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Vol. 26 Issue 01 issue #1201







Always fresh on

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It’s finally here — NUVO’s 25th Anniversary Issue. While the headline “Voices” at the top of a page of our paper usually indicates what follows will be an opinion piece, we’ve broadened it a bit for this edition. Some highlights:

How in the world does one cover 25

Back in the early ’90s, our fair city was

years of news in Indianapolis? Well, a short list of the biggest stories impacting the city over the years. p.44

as fertile as a new bride working the night shift at an avocado factory. This week we take a closer look at her offspring — including NUVO.

legion of loyal freelance writers and photographers — For our 25th, they sent in their most treasured memories. p.81

Urban Farming, a growing trend in the last

Contributers Mark Lee and Doug Whitinger look back (and forward) on the progression of LGBTQ rights. p.34, 36

Maybe we’ve come to take Dance Kaleidoscope artistic director David

NUVO writer (and drummer) Kelsey Simpson has a little rock and roll

10 years, has transformed the city’s dining and food access landscape. p.72

Hochoy’s muscular, vibrant, virtuosic approach for granted. That’s because he’s worked so hard to make it look so easy. p.52

fairy tale to tell you. About what, you ask? Oh, just that time she ended up joining the legendary Gizmos. p.85

Where would we be without Phil Campbell, who helped deliver institutions like Masterpiece in a Day and the Murphy Arts Center? p.54

Our Cultural Cannibal Kyle Long

Mike Ahern — Indy’s Walter Cronkite — offers thoughts on what our little newsweekly has done for this city (and his kind words make p.8 us blush).

Former NUVO editors and troublemakers Jim Poyser and Steve Hammer check back in. p.10, 12  NUVO’s a pretty sexy name. So sexy that other companies grabbed the name for their own products — everything from booze to p.14 condoms.

Harrison Ullmann: a remembrance. p .21 Jim Poyser’s favorite Haiku News poems. p.24

The 25-year walk down the environmental path was filled its hoops, hurdles and hills as contributing writer Jaclyn Goldsborough describes. p. 29 And what do NUVO and the Circle Centre Mall have in common? It seems like an oxymoronic stretch, but long-time NUVO contributing editor David Hoppe connects the cultural dots. p.31

Restless entrepreneur Steven Stolen kept his Meridian Song Project going for 20-plus years. p.56




Cover Illustration by Arnel Reynon 4 THIS WEEK // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

“Reader Behaviorist”?! It’s a fancy way of saying “guy who runs the Facebook page and so forth.” Find us there, follow us on Twitter @NUVO_net and check out what we’re up to on Instagram at NUVOIndy. And have a gander at to see all the 25th Anniversary goodies that were bumped for space from the print issue.

We’d be nothing without our

Neil Charles, long before he filled his knapsack

reflects on the changing interpretation of the term “alternative.” p.87

We remember our dear jazz writer Chuck Workman with a selection of some of our favorite bits and bobs from his long-running Jazz Notes column. p.86

with wine, covered fine dining across Indy. Read his longview on how the scene changed. p.75

Former Cerulean and budding farmer Jessica Selkirk’s story reflects a common story for young folks in Indianapolis. You think you have to go away to get ahead? Selkirk shows there is more opportunity here than you think. p.68 25 years ago, the ethnic dining scene was on the rise, but diluted by a lot of “imitation” international eats. These days, we’ve got so many choices; it’s hard to pin one down. Use our listings and knock them out one at a time. p.68




Ed’s been writing for NUVO from nearly the beginning. Ed looks back at his time — including an entire year when Ed didn’t refer to himself at all, a pretty incredible exercise for a guy paid to offer his OPINIONS. p.60





Production Manager / Art Director

Alternative opinions to louder voices.


Senior Designer

* On a much-needed vacation


Graphic Designer

Hope for the gays.


Graphic Designer

Source of the best things to do around Indy.



Director of Sales & Marketing (317) 808-4614

NUVO is Indy’s watchdog, cheerleader & biggest fan!


Accounts Manager (317) 808-4616

Means Indy values art, culture & social justice


Media Consultant (317) 808-4612

Keys to an unexpected city.


Accounts Manager (317) 808-4615

NUVO reminds Indy to be proud of itself.


Media Consultant (317) 808-4607

Independent, fearless coverage of arts, culture and weirdos.


Events & Promotions Manager (317) 808-4608

A different, stimulating, earnest twist to local news!


Media Consultant (317) 808-4613

Crucial platform to access information about our city.


Events & Promotions Coordinator (317) 808-4618

To give a voice to our community.



Distribution Manager

Free people expressing free speech in the Heartland.






Editor & Publisher

Helping you create truth and beauty and goodness.


General Manager

A progressive Indy deserves alternative (and free) press.

HARRISON ULLMANN (1935-2000) EDITOR (1993-2000) ANDY JACOBS JR. (1932-2013) CONTRIBUTING (2003-2013)

MAILING ADDRESS: 3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46208 TELEPHONE: Main Switchboard (317) 254-2400 FAX: (317)254-2405 WEB: DISTRIBUTION: The current issue of NUVO is free and available every Wednesday. Past issues are at the NUVO office for $3 if you come in, $4.50 mailed. Copyright ©2015 by NUVO, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission, by any method whatsoever, is prohibited. ISSN #1086-461X


Business Manager

NUVO gives a voice to our entire community.



Freedom. Events. Voice. Fun. Support. Devoted. Listens. Open. 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // THIS WEEK 5




began writing for NUVO in 1997, penning a few pieces here and there on everything from biking in Indy to my kid’s travel hockey adventures. Eventually, the staff here allowed me to write a few cover stories for the publication and then, in October of 2013, I became managing editor. I’ve been a broadcaster for over twenty years. I’ve been a performer, sharing a stage with everyone from Drew Carey to Martin Short. I’ve covered the Grammy Awards from the red carpet. My career has afforded me contact with dozens of legends in the literary, political and entertainment worlds. But this entry on my resume — Head Collaborator and Chief Counselor for a staff of wildly talented editors I lovingly refer to as “Camp Runamok” — is the thing I’m most proud of. I started reading the Village Voice in the age of Reagan. I became a stand-up comedian and cartoonist, then a rock DJ/morning guy, then a writer. When NUVO began publishing, I was contributing to another alternative weekly paper. From 1987-1993 I drew editorial cartoons for the Syracuse New Times, poking fun at then-Veep Dan Quayle, among others. In the mid-’90s I was hired by a dude named Frank Wood to come to Indy and host the morning show on what was then X103. When I moved to Indiana in 1996, NUVO stood as a beacon of independent thought in a state that seemed, in some corners, determined never to progress beyond 1956. Over the last 25 years, Indianapolis has started to actually resemble a world-class city, complete with a growing number of ethnic, gourmet and vegetarian restaurants, a thriving arts and music community, and even a provider of small shelters for progressive thinkers — we’re becoming less like Jacksonville and more like Austin, a state capital that’s a little blue (purple?) island in a big red state. The publication’s gone through some changes over the last quarter-century. I like to think our little weekly has been something of a thought leader for this town, providing like-minded souls the hope that Indy could one day embrace diversity, equality and independent,


A quarter-century of making trouble for those who deserve it ED WENCK EWENCK@NUVO.NET Ed Wenck has been Managing Editor of NUVO since Oct. 2013. BY ED WENCK

Poking fun at Dan Quayle in the early ‘90s — an Ed Wenck cartoon from the Syracuse New Times.

questioning voices. Yeah, Indy’s still the home of that oftbackward madhouse called the Indiana State Legislature, but damned if that hasn’t provided us here at NUVO with reams of critical copy. Hell, on our best weeks we’re the loudest canary in this coalmine. The work’s far from done. But this is an excellent moment to stop, exhale and look back at how far we’ve come, as a city — and as a publication. Twenty. Five. Years. NUVO began publishing in March of 1990 under the leadership of Larry Rainey — an Indy native who’d become enamored with the alternative/progressive journalism he’d found in the Village Voice — with help from Ronald Tierney and Kevin McKinney. After charging a buck per issue for the first seven issues, NUVO became a free paper and merged with another paper called 12X later that year. 12X was then edited by Will Higgins, who joined NUVO along with Bill Craig. NUVO (the name’s a play on “new voices”) has a pretty innocuous-sounding mission statement: “NUVO, Inc.’s mission is simple: to empower intelligent, open-minded innovators through storytelling. Indiana’s largest independent alternative news organization, NUVO is created by and for people who love our community, our culture and our environment.” ( Bill Craig defined “alternative or point-of-view journalism” as having “no pretense of objectivity …” but stressed the context of the word “pretense:” “… just because we begin with a point of view and write to it, we don’t have the right to circumvent the other rules of good journalism.” For his part, Higgins said he thought it was his job “to make trouble.” “Making trouble” included and in-

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cludes keeping a watchful eye on state and city government, covering issues that other publications might ignore and ultimately “giving voice to the voiceless” — exposing the plights of day laborers and threats to women’s reproductive rights; defending the dignity of LGBTQ citizens when they’re attacked by their very state legislature or shining a light on the terrible condition of the White River. To sum up: “Making trouble” includes throwing rocks at the power structure. A few years after its founding, a firebrand named Harrison Jordan Ullmann joined the staff, and NUVO really began to find its voice as a true American altweekly. Ullman infuriated the Hoosier power structure when he repeatedly claimed the state legislature was undoubtedly the worst in the nation and went after politicos like former Indy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith with an ire that must’ve startled the town’s old-line media outlets. It sure as hell startled — and riled — Goldsmith. While he claimed he didn’t have any real party affiliation, Ullmann did coin the moniker “Rat’s Ass Republicans.” That little term of endearment became the title of a collection of his works, published after Ullmann succumbed to cancer. He died just as NUVO turned 10. Some of Ullmann’s last words in NUVO, in April of 2000, documented his duel with his tumors. His six-mile walks on the Monon had been reduced to a struggling climb up his stairs. The column echoed his wrangles with the Powers That Were. Dude could be a sonofabitch, but man, the guy was fearless. Ullmann’s spirit still lives in this place. Kevin McKinney remains the soul of the operation, ensuring that NUVO’s unique culture of internal consensusbuilding won’t ever be bastardized. David Hoppe, Jim Poyser and Steve Hammer

all made monumental contributions to the paper’s tone, direction and success, and they’ll speak about their time here in their own words in the pages that follow. Oh, and yeah, through all of muckraking and cantankerous hollerin’ (now THAT’S a Hoosierism for you) we’ve tried over the years to inject a little humor into the mix, too. So here we are, 2015 — and NUVO STILL has to remind Our Fellow Citizens that their state government seems ready and willing to dial environmental law and human rights back to the ’50s. The 1850s. Fortunately, the publication’s got a crew that can keep NUVO on point. Yours truly lucked into the job of coaching the press equivalent of a Dream Team, with support from a small but mighty staff handling the other aspects of this publication. (See the thank-yous for an incomplete rundown.) NUVO’s won dozens of awards throughout its 25-year history, but we also hand out some hardware, too. NUVO’s Cultural Vision Awards honor those local citizens who improve our town as a place to live and work, and our reader-chosen “Best of Indy” awards have become one of the most coveted plaques a local business or public figure can receive. Additionally, NUVO presents one of downtown’s most exciting sporting events, the Mass Ave Criterium, a heart-pounding bike race through a gorgeous Indy neighborhood. But most importantly, for 25 years NUVO has been committed to providing a truly alternative voice in the city of Indianapolis. We’re committed to sustainability (we’re printed on 100% recycled paper, FYI), social justice, human rights and the dignity of all people. And, occasionally, that means making trouble. n



A WORD OF THANKS TO THE CREW OK, we’ve made it through 25 years. What say we roll the 2015 credits? Amber Stearns, NUVO’s new news editor, is on a mission to continue our tradition of holding city and state officials accountable for their actions. NUVO covers local music in the most comprehensive manner possible thanks to the efforts of Music Editor Katherine Coplen, and the encyclopedic mind of Arts Editor Scott Shoger handles everything from dance to painting to opera to the written and spoken word. Sarah Murrell covers Indy’s exploding dining scene as food editor and cowrites the Sex Doc column, too. Our newly annointed Reader Behaviorist, Brian Weiss, has turned NUVO’s online listings into a wonder under his watch. And our Film Editor, Ed Johnson-Ott, is hands-down one of the best reviewers I’ve ever read anywhere. Our production staff, under the stalwart direction of Elaine Benken, manages to turn out not just a weekly (and many of its ads!) but a mountain of related printed and digital product. Elaine’s got world-class help: Asha Patel, Will McCarty and Erica Wright somehow manage to construct visual order from chaos. Asha’s a medical illustrator, both Will and Asha are very involved in Q Artistry and Erica’s talents include the care and reupholstering of aging furnishings. Mary Morgan, our director of sales and marketing, is unparalleled at her gig — and she’s one of the nicer people you’ll meet, too. Our media consultants, Nathan Dynak (one stellar musician), David Searle (half of the Miller Time Podcast), Casey Parmerlee (a fine visual artist), Kelly Pardekooper (ANOTHER stellar musician) and Marta Sanger (who may be the actual conscience of the building) do a heck of a lot more than work with advertisers, as you may have gathered from the parenthetical statements. We’ve got two Certified Rock Stars in Meaghan Banks, our event and promotions manager and Kristen Johnson, the event and promotions coordinator. None of this works without paying the bills, delivering the papers and keeping the damn lights on. Kathy Flahavin, our business manager (more about Kathy later, trust me), Susie Fortune, our contract administrator and distribution support person (usually the first — and happiest — face I see each morning here), Ryan McDuffee, our distribution manager (and one of Indy’s favorite trivia hosts), Dick Powell, our stalwart distribution support man and T.J. Zmina, our IT manager (whose “minions” memes lighten up the tech frustrations) all keep the gears turning. Christine Berman’s sharp eyeballs scan all the copy we turn out before it hits the stands, and newly minted GM Braden Nicholson is leading the monumental charge to make both our print and digital presence the strongest it’s ever been. There are dozens of freelance writers, photographers and artists who throw us an assist every week; some of our regulars are Kyle Long, Wayne Bertsch, Michelle Craig, Mark A. Lee, Seth Johnson, Dr. Debby Herbenick, Stacy Kagiwada, Phil Taylor, TJ Foreman, Jonathan Sanders, Jolene Ketzenberger and Rita Kohn — I could keep listing ‘em, but I’d run out of ink quickly. We’ve got to give a nod to our marvelous distribution drivers, too. (Winter? What’s that?) And through a quarter-century, Kevin McKinney, our publisher, has somehow managed to keep this boat afloat. The ship has had some big leaks in the past, but it seems they’ve been a lot smaller lately. To all of you: THANKS. Together, we make working here The Best Job We’ve Ever Had.

— ED WENCK, MANAGING EDITOR 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // VOICES 7




“To put it simply, NUVO gets us to thinking in a whole new way.”


any years ago, when television news was in its infancy and a “tweet” was just a chirping note, Indianapolis had three daily newspapers. Imagine that. The Star published in the mornings, The News, its sister paper, was delivered in the afternoons, as was The Times. It was the scrappy little underdog that provided a point of view different from its bigger, conservative competitors. In Indianapolis in the 1960s “different” all too often meant “liberal.” So, inevitably, The Times folded in 1965, and Indianapolis lost its progressive voice. It found it again when NUVO went to press. For one thing, the timing was right. Something had changed in Indy. Slowly, much too slowly, the city was opening to new ideas, and now it was ready for this new, refreshing, often irreverent source of information. The late Harrison Ullman was the catalyst, and his legacy continues today in the often brilliant prose of David Hoppe, Dan Carpenter and others who raise issues that otherwise may be overlooked in this age of short attention spans and instant analysis. More often then not, those opinions reflect only a narrow perspective —what NUVO gives is an alternative. Sometimes, when I consider how underserved much of the city has been by the mainstream media, I think of an old joke that has made the rounds in television newsrooms for years, a joke that addresses the problem of how time constraints force TV reporters to condense their stories to just the basics. The joke goes like this: Moses comes down from the mountain holding a tablet containing the Ten Commandments and the first person he runs into is a television reporter, who then informs his audience that “Moses came down from the mountain holding the ten commandments, the two most important of which are ...” 8 VOICES // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

MIKE AHERN NUVO@NUVO.NET Mike Ahern was a WISH-TV anchor from 1967-2004, the longest tenure of any TV news anchor in Indy’s history.

Ed Johnson-Ott would never leave his readers guessing like that. His movie reviews are not only thorough, sometimes I even agree with him. The same is true of Dan Carpenter when he skewers our state lawmakers for some harebrained idea, and I find Ed Wenck’s features consistently edifying, and on occasion, disturbing. I’m thinking of Ed’s profoundly moving piece about a lynching in Marion, Indiana in 1930. These are things that matter, and NUVO leaves us wanting more. Luckily, there’s always next week, and another trip to the grocery store for the necessities ... a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and a copy of NUVO. The bread and wine are overpriced. NUVO never is. If it’s true what Arthur Miller wrote, “A good newspaper is a nation talking to itself,” then NUVO has led the city on a first-rate conversation. For 25 years, NUVO tells us, in no uncertain terms, that our government is often corrupt, or at least corruptible, and that Big Pharma is not always our friend, nor, in fact, is big anything. And there is nothing subtle about it. NUVO seldom pulls its punches. Today, what was once a novelty, a lively, sometimes subversive voice in a city of button-downed ideas, NUVO has become indispensable. NUVO has made this a better place. It has broadened our knowledge with a fresh perspective on the world around us and the city we live in. To put it simply, NUVO gets us to thinking in a whole new way. And for that, I say thanks, and Happy Anniversary. n

VOICES NUVO AT 25 A quarter-century of The Little Newsweekly That Made The Big Daily Huff And Puff


quarter-century of The Little Newsweekly That Made The Big Daily Huff And Puff has seen Ed Johnson-Ott set the local standard for witty and conversational movie reviewing, Laura McPhee shame the rest of the Statehouse press corps, Jim Poyser foster the greening of the ancient haiku and many others here and gone teach me a thing or three about working this trade for fun and prophecy. My own relationship with NUVO, from across the ramparts of my erstwhile employer, The Indianapolis Star, can be most memorably pegged to three men who shared my role as columnist – the late Harrison Ullmann; the career-shifting Steve Hammer, who’s moved on to Texas; and the physically departed David Hoppe, still contributing his signature takes on politics and the arts from his retirement villa in Indiana Dunesland. As I glance back at some of their pet peeves circa 1990 – a reactionary and corrupt state legislature (Ullmann), the showering of tax dollars upon sports billionaires (Hammer), the shameful lack of government support for cultural endeavor (Hoppe) – I am blown away by how times have changed. Yeah, right. Laboring back in those early years, through the G.H.W. Bush administration and the Ken Starr inquisition of Bill Clinton, I surely emulated my three counterparts in wondering whether public life could get any worse, in resolving to keep chronicling the show no matter how pornographic it got, and in sparing little worry as to whether newspapers would continue to shelter us from honest work well into the coming millennium. How’d that work out for us? Well, we can all agree we hadn’t seen nuthin’ yet as to the Mason-Dixon divide of our politics. We’ve all seen the work that defined us give way to life-changing events. And as far as newspaper viability goes ... Not good. But at least NUVO tribe might say, in the words of the late Herbert Hoover, that they’ve outlived the bastards.


DAN CARPENTER EDITORS@NUVO.NET Dan Carpenter is a freelance writer, a contributor to Indianapolis Business Journal and the author of Indiana Out Loud.

The big daily, which was cranking out “alternative” weeklies of its own a couple decades back in an explicit offensive against the likes of NUVO, has since jettisoned more than half its workforce and shrunk its flagship down to shopper size in a desperate bid for survival against a digital tide that wasn’t even lapping at our toes in 1990. Ullmann, the laughing curmudgeon, would be tossing this sorry state of affairs into the big bubbling stewpot where he found room for all the rest of the follies he cooked up and served in his pungent polemics. Hammer and Hoppe, who have lived through the political and technological stampede that’s trampling conventional journalism, haven’t been so sanguine. I’ve admired their prowess for venting anger (Steve with hammer, David with scalpel). I’ve followed the millennial crossing, Bayh to Pence, Hudnut to Ballard, red state to blue state and back again, through these three amigos, each from a different distance. Hammer and I know one another pretty much through emails. Nods across the generation gap. The scene he moved in and spoke for so fluently was one that I knew was fitting me for an ice floe. Breakfasts with Ullmann, as I wrote in these pages on the occasion of his death in 2000, are career highlights for me, heavy carbs for the story bank and dark roast for the spirit. David’s a friend, pure and simple. These 25 years are bookended, roughly, by forewords we wrote for one another’s books, my Hard Pieces of 1993 (which he also edited) and his Personal Indianapolis of 2014. Both are collections of columns; and Hoppe’s, like Ullmann’s posthumous book Rat’s Ass Republicans and Other Hoosier Tales, gives a glimpse into the growth and decay of our identitychallenged, sports-crazed town that’s as authentic as you’ll find. You’re hearing it from the competition. Try to imagine, 25 years from now, finding any semblance of newspaper competition. Imagine how faint the echo will be, such voices. n


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y association with NUVO spans two decades, with freelancing starting in ’93. I was hired as A&E Editor by ’95 before becoming Managing Editor in 2000. I left in September of 2013 to head up Earth Charter Indiana. BEST (REAL) STORY I EVER WROTE: Profile of Paul Douglas, evangelical Republican weathercaster trying to convince his party to stop denying climate change. Attempts to get local weathercasters to contribute to the story largely failed. Little did I know at the time that within a few months I would leave NUVO to work on climate change education full time. BEST (MADE UP) STORY I EVER WROTE: 10 Under 10; our April Fools’ spoof, picking ten area youth under ten years old who are destined to succeed. It was a jab at area publications (including NUVO) always picking 30 under 30 and 40 under 40, etc. I followed up that feature with

NUVO@NUVO.NET Jim Poyser is the Big Kahuna at Earth Charter Indiana. He was Managing Editor at NUVO until 2013.

5 under 5 a few years later. I left NUVO before I was able to complete 3 under 3. BEST INTERVIEW WITH A BIG WIG: Toss up between David Byrne, Catie Curtis, Kazuo Ishiguro, Oliver Sacks and Russell Hoban. Nod goes to Ishiguro, who was on tour for his masterwork, The Unconsoled. MOST POPULAR STORY I EVER PUBLISHED: Interview with Russell Hoban, author of Riddley Walker. Thanks to IU Press, this reissue provided me the opportunity to

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interview my hero Hoban about this experimental novel about a post-nuclear civilization. This interview, written over a decade ago, still pops up in search engines. MY BEST NUVO CREATION: Haiku News: For over a dozen years I wrote 7 to 10 news haiku per week. I read Haiku News on the radio (see pg. 24) and it also became a podcast. SECOND BEST NUVO CREATION: Antennae, the weekly humor page comprised of cartoons, satires and haiku. MY BEST NUVO RADIO GIG: Those handful of years that David Hoppe and I did a weekly radio show on X103. BEST MOMENT OF EVERY WEEK: Getting a column from Hoppe in my inbox to crack open and enjoy. BEST PERSON TO REPLACE ME: Ed Wenck BEST BOSS: Kevin McKinney BEST SHAREHOLDER: I never actually knew who “owned” NUVO; part of why Kevin is the best boss. There was no

pressure from a business perspective. Kevin always had our back. BEST MEMORY OF HARRISON ULLMANN: Harrison attended my 40th birthday party in Rocky Ripple. We hung a piñata from a large tree by the town hall and everyone got a whack at it. When Ullmann got his turn at the bat, he stared at the piñata and then slowly turned around to the circle of folks assembled, bat cocked menacingly on his shoulder. He gave us the most evil eye, it was truly frightening! Of course he was kidding, but there was a ferocity inside that man that was something to behold. WORST MEETING: An awkward editorial meeting in the winter of 2007 when internal tensions were running high. WHAT I WISH I HAD BACK: For a cover story on homelessness, we published photos of an encampment without receiving explicit permission. THE THING I SUCKED MOST AT: Managing the composter out back the building. n




here were black trash bags covering the ceiling. Anybody who knew NUVO in the ‘90s well enough to walk in the door remembers those. They were part of the paper’s aura, the kind of detail that underscored how different NUVO was from The Star. A ceiling kept from falling down on the people who worked below by black trash bags was surely never dreamt of in The Star’s philosophy. The building in those days was on the canal in Broad Ripple. Bazbeaux serves its wonderful pizzas there now — if you look to the left as you approach the take-out counter, you’ll see where I used to sit, side-by-side with Jim Poyser; Steve Hammer at the end of the line, nearest the wall. The back door opened on to a scabrous alley, pot-holed and cracked by all the delivery trucks rumbling up its length. A picnic table was there, where everybody sat and smoked, even in winter, though Poyser and I had a way of wandering off, finding the odd wall

DAVID HOPPE DHOPPE@NUVO.NET NUVO Contributing Editor David Hoppe has been writing columns for NUVO since the mid-1990s. Find him online at

An awful lot of smart people were sick of this. One of them was Kevin McKinney, who seemed to know in his bones that it was high time the city he loved had, as he put it, a new voice. What Kevin — or any of us gathered round that picnic table on the morning of 9/11 — couldn’t know was how important an alternative press was about to become. For even while technology was revolutionizing media, making more sources of information available to people than ever before, our government was embarking on a global war on terror, creating tectonic shifts in relationships between people, power and the press that are still playing out. A ceiling kept from falling down on Kevin rose to this challenge by keeping the the people who worked below by focus local, which is not black trash bags was surely never to say pedestrian. He understood that larger dreamt of in The Star’s philosophy. issues were bound to find their way home in one form or another, and he turned us loose to tell those stories or or patch of grass beside a trash bin for a reframe those issues in ways informed mutual meditation. by our sense of place. This place. But it’s that picnic table I’m seeing You can think of NUVO as the sum now. A sun-bathed morning in early of all the storytellers that have conSeptember, and the shock on all our tributed to it over the years. But at this faces, having heard the second jet’s hit point something needs be told about a the Pentagon, and a third’s gone down member of NUVO’s family most readsomewhere in Pennsylvania. ers have never met. Kathy Flahavin We’d known, of course, before that is NUVO straight. Kathy crunches day, why an alternative source of news, numbers, but miles beyond that, she a paper like NUVO, could be important knows the history, keeps the faith, and for a community. For years, Indianapoin more ways than any of us may ever lis was dominated by Pulliam family grasp, takes generous care. People who papers, The Star and the News, but, think they know Kathy have probably more to the point, Mr. Pulliam’s vision only just begun. of Indianapolis, which was even more There are a lot of easy ways to think conservative than the city itself ever about what an alternative paper like imagined. In those pre-Internet days, NUVO brings. Black trash bags on the newspapers could go a long way toward ceiling, for example. But Kathy Flahavin, crafting a city’s identity and that, to a who shows up every day, is at the heart great extent, is what Pulliam tried to do, of what NUVO does best. n especially with The Star. 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // VOICES 11




got my job at NUVO on somewhat of a fluke. My friend Scott Hall had been hired as managing editor and Harrison Ullmann had been hired for a part time job, nominally as “editor” but more of an editor emeritus role. Ullmann was in his 60s, a veteran of The Star and his own political tipsheets, and it was thought he’d step aside after a few months and let Scott take the reins, as it were, of the editorial operation. After just a few months, it became clear to Scott that Harrison had no intention of stepping aside for shit. He was having too good of a time in his new role, gladhanding politicians, getting free overseas trips and getting quoted in The New York Times. Ullmann loved the attention and wasn’t going to stop getting it. Scott saw himself as being in a subservient position to Ullmann and wanted no part of it. He decided to step aside and the job came open. I’d met Ullmann several times and I understood him instinctively. It’s hard, after all this passage of time, to adequately describe the man. He was old-school in the most literal sense of the word. He believed in editorial integrity and a strict separation between the ad department and the newsroom. He didn’t suffer fools gladly and most of the advertising people he met throughout his life had been fools. Physically, he was an imposing presence. He was around 6-3 with a shock of white hair that, in his younger days, had been red. He was a happily married man who still had an eye on the ladies. Coming to NUVO gave him the opportunity to be the boss, to call the shots and to avenge all the wrongs that had been committed against him earlier in his career. As a bonus, he got to be around young, attractive women at the office who admired him. Of course he wasn’t going to step aside. Nobody really believed that he would, except maybe Scott. So when Scott gave his two weeks notice, I sprang into action. I wanted that job and I knew how Ullmann worked. He admired persistence and determination — so I called him two and three times a day to lobby him for an interview. Maybe he saw something of himself in me, or maybe that’s just conceit on my part. Either way, he didn’t discourage my stalking efforts and so I felt pretty good


NUVO@NUVO.NET Steve Hammer is a former NUVO editor and columnist.

about my chances. After one fairly short, perfunctory interview with McKinney and Ullmann, I was offered the job and immediately set out to consolidate my position. Scott had been considerate enough to leave right before the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention in Austin, Texas, so I got to bond with my coworkers right away on the road. I got to meet Lynda Barry, the famous cartoonist, and unsuccessfully hit on a beautiful woman who worked for South by Southwest. I attended a seminar about diversity in the newsroom, just like hundreds of similar seminars before and since. I raised my hand and said that I’d worked for years at an African-American newspaper and I knew that there were more than enough talented black writers out there if the newspapers wanted to look hard enough and pay well enough. That landed me in the pages of Editor and Publisher, the journalism trade newspaper, which also didn’t hurt me. I didn’t mind that Ullmann wanted to be the big boss. I frankly didn’t give a fuck. I just wanted a regular paycheck. He delegated most all of the day-today decisions to me while he spent his time at local coffee shops and at home, barking into his vintage Western Electric black telephone. A few times a week, he’d walk into the office and ask how everything was going. The only answer he wanted to hear was “Fine.” Easy enough. Ullmann liked to focus on big-picture stuff. He read The Economist with devotion and used their dry commentary as a template for his own droll columns. He wasn’t afraid to piss off readers and, in fact, relished it when he did. The only time I recall him getting really pissed

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Steve Hammer looks back on his time at NUVO

off was when I altered his copy, which I quickly learned not to do. Another thing that provoked his anger was when writers used euphemisms for curse words, such as “f—-“ and “s—-.” His point was valid. When you use the letter F followed by three dashes, the only possible intent would be to evoke the word “fuck” in the readers’ minds. He saw it as a cowardly act, an affront to his very being. “Goddamn it,” he said, to use two of his favorite introductory words. “I don’t want to see F dash-dash-dash ever again. If you want people to think of the word Fuck, write out the word Fuck. Or shit. Don’t take the easy way out.” No problem. Henceforth, we used the word “fuck” as often as I thought we could get away with it. Too many “fucks” and the advertisers started to get nervous. Too few and my boss would be mad at me. That was my principal job in those days, to regulate the fucks in the newspaper and to be there when the paper was put together on Tuesday afternoons. It was 1993, 22 years ago, not the Dark Ages, but the world of newspapering was quite different then. Most importantly, there was no internet in popular use. We had a dial-up connection and a Compuserve account at work, which only I used, and I used it primarily to download pictures of naked women and to read sports scores. I remember being at a journalism conference at Franklin College circa 1994 and the host asking if anyone had ever used the World Wide Web, which only existed through a browser called Mosaic. Internet Explorer had yet to be rolled out. Only a few people besides me raised their hands. As I recall, the prevailing sentiment at the conference was most assuredly against technology. There’s no way that news could be automated, they said. The reader has too big of an emotional investment in the local newspaper and that bond could never be broken by someone looking at a screen. People wanted to take their newspapers into the bathroom, onto the bus, share it with their friends.

They didn’t want to stare at the news on a flickering screen. NUVO, like most newspapers in those days, made most of its money on print advertising. And while the full-page and half-page ads brought in impressive dollars, they also needed a salesperson for those and salespeople cost money. Classified advertising, however, was pure gravy. All you needed to collect them was a phone and a warm body. We also made big money on personal ads. People placed the ads for free and interested parties paid to respond. There was also a 900 number for people to leave messages, and we got a slice of its revenue. When Yahoo Personals started to take hold by about 1997 or so, followed by the approximately 1 billion ways to get laid on the internet, that revenue stream dried up. Ullmann wanted someone to cover the things he couldn’t; namely, what was going on in the minds of 20- and 30-something people. He may have made a rare misjudgment in selecting me to fill that role, but he did and I ran with it. The more uncomfortably personal I got, or the more radical my positions became, the more he liked it and so I gave him more and more of it. The readers reacted. Many were supportive and many were not. I still got my check either way. I wanted to be a lightning rod of controversy and, to some extent at least, I succeeded. Back in those days, there were no idiots blogging about nonsense on the internet because nobody had the Internet. I saw an opening. There weren’t any clinically fucking insane people in print in Indy in those days, or at least they didn’t glorify it if they were. I decided I would be that clinically insane person. For the next 20 years, I was, and still am, at least to some extent, that fucking crazy person. It made me laugh and kept me from being homeless. n




soccer team whose members are all children of undocumented immigrants, Los Jets.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery



et’s face it, NUVO is one sexy, sexy name, and since our inception in March of 1990, several businesses have branded themselves with variations of the NUVO moniker. Since none of them are alternative newsweeklies we haven’t gotten attorneys involved. We’re just nice like that. Here’s a partial list: NUVO WHOLE HOME AUDIO: Home audio systems controlled from a single tablet device. NÜVO CONDOMS: Designed to make safer sex affordable, says the website. How very alternative! Why aren’t we handing these out at every event? Come on, NüVo rubbers!


