THIS WEEK in this issue
MAY 23 - 30, 2012 VOL. 23 ISSUE 11 ISSUE #1154
SUMMER FUN GUIDE Right on time to meet the rising temps and that certain summer feeling, our annual guide helps you determine the top spots for dining out, sports, theme parks, summer movies, farmers markets and festivals. Enjoy!
INDIANAPOLIS 500 We present to you a trio of stories about this year’s Indy 500: A general, what-to-watch-for feature, a profile of rookie Rubens Barrichello and a remembrance of Dan Wheldon. BY LORI LOVELY AND KATE SHOUP ON THE COVER: KISHI BASHI, WHO WILL BE PERFORMING AT THE NEW JOYFUL NOISE SPACE IN THE MURPHY ART CENTER (SEE PG. 24 FOR AN INTERVIEW BY KATHERINE COPLEN). SUBMITTED PHOTO
37 CLASSIFIEDS 10 COVER STORY 23 FOOD 39 FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 07 HAMMER
Dueling Pianos Thursday Night
05 HOPPE 21 MOVIES 24 MUSIC 09 NEWS 36 WEIRD NEWS
THE MILLION EDIT MAN
Talking with Indy native Justin Knapp, the first Wikipedian to make one million edits, is a bit like following all the links on a Wiki page; the conversation can quickly jump from Orwell scholarship to Sufjan Stevens to neuroblastoma. BY PAUL F. P. POGUE
Letters The chicken dance
It’s ideas and ambition like this that is making our world a better place for us and future generations (“ Coop dreams: Indy goes crazy for chickens,” Phil van Hest, May 14.) We are so excited to have a coop at the orchard school. Thank you Andrew and thanks for this article. Now to bite the bullet!
Sad state of sidewalks
Nice genuine local journalism here (Girl, in Transit: The sad state of our sidewalks,” Ashley Kimmel, May 17.) I like it. If you’re serious about affecting change, your most practical approach is to map
and photo all these locations and send this information to your district council rep, and encourage others to do so as well. Wide exposure via this web site is good for awareness, but trying to incite people in Indy to actually do something about it will be an uphill climb. One suggestion if you’re serious about influencing people: try to go beyond just thinking about accessibility and actually rent a wheelchair from a drug store and try to navigate your path. Have someone else record video. Then, post *that* here, along with a petition to your councilman. Good luck.
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HOPPE John Gregg loses it
Hoosier Handshake a raw deal
BY DAVID HOPPE DHOPPE@NUVO.NET
’m sorry, but John Gregg must be out of his mind. In case you hadn’t heard, Gregg is the Democrats’ candidate for governor. He’s running against Mike Pence, the silver-haired darling of right-wing Republicans. Pence used his six terms as a member of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. to sharpen his media profile. He’s been on the talk shows, calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and giving seniors coupons instead of Medicare to help pay their doctor bills. Many people in the outer reaches of the drown-the-government-in-the-bathtub movement thought Pence would make a dandy candidate for president. Gregg, on the other hand, is known mainly for his walrus mustache. As is typical in Indiana, when one party comes up with a candidate burnished with what, in politics, passes for celebrity, the other party obligingly keels over and holds its paws in the air. It appears no one on the Democrat side had the gumption to truly challenge Pence on how his essentially antigovernment beliefs might serve a state where cutting government services to the bone has done nothing to improve one of the lowest rates of household income in the nation. Gregg, a former Speaker of the Indiana House, apparently agreed to take one for team. But rather than offering creative proposals to distinguish himself from Pence, it seems Gregg has decided to try running round his opponent’s right flank. Last week he pledged to eliminate corporate taxes for companies with their headquarters in Indiana, or for those who would move their headquarters here. Gregg would also give tax credits to companies doing life sciences and advanced manufacturing work. He calls his plan “a Hoosier Handshake.” Gregg’s handshake would wring about $350 million dollars out of Indiana’s annual revenue stream. He claims this loss could be made up through the collection of online sales taxes, a proposition John Ketzenberger of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute told the Indianapolis Star was “pretty iffy.” Gregg, like so many of his fellow Hoosier politicians, wants to believe that taxes are the only thing standing between Indiana and the state’s next business boom. The trouble is that, when it comes to business taxes, Indiana is already one of the friendliest states there is. The nonpartisan Tax
Foundation ranks it as the eleventh best tax environment for business in the country. Cutting business taxes, also known as trying to bribe businesses to locate here, is not a fix for Indiana’s economy. If this was true, the tech companies in high tax California would be making the Wabash Valley the new Silicon Valley. That’s not happening. The reason it’s not happening is because Indiana has one of the most poorly educated workforces in America. For generations, you didn’t even need a high school diploma to make good money in Indiana manufacturing. Kids dropped out of school because spending those last two years studying the Gettysburg Address and dissecting frogs seemed a waste when they could be earning enough cash to buy a car or make a down payment on a house by working a factory line. This was the Indiana was way until the 1980s, when many of the state’s independent manufacturing plants starting closing in the wake of a national recession. Globalization did the rest. What we’ve been finding out since is that it’s hard turning generations of contempt for education into a culture that truly appreciates the value of knowledge. It’s one thing to see the statistics about employability and hear the exhortations of state leaders about the importance of academics. But when so many of the state’s citizens lack any real experience of having achieved in school, turning the recognition that education is important into meaningful action, let alone paying for it, is easier said than done. John Gregg says he wants to cut business taxes in order to create jobs. This echoes the Republican mantra that business leaders are “job creators.” But that’s only partly true. Workers are the wealth creators for business owners, who can’t accomplish anything without a pool of able employees capable of turning their business plans into profits. What makes Gregg’s tax-cutting idea nonsensical is that cutting business taxes threatens to create more pressure to cut funding for education, which accounts for the largest share of the state’s budget. Many schools, from K-12 to state universities, have been hit with budget cuts due to property tax caps and legislative budget machinations. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of the state’s elementary schools have failed to teach 90 percent of their third graders to read at an acceptable level according to the Indiana Department of Education. Rather than trying to get attention by promising tax cuts to constituents who don’t need them, Gregg would be well-advised to do something Mike Pence can’t imagine: Come up with a comprehensive plan aimed at making Indiana a national leader, not only in K-12 education, but in training programs that actually help Indiana adults find and keep jobs. The collapse of traditional manufacturing in this state has put an entire generation on the scrap heap. Making Indiana an even cheaper place to do business than it is now won’t do anything to help them.
Cutting business taxes threatens to create more pressure to cut funding for education.
THIS SUNDAY MAY 27 th DURING THE INDY 500! 7AM TO CHECKERED FLAG (Don’t be late, music starts at 8!)
INSIDE TURN 3 AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
GET YOUR SNAKE PIT WRISTBAND AND RACE DAY TICKET NOW! #INDY500SNAKEPIT
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PLENTY OF FOOD TRUCKS • DJs ALL DAY LONG • CONCERT TICKET GIVEAWAYS • BODY PAINTING • NONSTOP PARTYING • TONS OF SICK SWAG • PHOTOBOOTH • BUMPER CARS • DANCING • HOT BOD CONTEST BIKINI CONTEST • MODELS • BRING YOUR OWN DRINKS OR BUY FROM US SNAKE PIT TOUR T H U R S DAY M AY 24 T H Mindshaft 11pm - 1am | Broadripple
F R I DAY M AY 2 5 T H Bourbon Street 7pm - 9pm | Downtown Indpls Kilroy’s Downtown 9:30pm - 11:30pm | Downtown Indpls Sensu 10pm - 12am | Downtown Indpls
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HAMMER A dying tradition
Time running out on Indy 500
BY S T E V E H A M M E R S H A M M E R@N UV O . N E T
n Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, marching bands will play, balloons will fly, crowds will cheer and finely tuned cars will race in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indianapolis 500. Except it won’t be like it was just 15 or 20 years ago. The television viewing audience will be insignificant, the national media’s attention close to nonexistent and the interest level about the race, even for Indianapolis residents, will be very low. There was a time, not too long ago, when national media obsessively covered the events and personalities at the Speedway. The bestknown drivers were household names. The race itself was destination television, watched by millions and millions around the world. How did the Indy 500 go from being one of the premier international sporting events to its current status, rivaling Major League Soccer and the WNBA in terms of passionate fans? The causes are many and well
documented: the USAC/CART debacle of the mid-1990s, the management (or mismanagement) of the brand by the George family and the explosive popularity of NASCAR racing. Despite several decades of decline, the Indy 500 is still considered the largest single-day sporting event in the world. Its traditions are the stuff of legend. The event still brings thousands of visitors and millions of dollars of revenue to our city. So why, then, do I not know a single person who can even name five Indy Car drivers, much less cares who wins the race? The race may still be considered a success financially but the race has lost the hearts and minds of its hometown fans. People used to anticipate for months going to the track to see the great drivers. The people who attend the race now either do so because they receive free tickets, because they’ve always gone or simply because they want to get good and drunk for several days and not go to jail for public intoxication. With the massive level of disengagement and general ambivalence towards the Indy 500, it may be time to begin to state what just a few years ago would be an unthinkable notion: Maybe the Indy 500 should either fade away entirely or be held once every two or three years instead of annually. The fan base for IndyCar racing just simply does not exist anymore. No amount of marketing will change this fact. While the Speedway is a beautiful facility and the track is a feat of engineering marvel, a 500-
mile race on an oval track just isn’t very exciting to modern audiences. IndyCar drivers are anonymous athletes whose escapades barely make the local newspapers, let alone the national and international media outlets. Decades of bad public relations have left the race in a sorry state and very real thought should be given to abolishing it altogether. While other oncebeloved sporting events have dropped in popularity, the disappearance of IndyCar racing from the national spotlight happened quickly and is even accelerating. Various schemes to bolster its popularity have all failed. Of the two drivers who might be recognized east of 16th Street, Dan Wheldon and Danica Patrick, one is dead and the other has left the sport. It’s hard to overstate the importance the Indy 500 once had among local residents. Denied live TV broadcasts, Indianapolis neighborhoods echoed with the radio broadcast of the race. Office pools were held to predict the winner. All of that is gone now. Since there is no way to revive the event’s former popularity, and with no budding superstars in the sport, it’s time
to hit the reset on the Indy 500. Holding a race every two or three years would allow for a sufficient marketing campaign and retooling to work. Perhaps it could become an international championship of motorsports, with NASCAR and Formula One drivers competing against each other for a trophy. Under those circumstances, the race could be an event similar to the World Cup or the Olympics — something that would draw significant worldwide attention even among non-fans of auto racing. I’m sure there are other, better ideas to revitalize the Indy 500. But time is running out on the race. Too many more years of this level of disinterest and the race will become even more irrelevant than it is today. This is tough news for us to accept in Indianapolis, but it’s true. Decades of neglect by management and changing public tastes have left our city’s landmark event in a sorry shape. Only rational, well-planned ideas will save the Indianapolis 500 from extinction, a death that could come more quickly than any of us realize.
It’s hard to overstate the importance the Indy 500 once had among local residents.
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WTTS Tapping Tour
by Wayne Bertsch
Bring together great music and great beer. Come out to the following locations for a chance to sample local brews and pick up a copy of the WTTS Spring New Music Sampler CD. - Big Woods Brewery in Nashville on May 18 - Fountain Square Brewery on June 1 - RAM in Fishers on June 9 - RAM Downtown on June 14 - Power House Brewery in Columbus on June 15 For more information stop by www.wttsfm.com
HAIKU NEWS by Jim Poyser
don’t hold your breath that Citizens United will be quashed; you’ll turn blue! Arizona wants his birth certificate; Tea Party drinks Kool-aid Pence and Ellspermann will reduce gov intrusion — cept in your bedroom minority births now outnumber white births; big babes will cry ‘bout this council election in Texas won by coin-flip should be de rigueur study says sugar makes ya dumb: that’s what happened to America! researcher recants study claiming gays can be made straight; duh-lightful Sunrise Greetings moves from B-town; is there a sad greeting card for that? Bee Gee Robin Gibb passes — there was no mending that broken liver we’re with you, Pacers, as it’s a great team effort — vs. superstars
GOT ME ALL TWITTERED!
Follow @jimpoyser on Twitter for more Haiku News.
THUMBSUP THUMBSDOWN FORGOING EMPTY FESTIVITIES
The prognosis for Memorial Day Weekend: We’ve got a lot of reasons to celebrate. We have Lynyrd Skynyrd on Carb Day at the track. We have hundreds of state parks and forests where we can frolic. We’ve got local beer, wine, cheese and other provisions. We also have the option of employing the moral decency to pause in a moment of gratitude and meditation. This weekend, at least one Indiana family will be dealing with the fresh death of Army Sgt. JaBraun Knox, 23, of Auburn, who died last Friday in Afghanistan, the victim of an enemy rocket strike. Knox was a son, husband and father of a baby boy. Acknowledging his service and his “ultimate sacrifice” helps keep us grounded and aware that not all of us are partying this weekend. When some of us are sleeping off hangovers on Monday’s holiday morning, others remain ever-vigilant.
RECOGNIZING SERVICE AND SACRIFICE
This Memorial Day Weekend offers the opportunity for a stroll under one of Indy’s finest tree canopies at Crown Hill Cemetery, a shady place to contemplate acres of Hoosier lives and deaths. A Civil War re-enactment will encamp Sunday through a special Civil War memorial service Monday. The state’s longest-running Memorial Day ceremony kicks off at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 28, with patriotic music, a roll call of fallen Hoosier heroes, an honor guard, 21-Gun Howitzer Cannon Salute, Taps, and more. Indiana’s Adjutant General, Major General R. Martin Umbarger, will keynote. Refreshments will be available and participants are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket and a picnic lunch, if desired.
BACKING A VET ON THE MOVE
Even as multitudes will flock to the weekend’s festivities honoring their service, hundreds of Hoosier veterans will wake up Memorial Day morning homeless in Indy. Local vet Zach Day, who finished his 12-month deployment in Afghanistan last August, is preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail to raise money for the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation. Day will begin the 2,200-mile, 5-month-long hike June 8, 2012 at Mt. Katahdin, Maine. He plans to cross 14 states and end on Georgia’s Springer Mountain in October 2012. Donations can be made care of “HVAF-Hike for Hoosier Vets” at PO Box 708, Brownsburg, IN 46112. For equipment or gear donations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. HVAF provides housing and basic needs to an estimated 200 of Indy’s homeless vets. Day’s journey blog and additional info is posted at hikeforhoosiervets.com.
