THIS WEEK in this issue
JULY 25 - AUGUST 1, 2012 VOL. 23 ISSUE 19 ISSUE #1163
special pullout BEST OF 2012 Here we vote again. Welcome to our annual poll where you, the NUVO reader, get to take over. NUVO’s Best Of is now well over 20 years old, and through it, you get to hold forth your favorite … well just about everything, when it comes to Indianapolis: music, food, drink, the arts and culture … So take a look and feast upon your choices for the BEST in Indianapolis and beyond!
OREO JONES RULES THE INDY UNIVERSE
In a remarkably short period of time, Oreo Jones has rocketed to the apex of the Indianapolis hip-hop scene, capturing top honors as an emcee in NUVO’s 2012 Best Of Indy poll — a feat he accomplished without a full-length album release under his belt. But that’s about to change, as Jones and his label Rad Summer finish production work on his debut LP, Betty.
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A&E CLASSIFIEDS COVER STORY FOOD FREE WILL ASTROLOGY HAMMER HOPPE MOVIES MUSIC NEWS WEIRD NEWS
BY KYLE LONG
from the readers Pick yourself — and your bike — back up
I started biking this summer, too (“Epic cycling fail,” Katelyn Coyne, July 20). Not commuting to work or any long distances, but a good ride every weekend. Then the weather got awful and I quit. I can’t seem to get back to it either. Some personal disappointments in my life and a general feeling of hopelessness about things. Hoping when it cools off I can try again because I love the way I felt on the bike. Take a break — it’s not the end of the world. Good luck!
Living the high life
Bureaucratic runaround, uncooperative people and pass-the-buck-attitude is everyday life for a reporter (“NUVO reporter’s rights denied at protest,” Kelly Lynch, July 18). Though you should not be so gullible, there’ll always be people claiming whatever to get the reporter out or not to come
in at all. Still, this being a first assignment and all, hopefully colleagues at least took the poor girl out for drinks. Should you stick with the job, you’ll be denied, thrown out, ridiculed, threatened and eventually beaten and arrested at least once during your time in it — If you’re a true reporter, that is. And do your job the right way. The slob jobs are this way and the high life that way.
corrections Last week’s story on Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre’s production of Othello [“Shakespeare on the Canal’s Othello,” Katelyn Coyne, July 18-25] suggested that Indy Parks was involved in funding Shakespeare on the Canal until last year. In fact, Indy Parks has never funded Shakespeare on the Canal; rather, last year’s cancellation of the production was precipitated by The Clowes Fund’s decision to discontinue funding for the Family Arts Series, of which Shakespeare on the Canal was a part.
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HAMMER Sticking to our guns
The American tragedy continues
BY STEVE HAMMER SHAMMER@NUVO.NET
y the time this column sees print, the media will have covered every conceivable aspect of the mass murder in Aurora, Colo. Within 24 hours, in fact, just about everything there was to have been said about the terrorist attack — for that is what it was — had been said. What wasn’t headline news was all the shootings that didn’t occur over the weekend. On Friday night, I ate at a nice restaurant and heard no gunfire. On Saturday, no shootings occurred while we watched my wife’s friend’s amateur sports team play, nor at the restaurant where we dined afterward. On Sunday, I watched an exhibition soccer game on TV from Wrigley Field, also uninterrupted by shooting. Given the great number of crazy people with guns in this nation, we should be grateful that this kind of tragedy doesn’t take place every day. I know a lot of gun collectors and almost every last one of them is a prescription drug addict, an anti-government radical, just plain fucking crazy or some combination thereof. I knew a girl who legally purchased a firearm so she could blow her brains out, which she did quite effectively. I know other people who bought enough firearms to make themselves a target for burglary of those guns. I’m grateful for each day that goes by where some crazy person doesn’t pull out an automatic weapon and start spraying the crowd wherever I am. I’ve been to hundreds upon hundreds of movies, sporting events, concerts and malls in my life and have yet to catch a single bullet. But this is America, where we worship our guns. It could happen at any time. And that so-called law-abiding citizen with a closet full of automatic rifles is just one bad drug binge, drink or emotional catastrophe away from being the guy in Colorado. It must be tough to be a pro-gun activist when something like this happens. Time after time, the politicians in the National Rifle Association’s pocket, which is to say, all Republicans and most Democrats, were interviewed on TV.
They agreed that, yes, this was an incredible tragedy and we should pray for the victims. Their hearts go out to the families affected. But when the follow-up question comes about stopping someone from buying enough guns and ammo to kill so many people, their tone changes. “Let’s not rush to any conclusions,” they say. “Let’s get all the facts first.” Well, we already have the facts. The shooter acquired all his weapons and ammunition legally. This is America, where you can buy as many guns as you want. He didn’t break any laws until he started shooting in the theater. When things like this happen, gun freaks like to point out that if everyone in the theater had been armed, the gunman would have gotten fewer shots. Maybe. It’d be more likely that more innocent people would have been hit with bullets from would-be heroes. We all know the drill. In just a few more days, most people will forget about this event and nothing will change. We will never see effective gun control in our lifetimes because, unlike the free-speech lobby, and unlike the pro-justice lobby, the pro-gun lobby has the money to buy up all the politicians they need. For historical precedent, look back to the murder of John Lennon on Dec. 8, 1980. It stunned the world. Ronald Reagan was the president-elect and was asked for his reaction. “What can anyone say?” he told reporters. “It’s a great tragedy.” But no, he said, he wasn’t in favor of any new gun control laws. To give him credit, Reagan stuck to that belief — to his guns, if you will — less than four months later, after someone shot him with a legally obtained handgun. If the deaths of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Lennon and around 9,000 other Americans each year isn’t enough to bring an end to this madness, nothing will. Do these SecondAmendment fundamentalists care more about guns or people? It’s a fair question under the circumstances. Does the right to bear arms exist so that people like Ted Nugent can go elk hunting with an AK-47 or so that a junkie can rob someone in an inner city? If so, you can have those rights back. As I said, it’s useless to even talk about gun control. Only when an event like this happens is the taboo about even discussing it lifted temporarily. Americans love guns. We love to shoot things. Sometimes the things we shoot happen to be innocent people at a high school, a congresswoman, a Beatle or people whose only crime was to want to see the new Batman movie. It’s the American way — great tragedy.
It’s useless to even talk about gun control.