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NUVO DANCE CONVENTION AND COMPETITION: Dancers get together to trade moves and industry know-how. They haven’t been to Indy.

NUVO SALON AND SPA: Lookin’ for a mani-pedi in Frederick, MD? NUVO OLIVE OIL: California’s finest. Organic, too.

NUVO LIGHTING DESIGN: Just what it sounds like — light fixtures.

NUVO TV: A cable channel producing English language programming aimed at the Latino market. Programs include Mario Lopez One on One and a reality show about a high school

NUVO BURRITO: Tex-mex eats in the heart of Nashville! And they deliver. On bikes. (We should really think about franchising this shop here. We know about two-dozen employees who already eat, drink and breathe NUVO.) NUVO BANK AND TRUST: Small business bank in Western Mass.

NUVO SPARKLING LIQUEUR: A hot-pink colored blend of vodka, sparkling wine and passion fruit juice. The stuff looks like perfume, right down to the packaging.

NUVO SURGICAL PRODUCTS: mainly operating room lights (again with the lights) and surgical tables. Ouch.

NUVO H2O: Water softening system. Salt-free!

NUVO E-CIG: Vaping products from Manhattan. THE NUVO METHOD: Sounds sexy, right? Nope. It’s a “nontoxic head lice treatment,” alas.(Around here, the “NUVO Method” actually means procrastinating until Monday afternoon, then writing one’s feature story during a caffeine-driven all-nighter for the Wednesday edition. Don’t judge us.)

NUVO KICKSTANDS: Bicycle parts made in Chang-Hua, Taiwan. NUVO INSTRUMENTS: A make of student-grade flutes and clarinets in Hong Kong. Come to think of it, there are stressful days when the office could really use a woodwind section. n

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25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // VOICES 15



e went through the archives. We picked out five cool, weird and/or fun covers for each year of NUVO’s existence. We put those covers online, and you voted for your faves. Giant-size renditions of the top 25 reader picks will be on display at NUVO’s 25th Anniversary party in Deluxe at Old National Centre on March 28. Here’s a sample of the covers you chose.

Nov. 17, 2010: Tonic Ball 9 paid tribute to the Beatles, so we paid tribute to Tonic Ball AND the Beatles.

Dec. 18, 2013: Of all the covers that Ryan Alvis has done for us: Andrew Luck, Roy Hibbert, Krzysztof Urbanski — this one of Pacers head coach Frank Vogel as Superman really resonated.

Sept. 26, 2007


Nov. 19, 2014

Dec. 7, 2011



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April 29,2009

June 15, 2005

Aug. 11, 2004


Sept. 3, 2008


Nov. 14, 2006: Our Brady Brunch tribute to Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos was so beloved by the band that they’re using this cover for artwork on an upcoming release.


April 11, 2012: Paul F. P. Pogue’s cover story received perhaps the best graphic treatment ever given to the words of a NUVO scribe. This April 11, 2012 cover — also a staff favorite — is elegant, simple and very, very beautiful.



March 24, 1991 Aug. 14, 1997

Sept. 25, 2002

July 22, 1992 April 25, 1990 — NUVO began a tradition of featuring musicians with Indiana ties who weren’t quite getting the recognition they deserved. Indy’s own John Hiatt was one such individual.

Oct. 31, 1995

March 29, 2001: This cover is a work of fiction about John Dillinger’s penis. Note the intentional “PUBIC ENEMY” gag. Yeah, we went there.



Feb. 6, 1996

June 9, 1993: You voted for this cover. Because bong.



Aug. 24, 2000

July 29, 1999

July 30, 1998: Bob Chapman’s illustration for Hammer’s trip through the less-welllit parts of Broad Ripple for this issue of NUVO is playful and charming.

Nov. 23, 1994

Sept. 10, 2003: Local standup Otto graced the cover of this edition — complete with penciled-in mustache and blackedout tooth. That’s a good sport, yes?


Our last milestone cover, NUVO’s 20th anniversary issue of March 24, 2010, was a cover of covers. Incredibly, none of the covers we chose to feature five years ago made the cut as current reader picks.

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Michael Bolton tickets! KFC rules! (and other odd choices) BY ED WENCK



e’ve done some pretty weird stuff over the years here at NUVO: covering a fictional candidate for mayor (Morgan Swift of “The Dance Party”), running a feature on John Dillinger’s penis that was constructed out of, um, thin air and our parodies of another publication’s “40 Under 40” (“10 Under 10” and “5 Under 5”), to name but a few. In addition to those aforementioned moments of weirdness, we found the following — uh, missteps? — while we were digging through back issues. >>>




MAY 27, 1992 T-Shirt Contest, Page 14 We don’t remember which design won the NUVO T-shirt contest. Did it really matter? Man, the early ‘90s were weird.

2 AUG. 5, 1992 Cover blurb — Free tickets to see Michael Bolton Yep, we proudly announced — ON THE COVER — that we were giving away Michael Bolton tickets. Michael. No-Talent-Ass-Clown Bolton. This wasn’t even ironic, as near as we can tell.

3 SEPT. 30, 1992 Best Of — Fried Chicken: KFC, Page 4



1992’s Best of Indy edition of NUVO shows you just how far the city’s come in the last two-and-a-half decades. Apparently, dining options were so limited that the award for Indy’s Best Fried Chicken went to KFC.

4 MARCH 31, 1993 Cover — April Fools’ The back of the publication has long been an advertising roundup called “Hotline.” For some reason, we thought it would be an HILARIOUS April Fool’s stunt to put the back page on the front page, complete with gag blurbs (We called it “NOTLINE.” Again, GET IT?) While some of the fake ads bordered on amusing, we probably only confused the hell out of our readers when they saw the publication flipped over in their boxes and stands.


5 DEC. 22, 1993 Cover — No Santa 7


6 DEC. 28, 1995 Cover — Year in Review We really have no explanation for this cover, unless the designer’s three-year-old kid was filling in for him that week.

7 SEPT. 6, 2006 Arts Guide issue Although NUVO matured (a little, anyway) in our second decade, the 2000s had their share of interesting decisions. We played up the fact that our 2006 Arts Guide had “more whitespace.” As in: less words? 18 VOICES // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO



CLOSED For Renovation

SATURDAY, JUNE 13 14th annual


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Artist Reception | Open Studio Night 6 - 10 pm

12 noon - 8 pm

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Our Barfly Wayne Bertsch gets political •


April 18, 2012

December 12, 2012

June 6, 2012

February 14, 2013 20 VOICES // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO






A look back at the man who made us truly relevant



s I began researching the 25-year history of NUVO, one thing kept popping up: Commenter after commenter, essayist after essayist pointed to the arrival of Harrison Jordan Ullmann as the moment NUVO became relevant. Ullmann gave NUVO what it desperately needed in those early days: teeth. Ullmann had the journalist’s equivalent of a pit bull’s jaws: When he locked onto something, he rarely let go. Just ask Indy’s former Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. Or Evan Bayh. Or anyone who had the dubious honor of serving in the state legislature in the ’90s. Harrison, though, wasn’t a mad dog of some sort: he was archly intelligent, and he only chewed on the posteriors of those he felt deserved it. And what really set Harrison apart from 99 percent of the pundits and verbal pugilists on both sides of today’s political spectrum was simply this: The man could write. The best gauge of his talent? Even people who hated everything about the guy read him every week. That’s the mark of a quality columnist. * * * I mentioned Steve Goldsmith. Harrison and Steve got along so well that every time NUVO went looking for any scrap of data from the Goldsmith administration, the paper had to follow the guidelines outlined in the Freedom of Information Act. Instead of a comment, a figure, a confirmation, whatever; the city handed Ullmann a set of bureaucratic hoops designed to stop deadlines in their tracks. In Ullmann’s collection of columns, the posthumously published Rat’s Ass Republicans and Other Hoosier Tales, there’s even a section devoted to the city’s post-Hudnut power structure, a section called simply “The Mayor.” In a column first published in March of 1995, Ullmann drilled what he perceived as Goldsmith’s Nixonian lack of transparency: The Mayor of Indianapolis, Stephen Goldsmith, has told us things that are not true. He has broken faith with us and perhaps broken our laws. ...

Two weeks ago NUVO began reporting how and why Mayor Goldsmith had been hiding the facts of his legal address from any public scrutiny. The house where he seems to live is held in a trust that hides the identity of its owners. Ullmann went on to give Goldsmith’s justification: that the Mayor and his family lived in fear of assassination and kidnapping. Ullmann also pointed out why it was so important that elected officials had actual addresses that could be verified. “The records help protect us from felons and impostors,” Harrison wrote. The implications in that sentence must’ve brought monumental chortles from every registered Democrat who read those words. Ullmann, though, insisted that he wasn’t a member of either party; having been both Republican and Democrat, he spent the last years of his life as an independent, a self-described “radical moderate.” Although he might’ve been “moderate,” Ullmann was never accused of subtlety. This was a good thing. NUVO turned out to be the last chapter in Ullmann’s life and career, and Harrison attacked the job like a man who seemed to sense he had just a single shot left at leaving a mark on his city. * * * While I was scanning the big bound books that house NUVO’s back issues, I began to make note of the columns that seemed to define Harrison Ullmann, picking one here, discarding one there. A great many of those that I chose paralleled the ones that his son Thomas had picked for the compilation of Ullmann’s work. Ullmann seemed to be at his most eloquent when his sights widened; when, for example, he critiqued the broad concepts embedded in the stereotypical Hoosier notions of governance. In his column of August 17, 1995, Harrison said, We Hoosiers are as hospitable to the whims and wishes of perfect strangers as any people in America. We are told the proper purpose of our schools is to give the hospitality of low taxes and willing workers to S E E , U LLM A N N , O N P A GE 2 2






1. “Corky” Ullmann on the front steps of his parents’ home on Cape Cod. 2. Ullmann in the army, stationed in Hawaii. 3. Ullmann during his days as an Indy Star reporter. 4. Ullmann and his wife Laurie on their wedding day in Hawaii, Dec. 21, 1955. 5. Ullmann playing piano in a Press Club folly. 6. Ullmann on his porch in Indy.

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F R O M P A G E 21

the corporations that visit our state. We do as we are told, eliminating the frills of instruction in the fine and liberal arts that would let our children educate themselves for their own pleasures or even their own prosperity. We are told you and I cannot have any of our public money spent for the arts, not unless the art gives profitable entertainment to the strangers wandering Indiana. We are told you and I must spend our money for professional sports, because visitors and tourists enjoy them so. We do as we are told, denying ourselves the arts and providing strangers with athletic entertainment in expensive venues. We have given the Baysmiths our governments so they may use Indiana’s public offices to demonstrate that they are competent for America’s highest offices. While they use our governments for their own purposes, we are content that our governments will not be used for our own purposes. Ullmann laid out the tax and income inequalities of the day, noting how the state revenue burden had been shifted from the corporate classes to the workers in the Crossroads of America. He closed with: “Now that I’ve finished writing this piece I no longer feel like a hospitable Hoosier. I feel like a dumb Hoosier.” * * * In the introduction to Rat’s Ass Republicans (I honestly laugh every time I type that title), Harrison’s son noted that the “dumb Hoosier” was an archetype that lurked in the shadows of Ullmann’s columns, a character that wasn’t so much ignorant as blithely complicit when his legislators used their power to line their own pockets or turn Indiana into some kind of Midwestern theocracy. Ullmann was quick to point out that there were Rat’s Ass Democrats, too, but one was often hard-pressed to find one in Indiana, especially while Harrison was writing his weekly column. Those politicians that Harrison reviled were those who often lived in the smaller government offices, those who were insulated by their party and didn’t need to give a “rat’s ass” about any of us.


What’s most startling about the rereading of Harrison’s work is how little things have seemingly changed in the deepest halls of the Hoosier power structure. A prime example’s Eric Miller, the right-wing activist who’s been shrieking for years about nonsense like the “gay agenda.” (You know, the jackass who once insisted that since “gays can’t breed they’ll recruit your kids!” — that sort of thing.) Miller has been given audience after audience by the Indiana legislature, and each time Miller and his ilk are defeated (HJR-3 comes to mind), Miller’s lot resurfaces with bills designed to codify discrimination against LGBTQ citizens into law here in the Heartland. The fights that Ullmann fought in the mid-‘90s are shockingly similar to the fights we fight in the mid 2010s. Intolerant zealots, supply-side/ trickle-down economists, climatechange deniers and wingnut windbags were all targets then and would still be today had Ullmann lived. And yet, despite his righteous anger, Ullmann really, really cared for Indiana. Some of the columns reveal a depth of feeling for his home, especially his beloved Monon trail, that are almost heartbreaking to read now. Ullmann treasured the bits of natural beauty he found scattered across the urban landscape, and there were moments of revelation when one realized that the cranky old bastard had quite the sentimental heart. About a year before he died, he wrote a column about talking to God. The opening graph: “I met God for dinner up at the Brewpub. We had a pint of the India Pale Ale, shared another, and talked for a while about life and death. She said, ‘Let’s have dinner and talk some more.’” Enjoy your meal and rest in peace, Mr. Ullmann. And thanks for the legacy. n

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Nicky Blaine’s

Cocktail Lounge

Outdoor Seatin Openingg In May!

Mar tinis ❈ Cigars ❈ Scotch ❈ Wine

or over a decade, former NUVO editor Jim Poyser distilled the news into haikus, the traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haikus are usually17 syllables long, broken into three phrases of five, then seven, then five syllables respectively. Haikus composed in the English language are often the distillation of a moment, an almost impressionistic flash of this or that bound up in emotion or surprise. Y’know — a lot like cable news. We asked Jim to provide us with some of his favorites from the ten years that he cut these little jewels for NUVO. We then culled the ones we felt stood the test of time as tiny little news stories in their own right. Why didn’t The Daily Show ever think of this? Enjoy. n Garfunkel caught with marijuana; where there’s smoke there’s troubled water Kodak announces plan to turn its employees into holograms Borders Inc removes chapter elevens from all the books on its shelves


Wisconsin guv’nor thinking he’s talking to Koch sure sounds like a dick morning after pill condemned, opponents prefer the afterlife pill


20 N. Meridian St.


The bar that looks amazing before you’ve even had drinks! 24 VOICES // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

POYSER’S HAIKU JIM POYSER NUVO@NUVO.NET Jim Poyser is an environmentalist and satirist. He is also still funny as hell.

another leak in Kobe trial; the case is plagued by turnovers scientist Francis Crick dead at the age of two double helixes grackles in Houston attack folks like in the film “Revenge of the Birds” Pistons pummel poor Pacers whose poise persisted post-Palace pickle whistleblower at Pfizer is pfined pfor pfinding ppharmacy’s pfiction so what if Bonds used steroids; Babe Ruth was always high on candy bars Kelvin Sampson has IU fans frustrated and pulling out their hair Clinton-Obama ticket syllable heaven for haiku crafting Pinochet can not escape final justice – dies on Human Rights Day DC Madam damns Republican senator to a Hustler hell

Portland pup eats its owner’s toes, foot; proves man’s best friend isn’t always

DNR shuts down Peru pot farm creating a lot of sad dudes

taking Saturday off won’t help Post Office keep from going postal

rocker, musician Henry Lee Summer charged for having a meth mouth

over one million houses will be foreclosed this year: home bitter home

SEC report reveals how Bernie Madoff made off with it all

study says blacks charged more for Honda loans which is not very civic

Jerry Falwell dies gaining direct passage to Tinky Winkyland



ANDY JACOBS, JR. AND HIS THOUGHTBITES Remembering the conscience of the Congress



rom 2003 until just before his passing in December of 2013, former Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr. was a weekly contributor to NUVO. His “Thoughtbites” were provocative, pithy and often brilliant. Jacobs, a Democrat who represented Indiana from 1965-1997 (with a twoyear hiatus), called these quotes “mental joyrides.” After Jacobs died, Indiana author James Thom remembered Andy in these pages, and the following excerpt summed up Jacobs and his Thoughtbites beautifully: One day not long ago, I told Andy Jacobs, “I think your one regret in life is that you weren’t Kin Hubbard.” He grinned and nodded. “Or maybe Will Rogers.” By the time we became octogenarians, we had both decided that the most effective weapon — or tool — is the bon mot. Andy honed the power of cogent speech in three decades in the House of Representatives. Ralph Nader once called him “the conscience of Congress.” When he was pioneering the argument that the U.S. should get out of Vietnam, a prowar Congressman snarled, “So you think we should leave Vietnam half-done, the way


you did Korea?” Andy, an infantryman in that war, parried:

His best

Faults are things that describe your friends and disqualify your adversaries.

“We lost one half of my company in one night there. Is that what you mean by ‘half-done?’”

In the dozen or so months before his passing, Jacobs’ Thoughtbites became leaner, cleaner and more pointed — and frankly, funnier.

If all else fails, try the truth.

Andy got the Purple Heart for a head wound in North Korea, but eventually was crippled by aftereffects of freezing and strain on his feet and legs in that legendary North Korean winter campaign. The last few years of his life, friends had to visit him at his bedside. Though frustrated terribly by the immobility, he kept battling against war and other forms of stupidity with his “Thoughtbites,” his powerful, witty one-liners published in NUVO. He also kept writing terse, sensible letters to Congress, where he served three decades. He wrote a good book, The 1600 Killers, against Presidents who kept starting wars that wasted lives and re3.sources, circumventing Congress’s Constitutional prerogative to declare war. Jacobs’ early Thoughtbites often focused on his dismay over the U.S. invasion of Iraq; Jacobs referred to politicians who readily sent others into battle without having seen combat themselves as “war wimps.” His Thoughtbite from the week of July 9, 2003, expressed his anger: In response to continuing deaths of American soldiers at the hand of Iraqi resistance to U.S. invasion, our tough-talking, non-combatant president said, “Bring them on.” He was not referring directly to body bags, but there’s nothing like being a hero with somebody else’s body bag. n

You can lead a voter to the polls, but you can’t make him think. Instant gratification takes too long. If you are kicked out of your club, are you dismembered? If it isn’t one thing, it probably will be. Vatican Rule Against Condoms: Rubber Banned

After all is said and done, more is said than done.


How to hold down public skepticism of a demonstrably unnecessary and staggeringly expensive presidential play-toy war that was bound to become a quagmire of horror: borrow the billions and hide the caskets.

They call it, “Disclosing Classified Information.” The accurate name for the crime is, “Telling The Truth About Government Lies.”

I blame myself for not blaming you sooner. Why are there more horses asses than horses?

Our state government has decided our American government is unAmerican. I have my doubts.

Cable movies say “mild violence.” How can it be both?

War is the failure of diplomacy.

I’m something of a believer, but I was never born again. Saved my mom a lot of pain. Three cheers for pharmaceutical ads, which give you more reasons not to buy their products than to buy.

His most touching His bon mots could be touching and philosophical, too:

Standing tall is not really a matter of physical posture.

But he never lost the ability to point out what he saw as the failure of American leadership (on both the state and federal levels) and the hypocrisy of right-wing punditry.

Vocabulary: War Wimp, a noun singular. One who is all too willing to send others, but never gets around to going himself.

The Lord is my shepherd and I don’t know why.

A teacher is one who makes little things count.

His most pointed

If Liberals, as the Right Wing says, “hate God,” why did they adopt his kid’s Sermon On the Mount as their platform? The only reason lobbyist money given to members of Congress is not defined as bribery is because Congress defines bribery.

His last Given all that we knew about Andy, the Thoughtbite that turned out to be his last was startling. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s hate.

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NUVO covers (left to right): June 13, 1996, April 10, 2002, Dec. 19, 2007, Nov. 12, 2008, Nov. 28, 2012 cover and Dec 3, 2014.


A quarter century of searching for truth — and picking up a bit of recognition now and then



or 25 years, through the administrations of four mayors, five governors and four U.S. presidents, NUVO has been exposing corruption, championing the underdog and giving voice to the voiceless — and winning the occasional hunk of hardware for doing it. The city and the state have made some progress in those 25 years. The Harding Street plant is phasing out coal and marriage equality is a reality — albeit a tenuous one — as these words are written. Don’t be mistaken — Indiana has a long way to go. NUVO stories exposing the damage to the White River in Indy have shifted to the fight over damming the river upstream. Income inequality is something NUVO’s been reporting on for years — including coverage of the city’s seemingly endless war on those who take to the streets looking for some small handout. And every time our LGBTQ brothers and sisters take one step forward, the Indiana Legislature seems determined to push them two steps back. The refrain in these pages may be NUVO’s secondary mission statement: part of giving “voice to the voiceless” includes hurling stones at the people in charge. Sometimes they throw ’em back, and that can be taxing. For all the criticism NUVO has taken for the last 25 years (including that infamous box of excrement that was once sent to former editor Jim Posyer), we’ve also proven our merit. Our accolades and achievements, both inside NUVO’s walls and out, make for a pretty robust resume.

Our winners • H  arrison Ullmann, inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, 2003; • J im Poyser, now director of Earth Charter Indiana after his time with NUVO; • L  aura McPhee, named a “Defender of Liberty” by the ACLU of Indiana in 2007; • F  red Ramos, winner of a 1994 CASPER Award from the Community Service Council of Central Indiana; • A  nd the organization as a whole — nods from Mayor Greg Ballard on our 20th and 25th Anniversaries (both were declared NUVO Days), as well as winner of 1997’s Roy Wilkins Organizational Award for contributions to the Black community, an Arts Council Small Business “Arti” in 2007, the designation as a “Green Business” from the Indy Chamber in 2009 (the sheet you’re holding is 100 percent recycled paper) and dozens — check that — hundreds of Society of Professional Journalists Awards.

Our best Here’s a small sample — very small, in fact, since our space is limited — of some of the work we’re most proud of, work that falls into the broad category of “social justice” and the like: 1996: Harrison Ullmann and Fred Ramos penned a series of articles called “Building Better Neighborhoods.” The stories picked up an SPJ trophy for Best Investigative Reporting as Ullmann and Ramos dug into then-Mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s

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relationship with a campaign contributor who was picking up construction contracts for the city. The June 13, 1996 cover story “Goldsmith on Trial” extended the story, winning as well. 2000: Paul Pogue’s “Soldiers of Christ” cover saw Pogue locked in the Indianapolis Baptist Temple building along with its congregants as the group fought against the IRS. Pogue’s coverage of Rev. Greg Dixon and his followers picked up a “Best Deadline Reporting” award. 2002: Fran Quigley won the nod for “Best Social Justice Reporting” with his account of a trip to Haiti entitled “Hunger and Heroes: Haiti’s Desperate Struggle.” 2005: “The Conscience Clause” was just one of dozens of stories Laura McPhee wrote for NUVO during her time here. The cover article on the continuing conservative war on reproductive choice won the SPJ Award for “Best Social Justice Reporting.” 2008: While it didn’t exactly rake any muck, the Nov. 12, 2008 cover was a stunner: Barack Obama won the White House — carrying the usually all-red state of Indiana in the process. Laura McPhee broke down the numbers — and she also received an “Investigative Reporting” SPJ award in 2008 for a piece on evangelical lobbyist Eric Miller. 2009: The Jan. 7, 2009 profile of Rep. Andre Carson by David Hoppe won for Coverage of Government and Politics — a little more than a year after Jim Poyser, Andy Jacobs Jr., Mari Evans, David Hoppe and Fran Quigley won a Deadline Reporting award for a tribute

to Carson’s late grandmother Julia, “In Memoriam: A Jewel Called Julia.” 2012: Although he won first prize for “Squandered Indiana” in the SPJ category of Environmental Reporting, Jim Poyser’s second-place story was his personal fave. “We’ve super-sized our weather” told the story of Paul Douglas, who was, wrote Jim, “running against the mainstream grain in two significant ways. One, he is Republican and acknowledges the reality of human-caused climate change ... The second way the Minneapolis-based Douglas is running against the grain is that he’s a broadcast meteorologist, and the majority of people in his profession don’t necessarily acknowledge the level at which humans are causing climate change.” 2013 to today: NUVO’s recent wok regarding immigration, the environment and the rights of Central Indiana’s LGBTQ citizens has been a source of pride for us. On Feb. 20, 2013, Rebecca Townsend and Kristin Wright’s reporting on the struggles of Burmese immigrants in Central Indiana was lauded by the very people the stories covered, and NUVO published a profile of Indy’s Latin music scene in both Spanish and English in July of 2014. Also in 2014, Amber Stearns’ cover story “Immigration: A Journey of Death” outlined the true horrors of illegal border crossing and introduced NUVO’s readers to two local researchers on the U.S./Mexico border identifying the remains of those who didn’t make it. And NUVO was more than proud of our coverage of the defeat of HJR-3, the proposed amendment to the state constitution that would’ve outlawed same-sex unions. n


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n the May 18, 1994 issue, NUVO ran a cover story regarding our new digital presence — yep, we became the first paper in Indy to offer an online product. Boy, was it primitive. NUVO was connected to IOC/Palnet, a computer “bulletin board system” — that was about to rendered instantly obsolete (sigh) when users found themselves able to dial up something called “the world wide web” and look at all manner of content via another something called a “browser.” By 1995, dial-up web browsing had essentially crashed the BBS market. BBS systems were primitive, to say the least. Logon instructions, which we printed in NUVO, included the following nuggets that now seem about as technologically advanced as Fred Flintstone’s bird-needle turntable: Set your modem and communications software to the desired speed you wish to use and set your modem parameters for 8 data bits, no parity and 1 stop bit (8,N,1). Dial 861-4498. After the modem connects, you will receive the message: Username: If you do NOT see the above, hit the Enter key on your keyboard a couple of times (this is almost always required at baud rates above 2400). If you still nothing try a different baud rate. At times, the modems on PalNet are shifted, and it may connect at 2400 only. The instructions continued for several more graphs for those who hadn’t already hurled their machine through the nearest open window, culminating with: After a certain umber of failed attempts, PalNet will disconnect you and you will need to dial back to try again. These BBS systems were devoid of images or, heaven forbid, videos — we’re talking about a time when “porn on your computer” amounted to little more than sexting on the world’s biggest phone. NUVO provided a handy list of “Internet newsgroups available via modem.” We continued:

Millions of computer users worldwide use these areas to post messages, begin and end arguments and rail about their favorite topics. Remember, this was 1994, which explains why the following newsgroups existed: alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater alt.mag.playboy Not to mention groups for Dave Letterman, Nirvana, punk.straight-edge, and alt.conspiracy.jfk. Early users of BBS systems had begun to adopt a method of communication using something called “emoticons.” Ever the public servants, NUVO provided a tutorial (odd original grammar included): One method people on Internet use to get their personalities across … employs “smiley faces” … for example: “I suppose that’s fine for you, but that’s not how I’d have done it :-)” The quoted statement above is close to a FLAME, but the use of the smiley face at the end “defuses” the statement to be a “chuckle” or “humor.” Get it? Want to express an even BROADER range of human emotion without the benefit of Skype? Here are some other popular smiley faces: :-( – Unhappy smiley — too bad, disappointed, not humorous :-O – Wonder smiley — WOW! 8-) – Other variations on smiley — use ‘8’ for eyes Yeah, we felt the need to explain that a numeral had appeared in the icon. B-) – Yet another — often signifies the user wears glasses 8-(((( – Exaggerated frown — VERY UNHAPPY 8-)))) – Exaggerated smile — VERY HAPPY — VERY HUMOROUS — LOTSA LAUGHS 8^) – Even more elaborate smiley face 8^P – Elaborate smiley sticking its tongue out





or NUVO’s anniversary issue, we decided to take a look at the last 25 years of environmental ups and downs in Indiana by speaking with the state’s experts. The unnerving consensus is that Indiana’s progress can’t be measured on a linear scale. Environmental progress is always at the mercy of the current administration’s ideology, the elected official’s vote, the corporation’s status quo and the lobbyist’s reach. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Progress, even at a snail’s pace, matters.

The past Grant Smith, a longtime utility-consumer advocate and senior energy policy adviser at the Civil Society Institute, started his career in environmental policy change in 1982. Beginning as a canvasser of a newly created organization Citizens Action Coalition, Smith worked on the recently formed Toxic Action Project, which worked on industrial toxics. At that time, Smith said hardly anyone was thinking about environmental stewardship in Indiana. Grassroots environmental protection and advocacy organizations in the state were new, and somewhat disjointed. Smith began tackling the popular issue at the forefront of environmental protection in Indiana and across America: industrial toxic pollution. The Love Canal case had gotten national attention after resident Lois Gibbs learned her son’s elementary school and her neighborhood in Niagara Falls, N.Y. were built on a toxic waste dump. “The landfills were leaking all over the place. There had been no real regulation when the dumps were created,” Smith said. Smith eventually wrote a bill creating the Clean Manufacturing Technology Institute at Purdue University to help Indiana manufacturers reduce toxic pollution from their facilities. By the time the bill came to a vote in 1990, it had support from the Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Manufacturers Association. Then, with the support of the recently created Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), he worked with industries around the state such as RV manufacturers and wood finishers.

JACLYN GOLDSBOROUGH NUVO@NUVO.NET Jaclyn Goldsborough works as a multimedia journalist in Fort Wayne and is passionate about the environment, nature and sustainability.

He not only reduced their toxic releases into the air, water and land, but he improved their operational efficiencies and saved money. “It was wildly successful. We saved companies millions and millions of dollars. It eliminated huge amounts of emissions. It made the companies more profitable. There’s huge institutional biases at companies about the way they’ve done things, but we looked at what we could change to make it more efficient and cleaner,” Smith said. Practicality, at the time, was a key factor to changing the status quo of the manufacturing businesses, but it helped to have dedicated bipartisan lawmakers making the right decisions for their constituents. “We were generally working with conservative people with conservative outlooks that were generally pissed off,” said Smith, realizing that he had to present environmental solutions as good business. In the ’80s, the idea of environmental protection was popular, because lawmakers, businesses and citizens together were in it for the greater good, but the honeymoon phase didn’t last for long. He said the statehouse today is different. It’s not as much as a bipartisan rally for the greater good, but a competition of who’s the bigger dog in the room. “Today at the statehouse,

25 years of environmental ups and downs in Indiana

I refer to it as energy policy by golf outing,” Smith said.