THOUGHT BITE By Andy Jacobs Jr. Why do so many people say, “her residency” when they mean “her residence”?
news // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
news Woman warrior
Planned Parenthood ‘s CEO stays tough
B Y RE BE CCA T O W N S E N D RTO W N S E N D @N U V O . N E T
uring an interview in her downtown office last week, Betty Cockrum, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Indiana, hazarded a guess that most NUVO readers would support of her organization’s work. “But,” she added, “are they registered to vote?” It is a question of central importance to Cockrum because in the 10 years she’s worked for PPIN she has watched “confounding,” “infuriating,” and “frustrating” forces align to undermine her agency’s work based on medically indefensible and fiscally irresponsible theories. She understands the sanctity of life — after all, advocating for reliable pre-natal care is a core aspect of her organization’s mission — but her central question to people demonizing PPIN is, “What about quality of life? Why is an unborn child more important to you than the two year old?” And this attachment to the pre-born, meaning the life that is formed at the moment of conception, is “not just about abortion anymore,” Cockrum said. “It’s about birth control and quite frankly, it’s about Planned Parenthood.” Part of HB2012, the bill passed by the 2011 Indiana General Assembly that attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, also inserted language establishing the life-at-conception concept into the “informed consent” statement that doctors must read to women before performing abortions in this state. This opens the door for attacks on birth control methods that prevent implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus wall; an extreme interpretation of that position would hold such methods as murder, Cockrum said. “People have been having sex outside marriage since the beginning of time and women have been figuring out how to terminate pregnancies since the beginning of time,” she said. “The reason Roe v. Wade finally happened was because those justices heard from those doctors who said ‘Please make it stop, this maiming of women and women dying because it’s not legal.’” Her efforts to provide state legislators in the GOP-controlled General Assembly with expert medical testimony and crucial public health statistics fall on deaf ears. Despite the lack of any medical evidence to submit on behalf of the position that a fetus might feel pain before 20 weeks of development, lawmakers passed a bill insisting that a doctor
performing an abortion must read a statement to the patient contending that it might be true. As lawmakers focus their legislative priorities on the unborn, Indiana’s most vulnerable children are suffering and dying every day. In 2009, 16,198 children were suspected or confirmed victims of abuse or neglect. That same year, 50 children died of abuse, according to the Child Welfare League of America. If the anti-Planned Parenthood endgame is achieved, if they are pushed out of providing abortions or pushed out of business all together, would that mean victory for the state? That depends on how one defines victory. To Cockrum, such a scenario would mean “there would be fewer abortions, there’d be more dangerous abortions, more tragic outcomes, more Medicaid-covered births, more pregnancies, more poverty.” And a higher bill for taxpayers. “The average pregnancy through delivery costs $8,000,” Cockrum said. “For Medicaid-covered births, the average cost is $11,000.” She noted rapid successive pregnancies, substance abuse issues and substandard or nonexistent prenatal care as factors in driving up costs. Some people take offense at even considering the cost of a baby, but to those who vote as fiscal conservatives, she asks: Do you care about the half a billion dollars in taxpayers’ money paying for more than 50 percent of births in the state? Do you care that the average cost of those pregnancies is 37 percent more than the average privately paid comparative? “Some days it’s smaller government that we want, other days it’s bigger government that we want,” Cockrum said. “I get really confused.” Despite the fact that PPIN receives no state funding, a lawmaker introduced a bill to prevent such a transaction from ever happening. Despite having no clear definition of what an adequate line of separation between abortion services and all other PPIN services would be, opponents continue to insist the existing accounting structure is inadequate and decry the use of taxpayer money to support anything PPIN does. Even total separation of abortion services under another entity’s guise will not appease opposition’s reach, Cockrum said. “There’s been language filed in other states where if you even make a referral for an abortion you could be defunded,” she said. “So you’re sitting at the Julian Center with a 21-year old with three kids, and she’s seven weeks pregnant, and her eyes are black, and she’s bruised and beaten, and her little kids are afraid, and she’s living in a shelter, and you can’t tell her that one option is to terminate the pregnancy or you’ll lose your funding?” The refusal to acknowledge how unplanned and unprepared-for pregnancies fuel poverty, suffering and death infuriates Cockrum, and it stokes her passion to protect the rights her organization’s foremothers risked jail to provide back in 1932.
Democrat candidate for governor John Gregg (left) defines himself as pro-life. Still, he supports the work of Planned Parenthood. He attended Goddesses and Gods, PPIN’s annual fundraising gala, earlier this month, along with Betty Cockrum, U.S. Congressman André Carson, Indiana Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson and Dr. John Stutsman, PPIN’s State Medical Director. The event raised $145,000 for the Women’s Health Fund, which covers pap tests, breast exams, birth control and STD testing for about 10,000 low-income Hoosiers per year.
THE FALLOUT FROM STATE DEFUNDING EFFORTS: • In 2011, the Indiana State Legislature passed HB1210, which cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana. PPIN served an estimated 22,000 Hoosiers on Medicaid. • Donations pour in — more than $500,000 from 1,600 people in 43 states and three countries — enabling PPIN to continue serving its Medicaid clients for the short term. • The donations keep operations running through June 22 at which point PPI closes its doors until the court responds to its appeal for relief from the effects of HB1210. • U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt issued a temporary injunction on June 24 rejecting HB1210’s theory that the states can choose who can and cannot receive federal Medicaid funding. She allowed the provision that abortion providers must read a statement of “informed consent” to their clients before performing the operation, including the newly mandated provision that human life begins at conception. In deference to the fact that no medical evidence was offered to support the statement, Judge Pratt rejected the law’s attempt to include language in the informed consent statement that a fetus could possibly feel pain before it reached 20 weeks of development. • In August, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller appealed. The court has yet to issue a final ruling. • Meanwhile, the political forces aligned against PPIN continue to loom large. U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, who pushed defunding initiatives at the national level, is campaigning to be elected Indiana governor. On May 21, he nominated State Rep. Sue Ellspermann, R-Ferdinand, as his running mate. She co-authored the defunding bill in the Indiana House of Representatives.
PHOTO BY REBECCA TOWNSEND
After almost 30 years in public service, during which she ultimately served as director of Indiana’s Office of Administration and Indiana state budget director, Betty Cockrum (shown here in her downtown Indianapolis office in May 2012) moved to the helm of Planned Parenthood of Indiana as president and chief executive. This year marks her ten-year anniversary with the agency, which is celebrating its 80th year of providing birth control, STD testing and treatment and reproductive health services to Hoosier women and men.
100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // news
A NEW ERA: WHAT TO WATCH FOR
PHOTO BY DANA GARRETT
BY L O RI LO V E LY E DI T O RS @N U V O . N E T
ast year was all about celebrating 100 years of Indianapolis 500 history. This year everything is new: cars, engines, drivers and officials. For the first time since 1997, drivers will be racing in all-new cars: the Dallara DW12, named in honor of the late Dan Wheldon, who did much of the initial systems testing. Disparaged because of its appearance, the much-maligned chassis has small vertical wings on the sidepods to prevent cars being launched into the air on contact and rear bodywork that partially covers the wheels in order to reduce dangerous wheel-to-wheel contact. The oval track wheel guards will be even taller and more prominent than those used on other circuits, adding to the vilified “bat mobile” look. Drivers have had to adapt their driving style to contend with pedals that inhibit right-foot braking, while engineers have struggled to overcome handling issues stemming from the weight-heavy rear end. The car is not as light as promised, nor as powerful. While many fans are pleased to hear the return of the turbo, the 2.2-liter V-6 engine has been downsized from the 2.4liter originally spec’ed, with a resulting dip in horsepower.
DRIVING FORCE Competition between engine manufacturers returns, as Chevy and Lotus join
Honda this year. Chevrolet-powered drivers have won the first four poles and races; however, Honda, which has produced several second-place finishes, recently received approval from IndyCar for a turbocharger modification that might give it an advantage in the turns over the twin turbos used by Chevy and Lotus. Lotus, late to the game and lagging at the back of the grid, lost two of its five customers in April. Remaining with the marque are four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais, Katherine Legge and Simona De Silvestro. While it’s always possible to see an upset at Indianapolis — like last year’s win by Dan Wheldon driving for Bryan Herta — the battle between Chevy and Honda, particularly between Penske and Ganassi, will dominate the day.
the new car, but seemed to find his form in Brazil, where he ran up front all day. With the turbo fix, expect him to find speed at the Brickyard. His teammate, Scott Dixon, has been quietly knocking on the door all season, with a handful of second-place finishes. Another former 500 winner, Dixon typically flies under the radar, cranking out solid performances. Other likely candidates for the milk-guzzling spotlight include Chevy driver Tony Kanaan, with KV Racing Technology, who always runs up front but is often plagued by problems; Andretti Autosport’s James Hinchcliffe, the talented and amusing Go Daddy guy; Ed Carpenter, another Chevy driver who runs well at the Speedway; Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport driver; and Ryan Brisco with Team Penske.
PENSKE POWER TO PERSEVERE
Team Penske driver Will Power has won three consecutive races leading up to the 500. Professing a new perspective after offseason reflection, Power is more relaxed and focused behind the wheel. In a class of his own on street and road courses, the Aussie has also won on ovals. With his current momentum, he’s a strong contender for the win. Having won the season-opening race, three-time Indy 500 winner and Power’s teammate Helio Castroneves has a feel for this track unlike many since Rick Mears. Dario Franchitti, driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, has struggled with
Rookies are nothing new, and this year’s crop is seasoned. Rubens Barrichello, Formula One veteran now driving for KVRT, has been adept at picking up IndyCar’s nuances. Another Formula One veteran, Jean Alesi, hopes to make his Indy debut. The Frenchman’s close association with Lotus led to an opportunity with Newman Haas that later fell through. The 47-year-old, who has been practicing on the Dallara simulator, picked up a ride with Fan Force United. Simon Pagenaud, 2010 American Le Mans Series champion, is also new to ovals but not to the series. Currently driving for Rahal
cover story // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
Letterman Lanigan Racing, he has Honda power behind him. Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden has oval experience, having won at IMS last year in the Firestone Indy Lights series. His teammate and another oval racer, Bryan Clauson, is a two-time USAC champion with two national midget titles. Another rookie making his debut at Indy is President of Competition Beaux Barfield. The former ALMS race director has been shaking things up by making rule changes and applying a firm hand to transgressions on and off the track.
INDY 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 4790 W. 16th St. www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com KEY DATES: May 25: Carb Day May 27: Race Day For ticket information, call 492.6700 or go to email@example.com. For more coverage of the 500, see our Go&Do and Soundcheck sections.
Be A Vendor Applications can be obtained on the website or by calling 317-431-0118.
A monthly Saturday marketplace showcasing local vintage & antique dealers side-by-side with contemporary craft & food vendors.
June 2 | June 30 August 4 | September 1
Be A Shopper Glendale Town Center on the east side of the mall. Parking is free & plentiful! $4 admission. Rain or Shine.
An Artisanal Flea Market 6151 N. Rural St. Indianapolis, IN 46220
PHOTO BY CHRIS LOVELY
Making the transition from Formula One after 19 years hasn’t always been easy. “Oh, it is very different,” Barrichello says, with a hint of his trademark self-effacing smile. Explaining that F1 cars use naturally aspirated engines, he says, “The power is quite similar, but the weight is not. Indy cars are a little bit heavier, so the way you drive the cars ing titles in Brazil before moving to Europe to is distinctively different.” race in the Formula Vauxhall Lotus series in Not only is the driving style different, 1990. After winning that championship in his but it’s a different type of racing altogether. first year, he did the same thing the following Barrichello realized right away that “it’s year in the British Formula 3 Championship going to be an up-and-down learning probefore moving on to Formula 3000 in 1992, cess. This is a new thing for me. It’s a new where he finished third. In 1993 the aspiring set of circumstances and a new challenge. young driver, a protégé of the late Ayrton It’s about getting used to the new car, new Senna, joined the Jordan Formula One team. rules, new tracks and new competition.” In a record 322 starts for six teams – Struggling to learn so many new elements, including Ferrari and Williams – he earned including a style of racing that involves roll14 poles and scored 11 victories, including ing starts, yellow flags and a completely difthe 2002 U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis. His ferent strategy, Barrichello remains upbeat. first victory was at the German Grand Prix “The rolling starts are the least of my probat Hockenheim in 2000, where he demonlems,” he says. “I’ll have to adapt to ovals and strated why he’s considered one of the best get used to saving fuel. It’s very competitive wet weather drivers. and you cannot just go fast, you’ve got to get Expectations are naturally high of such an it right on the strategy, really. In F1 the term experienced and successful driver. IndyCar ‘save fuel’ is not very used, so I am having to Race Director Beaux learn this part too.” Barfield initially That lesson began stripped Barrichello of at the first race of the rookie status, based on season in St. Pete, his resume. As a result, where Barrichello was Rubens didn’t get the forced into fuel-saving extra track time allotted mode throughout to drivers at each track, most of the race – a decision he protested. something he’s not “I am finding it difficult accustomed to doing. to learn the circuits “I wasn’t allowed quickly,” he explains. to push all the way “There isn’t much through the race,” he time to learn it – plus reports. “I’m the type the fact that we do not of driver who wants have many new sets [of to push. I want to go — Rubens Barrichello tires] for the weekend, flat-out at all times, so every time I go to but this race was save, qualify the car I will try save, save all the way. a new set of red tires that I did not try before. I wasn’t really allowed to push the car as The feeling is completely different, and so I hard as I could, and that was frustrating.” have a racing track that I don’t know very well Realizing that patience is part of his learnplus a tire that I had not tried before. One plus ing curve, Barrichello understands that fuel the other is a big, big challenge.” strategy is key to winning IndyCar races. “I Learning the tracks has been only one of feel like strategy is going to be a much greater the challenges facing this IndyCar “rookie.” part of this form of racing than it was for me
Rubens the rookie BARRICHELLO STARTS OVER IN INDYCAR BY L O RI LO V E LY E DI T O RS @N U V O . N E T Often referred to as the most tenured driver in Formula One, after 19 years in the elite open wheel series, Rubens Barrichello is starting over as a rookie in IndyCar. Enticed by his countryman and best friend, Tony Kanaan, to do some off-season testing in TK’s KV Racing Technology Dallara, the Formula One veteran was promptly encouraged to consider a full-time ride alongside the man he fondly calls his brother. Having found speed in the new car during early tests, his decision appeared to come almost as quickly. “I enjoy being in America, so that was going to make it easy anyway,” he explains. “I don’t know America very well, and that’s something that I’ve always had in my mind: I would love to get to know [it]. I actually find myself renting motor homes and just traveling all over because I love the country.” Since signing a one-year contract with KVRT, Barrichello has been warmly welcomed. “The fans have been great,” he says, “I had a lot of followers on Twitter from Brazil, but since signing, everyday there are 2,000-3,000 new followers and they are Americans for sure.” Expressing a reciprocal enthusiasm and appreciation for this new start, the Brazilian says, “I’m as excited as ever to go racing. It’s an exciting time for the series as it moves into a new era and an exciting time for me as I begin a new chapter in my career. I can’t tell you how much I love and appreciate this opportunity. At 39, I still have the fire to keep racing. The speed and desire are there as much as ever. I’m feeling so optimistic. I’m very grateful for this chance — to my team, my teammates and the fans.”