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Trash talking about Obama What’s left of civility
BY DAVID HOPPE DHOPPE@NUVO.NET
hen George Washington was just a lad — a teenager in the days before people used that term — he is said to have copied a list of 110 “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” These rules date back to 1595, and were first compiled by French Jesuits. Among them: “Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present;” “Use no Reproachful Language against any one neither Curse nor Revile;” and “Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice, ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexterously upon it…” Today, many observers mourn what they consider the lack of civility in contemporary American life. Just when civility started going down our collective drain is difficult to pinpoint, although I would say I started noticing a marked turn toward the coarsening of public discourse during the 1980s, when the presidency of Ronald Reagan seemed to grant talk radio blowhards like Rush Limbaugh a newfound permission to babble on about grudges and resentments dating back to the New Deal. This commercially profitable trash talking presented itself as a truth-telling counterweight to what its practitioners liked to call “political correctness.” Voices on the Left eventually answered in kind and today’s polarized political scene is the result. Under these circumstances, civility is easy to mourn. But, given this country’s investment in its rebellious roots, it is just as easy to mock. Civility, after all, is a benign form of hypocrisy, a pulled punch more akin to aristocratic decorum than telling it like it is. What we might lose in terms of our ability to transcend differences, we gain in the ability to express our true selves, regardless of what others might do, or who might be hurt. No public figure has inspired as far-reaching an assault on civility as the sitting President of the United States, Barack Obama. This is ironic in that Obama made bipartisan cooperation one of his administration’s priorities. As Ryan Lizza wrote in The New Yorker, Obama went so far as to meet with conservative pundits shortly after his election, displaying what turned out to be a misplaced confidence in his opposition’s commitment to a civil political process. But that’s not all. From promoting a health care reform package espoused by conservative think tanks and test-driven by Republican governor and Obama’s presidential opponent Mitt Romney, to
the bailing out of Wall Street bankers, the aggressive use of drone weaponry and the expansion of domestic oil drilling — not to mention an unsettling willingness to use Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as bargaining chips in budget negotiations — Obama, like the previous Democrat president, Bill Clinton, has demonstrated a penchant for appropriating positions and policies with Republican pedigrees before Republicans themselves were awake enough to fully claim them. Obama, it can be argued, has driven Republicans farther to the right in their increasingly manic effort to differentiate themselves from his center-right agenda. When people knock Republicans for their failure to come up with ideas of their own, this is why: Obama has beaten them to most of the practical stuff on their to-do list. Just as Republicans, in their vexation over his hijacking ideas like NAFTA and the dismantling of financial regulations, turned Clinton’s presidency into a running battle having to do with his hedonistic, 1960s-derived character, so have they tried to make Obama’s identity the primary issue of his presidency. But this is where things get complicated, even for the most civility-challenged among us. That’s because Barack Obama is our first African American president. Many of us, myself included, considered Obama’s election in 2008 a watershed moment in American history. A country that, at its founding, had an economy greatly dependent on African slave labor, allowed and enforced Jim Crow laws into the 1960s, and continued to wrestle with racial inequality, could still elect Barack Hussein Obama its president seemed on the verge of a new era. But while our society’s remaining sense of civility has made openly hateful rhetoric about African American people taboo in supposedly polite society, deep anxiety and suspicion about race remain. Nothing chills some white people like the news that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, black, Hispanic, Asian and mixedrace births made up 50.4 percent of American babies born in the year ending July 2011. America the beautiful can no longer be confused with America the white. While the remaining shreds of our civility are still enough to keep many of Obama’s foes from openly attacking his race, these vestiges have not prevented a disgruntled chorus from questioning his national origin, his religion, or even the validity of his Harvard education. Unwilling to speak directly to the demographic inevitability they cannot bring themselves to accept, they cloak their latent racism in conspiracy theories and accusations that Obama is somehow other than the rest of us. From the tone of the more rambunctious of these attacks, it seems Obama’s haters would squash him like a deer tick if they could. The rest of us are watching, though — so far civility prevails.
No public figure has inspired as farreaching an assault on civility.
by Wayne Bertsch
HAIKU NEWS by Jim Poyser
Aurora killings evocative of a Don DeLillo novel greatest country on earth continues to prove why it’s anything but USA Today poll says most want to ogle Romney’s massive wealth slackers lack concern about climate change just like everybody else nation’s breadbasket becomes burnbasket as drought chokes life from the soil Ford recalls Escapes since drivers might want to flee their burning engines Chik-fil-A boss view on gay marriage will spawn more vegetarians Olympic athletes’ greatest achievement may be breathing London air Judge Dreyer slams both IBM and Mitch Daniels; taxpayers were screwed Hoosier pastor run over by wife at food bank puzzling all faithful
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THUMBSUP THUMBSDOWN LIFE WELL LIVED
Kinney, the peregrine falcon who lived atop Downtown’s Market Tower, died last week at 19 years old. The bad news is that it appears he may have died as a result of collision with the building. “It’s certainly unfortunate,” John Castrale, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources nongame bird biologist, said in a news release announcing the death. “But the average age of a breeding peregrine is 6 to 7 years, so he’s beaten the odds and lived a long, productive life.” Kinney fathered an estimated 59 chicks in his lifetime, including two this year. So here’s to you, Kinney, for making Downtown a little wilder. The DNR reported earlier this year that 16 peregrine nesting attempts have been counted statewide this year — three more than in any year since the state’s peregrine reintroduction effort began more than 20 years ago.
Algae blooms on some lakes and reservoirs can be fatally toxic to some animals. The DNR reported that two dogs died and two more became sick after swimming in a Salamonie Lake cove. The seasonal algae, which is bolstered by heat, sunlight and fertilizer runoff, can increase as water levels drops, the DNR said. People should seek medical attention if they have symptoms including rashes, skin and eye irritation, nausea, stomach aches, and tingling fingers and toes following a swim. The blooms, “generally appear as a scum on the water surface,” the DNR said. Officials recommend that humans and animals wash with soapy water after swimming. They also advise checking with property managers to gather the latest reports on water health before diving in. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management posts testing results for 13 Indiana lakes at algae.in.gov.
WHEN THE NEWS GETS PERSONAL
As a one-person news desk, it is not always an option to recruit another writer when news is breaking and it involves a personal twist, as it did last week when the city announced its intention to revoke The Project School’s charter. Rebecca Townsend, NUVO news editor, realized that one of the story’s central figures — Daniel Baron, the president of the school’s board — was a life-long friend. Not only was Baron her math teacher in elementary and middle school, he and his family also opened their home to her as a teenager when violence forced her from her mother’s home. In addition, the school had received a NUVO Cultural Vision Award to honor its efforts at holistic education. So it must be said Townsend acknowledges a conflict of interest and that she tried to be fair in spite of it.
THOUGHT BITE By Andy Jacobs, Jr. There’s a difference between arrogance and stupidity, but the result is usually the same. 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // news
news Ditching The Project School Mayor says charter revocation is final BY RE BE CCA T O W N S E N D R T O W N S E N D @N U V O . N E T Editor’s note: The author’s conflict-ofinterest disclosure is printed in the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down section on page no 7.