The present No matter how difficult efforts are at the statehouse, that doesn’t stop the growing number of people who care about water quality, air quality, renewable energy and climate change. As former managing editor of NUVO for 20 years, Jim Poyser has witnessed the growth of the environmental stewardship movement. After decades of editing and reading about the work of environmentalists, Poyser was inspired to take action. Poyser left his job at NUVO and became executive director of Earth Charter Indiana, spending his time with Indiana youth to engage young people in climate leadership and sustainability solutions. Poyser touts the power of people acting together to solicit change. A Stanford poll taken in 2013 reported that 73 percent of Indiana residents believe that the government should take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. businesses. That’s more than 4.7 million people in Indiana alone who believe that “business as usual” is the wrong course of action. “From my perspective, we are playing defense in trying to stop the very worst things from happening. By collaborating … we can actually achieve success in the statehouse,” Poyser said. Like Poyser, Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, has also seen a positive shift in grassroots activism. “In some ways organizing is the main means to policy change. One of

the things I think that has been really encouraging is that the movement has diversified over time. You see people of faith getting involved, people of different ethnicities, people of different professions and political affiliations. I think that the blossoming of people that care about sustainability has been very, very encouraging and exciting,” Kharbanda said. Beyond organizing, there have also been breakthroughs in policy in recent years. There have been triumphs in recycling and e-recycling programs in cities across the state. There’s state investment in mass and public transit. There are updates to the state’s energy efficiency building code. There are successful campaigns to get Indiana’s leading universities to divest from coal. And Indiana’s seen the building of the largest geothermal project in the country at Ball State University in Muncie. While maybe none of the aforementioned achievements seem sexy or outrageously fascinating, they represent a systemic shift, both in policy and in activism, toward progressive change. For a state historically dedicated to burning coal, Indiana instituted the first net metering rules in 2005 and expanded them in 2011 to one megawatt of power, and the support for solar is still growing. The Indianapolis International Airport boasts the largest airport solar farm in the country, and there’s even a new solar farm at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But sometimes it seems that in Indiana we can take one step forward and then take three or five steps back. Kharbanda cites statehouse ideology as one of the biggest challenges at the moment. S E E , ROL L ERCOA STER, O N PA GE 30

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“Once again, I would cite ideology as being a challenge, but I would also cite the enormous financial clout of certain special interest largely in terms of campaign contributions, but also in terms of the threat that they can convey to elected officials if they don’t vote a certain way. That can make lawmakers intimidated to do the right thing,” Kharbanda said. In some ways, Indiana is more vulnerable than other states because there’s a part-time legislature, which only meets for three or four months out of the year. Kharbanda said those factors often make lawmakers more reliant on the

Percent of Indiana residents who believe that the government should take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. businesses advice and input from lobby groups than other states in the country. Mitch Daniels’s 2012 Energizing Indiana, a third-party administrator of the state’s energy regulation, was eliminated despite its success. The program, funded by an extra $2 on each Hoosier household’s utility bill, employed about 350 people and set a goal for Indiana to incrementally cut 2 percent of its energy use by 2019. The program ran efficiently as consultants visited homeowners and businesses and educated them on energy-efficiency habits, like wrapping pipes and switching to CFL lightbulbs. However, lawmakers became worried that citizens and companies would continue reducing energy costs beyond the simple fixes. Senator Jim Merritt of Indianapolis estimated that the program would end up costing double what it did in the beginning, so he authored SEA 340 last session to let big manufacturers opt out of it. By the time the House revised the bill, it pulled the plug on Energizing Indiana entirely. Governor Pence declined to sign or veto it and vowed to revisit the issue this year. Now activists are concerned the new state energy savings program will not hold the high standards or goals as the former. 30 NEWS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

“There is simply no notion of inquiry into anything, even into rules and regulations that took months, and months of hard work and time and effort to get in place such as the statewide energy efficiency program Energizing Indiana. Rules and regulations are simply ignored and it’s unbelievable,” Smith said. Even the idea of regulation in general is almost taboo nowadays. It often evokes partisan bickering and “big government” fears. “If I use the word regulation, 20 years ago or 30 years ago it would have a different reaction than it does now. That is not a good development because it means that we are making ourselves vulnerable to certain risks because we have this blinded dislike of regulations. The vulnerability comes as our country evolves as far as our economy it takes on different technologies that have their own associated environmental risks,” Kharbanda said. And what’s regulation without enforcement? Even that can be difficult for the organizations created to do just that. Both IDEM and Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources receive only 1 percent of funding in the state’s budget. For 2015, that amounts to about $47 per Hoosier to ensure the environment and citizens are protected. However, during the next legislative cycle, the departments have been asked to cut another 3 percent from the budget. That’s on top of a budget cut of 10 percent for IDEM and 15 percent for the DNR in the last two legislative cycles. The good news for activists? Sustainable practices can foster economic development and job creation.

The future Renewable energy is one of the biggest issues facing the state and the country, but the prospect of establishing new, prosperous technologies in Indiana makes Sierra Club organizer Megan Anderson optimistic and enthusiastic about future. There’s growing bipartisan support for renewable energy nationally thanks to reports suggesting there’s money to be made. Renewable energy may be what Indiana needs to promote economic development and job creation. Just last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required Indiana to come up with a plan to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent. As a state that gets 84 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power, Anderson sees this as an opportunity to become leaders in renewable energy manufacturing.

There’s also a catch-22 when it comes to coal versus renewables. First, the state’s coal plants are decaying, and there’s only two choices: pay for the expensive and complicated fixes on century-old technology or be phased into retirement and look toward new technology. Either way, it’s obvious, the grid needs renewable energy, and that’s where wind and solar are key to Indiana’s future. In a 2014 report, the American Wind Energy Association indicated that the wind energy industry directly supported 50,500 full-time-equivalent jobs in 2013. As for solar, the Solar Foundation reported there were close to 143,000 solar jobs in the United States in 2013, including 24,000 new jobs announced that year. The rate at which jobs were added in 2013 was more than 20 percent over 2012 levels. Anderson said just a few years ago before the net metering or rooftop solar program existed in Indiana there was virtually no solar in the state and now there are more than 550 projects. Brevini, a wind turbine gearbox manufacturer, opened in Muncie in 2008 despite the economic downturn, and employs a few hundred people. “That’s a huge success and it will only continue to grow. There are new solar businesses. There’s different types of manufacturing that are working on components for wind turbines … now there’s $21 million in tax revenue generated annually just from wind farms. That’s really exciting for folks who are looking to work in steel or sheet metal or different manufacturing sectors,” Anderson said. “My spirits are up. When you know that right is on your side, you know you have the better case, the better argument and that there’s a tremendous number of people that are getting involved in the clean energy movement in our state, I think it’s very inspiring,” Kharbanda said. n


Tax revenue generated annually from wind farms





Don’t count the candles: Circle Centre Mall and NUVO are 25

efore NUVO, there was a hole in the ground. That hole would become Circle Centre Mall, the lynchpin of Downtown Indianapolis’ revival. As it happens, the Mall and NUVO share an anniversary. Both are 25 years old this year. The coincidence is intriguing. The city’s Downtown is a success story lauded far and wide — and with reason. On any given night of the week there are people, out and about, having dinner, buying drinks, going to a show, shopping. Remember that last bit — shopping. We’ll return to it in a moment. We have come, perhaps, to take Indy’s downtown vitality for granted. But if you’ve visited many comparably sized cities around the country, you are aware of how unusual our scene really is. Once the workday is done, an awful lot of American downtowns close up for the night. Unless you’re meeting for dinner in these places, there’s nothing much to do. This brings us back to that shopping bit. The brilliance behind the Circle Centre Mall idea was its recognition that a downtown doesn’t live by white tablecloth restaurants alone. Downtowns have traditionally been about being able to buy things, or at least imagine that you could. Hence the existence (now sadly waning) of those big department store picture windows with their glammed-up displays. A city’s Downtown is meant to be an aspirational place (think Audrey Hepburn gazing into the ultimate jewelry store window in Breakfast At Tiffany’s)

DAVID HOPPE DHOPPE@NUVO.NET David Hoppe has been writing columns for NUVO since the mid-1990s. Find him online at

and window shopping is one of the ways we dream with our eyes open. Many of the same folks who concocted the idea of Indianapolis as sports capital understood that the revitalized downtown they envisioned needed a retail dimension. This being Indianapolis, home of the Simons, mall developers par excellence, the idea of creating a downtown mall took hold. There were skeptics. The city had already tried a downtown mall concept at Union Station. Hailed, at first, as a great piece of historic renovation, the shortcomings of the mall’s business model soon became apparent. For one thing, the place seemed, to put it bluntly, too Hoosier. It felt like the place teemed with knick-knack, kitsch and souvenir shops. This was actually a preview of what would come to be understood as income inequality. Whoever developed Union Station’s business plan seemed to think success depended on getting as many of the 99 percent through the door as possible.

But the number of people who showed hellbent on portraying Indianapolis as the biggest small town in America, a up didn’t matter; it was the amount of money they were prepared to spend. The virtually landlocked provincial capital, where God, the flag and volunteerism 99ers couldn’t buy enough to keep the were the only things that mattered. place afloat. As far as Indianapolis media was But beyond the question of whether concerned, interesting things invariably a mall in downtown Indianapolis could happened elsewhere. This not only reattract enough truly paying customers, inforced the cliché of Naptown at home, there was concern about the very idea of it projected a sleepy image to the rest of a downtown mall. Most malls, especially the country — as if somnambulism was around Indy, were suburban islands, our greatest cultural characteristic. in style and tone. Many of us found the idea of a mall at the heart of downtown Publisher Kevin McKinney’s determinacounterintuitive, or worse, given the tion that NUVO would be a decidedly urcity’s self-abusing tic of allowing generic, suburban-style design to sprout Before NUVO, there was a hole in in places where soulful urban buildings once the ground. stood. So we looked into that great hole in the heart of what had been downtown Indianapolis ban publication represented a conscious with some trepidation. effort to try and change this, to begin, that As mentioned above, this happened to is, to turn people on to the various ways be the same time that NUVO was taking in which Indianapolis was waking up. off. Garish red and yellow billboards beThis would manifest itself in a variety gan popping up all over town, showing a of ways. In a town trying to brand itself young woman, head thrown back, biting a sports destination, NUVO chose not to down on a string of beads. One hoped commit valuable pages to sports covershe was dancing. age. The mainstream papers, of course, Indianapolis was late to the alternapractically led with sports, employing tive newspaper game. There had been a full-time sports staff and devoting, as efforts, a few false starts. Nothing had virtually all dailies do, a full section to managed to take hold. the coverage of games and people who This was problematic because the play them. city’s mainstream media, rather like the developers of Union Station, seemed S E E , CUL TURA L , O N PA GE 32

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Rather than try to compete for jock dominance, NUVO set its sights on covering what the mainstream did not: the city’s cultural life. NUVO would try to be the go-to source for information about music, theater, comedy, art and the local people who were using these and other forms of expression to give voice to what living here felt like. NUVO treated the city’s arts and cultural scene as news. This represented a distinct difference from the mainstream press, which, all too often, acted as if arts coverage amounted to little more than free advertising. NUVO’s cultural coverage spoke to a larger ambition for Indianapolis. It identified ways in which the people who would come to be known as the city’s creative class were trying to make being here distinctive.

This would turn out to be a prescient strategy. Not only because the mainstream press would, over the years, inexplicably reduce its cultural coverage to a bare minimum, eschewing critical conversation, and leaving the field uncontested. But because what NUVO was doing actually anticipated the findings of urban economists like Richard Florida, who showed that a city’s cultural life was a prime attractor of upscale businesses and young, high-skill professionals. Thinking of the respective histories of Circle Centre Mall and NUVO as convergent is a provocative proposition. On the surface, these enterprises appear to have little to do with one another. Circle Centre was designed to serve a decidedly upscale form of consumerism. You go there to find the biggest national brands. NUVO, on the other hand, is all about what’s local. It’s also a platform for the ex-

The city’s mainstream media, rather like the developers of Union Station, seemed hellbent on portraying Indianapolis as the biggest small town in America.

All Year Round

Two Theatres — One Campus

ploration of community in ways that fall outside the business or sports sections. But think again. Upon completion, Circle Centre allayed the fears of skeptics by deploying an historically informed design to pull the city’s downtown out of its slough of despond, actually enhancing its urban atmosphere. Not only that. The mall preserved downtown as a retail destination and, by providing cheap and plentiful underground parking, shared the wealth with its neighbors, making drivers in this auto-centric town feel like they had a place to stash their wheels. Finally, by attracting a handful of top national restaurant franchises, like Palomino and P.F. Changs, Circle Centre demonstrated a local demand for better dining that set the stage for what turned into the city’s independent restaurant boom. The glittering palaces built for the Pacers and Colts would be weightless without Circle Centre standing between them, providing a seven-day-a-week reason to be downtown. Would the city have attracted a Super Bowl without Circle Centre and the network of skywalks it has inspired? Probably not. >>>

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Congratulations to NUVO

on its 25th Anniversary! NUVO is a legend. Thank you from IndyFringe artists, performers, writers, audiences, volunteers, sponsors and funders. ™

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The downtown section of Massachusetts Avenue, known as “Mass Ave” is the new cultural district and is home to artisan shops, galleries, theatres, bars and restaurants.

<<< Without Circle Centre’s retail ballast, downtown Indy would be nothing but a series of on-again-off-again special events. A place, to paraphrase the tourist flacks, to play and work, but not a place to live. Circle Centre helped Indy get its groove back. Somebody had to write about this. Get the conversation going, and keep it rolling. There were plenty of cheerleaders — The Star was actually an investor in Circle Centre Mall. But now that we had our share of brand names, could say “we have one of those!” it was time to find a vocabulary for talking about what made Indy different. Sometimes that meant holding the city’s feet to the fire, as Harrison Ullmann did relentlessly after a so-called police riot ,when some cops got into a brawl downtown after getting plastered at the new Victory Field. Some will tell you that unflattering coverage cost then Mayor Stephen Goldsmith his bid to be governor. It has also meant telling the stories of creative individuals and groups who have found original ways to amplify what sets our community apart, as NUVO has done annually through its Cultural Vision Awards — one of the first of which was presented to Circle Centre Mall for commissioning local artists to turn its massive rooftop into a mural project. Today, Circle Centre finds itself on

the horns of a changing retail climate. It has more vacancies than it would like (although The Star has become a tenant), as shoppers increasingly seem drawn to the kind of boutique experiences found on Mass Ave and around Fountain Square. The Mall, which once made its roster of glamorous national retailers a selling point, has to figure out how to appeal to the burgeoning shop local movement. How NUVO is that? NUVO, of course, faces challenges of its own. What was once an exclusively ink-and-paper proposition has morphed, of necessity, into a multi-media enterprise. A once-a-week publication now posts stories on a daily basis in cyberspace. And when it comes to advertising — in print, on the web — does anybody know what works? Thinking about Circle Centre Mall and NUVO at the same time can seem akin to looking through both ends of a spyglass. The scale appears out of whack, supersized or micro, depending on which end you put your eye against. The focus, though, remains the same: Indianapolis, lives lived over the same quarter century. Twenty-five years! We’ve both been around long enough to be taken for granted. Which, put another way, is like saying its hard to imagine this place without us. n 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // NEWS 33



f anyone asked me 50 years ago if I would be living my life as an openly gay man in the state of Indiana by the time I reached adulthood, I would have responded, “I sure hope so! Why wouldn’t I be happy?” (OK, maybe 40 years ago, I’m not so sure I could have responded with such a “pithy” response at the age of two). If they asked me five years ago if marriage would be legal, or if I would help curate an LGBT History exhibit for the Indiana Historical Society, I would have laughed in his or her face! As a gay man in my 50s, it can be argued men of my generation have lived our lives backwards: We dealt with death and dying in our 20s, started to adopt children and raise families in our 30s and 40s, and for those of us in our 50s and 60s who were lucky enough to survive the AIDS crisis unscathed, we are making it all legal by marrying our partners in crime. AIDS changed everything. It held us together in fear, and thrust us forward into a future we never could have imagined. Despite the heartache and the pain of losing the ones we loved, it forced us out of the closets, and into the hearts and minds of our family members, and our lesbian sisters who helped to care for us every step of the way. In the Big Picture scheme, it gave us much needed allies who came out to support



MARK A. LEE NUVO@NUVO.NET Mark A. Lee is currently working with the Indiana Historical Society to help them create an LGBT History exhibit for the state of Indiana.

us in our fight for marriage equality. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. AIDS also gave us a crapload of enemies who would swear on their graves the disease was nothing more than the wrath of a vengeful God exacting retribution upon us for being gay. Coming out of the closet was the lynchpin; AIDS was merely the vehicle that forced us to burst open the closet door. And here in Indiana, closet doors can be very, very heavy. In 1993 I set out to interview gays and lesbians who were 65 or older and had lived the majority of their lives in the state of Indiana. One of my favorite interviews was with a woman by the name of Clair. Clair grew up on a farm in southern Indiana, and married a gentleman she would end up spending the rest of her life with. Shortly after they had their first child, Clair met the love of her life. For the purposes of this story, we’ll call her Judy. Clair and Judy were madly in love, but these were different times. They decided to wait until Clair’s daughter left for college, before Clair would leave her husband to be with Judy. Only before her daughter graduated high school, Clair’s husband lost his eyesight, and since“guilt is the mother’s milk” as Clair used to say, Clair stayed with her spouse. Judy moved in to help care for Clair’s husband, and they remained together in that home until Judy passed away from cancer 30 years later. I met Clair at the March on Washington in ’93, and she

told me her story at the Women’s Music Festival in Bloomington shortly after. At the time she told me her story, she was still caring for her husband, and her daughter had no clue about her mother’s relationship with Judy. Another gentleman told me stories about Claypool Court, a hotel located where the Artsgarden is now. Next to the door that led into the hotel, they had a drawing of a pansy, with the words, “NOT WELCOME!” printed underneath. The message was clear. There were NO PANSIES allowed! A year after conducting these interviews, I led the Lavender Book Club at Borders bookshop. One of the regulars was a gentleman who drove from Bloomington, Indiana for the opportunity to discuss gay and lesbian literature with a group of about 20 people who shared his love for books. He marveled at how when he was young any books that remotely dealt with the topic of homosexuality were kept in the archives of the Central Library. The only way of taking 4 a look at these books was by asking for the book by name, and letting the librarian know why you were interested in checking them out. The concept of a predominately straight bookstore such as Borders catering to the LGBT community was a novel concept for him. The first public Pride event was held on the Circle in 1990. Gay men were still being arrested for “cruising” the circle, so it was important for us to take a stand. Before that, we celebrated Pride by paying $3 for a picnic at Westlake Park; and as >>> PHOTOS BY MARK A. LEE

1. With the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), SB 101, about to become law, t-shirts like the one this gentleman is wearing during ‘92 Pride, may become mandatory clothing for the LGBT community to wear so businesses will know who among us goes against their deeply-held religious beliefs. 2. Care coordinators and clients from the South Bend AIDS Task Force carry a banner during the Indianapolis AIDS Walk in 1995. 3. (L to R) Jack Meier and Rich Simone were married by Miki Mathioudakis on June 16, 1990. They were legally wed in NYC on August 16, 2011. 4. Gay men gathered to watch drag queens perform during Pride in ‘92 5. Members of Depauw University were among those who participated in the March on Washington in ‘93, where over a million members of the LGBT community gathered to fight for our rights. 34 NEWS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

A history of Pride 2





Over 85,000 people attended Pride in 2014 — including members of the LGBT community, as well as allies.

<<< early as 1981, LGBT people were invited to a private luncheon at the Essex hotel. The Circle brought us, and the people who were against us, out into the open. The very first year, 3,000 gays and lesbians came out for the “Celebration on the Circle”, and they were greeted by 50 protestors. Some of them were carrying baseball bats, and several were wearing gas masks on top of their head in hopes of “not contracting AIDS”. Before any trouble could begin, the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus opened up the Pride Festival with the National Anthem. This confused the protestors to no end. They didn’t know whether to continue protesting, or to stand at attention for the “Star Spangled Banner”. The following year, I had a booth set up for the Gay Games. In order to grab people’s attention I had two posters: One was a photograph of a man who was all hot and sweaty from going on a run, and the other was of a shirtless man holding his newborn son close to his chest in a window sill. The protesters took one look at the photo of the man holding his son and said, “That’s disgusting!” Perceptions changed as the ’90s progressed. Nowhere was this more evident than when Ellen DeGeneres came out on her sitcom Ellen in 1997. The Vogue in Broad Ripple was packed with people who came out for a special viewing of her show, and they erupted in cheers when she said the magic words, “I’m gay!” For Michael Bohr, founder of the Chris Gonzalez Gay and Lesbian Archives, “I knew we made it as a gay community three years ago when they closed down

part of Meridian Street for the Pride Parade. That’s when I knew we had arrived!” The first Pride Parade was held on Mass Ave. 10 years ago, and if you blinked, you would have missed it! This past year it stretched out for more than two hours, and included politicians, numerous floats, and participants from major corporations such as Cummins, Dow Chemical and Lilly. To paraphrase the Virginia Slims commercial made famous in the late ’60s and early ’70s, “We’ve come a long way, baby!” n


Lola Palooza (aka Adam Goble) announced the game during the Bag Ladies Bat n Rouge Softball Pride event in 2014. 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // NEWS 35




I have this habit of applying esoteric pop culture references to help me understand or explain everyday situations, much like Peter Griffin’s frequent nonsequiturs in Family Guy. It’s been second nature for me since I was in my teens. I read something, maybe hear a snippet of conversation and BAM! My mind races to contextualize the experience with a movie quote or a video game reference. For example, when I hear people talk about how far we’ve come toward LGBT equality, a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies surfaces: “I survived my family, my schoolyard, every Republican, every other Democrat, Anita Bryant, the Pope, the fucking Christian Coalition, not to mention a real son of a bitch of a virus, in case you haven’t noticed. In all that time since Paul Lynde and Truman Capote were the only fairies in America, I’ve been busting my ass so that you’d be able to do what you wanted with yours!” - Bill Truitt (Martin Donovan), The Opposite of Sex, 1998 Preach on, brother Bill! We owe our sincere thanks to those who came before us; those who risked and endured arrests, beatings and being disowned or excommunicated to secure the rights we may take for granted today. We’ve certainly come a long way, but our expedition to reach full equality in our state and our country remains

DOUG WHITINGER EDITORS@NUVO.NET Doug, a native Hoosier, has helped NUVO explore a range of issues facing Indy’s LGBT community including legislation, politics and bullying with a pop culture twist.

fraught with more side quests than a Legend of Zelda sequel. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a wise yet mysterious sage who would pop up in times of uncertainty to point us in the right direction? “Way to go, Link! You’ve achieved marriage equality, but darkness still lurks in the hearts of those who would do you harm.”

(L to R) Anthony Kariotis and Daniel Barrett were among those married by Marion County Clerk Beth White in the City-County building on June 25th, 2014. 36 NEWS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

Yes, marriage equality reigns in the magical kingdom of Indiana, and if recent comments from Supreme Court justices are any indication, by June it may cover the entire realm of Hyrule ... I mean America. But other baddies lie in wait, eager to drain our heart containers and return us to our last save point; the one before we slew the evil wizard who’d locked our rights in a tower made of magical beliefs. If you’re a straight person, you might be reading this and thinking to yourself: What does the push for true equality have to do with me? Maybe we can apply some advice from America’s favorite little orphan, and consider that (sing it with me): “Your son might come out tomorrow!” (Or your daughter, for that matter.) And I bet my bottom dollar that you don’t want your kids to be treated as second-class citizens by the future Miss

Indiana’s first openly gay City County Councillor Zach Adamson, holds hands with his husband Christian Mosburg. They were married in DC on October 19, 2013.


Hannigans of the world. The Human Rights Campaign identified multiple areas that factor into the struggle to achieve equality, and their 2014 State Equality Index categorizes Indiana’s efforts to achieve full equality at “high risk.” The greatest threat we’re facing at the moment is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) proposed by state Sen. Schneider. This bill means to allow small business owners, on the basis of their “deeply-held religious beliefs”, to refuse service to LGBT Hoosiers, among others. I can’t help but picture Piper Laurie’s wide-eyed portrayal of Margaret White, >>>

Mrs. and Mrs. Brittany and Alice Jones are cheered on by onlookers as they exit the room where they were legally married in the City-County Building on June 24, 2014.

NEWS LGBT RIGHTS <<< the fanatical mother of Stephen King’s telekinetic teen Carrie. If she opened a local bakery, she could refuse to sell her (no doubt) dry and tasteless confections to anyone she deemed less-than-Christian. Even then she’d still end each sale to those she deemed worthy by exclaiming “Eve was weak!” Opponents of equality haven’t stated one single negative consequence that would come from allowing full equality to all citizens, other than it may slightly inconvenience those with a religious bone to pick, or it may force them to explain things that make them uncomfortable to their children. Sorry, but your kids are your responsibility. If you didn’t want to have to explain the reality of the world to them, maybe you should’ve gotten a dog instead. Lassie never asked any tough questions. There are so many other rights to secure before we achieve full equality. We need to go full-on Norma Rae

and unify the current legal framework by demanding all states and localities provide the same level of protection to all Americans. Our current patchwork of laws and ordinances may guarantee protection in Indiana but maybe not Kentucky or Kansas. It’s crazy that a couple could get married at the CityCounty Building in the morning and be evicted by their landlord that afternoon because their dedication to each other makes Mr. Furley spend too much time thinking about what they do together behind closed doors. We all deserve protection from discrimination in housing, employment, education and public accommodations regardless of our sexual orientation, our gender identity or the religious or political leanings of our neighbors and leaders. In Erin Brockovich’s terms: “What makes you think you can just walk in there and get what we need?” “They’re called rights, Ed.” n PHOTO BY MARK A. LEE

(L to R) Deborah Goodman from Chicago, and Michael Knote from Piqua, Ohio, join Scott Spychala from Indianapolis prior to the 7th Circuit Court hearing in Chicago in August 2014. “I want to get married someday, and I think everyone in the whole country should be able to do that”, says Goodman.






WWW.RMANNLAWOFFICE.COM 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // NEWS 37





was 16 years old in March 1990 when NUVO published its first issue. That’s the same age my oldest son is now. As an African-American woman who grew up in Indianapolis I’ve been thinking about the city my son lives in compared to the city my teenage self experienced 25 years ago. One cliché keeps popping into my head: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I was raised on the north side of Indianapolis, a proud graduate of the MSD of Washington Township (GO Panthers!). North Central High School, in my mind, was a microcosm of the city as a whole. There were students of varying races, ethnicities and nationalities. Socioeconomic backgrounds were just as diverse. The student parking lot ranged from BMWs to the students who took the bus everyday and could only dream of their own engines. Spiritual backgrounds were represented by everything from Christianity to Judaism to Islam to Wiccan to the faithless. We were all there under one roof, co-existing

A personal testimony on the Circle City’s racial diversity AMBER STEARNS ASTEARNS@NUVO.NET Amber Stearns is the News Editor for NUVO and

in the name of education. Some of us were more than willing to embrace that education of academia and life while others … not so much. What I didn’t realize until well into my adult years, was how sheltered I was even in such a diverse environment. My circle of friends was tight, based on my interests and academic pursuits. I had heard the rumors of Black vs. white confrontations; student-to-student tensions as well as student-to-teacher battles. I remember when a large Black male student was suspended and arrested for pushing a white teacher through a plate glass floor-to-ceiling window in the computer room for calling him a racial slur. And I remember when Dr. Eugene White was brought to North Central from the Fort Wayne Community School District to become principal of our school. His mission was to bring an end to the racial tensions within the school,


Amber Stearns (shown here at age 16) was born and raised in Indianapolis and has lived her entire life in the state of Indiana.

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police the halls and to be a role model to the young Black males who were getting lost in the cracks. I also remember the stories and lessons from my parents and grandparents. There were places around the city and state I was told I shouldn’t go as a Black girl. South of downtown was off limits and trips downtown were limited to special occasions in large groups. Manners and best behavior were considered a survival skill. All of my Black friends were told the same thing by their parents. And if an African-American family moved into the neighborhood or school district, they were told the same things. That’s how Indiana’s dark history lives on, traveling by word-of-mouth like all of the great stories in history. If you know anything about Indiana’s history, then you can probably imagine my family’s shock and concern when my first job out of college was in Marion, Indiana. Despite the 65-year time span between the lynchings of Thomas Ship and Abram Smith and my employment at a local radio station, my grandmother called me every day after work for a month to make sure I was OK. It didn’t get any better when I went from Marion to Kokomo in March 1996. My family was relatively quiet until July 1996 when the Ku Klux Klan decided they would rally on the courthouse square. From what I understand, it wasn’t near the size of the gathering 73 years prior — one of the largest Klan gatherings in history. I did not witness the event personally because the Kokomo police chief at that time made it clear he would not let me cover the event for the newsroom. It makes me smile to this day to remember the extreme look of concern on his face when I realized he earnestly had my safety at heart. I should probably mention that a company headquartered in Martinsville owned both the Kokomo and Marion radio stations I had worked for. I will admit that as a young woman I always held my breath, watched my speed, and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible whenever I drove through Martinsville on my way to Bloomington. It was made clear at an early age that the ghost of Carol Jenkins still lingered and I had no desire to meet her fate.

The ghosts of the past march to the beat of the storytellers that pass those tales on to generation after generation. They are told in the stories of police brutality and racial profiling that pop up in cases like Danny Sales in 1995 and Brandon Johnson in 2010. When the Lawrence North Lady Wildcats were met with racial taunting and gorilla suits when facing the Bedford North Lawrence Lady Stars during last year’s semistate game, the collective memory took everyone back to 1998 when the Martinsville home team greeted the Bloomington North visiting team with racial slurs and dirty play on the court (that included biting). Community elders recited the story of how the 1955 state championship team from Crispus Attucks High School received those same taunts in the face of their victory from a state in the hands of a racially-biased government. The life of my 16-year-old self is much different than that of my 16-year-old son. Texting and Twitter weren’t my primary forms of communication. It took forever to write a perfect paper on a word processing typewriter (the ones where you could only view one line at a time) compared to emailing the paper to a teacher’s dropbox from your schoolissued Chromebook. But I still share the stories passed on to me. I find myself having the conversations about manners and good behavior if I’m ever approached by law enforcement. As my son acquires the driving hours needed to get his license this spring, the list of where to go and not to go is still included in my lesson as if they were a part of basic map navigation. Why? Because the concerns of my parents are now my concerns. Despite the success of African-Americans in this city in business, government, entertainment and sports, there remains a level of systemic racism that lies just below the surface. And so the ghosts march out of the past and continue on, chanting the mantra, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” n


We remember when you were born!

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EDUCATION’S SHIFT TO THE SPOTLIGHT When “school choice” became the buzz word


ometimes a moment can provide a window into a movement. The moment came a little more than 15 years ago. At the time, I was executive director of what was then the Indiana Civil Liberties Union – now the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. The school choice movement was just beginning to gain momentum in Indiana then. Choice champions – they hadn’t settled yet on the more neutralsounding “education reform” moniker – were pushing measures in the Indiana General Assembly to provide tax credits or vouchers to parents. The courts hadn’t yet ruled that tax credits would violate provisions in the U.S. and Indiana constitutions prohibiting the use of public funds to support religious education. Nor had the courts yet determined that using a voucher would allow those public funds to be “laundered” through parents’ hands so the constitutional restrictions could be evaded. The ICLU was opposed to both tax credits and vouchers and we wanted to find a way to educate the public about the constitutional issues. We settled on a campaign of inviting prominent voucher advocates to debate the issue. We sent a challenge to Steve Goldsmith, then the mayor of Indianapolis. He said no. We sent one to Patrick Rooney, the chieftain of Golden Rule insurance and a staunch school choice warrior. He declined, too. After several more invitations – and still more rejections – we finally heard a counterproposal. A group of voucher supporters would bring Clint Bolick to debate me. Bolick was a lawyer and writer who had been one of the architects of Milwaukee’s school voucher program. He’d argued the issue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and authored a book on the subject. He and I debated two times in one day. The first was over the lunch hour in downtown Indianapolis. The crowd consisted primarily of well-heeled voucher fans. They had festooned the room with banners about the virtues of school choice. Informational tables were stocked with glossy, expensive promotional brochures and other costly pieces. Bolick focused most of his atten-

JOHN KRULL EDITORS@NUVO.NET John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of

tion on attacking the weaknesses of the public school system. I directed the bulk of my fire at the dangers of tearing down the wall separating church and state. One exchange was telling. After Bolick had criticized public schools for being unwilling to compromise or open themselves to new ideas, I mentioned that the Indianapolis Public Schools had tried a kind of public school choice system called Select Schools at the urging of many of the people gathered in that room – who also were the people who had paid to bring Bolick to town. The rollout of Select Schools was a disaster. It turned out a map of school bus routes when everyone makes a different choice about which to school to attend resembled a wad of overcooked spaghetti. There were days when the buses didn’t get children delivered to class until after 11 a.m. – and didn’t get them back home until late at night. Many of the vocal school choice fans in Indiana – many of whom were gathered in that room – fled the Select Schools fiasco as if their checkbooks were on fire. But, even as they sprinted away from the scene of the disaster they’d helped create, they continued to preach accountability to everyone else within earshot. As I spoke about Select Schools, members of the crowd began to boo and hiss. One man stood up and stomped out of the room, flapping his arms in disparagement in the direction of the stage as he walked out. The second debate was at Arsenal Tech High School that evening. Stung by the glossy promotional outlay in favor of vouchers at the first debate, some public school parents had created their own

40 NEWS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

homemade banner to string across the back of the Tech stage. The voucher advocates objected. They said the banner wasn’t fair. When the public school parents brought up the banner and promotional barrage at the lunch debate, the voucher crowd said that was different. “How?” the public school parents asked. It just was, the voucher fans said. On that quarrelsome note, the second debate began. The format called for each side to have a panel of four people asking questions of Bolick and me – and then for the two of us to take questions from the audience. The voucher panel asked their questions of Bolick and waited patiently for him to answer. When they asked me a question, they often interrupted before I’d finished the first sentence. Late in the debate, I set a small trap for Bolick. I said a writer whose name I couldn’t recall had written that the public schools were performing admirably except in those parts of the country where poverty was a grinding reality. That wasn’t the complete truth. I knew the writer’s name. It was Bolick. He stepped into it. He launched another attack on the public schools. The voucher partisans in the audience clapped and roared approval. When my turn came again, I told the members of the audience I hadn’t been completely honest with them. I said I knew the writer’s name, after all, and I looked in Bolick’s direction when I cited the page of his book where the passage could be found. Bolick looked stricken, and then nodded his head to say I was correct. As he did so, the voucher crowd came to resemble a New England Patriots football. It didn’t matter. The take-away from that moment in the long trench war that has become our discussions about education in Indiana was that winning an argument on the merits was like throwing a pebble at a tank. Everything that would come to define the carefully-branded education reform movement in the years ahead was on display that day.