RACING REALITY Like many Brazilian drivers, Barrichello got his racing start in go-karts, winning five kart-
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“You’ve got to have goals; you’ve got to have dreams. ”
in Formula One. The strategy in F1 is to just fill up the car and go. In IndyCar racing, there are so many elements of strategy in relation to the yellow flags and fuel. It’s something I’m going to have to learn.” He’s a quick study, learning every time he’s in the car. “I’m getting more comfortable with each bit of experience I gain,” he says, setting a personal goal to “improve at every race. You’ve got to have goals; you’ve got to have dreams. I dream to do very well in the series this year.” Although he says he didn’t come with any expectations, perhaps no one puts more pressure on Barrichello than Rubens himself. “I put so much pressure on myself. I want to do so well. My goal is to be happy with myself, but I’ve got to give it my 100 percent commitment. That’s what makes me happy” “If Rubens didn’t believe that he could win, he wouldn’t have come,” Kanaan says of his friend. “We’ve got to be realistic about the experience that he’s going to have on the ovals, but with his experience and talent, I believe he has very good chances to be fighting for wins and a championship this year.”
RUBINHO His easy-going and affable nature belies an intense focus in the cockpit and a fierce competitiveness on the track. Calm and precise behind the wheel, Barrichello says he “can adapt to anything, really,” as he looks forward to his first Indianapolis 500. “I am so excited. I can’t wait, really.” In preparation, he’s been watching videos and talking to many drivers, including Dario Franchitti, Felipe Giaffone, Gil de Ferran and, of course, Kanaan and team owner Jimmy Vasser. “I have no idea what to expect, [so] the more info I can get, the better it is.” This 40-year-old “rookie” – one of the oldest drivers in the field – hopes to enjoy himself this month, with his family onsite to support him. “It is my birthday on the 23rd, so I want them to be with me.” A third-generation “Rubens” who shares a birthday with his father, the famous driver is known by the affectionate nickname of Rubinho to his family … and now to his many new fans.
Remembering Dan THOUGHTS ON THE CRASH — AND WHELDON’S LEGACY BY K A T E S HO U P E D I T O RS @N U V O . N E T I met Susie Wheldon on the grid at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, minutes before the green flag fell for the final race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar season. I was in town with my boyfriend, Olivier, an engineer for KV racing, doing research for an IndyCar book and soaking up the Vegas pageantry. Susie was extremely pleasant — and gorgeous. I’d noticed the same thing the day before when I spotted a glowing Susie standing alongside her husband, two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon, as he signed autographs at the MGM, their elder son perched on his lap. Dan, too, looked fantastic. He radiated health and youth. He smiled easily. I could see, watching him, what a charmer he was. To be honest, I’d never been a huge Wheldon fan — I always found him brash and perhaps a bit vain (those ridiculous teeth!) — but watching him that day, with his darling family, something in me softened. It had been a rough year for Wheldon. Yes, he’d won Indy after an astonishing last-lap lapse by rookie race leader JR Hildebrand, who crashed in the final turn. But Wheldon, whose 500 gig was a one-race deal, was without a full-time ride for the first time in his career. This was at least partly because Wheldon, who boasted 16 wins and a series championship, had developed a bit of a reputation.
TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE
jumped at the chance—even though he’d have to start last. “I’ve been just desperate, period, to get back in a race car since Indianapolis,” Wheldon said. You got the sense he would have run for free. “He’ll do great,” I told Susie on the grid in Vegas, before she left to make her way to Dan. And he did. During the first 10 laps, Dan picked off eight drivers in the tightly packed field. But halfway through lap 11, the back end of Wade Cunningham’s car got loose. With no room to react, JR Hildebrand drove over the left rear of Cunningham and went airborne. The ensuing chain reaction collected 13 additional cars, with several catching flight and/or fire. Race officials waved the red flag, temporarily stopping the race. Those drivers whose cars were still running entered the pit. News of drivers in the crash soon followed. Power was complaining of back pain. Mann had badly burned her hand. Hildebrand had bruised his sternum. Incredibly, everyone else in the crash appeared relatively unscathed. Except Dan. The first indication I had that he was seriously injured came a few minutes after the wreck, from a friend who worked as a mechanic. He’d heard that the roll hoop, designed to protect the driver’s head in the event the car flips over, had been sheared off by the catchfence during the crash, and that Dan had suffered a grave head injury as a result.
A PERFECT STORM OF FACTORS
The idea that Dan could be seriously hurt seemed ridiculous. With the signifiPeople called him difficult. Cocky. cant safety advancements made in recent Despite this, given his resume, Wheldon years — particularly, the implementation no doubt assumed he’d be picked up for of SAFER barriers, designed to absorb the 2011, but he wasn’t. When the season impact when a car hits the wall, and of began, Wheldon, like a loser in musical the HANS device, which helps reduce the chairs, was left without a seat. likelihood of head and neck injuries — the Wheldon tried to stay positive. After winfeeling was that no one can really get hurt ning Indy, he made appearance after appearin Indy cars anymore! ance. He picked up work with Versus (now Look at Mike Conway. He suffered a NBC Sports), providing color commentary for spectacular crash at Indy in 2010 — his races. Dan also signed on with Dallara, the car practically disintegrated — and all company charged with designing the nexthe wound up with was a broken leg generation IndyCar (set to debut during the and a sore back. Yes, IndyCar had seen 2012 season), as the official test driver. fatalities. In 2006, rookie Paul Dana died You could make the case that Wheldon’s during a warmup session at Homesteadfailure to secure a ride was just the thing he Miami Speedway. Three years prior, risneeded. He’d been humbled, which made ing star Tony Renna him more human. It had was killed during testalso given him more ing at Indianapolis time with his family — Motor Speedway. something he clearly Randy Bernard, with loved. Michael Andretti a haunted look, made would say later, “He the official announceloved being a dad. He ment hours later: loved being a husband.” Wheldon had died of He added, “I was really —Clive Wheldon, “unsurvivable injuimpressed with the way Dan’s father ries.” In the days that he settled down.” followed, he and the But although he league took considerenjoyed his time at able heat for the $5 million promotion, but home, Wheldon clearly wasn’t ready to I thought that was unfair. Wheldon had hang up his firesuit. When IndyCar CEO jumped at the opportunity — and he would Randy Bernard devised a promotion that have driven just as aggressively regardless promised Wheldon, as reigning Indy of how much money was at stake. 500 champion, $5 million to split with The league, too, came under fire for hava fan should he win the race, Wheldon
ing run a race at Las Vegas in the first place. “I said before we tested here, having driven a stock car here, that this is not a suitable track,” Dario Franchitti told reporters after Wheldon’s death. The problem? Because of the 1.5-mile oval circuit’s high banking, drivers need never lift off the throttle; as a result, the pack never spreads out. Many felt that all those cars crammed together, running three and four abreast with mere inches between them at speeds of 220+ miles per hour, was simply too dangerous. Ultimately, IndyCar attributed Wheldon’s death to a “perfect storm” of factors. First, the race featured a season-high 34 cars, many piloted by rookies and part-time drivers. Second, there were the aforementioned high banks. Third, unlike other short tracks on the IndyCar schedule, Las Vegas boasts particularly wide racing grooves, giving drivers a “limitless racing surface.” Unlike at other facilities, where drivers must stay low on the track to maintain grip, drivers can pretty much run anywhere at Las Vegas — three and four wide. It’s also more difficult for a driver to predict which groove another driver might choose during a race, further increasing the likelihood of a crash. Had Wheldon been driving the 2012 IndyCar that he helped to develop, the accident that claimed his life might have unfolded differently. The new car, subsequently named the DW12 in Wheldon’s honor, features bumper components behind each rear wheel to help prevent one car from scaling over the top of another and catching flight, the way Wheldon’s car scaled Tracy’s. In addition, the shape of the new car reduces the tendency to fly into the air. If there was any small mercy in Dan’s death, it was that it happened during the last race of the season, giving everyone in the IndyCar community time to grieve. For some drivers, like Paul Tracy, retirement suddenly became more attractive. By the time the 2012 season rolled around, healing had begun — although staging the first race of the year in Dan’s adopted hometown, St. Petersburg, Florida, felt a bit like ripping off a Band-Aid. (The winner of that race, Helio Castroneves, paid a perfect tribute to Dan, scaling the catchfence in his own signature fashion—this time to touch a street sign marking the newly named Dan Wheldon Way.) And of course, being here, in Indy, where Dan enjoyed so much success, brings fresh waves of grief. Sad as it was, everyone agreed: Dan went out just the way he would have wanted. “He left us doing what he loved,” his father, Clive, said afterward. He hadn’t been afraid. “When “When your time’s up, your time’s up,” Dan Dan had had told told a reporter in 2009, after his first son was born. “You can’t worry about that stuff.”
“He left us doing what he loved.”
Two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon died at age 33. 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // cover story
500 go&do 23
For comprehensive event listings, go to nuvo.net/calendar
500 Festival Community Day @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway Somehow it seems a little foolhardy to allow ordinary citizens to drive a lap around the track in their own cars only a few days prior to the race. What if my Datsun happens to be leaking oil? Or trailing a muffler? Or dropping leftover tacks that were meant to take out that dastardly Inspector and his Go-Go Gadget Car? Ah, well; we’re sure 500 officials have this thing figured out. Take a guilt-free, 2.5 mile drive at Community Day, then avail yourself of other activities — the Media Pit Stop Competition (the winner gets $5,000 for the charity of his or her choice), autograph opportunities, tours of the Pagoda and Pit Lane , and admission to the Hall of Fame Museum (included with a ticket). 9 a.m.; $10 gate, children 6 and under free; enter through Gate 10 if you’d like to cruise a lap
The Carb Day After-Party at 8 Seconds Saloon (7 p.m., 21+, 111 N. Lynhurst Dr.) features the 2010 Battle of the Bands winner Breakdown Kings, Underrcover All-Stars, All Love Her Twisted and Standout Story. And we’re not sure who the Hometown Hotties are, but they’ll be out in force at the Maxim Indy 500 Party at Sensu (10 p.m., $15 advance, $20 door, 225 N. Meridian St.), joined by DJ Lockstar.
The ritziest of them all is The Snake Pit Ball at the Indiana Roof Ballroom (140 W. Washington St., 6 p.m., $275), headlined by well-seasoned ‘80s rocker Rick Springfield. Indy native Carlos Diaz rolls back into town to host the FANtasy 500 Race Party at the Emmis Communications Building (40 Monument Circle, 9 p.m., $50-125 at fantasy500party.com), which features some of the city’s best DJ talent in Indiana Jones, Lockstar and Gabby Love.
And on the philanthropic front, Marco Andretti (who starts fourth in the race) and Miss Indiana 2009 are the guests of honor for Racing for Cancer at Bartini’s (39 W. Jackson Place, 8 p.m., $5), with Slater Hogan on the turntables.
Hoosier Hundred @ Indiana State Fairgrounds Rodger Ward, A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Mario Andretti and Al Unser are among the winners of the Hoosier Hundred, which runs this Friday for the 59th time on the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ one-mile dirt oval track. It is as it sounds: a 100-mile, 100-lap race, featuring both up-and-comers as well as stalwarts of the dirt track scene, notably long-time NASCAR driver Kenny Schrader. 3 p.m. grandstands open, 7 p.m. race; $25 advance (217-764-3200), $10 children 11 and under
Legends Day @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Legends Day’s cavalcade of old cars takes off from 9:20 a.m. The oldest car in the showcase will be a 1909 American Locomotive Company model that ran in the first Indy 500. Also on the bill for Legends Day is a Q&A session with Roger Penske, autograph sessions with the starting field and former drivers and a reportedly massive memorabilia show. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; $10 adult, 12 and under free
Bicycle Diaries of a Big Girl by Katelyn Coyne Speed Freak by Kate Shoup
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Them are real Hot Wheels!
Hot Wheels for Real @ Children’s Museum of Indianapolis I’m sure I had this exact thought while pushing Hot Wheels around a imaginary city of the future: What if these were for real? You know, life-size? And I was driving one? Awesome! Well the first two wishes can indeed come true for all-comers this weekend; the third is probably for those with Gumball 3000-level wealth. Hot Wheels for Real is a traveling exhibit featuring several of the toys rendered in life-size, driveable form, including the Twin Mill design (the most recognizable, “traditional” Hot Wheel design, introduced in 1969) and the Beach Bomb, a hot pink Volkswagen bus with side slots for surfboards. Opens May 26; museum hours 10 a.m.5 p.m.; $12.50 ages 2-17, $17.50 adult, $16.50 senior
Carb Day @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Carburetion Day is a time to celebrate traditions, with classic rock and lots and lots of beer. This year, certified tragedyovercomers Lynyrd Skynyrd are the headliners of choice, performing at 3:30 p.m. We’ll place bets right now that they’ll play all of their hits — from “Free Bird” to “Sweet Home Alabama” to “Saturday Night Special.” There’s plenty to see before that — including the final practice before the big race, when pit crews tune the imaginary carburetors that haven’t been used in a qualifying car since the early ‘60s. But we do love the name.