hen Mayor Greg Ballard’s office announced on July 17 its intention to revoke The Project School’s charter, school officials say they did not receive advance notice. The release said the school had 15 days to respond in writing to the decision — the 15th day falling the day after school was due to start in August. After receiving the response, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday afternoon its decision to revoke the charter was final. Meanwhile, city officials assigned trustees to help the students find new schools. The decision had the immediate effect of rendering about 40 staff members unemployed and about 350 students without a school. School leaders on Monday filed for an injunction. As its justification, the city alleged a multi-year pattern of financial mismanagement atop governance concerns and failure to demonstrate improvement on standardized tests or to eliminate the performance gaps experienced by black students or those who qualify for free-orreduced-cost lunches. School officials dispute much of data used to support the allegations, particularly that TPS experienced negative cash flow. The city used accrual-based accounting that charged more than $2 million of building depreciation as a cash expense. The city said TPS ended the year with a deficit of $90,000. In fact, school officials countered, TPS had more than $100,000 on hand at the end of June, paid its line of credit in full each month and never missed a payroll or a building payment. In response to the city’s concern about a staff member who called the city to voice her frustration over a last-minute change in pay periods, which the city said was done during a period when the school’s general fund balance could not cover the expense, school officials said that they offered to issue checks in line with the original schedule for any staff member for whom the move would create hardship — an option that some teachers reported was utilized without issue. The revocation process allowed TPS to detail its concerns in a written response, but the city offered no opportunity for dialogue about the concerns and no hope that
any response would change its resolve to close the school. At a news conference held the day after the city’s announcement, parents decried the “murdering of our community.” In the midst of their four-year charter review, school officials reached out to the mayor’s office the week before its announcement hoping to work on a plan of action for 2012-13. Beth Bray, the city’s director of charter schools, responded by email that such a meeting would be “premature,” noting that she was waiting for financial and academic growth figures. She added, “As we do with every school after the conclusion of the 4th year process, we’ll want to sit down with the board and school administration to discuss the findings. …” When the city was able to review the year-over-year academic growth and the most recent profit-loss statement, said Jason Kloth, Deputy Mayor of Education, in a July 18 interview, “we felt the sense of urgency that we were going to make this decision in the short or long term and it would not be fair to students and families to delay it inevitably.” From Kloth’s perspective, the school clearly missed three of the primary academic goals outlined in its charter agreement. First, each student was to read, write and compute at or above grade level within the first three years of being at the school. According to 2011-2012 ISTEP+ figures, only 36 percent of students in the school three or more years met this goal. Regarding the second goal, that each student achieve at least one year of academic growth per year as measured by ISTEP, only 46 percent demonstrated such progress in the 2010-2011 school year. [Officials did not offer a figure from 20112012.] Finally, officials pointed to “significant achievement gaps,” noting that TPS “increased considerably” the percentage of proficiency among white (72.7 percent in the past school year) and non-freeand-reduced-cost lunch students (72.4 percent), while proficiency percentages among black and free-and-reduced-cost lunch students dropped to 16.3 percent from 19.3 the year prior and 13.5 percent from 20.2 percent, respectively. “In each of the last three years, members of our staff have met with TPS board members, administrators and teachers to outline our concerns regarding the school’s pervasive and consistent failure to meet the Mayor’s standards,” Bray wrote in a letter dated July 17 and sent to the school along with the notice of revocation. “During each of these annual meetings, representatives of the school have shared corrective action plans and detailed ideas for improving academic and financial performance. Ultimately, the plans each year have not resulted in any tangible improvement at the school.” Daniel Baron, TPS board president, said the test scores do not capture the significant challenges of many students’ academic backgrounds.
Ruling: State owes IBM for welfare overhaul by Lesley Weidenbener State leaders could use some humility by John Krull Mayor vetoes “Freedom to Work” by Tim Bydlon
PHOTO BY REBECCA TOWNSEND
Students from The Project School hold protest signs at a news conference the day after the mayor’s office announced its intention to revoke the school’s charter.
“I’d characterize our test performance as reflective of children in the community who have been failed by their previous public school experiences and many of whom have been to four, five six, seven schools over the period of their academic lives and many of whom have been kicked out of those schools,” Baron said. Several people within The Project School community acknowledged the need to address the concerns outlined by the mayor’s office, but expressed dismay that, instead of mediation or instituting changes within TPS administration, city officials would opt for total annihilation when the school had one of the highest retention rates and degree of parental satisfaction among the mayor-sponsored charter schools. “As many of the parents have expressed, we are so pleased with how our children have become friends and citizens in the community, how they opened up and blossomed, how they are excited about school — they miss school — how they are friends with everyone at the school from all different races and backgrounds,” Kristin Kohn, the parent of two children at TPS, said at the news conference. “The decision … it’s been a huge disservice to every child at this school. … I feel all the parental voice you are hearing today is not being heard and I believe it counts for something.” China Etchison, another parent of two TPS students, called the decision an “injustice.” “It’s not perfect, no school is perfect, but I say this is the best experience I’ve had, this is the best choice for my family — this school is our family,” she said. To David Dean, the father of a student with Downs Syndrome, whom he said found a true sense of belonging at TPS, “it’s not just ‘send her to another school’ — this next year’s going to be a waste because it takes that much to get her going.” Parent Brandon Cosby, who noted that his third grade African-American son tests above grade level in math and language
arts, highlighted the school’s record of unconditional service, having expelled only one child in its four years of operation. “The message being sent from the mayor’s office is ‘We do not value the kind of places that have a consistent and clear message that we will raise all children — not the good ones, not the bad — but all kids,’” Cosby said. “If this is a place that says ‘We will open our doors to all kids,’ then how in the name of reason or God could you even consider closing a school like that?” “We simply represent different roads towards that goal (of wanting what’s best for the children of the city),” Patricia Wildhack, a TPS art teacher [and the wife of NUVO managing editor Jim Poyser], said in an emailed statement. “I am sorry that one of the most amazing collections of teachers and students, drawn by a strong sense of mission and vision, is being disbanded because of these differences. I wish we could have acknowledged our shared goal, respected our differences in the road taken, and worked from there. We might need a mediator, but we do not need to be censored and shuttered.” For Deputy Mayor Kloth, the performance gaps overshadow everything else. “We just want students to have choices when they graduate high school,” he said. “If you are not performing at grade level and you are consistently doing worse over time, children aren’t going to have options and that is simply an unacceptable standard for us to set over time for children in our community.” WHAT NEXT? A rally in support of the school is scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, at Douglass Park, 1616 25th St. The city plans to host a school enrollment fair for students and parents at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at Overcoming Church, 2203 N. Columbia Ave.
Police crack down on cigarette littering by Monica Harvey Indiana Supreme Court semi-finalists named by Lesley Weidenbener NUVO reporter’s rights denied at protest by Kelly Lynch An uneventful Indiana Black Expo by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // news
n a remarkably short time, Oreo Jones has rocketed to the apex of the Indianapolis hip-hop scene, capturing top honors as an emcee in NUVO’s 2012 Best Of Indy poll — a feat he accomplished without a full-length album release under his belt. But that’s about to change, as Jones and his label Rad Summer finish production work on his debut LP Betty. If you’re familiar with Jones’ work, it’s probably through one of his humor filled personas — perhaps you’ve seen him as the catatonically stoned host of the cooking show send up on the Web Let’s Do Lunch, or the raging blonde-wigged party animal known as Black Fabio. With the release of Betty, Jones is set to reveal a more serious and personal side to his rapidly evolving artistic palette. I received an advance copy of Betty from Rad Summer over a week ago and it’s been on heavy rotation in my playlist ever since. After several listens I’m convinced that Betty is the strongest locally produced hip-hop LP I’ve heard. The album finds Jones stepping forward as a remarkably mature writer, weaving thoughtful narratives, full of nuance and poetic turns, all delivered with his booming, charismatic flow. I met with Jones on a late summer evening at his home in Indy’s old Northside neighborhood. It was my first encounter with the emcee and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. My editor had warned me that Jones might be tough to pin down — during a preliminary interview he’d insisted that he works days wearing the mouse suit at a local Chuck E. Cheese pizza joint. Actually, Jones is a producer for an AM radio sports station. As I made my way to Jones’ front door, empty cans of PBR, overflowing ashtrays and discarded pizza boxes scattered across the front porch confirmed the hard-partying, wildman image of the emcee I’d witnessed in his Black Fabio videos. Half expecting Jones to be too drunk or hung over to function, I was pleasantly surprised to find him one of the most polite, thoughtful and self-effacing individuals I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Jones shares his large home with half dozen or so friends, so we adjourned to his room to find a quiet place to talk. Aside from an old organ, a drum machine and a few crates of records, there wasn’t much in the sparely furnished space. Over the course of our conversation, I found this would be indicative of the central role music plays in Jones’ life and his intense focus on his craft.