The glossy publications and other media – and even the decision to bring in an expensive hired gun to debate – were evidence of just how heavily invested, in every sense of the word, moneyed players were in trying to get a bigger and bigger slice of Indiana’s multi-billion dollar education budget. There also was the determination to ignore any information that contradicted their beliefs or position. The transportation hassles that accompanied IPS’ experiment in public school choice at least should have demonstrated that the idea of school choice was more complicated than it appeared. The voucher supporters would hear none of it. Last, but most important, was the insistence on absolute accountability for the public schools and everyone who supported them and an equally absolute refusal to accept responsibility for any actions or ideas of their own. That public school choice experiment that we screamed for didn’t work? That’s your problem, not ours. Accountability is for other people, not us. We’re more than 15 years down the road. Vouchers now are sanctified both by state law and an Indiana Supreme Court decision. We’re spending more than $100 million per year on vouchers – and still more on charter schools. Neither vouchers nor charters have demonstrated yet that they can lift student performance. In many cases, in fact, students use “choice” to attend schools that perform worse than traditional public schools. Perhaps that is why many education reform advocates now don’t argue that vouchers or charters will improve education in Indiana. Instead, they contend that creating school choice is a kind of entitlement for parents – and that the state’s taxpayers should be happy to pay more to “empower” those parents. Such an argument, of course, relieves them of the responsibility of meeting the standards of accountability they demand of others, but that’s not a surprise. Pebbles and tanks. Yeah, pebbles and tanks.n


o sum up the Indianapolis media landscape in 1990, you really need only one word: staid. You had The Star – the newspaper equivalent of a 70-year-old man peering out from behind the wheel of a large automobile – the News (60-year-old man, slightly smaller car) and to a much lesser extent the Indianapolis Business Journal and the Indianapolis Recorder. Your TV news most likely came from Channel 6 or 8. Bob & Tom ruled the radio. Nobody stepped on anyone’s toes, no one challenged anyone on any grand scale, everyone knew their place, and everyone seemed to like it that way. Maybe not everyone, but you get the idea. That was the Indianapolis media world in which Nuvo was born. There had been other alternative publications – I seem to remember New Times and 12x, but I’m 25 years older now


25 YEARS OF LOCAL MEDIA MARC D. ALLAN EDITORS@NUVO.NET Marc Allan has been a writer in Indianapolis since 1988. He has been news manager for Butler University since 2004.

and so is my memory, so don’t hold me to that – but none so audacious as to charge (which NUVO did when it started; $1). I remember going to the newspaper box outsideThe Star (I was a generalassignment arts reporter then, soon to be the pop-music critic) to see about this alternative paper. And I remember thinking: eh. The word “meh” was not yet in use. It took a while for the paper to find its

footing, for Harrison Ullmann to take over the operation and burrow under my skin with his opinions. NUVO caused some ripples then, to be sure – and still does. But ripples are ripples. If you want to talk about how the city’s media landscape has changed over the past 25 years, you need to look at two pivotal events. The first was in 1994, when Channel 13 hired John Butte to run its news operation. At the time, 13’s early-evening newscasts would finish behind all the local stations and reruns of Punky Brewster in the ratings. WTHR had some talent (Tom Cochrun was a celebrated anchor and reporter; Bob Gregory an enormously popular weatherman), but it had no presence and not much stability when it came to air talent.    Butte changed that. He dispensed

with the niceties. WTHR became aggressive in its reporting and its promotion. The station went live (covering the Denny’s hostage crisis, for example) and it went big. It was the first station, for example, to report live from inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the morning of the 500. Michael Jordan’s return to basketball (at Market Square Arena) and Mike Tyson getting out of prison received massive coverage. In 1996, WTHR sent 17 people to Atlanta to cover the Olympics, and it had three members of the anchor team there for opening weekend. (I’m not ignoring past years’ coverage of the Coliseum explosion, the Tony Kiritsis hostage situation or The Star’s flooding-the-zone reporting of the Pan Am Games. I’m S E E , MEDIA , O N PA GE 4 2

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F R O M P A G E 41

simply saying that 17 people was an extraordinary expenditure of resources and airtime. That woke up everyone.) Suddenly, 13 was in your face. And the public noticed. So did the people who handed out awards. Local TV has never been the same since. Look at the number of local TV personalities who have switched stations in recent years. Look at the number of billboards around town hawking the respective stations. What B.B. (Before Butte) had been mannerly is, A.B., a battle. The second sea change came in 2002, when WENS-FM (97.1) poached the morning team, Julie Patterson and Steve King, from WZPL-FM (99.5) and paid them for six months to stay off the air and honor the non-compete clause in their contract. Both ’ENS (which became the country station WLHK in 2005) and ’ZPL were fairly middling stations ratings-wise, and the move did little to change that. In fact, Julie and Steve were fired a year later. But till then, hiring away talent Really. Was. Not. Done. Why? Call it a gentlemen’s agreement, call it courtesy, call it a way to keep down salaries. Call it whatever you want. But that was another sign that the local media world had changed. No More Mr. Nice Guys and Gals. No one was just content with their slice of the pie. They wanted yours too. There are any number of other changes you can point to that altered the city’s media world. Obviously, the internet is, to borrow a phrase from Howard Beale, “the most awesome God-damned force in the whole godless world.” And then there’s social media. If you say you could have predicted 25 years ago that a national story (I’m thinking “Deflate-gate” here) would start as a tweet, then you probably were with Brian Williams in that helicopter that got shot down over Iraq. In thinking about some of the major moves that have changed Indianapolis media over the last 25 years, these come immediately to mind. I’m sure there are others: • Howard Caldwell’s retirement from WRTV (Channel 6) in 1994. Caldwell provided reliability and stability for 35 years. In the 20-plus years since he left Channel 6, money-sucking greedhead ownership (gone, thankfully) and a succession of both anchors and news directors have resulted in ratings numbers that sometimes read like Blutarsky’s GPA: 0.0.

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One EMMIS Plaza, the home of EMMIS Communications, opened on Monument Circle in 1998.

• The closing of the Indianapolis News in 1999 and the sale of The Star to Gannett in 2000, which led to a mass exodus of powerful voices, including (but hardly limited to) sports columnists Robin Miller and Bill Benner. • The ongoing, aggressive push by WXIN (Channel 59) to add hours upon hours of news (now around 60 a week). • Mike Ahern’s retirement from WISH in 2004, which left the market without a “dean” of broadcasting and audiences without a go-to anchorman. • Emmis Communications creating WLHK (97.1) in 2005, which not only dared to challenge market-dominant WFMS-FM (95.5) but took away a sizeable portion of its audience. • Channel 13 hiring Angela Buchman away from WISH in 2012 (and paying her to sit out a year until her non-compete expired). • Channel 13 hiring Bob Kravitz away from The Star in 2014, thereby boosting the station’s web presence – and, it turns out, its national presence. And, of course, there’s the most recent seismic shift: Tribune swiping CBS programming from WISH, which had been the Eye network’s local affiliate for close to 60 years, and moving it to WTTV (Channel 4). If that weren’t enough of a thumb in WISH’s eye, the anchor team at WTTV includes two former WISH personalities, Debby Knox and Chris Wright. That’s a lot of change. And these days, changes occur more often and much faster than they used to, and they tend to be much more massive. So if you were to sum up the Indianapolis media landscape now, it requires three words: constantly in flux. n





lot has gone through my mind since I was invited to write this article for the 25th anniversary issue of NUVO. What do I want to say? To give voice to my experience that has been difficult, exhilarating, complicated and most importantly transformative did not seem like an easy or even desirable task. It is a very personal journey (pun intended) for anyone who undertakes it. I agonized over what bend to take. Should I quote a lot of statistics about how immigrants started 28 percent of all new U.S. businesses in 2011, despite accounting for just 12.9 percent of the U.S. population? Just a decade and a half earlier, in 1996, only 15 percent of new U.S. businesses were founded by immigrants. Or should I talk about the daily struggle to find a balance between my desire to preserve my cultural identity and my need to embrace my chosen home? In the end I could not choose, shockingly. Immigrants have always been an integral part of Indiana’s social fabric. The past few decades have seen many changes not only demographically, but also in the way foreign born residents have impacted the social environment. If we go back a hundred years, the largest groups of Indiana’s immigrant populations were from Europe, predominantly German, Irish, and Italian. Their traditions and neighborhoods still hold true to this day. You can see them in the beautiful churches or yearly festivals that celebrate their cultures and invite their neighbors and friends to share in

their joy. Over the last decade the larger percentage of foreign-born residents has come from Asia, Africa and Latin America. With this came a subtle but sure shift in the food, entertainment, art and entrepreneurial terrain of this city. The city, before my very eyes, became a growing, changing organism nourishing those who came to it, giving them shelter as it absorbed what they offered. The travelers came in many forms: political refugees from Myanmar looking for safety, high skilled labor to fill the gaps in the job market, and students from all over the world questing for education in a different context. The native demographic shifted from graduate students who very sincerely asked me if there were roads and electricity in India to culturally savvy, cosmopolitan youth not just deeply invested in their own history and culture but also aware of how close the world is to them. There is a new thirst to know, to experience, a genuine desire for communion that grew out of shared barbeques with the Greek neighbors and Saturday lasagna with the Italians. The trees in whose shade we rest today were planted by our parents and grandparents one decision at a time. But in spite of the strides we have made, all is not well. In spite of the fact that the income from immigrant-owned businesses increased by more than 60 percent. Immigrant-owned firms now generate more than $775 billion in revenue, and $100 billion in income. The rate at which immigrants start new businesses grew by more than 50 percent between 1996 and 2011. Their path to come here is often

An immigrant’s take on immigration in Indy

fraught with legal, economic, and social obstacles, but the entrepreneurial opportunities that await them in America are enough to draw many of the most creative, risk-taking individuals in the world. Despite small businesses being among banking institutions’ most profitable loan clients, many immigrant entrepreneurs and small business owners from South Asia, Latin America, Africa and India seem to have trouble securing bank loans— even though such entrepreneurs boast low default rates. In some less desirable neighborhoods, the problem is particularly acute, inhibiting the success of local businesses like gas stations, grocery stores, and medical practices. Despite these obstacles, one in every 10 people employed at a privately owned U.S. company works at an immigrant-owned firm. Immigrantowned businesses pay out $126 billion in payroll per year. To bring it close to home, according to a Sagamore Institute for Policy Research study, immigrants contributed three-quarters of a billion dollars to Indiana’s fiscal health in form of income and sales tax in 2007. Over the past few years the media sentiment has become increasingly antiimmigrant. A myriad of problems ranging from the economy to the job market to terrorism to disenfranchised youth have been blamed on the elusive shadow immigrant who only lives to damage the American way of life. There is a wariness, a subtle distrust that lurks behind the polite, politically correct facade that shows itself in the decisions made and bills proposed by the Indiana General Assembly. Yet many immigrants like my-

self live in hope because of many daily interactions with kind, open hearted, generous people. These are people who can hear past the strange lilt of my tone to listen to my dreams. They are friends who comfort us when we were homesick, elders who guide us when we lost, and strangers who stop in our lives just to add some music and borrow some spice. It seems like yesterday I arrived at the Indianapolis International Airport with two suitcases, $2500 and exactly one friend. Everyday people leave their homes with less than that to arrive on the shores of foreign lands across the world. Why do we uproot ourselves from everything familiar and give up all we know to build our homes in an essentially alien landscape? We are leaving behind persecution, fleeing circumstances, searching for a better future for our children or just running from ourselves. The reasons on the surface are many and varied but there is a common theme: search. We search for a place to build our nest because we can no longer belong to where we were placed by the hand of fate. I ask, dear reader, before you make up your mind, take a moment to realize that underneath it all we all want the same things. We want home, hearth and family. We want a better future for our children. So, if you haven’t already, grab a sixpack or a plate of cookies and get to know the alien next door. n A native of India, Manu has made her home in Indianapolis for the better part of 15 years. She is obsessed with her cats and her books.

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very story is big when it breaks, but some stories are naturally bigger than others. Some stories shape a culture or community and some lead to legislation, litigation, or leadership changes. Over the last 25 years certain stories have shaped the development of Indianapolis and surrounding areas and effected change, good and bad. These are some of the biggest that have led us to where we are today.


RYAN WHITE DIES OF AIDS AT THE AGE OF 18 Just a few weeks after NUVO made its maiden voyage and began a legacy of bringing a “new voice” to print media in Indianapolis, a teenage icon succumbed to the illness that made him

famous. Ryan White died April 8, 1990 and was laid to rest one week later. His funeral drew the presence of celebrities like Elton John and Michael Jackson and put Indianapolis in the same conversation with San Francisco and New York in terms of AIDS and HIV awareness. The hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion became the face of the education movement for the disease. His legacy is immortalized in federally legislated resources for low-income Americans infected with HIV as well as a permanent exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.


MIKE TYSON IS ARRESTED, TRIED AND CONVICTED ON RAPE CHARGES Indianapolis received more national attention in the July 1991 when heavy-

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A look at news events that changed the face of this city and state weight boxing champion Mike Tyson was arrested on rape charges. Tyson and 18-year-old Desiree Washington, Miss Black Rhode Island, were in Indianapolis for Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration. Washington accused Tyson of luring her to his hotel under the guise of a party and raping her. The trial took place in late January 1992. Tyson was found guilty after 10 hours of deliberations and was sentenced to 6 years in an Indiana state prison. He served three years of his term and was released in 1995.


INDIANAPOLIS POLICE BRUTALITY INCIDENT LEADS TO “MINI-RIOT” Indianapolis police arrested 21-year-old Danny Sales on July 25, 1995 during a drug trafficking crackdown in the city. Sales accused the arresting officer, a

police sergeant, of beating him during the arrest. Sales filed a complaint at IPD’s North District office at 42nd Street and College Avenue the following day. Sales was dissatisfied with the response to his complaint and staged a protest outside of the precinct. Others joined him and the crowd gained strength in numbers reaching over 100. Police responded to the protesting crowd with tear gas, K-9 units and armored riot vehicles. The confrontation lasted for several days and led to looting and people throwing rocks and bricks at >>>


<<< authorities and the police station in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. The FBI was called to investigate the brutality complaint and IPD’s response to the protest. Fred Ramos and Steve Hammer went into the neighborhood to talk directly to residents, and their grievances and concerns regarding the Goldsmith administration’s relationship with Indy’s Black Citizens were published in the Aug. 3, 1995 issue of NUVO.


HERBERT BAUMEISTER INVESTIGATION AND SUICIDE The investigation into the mysterious disappearances of gay men in Indianapolis began in the early 1990s. In 1992, a witness told police a man he met at a gay bar, identified as “Brian Smart,” killed his friend and tried to kill him. Three years later that witness contacted police again, this time armed with a license plate number. The plate was registered to Westfield businessman Herbert Baumeister, founder and owner of the Sav-A-Lot thrift store chain. Indianapolis police and Marion County sheriff’s investigators were not allowed to search the Baumeister farm until 1996 when his wife finally became suspicious of her husband’s behavior and filed for divorce. Once on the property, authorities found the remains of 11 men buried on the farm. Herbert Baumeister fled to Ontario, Canada where he committed suicide. At the time of his death, Baumeister was under investigation for the deaths of nine additional men whose bodies were found in rural areas along the I-70 corridor between Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis.


INDIANAPOLIS BAPTIST TEMPLE TAX SCANDAL On February 13, 2001, U.S. marshalls entered the Indianapolis Baptist Temple under federal court order to seize the property. The church, under the leadership of Dr. Greg Dixon, had been the subject of a multiyear investigation and court battle regarding taxes. The Internal Revenue Service filed a lawsuit against the church in 1994 for not withholding taxes from its employees for several years. Dixon held fast to the claim that the “alleged pay” the IRS was referring to was a “love offering” to the people who worked in the church as “servants of God” and therefore wasn’t subject to taxation. In 1999, U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker ordered the church to pay $3.6 mil-

lion in back taxes which Dixon refused to do. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately refused to hear the case. In December 2000, Evans-Barker ordered the church property seized on behalf of the IRS. Church members barricaded themselves inside of the church following the order. It took two months before U.S. marshalls were able to take control of the property. Ten people were arrested peacefully during the raid and many people physically removed from the premises. NUVO’s Paul Pogue won multiple SPJ awards for his coverage — after joining church members inside the barricaded church. Pogue’s Oct. 26, 2000 cover story won First Prize for Best Deadline Reporting.

Sept. 11, 2001

TERROR ATTACKS Along with the rest of the U.S., airspace over Indianapolis is closed after the 9/11 terror attacks. Planes hijacked by jihadists slammed into both towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth flight, headed for the West Coast, turned over Ohio and doubled back to the east. United 93 would eventually crash into a field in Shanksville, PA after passengers stormed the cockpit.


HAMILTON AVE. MURDERS IMPD officers responded to a 911 call just after 10 p.m. on the night of June 1, 2006. At 560 North Hamilton Ave., officers found seven people, four adults and three children, shot dead in their home. To this day, the massacre is considered to be the worst mass murder in Indianapolis history. James Stewart and Desmond Turner were identified and arrested within two days of the crime S E E , M AJ OR , O N P A GE 4 6 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // NEWS 45


Seven people died when a stage collapsed on Aug. 12, 2012, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds during a country music show. Photographer Ernie Mills was near the sound board when disaster struck.



Stewart is serving a 425-year sentence while Turner is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility for parole. The property sustained fire damage twice within two years following the murders. It was eventually demolished by the city in 2010.


GREG BALLARD IS ELECTED THE 48TH MAYOR OF INDIANAPOLIS. When Bart Peterson was elected the 47th mayor of Indianapolis in 1999, he was the first Democratic mayor in 30 years. His administration included the consolidation of the police and sheriff’s departments, mayor’s office-sponsored charter schools, developments in the arts, the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium and the beginning of the process for the city to submit what became a successful Super Bowl hosting bid. Peterson won re-election in 2003 by 63 percent so everyone, including the Republican party, assumed Peterson would sail through to a third term. Former Marine Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Ballard wasn’t considered a threat with his meager $300,000 in funds compared to Peterson’s $2.9 million war chest. However the issues of crime and increasing property taxes (which was more of a state issue thanks to reassessment mandates) proved to be Peterson’s Achilles’ heel. Ballard defeated Peterson 50 percent to 47 percent. Peterson’s defeat was declared the biggest political upset in Indiana history.


INDIANA BECOMES A FACTOR IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA Indiana had long been marked as a Republican state and with one of the latest primary elections in the country, the Hoosier state rarely got any love from presidential hopefuls. However the war for delegates to name the Democratic nominee for president brought the battlefield right to the Crossroads of America. Either frontrunner was set to make history: the first African-American president in Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, or the first female president in Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY. Clinton won the primary in Indiana by a less than one percent margin, but lost the nomination to Obama due to an overwhelming defeat in North Carolina the same day. Indiana added the state’s nine electoral votes to the Democrat’s win over Republican John McCain. Obama’s one percent victory over John McCain in Indiana marked the first time the Hoosier state had elected a Democratic presidential nominee since 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson was elected to his first full term.


BRANDON JOHNSON POLICE BRUTALITY CASE It was the biggest case of racial police brutality since the Danny Sales incident in 1995. Fifteen-year-old Brandon Johnson was at an eastside apartment May 16, 2010 when IMPD officers arrived to investigate the report of an attempted robbery. Johnson claimed he was beaten by police officers as he tried to comfort his little brother who was

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about to be arrested. Police say Johnson was trying to incite a riot among the teens at the apartment as his brother violently resisted arrest. In the end, Johnson sustained multiple cuts and bruises including a swollen eye, broken nose, chipped teeth and cuts to his face. The incident led to public outcry of racial inequality and excessive use of force by IMPD. The officers involved were eventually exonerated of any wrongdoing and the city reached a monetary settlement of $150,000 granted to Johnson’s family in a civil lawsuit.


OFFICER DAVID BISARD SLAMS INTO MOTORCYCLISTS On August 6, 2010 Officer David Bisard drove his police cruiser into a group of motorcyclists. One biker, Eric Wells, was killed in the accident. Two others, Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly, were critically injured. A blood test conducted two hours later showed Bisard’s blood alcohol content level to be more than twice the legal limit. However how that blood was taken, broken protocols in the storage of a second vial of blood and questions surrounding its use as evidence in court led to an even bigger scandal within the police department. Public outcry ranged from the integrity of the force in trying to protect “one of their own” to the role and integrity of then Public Safety Director Frank Schaub. All the way up through sentencing Bisard denied being intoxicated behind the wheel. Several mid-level ranking officers were terminated based on the handling of the accident investigation. Police Chief Paul Ciesielski and Public


Safety Director Frank Straub ultimately resigned in 2012 as a result of the mismanagement of the case.


BEI BEI SHUAI CHARGED WITH MURDER AND ATTEMPTED FETICIDE Just two days before Christmas 2010, a Chinese immigrant named Bei Bei Shuai was rushed to an Indianapolis hospital. Shuai had ingested rat poison in an attempt to take her own life. She was also 33 weeks pregnant at the time. Shuai’s baby was delivered by caesarean section on New Year’s Eve only to die in her mother’s arms four days later. On March 11, 2011 Shaui was arrested on murder and attempted feticide charges. She remained incarcerated for 14 months without bail. Her case started a national discussion on mental health and the rights of pregnant women. Indiana’s feticide bill was originally written to protect pregnant women against violence from third party perpetrators like violent boyfriends or armed assailants. Defense Attorney Linda Pence argued heavily in court and on the public stage that suicide was not a crime against law and that prosecuting this case could lead to the criminalization of a pregnant woman’s actions outside of the law. The case was ultimately settled in 2013 when Shuai pled guilty to misdemeanor criminal recklessness and was sentenced to time already served.


STAGE COLLAPSE AT INDIANA STATE FAIR It was the “Year of the Dairy Cows” >>>


<<< at the 2012 Indiana State Fair. On the night of August 13, discussions were held as to whether the headliner Sugarland would perform following their opening act, Sara Bareilles, or if the show should be postponed or canceled because of weather. Before officials got the chance to announce an evacuation a wind burst from the storm front moved in and caused the temporary stage roof to collapse on the crowd below. Seven people were killed and 58 others were injured. The tragic incident and following investigation resulted in a revised emergency preparedness plan for the state fair, higher stage rigging standards, multiple payouts to the victims and their families and several lawsuits, some of which are still working their way through the court system.


RICHMOND HILL EXPLOSION A quiet neighborhood on the southeast side of Indianapolis was rocked awake when a house exploded on November 12, 2012. The blast leveled the home at 8349 Fieldfare Way and severely damaged numerous others in the Richmond Hill subdivision. The couple next door to the blast site, John and Jennifer Longworth, was killed. Seven other neighbors were injured. Investigators determined the explosion was intentional. The motive is believed to be insurance fraud. Eventually the homeowner, Monserrate Shirley, her boyfriend Mark Leonard, and his brother Bob Leonard were all initially charged with murder and arson. In January 2015, Shirley agreed to a guilty plea in exchange for her testimony against the other two suspects. A fourth suspect, Gary Thompson, was also arrested in January 2015. The trials for the Leonard brothers are still pending.


SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BECOMES LEGAL IN INDIANA In 1986, state statute was established restricting marriages in Indiana to only between one man and one woman. In 1997, the law was revised to include language stating Indiana would not recognized same sex marriages solemnized in other states as well. In 2004, the movement began to cement that “traditional” marriage language into the state’s constitution. The Indiana General Assembly finally approved the constitutional amendment in 2011, however it needed to pass again in either 2013 or 2014 in order to get to the final hurdle of a referendum vote on the ballot. Groups mobilized and prepared for a fight at the statehouse each year. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the most important part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June 2013 added fuel to the Hoosier fire in preparation of fighting the battle in 2014. Marriage equality advocates won the battle on a technicality, but it was a win nonetheless. Lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the existing law began to move through the federal court system. That tidal wave reached shore in October 2014 when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Indiana’s appeal, thereby solidifying a U.S. District Court ruling that Indiana’s ban on samesex marriage was unconstitutional. NUVO’s coverage of the attempt to codify discrimination into the Indiana Constitution — a measure eventually known as HJR-3 — was anchored by Rebecca Townsend. Portions of “Bullies in the Statehouse — a Legislative Mess, a waste of resources and the chairman’s gay son” (a reference to Columbus GOP Rep. Milo Smith, chair of the elections committee), was picked up by national news outlets. n

Congratulations to NUVO on turning 25!


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Ryan White “It was a dark moment in Indiana, [though] he probably wouldn’t have been treated that much different anywhere else in the country.” That hard truth comes from journalist John Krull, as told to The Indianapolis Star. Kokomo leaders just didn’t know what to make of a kid diagnosed with AIDS in 1984. And, so, like pitchforkwielding provincials from time immemorial, they shunned him, banning him from his middle school and effectively sending his family into exile. Good thing there’s more than bigotry in Indiana. Celebrities and politicians alike came to White’s aid — with Elton John proving a particularly generous friend — and Reagan was finally compelled to address the ongoing epidemic. White died at Riley Hospital for Children in March 1990, outliving his prognosis by five years.

Prozac Introduced in 1987, Lilly’s cash cow became the nation’s top-selling antidepressant by 1990, right around the time that “Prozac survivors” started appearing on Donahue and Sally claiming the drug turned them into suicidal murderers. Eli Lilly executive vice president Eugene L. Step’s defense? “The message is really simple: depressed people commit suicide.” In her popular 1994 memoir Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel offered a more balanced take: “Prozac was the miracle that saved my life and jumpstarted me out of a full-time state of depression ... [but] I know that it is not the end but the beginning.”

Dave’s Mom Dave’s Late Show years have been decidedly inconsistent. It’s hard to blame

a guy for trying to stay true to Carson’s example and reach MOR audiences, but we came to miss the sharp-edged unpredictablity of his NBC days, when he would give significant air time to genuine weirdos like Larry “Bud” Melman and Harvey Pekar. His segments with his mom, Dorothy Mengering, now 94, struck a likable balance between the demands of an 11:30 show and the amateur goofiness of his later slot. Her “Guess Mom’s Pie” segment, broadcast “live” from Mengering’s Broad Ripple home, were an annual Thanksgiving delight until she took off her oven mitts for good in the early ’90s.

Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds Named “Babyface” by Bootsy Collins — oh, to have been nicknamed by Bootsy Collins — Edmonds has 25-plus R&B hits (most of them in the ’90s and ’00s, but he’s still working), 11 Grammy awards and a stretch of highway to his name. Plus a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His own work was in danger of being consigned to Muzak (“When Can I See You” is little more than sonic wallpaper), when Love, Marriage & Divorce, his collaboration with another ’90s artist nearing also-ran status, Toni Braxton, scored one more of those Number One R&B singles, not to mention another Grammy. And the critics liked it too; Robert Christgau gave it an A-. Welcome back, Babyface.

Stephen Goldsmith NUVO was never a friend to Goldsmith, but when the mainstream media wanted to write about privatization, they came to Indy. From a 1997 issue of TIME: “A pioneer in privatization, he has put more than 70 city services up for competitive bids; mayors across the country are learning from his success.” Goldsmith failed

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to parlay that attention into a spot in Bush’s administration, but did manage to get out of Indy, teaching at Harvard, then serving a short stint as New York City’s deputy mayor of operations under Bloomberg, where he came under fire for the city’s slow response to a snowstorm — “City doomed by deputy mayor and his flaky ideas,” joked the New York Daily News. Goldsmith resigned after 16 months on the job, shortly after being jailed following a domestic altercation with his wife. He was ultimately declared innocent of any charges.

Kurt Vonnegut Vonnegut died in April 2007, a few months into what Mayor Bart Peterson had proclaimed the Year of Vonnegut, urging all citizens to read Slaughterhouse-Five. It’s an irony — if we can call it that — that the author might’ve appreciated, given his love/hate relationship with the city, which he says he had to escape to become a writer, but to which he often returned in both fiction and essays. It’s a measure of Vonnegut’s influence and brilliance that people are still crediting him with quotes that certainly weren’t his — even after the famous “Wear sunscreen” editorial by a Chicago writer was given his byline. Not that there’s any lack for posthumous new material: His collected letters and new Library of America editions of his work offer plenty of new insights.

Jared Fogle Subway’s been kind of bipolar these past few years. On one hand, you have all those Jared ads, telling you just how good Subway can be for you if you choose their fresh and healthy options. It worked for Jared, right! And then on the other, you have Subway trying to compete with Arby’s, because who cares how fat you get as long as you’re stuffing pounds of delicious meat and bread and cheese in your foodhole. But it just shows how firmly associated Jared has become with the Subway brand. If only all of us could earn millions just for losing weight.

That’d be a hell of an incentive to stick to any diet.

Ryan Murphy A Warren Central HS and Indiana University grad, Ryan Murphy seems to have pretty much busted down every door in Hollywood. He started out as a journalist working for several big outlets (the L.A. Times, included), but quickly grew bored: “I had interviewed Cher for the fifth time and I as like okay, you got to do something else,” he told Terry Gross. He sold one of his first scripts to Steven Spielberg, created his forgettable first series Popular for the WB and then hit on a winner with Nip/Tuck. And then in 2009 came Glee, which opened the eyes of the rest of the country to the pomp and insanity of Midwest glee clubs and show choirs. And then The New Normal. And American Horror Story. And the films Running with Scissors and Eat, Pray, Love.

John and Sarah Green Pittsburgh played the part of Indianapolis in the film version of the The Fault in Our Stars, but the book on which it was based makes use of local locations, both magical (the “Funky Bones” sculpture at 100 Acres) and quotidian (the Speedway station at 86th Street and Ditch Road). John’s the guy with millions of Twitter followers and gazillions of YouTube views, but his wife, Sarah, has done more work in this community: She recently left her job at the IMA, where she was largely responsible for booking an extraordinary Ai Weiwei retrospective, to start an interactive web series on contemporary art that has featured several local artists and galleries. n

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NUVO’s Cultural Vision Award Winners

2014 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Judge Sarah Evans Barker Gennesaret Free Clinics Y12SR: Yoga of 12 Step Recovery Central Indiana Beekeeper’s Association Musical Family Tree Freedom Indiana John Green

2013 Winners NUVO Cultural Vision Awards Innovation. Inspiration. Celebration


ack in the late ’90s, NUVO started handing out something called “The Cultural Vision Awards.” The CVAs, as they’re known ‘round our campfire, are a way for NUVO to give back to Indy, to share with our readers the folks who did — and do — the most for Indy. Our Mission The NUVO Cultural Vision Awards shine a light on those individuals and organizations in Indianapolis who are bringing cultural innovation to our community and making it a better place for us all to live. Beginning in 1998 the Cultural Vision Awards have had at least two goals in mind. The first was to recognize individuals and organizations in this city doing innovative work. The NUVO Cultural Vision Awards are about shining a light on the talented people and creative enterprises. Our second goal for the awards can be summed up in a single word: community. This year, we’ve changed up the celebration a bit: In addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, NUVO will recognize five honorees from a field of 15 nominees for their contributions to the arts, food, music, social justice and sports communities of Indianapolis. Join us as we announce this year’s Cultural Vision Award winners and celebrate all our nominees on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at the Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue, Indianapolis. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the celebration is FREE and open to the public. n We’ll have more details as the date approaches.