I love a parade!
500 Festival Parade It’s hard to imagine what a duet between Olivia Newton-John and Gladys Knight would sound like, but such a thing is possible this weekend, when both stars will be guests of honor at the 500 Festival Parade. NewtonJohn is the Grand Marshal; Knight is a “legendary honoree”; both will wave from well-appointed rides and attend all the major galas (Snakepit Ball, 500 Soiree) and the race. 80-some floats , marching bands, giant inflatable balloons (Miss Piggy, Papa Smurf, a golden dragon, Cat in the Hat) and bagpipe choirs will march down the two-mile route, with an expected 300,000 spectators looking on, along with TV cameras for national (NBC Sports Network) and local (WISH) broadcast. 12 p.m.; $32 VIP seats, $19 reserve chair seats, $14.50 bleacher seats (500festival.com or 614-6400)
8 a.m.-6 p.m.; $20, 12 and under free
Storycorps comes to town by Scott Shoger Andrew Bridges at French Bleu by Dan Grossman GISO plays Bond and Beyond by Rita Kohn
500 coverage by Kris Arnold
Join us June 1 at the Athenaeum as we celebrate the work of Indy visionaries. JULIA WHITEHEAD, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library | RECYCLEFORCE | 46 FOR XLVI, Arts Council of Indianapolis TAMARA ZAHN, Indianapolis Downtown Inc. | NATE JACKSON, IUPUI | THE PROJECT SCHOOL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONOREE: JOHN MUTZ
: 5:15 - 6:15 p.m.;
: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Free Admission | RSVP by Thursday, May 31 and receive 2 complimentary drink tickets at check-in! LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONOREE: JOHN MUTZ John Mutzâ€™s long service to Indiana stretches over five decades. His resume is staggering, with leadership roles at the Lumina Foundation, PSI Energy, Lilly Endowment and Indianapolis Department of Waterworks. He has served as a state representative and state senator, along with a two-term stint as lieutenant governor. His community service directorships include the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority, the Indiana and Indianapolis chambers of commerce, Indianapolis Zoological Society, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the United Way of Central Indiana. We honor Mr. Mutz for his dedication to improving the lives of all Hoosiers.
500 GO&DO 26
Gumball 3000 Rally @ Monument Circle
Scenes from Gumball 3000.
Tribute to Charlie Wiggins and Willy T. Ribbs @ IPS Crispus Attucks Museum
Two African-American racing pioneers will be honored Saturday afternoon at Crispus Attucks Museum: Charlie Wiggins, the so-called “Negro Speed King” who made his name in the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, an all-Black race held on the Indiana State Fairgrounds dirt track in the ‘20s and ‘30s; and Willy T. Ribbs, a longtime NASCAR and Champ car racer, who in 1991 became the first AfricanAmerican driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Ribbs, 57, who briefly returned from retirement last year to race in an Indy Lights event, will be in attendance, along with the family of Wiggins, who died in 1979. 1-4 p.m. @ 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., Door 13; free, with reservation required (226-2432)
The ‘70s were the golden years for road rallies, when Burt Reynolds and his ilk — fueled by Schlitz, leaded gasoline and the love of hookers with hearts of gold — raced through the countryside, outrunning fat cops, truckers hopped up on greenies and cannonballs. But like roller derby and Burt Reynolds (but not Schlitz), the cross-country rally is back — and stopping by Indy for a pit stop during race weekend. Gumball 3000, which, according to satisfied contestant Xzibit, “combines individual styles and personalities, and appeals to kids on the street to the billionaires of the world [sic],” is being held for the 14th time this year on a course that runs from Times Square (starting on May 25) to Los Angeles (May 31). 100 cars are involved (for a fee of 25,000 pounds for each pair of competitors). They’ll arrive on Monument Circle around 4 p.m., and drivers will remain in Indy until after the race. The official line is that no one driver is in too much of a hurry; no prizes are awarded for arriving first or keeping the best time. Not that rally participants haven’t exceeded the speed limit in the past; the biggest black mark on Gumball 3000’s record is an accident during the 2007 race, when a Porsche piloted by two rally participants and allegedly going 161 km/h collided with a Volkswagen Golf uninvolved with the race, resulting in the deaths of the driver and passenger of the Golf. As The New York Times put it in a 2007 blog: “Legally, there’s nothing wrong with gathering a group of fast cars and driving together across the continent. But logic tells us that Mama didn’t raise no fool. It’s not possible for a group of people driving supercars more than 3,000 miles to obey speed limit at all times.” The speeding tickets bear out the argument: Satisfied contestant Xzibit told the Daily Mail in 2007 that his biggest highlight of the race was “getting my license taken in Belgium for going 200 mph in a Lambo Gallardo.” It should be noted that Gumball 3000 now calls itself an “active promoter” of the World Health Organization’s “Safer Roads” program. Still, I’d stay out of the way when Gumball 3000 rolls in and out of town.
Snake Pit @ Indianapolis Motor Speedway It’s possible to have a grand old time at the speedway without seeing a single lap, but only if you’re in the rowdy infield area known as the Snake Pit. Italian DJ, frequent Madonna collaborator and Grammy winner Benny Benassi and EDM trio Krewella are slated to perform; food trucks, body painting booths, photo booths, bumper cars, bikini contests, ticket giveaways and other “sick swag” are also advertised. From 7 a.m.; race tickets available from indianapolismotorspeedway.com or 800-822-INDY 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // go&do
PHOTO BY PAUL F. P. POGUE
Knapp did much of the work for Wikipedia’s Orwell bibliography at IUPUI where he earned degrees in philosophy and political sci ence.
The Million Edit Man
Indy resident is Wikipedia’s most prodigious editor BY PA U L F. P . P O G U E PPOGUE@NUVO.NET It is worth noting that long before Indianapolis resident Justin Knapp become famous for being the first Wikipedia editor to reach one million edits, he was already Internet-famous. Or nerd-famous. Or — okay, very-specificsubset-of-nerdery famous. Knapp, 30, was the sole entrant in a contest for the DC comic Vext back in the late 1990s, which was promptly cancelled. The editor quit, and the prizeless Knapp dubbed himself “King of All Vext Fans” as a consolation prize. To the best of my knowledge nobody has ever challenged him on that front, and so his title remains as his Wikipedia handle, KOAVF. Now, of course, he’s slightly more wellknown. He was the first — and remains the only — Wikipedian to cross the million-edit line, seven years after he established his editor’s profile. (For those of you keeping track at home, that’s something on the order of 400 edits per day.) Since then, being the Million Edit Man has become something of a full-time job. Although Knapp has never done anything himself to plug the accomplishment, plenty of tech web sites and journals picked up
his story, ranging from Gizmodo to obscure Russian web sites to Israeli talk shows. Some of Knapp’s days have been nothing but getting up, breakfast, hours of phone interviews, a couple of hours of wiki editing, then sleep until the craziness starts all over again. (And he hasn’t even had the TV guys catch wind of him yet!) Talking to Knapp is something akin to reading a Wiki article and following all the links, as the free-ranging conversation can quickly jump from Orwell scholarship to Sufjan Stevens to Jim Shooter’s comic writing career to the exact rate at which neuroblastoma can spread through a two-year-old’s abdomen. In other ways it feels like a dense conversation that belongs in a Chaim Potok novel, and not just because of Knapp’s beard, black clothing and distinctly rabbinical way of gesturing. Knapp is fixated on information and accuracy. He spells out the name of nearly every person he mentions — and he can recall which magazines got factual information wrong, not to mention which magazine he thinks another magazine cribbed from to get that wrong information. Knapp started out by editing articles about the Western Sahara, an old area
a&e feature // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
of interest for him, and then spread into philosophy, political science, religion and popular culture. “There are scholars, people pretending to be scholars, and hobbyists with something to give,” he says. “Myself, I’m just a helper. I like Wiki because it shares the same values I have: liberty, free information sharing, community, egalitarianism, and all those things built into the way Wikipedia works.” One of his most notable contributions has been overseeing Wiki’s George Orwell bibliography, possibly the most comprehensive in existence. But while he’s proud of how it turned out, he can rattle off a half-dozen sources that he feels deserve more credit. “I’m only piggybacking off the scholarship of others,” he says. “But that’s how Wiki works — a place to —Justin Knapp aggregate the research. And it allows you to organize it in different ways — if you want to see a list of everything Orwell ever published and want it alphabetical, or chronologically organized, you can do it with a click. And by definition you can’t do that in print.” Most of those million edits are things you would probably never even notice. “A lot of Wiki is maintenance — I’ll find an editorial or typo or small technical issue, but it might also turn out to be a systemic problem across a whole bunch of stuff,” he
“I like Wiki because it shares the same values I have: liberty, free information sharing, community, egalitarianism...”
says. “It’s very boring work for some, but I very much like being able to categorize and bring a sense of consistency and conformity to information.” The whole thing started getting crazy around April 20, when another Wiki user who tracks this sort of thing noticed that Knapp had hit the million mark. That user posted it on the talk page of Wiki co-founder Jimmy Wales, who ultimately declared a Wikipedia Holiday for Knapp — just about the rarest Wiki honor there is. Before long, Gawker noted it on a Twitter feed, Gizmodo writer Leslie Horn called him up and it was mayhem from there. So far he’s been contacted for a variety of unexpected tasks — some press release editing, a self-published book, something in California with a venture capitalist. Not bad for a guy who currently supports himself with freelance editing, tutoring and the like. “I don’t know if anything in terms of a professional job is happening, but something here might turn into something ongoing.”And in July he heads over to Washington D.C. for the Wikimania conference, courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation. “All this recognition is nice, but my friends know it’s not the sort of thing I’m really accustomed to,” he says. “My story is trivial and fluffy — a number with a lot of zeroes after it. But what it does do is let me talk about the values that Wikipedia has. It’s not just a piece of technology or a platform for social networking, or even an encyclopedia. Wikipedia is working because it’s not a contest. Volunteers do it because they want to do it. If it was a job or a competition you’d be going it for another reason, to win or climb the ladder to make money. “There’s still some measure of vanity, inefficiency and stupidity, which is true of any human institution, but that’s not the purpose at the core. And that is a watershed moment in sharing technology. There are 13 million pieces in the Wiki commons, from a picture of someone eating ice cream to a recording of someone speaking Nepalese, or a dictionary that tires to have definitions of every word in every language. These are huge undertakings and it’s an important moment in human history.” He could talk for hours about the freeinformation movement — and in fact, we spent quite a bit of time on it — including the fact that even the free information movement as we know it relies on a certain set of suppositions and is an ever-changing work in progress:”If you take a fact and the opposite of a fact and put them together, you don’t arrive at a better fact. You arrive at gobbledygook. Truth is not always about democratic consensus.” But he does believe the best way forward, for the moment, remains with the Wiki. “My work on Wikipedia is part leisure and part hobby, but it’s also about actualizing the principles I believe in. Part of it is narcissism, and part of it is because there are kids in Kenya who need an encyclopedia. The work I’ve done on, say, the Sufjan Stevens album may not be relevant, but it’ll help someone. I don’t really care about anyone ripping on me for being obsessive or freaky or weird. Open access and egalitarianism, that’s what’s most important.”
A&E REVIEWS Thoughts on Onyx Fest Indy’s first AfricanAmerican theater festival takes off BY S CO T T S H O G E R S S H O G E R@N U V O . N E T The inaugural Onyx Fest, billed as the city’s first and only festival dedicated to the work of African-American playwrights, opened last weekend at the IndyFringe Basile Theatre with a slate of three plays. The lineup was selected by Nicole Kearney, a professor of English and drama at Martin University, whose play, re-entry, was one of the three on the bill. The plan is to institute a juried selection process for next year’s festival; this year, it was all about getting things off the ground with the resources available. There was much to admire in re-entry, a didactic play about the reintegration of ex-offenders directed by Jerome Davis and starring Jermaine Woolery, in a low-key, mostly convincing performance as excon George Jackson. As the play begins, Jackson is trying to reconcile with his family, find a job and battle crack addiction after spending half his life behind bars. There were nicely-rendered, sometimes surprising details embedded in mini-monologues by Jackson, who told the audience, at one point, about his reticence to take a job filling out a police lineup because it would take him so close to a prison. And the play’s explicit plea for a more humane treatment of ex-offenders, while not always threaded into the script in an organic way, was convincing. Those points being made, re-entry was, on the whole, rather choppy and gloomy. Woolery’s performance was even and carefully modulated; one wonders if the character was meant to be deep in clinical depression, which could well have been the case, though moments that would traditionally call for more emotional volatility (say a family’s intervention after Jackson hits a crack pipe) were acted with the same intensity as, say, Jackson’s trip to the unemployment office. And the play itself matched Woolery/Jackson’s gloomy tone, with blackouts interrupting scenes before they picked up steam, creating a probably unintended dream-like feel, as if Jackson were reliving fragments of his life, closing his eyes at unexpected moments to be transported to another hazily remembered scene. Kearney notes that she’s already at work on a longer version of re-entry which will give more details on Jackson’s relationship to his daughter, among other changes. When I talked with her after the show, she noted that while she hopes her play is successful as a work
of theater, she’s equally concerned with the play’s political and social impact, and plans to re-mount her longer version at the Central Library, with a talkback session after the play and other complementary programming. Maybe re-entry could have used a little of the energy that informed Betsy on E. 10th Street, a two-hander by the Indianapolis Urban Theatre and Dance Company featuring Arthur Jordan as a Vietnam vet named August Winston who has become a first-time homeowner, and Jaron Marquis Garrett as a neighborhood kid, Deon, who’s barely scraping by. Where re-entry was quiet, laconic, controlled, Betsy aimed for the rooftops, its characters shouting their war stories about Vietnam and the streets of Indianapolis. Jordan played a character that very much resembles himself; according to Garrett, who also directed the play, much of the rehearsal process was taken up with trying to find a structure which could accommodate Jordan’s life stories about his service in Vietnam and subsequent membership in the Black Panther Party. They arrived at the conceit of having Winston and Deon come across a box containing memorabilia from his life, including a Black Panther glove that Deon puts on for a time before Winston warns him, in the gruff tone of the crochety old dude down the lane who possesses the wisdom of experience and won’t put up with the hijinks of young whipper-snappers, to take off what doesn’t properly belong on his hand. Jordan isn’t yet a seasoned enough storyteller to enrapture an audience, but he came off as honest and funny, becoming more comfortable with every minute spent on stage. Garrett tried to knock it out of the park with his monologue — a tale of hardship, foster homes and children committing murder — but ended up giving a little more (maybe, a lot more) than the play and the space called for. Betsy had the right idea, though; would that more plays (or other works of fiction) drew their stories more directly from real life, so as to avoid the tone-deafness or banality that can (but, of course, doesn’t always) inform work invented out of thin air. I had the sense that When You Least Expect It was leading up, all along, to the payoff, when a teenaged girl, Tequila, who at first appeared immature and standoffish, ended up being the voice of reason/God, helping family members to surmount their problems by prescribing common sense and prayer. As such, the play’s appeal was somewhat limited to those looking for an illustration of the power of Christian faith. Still, there were some convincing performances; that teenage cousin who helped the family find its way brought needed gumption to the proceedings and was given some of the play’s funnier lines (“Lord, I’m not sure why you sent me here in the midst of all this drama; this family’s a trip!”)
