Sentinel and Proform will be celebrated with a gathering of some of our most talented. Bonus going-away party accompaniment: green beer! GREEN BLARNEY BASH
Georgia Street (Saturday) noon, free, 21+
Crawl down Georgia Street all day Saturday for a Downtown Indy Irish experience. Green beer, snacks from various restaurants, easy access to whatever bars and pubs you’d like to stop in at on the way –– this bash is a big win. GREEN SHAMROCKIN’ THE CIRCLE Monument Circle (Saturday) 10 a.m., free, all-ages
Free and open to the public, this St. Paddy’s Day Celebration may be the earliest official bash in town –– Eunan McIntyre is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. slot (!). Elevation’s up next –– a tribute to U2; at 1 p.m., Mother Grove will finish up the afternoon on the stage. Welcome the runners (over 3,000!) back from the Shamrock Run/Walk and enjoy two Irish bands (TBA), food trucks, beer trucks and more. GREEN 80TH ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION
McGinley’s Golden Ace Inn, 2533 E. Washington St. (Friday-Sunday) 10 a.m., free, 21+
The Golden Ace Inn is the hottest spot in
by Wayne Bertsch
Indy for classic St. Patrick’s Day revelry. This year, catch Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones, The Mickey Finns, Pat Grant, Eunan McIntyre, Wild Eye Rose, Second Fiddle and more. If you’ve headed out to the Golden Ace Inn before, you’ve undoubtedly heard some of these groups –– they bring some back yearly. The Golden Ace Inn claims to have “the oldest continuous St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the United States.” It doesn’t get better than this, folks. Log on to NUVO.net for the full schedule. Take note: this event is cash only, so stock up on Benjamins if you want to drink yards of green beer.
ST PATRICK’S DAY LISTINGS (SUNDAY)
After Dark at Kilroy’s Broad Ripple, 831 Broad Ripple Ave. 21+ Melody Inn St. Paddy’s Day Bash featuring Krank Daddies, Machine Guns & Motorcycles, The Truman Report, 3826 N. Illinois St., 21+ St. Paddy’s Day featuring Coles Whalen, Carrie, The Clams at Birdy’s, 2131 E. 71st Ave., 21+ Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Root Cellar, 108 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, 21+ Aberdeen Project at Stacked Pickle, 4335 W. 106th St., Carmel, 21+ Mother Grove at Three D’s Pub, 13664 N. Meridian St., Carmel, 21+ Sam King at the Tap, 101 N. College Ave., Bloomington, 21+ St. Paddy’s Party at the Mousetrap, 5565 N. Keystone Ave., 21+ Mike Milligan, Steam Shovel at Main Event, 7038 Shore Terrace, 21+ Mojo Gumbo at the Slippery Noodle, 372 S. Meridian St., 21+ Bring the Green at Brothers Bar and Grill, 910 Broad Ripple Ave., 21+ Monkey Idol at The Monkey’s Tale, 925 E. Westfield Ave., 21+ St. Paddy’s Day Bar Crawl at the Tilted Kilt., 141 S. Meridian St., 21+ DJ The Meiser, DJ Iron Lion at Latitude 39, 4016 E. 82nd St., all-ages St. Patrick’s Day Bash at Murphy’s Pubhouse, 11650 Olio Road, Fishers, 21+ Bar Crawl Kickoff at The Whistle Stop, 375 S. Illinois St., 21+ Killing Karma at Britton Tavern, 14005 Mundy Dr., Fishers, 21+ Family St. Patrick’s Day at Indianapolis City Market, 222 E. Market St., all-ages St. Paddy’s Day Celebration at Stable Studios, 2034 Dubois Road, Spencer Park, all-ages Oobatz! Tent Party (Saturday - Sunday) featuring The Bishops, American Cheese, The Party, Lemon Wheel and Flying Toasters at Oobatz!1576 West Oak St, 21+ EVEN MORE See complete calendar listings on NUVO.net and our brand new mobile site.