Lifetime Achievement: Judy O’Bannon Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick Joyful Noise Indy Urban Acres People for Urban Progress Indy Reads Eskenazi Health

2012 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: John Mutz The Project School Nate Jackson, IUPUI 46 for XLVI: Arts Council of Indianapolis Tamara Zahn Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library RecycleForce

2011 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Lois Main Templeton Central Indiana Jobs With Justice Center for Inquiry Schools, Christine Collier Bicycle Garage Indy Primary Colours Katz & Korin Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Residency Program: Time for Three Good Earth Natural Food Store

2010 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: John Gibson MOKB: My Old Kentucky Blog King Park’s Gramse Project, Janine Betsey Indy Pride Bag Ladies Herron High School Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Art Earth House Collective, Kate Lamont Big Car, Jim Walker

2009 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Joyce Sommers Big City Farms, Matt Jose Girls, Inc., Pat Wachtel Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, Doug Rae Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Tony George Jazz Kitchen, David Allee Murphy Arts Building, Phil Campbell Naptown Roller Girls Silver in the City, Kristin Kohn Spotlight Indianapolis

2008 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Gerald Bepko Indianapolis Children’s Choir, 50 VOICES // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

Don Steffy and Henry Leck Indianapolis International Film Festival, Brian Owens Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, Ron and Jane Haldeman Indy Feral, Lisa Tudor Indy PRIDE, Scott VanKirk Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, David Forsell R-Bistro, Regina Mehallick Standard Recording Company, Mark Latta and Kevin Phillips Theatre on the Square, Ron Spencer

2007 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Sandy Reiberg Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, Mark Buselli Indiana Canine Assistant Network, Sally Irvin Indiana Equality, Jon Keep Indianapolis Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, Betty Perry Indy Fringe Festival, Pauline Moffat Sagamore Institute, John Clark Tonic Ball, Ken Honeywell William Ryder Yats Restaurants, Joe Vuskovich

2006 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: The Hampton Sisters ACLU of Indiana, Ken Falk Big Hat Books, Liz Barden Forest Manor Multi-Service Center, Regina Marsh IDADA, Mark Ruschman Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission Indianapolis Museum of Art, Lisa Freiman Justice for Janitors, Becky Moran Luna Music, Todd Robinson Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Betty Cockrum

2005 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Anna White American Pianists Association, Helen Small AYS, Ellen Clippinger Harrison Center for the Arts, Joanna Taft Heartland Film Festival, Jeff Sparks Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, J. Reid Williamson Radio Radio, David and Roni Clough Second Helpings, Gina Brooks Traders Point Creamery, Peter and Jane Elder Kunz Young and Laramore, David Young

2004 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Mari Evans Ball State University Indianapolis Center Chatterbox Jazz Club, David Andrichik Ed Wank & Dave O’Brien Improving Kids’ Environment, Tom Neltner Indiana Film Commission, Jane Rulon One: Organization for a New Eastside, Terry Jones Rep. Bill Crawford Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Ellen Munds United States of Mind, Joshua Strodtman

2003 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Congressman Andy Jacobs 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Rod Haywood

Blaine Hogan Butler Writers’ Series, Fran Quinn and Susan Neville Community Faith and Labor Coalition of Indianapolis, Nancy Holle Hoosier Environmental Council, Tim Maloney Indiana Youth Group, Rob Connoley IU-Kenya Partnership, Robert Einterz, M.D. Key Cinemas, Ron Keedy Martin Luther King Multi-Service Center, Diane Jackson

2002 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Raymond Leppard Berdache Communications, Wayne Zink Branching Out Productions, Dino Sierp Butler University Theatre department, Dr. John Green Christamore House, Olgen Williams Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Rev. C.V. Jetter CURE: Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, Celia Sweet Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, Bill McGowan Peace Learning Center, Charlie Wiles Theatre of Inclusion//Susurrus, Dante Ventresca and Melli Hoppe

2001 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Father Boniface Hardin Armonics Architecture, Olon Dotson and Russell Lewis Dayspring Center, Nellie Gold Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson Indy Parks Greenways, Ray Irvin International Violin Competition, Glenn Kwok Julian Center, Ann Delaney Key Learning Community, Patricia Bolanos Phoenix Theatre, Bryan Fonseca

2000 Winners

Lifetime Achievement: Sam Jones IMCPL: Meet the Artists exhibition, Anthony Radford Indy Jazz Fest, Cameron Smith La Plaza-Fiesta, Inc., Carmen DeRusha SEND: Southeast Neighborhood Development Corp., Bill Taft TAB Presbyterian Recreation Program, John Byers Ten Point Coalition, Rev. Charles Harrison WFYI “Across Indiana” series, Michael Atwood Young Audiences of Indiana, Joellen Florio Rossebo

1999 Winners Lifetime Achievement: Thomas Binford ACT Out! Asante Children’s Theatre, Deborah Asante Central Indiana Community Foundation, Ken Gladish Circle Centre Mall Quilt Project, Larry Gindhart and Carol Tharp-Perrin Indianapolis Art Center, Joyce Sommers Parents for Public Education, Maureen Jayne Polis Center, David Bodenhamer Supporting the Arts Responsibly (STAR)








1. Ray Romano. 2. Ellen DeGeneres before she became a household name. 3. Kevin Hart. 4. Jim Gaffigan. 5. Romano’s Raymond co-star Brad Garrett. 6. Ron White. 7. Louis C.K. 8. Daniel Tosh


hen NUVO debuted in March of 1990, a comedy boom was underway. Every Holiday Inn in every small town in North America seemed to have a “Comedy Night,” and that drove a huge demand for standup comics — some of whom were not really ready for the stage. Indy lucked out. In 1990, there were two great judges of good comedy: Crackers Comedy Club and The Bob and Tom Show on Q95. Crackers, founded in 1980, now has two locations (the downtown club is moving to 235 S. Meridian and will reopen this summer), and B&T would find themselves inking a national syndication deal before the turn of the millennium. As the comedy boom went bust, Indianapolis continued to support multiple venues, based on the strength of the acts booked by local club owners. Appearances on Bob and Tom’s morning show didn’t hurt, either. In the past 25 years, a plethora of soonto-be-huge acts have gotten their start on the club circuit. From the beginning of NUVO through today, the Crackers/B&T combo platter means stops in Indy are de rigueur on the way up. Dean Metcalf and Tom Griswold from The Bob and Tom Show sent us a list of comics who appeared on the air and in the club before they got famous. That list includes the likes of Ellen Degeneres, Drew Carey, Louis CK, Jim Gaffigan and many


But a quarter-century is easy: the acts who came through Indy on their way to the top


more — some of whom left quite the impression on their radio pals on Fall Creek.

For example: Daniel Tosh, now host of Tosh 2.0 on Comedy Central: “The first time he was in the air studio he removed all of his clothes,” says Tom. “He was the first naked person in the air booth since adult film star Hyapatia Lee.” George Lopez, star of the George Lopez Show: Tom remembers that Indy was the first town Lopez hit when he moved beyond L.A. “Whenever he came back to town he would come in all week and do the show every morning. He would often stay at [my house or Bob’s]. George once entered the chili cooking contest at Mickey Quinn’s in Broad Ripple. It was his grandmother’s recipe. He didn’t win.” Brad Garrett, “a regular on the show for years, way before Everybody Loves Raymond:” “We brought him in for a special NBA Draft party at Market


Square Arena, says Tom. “It was a family event, but one of the players in the draft was a Slovenian named Gregor Fucka — seriously. Brad was asked to not dwell on that unfortunate name — a request he ignored.” Tim Allen, voice of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear and the man who transformed from Scott Calvin into a reluctant St. Nick in The Santa Clause: “Tim was a regular on the comedy club circuit, a great stand-up, and very blue. One day, off the air, he described an idea he had for a show about his love of tools — it would become the hit family sitcom Home Improvement. Tim came back to Indy after the TV show was a huge success and played The Deer Creek Music Center. His live stand-up may have been a bit too spicy for some of the kids in the crowd expecting the Tool Time guy.” Rodney Carrington: “After a great live set at Crackers Rodney could be found standing on the bar toasting the crowd. He was naked — except for his cowboy boots.  This event occurred on a fairly regular basis,” says Tom. (One wonders what inspires those who appear with B&T to drop trou?) Ron White, the gent who split from the Blue Collar Comedy crew to explore edgier stuff — and became a big solo act: “Ron went with us to the Bahamas on our annual Super Bowl trip. While there, he got married.  Shortly thereafter he got very famous, and very single.” ‘Nuff said. n



25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // ARTS 51



DANCE DAVID HOCHOY EDITORS@NUVO.NET Born in Trinidad and trained in Martha Graham’s Dance Company, Hochoy has been artistic director of Dance Kaleidoscope since. 1991.

The community needs to have things The rise of hip-hop and the fall of baldeveloped, grown and made here. In the let. That’s the story of dance in India’90s, Indiana Repertory Theatre had the napolis over the past 25 years — at least slogan, ‘World Class Theatre, Made in if you ask Dance Kaleidoscope artistic director David Hochoy, who will celebrate Indiana.’ I’ve always wanted to steal that for Dance Kaleidoscope: ‘World Class his 25th anniversary with the contempoDance, Made in Indiana.’ rary dance company next year. DisafThese pieces we’re working on now fected kids of yore who wouldn’t raise use music by Ella Fitzgerald and Ray a finger during dance programs in the Charles, but the choreographers are schools are now proudly busting moves, all local, the dancers are all local, the having grown up steeped in hip-hop. costumes are being made locally by a And hip-hop vocabulary has informed local costume designer, the sound and contemporary dance, even if Hochoy isn’t lighting designers are local. It’s a local sure DK will ever do an all hip-hop show. production. If we were doing the same That’s the positive side of the story; now production in New York, it would come for the negative. Hochoy thinks the loss, out differently. Sometimes New York in 2005, of Ballet Internationale, the city’s productions are very slick, but they don’t sole professional ballet company, was have any heart. It’s very important for incalculable. It’s made it harder for the my shows to have heart. city’s sole contemporary dance company There’s still a hole left by the ballet. — and one of the few arts organizations of any sort that even maintains a full-time company — to survive It’s very important for my shows and thrive. But thrive it has. Maybe the arto have heart. rival of Hochoy, a Martha Graham-trained dancer whose muscular, vibrant, I hope that someone is able to start a virtuosic approach breathed new life into company. It’s a daunting task. To keep a the city’s dance scene, is the third big part company of artists in the city is expenof the story of dance in Indy. sive. You have to be determined; you have to have a vision; you have to be hy is it important to have dance clever; and you have to be unrelenting in Indianapolis? I have a couple in your pursuit of your goal. The first five answers. Number one: Dance says years at Dance Kaleidoscope were really, things that nothing else can, the same really hard, because sometimes you way that music says something and didn’t know where that paycheck was theater says something. It’s an artform coming from. We would borrow money that speaks to us viscerally; it speaks from board members; we’d make our to our soul. If we didn’t have dance own costumes; everything was on a budin Indianapolis, there’d be something get. The thing that we did not stint on missing from our consciousness and was artistic excellence, and that’s what our development as evolved human gave us our artistic reputation. being (if you believe human beings are One of the crowning moments for me evolving; when I see the news, somewas the first performance of Carmina times I think we aren’t). Number two: Burana in 1995, when I realized that Everything we do is made right here we actually had done it, that we had in Indianapolis. It’s made by local artrisen to the challenge. One of my bigists for a local audience. In that way, it gest fears in choreographing it was that becomes an expression of our community. Not everything should be imported. I wasn’t going to be able to match the


52 ARTS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO



Dance Kaleidoscope performs Carmina Burana in 1997.

power of the music, that it was going to defeat me. And the dance was very hard physically, especially on the men. At one point during the rehearsal process, they stopped — in the middle of their mens’ section — and said, ‘We don’t think we can do this.’ These were some seasoned people saying, ‘It’s too much for us.’ So I came back the next day, saying, ‘All right; I understand. Let’s cut this and that out.’ And they said, ‘David, don’t worry about it! We were just venting!’ It was a sublime moment — one, realizing that we pulled it off, that it did match the power of the music; and two, that it resonated with audiences. I could feel the audience being completely overwhelmed by it. An artist always moves on, but if you ask me what my supreme achievement was here, that was it. The combination of the music, the movement, the costumes, the lighting, the feel of it, the boldness of it. For the ballet, when they premiered One Thousand and One Nights at Clowes, that was really phenomenal. I remember sitting in the auditorium with Libby Appel, saying, ‘This is a production that’s

worthy of the Metropolitan Opera.’ The sets and costumes came from Russia; they were beautiful. That’s probably what drove them under! It was just stunning. If you asked me what challenge we face the most at Dance Kaleidoscope, it’s the fact if I asked that guy walking over there in the street, ‘Do you know what Dance Kaleidoscope is,’ he’d say, ‘No.’ ‘Do you want to know what Dance Kaleidoscope is?’ ‘No.’ ‘Do you know what contemporary dance is?’ ‘No.’ We need an ad campaign in television, so that people can see dancing, plus the music. If people saw images of what we’re doing in the next show, they’d want to come in droves, because it’s so fabulous; it’s like a Broadway show. So they have no idea. Right now, we’re in a very good spot technically. When we did Carmina Burana last fall, we had the best cast we’ve ever had. People came up to me after the show saying, ‘Oh my God, David. They dance together so well.’ That’s what they felt: They loved dancing with each other. You go into a theater; you sit down; they put on the music; these people come on — and they make it look so easy. But what you are actually seeing is years and years and years and years of training, hard work, getting to know your body, getting to know the vocabulary. At the moment that you’re looking at it, you see a very highly evolved art piece being communicated to you. The company has been evolving for years and years. And there’s the fact that with the quality of dance training getting better and better, the baseline of technique is much higher. One of my apprentices, Stu Coleman, who just got out of Butler last year, is just brilliant. He has a lot to learn performance-wise, but in terms of what he can do with his body, it’s amazing. The schools start younger; dance training has evolved and is dance is taught in a much more intellectually progressive way. It’s not just hit and miss; the training is all adding up to something. It’s important for me to remain healthy because the steps have to be right on my body. I’m doing a piece now to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Scattin’,” which is a very, very fast song. Even though I can’t do the dance fully, I still have to try things out. If I couldn’t do that, I really don’t know what I would do. n — As told to Scott Shoger

But what you are actually seeing is years and years and years and years of training, hard work, getting to know your body, getting to know the vocabulary.

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Phil Campbell works on Your Catfish Friend, now on display at iMOCA in Fountain Square.



Cumberland Arts Goes to Market PHOTO BY TOM RUSSO/DAILY REPORTER

Art & Craft Festival with Cumberland Farmers Market HONORS NUVO FOR 25 YEARS AS INDY’S ALTERNATIVE VOICE

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Free Event Admission & Parking 54 VISUAL // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

Phil Campbell is back where he started. He scored his first big show as an artist in 1990, shortly after graduating from Herron. It was at Ruschman Gallery on Mass Ave., on the block between Old Point Tavern and the Chatterbox that housed around a dozen galleries at that time. He was on the road to becoming a successful artist — but his community called out to him to attend to more immediate needs. And so he became a patron saint of the Faris Building, founding a gallery, helping to promote it as a center for artists and other creative types. And when the Faris closed, he and Ed Funk took over the dilapidated Murphy Building in Fountain Square, creating a space exclusively reserved for artists’ studios and ancillary businesses that support artists. He’s since handed over landlord duties at the Murphy, as well as leadership roles on other projects he helped to launch, like Masterpiece in a Day and the Indy Indie Artist Gallery. And that’s all allowed him to get back to making his own work: His floor-toceiling wood carving Your Catfish Friend is on display at iMOCA’s Fountain Square gallery through April 18.


his is where I was born; this is where I was educated; and I stayed here. I didn’t want to open a gallery because I was doing really well with my art. But I saw so many people that needed to be represented but didn’t trust the system or were, frankly, kind of afraid. I didn’t want to be a landlord, but I also didn’t

PHIL CAMPBELL EDITORS@NUVO.NET An artist and entrepreneur, Campbell has curated 190 exhibitions, participated in more than 150 gallery and museum shows and opened five commercial art galleries.

want to see this community blown to the wind. I really wanted to see my community change; I wanted it to grow; I wanted good things to happen. And there’s a lot of really good things happening. The late ’80s and early ’90s was a really good period because people had a lot of extra money and were buying a lot of art. People really cared about art. You had commercial galleries that were able to support themselves. It’s expensive to run a gallery; most artists don’t realize that. You have to pay rent; you have to pay utilities; you have to pay taxes on everything. You’re trying to do all of this at 50 percent of your sales alone. I took 50 percent at Hot House, but it cost me thousands of dollars to put on a show — you had to pay for invitations; you had to buy stamps; and then you had to lick the stamps because they weren’t selfadhesive. You had to buy the food, the wine, the beer. You had to make $2,000 — selling $4,000 of artwork — just to break even.

VISUAL 25 YEARS popular you are and how much exposure your work gets based on that popularity. There was a Frank Stella wall piece at the IMA. Somebody went up and touched it, and when they did, guards came from all directions. It was a huge deal. That singular thing made me want to make artwork that can be touched. That’s when I started carving wood, so that I could make artwork that you could walk up and run your hand across — and it was okay. Ed Funk was the biggest single influence on me. We showed together. Then we worked together. Then we were studiomates. Then I represented his artwork. Then we were business partners. His work inspired me to open my first gallery; it was amazing work that just wasn’t being shown. Ed was a really interesting character and it was fascinating to watch him work. We’d leave Post-it notes for each other because we worked at separate times. I’d come in and work in the evening and by the time I would leave, Ed would come in the door work all night. SomeI started carving wood, so that I could and times his paintings would have a hundred layers, make artwork that you could walk up and the minute you liked and run your hand across ... something, he would change it. If there was anything that resembled anything else, he changed leave, one at a time and for very different it. He struggled with those paintings: they were messy, sloppy and crazy. But reasons. So there was a shift where you then his prints were absolute technical went from having commercial galleries perfection. Everything around had to be representing artists to artist-run galclean; the registration had to be perfect. leries. There was the Faris and then the At the time we were sharing a studio, Stutz, and we started to collaborate on I was making illusionistic paintings. I things. We ran a trolley between the two would build torn paper collages, blow buildings (Bill Levin ran his big orange them up and then perfectly reproduce evbus). And then when the Faris Building ery fold and shadow. Then there came the announced they were closing, there was point where I started carving wood, and a big upheaval. You had artists going I think that was a natural transition from home; artists going to the Stutz; artists doing woodcuts in the studio with him. going to what’s now known as the Circle As far as other important artists in the City complex. That whole community last 25 years, there are a lot of painters kind of dispersed — and then Fountain I see that have that Robert Berkshire Square happened. touch. He was an incredible teacher beThere were plans to convert the Murcause he sat in the drawing classes and phy to a parking garage, loft apartments, retail and office space. Blueprints were al- actually worked. I don’t think anyone ready drawn out. But then we opened; the realizes how valuable that is, to be able to watch someone put marks on paper. Wheeler opened; and suddenly people were moving to Fountain Square. Within a He didn’t draw lines; he drew lights and darks. When I see artwork, I can tell who year, 16 new businesses opened. was one of his students. First Friday is incredible for artists beAnd I love Justin Cooper’s work. I have cause it’s a huge deal and it’s really easy a 12-foot piece by him and Mike Graves. for people to show. But in a lot of ways, The entire right side of my back is tatit’s too easy to show. Everyone is equal; tooed with Justin’s pieces. I walked in his everyone is great; everyone should have studio one day and said, ‘That would be an opportunity to show; and there’s a beautiful tattoo.’ He said, ‘Well, if you no criticism. Without that criticism it have it done, I’ll give you the painting.’. n becomes a popularity contest. It’s not about how good the art is; it’s about how — As told to Scott Shoger The galleries were managing your work, and basically the way that it ran was that if you worked with a gallery, you had a contract, an exclusive contract within a mile radius or the City of Indianapolis. The gallery got a portion of anything you sold in that area, but you also got a show every two years. So you bust your ass, you get your show, and then the critic — Steve Mannheimer, Marion Garmel or several others — either loved your work or completely trashed your work. If he loved your work, it was a complete celebration; you won. If he trashed your work, you were pissed off; you went back to the studio to prove him wrong. Things began to shift in the mid-’90s. I opened up Hot House; other artistowned galleries opened. And on Mass Ave, someone got the great idea to make it the Art District — and when they made it the Art District, they tripled the rents, so all the artists and galleries had to

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25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // VISUAL 55




Steven Stolen calls himself a “restless” person. I wonder if that’s a strong enough word. He started an emotionally demanding job as Director of External Relations at the Julian Center a little more than a month ago. And now he’s trying to learn a new 30-minute, one-man opera, Michael Schelle’s The End of Al Capone, in time for next month’s Butler ArtsFest. And his next destination on a Friday afternoon was a WFYI fundraiser, because he still anchors that punny radio show. And it’s been like this for a quarter-century, as the singer and arts administrator —we’ll stick with those two descriptions; others could apply — has worked in various creative and/or managerial capacities for Butler University, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and Indiana Repertory Theatre, among other institutions, while performing with his Meridian Song Project and, as he puts it, just about every big performing arts group in town.


don’t think things have changed a lot. The big guys are still the big guys. They can do whatever they want, and I’ve been the beneficiary of that. I’ve been able to sing and work with and for almost all of the marquee leaders. I don’t think anybody was ever going to let the leading institutions fail. But the IndyFringe Festival taught us something. Most people go knowing that they might see something they don’t necessarily love. But they go anyways. There’s a sort of tolerance for the experience — it’s only going to be so long; it’s only going to cost so much money — and you don’t expect to see 500 people go. If there’s been a shift in the city in my mind, it’s the breadth of small-ball that we can play now without being

STEVEN STOLEN EDITORS@NUVO.NET Stolen’s many job titles, past and present: Singer, educator, higher education administrator, fundraiser, radio host.

embarrassed about it. That’s allowed a whole bunch of artists to find success. I heard the ballet comparison when talking about the opera. I think we’ve proven that we are a world-class city without the ballet. I don’t see it as a game-changer, but I’d be willing to listen to somebody like David Hochoy tell me differently. Once things go badly and you get rescued — and that happens a lot of times — if you’re not an essential service, it’s hard to go back to the community and say, ‘Give us another try; we’re just going to try harder this time.’ Twenty-five years ago, there was a smaller group of pretty powerful people helping generously with their time, influence and resources. That’s been diffused some and that’s been better for us. And there are more connectors now. More Michael Kaufmanns, more Michael Hubers — and other people not named Michael — who can direct you to places that you might not have been. I’m a classical guy. I started my career singing with baroque orchestras, of all things. But I was always interested in a more eclectic part of the world. I was the guy at the IMA who always wanted to do music in the galleries. Can you imagine if I was there now? I could do anything I wanted! The traditional arts are always a little late to the game — and I think Indy gets that rap anyways, that we’re behind everyone else. Artists are the ultimate entrepreneurs. Twenty-five years ago, it would be hard to imagine all this vitality, this many theater companies, this many individual artists

56 STAGE // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

‘It’s more okay than ever to be an artist and live in Indianapolis’

with places to play. Classical music is probably the one area where there hasn’t been that change. I’m not so sure we’re doing anyone a favor with these rigid, highly structured music programs. The academy continues to own the intellectual property that is classical music — it’s an intellectual property and not an emotional property. People like classical music! The deliverable is the problem sometimes. Opera is like this. I’ll be in focus groups and they’re really interested in the music — they just don’t want to be trapped in a big hall for hours at a time. They don’t even want to go to Clowes Hall. Sublime moments over the past 25 years? I did a show with Jack Everly and the Symphony, a 1940s show. And at the end of that show, Jack honored me with a song, on-stage with the symphony, with solo piano. He’s been a sustaining presence in that orchestra with a lot of people coming and going. I don’t think people realize how brilliant Jack is. Sometimes when the music is music we know, we forget about the responsibility there is to play someone’s favorite song, to sing someone’s favorite music. And to do that at the level he does, at that high level of creativity? He’s a man of the theater, a brilliant musician. And Jack was really good to me. I sang with him in St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Pittsburgh. Another untold story here is [Indianapolis Children’s Choir founder] Henry Leck, who’s the most influential musician of the last several decades in Indianapolis. Every kid in that situation has a great experience.

Whether they’re great singers or not, they can take that experience to their scout troops, church groups, basketball teams, Brownie troops or student councils. Henry is a living legend, the Pied Piper. He respects children and asks a lot of them, but he’s not unreasonable. My work at the Children’s Choir was just inspiring. You watch Henry Leck work with 185 kids in the room; it’s just magic. During my run at the IRT, maybe the most breathtaking moment was at the end of an incredible production of The Diary of Anne Frank, which is kind of a cliche play. You know those police officers are coming up the stairs — but the audience takes a deep breath, even though you know they’re coming, that they’re all going to die. That’s pretty amazing. I probably watched hundreds of Christmas Carols, and I never got tired of it. I love watching the Scrooge redemption scene when he wakes up. When I moved here, I wanted to create ways to sing song concerts. I didn’t want to be an opera singer because I couldn’t be. Maybe that was a good self-realization. I went to the IMA with an idea about doing concerts in galleries, doing concerts for families — and the museum gave me a platform for seven years to do free concerts. The museum goes through these times where they think they need to charge for things. So they wanted to do this nominal charge for the concerts. And I said, why would we do that? It’s not enough money. So I moved, partly because I thought they had had it with me, partly because I thought I could raise my own money and keep it free. We went to Trinity because it’s my home church and I said we’ll do this as outreach, you can be my umbrella so people can give to the church and support the concert series, and 17 years later we still do that. It’s more okay than ever to be an artist and live in Indianapolis. Twenty-five years ago, you had to have been from somewhere else or you had to be going somewhere else. And here I am, 57 years old, and I’m still here. I don’t know if that’s old; I still have a couple whaps left in me. This has been a pretty great run for me — 25 years doing concerts, almost all of them free, and not running out of gas. Maybe it speaks to, again, being able to play small ball. n — As told to Scott Shoger

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NUVO is just a year younger than Butler’s extraordinary Vivian S. Delbrook Writers Series, which has since 1989 been bringing in a mix of headliners (Toni Morrison, Allen Ginsberg, Nick Hornby, Amy Tan) and people you really ought to know (poet Louise Gluck and nature writer David Gessner, to name a couple coming through this spring). Susan Neville, the Butler professor and author who founded the series, started hosting writers a few years before that official start date (we can trace back the pre-history of the series to 1986, when she spent $500 in petty English Department cash to get things rolling). Some of the stories in Neville’s four works of creative nonfiction were first published (in a different form, of course) in NUVO; her most recent piece to appear in these pages was the bewildering — and bewilderingly headlined — “The title of this story is not UFO sex cult sues IUPUI.”


Clockwise from left: Ray Bradbury with Butler students at Hubbard & Cravens in 1990; Etheridge Knight in the ’90s; and Salman Rushdie at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2003.



hen I moved back to Indianapolis, it was hard for me to think of it as a place that would be interesting to write about. I’d grown up here. It took spending a few years reading Dan Wakefield’s Going All the Way, Michael Martone’s stories, Etheridge Knight’s poems; even Gwendolyn Brooks, who was from Chicago, but wrote poems rooted in Northern Indiana. And it was really important for me to read Ross Lockridge’s Raintree County and William Gass’s In the Heart of the Heart of the Country — and then go out and start driving around, saying, ‘This place is really interesting. It has an interesting and strange history. And I can write about it.’ But you have to go away sometimes and come back, so that you can look at something and say, ‘Oh yeah; I see it now.’ I never thought about this before, but when I first started writing, I was most influenced by Modernist women writers like Virginia Woolf. And I loved James Joyce. In Raintree County, Russ Lockridge was influenced by Joyce’s Ulysses; he was trying to do something like that. So I saw someone who tried this really modernist experiment on Indiana soil — it has some flaws, but it’s a pretty amazing book. And then I read William Gass, who was writing in a post-modern collage form — and about Indiana. Those writers taught me, ‘Oh, this can be done.’ The weirdness is here, and Gass taps into it. So did

Susan Neville on 26-ish years of the Butler Visiting Writers Series and learning to embrace Indiana

EDITORS@NUVO.NET Neville and former Butler prof Fran Quinn were awarded a NUVO Cultural Vision Award in 2003 for their work on Butler’s Visiting Writers Series.

Marguerite Young, from Indianapolis, in her Miss MacIntosh, My Darling, a long, modernist text. I’ve never been able to make it all the way through, but page by page, it’s pretty extraordinary. We started the Visiting Writers Series with very little money. And when we started looking for more, in the first paragraph of each grant proposal we’d look back to that Golden Age, when there were a lot of writers here, a lot of presses. The reason to have different people coming through is to have some effect on reading and literacy, so that writers won’t feel that they have to leave, that they can stay here and there will be a literary culture that will support them and read them. Whether the Writers Series has, in fact, had that impact, I can’t tell you. But that’s what the hope always was. I know it’s been great for book collectors. Once the series was fully endowed by a woman named Vivian Delbrook, we used to have about eight writers a semester. That just seemed unwieldy, but we’ve kept up with at least three prose and three poetry writers a semester. Last semester we

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had Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, Tracy K. Smith. We try hard to keep the series diverse. We’re always bringing in new voices, like the Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo, who was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. And also Maurice Manning, a Yale Younger Poet from Kentucky. It’s always been, and always will be, free. It really took that million dollar gift to be able to bring in writers like Toni Morrison and John Updike. Though if you think back to the Tarkington days, William Butler Yeats spoke at the art museum. To get prominent writers to a city, it either takes an institution that will fund art in some way — or it has to be a city people are coming through for other reasons, like seeing their publisher, which at one time might’ve been Bobbs-Merrill. I remember when Ray Bradbury was here with Douglas Adams, having this incredible conversation about technology. You take those ideas with you the next day. You think about them. They make their way into your own writing as you struggle with them. The hope is that having these writers coming through helps to encourage the kind of discussions about poetry and writing that you would’ve overheard in a legendary center for literary culture, that you would’ve heard in a cafe in Paris in the ’20s. I got to drive Maya Angelou around for two days. I took her to Le Peep, because she wanted a sweatshirt from there. I’m not sure why. And one of the most cool and strange things was when I picked up Salman Rushdie from the airport. It was a little after the fatwa, but not so long after

that Clowes wasn’t a little bit nervous, so they had bomb-sniffing dogs going through coats and everything. When I picked him up, the first thing he wanted to do was see the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So we took the tour around the racetrack, and I now have a Speedway ticket signed by the author of The Satanic Verses. When Etheridge Knight was in town, that was really important for a lot of local writers. There was a kind of group surrounding him, with writers like Sonny Bates, Fran Quinn, Alice Friman and Jared Carter. The situation now — with a lot of readings in small bars — reminds me of back in the day when Etheridge was around, when every bar and magazine shop had a reading series. And the internet has changed things. It’s allowed a local young writer Kaveh Akbar to launch a really excellent blog called Divedapper. He’s interviewed — or is in the process of interviewing — any living poet you can think of. And he’s always giving readings around town. Some really terrific local writers who freelance and do their own work ended up meeting one another through Butler’s MFA program. Many of the writers who were here the first few years were local, and they’d been waiting for years to do an MFA, which they couldn’t do because they had families or were working for Wiley Publishing or had a good business doing something else. And I think there are communities that form around IUPUI’s masters and undergraduate programs as well. You meet classmates and figure out, ‘Oh, these are my people!’ The best thing the flourishing of different MFA programs is that there are more of these communities forming. And the communities give rise to small presses like Engine Books, and they support and are supported by Indy Reads and Indiana Writers Center, and books start to emerge. What would I like to see in Indianapolis in the coming years? More bookstores. A poetry press. A fine press. Reviews of local books — and reviews of other books by local writers. A robust book review section would be really great, because that starts conversations. I love that we have the Vonnegut Library and the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, but I think it would great to have centers devoted to our women writers or African-American writers. We should have a Janet Flanner library! n — As told to Scott Shoger



(317) 917-0131 Located in downtown Indianapolis 621 Ft. Wayne Ave.

Join our lunch club today! (317) 252-5911

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’m enjoying my 19th year as lead movie writer for NUVO. I wrote capsule reviews and the occasional feature for a while before that, but 1996 was the year when I became the lead person, so I consider that as the year I officially joined the NUVO family. From the beginning, I’ve been a freelancer working from home, so I rarely see most of my NUVO colleagues at the office, unless I stop in to record a phone interview with an actor or filmmaker. On those occasions I’m an anonymous figure to almost everybody. I’ve never been comfortable in office settings, so I usually don’t linger to socialize. Instead I catch up at company functions — the Christmas party, the anniversary party, the Cultural Vision Awards. My son Donald — the most social person I’ve ever known — always joins me, catching up with old NUVO friends and making new ones as he zigzags around the room like a metal ball in a pinball machine. I also talk with a good number of people at those events, albeit in a more subdued fashion. And I watch the newcomers; so young, stylish and filled with energy. It feels good to be part of this collective. Ever since I was a kid I’ve written for underground and alternative papers and magazines, along with doing odd jobs like liner notes. In the late ’90s I was thrilled to get to write the CD liner notes for Absolutely the Best by The Zombies, my all-time favorite band. I even got to pick out the tracks for the compilation album. My route to NUVO was unusual. Tom Griswold of The Bob and Tom Show approached me after seeing some of my work in a Tracks record store newsletter and invited me to become part of the program. Looking for a spot to place me, he asked if I liked movies. “Sure,” I said, and with that I started appearing on the show each Friday to review new releases. (Thank you, Tom, for changing the course of my life.) After a few months with Bob and Tom I was contacted by NUVO. I happily accepted their offer to write capsule movie reviews and the occasional feature piece. My lack of training didn’t slow me down — I just wrote how I talked and hoped for the best. Over the weeks to months to years, I became more comfortable with the job. Once I received a letter addressed to me, Steve Hammer and Harrison Ullmann. The writer had counted how many times we

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Ed’s been reviewing film for NUVO for 19 years — and he’s not leaving anytime soon

ED JOHNSON-OTT EJOHNSONOTT @NUVO.NET Ed Johnson-Ott has been NUVO’s lead movie writer since 1996.