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A&E REVIEWS THEATER
also shines as Poe’s deceased mother, casting a ghostly presence as she watches her son’s madness. Finally, Leah DeWalt gives a noteworthy performance as the rigid mother-in-law displeased with her daughter’s suitor. Acting Up Productions artistic director and director of Nevermore, Brian Noffke, has proven once again that his is a central Indiana theater company not to be overlooked.
ANTIGONE NOEXIT PERFORMANCE AT INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART; MAY 17-19 w The original, and still the best. NoExit first staged Antigone on the Indianapolis Museum of Art grounds back in 2008. It was the kernel that would grow into this year’s mighty monthlong production of all three of Sophocles’s Theban Plays, with Oedipus Rex and Oedipus in Colonus premiering on May 3 and 10, respectively. (All three plays will be again staged May 31 through June 2, one play per night, in chronological order, according to the storyline of the plays.) It was clear after seeing all three that the preceding two plays lacked a coherence and gravitas that Antigone successfully realized, largely by sticking to the script, paying more careful attention to stage movement and blocking and (mostly) jettisoning the first two play’s misguided attempt to retool the chorus as a group of superfans, a concept not unfaithful to the role of the chorus in Greek drama as a sort of peanut gallery’s reaction to the proceedings, but just plain unsuccessful in practice. Of all the directors, Georgeanna Smith — reprising her role in the first 2008 production, and reusing many of the same locations and concepts — made the best use of the play’s environment, creating the feeling that something might be lurking around any corner as the audience moved from one area of the Lilly House grounds to another, with the chorus acting as tour guides leading from one “set” to another. For instance, as the audience snaked down the stairs from the house’s grass-lined porch to the lawn below, Oedipus and Jocasta — clad in the play’s stark white death masks — sat watching on a hill to the far left of the field of vision, while Haemon (Romeo to Antigone’s Juliet) worried on a bench, love-sick, directly ahead of the audience as it turned to the corner. And, to add to the mix, staring on in the distance, almost 180 degrees opposite to the on-stage action, was one of the production’s trademark dead people/human statues, standing ram-rod straight in death mask. In other words, Smith asked of the audience a certain visual acuity — one was free to investigate the landscape and even choose one’s own vantage point of the action, with only suggestions from the tour guides/chorus of where to stand or sit. And everywhere the audience looked, there was death, regally clad in a tragic drama mask, stolid as a Yeoman of the Guard.
Pianist Simon Trpceski ISO SYMPHONIC HITS PROGRAM NO. 19 HILBERT CIRCLE THEATRE, MAY 18-19 w
Sans Merci at Theater Non Nobis SANS MERCI THEATRE NON NOBIS, THROUGH JUNE 2 e
The best tragedies remove walls for just long enough to reveal the raw, trembling humanity that lives behind them. Johanna Adams’ While performances were convincing, if inconsisSans Merci takes on this task with intelligence tent — with Michael Hosp as Creon summoning and sensitivity. The play opens with bold, steup almost enough presence to come off as a reotypical strokes that portray the meeting conflicted but ultimately intransigent and viobetween a Republican, homophobic mother lent leader, and Maria Souza-Eglen as Antigone (Beverly Roche), and her late daughter’s lesgradually becoming more comfortable, believable bian, activist lover (Ali Curtis), punctuated by and effective after some early shakiness — the flashbacks to their mutual lost love, Tracey play’s brilliance came in its choreography. In a (Alycia Riley). As the characters wrestle with sense, the dead exert more power than the living their anger, pain, and guilt, the play carries a in Antigone, a condition which Smith depicted by hushed, spellbound audience to a place where having Oedipus’s dead sons pull the strings, as it shared grief and love momentarily lifts any were, of both Antigone and Creon, with Polynices sense of separation. Director Jenni White elicits (clad, like many others, in death mask) physically compelling performances from the cast, with a turning Antigone around to urge her back into a script that beautifully blends (Keatsian) poetry verbal battle with Creon, or miming the raising of with pain. Occasionally of Curtis’s character her arm while she did the same in anger. seemed in danger of flatlining — compro—SCOTT SHOGER mised by background noise that threatened to drown out her delivery at critical moments — 20 a&e feature // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
in an otherwise sensitive, nuanced portrayal. While Theatre Non Nobis’ presentation of Sans Merci doesn’t pretend to offer answers to a world sans merci “without mercy,” the warmth and hope of its humanity mitigates its tragedy. —ELIZABETH AUDET
NEVERMORE ACTING UP PRODUCTIONS ON TOTS STAGE II, THROUGH MAY 27 t Staged in the intimate cabaret setting of TOTS Stage II, Nevermore is a chilling musical revue about Poe’s life and work that focuses on the writer’s dysfunctional relationships with women. As Poe, Paul Nicely paints a vivid picture of a troubled artist under the constant influence of female voices. As a whole, the cast rises and falls in macabre harmony, sending chills through the audience with each discordant note. Abigail Wright stands out as the innocent Virginia, Poe’s teenage bride and muse for the beloved poem “Annabel Lee,” her adolescent virtuousness a charming contrast to Nicely’s petulant Poe. Meaghan Sands
In yet another all-20th-century program, ISO music director Krzysztof Urbanski proves he has well deserved drawing power. He began with Ravel’s Pavanne pour une infante défunte, one of the French composer’s most popular works. Urbanski brought out the rich study in the shifting colors and harmonies of the dominating winds and brass sections as they wove their way expertly through this seven minutes of smiling-through-tears. Nothing more opposing to the Pavanne by the same composer could have been offered next than Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G (1932). 33-year-old Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski seemed made-to-order for this piece. Not only did his fingers sail through the intricately rapid passages of the first movement with aplomb, but he made the finale’s headlong rush articulate, convincing — and brief. Conductor and soloist also seemed of a mind in the quite contrasting, rather unadorned slow movement that looks back, from the aging Ravel’s perspective, to earlier times — and earlier slow movements. Some would consider our conductor’s final offering the program’s “pièce de resistance” — Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 in E Minor, Op. 93. Long and dour, but with excellent employment of various solo instruments, especially the piccolo, oboe and flute, and flashy orchestral tutti, its jubilant ending in E major seems to me disconnected from most of what came before. But I have to say Urbanski convinced me that he loved it — all of it — with the absolute finesse he achieved with his players throughout its four movements and 45 minutes. But he’s done that with every big work he’s offered to date. For more review details visit nuvo.net. —TOM ALDRIDGE
Apocalyptic fire in Bellflower.
Bellflower (2011) e (R)
We’re on the eve of the Apocalypse and Woodrow (Evan Glodell) and Aiden (Tyler Dawson) are getting ready for the post-apocalyptic fun. Best friends since childhood, the guys are obsessed with The Road Warrior. What’s not to love? Anarchy, cool clothes, bad-ass posturing, girls, violence, fire and figures like the magnificent Lord Humungus, the “ayatollah of rock-and-rollah.” Preparing for the aftermath, Woodrow and Aiden work on making their own mega flamethrower and souping up a car that will be appropriate for their Road Warrior world. Then Woodrow falls for the impulsive Milly (Jessie Wiseman) and Aiden gets a crush on Milly’s best friend Courtney (Rebekah Brandes). On the sidelines is Mike (Vincent Grashaw), Milly’s platonic (?) roommate. Everything gets complicated. For the five young adults, the Apocalypse may come early. In addition to playing Woodrow, Evan Glodell wrote and directed the film, as well as customizing the cameras and souping up the aforementioned death-mobile. The movie
was made for an astonishingly low $17,000, and Glodell gets the most out of every penny. The production puts viewers squarely into the boys’ end-of-the-world perspective with menacing sound effects and music, a palette of yellows and oranges, jump-cuts to past and future incidents, and the inclusion of fantasy into the real goings-on. The focus is a bit fuzzy at times and the camera lens occasionally gets smeared, adding to the DIY sense of immediacy and borderline chaos. Who are the guys? Here’s an excerpt from a pep talk Aiden gives to Woodrow. “Can you imagine two sweet-ass dudes like us in that car traveling through the desert across America? We would look so fucking cool! We would go places and park the car where we know we look cool, hang out smoking cigarettes leaning against the car looking cool and let the people look at us. We could get trashed on drugs in the middle of nowhere and drive 150 miles an hour naked down the freeway and hang out the windows shooting shotguns at freeway signs and fucking historical landmarks and jackrabbits. Dude, you are fucking Lord Humungus, the master of fire, the king of the wasteland!” That’s Aiden, who generally takes the leadership role in the friendship. Woodrow, on the other hand, laughs nervously and too often, trying to win the approval of Milly by overreacting positively to most everything she says. When trouble hits, he reacts in a similarly showy fashion. Woodrow is very good at playing the victim and Glodell is very good at playing Woodrow. The rest of the cast is fine, but the story is about the boys and life through their eyes. There are some major violent moments that some may find disturbing. I won’t go into details, but I must say that whoever came up with the sound effect of a baseball bat solidly cracking someone in the noggin deserves a gold star. Bellflower has plenty of crude and nasty moments, all of which help realize the worldview of two twenty-somethings who worship Lord Humungus. Highly recommended. Screening May 24, 7 p.m. @ Earth House (237 N. East St.), $10; part of Indy Film Fest’s Spring Film Series. — ED JOHNSON-OTT
FILM CLIPS MEN IN BLACK III t (PG-13)
The Men in Black (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin) are back after a long absence, once again dealing with the vast number of outer space aliens living on Earth. The new film is considerable better than Men in Black II, but not as good as the original. This edition features more character development and heart. I like that, but the storyline takes over the film too often and more importantly, the production isn’t as funny as the original. A tip of the hat to director Barry Sonnenfeld and company for giving the franchise more substance, but why skimp on the laughs? Still, Men in Black III is generally clever and enjoyable. 106 minutes. —Ed Johnson-Ott
INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE
Take a guess at the primary sponsor of Wednesday’s screening of a new documentary about independent video game designers. The Indy Film Fest? The IMA? Activision? Colecovision? Well yes, those first two; but the headline sponsor is the Canadian Consulate, on a mission of goodwill from the great white north. Indie Game: The Movie, a 2012 product of Canada, depicts four developers working on three games without the aid (or interference) of established video game corporations. But the fun doesn’t stop with the screening: At long last, this is your chance to meet Canadian Consul General Roy Norton, on hand for the evening. Plus, there’ll be big-screen video gaming in both the Toby (new games) and DeBoest Hall (old games) from 4 p.m. Screening May 23, 7 p.m. @ The Toby, Indianapolis Museum of Art; $10 public, $7 students, Indy Film Fest and IMA members.
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FOOD Little short of perfect
The economical pleasures of Jamaican Style Jerk BY N E I L CH AR LE S N CH A RL E S @N UV O . N E T Before you order from this outstanding little literal hole in the wall, make sure you either have a good appetite or a few friends to help you out. Situated next to a liquor store on the east side of Keystone Avenue, Jamaican Style Jerk serves a short menu of deliciously authentic island dishes in generous portions. There’s only one table outside, so unless you’re either a fan of traffic fumes, or have no other choice but to eat in the parking lot, I suggest grabbing your to-go bag and either heading home or to the nearest park. This is food best enjoyed al fresco, preferably under a shade tree with a couple of cold ones. Unlike, for instance, Tex-Mex, with its sometimes blistering displays of raw pepper power, Caribbean cuisine is deep in flavor and rich in spice, but light on the heat. It instead reminds me more of the best of Indian food,
with its layers of complexity built upon subtle yet potent blends of dark spices. Jamaican Style Jerk specializes in barbecue, offering exceptional pork ribs cooked low and slow to a dark, almost caramelized ochre, not quite falling off the bone, but retaining a degree of firmness, allowing you to savor the richness. Served with a tangy house sauce, a generous handful of these beauties is a steal at $7.50. In a similar vein, half a slow-cooked jerk chicken for $10 is little short of perfect, and comes, as do the ribs, with a heaping side of peas (beans, to be precise) and rice, as well as a few generous slices of grilled plantain by way of a sweet counterpart to the dish’s otherwise predominantly savory character. One of each of these two dishes would provide ample food for three or four for a casual weekday dinner. And then there are the patties. Similar in form to the classic Cornish Pasty, from which I’m certain their name is derived, these spicy, savory treats consist of a generously-proportioned pastry case (flavored with turmeric, perhaps?) stuffed with either a mixture of ground beef or chicken and finely chopped vegetables. Packing a little bit of tingling heat, patties are conveniently portable, so can be easily eaten on the fly. At $2.25 apiece, and weighing in at around four ounces, these also represent a real bargain. On a recent visit, I also picked up a roasted tilapia, head, skin, bones and all, with the aforementioned sides, for $10. Simply done and subtly spiced, this highly forgiv-
BY RITA KOHN
NEW ORLEANS NIGHTS
15 Indiana craft brewers were upfront and personal at Tomlinson Tap Room on May 16 for the Indianapolis Monthly Beerfest. Sun King showcased the resealable Alumi-Tek bottles containing their superbly spiced and herbed collaboration, Sun King/Oskar Blues Chaka Belgian Style Ale. Beer Buzz arrived with only an hour ‘til closing, so I made the rounds quickly, equally savoring Bloomington Brewing’s smooth and buttery Ruby Bloom, Black Swan’s multi-layered lemony Hefeweizen, People’s palate cleansing English IPS, The Ram’s early version Barleywine, Oaken Barrel’s big American Wheat, Fountain Square’s nicely balanced White Out Oatmeal Stout and Flat12’s zesty
ing fish was cooked to the point where the flesh tore apart rather than sliced, allowing one to pull off generous chunks with the fingers. Enhanced with a squirt of lime and a splash of hot sauce, this hearty dish will transport you back to the islands. Jamaican Style Jerk also offers a variety of lunch specials until 2 p.m., and a goat curry on Wednesdays. If you’re planning to eat later in the day, it’s a good idea to call ahead to find out what they have left, as ribs in particular tend to sell out.