S ’ Y T T A P ST.
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Thursday, March 14th Irish Banquet Dinner
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NEWS OF THE WEIRD
Making outsourcing work for you A Verizon risk team, looking for data breaches on a client’s computers, dis-
covered that one company software developer was basically idle for many months, yet remained productive -because he had outsourced his projects to a Chinese software developer who would do all the work and send it back. The employee earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, according to a January Los Angeles Times report, but paid the Chinese worker only about $50,000. The risk team eventually learned that sensitive company information was flowing to and from Chinese terminals, leading the company to suspect hackers, but that traffic was
merely the U.S. employee (obviously, “ex-employee” now) sending and receiving his workload. The U.S. man showed up for work every day, but spent his time leisurely web-surfing.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
• One of Britain’s most famous “madams” announced in January that she was coming out of retirement to set up a brothel exclusively catering to disabled people and the terminally ill. An ordinary brothel would be illegal in the town of Milton Keynes (45 miles from London), but Becky Adams insists that
the government could not shut hers down without illegally discriminating against the disabled. • Advances in the Service Sector: (1) In January, the Japanese marketing firm Wit Inc. began hiring “popular” young women (judged by the extent of their “social network” contacts), at the equivalent of $121 a day, to walk around with advertising stickers on their thighs. (The stickers would be placed on the erotic “zettai ryouiki” -- the Japanese mystical area between the hem of a short skirt and the top of long socks.) The women NEWS OF THE WEIRD CONTINUED TO PG 39
RESEARCH STUDY: Adults 18 years and older with history of recurrent genital herpes are needed for study not approved by the Food and Drug Association. There will be 12 scheduled visits over approximately 4½ months. Research is done at Indiana University Infectious Diseases Research at IUPUI. Call 278-2945 and ask for Nikki or e-mail email@example.com. Risks are disclosed before enrollment. Payment is provided.
RESEARCH STUDY FOR ADOLESCENTS WITH SUBSTANCE USE AND MENTAL ILLNESS
Investigators at IU School of Medicine Department of Adolescent Medicine are conducting a research study for children aged 13-18 with substance use, and various mental health disorders. This study examines family involvement in recovery from substance use and mental illness.
To qualify you must be between the ages of 18 and 64, be healthy with no known illnesses. Donors can earn up to $4000 per year for their time/ donation. Your ﬁrst and second donation is $50.00. All subsequent donations are $30.00 per donation. All donations are done by appointment, so there is no long wait times and the donations process should only take about an hour. We are also looking for patients with Diabetes with an A1C >5%. Earn $50$100 per blood donation.
Call 317-948-3472 to learn more about an opportunity to participate in research and receive treatment for substance use. Individuals that qualify will participate in an interview before (2-3 hrs) and after treatment (1-3hrs), and receive 17 free sessions of treatment. Treatment sessions typically last 90 minutes and occur 1-2 times a week. RECEIVE UP TO $45 FOR PARTICIPATION.
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TO ADVERTISE: Phone: (317) 254-2400 | Fax: (317) 479-2036 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.nuvo.net/classifieds Mail: Nuvo Classifieds 3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200 Indianapolis, Indiana 46208
PAYMENT, & ADVERTISING DEADLINE All ads are prepaid in full by Monday at 5 P.M. Nuvo gladly accepts Cash, Money Order, & All Major Credit Cards.
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NEWS OF THE WEIRD NEWS OF THE WEIRD CONTINUED FROM PG 37 must be prepared to endure men hovering closely to read the ads. (2) According to news reports in November, New York City physician Jack Berdy was doing a brisk business administering Botox injections (at up to $800) to poker players who were hoping to prevent facial expressions that might tip their hands. • Ingenious: (1) London’s The Independent reported in January that Dean Kamen (who famously invented the Segway, a standing, battery-powered scooter) had developed, along with a Pennsylvania medical team, what appears to work as a “reverse feeding tube” that will vacuum out up to 30 percent of any food in the stomach before it is digested and converted into calories. After installation of the stomach “port,” the diner could operate the device without daily medical help. (2) The Polish cosmetics company Inglot announced in January a nail polish ideal for Muslim women, in that it can withstand the five-times-daily hand-washing required for prayers. (Normally, devout women wear nail polish only during their menstrual periods, when the hand-washing is not required, but polish thus signals menstruation and therefore embarrasses modest women.)