They know I like free association and absurdist humor. They know I don’t write the headlines. And they know that no matter how much I experiment or joke around, I never forget to give an honest assessment of the movie. As times got tight all around the country, newspapers started chucking away those consistent local voices, replacing them with short paragraphs, more pictures and increased white space in an attempt to be more easily digested by the public. I continue to be mystified that so many newspapers bent over backwards trying to appeal to people that don’t read newspapers. A lot of alternative weeklies are gone now. Most of the remaining ones don’t have their own movie writer. So thank you, Kevin McKinney. Look what you made. Look at the people you gathered. Look at what you’ve sustained. Nice job, dude. Thank you, past and present, to Jim, Ed, Scott, Mary, Lisa and everybody that writes the words, creates the images, sells the ads, coordinates the printing, drives the trucks and puts the papers in the boxes.

had used “I” in our respective columns for the previous week. “How amazing it is,” he said, “that all three of you found yourselves so much more interesting than the subjects you supposedly were writing about.” I didn’t talk with Harrison or Steve about the letter at the time. I didn’t talk to anybody about it. I just decided that for the next year, I wouldn’t refer to myself in any way in my movie reviews. It was difficult, especially since I employed a conversational style. But it proved to be the most valuable writing exercise I’ve ever used. Not a single person noticed, by the way. For better and worse, I became a consistent local voice. For many years I’ve yapped about the imporI’m not giving up this gig until they tance of consistent local pry my keyboard from my cold, voices in newspapers. If you’re looking for an dead hands. opinion on art, politics or sports, there’s thousands of them available on the And thanks you to, idealized reader, for internet. But if you lived in Indianapohanging in with this collective effort. lis over the last couple of decades, you Finally, a few words to the aspiring checked in with YOUR writers: Ullman, film writer itching to take my spot. Be Hammer, Jim Poyser, David Hoppe, Dan patient, you little twerp, because I’m not Carpenter, Marc Allan, John Krull, Bonnie Britton, Bob Kravitz and on and on. It giving up this gig until they pry my keyboard from my cold, dead hands. n didn’t matter whether you liked them or not. It didn’t matter whether you agreed Ed has spent much of his life working or disagreed with them. They were your with mentally-challenged individuals. He writers, they were people you knew. recorded a solo album in the late ’70s and My readers know that I get angry when two albums as leader of the new wave a director of a fact-based movie paints an band The Future in the early ’80s. After ugly false portrait of a real person to add making weekly appearances on The Bob drama to their story. I’ve never forgiven Ron Howard for pissing on the tombstone and Tom Show, he hosted a talk show for the station, becoming the first openly of boxer Max Baer in Cinderella Man. gay broadcaster in Indiana. He became They know I tend to write about the NUVO’s lead movie writer in 1996. Ed experience of watching a film, even was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when it takes me down unusual paths. in 2013 and is hoping a cure is found beMy piece on The Fault in Our Stars, a fore he spills something. He is the proud film clearly not aimed at an old man, father of one son, Donald. turned in a personal essay on mortality.



ount among NUVO’s fans one of the Indianapolis Colts’ most beloved players: Gary Brackett, who came to the Horseshoe in 2003 as an undrafted free agent. Brackett, whose latest venture is the upscale soul food restaurant Georgia Reese’s, reached out to NUVO when he heard the publication was about to mark 25 years in business. Brackett used NUVO as a city guide when he hit town in his first season: “As a young guy, new to the city — if I didn’t hear about it on the radio and I wanted to find out what was going on in the city, find a restaurant … I’d pick it up, find out where to go.” Brackett soon found he enjoyed the other content the paper had to offer and still picks up a copy every week.


During his playing days, Brackett, along with Cato June, Mike Doss and David Thornton, began a tradition called Thursday Night Dinners, and NUVO provided the assist with the paper’s restaurant reviews and listings. “We were all single guys. Talked everything but football,” remembers Brackett. Eventually the group expanded to include Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis, and the crew still stays in touch even though Mathis is the last active Colt. Brackett settled in Indy after football, marrying a local woman and starting a family. After considering coaching, Brackett realized he wouldn’t be master of his own destiny. Coaching can rapidly become a journeyman’s game, and that’s not the life No. 58 wanted for his kids. “All that moving around wouldn’t be fair to the family.” n





6 7 8



He grew up an Eagles fan. Brackett, a South Jersey native, rooted for all the Philly teams. “Today I couldn’t name anybody on the Sixers.” (Given the current 76ers roster, Gary is clearly not alone.) Brackett’s now a diehard fan of Indiana teams. His college career predicted his pro career. Brackett was a walk-on at Rutgers who eventually became team captain. After becoming a Colt, Brackett proved to the coaching staff that he deserved more playing time than special teams could afford him, and soon found himself captaining the defense. Brackett made the most of his time as a niche player, though: “We made special teams FUN. We got fines from the NFL for dancing,” Brackett’s goal was to play in the NFL for ten seasons — or through ten surgeries, whichever came first. He didn’t quite make it.


Brackett’s last career play was an interception. Brackett picked a pass against the Houston Texans during the first game of the 2011 season and the ensuing tackle damaged his shoulder badly. After surgery (number eight, as it turned out), Brackett realized that even mild horseplay with his kids was incredibly painful. That wasn’t the only reason Brackett decided to hang ‘em up: “Junior Seau — that whole thing happened that off season.”


Brackett’s first job was in the restaurant biz. He started as a dishwasher at a joint in Jersey.

Brackett was a silent partner in the Stacked Pickle franchise. Georgia Reese’s, his most recent enterprise, was six years in the planning stage.

Don’t ask No. 58 for an autograph when he’s out with his family. “That’s my one pet peeve,” he says. “IF I’m holding a screaming baby, I’m not gonna put the kid down to sign something for you,” he laughs. When he’s by himself, a handshake or a signature isn’t a problem. “I don’t think people realize how much access they have to pro athletes in Central Indiana,” he says. Brackett’s convinced the Colts Super Bowl win against the Chicago was a study in forgone conclusions. “To beat New England the way we did [in the AFC Championship]? There was no way the Bears were gonna beat us. If it hadn’t been raining, we would’ve won by 20 more points.”


Brackett keeps his Super Bowl ring in a sock drawer. Brackett once kept the ring in a safe. After wearing the ring to a formal event, he dropped it in the pocket of a suit coat — and after hanging up the jacket that evening, Brackett forgot where he’d left it. During the time that the ring was missing, Brackett realized it had been insured for its full value, and now doesn’t see the point in keeping the thing locked up. 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // ARTS 61





he thought occurs that NUVO’s readership might not be the most receptive audience to a piece about the positive influence sports has had on our town Indy over the last 25 years. Given its mission to serve as an “alternative” newspaper focusing on music, arts and culture, it’s my supposition – and I hope I’m wrong — that many of those who have made NUVO a weekly reading habit might not be ardent supporters of jocks and balls (deflated or otherwise) and, especially, the enormous public resources devoted to them. That would be particularly true if they hold the view that those resources have come at the expense of, well, music, arts and culture. When NUVO published its first issue a quarter of a century ago, the debate still simmered over the investment in sports going back to the building of Market Square Arena in 1974 and the construction of the Hoosier Dome in 1984, and it flamed again when city leaders deemed it necessary to upgrade to Conseco (now Bankers Life) Fieldhouse and build Lucas Oil Stadium in order to keep pace in the sports arms race. Even now, we’re in a public squabble

BILL BENNER NUVO@NUVO.NET Bill Benner spent 33 years as a sportswriter and columnist for The Indy Star. Today’s he’s a Senior Vice President with the Indiana Pacers.

The investment in facilities from ’74 to ’84 — Market Square Arena, the Hoosier Dome, the Tennis Center, the IU Natatorium, the Carroll Track and Field Stadium, the Major Taylor Velodrome, the Eagle Creek rowing course and the ice rinks in Pan Am Plaza — set the table for city leaders to embark on a mission to establish Indy as an amateur sports capital. The deregulation of amateur sports also enabled Indy to attract six national governing bodies and many of the competitions they staged, in addition to the Sullivan Award, amateur sports’ most prestigious honor. Indy hosted its first NCAA Final Four at MSA in 1980, had its national coming-out party with the 1982 National Sports Festival then, on relative short notice, took on the extravaganza of 1987 Pan American Famed CBS Sportscaster Jim Nantz the Games. All were resoundsays over the last 25 years he’s spent ing successes. Oh, then there was the more time in Indy than anywhere. 1984 midnight arrival of the Colts to the Hoosier Dome, which, coupled with the attached Indiana Convention Center, was also proving over the possibility of lending some sort itself as a premier facility to handle the of taxable support to the proposed $82 million soccer stadium the fledgling Indy expanding needs of the NCAA basketball tournament. Eleven says it needs meet the consumer And never to be overlooked was/is demand it anticipates in the near future. Then again, the build-it-and-they-will- the presence of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which, in 1990, was preparing come strategy — or, in the case of the to face the next 25 years that would bring Pacers and Colts in terms of the secondgeneration venues, the build-it-to-make- unprecedented change — and challenges. So what has transpired as we look sure-they-stay strategy — has served back over the life of NUVO through a Indianapolis well. sports prism? In 1990, when NUVO first hit the Well, for starters, think about this: newsstands, Indianapolis was well on its Indianapolis both won and hosted a way to using sports as a catalyst — but Super Bowl. not a be-all-end-all — to reinvent itself It attracted the NCAA, the National and shed its India-no-place image. 62 ARTS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

Federation of High School Associations In similar fashion, a change in ownerand USA Football. ship (from Californian Sam Nassi to It hosted five more NCAA Men’s Final Indy’s Herb and Mel Simon) and the Fours with two more (2015, 2021) on tap. acquisition of a general manager, DonIt hosted two women’s Final Fours nie Walsh, finally led to a Pacers team with another (2016) scheduled. that reignited the passion for hoops from It hosted world championships in Indy’s ABA championship days. gymnastics, basketball and swimming, Walsh drafted a skinny guard out of the latter in pools built inside Bankers UCLA, Reggie Miller, and a towering Life Fieldhouse. Dutchman, Rik Smits, and hired as coach It wrested the Big Ten men’s basketball his old North Carolina buddy, Larry tournaments away from Chicago. Brown. With great acquisitions such as It landed the first seven Big Ten footByron Scott, the Davis boys Dale and Anball championships. tonio and Derrick McKey, Hicks versus It continued to host an array of OlymKnicks became a national storyline and pic trials. the Pacers an annual Eastern Conference The Speedway reinvented itself, first power. After Brown, ever the coaching adapting for NASCAR, then Formula vagabond, departed, none other than One, then MotoGP motorcycles and our most famous Hoosier hoops son, finally for an historic IndyCar road race. On the team front, the Colts finally evolved from a novelty to a powerhouse. After Jim “Captain Comeback” Harbaugh whetted the locals’ appetite for big-time success by taking the team to the 1995 AFC Championship Game, three major happenings followed: 1, Bob Irsay, rest his soul, passed, putting control of the team in the hands of son Jim. 2, Jim Irsay brought in Bill Polian as the general manager. 3, Bill Polian drafted Peyton Manning ahead of Ryan Leaf. And the rest is football history. Manning, with Polian deftly assembling the requisite pieces around him, including Tony Dungy as head coach, led the Colts into an era of sustained success, capped by two Super Bowl appearances and the victory in 2006. Critics, of course, would — and do — counter that the Colts should have won far more Super Bowls than PHOTO BY PHIL TAYLOR the singleton during the Manning era. The first NBA player drafted out of IUPUI — Pacer George Perhaps. But not too many fans from Hill in action at Bankers Life. other teams, especially those in the Larry Bird, took over as coach and in his AFC South, will offer much sympathy, third and final year, the Pacers finally especially after Manning’s neck injury broke through to the NBA Finals, albeit and subsequent departure cleared the losing to the Lakers in six games. decks for Andrew Luck’s arrival — and Bird stayed on to direct the team from three straight 11-5 playoff seasons. the front office and the Pacers, with Who knows? Maybe in 10 or 12 years, winning “only” one or even none will be the Miller still sparkling in his twilight and Jermaine O’Neal emerging as a star, knock on Luck. That said, for the forseeremained an elite team. That is, until the able future, the old days of COLTS meaning infamous brawl: the Malice in the Palace. “Count On Losing This Sunday” are history. >>>


<<< That sent the Pacers into a tailspin, abetted by off-court actions of several knuckleheads (yes, you, Jamal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson) that necessitated a long rebuilding process. Step by step, the Pacers replaced the bad guys with rich contracts with young stars like Paul George, Roy Hibbert and hometown guy George Hill and built the team back to contending status with back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. Alas, they couldn’t control Paul George breaking his leg playing in a scrimmage game for Team USA last summer. Hopes for a return to elite status are for now on hold. As for the Speedway, well, Formula One came — and after seven so-so years, went. This wasn’t surprising since the IMS boss had to sign a one-sided deal with the devil-like F-1 czar, Bernie Ecclestone. NASCAR came, too, and in the early days, traditionalists feared the Brickyard 400 could eclipse the Indy 500 in popularity, especially in the years following the IndyCar split. However, support for the Brickyard has waned significantly in recent times. The 500, while still The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, also has had challenges and the Speedway management — now led by Super Bowl chairman Mark Miles — has been trying to hit the delicate balance between honoring tradition and staying relevant in the Month of May. Hence, dramatic changes in the practice and qualifying formats and the addition of the road race. A couple of other successes of the last 25 years should be noted. The Indianapolis Indians moved downtown to Victory Field and now knock it out of the park every spring/summer with affordable experiences that draw significant crowds. Meanwhile, Butler became nothing less than a basketball storybook, advancing to back-to-back Final Fours — including the one in which they lost to Duke by a whisker in Lucas Oil Stadium in 2010 — and climbing from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 to the Big East in three years. Time will tell if the Indy Eleven’s soccer venture takes hold, but the first season of sellouts seemed to feed an appetite for the sport. The Indiana Farmers Coliseum got a beautiful makeover and two primary tenants, Indy Fuel hockey and IUPUI basketball, to make that venue a place to go again. There have been some misses along the way. The schedulemakers largely screwed Indy on dates and professional tennis died here, along with the Tennis Center. The Pan Am ice rinks and the World Skating Academy are also history. Others would point out that Indy has lost


Andrew Luck, the QB who’s engineered three straight 11-5 playoff seasons after being drafted by the Colts.

some of its edge in the amateur sports realm and is no longer likely to pursue international championships, particularly in the wake of the artistically successful but financially disastrous World Basketball Championships. Leadership, too, is evolving, and the vital work of the Indiana Sports Corp is now in the hands of young 30-something Ryan Vaughn. The volunteer base, long a staple of Indy’s sport success, is aging too, and a new generation was recruited for the Super Bowl in hopes they will take on added responsibilities in the sports realm. All in all, though, if you polled a national audience and asked them to say what comes to mind when Indianapolis is mentioned, sports will be at the top of the list. It has redefined us and made us believe. Famed CBS Sportscaster Jim Nantz says over the last 25 years he’s spent more time in Indy than anywhere. Again, the dollars devoted to the effort have been significant, some would say staggeringly so. But the return on investment has been equally staggering. Now the task is to build on what Indy has built, and to stay at or near the front in an increasingly competitive national sports market. I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years bring, if I’m lucky enough to live that long. NUVO will have to find someone else to write that column. n 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // ARTS 63





wenty-five years ago, the Indianapolis sports scene moved out of its parents’ house. It got an apartment. A shitty, Jeff George-y apartment full of blacklights and Nicole Eggert posters, yes – but an apartment nonetheless. It was growing up. Maturing. It was becoming more independent, less defined by Marvelous Marvin Johnson commercials and the recent successes of IU basketball. The year was 1990. Indy Sports was in its mid-20’s and had grown weary of Stuart Gray and Gary Hogeboom and chugging cases of Stroh’s in Fort Wayne’s basement. It was still reeling from its 1987 fling with the Pan American games — a weird, wild affair involving David Robinson and the Nicaraguan ping pong team and others, which made it feel ALIVE — but in the end, emptier than ever. There was still the 500, of course, and there always would be. It inherited that from its ancestors. The 500 was and

ROY HOBBSON NUVO@NUVO.NET Roy Hobbson is a sportswriter and former editor of the Greatest IndyCar Website Ever, the He is also insane.

will always be a apart of Indianapolis — it is in its genes (just like male-pattern baldness and doing math bad!). But America was moving away from openwheel auto racing, not toward it, and the Snake Pit was long since dead, killed off by joyless lawyers and their reluctance to let 100,000 naked people snort acid and make babies in the mud. Oh sure, the Indianapolis Indians were a fine sports organization, winning a thousand straight championships in whatever league they played, but they were the Indians, an immovable fixture in this town since the mid-16th century, its games nothing more than old-timey white noise, a different place to drink beers in the summer when Fort Wayne’s step-dad was away on business. Things had to change. This was not working. Indeed, 1990 was the year sports in Indianapolis grew up — more specifically, when it put away its bong and hitched its wagon to a strange, lanky 2-guard made out of mercury and Moments. He was the pretty girlfriend it’d never had, the one who set it straight and taught it the importance of selfconfidence.

1990-1997: The intern years


Don’t let the Indy 500 party duds fool you — this man is a famed neurosurgeon.

64 ARTS // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

These were formative years in the life of Indy Sports, arguably the most formative. It went from working the slicing station at Rax Roast Beef to passing its Series 7 to establishing an all-time great NBA rivalry that was actually a hellish street fight between two violent cartels that only vaguely resembled basketball. The world

took notice. The city was dizzy, covered entirely in Boom Baby car-flags and euphoria for years on end. Nothing made sense. Up was down, down was on the moon somewhere, and a six-point lead with 18.7 seconds left meant very little. These were heady times, make no mistake. Reggie Miller and Rik Smits and Mark Jackson and Dale Davis — our stoic, peacekeeping brute who was forged in a Gondor copper mine — they were militantly opposed to the mundane and/or giving up easy layups. Indianapolis Sports, for once, became the very identity of the entire city. It was not yet a “success,” per se, but nor was it the gross, unemployed shitbag it had been in decades prior. Things were looking up. It had a reliable Honda Civic and respectable ladyfriends and John Daly going all FAT RUDY in an alltimer at Crooked Stick. It had a somewhat trendy condo, a gym membership, and a neat PalmPilot to keep its sched-

and values and hard-fought runs for critical first downs — and one year later, in 1999, it got it. Edgerrin James bounded into the Indianapolis Sports scene like a pair of rolled dice, hardly a stabilizing force on his 24-karat face, but faces belie the truth sometimes. His very much did. He was beloved and unstoppable and the Colts became the NFL’s darling.  So began the era of dizzying ascension. All for the better. It got a new best friend (Larry Bird), newly found riches (NFL playoffs nearly every year), a new Rolls-Royce (Reggie Wayne), a new luxury home (Conseco Fieldhouse), a new Treadstone assassin to guard its shit (Bob Sanders), and the very bestest radio call that ever sent a team to the Eastern Conference Finals (“DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD!”).   Blissfully married and wildly successful, Indy Sports could do no wrong. Until it could. Until some greasy Pistons fan threw a beer at Ron Artest’s Crazy,

Blissfully married and wildly successful, Indy Sports could do no wrong … Until some greasy Pistons fan threw a beer at Ron Artest’s Crazy, causing Ron Artest’s Crazy to nearly burn down all of Detroit in retaliation. ule. It had money to spend for once, and so it did: on electronics and investments and an unknown wide receiver from Syracuse University. Marvin Harrison arrived without fanfare or human emotion or a competent quarterback to throw him the ball. That would soon change.

1998-2005: Making the IBJ’s top-40-under-40 list

In 1998, Indianapolis Sports settled down with the love of its life. No more carousing or gallivanting or doing whatever it was young people did before Tinder. (Cruising the main drag while combing their hair, maybe?) It had found its soul mate, and Peyton Manning had found his, by most accounts — never mind that the marriage got off to a rocky 3-13 start. What the pairing needed was a stabilizing force — a bedrock of trust

causing Ron Artest’s Crazy to nearly burn down all of Detroit in retaliation and you know what? There is no need to recount it all for the eleventy gajillionth time, for it is far too ugly. Mistakes were made. Restraining orders were filed. It was a very public, very embarrassing misstep for this city’s Sports Scene — its sterling reputation sterling no more. Its credit score was fucked. So it hired attorneys and a PR team and eventually fired everyone involved, but only after a few dozen subsequent handgun crimes at various 38th Street strip clubs. Reggie retired. The Pacers sank into a deep, miserable depression full of drug counseling and arson and Troy Murphy doing terrible Troy Murphy things. The city recoiled in apathy. The night is darkest before et cetera, et cetera. >>>


“Daddy, that man next to us FRIGHTENS ME.”



2006-2015: Becoming CEO LOL JK!! It would get a whole lot darker! Much, much darker, in fact, to the tune of getting its soul kicked in the balls — in January of 2006, when the basically undefeated, Number-One-Seed Colts let the Pittsburgh Steelers walk into the RCA Dome and stab them in the leg with a butter knife and then Mike Vanderjagt puke-kicked the game-tying field goal 640 yards wide right and we all, as a city, wanted to divorce Sports forever and start cutting ourselves and die alone in a Shoe Carnival bathroom. It was, without question, the low point of Indy Sports’ adult life. Its finances were in disarray, its relationships strained, its health failing because it wasn’t taking its Coumadin or fiber pills. Indy Sports began quietly wondering if Peyton Manning really was the love its life. Its knees were continuously sore, as middle-aged knees tend to be. It was also drinking too much again. But all was righted a year later, in January 2007, when it sobered up and faced its demons and finally beat the Patriots. (And, to be fair, the Bears too in the Super Bowl in the pouring rain — but that was an afterthought, really.) Super Bowl XL-whatever was the watershed moment of Indy Sports’ life, until the next watershed moment (the opening of Lucas Oil Stadium) and the next one (Paul George being drafted) and the next one (Butler almost pulling off “the greatest story in basketball history”) and the next one (Curtis Painter’s season

long zero-point-DOES HE HAVE PALSY? quarterback rating in 2011, paving the way for Andrew Luck in 2012) and finally, the ultimate one (hosting Super Bowl XL-whatever downtown). It got a divorce from Peyton Manning, on amicable terms, of course, but it did not leave empty handed. It was awarded infinite alimony payments and a children’s hospital and a century’s worth of goodwill. To be clear, Indy Sports is in a good place at last, having risen from its mom’s futon through the professional ranks, gaining promotion after promotion, finally comfortable in its own skin and its stately $5.8 million Williams Creek estate. It has scores of underlings who never knew the broke, paint-huffing derelict it used to be a quarter century ago, and it rather likes it that way. 

2015-_____ : The golden years? Twenty-five years ago it would have been foolish to think that Indy could field Hall of Fame players and win a Super Bowl and host another and otherwise become a successful, productive member of Sports Society with vacation houses in Vail and St. Croix — well, actually, “foolish” would have been an understatement. It would have been impossible to predict its charmed path back then, almost as impossible as it is to predict the next 25 years of anything. It chooses not to focus on such things anymore. It used to do that for sure. But that is wasted energy — and besides, it has its own accountants and advisers for that now. n 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // ARTS 65




moved to Indianapolis just shy of ten years ago, so my qualifications as an Indy historian are slim at best. Nonetheless, in that almost-decade, I think I’ve honed in on what makes so many people stick around our mislabeled “flyover city.” For many people, Indianapolis has become a home away from home many thousands of miles from their birthplace. The evidence is in how many thriving immigrant-owned and international businesses dot our map in every direction. There is something in the particular sweetness of Hoosier hospitality that brings people from across the country and world, and for the last 25 years, many of the best international restaurants have not only survived but thrived and expanded. Like arms and legs jutting outward toward the corners of the metropolis, you can go down Pendleton Pike, Michigan Road, and both ends of Washington Street to find immigrant-owned eateries that survive

SARAH MURRELL SMURRELL@NUVO.NET Food editor and lover of travel, both by plane and by plate.

In the last year, Mayor Ballard wised up to the importance of having cultural centers, naming the area around Lafayette Square the “International Marketplace.” Long before Three Carrots was slinging seitan food at City Market, Spice Nation was serving a completely meat-free menu to the city’s vegetarians. Before Indianapolis knew what an authentic street taco was, you could grab one at El Rodeo. And last year, the folks at Manthan International Market decided it was time for downtowners to have access to all this international fare, so they put together an old world-style You’ll have to return to these bazaar that combines food and community on cultural hot spots more than the corner of College and St. Clair. once, and you owe it to yourself Our own Kyle Long to celebrate 25 years of cultural wisely said that, in terms of cultural exchange, exchange one plate at a time. “people are often more willing to eat international food than they are to even listen to a song.” And in a city by feeding their neighbors the muchwith several immigrant populations so missed tastes of home. big that you cannot find a larger group I called my parents, themselves former outside of their home country, there transplants some 30 years ago, to talk is no better time to come to the table, about the selection of international dinmeet your neighbors, and eat something ing when they last lived within city limits. you’ve never tried before. “There were...a few decent Mexican Use our map to make your way restaurants, I think. And Chinese?” was through as many food cultures as you what they came up with. In other words, can, but know that it’s not exhaustive not much to speak of. For authentic interby any means. For that, you’ll have to national food, they said, you had to travel return to these cultural hot spots more at least to Chicago or an equally large than once, and you owe it to yourself to market. These days, it’s hard not to choke celebrate 25 years of cultural exchange on the glut of options when you type in one plate at a time. n “ethnic food Indianapolis” into Google. 66 FOOD // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO



Saigon 4760 W. 38th St.


Abyssinia 5352 W 38th St.


Machu Picchu — Peruvian Honey Creek Mall, 5356 W. 38th St. Taquera El Maguey Northwest Plaza Shopping Center, 5629 W. 38th St. Carniceria Guanajuato 5210 W. Pike Plaza Road India Palace 4213 Lafayette Road Spice Nation 4225 Lafayette Road Saraga International Grocery Lafayette Place Shopping Center, 3605 Commercial Dr. Szechwan Garden 3649 Lafayette Road Ming Jiang 3806 N. High School Road La Fiesta 5116 W. 38th St. El Sol Azteca 5354 W. 38th St.


1 38th st.

college ave.

In 1990, maybe Mexican and Chinese food, but in 2015 — you name it


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69 465

38th st.

3 washington st.

4 70


65 465

MaMa’s House Korean Restaurant 8867 Pendleton Pike Bando Restaurant Pendleton Pike Shoppes Shopping Center, 8015 Pendleton Pike Foon Ying Restaurant 3770 Shadeland Ave. Sandra Rice & Noodles Indian Creek Commons, 10625 Pendleton Pike A11 3


The Tamale Place 5226 Rockville Road Mucho Gusto 6447 W. Washington St. La Canasta Grocery 64 S. Girls School Road El Meson Mexican Restaurant 8218 Rockville Road El Rodeo 8128 E. US Hwy 36

Javier’s Hacienda 2444 E. Washington St.


Tlaolli 2830 E. Washington St.

Los Portales Restaurant Plaza 71 Shopping Center, 2989 W. 71st St.

Savor Bohemio 4002 E. Washington St.


Alonso Taqueria 7363 Michigan Road

El Pollo Tapatio 4112 N. High School Road # A

La Hacienda Irvington Plaza, 6429 E. Washington St.

El Pastorcito 7876 Michigan Road

Los Chilaquiles 4930 Lafayette Road

La Parada Restaurant 1638 E. New York St.

La Casa De Los Mariscos 7940 Michigan Road

La Escollera 5834 E. Washington St.

Tamaleria Lupitas 8335 Michigan Road

El Camatron Mexican Restaurant 8315 E. Washington St.

China Kitchen 7143 Michigan Road



El Rincon Jarocho 7985 Plummer St. Regio’s Taqueria 4632 N. Post Road



Wah Wah Chinese Restaurant 2732 W. 71st St.

Restaurant Y Taqueria Don Marcos 4779 N. Post Road

Soriano’s Mexican Restaurant 2541 W. Washington St.

Yen Ching 9150 Michigan Road

Los Rancheros 7437 Pendleton Pike

La Poderosa 3745 W. Washington St.

Chang Fu Restaurant 3905 W. 96th St. #400


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FOOD Jessica Selkirk with head chef Alan Sternberg. PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CRAIG


FROM THE PARK HYATT TO CERULEAN One young chef finds that Indy’s dining scene is all it needs to be



essica Selkirk was one of the first people I met when I came into the position of food editor only a few months ago. One of the first things I asked her was what it was like working in a kitchen, a mostly male-dominated environment, as a female chef. She sipped her Hamm’s and shrugged, “I mean, you get called a cunt sometimes but, also like, don’t be a cunt, you know? Come to work ready to do work.” At 29, she’s just a little older than this very publication, and after talking to her about what lead her to the Cerulean kitchen, it became obvious to me that her story mirrors what so many have found to be true about Indy: They assume you must go away to elevate your career, but find you can make much greater change right here at home. Before you come into a kitchen like Cerulean’s, there’s usually a long line of people that you’ve fought out, worked harder than, or cooked better than, waiting to take your spot. Cooking is one of the few remaining meritocracies, with plenty of folks lining up to conscript in that particularly piradical army. For Jessica Selkirk, former sous chef at Cerulean (she still works on the line, but we’ll get to that) the decision to move back home from her newfound city of Chicago wasn’t so much a choice to move locations as it was a necessary separation from, well, a series of unfortunate events. “I moved to Indy after several years of a cocaine addiction, mixed with a terrible relationship that resulted in my arrest,” she says in her typical nonchalance. It’s a familiar story to 68 FOOD // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

A dish from Cerulean’s Fall 2014 menu.

a lot of chefs: one night, someone offers you a bump to party, and then another to keep it going, and then you need a little, then a lot, to get your day started. But it was the shock of the sensation of handcuffs that made Selkirk, who grew up in Economy, Indiana and went to Hagerstown for school, realized it was time to hit the reset button and park it in her near-hometown. “I’m thankful it happened. I’ll be clean two years in April. My family is here and it was time. I’ve missed out on so much, but I’m back,” she says. Like a lot of young folks trying to make it in food, she went off to the closest big city to attend the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago at the tender age of 18. She then found jobs in kitchens at spots like NoMi at the Park Hyatt, an ultraswanky, New American spot on the seventh floor of the hotel. From there, Selkirk went on to Otom, a Moto sister restaurant, later renamed ING. So moving back presented a secondary challenge: finding a good job when the culinary scene supposedly lacked a spot for someone with that kind of line resume. Instead, she found a lot of SEE, SELKIRK, ON PAGE 70


Two more dishes from Cerulean’s Fall 2014 menu. PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CRAIG



HOURS: 11 AM-11 PM MON.-THURS., 11-1 AM FRI. & SAT., 12-10 PM SUN.


70 FOOD // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

F R O M P A G E 68

opportunity at restaurants we now know as having laid the foundation for Indy’s New American scene as we know it. “With the help of family and friends, I found some great places to work. Bluebeard was a fantastic journey and that lead me to Cerulean. I’m very happy with my decision to come back home.” During her time at Cerulean, the restaurant transitioned from a reputation for wow-factor mixed with inconsistency, to one where solid, thoughtful food consistently comes out of the kitchen, season after season. But what I wanted to know is what changed. What was it between the flight of the nest and the return that let Selkirk know this was a place where a chef could stay? She doesn’t really know, or can’t put her finger on it. There’s something about the explosion of international dining, though, that seems to be a kind of signpost for things to come. “I remember finding Major, an Ethiopian restaurant on the west side

and I love, love, love Ethiopian. Even though I’m a tough critic, I loved it. In that moment, I realized, ‘Hey, Indy isn’t so bad!’” Personally, though, Selkirk is gradually turning away from the kitchen and to the farm—a call that comes to a lot of food industry people when the late nights and long hours start becoming draining. What started as one of of those crazy conversations with her boyfriend, soon turned into an offer, an acceptance, and a move to the country. She’s ready to make the transition, and to start growing crops with the help of any restaurant insiders and friends willing to lend a hand. “I just bought a house in the country where I plan to grow as many things as possible to my fellow industry folks,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. She calls me from the road, on the way to this faraway new home, and sounds buoyed even above the water, lighter than air. “If I hadn’t been in that terrible place in Chicago, I’d never be in the incredible place I am today.” n

“I remember finding Major, an Ethiopian restaurant on the west side ... I realized, ‘Hey, Indy isn’t so bad!’”