Starting in Warsaw
PHOTOS BY MARK LEE
cover story // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
“I was waiting for that question,” Jones replies with a laugh when I inquire into the meaning behind his artistic nom de plume. “It’s not like black on the outside, white on the inside. I’m not the ambassador for mixed people.” He states flatly, “It’s not even about race. It’s about me growing up. I’m a man of many different flavors and styles.” Conceptually, it’s a perfect name for an artist whose music and life have been built on contrasts. Growing up, Jones split his time between the rural suburbia of his hometown of Warsaw and frequent trips to the inner city environs of Indianapolis to visit his father. Jones’ experiences in both these cities would play a crucial role in his musical development, providing the yin and yang for his singular mix of indie influenced hip-hop. “I’m from Warsaw. I lived there pretty much my whole life until I came to Indianapolis for college in 2005,” Jones says, noting that the city’s punk rock scene provided his first major interaction with music. “It
was a small-ass town, but there were a lot of shows. Basically, we would just go to hardcore and punk shows every weekend.” Like many teenagers, adolescence was a rough period for Jones. Music provided an escape. “I was a fat, weirdo kid in high school. I was just a shadow, I was an outcast. I just used to get really fucked up and listen to music. I was just really awkward and really fat. (Laughs) I was a huge goofball.” After a failed attempt to join the school band, Jones turned to punk rock. “I played the trombone in seventh grade. I was shitty about that. I wanted to play drums. But the music teacher said I’d ‘look good with a trombone.’ I never took that motherfucker home; I hated it. After that, I was in a punk cover band called the Screaming Hemorrhoids. I was the vocalist. It was just a spoof for fun. I was listening to straight punk and hardcore at that time, like The Misfits and The Descendants.” I spoke with DJ B Qwyatt who grew up with Jones in Warsaw. Even at a young age Jones had a larger than life personality. “I met him in seventh grade,” Qwyatt says. “I heard about this kid who was supposed to be in a big fight at a storage unit. He was fighting this other dude who was a lot smaller than him. He was doing all these fake wrestling moves. It was really funny and I was like, ‘Who is this kid?’ That was my first experience with him and we started hanging out right after that. He was just a big, joking teddy bear. I can’t remember anyone in all our time growing up that disliked Oreo.”
The Indy Influence
Jones’ frequent sojourns to Indianapolis would provide an equally strong musical influence. “I really didn’t grow up with my pops,” Jones says. “He was born and raised in Indianapolis and he still lives here. He was a tenor sax player. Basically that’s where my music side comes from.” Jones recalled a particularly esoteric performance by his dad, an event that no doubt influenced the young artist’s burgeoning eccentricity. “I remember my first time seeing him play. I was probably in junior high, I wasn’t even a teenager yet. It was a Halloween show at the Stutz building. He had an eight-piece band. I remember this Indian dude named Jumbo — he had hair down to his ass and he played the bongos. There was a dude reading poetry. There were girls singing and harmonizing. I thought it was the wildest shit ever. I was sitting in on the practice and I’ll never forget the dude reading poetry. He was like ‘She rolls a cigarette, I smoke a joint.’ I remember it being really avantgarde and the weirdest shit I’d seen ever.” But it was his relationship with his cousin, Julian, that provided the crucial turning point in his musical journey. “I would periodically come to Indy to visit my cousin, Julian. He lived in the ‘hood over by Clifton and MLK. I would visit him and be like, ‘This place is crazy.’ It was very different and everything was so foreign to me,” Jones says. “Julian would literally pump hip-hop down my throat. He had tapes on deck like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Biggie, Tupac, Black Star and he would break that shit down to me. It was a whole new sound I had never heard. He’s a huge influence on what I do today.” Julian — who converted to Islam and now is named Kareem Powell-El — fondly remembers musically guiding Jones through his formative years. “Oreo would come down from Warsaw in the summer,” say Kareem Powell-El. ” I would
Stills from Let’s do Lunch.
keep him abreast of what was happening in hip-hop. He always said that he wanted to be a rapper and I said if you want to rhyme, you got to write. So he got himsself a little rhyme dicttionary and a notepad. He would always come H down and show me what d he was working on.” h Powell-El’s influence stretched far beyond music; st he helped shape Jones’ self image and identity. im “I remember him being like ‘This is who you are. lik You’re black. This is your You culture. This is what we liscul ten to. This is our world.’” Jones recalls. “It took me Jon while to figure out who aw the fuck I was. I grew up in suburban white world. I a su was one of three black kids in my senior graduating class. I really didn’t understand that until I unde came to Indianapolis and started hanging out with starte family.” my fa Back in Warsaw, a high Bac school public speaking class Jones his first opportugave Jo nity to perform as a rapper. “We had a poetry jam unit and I was w like, ‘I’m going to a rhyme.’ I had Dr. try to write w Chronic 2001 instrumenDre’s Ch tal CD and a I started writing rhymes tto that album. I wrote everyone in the class, about ev real tongue-in-cheek and it was rea But it just sounded very corny. Bu when I performed it.” natural w Rapping and writing would Rappi become an important part quickly b of Jones’ life. “I’d always wanted and rapping to be a musician m facet I could latch was the easiest e on to. It felt so natural. I’d write whatever was on my mind, about wh about something If I was pissed p bummed that someone said or bumm racist shit to me. I feel like some rac rhyming has helped me; it’s been therapeutic in a way.” therapeu
Collaborations Coll College life eventually Colleg brought Jones to Indianapolis permanently and Powell-El perman continued to play a key role in continu artistic development. his artis “Julian was older than me and rapping. I would he was always a show him my raps and he would critique them and tell me the right way to do it. I had the MTV on the XBOX. Music Generator G I would just j sit in my room and beats off the XBOX. I’d take make be my XBOX to Julian’s crib and play it and he would be rapping the time. I barely got a chance whole tim to chime in myself. It was a very important time in my life.” importan Powell-El was duly impressed Powel Jones rapid progress as an with Jon emcee. “He “ developed a style that impeccable. One year he just was imp
took off and I said ‘Man, you just went beyond what I’m doing.’ ” It was fellow Warsaw native, Trent Elkins — better known as producer 90 lbs. — who would push Jones into the first phase of his recording career. Elkins’ distinctive, synth-heavy beats have provided Jones with a fundamental element of his sound. “My buddy Trent grew up with me in Warsaw. He started making beats in his apartment. We did this beat together with a sample from an old Moondog album. We recorded it in his apartment in some shitty closet, but it sounded dope. That was when Myspace was popping off and I put it up on my page. The next joint we did was an Elliot Smith sample. We called it ‘Naptown Paddywagon.’ At that point we were just having fun. I didn’t have any notion that I would pursue it seriously.”