Advances in Animal Research • Scientists from Sweden’s Lund University, reporting in a recent issue
of Current Biology, explored the burning question of why dung beetles appear to be “dancing” on the tops of the dung balls they roll away. The answer is that the beetles need to roll their treasures away from the heap as quickly as possible (lest competitors swipe them) and that they can best maintain a straight line away by celestial navigation. To test the hypothesis, researchers actually outfitted some beetles with tiny visors to block their view of the sky, and those beetles mostly rolled their balls in irregular routes, whereas the skysearching beetles moved in straight lines. • Intelligent Design: Japanese researchers learned recently that a species of sea slug may lose its penis after copulating, but then grow another one and use it the next time the occasion arises. Writing in the British journal Biology Letters, the scientists also found that the slugs have both male and female organs and in effect copulate with each other through a simultaneous hookup. A final breathtaking finding of the team was that the sea slugs’ penis has the ability to remove competitors’ sperm from the female openings of its mate.
©2012 CHUCK SHEPHERD DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@ earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY
© 2012 BY ROB BRESZNY
ARIES (March 21-April 19): “If it’s stupid and it works, it’s not stupid.” That could turn out to be a useful mantra for you in the coming week. Being pragmatic should be near the top of your priority list, whereas being judgmental should be at the bottom. Here’s another mantra that may serve you well: “Those who take history personally are condemned to repeat it.” I hope you invoke that wisdom to help you escape an oppressive part of your past. Do you have room for one more inspirational motto, Aries? Here it is: “I am only as strong as my weakest delusion.” TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Don’t you just love to watch the spinning of those wheels within wheels within wheels? Aren’t you grateful for the way the ever-churning plot twists keep you alert and ready to shift your attitude at a moment’s notice? And aren’t you thrilled by those moments when fate reveals that its power is not absolute -- that your intelligence and willpower can in fact override the seemingly inexorable imperatives of karma? If you are unfamiliar with the pleasures I’ve just described, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to get deeply acquainted. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It won’t be a good week to issue unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered demands. And please don’t make peanut butter and jelly a part of your sex life, take a vacation in Siberia, or photocopy your butt and deliver it anonymously to your boss. On the other hand, it will be an excellent time to scrawl motivational poetry on your bedroom wall, stage a slow-motion pillow fight, and cultivate your ability to be a deep-feeling free-thinker. Other recommended actions: Give yourself a new nickname like Highball or Root Doctor or Climax Master; write an essay on “The Five Things That the Pursuit of Pleasure Has Taught Me;” and laugh uproariously as you completely bypass the void of sadness and the abyss of fear. CANCER (June 21-July 22): In the mid19th century, prospectors mined for gold in the mountains of western Nevada. The veins weren’t as rich as those in California, but some men were able to earn a modest living. Their work to extract gold from the terrain was hampered by a gluey blue mud that gummed up their machinery. It was regarded as a major nuisance. But on a hunch, one miner took a load of the blue gunk to be analyzed by an expert. He discovered that it contained rich deposits of silver. So began an explosion of silver mining that made many prospectors very wealthy. I suggest you be on the alert for a metaphorical version of blue mud in your sphere, Cancerian: an “inconvenience” that seems to interfere with the treasure you seek, but that is actually quite valuable. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): When pioneer filmmaker Hal Roach worked on scripts with his team of writers, he sometimes employed an unusual strategy to overcome writer’s block. He’d bring in a “Wildie” to join them at the conference table. A Wildie was either a random drunk they found wandering around the streets or a person who lived in an insane asylum. They’d engage him in conversation about the story they were working on, and he would provide unexpected ideas that opened their minds to new possibilities. I don’t necessarily recommend that you seek the help of a Wildie, Leo, but I hope you will come up with other ways to spur fresh perspectives. Solicit creative disruptions! VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Is the term “unconscious mind” a good name for the foundation of the human psyche? Should we really be implying that the vast, oceanic source of everything we think and feel is merely the opposite of the conscious mind? Dreamworker Jeremy Taylor doesn’t think so. He proposes an alternate phrase to replace “unconscious”: “notyet-speech-ripe.” It captures the sense of all the raw material burbling and churning in our deep awareness that is not graspable through language. I bring this up, Virgo, because you’re entering a