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How Indy urban farmers helped get us all better food



Places more than five years ago, with the simple goal in mind of turning a few grassy lots into productive gardens. These days, they have huge gardens all over the city, from the Chase Eastside Legacy Center’s massive gardens, to the gardens at White River State Park. When the new Eskenazi Hospital opened, Grown Places was tapped to turn their 5,000 square foot green roof into a productive, organic urban farm. The food grown on the hospital’s roof is served to patients and used in cooking classes about nutrition. That’s a transit time of a few minutes, and it only goes a few hundred feet from where it was grown, better known as the dream of urban farmers everywhere. The secondary value of small farming is most of these labor-intensive opera-

ust this morning, I was flipping through Instagram and saw a photo of some seeds on the shelf at Pogue’s Run grocery. They weren’t just any regular garden seeds, either, but non-GMO, carefully collected heirloom seeds from a local farmer. In the grocery store. Next to necessities like milk and bread and toilet paper. Lots of people would walk past and shrug, “Welcome to Indiana.” But to me, nonGMO seeds on the grocery store shelves is another sign of the progress being made by those crazy-motivated urban farmers, and I couldn’t be more proud. They were also representative of the seeds of change (yeah, like I wasn’t going to make that pun) that sprouted here decades ago, and grew from it a culture of eatWhile farming is not new ing and farming that aligns with the seasons to Indiana, it’s breaking away and seeks to make the from the supposed necessity most of our urban space. Urban and small farmof huge swaths of land. ing isn’t just about food providence or security, or about the environment. It is partially to tions where human hands do most of stop wasting water and green space the work don’t use fuel or chemicals— in places that could produce a sizetwo conventional farming methods able amount of food. Amy Matthews adapted to grow huge amounts of food at South Circle, for example, can get on huge pieces of land. Unfortunately, several tons (yes, like actual tons) of because of the dilution of the word produce out of her small plot of farm“organic” and the lengthy, expensive land just down the street from Shapprocess of becoming organically certiiro’s — so much that the farm supplies fied (a process requiring an inspection several restaurants as well as selling process for which the farmer is billed produce at the farmers market. for “inspection fees”), many of these One of the most prominent leaders small farms grow organically but cannot of this movement was Growing Places afford certification. Indy, which nestled gardens into city In fact, many self-identify as “belots wherever they became available yond-organic,” which often reflects a and communities needed better food more permaculture-minded ecology access. Tyler and Laura Henderson with bees, chickens, and old-world started raising money for Growing methods of pest control and soil >>>


<<< amending used in place of pesticides and fertilizer. And if you want to know more about how your food was raised, you can now go to the market and just ask them yourself. Meanwhile, back in 2009, the first rumblings — er, clucks — of Nap Town Chickens were coming together. Thanks to Marion County’s lax urban farming laws (you can pretty much do what you want in your yard as long as you don’t bother your neighbors with anything stinky, ugly or invasive), almost anyone can have chickens if they have the space. That was the idea behind Nap Town Chickens’ Project Poultry, the goal of which is to teach chicken farming and animal husbandry to anyone who wanted to learn. Andrew Brake, a selftaught chicken farmer who bought his hens to eat table scraps (instead of buying his wife wanted a garbage disposal), found from personal experience that it’s easy to learn how to raise chickens, so he’s out to put a chicken coop in every school and backyard that wants one. Each year, Nap Town Chickens puts on their Tour de Coops, where the chickencurious can visit all manner and style of coop around Indy and envision them-

Amy Matthews of South Circle Farms is one urban farmer turning a small space into big yields.

selves living that cluckin’ lifestyle. Brake thinks that anyone who tries chickens will love them, and will love the taste of home-raised eggs even more.


Of course, we’d all be pretty screwed, blued and tattooed, as they say, without the Central Indiana Beekeepers Association. Yes, we did give them a Cultural

Vision Award, and for good reason: no bees means no farms, which means no food for anyone. The CIBA holds education workshops, demonstrations, and other classes to try to fill this part of Indiana with more beekeepers, further helping to stabilize our food supply. And anyone who has ever kept bees will tell you they’re not the “set it and forget it” kind of project like chickens are. Thanks to the CIBA, Indy is constantly growing a community of informed beekeepers, and our farmers are ensuring that our honey-making friends always have a flower to pollinate. The urban farming movement, to remain sustainable, has become a fullcircle symbiosis between committed farmers, beekeepers, animal husbandry experts, and the regular folks who line up to get their sustainablyfarmed food at the market every week. While farming is not new to Indiana, it’s breaking away from the supposed necessity of huge swaths of land. Turns out, all you need to turn out gorgeous, organic produce is a few square yards of full sun and a strong back. Here’s to 25 more years of growing our own food and growing our own farmers. n

25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // FOOD 73



June 9, 2015 • 5 p.m. Indiana Landmarks Center · 1201 Central Ave · Indianapolis Free and open to the public 74 FOOD // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

still miss Renee’s. A lot of restaurants have come and gone in the 25 years since NUVO launched in 1990, but the one I miss most was a little French restaurant and deli at 839 Westfield Blvd. in Broad Ripple. It was cozy and kitschy, with mismatched chairs and uneven floors, located in an old building with plumbing problems and accessibility issues, but I loved it. That was my favorite restaurant for a long time and one I went to regularly; it worked for date night as well as for lunch with a friend. But you know what was different about Renee’s even back in the day? It was non-smoking at a time when diners were routinely asked, “Smoking, non or first available?” The restaurant smoking ban is one of the best changes I can think of in the 25 years that I’ve been covering Indianapolis. Although, to be fair, I wasn’t writing all that much about restaurants 25 years ago. I was an associate editor at Indianapolis Monthly at the time, and editorin-chief Deborah Paul had handled the restaurant reviews. I was lucky enough to get to tag along occasionally, though, which was much appreciated, since the city’s top restaurants were well out of my price range. That’s how I got to try Fletcher’s American Grille & Café, which chef Fletcher Boyd had opened downtown in 1985. Unfortunately, I never did get to Peter’s Restaurant, which had opened in Fountain Square in 1985, or Something Different, which had opened at 65th and Keystone in 1989. I think of those as the first wave in the evolution of Indy’s current dining scene, independent, chef-driven restaurants that were ahead of their time, where many of our current top chefs, somms and servers got their start. The places I was going 25 years ago were more along the lines of Café Espresso in Broad Ripple (now Old Pro’s Table). Or maybe we’d be drinking weak margaritas at El Matador at 921 Broad Ripple Ave., which has housed so many restaurants since then, but which has always been a great place to sit outside. Downtown? Twenty-five years ago, there were still restaurants in Union Station, and Circle Centre mall didn’t exist yet. Mass Ave was much more of a gallery district than it is now, although Bazbeaux was already there as were a handful of other bars and restaurants — including a café called Mugwumps,

RESTAURANTS JOELENE KETZENBERGER EDITORS@NUVO.NET Jolene Ketzenberger covers local food at Follow her on Twitter @JKetzenberger.

where bands would play in the basement at 608 Massachusetts Ave., a familiar address for Pizzology and Libertine fans. Fountain Square? There wasn’t much restaurant action there, although Peter George had certainly seen its potential when he opened Peter’s there in the space that now houses Siam Square. By the mid-’90s, I was reviewing for NUVO, and I went to a lot of ethnic restaurants like Russia House, Café Europa and various ristorantes that all seemed pretty similar. While the mid- to late-’90s weren’t very memorable for local restaurants, that’s when our farmers’ markets started, and those have definitely made a difference. In fact, market vendors like Ross Faris helped make it possible for the next wave of chef-driven restaurants to offer locally raised produce. And by 2000, that next wave of chefs began to open their own restaurants. Tony Hanslits with Tavola di Tosa and Greg Hardesty with H2O Sushi in 2000. Regina Mehallick with R bistro in 2001. Steven Oakley with Oakleys Bistro in 2002. Hardesty again with Elements in 2003. Marc Urwand and Deidra Henry with Taste Café & Marketplace in 2004. Brewer Ted Miller and partners with Brugge Brasserie in 2005. And, after Tavola closed in 2004, Neal Brown with L’explorateur in the same location in 2006. And then something happened — or maybe it just kept happening. Because even though Brown closed L’explorateur in early 2009, by November of that same year he opened his first Pizzology. From there, it seems, things just took off. In 2010 Hardesty opened Recess, and in 2011, another wave hit, and we saw Room Four open and Black Market and Late Harvest Kitchen and The Libertine Liquor Bar and The Local Eatery & Pub. And then Bluebeard happened, and Rook and Milktooth. And George reappeared on the scene with Tinker Street. And now here we are, anticipating an expansion of Rook, tacos from Brown, another concept from George — and you’d better keep an eye on the talent at Cerulean too. This next wave is going to be good. n




Both Beard-nominated, Greg Hardesty (left) and Neal Brown passed through the legendary (and legend building) H2O Sushi.


Transplanted Brit watches Indy become a foodie’s dream


oday I can think of many good reasons to relocate to Indianapolis. Back in 1987 when I first came to town, there were only three: family, love or Eli Lilly. I was here for one of those, moving from Edinburgh, Scotland, that jewel on the sea, and my home for the previous seven years, for Carmel, Indiana, a one-horse town at the edge of a fly-over city. When I left Britain, the independent restaurant scene had already taken root. The revolution had started and lousy English food was becoming a thing of the past. In purely gastronomic terms, the transition was far from easy. My first foray into a grocery store was in search of some sausages and bread. I was dismayed when the man behind the meat counter pointed to some skinny, lonely looking links, which might as well have originated in the knacker’s yard, and informed me that these were the only ones they had. The demand for such things, he explained, was slow. This was inconceivable to a man raised on plump juicy bangers and fatty black pudding. The experience in the bread department was no better. Crustless spongy white matter, with barely a concession to

NEIL CHARLES EDITORS@NUVO.NET Neil Charles covered fine dining for NUVO. Yu can read his dining reviews in Sophisticated Living.

the grain, was all I could find. It was an inauspicious start. As I began to explore the city’s restaurants, however, the outlook began to improve slightly. Downtown Indy boasted some decent albeit traditional food: King Cole offered old-fashioned tableside service with Chateaubriand for two, or monster chocolate soufflés that you had to order at the start of the meal. It was food as theatre, a concept now long since departed from our dining experience. The Majestic Oyster Bar, an expense-account stalwart in one of the city’s most beautiful spaces, served acceptable and occasionally good seafood

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The early days of Libertine — all white jackets and candlelight on Washington St.



truly impressive display of longevity in this brutal business. In Zionsville, J.P. Laurent ran the relaxed but consistently solid, French-themed Z’Bistro, and for a few glorious moments he operated the outstanding Café de la Place on Rangeline road in Carmel. It didn’t last long. All the while, against the background of a slowly evolving fine dining scene, Greg Shaffer had been serving fondue at 62nd and Keystone, accompanied by bargainpriced gems from the best wine cellar in

at a time when such a thing was scarce in these parts. St. Elmo’s, Indy’s flagship, was going strong but had yet to enter its renaissance. I finally found good sausage at Klemm’s smokehouse on South Street. By the late 1980s, fine dining had begun to take a turn away from long-established traditions and cocktail-heavy drink lists and, inspired by pioneers like Alice Waters, local chefs were learning to respond to the seasons and to use quality, often unusual Originality and creativity in the ingredients. Locallykitchen were rapidly supplanting sourced produce was starting to make its way the tried and true. into restaurant kitchens. Fine wine, much of it Californian, was edging out cocktails as the dinner drink of choice. Originality and creativity the city, since the mid 1970s. in the kitchen were rapidly supplanting As downtown was beginning to wake the tried and true: Fletcher’s on South from its long slumber, Benvenuti, a Penn offered imaginative and upscale formidably rigorous establishment, armodern American dining, while Peter rived on Pennsylvania Street. The food George was trying single handedly to rewas brilliant but expensive and at times vitalize Fountain Square with his eponyobtuse, but the restaurant managed to mous, detail-oriented establishment. get by until 1994. A young alumnus was Up north, Dieter Puska, already well Steven Oakley, who left to join Someentrenched, had been serving elegant, thing Different, a modern, somewhat highly accomplished French-influenced experimental establishment which had cuisine to an adoring clientele for over a for several years been quietly pushing decade at The Glass Chimney, something boundaries under its original ownhe would continue to do until 2008, a ers Drew and Susan Goss. In 1997 the 76 FOOD // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

FOOD FINE DINING Baby Neal Brown, because we can (Thanks, Faith!) PHOTO BY FAITH COHEN


restaurant, under new ownership, attracted a true star of the scene, Tony Hanslits, as executive chef. Tony had already made his mark at Peter’s, and would later go on to establish Tavola Di Tosa, easily the best Italian restaurant this town has ever seen, before starting the Chef’s Academy in 2009. A pivotal character in the history of this city’s fine dining, Tony Hanlits has spawned numerous chefs who have gone on to run successful restaurants of their own. Another graduate of Peter’s, Richard Cottance, who had moved to America for love in the early 1980s, started his own microscopic restaurant, Panache, in 1992. A unique, ferociously talented and tireless double amputee, he raised the bar over the next seven years for those diners fortunate enough to visit the tiny cottage in Zionsville. By the early 2000s, prospects seemed to be looking up for the independents, bolstered by the arrival of such luminariesto-be as Greg Hardesty, Regina Mehallick, Micah Frank and Neal Brown. Restaurants were opening and closing just as fast: things were in flux, but in a good way it seemed. It was a time of promise

and increased optimism, spurred on by development downtown and a healthy economy. By 2003, however, the chains were moving in, gobbling up disposable dining dollars wherever they settled. For unrelated reasons but in quick succession, three of the top independent restaurants in town closed their doors forever. Astonishingly, though, the independents fought a rearguard action over the next decade and took back a fair share of fine dining dollars as the move towards sustainability, good local beer and farm-to-fork principles gained traction with an increasingly wellinformed, younger crowd. For all its ups and downs, openings and closings, the Indianapolis dining scene is healthier now than it has ever been. It has achieved critical mass crucial to its survival. Success does not come overnight, however, and it is important to remember the pioneering restaurateurs of previous decades who had the temerity to raise their heads above the parapet at a time when it seemed there was really no market for their services. And healthy as the scene is right now, it is still in its infancy: There are still many voids to be filled. I look forward to the next twenty-five years. If, as they say back in Scotland, I’m spared. n

If so, we want to know how your brain reacts to alcohol and the taste of your favorite drink. If you qualify, you will be asked to stay at the Indiana Clinical Research Center for one full day to have 2 PET scans and 1 MRI scan of your brain while tasting your favorite drinks. For completing these procedures you will be compensated $370. You must be 21-35 21 35 years old to participate. We willl also ask you about your: ur: drinking history, tory, family history tory of trouble with h alcohol, use of any y drugs, sense of taste te and smell, and general neral health.

To see if you qualify, and for more detail, please call (317) 278-6771 for a phone interview David Kareken, Ph.D. Principal Investigator

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NUVO, BROAD RIPPLE BREWPUB, BOTH BORN IN THE SPRING OF 1990 N Join us Saturday, April 11, 2015 for the 5th Annual Bloomington Craft Beer Festival, an event benefiting Brewers of Indiana Guild. Full details and ticket information at


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BEER RITA KOHN RKOHN@NUVO.NET We don’t need to tell you about Rita. She’s been our queen of brewing for the last 5 years.

Add Charlie Papazian to the mix — UVO began on March 25, 1990 Papazian was a national homebrew and with 25 years (and counting) catalyst bringing people such as librarunder our belts, we still care about ian and baseball fanatic Bill Friday into the essential stuff that leads to a life of the club. West Lafayette’s Friday teamed quality for all, including ales, lagers, up with Purdue folks who formed a porters and stouts. Since June 5, 2005 club and mentored new homebrewNUVO’s produced an annual craft beer ers. Original members are still there issue, and since 2009, replacing sporadic coverage, Beer Buzz has appeared and a new second and third generaas a regular column on the food page— tion is on deck. At the same time, IU in Bloomington had become a Mecca because craft beer is food. for homebrewers. Our leading centers On March 15, 2008, the first NUVOof higher education were building the sponsored Indiana Craft Beer Roundfoundation for craft brewing along with table was convened at the Indiana the people who gathered and shared State Fairgrounds. True Brew: A Guide experiences in Indianapolis. Paul to Craft Beer in Indiana came out in Edwards might’ve been described as 2010, followed by The Complete Idiot’s the off-campus dean. Minor obstacles Guide to Beer Tasting in 2013. We are proud of the inspiration we’ve provided leading others to become craft beer commentators on A “good beer” oasis in an otherwise various platforms. In celebration of NUVO’s undrinkable desert started with a 25th Anniversary Sun King is releasing the sigmonthly poetry group meetup at nature Social Justice on the Wellington Pub. March 23. That’s the public wrapup in a tasting glass. The full pint story for me perlike liquor laws banning homebrewsonally goes back to 1983 and a “heady ing didn’t daunt him—he went about time” of association with leaders on all making changes. Edwards had, though, levels intent on waking up “Naptown” begun his career as a winemaker before (and the rest of Indiana) with cultural switching to hops. (Home wine makorganizations, arts groups and social ers were granted rights in 1933 since a justice concerns coming to the fore. clerical error left homebrewing off the I was brought into the “pour,” so to bill repealing Prohibition — but that’s speak, at this fortuitous time. another sad story about bad proofreadA “good beer” oasis in an otherwise ing and undue diligence). undrinkable desert started with a Homebrewers were the craft beer monthly poetry group meetup at the leaders nationwide, bringing back Wellington Pub, the unpublicized sibling styles with layers of flavors that had of John and Nancy Hill’s welcoming been lost with the amoeba-spread of Corner Wine Bar. Poets were often also homebrewers, and John Hill was a travel- Anheuser-Busch’s bland lager and a ‘one-beer-fits-all’ mentality since the ing man willing to share the bottles he U.S. Centennial. was bringing back from trips out west. It was Jack McAuliffe, in 1976 for And then there was John Easley, the man the bicentennial, who created the first who gave us craft beer ingredients at ‘new-era’ commercial microbrewery. Easley Winery beginning in 1979 when New Albion was short-lived but it set homebrewing was finally legalized. >>>


<<< the stage for where we are today. His pale ale showcased the newly developed American hops called Cascade — and upped the ante for what we expected in a beer beyond bland. When it comes to craft brewing, character often extends beyond the brew and into the people who create it. Jack is decidedly on the quiet side, but those who followed have been more out there. That Pantheon includes the formidable Jim Koch who established the Boston Beer Company in 1984 and began producing the now ubiquitous Sam Adams brand in spite of the odds against him. Jack was emboldened by Fritz Maytag who had rescued Anchor Brewing Company with is famous Steam Beer style. In turn, Jack inspired Ken Grossman to found Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in 1983, with Paul Camusi. Also in 1983 Mendocino Brewing Company came into being in the small town of Hopland, California, with the equipment built by Jack. (As Jack explains, growth requires capital but banks weren’t then into giving loans to craft brewers — then as now, you close when you don’t have the means to grow.) Mendocino not only brandished the term American Pale Ale but became

California’s first brewpub, the second in the U.S. The first was Bert Grant’s 1982 “Grant’s Brewery Pub” which became the prototype for brewpubs and for Indiana’s first 20 years of modern-era craft beer was the industry model, until Sun King established the Hoosier model as a production brewery. Looking back, by late 1980s Indiana homebrewers were getting antsy for commercial action and began nudging North Yorkshire-born John Hill to open a brewpub based on his successful Corner Wine Bar experience. In 1990, BRBP was at the convergence when NUVO came into being, and Asante Children’s Theatre was born. It was an auspicious time. All three continue to grow and all three have inspired others. I’ve been enriched as a part of all three. I’ve watched with sadness some aspiring craft beer operations open and close, and I’ve noted how many new small newspapers and theatres have gained impetus from the NUVO and Asante leadership. But what has been of utmost personal joy has been the association with the people in these three diverse community-centric operations. 25 years and still glowing!. n

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uch has changed in Indy and beyond over the last 25 years. Stock markets have crashed rebounded. Our sports teams have gone from bottom-feeders to title contenders and brawled in the interim. IU basketball has had nearly as many coaches as players (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the point.) One industry, which has transformed several times over in the last two and a half decades, is our consumption of music. Throughout the rise and fall of the “digital age” Indianapolis has been fortunate to host not just one, but a handful of world-class, independent, brick and mortar music shops. “It was just a lousy time to be a record collector,” Irvington Vinyl’s Rick Wilkerson says of the early ’90s, when he first opened his shop Missing Link Records. “Because the stores didn’t have records anymore … It was discouraging. That’s one of the reasons we started this thing, because we couldn’t buy records anywhere that we wanted to buy … It seemed like there would still be a market. If nothing else, we would end up with good record collections at the end of it.” LUNA Music owner Todd Robinson remembers having a similar thought when visiting his brother in Indy in the early 1990s, before moving here from Ohio. “I would come to town and mutter that there aren’t any really good record stores here,” he says. “I muttered that loudly one day, and my brother said, ‘Well, why the fuck don’t you open one?’ It was like, ‘Oh. Okay.’ ” Robinson and Wilkerson opened up shop around the same time in ’94 and ’93, respectively. Both have withstood their share of misadventures. Robinson moved LUNA from its original location at 86th and Ditch to South Broad Ripple, opened and closed a shop on Mass Ave Wilkerson moved Missing Link from the Southside to Broad Ripple before closing and leaving the industry for several years and starting anew in Irvington a couple of years ago. One Indianapolis mainstay has survived alongside the various up-andcomers – Karma Records. “If somebody was 50 in 1970 when the stores first opened, then their kids shopped here. Then their kids shopped here,” says Jim Ector, who with his partner Jeff Wicks,

ROB PEONI MUSIC@NUVO.NET Rob Peoni is a freelance writer for NUVO, Sky Blue Window and Musical Family Tree.

co-owns three Karma stores in town. “It’s 45 years later. There’s not a lot of stores, I don’t think, around the United States that have been around that long. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, there’s just not a lot of stores like it.”

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music has remained remarkably consistent in the 15 years they’ve played varying roles in the industry. “I don’t think that, as far as this store is concerned, CD or vinyl sales have been affected by market trends as much as they’ve been affected by the economy itself,” Andy says. “Overall sales fell off 2008 through 2012 or 2013 — only because of the overall economy, but I don’t think that market forces have changed much.” Annie has noticed a change in the store’s clientele since she first moved to Indianapolis from Salt Lake City with the store’s original owner Rick Zeigler 14 years ago. “It’s more of a family experience,” she says. “I’m seeing a lot more females coming into the store. It’s not just a dude fest. That, for me, is a huge deal. For so many years, it was so male-dominated, where it was almost intimidating. Now, I’m seeing dads coming in with daughters talking about what they’re into, girls talking about what they’re into, and them sharSUBMITTED PHOTOS ing this experience. I love it.” A selection of local records, all released on As for the future, most of local labels, all for sale at local record stores. the shop owners I spoke with were reluctant to make broad prognostications. While the media plays up “It’s really interesting how it continues the various trends in the music to evolve, and you’ve gotta be ready for industry: digital, streaming, the resurthat,” Robinson says. “Especially riding gence of vinyl, etc. husband and wife this last wave of digital crashing and Andy and Annie Skinner, the owners of vinyl coming back. Who knows what’s Indy CD & Vinyl along with friend Eric going to happen next?” n Davis, believe the market for physical



UVO’s music section – nay, all of its sections – could not exist without the freelancers. Music freelancers are those intrepid sort that stuff music into their brains and then stretch out their fingers to type thousand word missives that arrive in my inbox after many late nights at shows and later nights in front of their computers. Some of our freelancers started contributing in NUVO’s salad days, way back in the ’90s. Others started just in the last few years. We love them all. For our 25th, I asked freelancers to look back on the good, the weird and the wacky. Here’s what they said about their time writing, photographing and otherwise contributing to NUVO’s music section. ­— KATHERINE COPLEN, MUSIC EDITOR

A favorite interview and story for me was Phoenix on the Faultline. Aside from the fact that everyone in the band was super nice and candid, they were also a blast to hang out with. After spending time with them in their rehearsal space — ­ a very cramped room off a detached garage, especially for a nine-piece band — the rest of the evening was spent drinking Hamm’s and shooting a potato gun. I’m still listening to Hail the New Pawn by The Dream is Dead. It’s absolutely devastating and belongs in every hardcore music fan’s collection. RIP Jared Southwick. — WADE COGGESHALL, WRITER

My time at NUVO was full of awesome memories. I pretty much made my job a decade-long project in seeing how far I could take things. I was constantly badgering [publisher] Kevin [McKinney] for money. Money to go to SXSW, money to go on the road with bands like The Why Store and Liquid Circumstance. Money to go to Europe with The Zero Boys. Money to go to India, just because. I was always coming up with ways to get money out of Kevin. Once I was chilling with the late, great Merle Griggs of the bands Bitch Head and Helen Shields when we decided to get NUVO to sponsor a “Date with Helen Shields” contest. I go to Kevin and pitch it as a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant and a private show at the Patio or something along those lines. The contest ran and a winner was selected. The night of the “Date” we had forgotten to get with the Patio, and we were out of pot.



So, we hatched the back up plan. We took the $100 dollars from Kevin and got us $40 dollars worth of weed, and took the rest of the money and got, like, 200 wings with the rest of the money. So the poor contest winner, a hairdresser from Greenwood, ended up at the ratty, filthy HS HQ off Keystone with Merle giving the grand tour like a proud housewife, and then eating wings while watching Ice Cube music videos followed by the loud as fuck private show in the oven-like basement where lead singer Tom Watts, was making her a little uncomfortable. But Merle was so cool and so graceful, she ended up having the time of her life. — JEFF NAPIER, WRITER

Whether stumbling about with his original gang of drinking buddies, or fronting a sleek professional rock band with his best Roger Daltrey impersonation, master songwriter and Ohio neighbor Guided By Voice’s Robert Pollard always delivered a giddy, beer-fueled, 50-song love fest for his Trekkie-like worshipers in Indianapolis. — SCOTT HALL, WRITER

I have two favorite interviews I did for NUVO. The first was a video interview with Lloyd Kaufman, founder of Troma Entertainment and creator of the Toxic Avenger. As a filmmaker, I have enormous respect for Troma’s spirit of independence and its ability to exist outside of the establishment (qualities it shares with NUVO), so it was a thrill to interview the man who started the company more than 40 years ago. The second was a print interview I did with Peter Davison, the actor who played the fifth incarnation of the Doctor on the British science fiction series Doctor Who. I am a lifelong Whovian, and Peter Davison was “my Doctor” growing up, so I can say without hyperbole that getting to meet him was one of the highlights of my life. It was also the last story I did for NUVO before leaving Indiana, bringing our six-year partnership to a very satisfying conclusion. — ANTON BLENDER, VIDEOGRAPHER S E E , F RE E LA N C E R S , O N P A GE 8 2 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // MUSIC 81



My favorite assignment was shooting the cover for the local band, Veseria. We were promoting the Fountain Square Music Festival, which took place on July 4, 2013; therefore, the band wore red, white, and blue. We incorporated sparklers and mini American flags. Overall, it was so much fun. They’re an awesome group! — KRISTEN PUGH, PHOTOGRAPHER

NUVO and jazz pair up seamlessly. Jazz Kitchen and NUVO grew up in the same neighborhood, so to speak. Both grew out of a long civic tradition and moved forward to inspire protégés and rally the already established. Probably the most touching interviews show that intergenerational love. The Aug. 2, 2014 issue of NUVO carried the story of Kenny Phelps coming home to Indianapolis from a heady worldwide tour with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Kenny’s story embodies all the elements of Indianapolis and jazz — the earliest roots bringing forth some of the most amazing players who rightfully gained national and international attention, and who changed the direction of jazz on many levels. Kenny speaks of his roots, his childhood, his parents indulging his love of percussive instruments. It’s a universal Indy story as is what happened next — Steve Allee became his mentor “pushing, helping me develop all aspects of playing.” Allee told Phelps to develop his own voice and persona. Other seasoned players were growing the jazz scene on multiple levels and the young Kenny on drums was learning from them too, ‘paying his dues’ to sit in. And then there’s Joel Harrison bringing the American Pianists Association to Indianapolis and developing the Jazz Fellowship program along with the Classical. The world was coming to the Jazz Kitchen for every reason in every season. And that’s how in 2012 Dee Dee Bridgewater recognized Kenny’s brilliance and signed him on. Leaving family and home was a huge leap. Kenny took it and then came home determined to be the mentor. Enter Indy’s legendary Owl Studios and the opportunity to move it into a new direction as the Owl Music Group. Sharing Kenny Phelps’ story is what makes NUVO essential, and writers like me proud to be in the mix. — RITA KOHN, WRITER


When Neon Love Life ended a brief but glorious three-year run back in 2012, guitarist Ashley Plummer remarked “The one thing you can’t replace is chemistry.” And how true it was — Plummer, Lindsay Manfredi, Tasha Blackman and Sharon Rickson came from wildly different musical backgrounds but clicked together perfectly for a rollicking series of concerts, one nearperfect jewel of an album and a legacy of education that continues with Girls Rock! Indianapolis. Things ended amicably but no less regretfully — Plummer’s acceptance to graduate school at Yale unfortunately meant the end of the quartet. Their final show at the White Rabbit was classic NLL, though — frenetic, energetic and bouncing across musical genres with dazzling technical brilliance and none of the melancholy you’d expect from a farewell performance.  Funny the things that stand out in memory, though, small moments you don’t expect. I remember one girl, I couldn’t place her age but seemed to be a mid-teenager, right up front the entire time and still jamming like hell through the final encore. By the end of the night they gave her the set list, some guitar picks and I think the drumsticks. Whoever she is, I’m pretty sure she holds the eternal title of #1 Neon Love Life fan.

that goes hand in hand with his music. The night before I interviewed Biram by phone, I found out one of my best friends and favorite people in the world died in Austin — I lived in Austin for a few years before moving back to Indy in late 2010, and she moved down there from Noblesville to pursue her music career a few months after I settled in — from a drug overdose. I went through a frenzied spectrum of shock, anger, sadness and drunkenness that entire night and she was heavy on my mind as I called Biram the next morning. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have done the interview at that time, but there was some undefinable solace that came from pulling myself together to conduct some semblance of a professional interview with a musician so intertwined with Austin, Texas at that moment. — JUSTIN WESLEY, WRITER

Cataracts 2012 was the most incredible show/happening/event I’ve ever witnessed in this city. The festival took place at four different house venues in about a one-block radius on Morris Street in Fountain Square. Credit has to be given to the festival’s organizer, Jacob Gardner, for getting together something like 70 bands from Indy and around the region and for producing what was — probably — a once in a generation event and a truly organic celebration of local rock and roll; a for-the-people, by-the-people, kind of thing. And it was free, can I add that? It was a perfect day for outdoor music — the whole summer was, really — and the neighborhood was mobbed, absolutely mobbed with people. I remember looking out at Morris St. at one point and seeing this sea of people in the alleys, in the street, music coming from the front of one house and the back of another, and just not believing my eyes. For one day it was like the lunatics got to take over the asylum. I wish it was like that every weekend! — GRANT CATTON, WRITER

I’ve been fortunate to have some really great shoots for NUVO. The major highlights were shooting the winning Cutters team of 2009 from the back of the coach’s car on a training ride out in the Brown County countryside, Ice-T reciting Langston Hughes poems in front of the ISO, Forecastle and Bonnaroo music fests, and a particularly odd Summer Solstice event in 2008 that was one >>>


I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have done somewhere between 50 and 100 interviews with musicians (many of which are heroes of mine on some level) by this point without ever encountering an awful or truly awkward experience. To be honest, they’ve all been varying degrees of great to fantastic and refreshingly conversational. One that sticks out to me as particularly poignant, though, was an interview I did with Scott H. Biram for NUVO in the summer of 2014. If anyone knows anything about Biram, they know he’s from Austin and he has an absolutely insane (and horrific) backstory

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Jacob Gardner at Cataracts


MUSIC WRITERS <<< of those yea had to be there to feel the weirdness kind of moments. But best of all was when Slim Jim Poyser gave me the mission of hunting down dead fish belly up along the banks of the White River for a summer fish kill story. Ah, the good times. —TED SOMERVILLE, PHOTOGRAPHER

I loved the two years [2009 and 2010] that I reviewed and photographed the all of the bands performing along the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon route – 40 bands spread out over 13.1 miles! I would stop and snap a photograph and jot down a sentence or two about the group, jog to catch up to the pack with notebook and pen in hand, camera bouncing off of my hip, stop and take a picture, scribble a note, and repeat x 40. The biggest challenge was to keep my time fast enough to not get kicked off the course. While I’m sure I looked like a crazy woman jogging with my Canon and notebook and, by necessity, a fanny pack, I loved being part of the crowd and being able to celebrate the amazing musicians who woke up early and hauled equipment to entertain hordes of folks that mostly didn’t have time to slow down to listen to them. — NORA SPITZNOGLE, WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER

for major European music festivals like Whitby Goth Weekend instead. But here they were: Razed in Black, The Azoic, Assemblage 23, Ego Likeness, Hungry Lucy, Ayria and more, playing at The Vogue, Talbott Street, The Melody Inn and Radio Radio, with local bands Form 30 and Danz Poeta filling opening slots. Other memorable shows followed: Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails headlined at Verizon; Shiny Toy Guns played Birdy’s when everyone in the country was singing their single, “Le Disko” and Rogue from The Crüxshadows danced his signature jig around the crowd at Talbott Street. Music City may offer the best Honky Tonks, but my heart stays in the shadows of the clubs back home, where we’d dance and dream until the sun came up. — LESLIE I. BENSON, WRITER, FORMER MUSIC EDITOR

I love shooting covers more than life itself, but by far the funnest one I ever photographed involved a local rapper [Oreo Jones] and a couple of cats from the Humane Society. For the life of me, I can’t remember why they decided a couple of cats would be a fun addition to the photograph; but it was a blast! Warning: If you are the only human in a photograph, you had better hope you look good in all of the photographs, because we are taking the one where the animals are doing what we want them to be doing. The photograph was not complete until Asha Patel worked her magic, and created laser beams coming out of the cat’s eyes.