"He can put on a blonde wig on and be ass naked, but his music is not a joke" —Grey Granite Jones’ recordings quickly attracted attention in the Indianapolis music scene. One artist who took early notice of Jones’ talent was Grey Granite. “Grey was one of the first people to reach out to me. He let me play a song during one of his sets at the Melody Inn. It was just one song, but I was sweating my ass off. All my friends were there, it was really surreal. Grey’s been an important part of my journey.” “It was a packed house; they wouldn’t put him on the bill so I let him do a song,” Granite remembers. “He killed it. He was hype, [and] he didn’t seem nervous at all. He’s so comfortable with himself; it’s really amazing. He can put on a blonde wig on and be ass naked, but his music is not a joke.” “He’s comfortable with himself in a way that surpasses most other artists. He’s a deep dude and a funny dude — he’s all these different things. He gives you all these different sides as an artist. He’s really intricate as a lyricist, but it doesn’t come off that way. It just seems like he’s having fun, but his music is deep and introspective.” At this point Jones started pursuing music seriously, releasing a well-received EP called The Delicious in 2010. “When I first dropped The Delicious EP, I had the release party at the Casbah. It was packed, it was crazy. That’s when
I first realized I can go somewhere with this. I can do this for life.” Jones followed The Delicious with Oreo Jones and Friends in 2011. An all-star collaboration EP, Oreo Jones and Friends featured the cream of the Indianapolis indie rock scene, with guest contributions from members of Slothpop, Jookabox and We Are Hex. “I wanted to do an EP collaborating with different artists and not make it sound like some kind of stupid rap metal shit,” Jones says of the project. “Dodge from MOKB helped coordinate it. He’d listen to a track and say, ‘This needs a girl’s voice, how about Kristen [Newborn] from Slothpop?’ ”
Around this time Jones began another project that would spread his name beyond the music scene. “I decided I wanted to do a show or Web-based series where I would make grilled cheese and talk to people.” From that simple idea, Let’s Do Lunch was born in late 2010 — a pseudo-cooking show spotlighting Jones’ peculiar sense of humor, while featuring a variety of guest spots from local scenesters. “We filmed the first one in the kitchen here at this house and it blossomed from there. A friend of mine at IUPUI wanted to help out, [so] we started filming it at Cavanaugh Hall in the com-tech lab. We filmed eight episodes with all kinds of different people from Andy D to the dudes at the Melody Inn. We tell people to bring in whatever they want to cook and it literally takes like 15 minutes. We just go in and shoot like a motherfucker.” “It has gotten pretty big. I was at an intersection at Fountain Square recently and this dude pulled up on a motorcycle, a real badass burly dude and he looked at me and was like ‘Hey, let’s do lunch.’ ”
A college internship working for DJ Action Jackson led to what is arguably the most successful venture in Jones’ career thus far, Black Fabio. “As silly as it sounds, I was Action Jackson’s intern my senior year in college. I basically just did Facebook posts and helped him with his PR. Honestly, I really didn’t do shit. One day he was like ‘I’m stating a label up. Do you what to work on a project?’ That was when Black Fabio started. It was just a fucking costume for Halloween and he was like ‘We should call the album that. Let’s call the group Black Fabio.’ I said ‘OK, let’s do it.’ Then that shit grew into a mythical figure.” Released as a mixtape, Black Fabio features Jones and Jackson as a pair of blonde-coiffured matinee idols in a ridiculous lampoon
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Rad Summer officially releases a private stream of the entire Betty LP exclusively for NUVO readers. Scan this code with any QR reader and listen.
of rap music’s image-conscious excess. “I approached the whole concept as super-duper satire.” Jones says, careful to distance himself from the more extreme aspects of the character. “Black Fabio is like a mythical trashy romance novel figure, just in it to win it. Black Fabio doesn’t give a fuck; he brings a bag of McDonald’s into the club and still comes home doubling up with girls. With Black Fabio it was the first time I could talk shit. To have this persona that didn’t give a fuck.” Scattered in the silliness, there is some seriously good music on the Black Fabio project, including the Aphex Twin/36Mafia sampling “Reggie Miller,” a dance-floor banger destined to become an Indianapolis hip-hop classic. “It was a fun project, super tongue-in-cheek. We’re doing a second one, Black Fabio 2: The Empire Strikes Black.” When he’s not wearing his flowing blond Fabio wig, you might catch Jones sporting some equally unconventional attire. His unique aesthetic sensibility has become a big part of his appeal. That’s what first attracted the attention of Ace One, a highly respected veteran of the Indy hip-hop scene. “I remember when I met him,” Ace One recalls. “It was at a hiphop summit at the MLK center. I kept seeing this kid walk around in purple Reeboks, with this early ‘90s Rally’s jacket, and I mean Rally’s like the restaurant. I’m like ‘Who is this kid?’ Finally they called the name Oreo Jones to the stage and he gets up there and he just kills it. Since then he’s been one of my favorites. I respect him as a person and an artist. He’s totally awesome across the board — a super fun and an intelligent individual.”
A Serious Turn
I observed his prodigious skill at a recent gig. It was a Saturday night gig at Locals Only. Jones seemed indifferent to the fact that the club was nearly empty. He performed with searing intensity, his eyes rolling back inside his head in a frenzied state — equal parts agony and ecstasy. Jones ran through several unreleased songs off the Betty LP and his lyrical development as a writer was immediately evident. After the show, I spoke with former Jookabox drummer David “Moose” Adamson, who is currently part of the Oreo Jones live show. “I play a couple tom drums, a sampler with delay pedals and I do some backup vocals,” Adamson says of his role with Jones. “I first met Oreo at the Broad
Ripple Music Festival a couple years ago. I just thought he was one of the best hiphop artists I’d heard.” He’s impressed with Betty as well. “I think it’s awesome; it’s the best representation of him yet. The other stuff he’s done is very cool, but the LP is really solid all the way through. It really shows what he’s capable of.” “I’ve been working on the Betty album for a long time,” Jones says, mentioning the title is a reference to his recently deceased grandmother. “I was trying to figure out how I could express myself. A lot of shit has happened to me over this past year, both good and bad. My grandma, who I was very close to, passed away. She
Jones' excitement is genuine and I understand why. The album is an artistic triumph from start to finish was an important influence in my life. I lived at her house with my mom when I was younger. She wore a lot of hats. She was very stern, but she read to me a lot and played a pivotal part in me being a writer. I also lost a good friend. My laptop was stolen. I’ve been slandered. This record is basically a snapshot of this last year.” Black Fabio fans expecting an album full of club bangers should approach Jones’ first LP with caution. Throughout my interviews with Jones he seemed eager to assert himself as a serious hip-hop artist and everyone I spoke to believes Betty will do that — including the other half of Black Fabio, DJ Action Jackson. “People will be surprised by this album. It’s very personal,” Jackson says. “It’s his first album and he’s put a lot of deeply personal things on there. I hope people will be willing to see that side of him. I always joke with him that he’s very sensitive and he really is. It’s that classic scenario of the party guy who is always telling jokes and laughing, but on the inside he’s crying.” The evolution in Jones’ sound took Rad Summer label representative Jay-P Gold by surprise. “When we started the project, I was expecting a mainstream rap album.