Jamaican Style Jerk 3355 N. Keystone Ave. (317) 926-1110
TUESDAY-THURSDAY: 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. FRIDAY: 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. SATURDAY: 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
FOOD: e SERVICE: r
Sun King is partnering with The Jazz Kitchen for a summer of brew specials, billed as New Orleans Nights, every Tuesday on the restaurant’s patio. NUVO was there recently to enjoy a sumptuous serving of Louisiana Shrimp Boil, which perfectly pairs with Sun King Osiris Pale Ale. Sunlight Cream Ale is pleasing alone or with an appetizer, accompanied by live music from the band of the evening. Wee Mac Scottish Ale is a lovely companion with any of Jazz Kitchen’s desserts. From start to finish, Jazz Kitchen’s crafted food is one of Indy’s best-kept secrets. Fresh meat from neighbor Kincaid’s and seasonal ingredients, along with an artistic plate presentation, make each dish pleasurable to behold and consume. Being in the midst of a vibrant evening scene at the corner of 54th and Corner is a treat. The wait staff proves itself knowledgeable about craft brew and food pairings. The only aspect for improvement is for Jazz Kitchen to set up a system to recycle bottles and cans. More information at 253-4900 or www.jazzkitchen.com
PHOTO BY MARK LEE
A container full of love from Jamaican Style Jerk.
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Pepper Beer. Also present and sharing were Barley Island, Bier, Three Pints, Thr3e Wise Men, Triton and Upland. We’ll catch them soon.
UPCOMING: MAY 23
Tomlinson Tap Room, Tappings & Tastings, 6-8 p.m., $20.
Flat12 with Smoking Goose Brewer-Butcher Tour on Dorman Street, begin 6:15 p.m. at Flat 12; $65 includes food, brews and tours, tickets at 638-6328.
Illiana Mayfest, at Lake County Fairgrounds hosted by Crown Brewing, 889 S. Court St. Crown Point. VIP, 1-6 p.m., $45; general admission, 2-6 p.m. $30; illianamayfest.com If you have an item for Beer Buzz, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for Beer Buzz is Thursday noon before the Wednesday of publication.
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music Music at the Murphy
Joyful Noise, MOKB Presents open new spaces
BY K A T H E RI N E C O P LE N K CO P L E N @N U V O . N E T
t’s no secret that the Murphy Art Center is home to some of the city’s most progressive and established artists. New exhibits and studios open there regularly and the crowds on IDADA’s First Fridays continue to grow unabated. As if all the already existing art and music weren’t enough, two local outfits are preparing to fill the space with exponentially more music. See page 27 for info about MOKB Presents’ and Joyful Noise Recordings’ new spaces. Our cover subject, Kishi Bashi, the slightly reorganized stage name of multiinstrumentalist K. Ishibashi, is known to most as a member of Athens, Ga. collective of Montreal and founder of NYC new wave group Jupiter One. However, it is his debut solo effort 151a that has truly distinguished this talented violist and occasional beatboxer. He spoke to me on the phone from his home in Virginia about his new album (funded through Kickstarter). He’ll release his debut effort with yet another side project on Joyful Noise in late 2012, will continue touring both with of Montreal and as a solo artist. NUVO: You’re currently wrapping up a tour with of Montreal, correct? ISHIBASHI: It was great, very rewarding. A lot of stuff happened in the last few months. I just haven’t had time to really think about anything but getting off tour.
ISHIBASHI: I started classical with violin (age 7) and piano, and kept up violin all through high school. At some point I got into new age music and heavy metal. I played guitar, like every other kid does. In college I studied jazz and improvisation a lot. I went to Cornell for two years and Berklee College of Music for three years. That’s where I did a lot of composition; I was a film scoring major.
ISHIBASHI: Yeah, she plays violin. She’s really good – she’s 6. NUVO: This album is so beautiful. How did the creative process progess?
ISHIBASHI: I went for a very positive feel for this album. I like dance music, I like all this other stuff. I like progressive music. I can take things to a really dark place. But for this album, I really focused on having a generally positive experience. I do like beautiful music. A lot of it has to do with my experience with classical music. I love classical music as much as I love other things; I’m a big Tchaikovsky, Beethoven fan. I grew up with that, that’s kind of who I am. I tried to tap from that. NUVO: Your music is often described as pop, but it’s so much more than that.
NUVO: Briefly sketch out your musical background.
NUVO: You have a young daughter. Does she play music?
ISHIBASHI: I’m not afraid of the word pop. I used to think pop music was cheesy, but pop just means it’s easy to listen to. I do write pop music. A lot of it came from my involvement with of Montreal. Since I became friends with Kevin Barnes, he tells me he writes pop music himself. I’m like, “Well if you write pop music, I guess I write pop music too.” It’s not something to be afraid of. It’s not something that’s just for myself, it’s more for everybody NUVO: Have you had any formal vocal training? ISHIBASHI: I took one lesson once. I have one rock and roll vocal book that I looked at when I started losing my voice. I used to be a singer in a rock band where you literally had to scream. I got some street training, I guess. NUVO: You learned from the streets.
Brad Paisley The Wake Bonnie Raitt
Melismatics Small Arms Fire Reckless Edward
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Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine
ISHIBASHI: Yeah, (laughs) vocal training from the streets. NUVO: When did you start beatboxing? ISHIBASHI: I always did it kind of for fun. I kind of did it out of necessity actually – NUVO: Beatboxed out of necessity? ISHIBASHI: Yeah, you know. For the streets. Life or death. No, basically, I started my solo project and decided I’m going to do everything myself. One of the things I could do was beatbox, so I did that with the loops. It actually sounds pretty cool. It’s also a performance aesthetic. I don’t do it in the studio, I just do it on stage. NUVO: Being part of a band, you’re a component of a whole musical production. When you’re doing everything yourself with a loop machine, you’re making all of those components yourself. Which experience do you prefer? ISHIBASHI: When you’re in a rock band, like of Montreal or Jupiter One, it’s a total party. It’s a fix you have, creatively, as an entertainer. My thing right now, as a solo thing without a band, it’s equally if not more satisfying because you get to connect with your audience emotionally that you can’t if you’re in a band. Or at least not if you’re in a live band – my experience has all been with very loud, aggressive bands ( laughs). Eventually I’m going to be a band, though.
ISHIBASHI: I played with a drummer in Europe and that worked out really well. I’m going to start incorporating that into my set. I’ll probably have a tour in the summer, I’ll have maybe a drummer. Basically, it allows me to bring it up to a level that I can’t as a solo artist NUVO: When did you make the move from New York City to where you are now (in Virginia)? ISHIBASHI: New York’s pretty intense. It’s pretty cutthroat, everyone works so hard and they’re kind of desperate, hungry because it’s so expensive to live there. People don’t have any time, because they have to work to [be able to] create. It was a very interesting time. And I left it for that reason. It was literally too stressful for me. I live in Virginia now. I spent time in Athens, Ga., where of Montreal is based. It’s kind of my second home. I got a taste of that life[in Athens], which is a great, bohemian place to be. It’s so cheap and everybody’s really nice and there’s a lot of music and a lot of musicians. There’s a utopia vibe for musicians. I got a taste of that and I left New York because I realized it was not that place for musicians. And that’s how I made the album, where I got the space to make it.
NUVO: How will you change your live setup?
Fort Francis Fountain Square Carnival The Ladybirds
KO Fair Fjora Memoryhouse Lee “Scratch” Perry
Kishi Bashi Wednesday, May 23 Joyful Noise 8 p.m., $10, all-ages
Heartbeat: Race Day Revelry Richard Lloyd at the Melody Inn The Wake
Daily Specials $2 Pints & $4 Jager Bombs! Monday
1/2 Price Drinks & Appetizers Free Pool Tuesday
50¢ Tacos | Buckets 5/$10 Wednesday
Bike Night! FREE Food | LIVE Music Thursday
50¢ Tacos | Buckets 5/$10 Friday
$4 Absolut & Captain Morgan Saturday
$4.50 Jack Daniels & Jack Honey Sunday
25¢ Wings | $2 Wells & Long Islands
Joyful Noise opens for business in the Murphy We spoke with Joyful Noise Recordings founder Karl Hofstetter about his label’s brand new space in Suite 207 of the Murphy. Part store, part office, part performance space, part gallery and part dog playground, it’s a permanent physical location for Joyful Noise to call home. Hofstetter and Shawn Woolfolk work full time in the space, along with a group of collaborators and part-time employees.
On First Fridays
“We’re going to do something every First Friday. The other performances that don’t fall on First Fridays will be when we have an affiliate of a label touring through. We’re definitely not making this a venue – it’s more just for the bands on our label to have a fun, intimate place to play. We might do some more stripped-down sets for bands that have larger ensembles, but we’re not considering this to be a venue that’s going to be having shows all the time. It will be more of a specialty space; in the way that we’re a boutique label, the live venue will be a boutique experience. We’ll have bands that are used to performing in front of several hundred people performing instead for 70 (the capacity of the room).”
On the space:
“We’re officially opening with Kishi Bashi. We’ve had a couple earlier shows that were soft opening. This is our first major event. It’s going to be really great because he is a solo performer that right now is playing in much larger places. He’s an incredible live performer. It will be really intimate. “After that, we’ll have Tim Kinsella on First Friday [June 1]. I’ve been a huge fan of his stuff for many years. He’s the creative force behind Joan of Arc and Cap’n Jazz and these legendary Chicago bands that are really important. We’ve released a lot of limited edition stuff from Joan of Arc and his other bands so he’s making a special trip down here.”
“The look and feel of the room is kind of Cory Barnes’ project. He’s put a lot of work into this room and continues to. We’ve got plans to make it even cooler. It sounds great in here. We thought we were going to need soundproofing foam and stuff, but we realized we don’t need it. As long as there are people here; it might be different if it was empty, but we’re expecting every show to be pretty packed. We’ve had the office here in the Murphy since the beginning of the year; before that we were just running [the label] out of the basement. The other space was on the third floor, but we didn’t realize how much of a pain it was going to be to have all of the boxes (gestures to boxes of records lining the walls) and moving them up all the stairs.”
On the exhibit space
On the drinks:
On Kishi Bashi:
“We’re displaying Jonathan McAfee’s paintings through June. After that, it’s going to be month to month and we’re going to feature local visual artists that we really like. The openings will always be on First Fridays for that month. We’re also just having regular open hours here from 12-4 p.m. on every work day. People can come in and buy tickets and records.”
“Upland is going to be serving beer here. All of our shows for the foreseeable future will have both beer and be all-ages.”
MOKB Presents opens new performance lounge
The space will also serve as the defacto home base for a project associated with MOKB Presents, the video production team LaundroMatinee. “LaundroMatinee is a great project, and something we always wanted to do was incorporate a live audience. Josh [Baker] saw the opportunity for this and has really pushed for us to do this,” said Lile. When the DO317 Lounge opened on Wednesday, LaundroMatinee was on hand to film a session with the Bonesetters. “Jeff [DuPont] and Doug [Fellegy] really own that project for us and I lean on them to tell me what I can do,” said Lile. “They’re the real skill and heart behind the project.” Tickets to events in the DO317 space can be acquired through a variety of ways – RSVPing on DO317.com, checking out the MOKB Presents Facebook page and entering drawings. Tickets to each show are limited “We’ll do enough session events to include [both] our loyal ticket buyers and the people who only make it out to a few shows a year,” said Baker. Having the extra room will allow MOKB Presents to program smaller shows they may not otherwise be able to find a home for, and will also provide a home base for the revolving crew of interns, and part- and full-time workers. “We get a lot of opportunity to do a lot of
Just down the hall from the Joyful Noise office resides the brand new DO317 Lounge, whose occupants have been furiously working for just over a month to outfit the former Big Car Gallery space. DO317, an interactive calendar associated with MOKB Presents, serves as a database of events and venues in the city and now has a permanent place to call home. Craig “Dodge” Lile and Josh Baker spoke to me about the new office cum performance space that will hold between 50-60 people. “The idea for this space came from our parent company DO512, who has a really nice lounge down in Austin,” said Lile. Last Wednesday, local roots rockers The Bonesetters christened the DO317 Lounge with a short set. The group,which formed in Muncie while members attended Ball State, released a full-length, Savages, in 2011.
Joyful Noise 1043 Virginia Ave. Suite 207 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday
Continued on page 28
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Continued from page 27
shows that we want to do, but aren’t financially viable. Having a space like this allows us the flexibility to do more,” said Lile. They plan to host approximately four to six shows a month in the new space. “Our plan is definitely to do something on First Fridays and then we’ll take the other events on a case by case basis,” said Lile. Baker is excited about moving the dayto-day operations out of his bedroom, the previous headquarters for DO317 and MOKB Presents. “We got really lucky with this space. We looked at it a couple of times, and Craig Von Deylen, who runs [the Murphy] was a big supporter of working with us and getting us in,” said Baker. “And after we met Brian Presnell [of Midwest Aesthetic and Design] who built out tons of spaces in this building, it all fell into place.” The lounge is furnished with a variety of locally sourced items, including picture frames turned sound defusers from the Artcraft Theatre; former church light fixtures from Domicile; and trusses from the Fountain Square Theater. “Brian Alvey supplied all these old PA speakers that Brian Presnell built the bar out of,” said Lile.