Having moved to Nashville, Tenn., two years ago, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by music every day, but it doesn’t compare to what I miss most — MARK A. LEE, PHOTOGRAPHER about Indianapolis — the camaraderie of its darker niche subcultures. The scene, born from the ashes of Indy’s gothic rock predecessors The Wishdolls (’86-90), IT (1987), Lithium Tears (early ’90s), The Psychic Cannibals (’92), PC (’92-’93), Fete of Ashes (’94-’97), Nimbus (’93-’02), and others, found its footing and united music fans clad in combat boots and fishnets to the enticing sounds of synth and guitar. At the height of the Circle City’s goth/ industrial movement a decade ago, we rallied together in support of club nights and live concerts held by Chris Conner of Eden Promotions and a slew of amazing underworld DJs, such as Zlaya, Sarah Vain, Mister E DJ, Spectre, Mister Industrial Pants, Kurtimus Prime, Alyda Stoica, Copper Top, Krazy Karoline and the Twins (the latter of which still throw great parties Downtown). Together, they brought some of my PHOTO BY MARK A. LEE, DESIGN BY ASHA PATEL favorite national acts to town, many of Oreo Jones on the cover of our which rarely tour the Midwest and opt

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t was November 26, 2005, and the masses were beginning to make their way to Broad Ripple’s the Patio. With a great local lineup of music in store, the venerable Guilford Avenue venue likely looked no different on this Saturday than it did on any other night to the casual passerby. But to faithful music lovers filing into the club, sheer sadness filled the air. Because after that night, this great live music spot would be no more. Since NUVO’s start back in 1990, this unfortunate scene has unfolded at several other Indianapolis venues, leaving music fans searching for somewhere new to get their fix. From The Vollrath to Locals Only, Chubby’s Club LaSalle to the Music Mill, many meaningful live music spots have closed their doors in the past 25 years, each leaving behind a melodious mark on the city. For most however, the Patio’s closing was certainly the saddest. “There was so much tradition there. It was always on the front end of trends and on the front end of emerging artists,” remembers Jeff Sample, who did a little bit of everything at the club between 1990 and 1999, from bartending to booking bands. “It was a destination place for touring acts. If you were going to come to Indianapolis that was pretty much the place you wanted to play, up to a certain level.” And all kinds of promising acts did play there before eventually hitting the big stage, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Black Keys, My Morning Jacket and many, many more. The venue also NUVO FILE PHOTOS served a very important role for local A selection of art from our and regional acts too, Sample explains. Patio closing cover story in 2005 “On the local and regional level, if you were in a band and you were actually acof the last too.” With a slew of hard-hitting cepted to play at the Patio, that was pretty acts playing at the club, The Ritz had an much a badge of honor,” he recalls. “That intense aura to it, according to Ruhtenberg. completely legitimized who you were.” “The shows were always almost like During the early ’90s, another club on they were going to spin out of control,” he Indy’s Eastside was also making a splash, says. “I would say that some of what the drawing big name touring acts to the city. Emerson turned into started at The Ritz.” Located in the old Arlington Theatre, The Unfortunately, The Ritz was eventuRitz’s incredibly large stage hosted the likes ally demolished, with an Ace Hardware of Danzig, Pantera, Iggy Pop and Slayer. now standing where the venue once was. And just like the Patio, local bands were Ruhtenberg jokes, “You can still go there welcome too. Vess Ruhtenberg (The Last IV, and soak up the vibes, but it’s pretty The United States Three) recalls, “I’m proud different.” The venue certainly made to say that my band Jot was the very first an impact on many in the city though, band to play The Ritz, and probably one including one Steve Duginske. 84 MUSIC // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 25 YEARS OF NUVO

25 years of defunct music venues SETH JOHNSON MUSIC@NUVO.NET Seth Johnson is a freelance writer for NUVO, Sky Blue Window and the Indy Star.

The DIY Way Having recently moved with his family from Bloomington to Indianapolis, a young Duginske somehow convinced his parents to drop him off at a Circle Jerks show at The Ritz (at that time known as the Arlington Theatre) in October of 1987. Little did he know, this punk rock encounter was about to change his life. “It was just one of those defining moments that I think a lot of people go through in their youth,’” he says. This show springboarded Duginske’s love for music, so much so that he started

booking shows as a 9th grader. Of course, the teenage punk was a little too young to have a permanent venue at his disposal during this time. So he instead started renting out spaces to host his shows at, from Lions Clubs to hotel ballrooms to community centers. In fact, the first show Duginske remembers booking featured Fred Armisen’s band (Trenchmouth) playing at a VFW hall in Beech Grove. After doing this for a while, Duginske was eventually able to get his hands on a permanent location at 46th and College Avenue. Hence, the Sitcom was born. Run by a collective of like-minded youngsters, the Sitcom began hosting all-ages shows in June of 1992, eventually attracting acts like Bikini Kill, Rancid, Beat Happening and more. Duginske recollects, “I didn’t understand how it all happened. I remember booking a couple shows, throwing my name out to a few people, and then it just snowballed.” The Sitcom’s impact was undeniable though, according to Ruhtenberg. “It was probably my favorite club after the Patio just because the Patio is so damn important,” he says. “The Sitcom was right down the street from me, so I used to just wander down there for a while at 7 o’clock at night, like checking what was on TV.” Although it eventually closed later in the decade, the Sitcom’s DIY spirit was certainly carried on, with spaces like Purple Underground, The Volcano Room and more coming and going in later years too. And although the Sitcom days have long since passed, Duginske still admits that those times greatly impacted his life. “It’s not that specific venue — it’s that whole culture,” he concludes. “That whole culture has shaped me.” n




(Editor’s note: The Gizmos are an inextricable part of Indiana’s rock and roll history. This story of how 25-year-old NUVO writer Kelsey Simpson became their drummer is a rock and roll fairy tale.)


y mother was a skater betty and my father was a skater — that’s how I got into punk rock. Or so the legend that I occasionally get to tell goes. Discarded cassette tapes led me to bands like Agent Orange and Minor Threat. The beginning of my life in DIY was all about the fastest, most hardcore bands. I identified with the energy. It was youthful, and transcended time. In the early to mid 2000’s, The Gizmos were working with Gulcher Records to re-release their material. I was in 7th grade reading Gary Paulsen novels and keeping pictures of Dave Grohl in my locker. In 2002 I met Sybilla Bryson through an AOL Kids’ “Punk” message board. I answered an ad she had posted looking for preteen musicians in Indiana to form a band. She lived in Anderson, Indiana and would go on to found the fanzine Youth Culture Killed My Dog. YCKMD was inspired by the single issue zine her dad had published. I contributed book reviews, photos, and short articles. While our band The Gimmicks never saw the stage, YCKMD ran for eight issues and would go on to be referenced years later by fanzine folks (including NUVO Barfly Wayne Bertsch.) The Gizmos originally had developed friendships through fanzines. In the early to mid ’70s, there were no message boards, Tumblrs or deviantARTs. The primary medium was the zine. Bob Richert, editor of Gulcher magazine, felt the first wave of Gizmo energy in the writing of Kenne Highland and Eddie Flowers. Gulcher not only reached the population of Bloomington but also a young Thurston Moore. Picture, if you will, Moore writing to say that he would like to join The Gizmos and Eddie advising against it — “there’s enough people in the band already!” I’ve been playing drums in the band Deezen since 2010. A couple years ago we recorded a cover of The Gizmos’ song “Gimme Back My Foreskin” for an unreleased compilation. I thought it was fun but had no concept of the band’s history. We played it live for at least two years before we were asked by Gizmanager Marvin P. Gold-


The Gizmos, with Simpson front and center.

stein to open for The Gizmos in Bloomington at the beginning of their reunion tour. It was surreal opening for them and then being asked to join the group. I have a vivid memory of Rich Coffee next to the stage while I was playing giving me a thumbs up and thinking, “Oh cool, that dude likes us!” not even realizing for a second who he was. Myself, Sam Murphy, and Craig Bell of Deezen would join the original four members to form part of the 2014 lineup. Curiously enough, Marvin Goldstein was at the first show I ever played. with a hardcore band called Wait til Wednesday at the now-empty Sam’s Saloon across the street from the Hoosier Dome. He and my mother were literally the only people in the audience. I remember riding with him in the van to Memphis, Tennessee to headline Goner Fest thinking to myself, “If I had known then that Marvin was to become our manager… Wow!” Ted Niemic is one of the original Gizmos, but is also the bridge to an entirely different family of musicians playing under the same name. I’ve been able to practice and learn much of The Gizmos’ catalog by playing live locally as Teddy & The Mofos—Ted plus members of Deezen. We played with second and third generation Gizmos Tim Carroll and Dale Lawrence, as well as many of the musicians on the recent Crazy Al’s compilation. The reality of being a Gizmo hit me the hardest when we visited Goner Records the day after headlining Goner Fest. I mentioned to Eddie Flowers that they had older zines and pointed to a copy of Forced Exposure. He looked at it and casually said, “Oh yeah, I wrote for them. I think I’m in that issue.” I flipped through a couple pages and sure enough, there he was. I immediately asked him to autograph it and I often think to myself, it could’ve been Thurston Moore. Instead, it was me! n





Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe In association with 90.1 WFYI Public Radio

Canada’s answer to Garrison Keillor

Sunday April 26 • 3PM Hilbert Circle Theatre 45 Monument Circle For tickets, please call (317) 639-4300 Or Check out Stuart McLean on YouTube!

25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // MUSIC 85





had the pleasure of editing Jazz Notes writer and consummate manabout-town Chuck Workman for just a few months. He was experiencing myriad health problems by that point, toting an oxygen tank into the office when he stopped by to visit, pitch stories and occasionally drop off his regular column Jazz Notes via thumbdrive. Chuck died on March 25, 2012. His funeral, five days later, was packed, of course. Whether you listened to his jazz programs on WTPI, WIAN or WICR, waved hello to him at the Jazz Kitchen, or picked up our paper just for his columns, Chuck defined jazz journalism, both at NUVO and in many corners of Indianapolis. He is in the Indianapolis Jazz Hall of Fame for a reason. Here’s a selection of my favorite bits from Chuck’s later columns. — KATHERINE COPLEN



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“Women have always played a major role in the jazz world — and not only as singers with the band. Take Lil Armstrong, who worked on the early recordings of her once-husband Louis Armstrong and later fronted her own group. Or local musicians such as pianist and vocalist Flo Garvin and the Hampton Sisters (pianist Aletra, bassist Virtue, Carmalita and Dawn), who played into their eighties.” — MARCH 23, 2011

“On Dec. 19, a bitter cold night, I walked into a new tradition at the Jazz Kitchen. Some members of the Midcoast Swing Orchestra and Judy Kirkwood, marketing director of the Kitchen, were prepped for a third year of caroling in the surrounding neighborhood. Like a jam session, there was no game plan, just a need to dispel seasonal spirit by the participants. “Led by Kirkwood with shekere in hand, owner David Allee pounding a patched-up bass drum and others on horns, cymbals and tambourines, west on 54th Street we merrily went clanging, banging away as curtains and doors opened and residents came out to see what the commotion was about. “At 54th and New Jersey, we played ‘Silent Night’ in front of a manger scene. Nearby, the owner of a house that lit up the block came out with neighbors,


asking for a New Orleans second line of music. The spirited sound of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ filled the block. We headed back with a shuffling beat to ‘Up on the Roof Top,’ and car windows rolled down with smiling faces as we paraded through restaurants and bars, spreading seasonal cheer. All involved were aglow with laughter. It was plain to see our message was special. I can’t wait until it’s time to go caroling next year.” — DECEMBER 27, 2006

“If anything represents authentic New Orleans, it’s the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Oh, how they did ramble — especially with their high energy ‘Second Line’ marching strut on ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’ that had a sizeable crowd singing, strutting and shuffling in front of the stage. For one set, it was Mardi Gras.” — JUNE 21, 2006

“There is a cultural loss of Indy’s jazz history going on in our community. One reason for this is because there is no physical repository or building for deceased jazz artists from Indy. Those are who gave this city a worldwide reputation for its jazz legacy. Where are the instruments of those Indy jazz legends today? What about the numerous sheets of paper that hold the notes of jazz compositions to be played for the public or for music educators to pass on to their students? “There are other urban cities where jazz thrived and that also claimed a share of this nation’s musical art form. Unlike Indy, some have repositories for this art form called jazz museums. “I can’t help but wonder how we can pass on a jazz legacy to future generations when we can’t preserve the past to build on to. “Could there be a museum devoted to jazz and our local legendary performers for the public to enjoy and future musicians and music educators to use to maintain Indy’s reputation? Let’s keep our legacy alive in the world jazz community.” — JANUARY 13, 2012




Shots from Lafayette Road’s growing club scene.



he fact that Indy’s longest running and most successful alternative weekly was born in 1990 seems fitting to me. That’s the year when the hazily defined genre known as alternative music began to bubble up into the mainstream consciousness. It was in 1990 that Nirvana signed to DGC records and began the process of writing songs for their breakthrough LP Nevermind. 1990 was also the year that R.E.M. recorded their classic Out of Time album. To the surprise of almost everyone in the music business, both of these records would reach the top spot on Billboard’s album charts during 1991. These albums and the movement they helped to spawn changed the direction of American popular culture, and officially ushered in the era of alternative music. The term alternative music was nearly inescapable during the early and mid-’90s and there was great debate about how the genre could be defined musically. Personally, I found the term obnoxious and took every chance I could to ridicule it. “What’s alternative about a group of white men recording pop songs on a corporateowned record label?” I’d complain to friends. If you would’ve asked me who I thought the truly alternative music acts of the early ’90s were, I probably would’ve answered John Cage, Diamanda Galás, or Sun Ra. Definitely not Pearl Jam. But I don’t think the term alternative music ever really intended to address musical structures, it had more to do with an attitude, or a particular sort of world view. Whether or not I agreed with the term’s application as a musical genre, I appreciated the fact that the best artists designated with the alternative tag promoted viewpoints that were in direct opposition with the prevailing conservative attitudes of the era. 


A CULTURAL MANIFESTO WITH KYLE LONG KLONG@NUVO.NET 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.

I think it’s important to look back at what preceded the alternative movement for context. Popular American rock was dominated by hair metal in the ’80s. While some great bands came out of the ’80s American metal scene (e.g. Slayer, Metallica) metal culture itself was rife with overt expressions of misogyny along with strong undercurrents of homophobia and racism. It was a time when one of the most popular bands of the era Guns N’ Roses felt confident to write and record the following lines. “Immigrants and faggots They make no sense to me They come to our country And think they’ll do as they please Like start some mini Iran, Or spread some fuckin’ disease” These lyrics were penned by Hoosierborn Axl Rose for the song “One In A Million” off his band’s hit 1988 EP G N’ R Lies. While the lyrics roused some minor controversy at the time of the EP’s release, I believe Rose’s commentary accurately reflected values shared by many in America’s dominant cultural group: straight white males. Accusations of racism/homophobia leveled against G N’ R did nothing to diminish their popularity with that demographic.  But in 1990, a new spirit was rising, and the cultural tides would soon make an abrupt turn. A generation raised during the greed, racism and moral conser-

vatism of the Reagan era were eager to make their voices heard. As alternative music icons like Kurt Cobain and Michael Stipe rose to pop stardom, they used their fame to promote cultural pluralism. Cobain went to great lengths to advocate artists working within the feminist branch of punk rock, riot grrrl. Cobain also became a great ally to the LGBTQ community, singing lines like “God is gay” and “everyone is gay” while commenting in interviews that gay men were the only white males he personally identified with while growing up. Michael Stipe demonstrated an equal or greater influence in that capacity, consistently speaking in support of a variety of progressive issues. In the mid-’90s Stipe became the first major American rock star to openly address and embrace non-heterosexual lifestyles. This is the cultural shift NUVO was born into, and for the last 25 years the publication has been dedicated to continuing the dialogue on alternative viewpoints within politics, race, social justice, environmentalism, and the arts.  The paper’s tagline is “Indy’s Alternative Voice.” When I first started writing, several years ago, I thought a lot about what exactly that meant, and I consider it every week when I sit down to write my weekly Cultural Manifesto columns. Our culture is constantly in flux, and by default then so too is the definition of what the alternative is.     As I look back on Indianapolis over the last 25 years, I think the biggest change has been the arrival and flowering of a large international immigrant population. Vast commercial areas that were once filled with boring chain stores and bad fast food joints, are now a base of operations for thriving immigrant entrepreneurs who’ve created amazing restaurants and exciting live music venues that have significantly enhanced the quality of life for all Indianapolis citizens.

For me, the immigrant community represents the most significant alternative culture in Indianapolis today. And that’s why so much of my writing for NUVO has focused on music stemming from African, Asian and Latin American cultural traditions. It pleases me greatly to see my articles about Indy-based African music DJ Stephan Vohito, or local Mexican-American accordion player Amanda Reyna resting neatly alongside stories on the psychedelic hip-hop explorations of Oreo Jones and DMA, or a review of the latest Gloryhole Records’ garage noise release. I think NUVO’s editorial staff sensed this shift in Indy’s alternative cultural space before I signed on to the publication. And I think it’s a big part of the reason they asked me to begin contributing in the first place. I’d already established a reputation for connecting with Indy’s immigrant population as a DJ. Even if that’s not the case, I appreciate NUVO for giving me free license to address issues of institutionalized racism and the marginalization of immigrants in the local arts community. I believe opening up honest dialogue on sensitive issues like these provides a crucial step toward correcting inequalities. Last summer, NUVO published a cover story I wrote about the massive Latin music scene on Lafayette Road. The piece focused largely on a concert by Los Tigres Del Norte and the rebellious political/social commentary found in the band’s lyrics. For the first time in NUVO’s history the story was published in both English and Spanish. I can’t think of a better example of NUVO’s commitment to fostering the growth of alternative culture within the arts.  As one alternative subculture gets sucked into the mainstream vortex, another school of alternative thought is inevitably born to replace it. I can’t wait to see what alternative cultural movements NUVO will be covering at age 50. n

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e’ve spent a lot of time in this paper talking about what’s been up with NUVO and Indianapolis in the last 25 years. When we started putting everything together, I couldn’t help but wonder (Carrie Bradshaw-style), what do young musicians want to happen in the next 25 years. So, I asked them. Here’s a selection of responses from 25-year-old music makers living and working in Indy. — KATHERINE COPLEN

In the next 25 years of local music in Indianapolis, I hope to see the open-mindedness still intact. The sense of community. The same willingness to expand and grow the scene. More people are working together than ever before and this is a trend that I hope continues well into the future. — KLINIK, MEMBER OF PIMPIN’ HARD DAILY (PHD), CHAKRA ZULUS AND THE STRONG ROOTS ALLSTARS

The next 25 years of the Indianapolis music scene will show a growth in serious songwriting and musicianship in Indianapolis. Instead of bands who just want to jam and have a good time, there will be musicians who work on their craft in a way that rivals the musicians of Nashville, LA and NYC. Because of this change, local venues will see that booking national touring bands is not the only way to make money. Rather, booking the next up and coming Indianapolis band will be a source of pride for local venues, with venues cropping up to fill that niche. Music will be a huge cultural export of Indy as more artists collaborate and tour together, releasing city collective albums that promote the artist who call Indy home. — FRED MILLER, SONGWRITER AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST IN SAINT AUBIN

I hope to see musicians step out and challenge themselves as artists who want more than just the attention of playing on stage but care about positively impacting those listening. Most of all I want to see the city of Indianapolis break out of whatever negative stereotypes they may have about lead female musicians and give them just as much of a chance as anyone else. —LISA WALKER, A.K.A. LISA WALKS


I hope to see more music venues pop up that cater towards local and less known touring acts. To me, this is a sign that communities are allowing home grown creators the opportunity to weave their creations into the local culture. These artists shouldn’t feel closed off, as though their creative endeavors only have a place in basements dives, and other fringes of the community. — CAMERON DAVIS, DRUMMER IN PERFECT TEETH

Most of all: I’d like to see all of my fellow local musicians back in the record stores. I mean, why aren’t you there in the first place? We want these people to hear about you, but it’s hard when we never even see you! We have music you like, music you make, people you like, and people who want to like you. Our city has incredible talent and potential right now. I drink a lot of cold Sprite. I still like 7-inches. I want your t-shirts. I’m re-issuing a live rap show from Detroit ’99 and I want you to hear it. Things will happen if we make them. —ZACH MOLINA, A.K.A. CROOKSHANKS

The three most important changes I would like to see in the next 25 years is more interconnectivity between the sensory arts (audio/visual). Secondly, I’d like to see more noncommercial venues/ galleries. Be it house shows, basement galleries, outdoor takeaway sessions, more community interaction as a whole. Third and most important, I’d like to see Indianapolis have more fun with who we are and what we’re doing. We need to stop trying to be something we’re not and enjoy the boundless amount of people, places, and experiences we do have to offer. — DIMITRI MORRIS, HEADDRESS RECORDS AND WESTGATE 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // MUSIC 89

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hile we hope to keep this thing going for another 25 years, we thought we’d share your favorite Sex Doc answers from over the last year while the Ms. Herbenick is on spring break. We’ve fielded every question from broken penises to genital skin care, period sex and ocean sex, and everything you could possibly imagine (No, you couldn’t. I guarantee you couldn’t.) in between. Remember, you can always send us an email at Go online to to see the complete list of all your favorites.

Faultfinding Mission When I have bad sex, how do I know who’s at fault? Me or the girl? — Anonymous, from Tumblr SARAH: Not to go all linguistic philosopher on you, but what’s your definition of “bad”? There is such a multitude of meanings of “bad” in the bedroom: awkward, stiff, boring, uncoordinated, rushed, lazy, overzealous, trying-toohard, collegiate and non-orgasmic (which are usually one in the same). But more often than not, bad sex is the result of two mismatched partners both trying to get what they want without paying attention to what their partner wants or is responding to. Bad sex often starts with one or more partners betting really, really hard on one special “move” (worse, still, if the move has a name) that you concentrate so hard on completing that you forget to pay any attention to your partner or whether they even like it. Bad sex begins in the pages of dating books authored by men with one-word monikers, or women who really just want to get on The Today Show and turn their blog into a movie. The threat of bad sex shouts at you from the neon covers of Cosmo in the checkout line at Marsh. Don’t pay attention to any of that shit. Get in the bedroom, get naked and get vocal about what you like and don’t like. DR. D: Bad, or unpleasurable or awkward, sex is sometimes one person’s fault and more often a shared issue, as in “it takes two to tango”. Let’s say one person wants intimate, eyes-open, lights on sex and yet they have sex in the dark and don’t look at each other or share feelings. If Person A doesn’t describe the kind of sex he or she prefers, and Person B doesn’t ask or share either, then it’s a shared problem. On the other hand, if Person A shares what he or she wants and Person B disregards it, then B isn’t being a very cooperative partner. Ultimately, it m atters less whose fault it is and more than both partners turn towards each other and try to create an intimacy that works.

The Beard Versus the Brazilian I get regular Brazilians, and I just started seeing a guy who does the whole “fashionable stubble” thing, and it gives me almost like beard burn on my vagina when he goes down for a long time. What can I do to lessen the irritation? — Anonymous, from Tumblr SARAH: Dump him and date a guy with a real beard. DR. D: If you’re having sex with the guy, the least you could do is try talking openly with him about it. He might be willing to let the beard grow in or to shave it off and, either way, be soft and welcoming to your vulva.

Know Your Boner I have a weak erection and quick ejaculation. What can I do? — Anonymous, from Tumblr SARAH: I’ve been watching a lot of food documentaries lately, and one of the things I gathered from these documentaries is that boners are kind of nature’s ultimate health barometer. I would go to the doctor and get a full blood panel and make sure you’re not having a larger issue. The other thing I gained from these documentaries? Giving up processed foods and eating more whole foods, vegetables, and getting some exercise is like nature’s ultimate Viagra. In the short term? Experiment with cock rings and see how it goes. DR. D: Check in with your healthcare provider on the weak erection front. You’ll want to make sure it’s not an early warning sign of cardiovascular health problems and/ or diabetes, which erectile problems can sometimes be. If all checks out just fine, you might look into The Sexual Male: Problems and Solutions and/or a sex therapy appointment with Dr. Angela Marshall or another AASECT-certified sex therapist ( or a sex therapist affiliated with SSTAR ( (Also, see above regarding ejaculation.)

Have a question? Email us at or go to to write in anonymously.

25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // VOICES 91






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The Adult section is only for readers over the age of 18. Please be extremely careful to call the correct number including the area code when dialing numbers listed in the Adult section. Nuvo claims no responsibility for incorrectly dialed numbers.

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All ads are prepaid in full by Monday at 5 P.M. Nuvo gladly accepts Cash, Money Order, & All Major Credit Cards.

Phone: (317) 254-2400 | Fax: (317) 479-2036 E-mail: | Mail: Nuvo Classifieds 3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200 Indianapolis, Indiana 46208

POLICIES: Advertiser warrants that all goods or services advertised in NUVO are permissible under applicable local, state and federal laws. Advertisers and hired advertising agencies are liable for all content (including text, representation and illustration) of advertisements and are responsible, without limitation, for any and all claims made thereof against NUVO, its officers or employees. Classified ad space is limited and granted on a first come, first served basis. To qualify for an adjustment, any error must be reported within 15 days of publication date. Credit for errors is limited to first insertion.


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Restaurant | Healthcare Salon/Spa | General To advertise in Employment, Call Kelly @ 808-4616

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DAILY PAY Telemarketers Needed! Also: Local Drivers with Own Car Call 11am-6pm 317-357-9622 8615 E 10th St., Indianapolis

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Reliable Express Transport is currently seeking Independent Contractors Couriers! We are seeking independent contractors using their own vehicles. To qualify for this position, you must be responsible, dedicated, efficient and reliable. You will be picking up and delivering packages within a specific area. Drivers help load and unload trucks.

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ARIES (March 21-April 19): The term “jumped the shark” often refers to a TV show that was once great but gradually grew stale, and then resorted to implausible plot twists in a desperate attempt to revive its creative verve. I’m a little worried that you may do the equivalent of jumping the shark in your own sphere. APRIL FOOL! I lied. I’m not at all worried that you’ll jump the shark. It’s true that you did go through a stagnant, meandering phase there for a short time. But you responded by getting fierce and fertile rather than stuck and contrived. Am I right? And now you’re on the verge of breakAPRIL ing out in a surge of just-the-right-kind-of-craziness.

your most intimate relationships. Don’t bother cleaning your house. Call in sick to your job. Ignore all your nagging little errands. Now is a time for one task only: paying maximum attention to those you care about most. Heal any rifts between you. Work harder to give them what they need. Listen to them with more empathy than ever before. APRIL FOOL! I went a bit overboard there. It’s true that you’re in a phase when big rewards can come from cultivating and enhancing togetherness. But if you want to serve your best relationships, you must also take very good care of yourself.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): If you happen to be singing lead vocals in an Ozzy Osbourne cover band, and someone in the audience throws what you think is a toy rubber animal up on stage, DO NOT rambunctiously bite its head off to entertain everyone. It most likely won’t be a toy, but rather an actual critter. APRIL FOOL! In fact, it’s not likely you’ll be fronting an Ozzy Osbourne cover band any time soon. But I hope you will avoid having to learn a lesson similar to the one that Ozzy did during a show back in 1982, when he bit into a real bat — a small flying mammal with webbed wings — thinking it was a toy. Don’t make a mistake like that. What you think is fake or pretend may turn out to be authentic.

half-wasted, cruising around town looking for wicked fun. You stumble upon a warehouse laboratory where zombie bankers and military scientists are creating genetically engineered monsters from the DNA of scorpions, Venus flytraps, and Monsanto executives. You try to get everyone in a party mood, but all they want to do is extract your DNA and add it to the monster. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said was a lie. I doubt you’ll encounter any scenario that extreme. But you are at risk for falling into weird situations that could compromise your mental hygiene. To minimize that possibility, make sure that the wicked fun you pursue is healthy, sane wicked fun.









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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the spring of 1754, Benjamin Franklin visited friends in Maryland. While out riding horses, they spied a small tornado whirling through a meadow. Although Franklin had written about this weather phenomenon, he had never seen it. With boyish curiosity, he sped toward it. At one point, he caught up to it and lashed it with his whip to see if it would dissipate. This is the kind of adventure I advise you to seek out, Gemini. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. I don’t really believe you should endanger your safety by engaging in stunts like chasing tornadoes. But I do think that now is a favorable time to seek out daring exploits that quench your urge to learn. Gemini





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CANCER (June 21-July 22): Novelist L. Frank Baum cre-



ated the make-believe realm known as Oz. Lewis Carroll conjured up Wonderland and C. S. Lewis invented Narnia. Now you are primed to dream up your own fantasy land and live there full-time, forever protected from the confusion and malaise of the profane world. Have fun in your imaginary utopia, Cancerian! APRIL FOOL! I halflied. It’s true that now would be a good time to give extra attention to cultivating vivid visions of your perfect life. But I wouldn’t recommend that you live there full-time. Cancer












LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “The national anthem of Hell



must be the old Frank Sinatra song ‘I Did It My Way,’” declares Richard Wagner, author of the book Christianity for Dummies. “Selfish pride is Hell’s most common trait,” he adds. “Hell’s inhabitants have a sense of satisfaction that they can at least say ‘they’ve been true to themselves.’ ” Heed this warning, Leo. Tame your lust for self-expression. APRIL FOOL! I was making a little joke. The truth is not as simplistic as I implied. I actually think it’s important for you to be able to declare “I did it my way” and “I’ve been true to myself.” But for best results, do it in ways that aren’t selfish, insensitive, or arrogant. Leo












VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): No matter what gender you are, it’s an excellent time to get a gig as a stripper. Your instinct for removing your clothes in entertaining ways is at a peak. Even if you have never been trained in the art, I bet you’ll have an instinctive knack. APRIL FOOL! I lied. I don’t really think you should be a stripper. But I do recommend you experiment with a more metaphorical version of that art. For instance, you could expose hidden agendas that are causing distortions and confusion. You could peel away the layers of deception and propaganda that hide the naked facts and the beautiful truth. Virgo






LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Give yourself obsessively to



SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): It’s after midnight. You’re





SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you were a ladybug

beetle, you might be ready and eager to have sex for nine hours straight. If you were a pig, you’d be capable of enjoying 30-minute orgasms. If you were a dolphin, you’d seek out erotic encounters not just with other dolphins of both genders, but also with turtles, seals, and sharks. Since you are merely human, however, your urges will probably be milder and more containable. APRIL FOOL! In truth, Sagittarius, I’m not so sure your urges will be milder and more containable. Sagittarius






CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “The past is not only another country where they do things differently,” says writer Theodore Dalrymple, “but also where one was oneself a different person.” With this as your theme, Capricorn, I invite you to spend a lot of time visiting the Old You in the Old World. Immerse yourself in that person and that place. Get lost there. And don’t come back until you’ve relived at least a thousand memories. APRIL FOOL! I was exaggerating. While it is a good time to get reacquainted with the old days and old ways, I don’t recommend that you get utterly consumed by the past. Capricorn








AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Some Aquarian readers have been complaining. They want me to use more celebrity references in my horoscopes. They demand fewer metaphors drawn from literature, art, and science, and more metaphors rooted in gossipy events reported on by tabloids. “Tell me how Kanye West’s recent travails relate to my personal destiny,” wrote one Aquarius. So here’s a sop to you kvetchers: The current planetary omens say it’s in your interest to be more like Taylor Swift and less like Miley Cyrus. Be peppy, shimmery, and breezy, not earthy, salty, and raucous. APRIL FOOL! In truth, I wouldn’t write about celebrities’ antics if you paid me. Besides, for the time being, Miley Cyrus is a better role model for you than Taylor Swift. Aquarius










PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Annie Edson Taylor needed money. She was 63 years old, and didn’t have any savings. She came up with a plan: to be the first person to tuck herself inside a barrel and ride over Niagara Falls. (This was back in 1901.) She reasoned that her stunt would make her wealthy as she toured the country speaking about it. I recommend that you consider out-of-thebox ideas like hers, Pisces. It’s an excellent time to get extra creative in your approach to raising revenue. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. It’s true that now is a favorable time to be imaginative about your financial life. But don’t try outlandish escapades like hers. Pisces












Homework: Describe what you’d be like if you were the opposite of yourself. Write 25 YEARS OF NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER // 03.14.90 - 03.25.15 // CLASSIFIEDS 95

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NUVO: Indy's Alternative Voice - March 25, 2015  

Your renegade alternative press, 25 years running.

NUVO: Indy's Alternative Voice - March 25, 2015  

Your renegade alternative press, 25 years running.