cover story // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
Something to bring Oreo to more radio-friendly audiences. What we got was a very personal album,” Gold says, adding, “It’s Oreo saying ‘This is me. I’m not going to conform to what you want. I’m not going to be anything other than me.’ You can hear that willfulness in his voice.” “I’m really excited about the album,” Jones says. “Musically it’s all over the place. There’s a song about a slave called ‘House Nigga.’ There’s a song about a vintage porn star. There’s a song about harnessing your spiritual animal that I recorded with Jill [Weiss] from We Are Hex. I did two songs with her. She and I worked really well together; it’s the first project she’s done since the band broke up. I also did joints with Ko [Kristin Newborn] of Slothpop and Andy D too.” Jones’ excitement is genuine and I understand why. The album is an artistic triumph from start to finish. It’s loaded with so many highlights and potential anthems, it’s difficult to spotlight one or two tracks. But one song that really spoke to me was Jones’ touching and enigmatic tribute to ‘50s teen pop sensation Frankie Lymon. It is buoyed by a puzzling, yet poetic refrain “One plate at the china buffet / one day they gonna launch my coffin in outer space.” “Frankie” burns its way into your soul with a series of memorable non-sequiturs like “Infinity in the fast lane / at the rate I’m going, damn, you couldn’t pass me,” “Throw a crack rock at a tank / I’m Gary Busey excited / I just don’t know what to think” and “On my corpse there shouldn’t be any jewelry, whoever’s at the podium should rhyme in my eulogy.” “What Oreo does is unique and I truly believe in him. I would invest all I have in him, if I had anything,” emcee Freddie Bunz says. Bunz is a featured guest on Betty. Bunz’s comment reflects a consensus among those I spoke with — a sense that Betty will provide Jones with an opportunity to succeed beyond the Indianapolis scene. Regardless of whether Betty is the breakout success everyone is expecting, it’s clear that the emcee is dedicated to continuing his career in music, as Jones’ parting words to me testified. “Music is the only natural way for me to express myself, to understand people and get to know them. It has helped me express who I am. It’s just a vital part of who I am.”
PHOTOS BY MARK LEE
DJ Action Jackson
The new Oreo Jones release will kick off a series of strong local and international releases from Indy-based label Rad Summer. I spoke with Jay-P Gold, Oreo Jones’ manager and label rep about the future of Rad Summer. “We started as a promotion company in Bloomington with Action Jackson and the Phillybased DJ and producer Flufftronix. I’d been talking with Action Jackson about running a label under the Rad Summer banner and we sort of fell into it all last year,” Gold says, adding, “As a label, we’re not pigeon-holed by genre. We’re more about party music. That’s the aesthetic we go for with Rad Summer: fun and forward-thinking music.” “I would like to see Rad Summer become a large independent record label relative to that of Mad Decent or XL Recordings,” Gold says. “XL set a benchmark for what an innovative independent label can accomplish, issuing compelling releases from M.I.A. to Bobby Womack. Twenty years from now, I’d like to be able to look back and say that about Rad Summer.” With such ambition plans, I questioned if relocating to a more music business-friendly city was an option. “Rad Summer is not an Indianapolis record label; we just happen to be based here,” Gold says “But we’re very supportive of the Indianapolis scene and we enjoy being part of it. All of us at the label are fairly well networked and have been active in music for at least 10 years each. Through those connections we’ve been reaching out to artists we’ve gotten to know over the last several years. We now have artists based in Chicago, Brooklyn and Finland.” Gold stressed that the label is still very focused on local talent. “We’ve got a dance rock band from Fountain Square we just signed called Party Lines. We’re really excited about them, as it’s our first live band foray. They have a sound somewhere between Jamiroquai and Chromeo. We’re also putting out the new Andy D album. Indianapolis is home for both Action Jackson and myself. I think it would take a lot to make us leave our base in Indianapolis.”
For comprehensive event listings, go to nuvo.net/calendar
NUVO: Can you tell me a little more about Dr. Schadenuget? ASAYKWEE: Dr. Schadenuget’s press secretary (his wife, Plinka) sent us his press packet. It included this bio: Dr. Gustaf Stig Schadenuget is a scientist and pataphysicist known throughout the world for his brilliant contributions in the areas of Futuristic Space Travel Conjecture and Robotics Guesstimation. He has been published 978 times in multiple forms of media (including three church bulletins) and became popular in the late 1970s with his celebrated article “Should the Space Time Continuum Continue, Mum?” which appeared in a magazine or newspaper somewhere at some point. He now resides in Middlefart, Denmark, where he lives with his wife, Plinka, and their Neopolitan Mastif, Schtinka. NUVO: What, if anything, do attendees need to bring?
Dr. Gustaf Schadenuget with trophy.
ASAYKWEE: Printed materials will be provided, but workshop attendees are encouraged to bring any additional paper or writing utensils they would like to use for additional notes. NUVO: How, specifically, does the Speak Like A Robot workshop tie into Bot?
Speak Like a Robot with Q Artistry In anticipation of its upcoming IndyFringe show, Bot, Q Artistry invites the public to attend Speak Like a Robot workshops geared toward bridging the gap between human and animatron communication. Hosted by the renowned (and fictional) science-fiction linguist Dr. Gustaf Schadenuget, the workshops will feature a multi-media presentation, as well as interactive components, to help the Indianapolis public learn to speak in beeps and clicks. Q Artistry Artistic Director Ben Asaykwee spoke to me about the event. NUVO: What can attendees to the workshop expect to learn from Dr. Schadenuget?
STARTS 27 FRIDAY
Melinda Doolittle @ The Cabaret at the Columbia Club You may know Melinda Doolittle from her time on American Idol; she placed third in the show’s sixth season, behind Jordin Sparks and Blake Lewis. Such success gave way to a debut record, Coming Back to You, in a vintage R&B vein, with some numbers drawn from the Great American Songbook. Since then, she’s written a memoir and racked up some cabaretworld bona fides, including two weekends at Feinstein’s in New York City. July 27 and 28, 8 p.m.@ 121 Monument Circle, $35$55, thecabaret.org
ASAYKWEE: We’re positive that everyone who comes to see Bot will understand the show regardless if they have been to the workshop. However, it’s true that Bot is performed entirely in Automata, so guests of the workshop might get even more out of the show in a “I read the book, so in the movie when she gives that guy a dirty look on the subway, I understand why, even though the movie cut that part out” way.
Mike Schmidt is The Forty Year Old Boy @ IndyFringe Theater
NUVO: Are these family-friendly events?
One of the finest players to ever man the hot corner, Schmidt hit many a home run while shaking his hinder in the back of the box. Ah, wait ...we’re talking here about another Mike Schmidt, a veteran stand-up who’s written for Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic, played a bit part in BASEketball and been a cast member on the podcast Never Not Funny. Since leaving that show he created his own podcast, a stream-of-consciousness beast called The Forty Year Old Boy; he brings a live version of the show with the sub-title Success Is Not An Option to IndyFringe for a single night Friday.
ASAYKWEE: Both Bot and the Speak Like A Robot workshop are completely family friendly, but we strongly suggest little robots be of school age (because of dark/thrilling/loud moments in the show, or because the workshop is language based). — KATELYN COYNE
ASAYKWEE: Dr. Schadenuget’s main objective in the workshop will be to instruct participants on how to speak Automata, the general language of futuristic robots from 4515 A.D. However, he will also be sharing his expertise (albeit suspect at times) on the language of other areas of science fiction.
July 28, 2 p.m. @ Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive, free Aug. 4, 2 p.m. @ Irvington Branch, Indianapolis Public Library, 5625 E.Washington St., free SUBMITTED PHOTO
Behold the man-child.