phase when a lot of not-yet-speech-ripe stuff will become speech-ripe. Be alert for it! LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In 1928, biologist Alexander Fleming launched a medical revolution. He developed the world’s first antibiotic, penicillin, making it possible to cure a host of maladies caused by hostile bacteria. His discovery was a lucky fluke that happened only because he left his laboratory a mess when he went on vacation. While he was gone, a bacteria culture he’d been working with got contaminated by a mold that turned out to be penicillin. I’m thinking that you could achieve a more modest but quite happy accident sometime soon, Libra. It may depend on you allowing things to be more untidy than usual, though. Are you game? SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): “I am iron resisting the most enormous Magnet there is,” wrote the Sufi mystic poet Rumi. He was wistfully bemoaning his own stubborn ignorance, which tricked him into refusing a more intimate companionship with the Blessed Source of all life. I think there’s something similar going on in most of us, even atheists. We feel the tremendous pull of our destiny -- the glorious, daunting destination that would take all our strength to achieve and fulfill our deepest longings -- and yet we are also terrified to surrender to it. What’s your current relationship to your Magnet, Scorpio? I say it’ s time you allowed it to pull you closer. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): NASA used whale oil to lubricate the Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager spacecrafts. There was a good reason: Whale oil doesn’t freeze at the low temperatures found in outer space. While I certainly don’t approve of killing whales to obtain their oil, I want to use this story to make a point. It’s an excellent time for you, too, to use old-school approaches for solving ultra-new-school problems. Sometimes a tried-and-true method works better, or is cheaper, simpler, or more aesthetically pleasing. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The theory of the “butterfly effect” proposes that a butterfly flapping its wings in China may ultimately impact the weather in New York. Here’s how the writer Richard Bernstein explains it: “Very slight, nearly infinitesimal variations and the enormous multiplicity of interacting variables produce big differences in the end.” That’s why, he says, “the world is just too complicated to be predictable.” I find this a tremendously liberating idea. It suggests that every little thing you do sends out ripples of influence that help shape the kind of world you live in. The coming week will be an excellent time to experiment with how this works in your daily life. Put loving care and intelligent attention into every little thing. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Former football quarterback Joe Ayoob holds the world’s record for throwing a paper airplane the longest distance. After it left his hand, the delicate craft traveled over 226 feet. I propose we make Ayoob your patron saint and role model for the coming week. From what I can tell, you will have a similar challenge, at least metaphorically: blending power and strength with precision and finesse and control. It’s time to move a fragile thing or process as far as possible. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): A source of fulfillment you will enjoy in the future may seem almost painful when it initially announces its presence. In other words, your next mission may first appear to you as a problem. Your situation has a certain resemblance to that of prolific Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who produced a wide variety of enduring works, including symphonies, ballets, operas, and concertos. When he was a precocious child, he was assailed by the melodies and rhythms that frequently surged through his mind. “This music! This music!” he complained to his mother. “Take it away! It’s here in my head and won’t let me sleep!”
Homework: Choose two ancestors with whom you’d like to have closer relationships. Try to contact their spirits in your dreams. Testify at Freewillastrology.com.
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