It was a group effort. “Everybody just really came together to make it quaint in here,” said Lile. The space can also be rented out (“Band practices, radio shows, karaoke parties, private practices, music video recordings” said Baker). “You may see film screenings in here. We don’t really know yet,” said Baker. The DO317 crew considers their new location to be the hottest spot for musical growth in the city. “[Fountain Square] is a place that we believe in and want to be a part of,” said Baker. Lile agrees. “We have a vision for this area. We really believe it’s the hub for music in Indianapolis, for creativity in general,” said Lile. “We want to be as close to that ground floor as we can.” The Lumineers, an alt-country trio out of Denver, Colo. will be the next group to take the DO317 stage. They’ll play a studio set this Friday. See NUVO.net for more information on how to get tickets to the event and see page 31 for their self-titled album.
DO317 Lounge 1043 Virginia Ave, Suite 215 See do317.com for hours and event info
Don’t call him alt-country Alejandro Escovedo at White Rabbit
NUVO: Where are you right now?
ESCOVEDO: I think it’s my best album ever. It’s a collection of really strong songs. There’s good rhythm in this album that I love. We wanted to focus on that, more rhythmic tunes and different kinds of rhythms. The material, in terms of subject matter, is really interesting. Even a song in Spanish that’s kind of trancelike (“Sabor a mí”).
ESCOVEDO: Chuck Prophet and I wrote that together. We wrote ten of the songs on the album together. We spent some time in Mexico, in Baja, surfing and stuff. I remember the first time we were there, we were really taken by the presence of the militia and the police and the armed guards that seemed to be everywhere. And that was a result of the fear that has been caused by the terrorism of the cartels. The song is about someone who really wants to be part of her community and help her community and see it foster, grow and become stronger. But she’s faced with a situation in which she has to defend her community and become a soldier in order to do that. It’s one of those songs in which you could live a very normal everyday life, but sometimes you’re forced to become something much more than you ever dreamed about.
ESCOVEDO: You know my brothers and my father first of all, they were pivotal in the way that I approach my music. I don’t play the same style as my brothers, but there’s a lot about my music that’s been influenced by them. The way we present ourselves and arrange our music and the way they relate to their bandmates [is alike]. There’s always been people. When I was a kid, I used to love Fats Domino, Chuck Berry.
Singer, songwriter, band leader, guitar player – Alejandro Escovedo’s career reads like a How To book on succeeding in the music industry. From the beginning of his musical career with his punk band The Nuns, to his tex-mex rock band Rank and File, to his now-fifteen full-length album run, Escovedo has provided a rich bounty of music for fans of almost every genre to enjoy. NUVO spoke to him in Iowa during the first week of his tour. He’ll perform at the White Rabbit Cabaret this Saturday.
NUVO: I hope it goes well for you in Sioux City. You just released Big Station. What can new listeners and old fans expect from your new record?
NUVO: Continuing with our discussion of Mexico – could you tell me a bit about the track “Sally Was a Cop?”
NUVO: You performed with Bruce Springsteen at South by Southwest. Did you catch his keynote address? It highlighted the different points of musical influence in his career. Could you trace your biggest musical influences?
BY K A T H E RI N E C O P L E N K CO P L E N @N U V O . N E T
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO: I’m in Sioux City, Iowa. Yesterday, we passed through Rockville and played the Daytrotter session there. It was really good, really beautiful. We ate lunch and moved on to Sioux City. It’s pretty strange little place. I don’t know what to think of it yet.
ESCOVEDO: It’s funny because my brothers sang in Spanish, but they didn’t speak in Spanish that much. But they were very convincing and it sounded very beautiful. I think that you have to have that sense of where the music comes from, and the lineage of the music and the emotional intensity. I don’t know if you can teach someone that, I think you have to be born with that, you have to feel it. But I feel it when I sing in English too; a song like “Rosalie” draws very much from the Mexican tradition of songwriting. And that’s a very emotional song.
NUVO: Have you recorded a song in Spanish before? If not, why now? ESCOVEDO: I never have. This is my first. I’ve wanted to for quite a while. I think for me, it was a matter of getting the confidence to actually sing in Spanish. In Spanish music, Spanish lyrics and Mexican songs, you really have to get the emotion down, the articulation down, the pronunciation down, to be convincing, you know. In our version, we kept the feeling of melancholy in the songs and the sense of romanticism that I love about Spanish music. I think we did a good job. NUVO: Singing in another language is so different than speaking it, because of the emotional component.
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by Wayne Bertsch
The Everly Brothers were huge for me. The soul singers that I grew up with – I went to the Ike and Tina Turner revue when I was twelve, the James Brown revue, Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke of course. When I started playing, guys like David Bowie and Ian Hunter. Iggy Pop, very major influence for me. The MC5 and the Velvet Underground. Those guys, that was the template for everything I did [after I heard them]. My first band, The Nuns – we were just trying to be a combination of The Stooges and The Velvet Underground, you know. As I developed as a guitar player and started to write songs, people like Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Joe Ely and all the awesome songwriters, all the great Texas songwriters, those were the ones who were really there when I started to write songs. I didn’t start to write songs until I was 30, when I moved to Austin. NUVO: I read an interesting interview with Slate where you spoke briefly about the curse of the “alt-country” tag. ESCOVEDO: I only say that because I’ve been making this music for a long time. When I was in Rank and File they called us countrypunk. That was just a term journalists invented. It’s just such a broad term, if you really think about it. It’s so much more than Son Volt and Wilco; all those bands that are great bands. Even they don’t like that tag any more. NUVO: What would you offer as a substitution for a journalist [like me!]. ESCOVEDO: I think of myself as a rock and roll songwriter. That’s all I’ve really been interested in was rock and roll and how to create something new within that. It’s very old and tried and true, but there’s so much expression within that you’re capable of doing. It’s hard to pinpoint my music in the first place I think. Certainly when I was associated with No Depression and Bloodshot Records, those were good years and I made good records. It did help me a lot and I’m not turning my back on it. I’m just not there anymore.
Big Station will be released June 5. Alejandro Escovedo Saturday, May 26 White Rabbit Cabaret, 1116 Prospect St. 8 p.m., $18, 21+
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Musical and duranguense
A recent Friday night found me in my favorite part of Indy, the Westside. I was at Chispas Nightclub to catch a live performance by Alacranes Musical – an important and hugely popular MexicanAmerican band from Chicago, Illinois. Since releasing their first LP in 2003, Alacranes have maintained a constant presence on the Latin music charts. The group specializes in a genre of music known as duranguense. During the late 1990s, Alacranes played a key role in the development of the duranguense style. Although not widely known outside the Latin music scene, duranguense is perhaps the most significant new genre of music to emerge from the Midwest since the rise of Chicago house and Detroit techno during the 1980s. Before the concert I spoke with saxophonist and founding member of Alacranes, Oscar Urbina Jr. Urbina gave me the inside story on Alacranes Musical and the birth of duranguense music. NUVO: Can you tell me how the duranguense music scene developed in Chicago? OSCAR URBINA JR.: We were one of the main bands that started the whole movement back around 1999. It was a local style of music in Chicago and the suburbs at first. But slowly and surely it grew and around 2003 the big major labels started coming around to check it out. That’s when we got our opportunity, along with about four or five other bands in the area who were really popular. Once we were signed to a major label, we started traveling out of state, playing bigger concerts and bigger venues. Everything started growing slowly and a couple years later you have this phenomenon called duranguense. Thanks to all our fans we’ve been able to achieve gold records and platinum records. We created a movement and we put Chicago on the map for Hispanic music. NUVO: How would you describe the sound of duranguense music to NUVO readers who might not be familiar with regional Mexican music genres? URBINA: A lot of people, especially those who aren’t familiar with Mexican music, right away they assume it’s mariachi. It’s not! If you’ve ever heard banda music, then you have a good idea of what duranguense sounds like. NUVO: So what makes duranguense unique from banda? URBINA: Duranguense is similar to banda, but we added synthesizers. Duranguense is more electronic then banda. The banda groups have the brass and wind
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PHOTO BY ARTUR SILVA
instruments. Banda groups use a tuba. But we have an electronic tuba, we use the Yamaha DX-7. That’s a big difference in the sound right there. We took banda to a different level. NUVO: Since duranguense was born in Chicago, I’m curious if your fans in Mexico consider the genre to be authentic Mexican music. URBINA: Yes, they consider it 100 percent Mexican. Our story is different from the way things usually happen in the Hispanic music scene. Usually an artist gets big in Mexico first and then they make their way to the United States. For us, it was the other way around. People in Mexico were waiting for the duranguense bands from the U.S., particularly the groups from Chicago. As soon as the duranguense bands started making their way down to Mexico the whole scene just blew up. NUVO: Tribal music from Monterrey is getting big right now. What are your thoughts on 3Ball MTY and the growing popularity of tribal? URBINA: It’s a new era and we respect those artists. Music is like fashion; every three or four years something new comes out. Who wears an Ed Hardy shirt now? Two years ago everybody wore them, now it’s just not happening. But I have nothing but respect for musicians who are coming out with new styles, because in our time we did it and now they’re doing it and it’s their time to shine. NUVO: Future plans for Alacranes Musical? URBINA: We have a fresh new record contract with our label Universal. We are going to be recording again soon and continue touring. Hopefully, in October or November, we’re planning to hit Mexico for a tour. We haven’t been there in about three years because of the whole situation there. We’re trying to put all the pieces together with security and just be very careful about who we work with. Kyle Long creates a custom podcast for each column. See this week’s online at NUVO.net.
SOUNDCHECK Thursday & Friday
ROOTS THE LUMINEERS
Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St. 8 p.m., sold out, 21+
The rising alt-country trio that makes up The Lumineers have sold out two shows at Radio Radio on Thursday and Friday. They’ll play with The Bears of Blue River on Friday and Houndmouth on Thursday. You may not be able to get tickets, but you can still pick up a copy of their self-titled debut record at your local independent record store. See our review of the album below.
ROCK LAZY HAWK PROM ANNIVERSARY SHOW
Rock House 3940 S. Keystone Ave. 8 p.m., $7, 21+
This show celebrates a year of Lazy Hawk Promotions shows and a wedding anniversary to boot. Veseria will be releasing their new album, Cities Made of Gin and our very own Wayne Bertsch will be giving away comics. There’s more lottery items in the mix, including a guitar from Hare Guitars. Also playing: Black Cat Rebellion, Harley Poe, Model Stranger, Sethro Kempf and Mr. Clit and the Pink Cigarettes.
ROCK MAY DAY
Klipsch Music Center, 12880 E. 146th St. 3 p.m., prices vary, all-ages
Local rockers Phoenix on the Fault Line and KaleidoStars will join Neon Trees, Staind, Dirty Heads, Sleeper Agent, Walk the Moon and Eve 6 the X103’s annual festival, May Day. It’s not technically a 500-affiliated event (see our coverage on page 14), but you can revel here all the same. FOLK BEN SOLLEE Radio Radio, 1119 Prospect St. 8 p.m., $10 advance, $12 at door, 21+ Frequent collaborators Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck have rolled through town in the last few months, and now it’s Ben Sollee’s turn. The cellist, vocalist and Kentucky native has spent
REVIEWS THE LUMINEERS SELF-TITLED SELF-RELEASED
e The debut full-length record from The Lumineers wallops with a roots-rock punch of backwoods-via-NYC soul, mixed with giddy realism and music both surprising and powerful. Riding the rootsy sound revival, the Denver, Colo.-based band, was founded by two New York City guys, guitarist Jeremiah Fraites and drummer Wesley Schultz. They added multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek through a Craigslist ad when the pair moved west. They have been touring with another guitarist and bass player. When they roll into Indianapolis for two soldout performances at Radio Radio, it is with a self-titled debut full-length effort that reflects an Avett Brothers influence, but has echoes of an acoustic Gaslight Anthem, Springsteen-esque musical spiritualism, Arcade Fire majesty and a hint of Blood on the Tracks -era Dylan.
plenty of time on the road, but it hasn’t always been in a car or van. He biked 300 miles, pulling 60 pounds of equipment and his cello behind him on a tour that stopped at 2009’s Bonnaroo. His album Dear Companion, a collaboration with Daniel Martin Moore and featuring Jim James of My Morning Jacket and the folkies in Monsters of Folk, focused on environmental activism, particularly mountaintop removal in coal mining.
Deluxe at Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey 7:30 p.m., $17, 18+
England pretty much wrote the book on rock and roll. Now they¹re putting their stamp on eccentric indie pop, heretofore mainly the domain of other parts of Europe and the United States. Graffiti6, the winning duo of London vocalist Jamie Scott and producer Tommy D, scored with debut Colours, reissued stateside by Capitol Records this year. A bed of slinky, smooth piano- and guitarbased grooves offers the perfect platform for Scott¹s neo-soul stylings. It¹s music to ponder as much as dance to. Malaysian-born musician Yuna opens the show. Touring behind her self-titled debut, she once described her sound as ”cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay.”
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DANCE MAJOR LAZER, FLOSSTRADAMUS The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave. 9 p.m., $20 in advance, $22 at door, 21+
In the beginning, there were lazers. DJs Diplo and Switch made up the breakout dance duo Major Lazer, whose Caribbean-influenced tracks have kept crowds spinning on the dance floor since the release of Guns Don’t Kill People...Lazers Do in 2009. The album highlights the subgenres of Jamaica’s dancehall scene and has been picked up by DJs in clubs across the world. They’ve used their major music cred to grab vocal spots by Santigold, Busy Signal, Nina Sky, Mr. Vegas, Ricky Blaze, Prince Zimboo, Turblance and many more. Switch left the group late last year due to creative differences, but Diplo ‘s (short for Diplodocus, as in yes, the dinosaur) star has only continued to rise. A second full-length album is pending, but several mixtapes and singles have been released in the three years since project’s formation.