Super Soul at Madame Walker review by Dan Grossman
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The Dark Knight Rises, Beasts of the Southern Wild movie reviews by Ed Johnson-Ott
Indy Reads Books opening by Angela Leisure
8 p.m. @ 719 E. St. Clair St., $20 (advance at brownpapertickets.com), mikeschmidtcomedy.com Indy Film Fest opening night by Stacy Kagiwada
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From Working to Not Working
Riff on Terkel’s oral history features four Indy residents BY SCOTT SHOGER SSHOGER@NUVO.NET In Not Working, a new book of interviews with the un-, under- and differently employed in a post-crash United States, author and interviewer D.W. Gibson argues — both explicitly and by example — that a lot has changed since Studs Terkel’s Working, an oral history of the American workforce, was published in 1974. Back then, the word “layoff” referred to a long vacation, unions still had some of the power they had fought for during the first part of the century — and it made sense to explore how identity is intertwined with occupation, with little attention paid to those out of a job, for whatever reason (one person in Working is identified as having the occupation of “idleness,” but by choice and not external circumstances). The times having changed, Gibson has employed Terkel’s approach to tell of a nation of those who can no longer let a job define them in quite the same way. Gibson borrows Terkel’s style of interpolating his authorial voice via what look like italicized stage directions (profiling each subject and describing the scene when the transcript isn’t enough), as well as his approach of grouping interviews by theme: Community, Public Domain and Family to Terkel’s Footwork, Brokers and Second Chance. I talked with Gibson on Monday as he and his wife drove through Pennsylvania on a book tour that’s following, more or less, the trajectory of his road trip last summer, when he did the interviews that make up Not Working. This week is the “K.C.-St. Louis-Indy” leg of the tour, which will end at Bookmamas Saturday. He plans to screen a segment from a documentary chronicling his interviews, which he hopes will air in feature form before the election (excerpts are currently available at notworkingproject.com). NUVO: How did you end up talking with who you did in Indy? D.W. GIBSON: I believe the starting point in Indy was talking with a few reporters at The Star, who had done some coverage on businesses in the area that had had layoffs. One of the reporters there brought my attention to the fact that they had had layoffs in their own office. We had not yet connected with any journalists that had been laid offwe interviewed them, and they led to other people, through personal contacts and incidental
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meetings. For instance, we interviewed two women from The Star in an art studio downtown, and the gentleman, Wug Laku, who was kind enough to give us use of the space, sat in on the interview and, afterwards, said, “I have someone you might want to meet.” And it was Nancy Lee, who was spectacular and ended up being the last chapter of the book. NUVO: And the people from The Star who ended up in the book are Jenny Elig and Judy Wolf. GIBSON: A lot of people who have seen footage of that interview or read that chapter say that Jenny speaks so well to that sense of loss of routine, of what you do with yourself when you wake up in the morning. She speaks about it with great humor, talking about not having anything to do, not having any money to spend, so it’s all about, “I’m going to Target to look at things today.” She sort of balanced out the other conversations that we had that were, in all frankness, really difficult, because they had more mitigating circumstances, in terms of finances or higher stakes. But I think that it was very human the way she talked about feeling lost every day. And then there were the contradictions: Jenny talked about how she finds herself sleeping too much, and Judy immediately chimed in to say how she can’t go to sleep. NUVO: Why did Nancy Lee end up closing the book? GIBSON: The optimist says that people can always find ways to reinvent themselves in a crisis like unemployment — and in fact that does happen, but it’s really rare. Nancy is one of those cases where it does happen, and she’s inspiring for three key reasons. One: She redefined her life once she lost her job by not trying to get right back to where she was, pay-wise. Instead of doing that, she said, what’s the fat that I can trim out of my life and how much can I survive on? The second thing is that she reinvented herself professionally. She had always loved jewelry-making and had become quite skilled at metalsmithing. She became quite serious about it, selling fine pieces to people that might want them, and she’s graduated to having her own retail space now. The updates I’ve gotten from her is that it’s continued to be a challenge, month to month, but she’s doing it, and I think that’s quite inspiring. The third, and most important point — and this is really why she closed the book — is she spoke about having gone through a divorce while she was getting laid off and how that sort of distanced her from her sons. And then her son, recently, had gone through his own layoff. Knowing what he was going through really inspired her to re-connect — she showed up at his door unannounced and really forced the resuscitation of that relationship. And she was successful at reconnecting: She talked about how, the night before we spoke they had just gone out nightswimming together. That action on her part to reconnect to her son to me demonstrates what I found was at the core of all of these experiences and conversations, which is that relationships and, really, communities get torn apart through substantial layoffs. And Nancy exemplifies that on a personal level. The best thing that anyone can do under such adverse circumstances is reach out and connect with someone.
GO&DO NUVO: And the other local you talked to was Kelly Graham-McDonald. GIBSON: Kelly was working for a private company that had state money to provide group homes for adults with physical and mental disabilities. She was going into group homes where they were trying to help individuals achieve independence by getting out of the homes and into their own apartment. She was someone absolutely made for that job; she referred to all of her clients as my people. She cared deeply for them, and it really devastated her to lose that job. She had a very unique situation where, while a lot of people refer to being pushed out of their job and getting passive-aggressive hints that they might be losing their job (a lot of people used the phrase “managed out”), she came into the office one day and her office was just gone. They had just moved all of her stuff into a conference room, and that was the first hint, if you want to call it that, that she was going to lose her job. NUVO: What did you take from Terkel’s style and approach? GIBSON: Look, if I can have a conversation as well as Studs Terkel did on the day I die, I’ll have arrived. He did a two-part job. One is getting people to feel comfortable, open up and express the full measure of their story. And two is that editorial process that happens after the fact where, indeed, there’s the task of getting a 40-page-or-so transcript down to a seven-page chapter, and to make sure that you understand the essence of what they’re saying. And I have to say that — so far, so good — I’ve received nothing but positive feedback from folks who feel I’ve represented them fairly.
PHOTO BY STEPHEN SIMONETTO
Nancy Lee, outside her Circle City Industrial Complex studio in 2009.
NOT WORKING READING AND DOCUMENTARY PREVIEW featuring author DW Gibson with local interviewees Nancy Lee, Kelly Graham-McDonald, Jenny Elig and Judy Wolf Saturday, July 28, 2 p.m. Bookmamas, 9 Johnson Ave.
Best of Indy 2012 Party @ Sun King Brewing Company Just in case you missed the giant ads or our cover story, we’d like to put in another plug for our Best of Indy Party, which is legitimately one of the best things going this weekend. In fact, we’ll go as far as to vote it the Best Party in Indy. You’ve got your Oreo Jones (our delicious, cat-loving cover subject), Angel Burlesque, Devil To Pay, Gay Black Republican and A Square DJs on stage; beer by Sun King; and all kinds of food from Yats, Hot Box, Bru Burger, Nicey Treat and West Coast Tacos. 2 p.m. @ 135 N. College Ave., $6 advance (bestofindy2012.eventbrite.com), $7 door 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // go&do
Scott Pruett looks on stoically.