“Ho Hey” is the song they have been playing on the TV stops (in the past two months, the band has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and on Conan) and smartly builds with shouted backing vocals, a kick drum banging in 4/4 time and a loose recording full of talk and echo. “Stubborn Love” is a melancholy ode to not letting go even when you should, driven by acoustic guitar and violin. “The Big Parade” mines gospel roots (“All my life I was blind, now I see”), with a soft, incessant backbeat. “Flowers in Your Hair” opens the record with Dylan storytelling, a short two-minute taste of what is to come. “Classy Girls” follows, telling the story of a meeting at a bar, a fullon narrative with a thrilling chorus. “Morning Song” ends the album with a crashing electric guitar and lots of space to sing about a girl leaving. Jeff Tweedy and Wilco would be proud. Songs reward patience, as opening notes build to include more instruments. The cinematic words and sugar-coated rustic hooks lead to am anthemic, gospel-stomping, American rock. — Rob Nichols 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // music
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NEWS OF THE WEIRD
Plus, bizarre human adventures Britain’s ITV1 television network announced plans in April to accept “prop placements” to blend into production of its new reality talent show in which actors compete for the lead role in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The network said, for example, that it was seeking coffee machines, which piqued the interest of the De’Longhi brand manager, who offered its top-of-the-line Magnifica ESAM4200 and, according to its public relations firm, suggested perhaps interrupting the play’s climactic song “The Crucifixion” while Jesus savors a cup brewed from the Magnifica. An April report in London’s The Independent noted that the opera’s composer, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, was on board with the idea, but that the original lyricist, Sir Tim Rice, called it “tasteless” and “tacky.”
What Goes Around NOTE: From time to time, News of the Weird reminds readers that bizarre human adventures repeat themselves again and again. Here are some choice selections of previous themes recently coming around again (plus a couple of updates on earlier stories): • Each spring in Dongyang, China, the aroma of urine is in the air -- specifically, the town’s specialty of eggs boiled in the discharge of young boys (under age 10, typically gathered “fresh” from toilets at local schools). Townspeople have believed for centuries that the eggs, properly cooked, bring health and prosperity. “By eating these eggs,” one shopper told a Reuters reporter in March, “we will not have any pain in our waists, legs and joints. Also, you will have more energy when you work.” In fact, Dongyang officials have proudly proclaimed “virgin boy eggs” as an “intangible cultural heritage.” • And once again this spring, the Chinese marked the Qingming holiday with celebrations honoring the dead by making offerings to their deceased relatives. At the “tomb-sweeping” festival, people present paper replicas of items their ancestors are believed to need in the afterlife. Uncreative relatives give play money, but the offerings can be elaborate, such as shoes, cars and TV sets, or this year’s hot item -- paper iPads, which were selling in Hong Kong for the equivalent of about $3. • Sound Familiar? McDonald’s still proudly serves its coffee hot, notwithstanding the notorious 1992 lawsuit for burns suffered by Stella Liebeck. In March 2012, Mona Abdelal filed a lawsuit in Cook County, Ill., over severe burns that her granddaughter, 4, suffered when fetching Abdelal’s coffee order from a McDonald’s server. According to the lawsuit, the server vio-
lated company policy that requires tightly closed lids on coffee cups and prohibits handing the cups to young children even if they are tightly sealed. • With Afghanistan’s moralistic Taliban in retreat, one social scourge grows stronger than ever (according to an April Washington Post dispatch from Dehrazi): “bacha bazi,” which are Afghan men’s “dancing boys.” Underage, often poor or fatherless kids become willing “companions” of wealthy men, often for sex. Since young girls are sheltered and chaperoned, only boys are available. Said one man, “You cannot (even) take a wife with you to a party, but a boy you can take anywhere.” The usefulness of a bacha bazi typically ends when he starts growing facial hair, and the boys often drift into becoming pimps or prostitutes. • The most recent government employee to defraud his agency’s worker compensation program (according to prosecutors in Los Angeles) is firefighter Rafael Davis, 35, who received disability payments for about 30 months during 2008-2011 while at the same time engaging in mixed martial arts matches as “The Noodle.” Davis’ record (according to LA Weekly) was 12-2, with seven of those matches coming during his disability period, including six victories. “MMA” (as noted by the newspaper) requires similar “stamina, muscle and coordination” as is required for firefighting. • More and more newspapers are assigning reporters to pore through local birth records to sample the diversity of names parents are giving their kids these days. An Edmonton Journal reporter noted in March that the nearly 51,000 babies born in the province of Alberta in 2011 included a boy named Moo, two girls named Unique, an Einstein, a Messiah, a J-Cub, a Smiley, a Tuff, a Tuba, a Jazz, a Camry, an Andromeda and an Xxavier (sic), and a boy named R and a girl named J. • An increasingly mainstream treatment for the gastrointestinal bacterial infection C. difficile involves transplanting the contents of a healthy colon into the unhealthy one, on the belief that the best way to kill the destructive germs and flora is to attack them with the beneficial bacteria and flora that already reside in a healthy colon. In March an unidentified man in Sydney, New Brunswick, who had been turned down for a transplant by doctors at Cape Breton Regional Hospital, performed a risky transplant of an unreported substance, by himself, in his own bathroom. He apparently suffered no ill effects, but doctors told the Chronicle Herald of Halifax, Nova Scotia, that since the “product” must get into the large bowel, merely giving yourself an enema does not assure success. • Through the years, unusual highway tractor-trailer spills have fascinated News of the Weird readers -- such as the time a truck carrying pork collided with a truck carrying eggs, creating a highway dish of ham and eggs. In March on Highway 11 in northeastern Ontario, a Brinks tractor-trailer carrying nothing but $1 and $2 Canadian coins hit a boul-
news of the weird // 05.23.12-05.30.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
der in the roadway, scattering a “debris field” of millions of dollars, forcing the closing of the road. Among the cleanup equipment required: a “magnetic” crane and a front-end loader that scooped up most of the soil in the field so that the coins could later be sifted out. • Least Competent Criminals: (1) In Twin Falls, Idaho, in April, Dylan Contreras, 19, became the most recent person arrested while trying to avoid police by giving a fake name (“Velesco”) even though his real name (the one on outstanding warrants) was tattooed in plain sight on his forearm. (2) In April, a teller at Chicago’s Northwest Side bank became the most recent to thwart a robbery simply by telling the perp (who had presented a holdup note) that the bank is now closed and suggesting that the robber come back the next day. (The perp walked out and did not return.)
• Fine Points of the Law: A woman who was injured while traveling on business in November 2007 in New South Wales, Australia, was denied worker’s compensation by the workplace safety tribunal on the grounds that the injury occurred in her motel room while she was having sex with a friend. (A wall light fixture came loose as a result of the pair’s vigorous antics.) However, in April 2012, Australia’s Federal Court overturned the decision and granted the compensation, ruling that since the
woman was on assignment at the time, the overnight stay, and even the sex, were “ordinary incidents” of the situation her employer placed her in. • A New York City system-gaming public school teacher, Alan Rosenfeld, 66, continues to show up for makework (such as photocopying “duty”), at a salary of $100,000 a year, rather than retire. Rosenfeld was accused in 2001 of making lewd comments to female students in his typing class and removed from classroom duty, but he protested and continues to exercise his union “due process” rights. In a January status report, the New York Post noted that Rosenfeld could have retired four years ago, but that by remaining on the “job,” the value of his pension increases, and the light duty enables him to conduct his real estate business while at “work.” • Fun for Everyone: The Ahlgrim Family Funeral Services in Palatine, Ill. (first reported in News of the Weird in 1991), continues to serve its community with the unique game room in the basement that it rents out for parties (except during actual funeral events). Even though the arcade games, shuffleboard and billiards are popular, the main basement attraction is still the nine-hole miniature golf course with its own “hazard” rules (e.g., two-stroke penalty for disturbing a “grave” on the course). Thanks This Week to John Ellwood and Jim Schneider, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
©2011 CHUCK SHEPHERD DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@ earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.
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Advertisers running in the CERTIFIED MASSAGE THERAPY section have graduated from a massage therapy school associated with one of four organizations:
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American Massage Therapy Association (amtamassage.org)
International Massage Association (imagroup.com)
Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (abmp.com)
International Myomassethics Federation (888-IMF-4454)
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): “My soul is a fire that suffers if it doesn’t burn,” said Jean Prevost, a writer and hero of the French Resistance during World War II. “I need three or four cubic feet of new ideas every day, as a steamboat needs coal.” Your soul may not be quite as blazing as his, Aries, and you may normally be able to get along fine with just a few cubic inches of new ideas per day. But I expect that in the next three to four weeks, you will both need and yearn to generate Prevost-type levels of heat and light. Please make sure you’re getting a steady supply of the necessary fuel. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Here’s a great question to pose on a regular basis during the next three weeks: “What’s the best use of my time right now?” Whenever you ask, be sure to answer with an open mind. Don’t assume that the correct response is always, “working with white-hot intensity on churning out the masterpiece that will fulfill my dreams and cement my legacy.” On some occasions, the best use of your time may be doing the laundry or sitting quietly and doing nothing more than watching the world go by. Here’s a reminder from philosopher Jonathan Zap: “Meaning and purpose are not merely to be found in the glamorous, dramatic moments of life.” GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “Sometimes I think and other times I am,” said French poet Paul Valery. Most of us could say the same thing. From what I can tell, Gemini, you are now entering an intensely “I am” phase of your long-term cycle -- a time when it will be more important for you to exclaim “woohoo!” than to mutter “hmmm;” a time to tune in extra strong to the nonverbal wisdom of your body and to the sudden flashes of your intuition; a time when you’ll generate more good fortune by getting gleefully lost in the curious mystery of the moment than by sitting back and trying to figure out what it all means. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Don’t pretend you can’t see the darkness. Admit to its presence. Accept its reality. And then, dear Cancerian, walk nonchalantly away from it, refusing to fight it or be afraid of it. In other words, face up to the difficulty without becoming all tangled up in it. Gaze into the abyss so as to educate yourself about its nature, but don’t get stuck there or become entranced by its supposedly hypnotic power. I think you’ll be amazed at how much safety and security you can generate for yourself simply by being an objective, poised observer free of melodramatic reactions. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): It’s OK with me if you want to keep the lion as your symbolic animal, Leo. But I’d like to tell you why I’m proposing that you switch over to the tiger, at least for now. People who work with big cats say that lions tend to be obnoxious and grouchy, whereas tigers are more affable and easy to get along with. And I think that in the coming weeks it’ll be important for you to be like the tiger. During this time, you will have an enhanced power to cultivate friendships and influence people. Networking opportunities will be excellent. Your web of connections should expand. By the way, even though lions are called kings of the jungle, tigers are generally bigger, more muscular, and better fighters. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In 1977, the first Apple computers were built in a garage that Steve Jobs’ father provided for his son and Steve Wozniak to work in. (You can see a photo of the holy shrine here: tinyurl.com/ AppleGarage.) I suggest you think about setting up your own version of that magic place sometime soon: a basement, kitchen, garage, warehouse, or corner of your bedroom that will be the spot where you fine-tune your master plan for the coming years -- and maybe even where you begin working in earnest on a labor of love that will change everything for the better.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I have a head’s up for you, Libra. Do your best to avoid getting enmeshed in any sort of “he said/ she said” controversy. (Of course it could be a “he said/he said” or “she said/she said” or “trans said/ intersex said” brouhaha, too -- you get the idea.) Gossip is not your friend in the week ahead. Trying to serve as a mediator is not your strong suit. Becoming embroiled in personal disputes is not your destiny. In my opinion, you should soar free of all the chatter and clatter. It’s time for you to seek out big pictures and vast perspectives. Where you belong is meditating on a mountaintop, flying in your dreams, and charging up your psychic batterie s in a sanctuary that’s both soothing and thrilling. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In some Australian aborigine cultures, a newborn infant gets two names from the tribal elders. The first is the name everybody knows. The second is sacred, and is kept secret. Even the child isn’t told. Only when he or she comes of age and is initiated into adulthood is it revealed. I wish we had a tradition similar to this. It might be quite meaningful for you, because you’re currently navigating your way through a rite of passage that would make you eligible to receive your sacred, secret name. I suggest we begin a new custom: When you’ve completed your transformation, pick a new name for yourself, and use it only when you’re conversing with your ancestors, your teachers, or yourself. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Please raise your hand if you have ever sought out a romantic connection with someone mostly because of the way he or she looked. You shouldn’t feel bad if you have; it’s pretty common. But I hope you won’t indulge in this behavior any time soon. In the coming weeks, it’s crucial for you to base your decisions on deeper understandings -- not just in regards to potential partners and lovers, but for everything. As you evaluate your options, don’t allow physical appearance and superficial attractiveness to be the dominant factors. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): The 21st flight of the 4.5-billion-pound Space Shuttle Discovery was supposed to happen on June 8, 1995. But about a week before its scheduled departure, workers discovered an unforeseen problem. Northern Flicker Woodpeckers had made a mess of the insulation on the outer fuel tank; they’d pecked a couple of hundred holes, some quite deep. To allow for necessary repairs, launch was postponed for over a month. I’m choosing this scenario to serve as a useful metaphor for you, Capricorn. Regard it as your notice not to ignore a seemingly tiny adversary or trivial obstacle. Take that almost-insignificant pest seriously. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It’s official: Dancing increases your intelligence. So says a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Unfortunately, research found that swimming, bicycling, and playing golf are not at all effective in rewiring the brain’s neural pathways. Doing crossword puzzles is somewhat helpful, though, and so is reading books. But one of the single best things you can do to enhance your cognitive functioning is to move your body around in creative and coordinated rhythm with music. Lucky you: This is a phase of your astrological cycle when you’re likely to have more impulses and opportunities to dance. Take advantage! Get smarter. (More info: tinyurl.com/DanceSmart.) PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Your animal totem for the next phase of your astrological cycle is a creature called a hero shrew. Of all the mammals in the world, it has the strongest and heaviest spine proportionate to its size. This exceptional attribute makes the tiny animal so robust that a person could stand on it without causing serious harm. You will need to have a backbone like that in the coming weeks, Pisces. Luckily, the universe will be conspiring to help you. I expect to see you stand up to the full weight of the pressures coming to bear on you -and do it with exceptional charisma.
Homework: Write your ultimate personal ad. Address it to your current partner if you’re already paired. Share it with me at Freewillastrolo gy.com.
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