A wise soul on the road course
Scott Pruett poised for win in new race at Speedway BY LORI LOVELY EDITORS@NUVO.NET Read this in your best monster truck commercial voice, if you would: This weekend, on the hallowed ground of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, history will be made with earthshaking, gutbusting, ball-twisting racing action on two — yes, two! — courses. Feel your lungs fill with hot, extreme exhaust as no-holds-barred racers follow the wicked twists and tricks of the Speedway’s 13-turn road course. Then get your fill of high-octane action on the Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval, the scene of glory and carnage since your granny was just a bun in the oven. OK, take a breath. Your inner monster truck announcer had it right: Two series — GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Rolex Sports Car Series — will race July 27 for the first time on the speedway’s road course, as part of the inaugural “IMS Super Weekend” that also features NASCAR’s Nationwide and
Sprint Cup Series. And what makes things so “Super” is that it’ll be the first time that races will be run on the road course and the oval during the same weekend. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Pruett, a 51-year-old elder on the circuit, is excited to be part of it. “It’s going to be fantastic,” he says. “Not a lot of fans are ready for what they’ll see: 60 cars — 20 prototypes and 40 GT cars — drafting and passing every lap. It’s going to be crazy.” He should know. Pruett holds records for the number of wins (31), pole positions (32), podium finishes (59) and laps led (2,152) for Daytona Prototypes (cars based on those raced in the Le Mans circuit that were first competitively raced in 2003). He expects the biggest challenge for the cars on the IMS road course will be turns 12-13 (the first corner of the oval): “There will be so much traffic, getting around the GT cars there will be difficult.” Pruett is in the sweet spot where maturity, experience, talent and motivation intersect: “I have the speed as well as the physical and mental attitude.” Every bit the dedicated athlete, he’s altered his approach over the years, saying “I know where I need to be with my body at all times and not to overlook what I need to focus on.” Having paid his dues through years of testing and climbing the ladder from racing go-karts at age 8 (where he won 10 championships and was inducted into the World Karting Hall of Fame), Pruett competed in CART for five years and in NASCAR Cup racing and the IROC series before returning to his sports car roots in GRAND-AM. The 1989 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and 2001 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner has also done pit reporting for Speed Channel and race commentary for ABC/ESPN. “I’m a chameleon and can adapt to all forms of racing, but I love where I’m at,” he says. “The Rolex series is a great home for me and I love driving for Chip [Ganassi].” During his nine-year tenure there, he has earned five team and four driver championships. “I enjoy driving for Chip because his focus is simple: go win.” It’s Pruett’s approach too: “I’m there to race. I want to win races and championships.” He’s so dedicated to his craft that he has his own key to the truck because he often arrives at the track even before the mechanics. One of the reasons Pruett likes the Rolex sports car series is that it “keeps the driving in the driver’s hands,” as he puts it. “There’s no traction control, no paddle shifting, no ABS brakes. All of those take away from the driving. There’s no finesse. To succeed [in GRAND-AM], you have to be smart, brave and calculating.” In preparation for this weekend’s historic first race on the road track, Pruett participated in a tire test at the Speedway in June and a GRAND-AM test in July, the latter conducted in scorching tripledigit temperatures. A testing veteran, he’s logged 10,000 miles as the test and development driver for the Firestone tire program in 1994. Pruett says that his background in testing is particularly beneficial now (Continued on page 20)
a&e feature // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
PHOTO BY BRET KELLEY
The No. 9 Action Express Racing Daytona Prototype
PHOTO BY CHRIS JONES
Taking laps around the IMS road course.
THE BRICKYARD, AT A GLANCE FOUR RACES, TWO TRACKS
GRAND-AM Continental and ROLEX Series races (road track races)
Friday, July 27, 1 p.m. (Continental) and 4 p.m. (ROLEX); tickets $30 NASCAR Nationwide Series race (oval race)
Saturday, July 28, 4:30 p.m.; tickets $25-$65 Crown Royal presents The “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at The Brickyard (oval race)
Sunday, July 29, 1 p.m.; tickets $30-$150 Full weekend general admission pass available for $80. More info at indianapolismotorspeedway.com. THE LOW-DOWN
After a rare week off in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, teams return to the Brickyard on July 29 for the first of a string of 17 consecutive races to the finish. One driver won’t be suiting up with the rest. A.J. Allmendinger was suspended just hours before the Coke Zero 400 on July 7 at Daytona due to random drug test results that indicated evidence of a stimulant. Until a second sample can be tested, “Dinger,” as he’s fondly known, has been parked. Instead, the Penske Racing No. 22 Dodge will be driven by Sam Hornish. CHASING A SPOT
Other drivers may be effectively parked when it comes to “The Chase” – and some of the names are surprising. With only seven races remaining in the 26-race pre-Chase “regular” season, most of the drivers in the top 10 positions in the points standings appear secure, leaving only one unclaimed wild card opportunity before the Chase field is set after the Sept. 8 race at Richmond International Raceway. Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano are in line for one wild card spot, each with
PHOTO BY MIKE HARDING
Continental tires below the scoring pylon
one win. Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon, all winless, are among the nine drivers vying for the final wild card spot. Gordon and Edwards have only two top-five finishes each. Nevertheless, Indianapolis has a propensity for rewarding high-performing teams. Indy has always favored Gordon, who holds the record for wins, poles and laps led at the Brickyard. A near-miss last year left him one position shy of his fifth victory. Edwards comes to Indy with a new crew chief, Chad Norris. POTENTIAL CONTENDERS
One driver who missed the Chase in 2005 ended a 143-race dry spell with a win at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year. Although the Indy track is considerably different, Dale Earnhardt Jr. might have momentum on the big ov als. Michael Waltrip Racing currently has two teams in the top 10. Martin Truex appears to be a lock for the Chase and Clint Bowyer sits comfortably in ninth place. Bowyer also won a race, putting him in a good position to make the Chase. Roush and Roush-related teams dominated early in the season and have run well everywhere, thanks to Ford strength. Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle have been especially strong. However, with the announcement of his departure from Roush Racing at the end of the season after 13 years, Kenseth, who is also the current points leader, might be distracted as he looks around for opportunities.
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Jatin Patel demonstrates his bowling technique to a student group.
That’s a right sticky wicket! Teaching kids cricket, despite the odds BY MAX COTHREL EDITORS@NUVO.NET
Pruett and his ride.
that most series have put moratoriums on or at least severely restricted testing. Widely regarded as one of the most technically astute drivers of his day, Pruett welcomes testing: “I enjoy it. The more I know about aspects of the car, the better driver I’ll be.” Well-known, respected and liked in the paddock, Pruett was once offered the role of chief steward for the Champ Car series. His name again surfaced recently for the same role with IndyCar. He turned them both down because he said he “wasn’t finished racing.” “I’m trying to enjoy every moment I can,” he explains. “I’m savoring it. It’s easy when you love what you’re doing. When I got pole at the Glen, I realized I could still get it done. It feels good.” Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas finished fourth in that six-hour race at Watkins Glen after losing a lap during a pit stop to replace a radiator that was punctured by a rock. A family man, Pruett foresees a long future in racing, “somehow, some way,” despite other interests that include a hands-on approach to his vineyard, which has produced award-winning wines. “I want to stay in racing. I enjoy it. My outlook is: when one door closes, another opens. When I’m done driving, something will come along — maybe in the broadcast booth?” But this month, his goal is to win the inaugural GRAND-AM race at IMS. “We’re kind of the hometown team, so this race means a lot to us — and to me personally. You want to do well in your own backyard.” If Pruett takes the checkered flag, the victory will add to his career total of 80 wins and 10 championships — not a bad resume for his future job hunt.
a&e reviews // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
The careful follower of local politics may recall that day when Mayor Greg Ballard got a wild hair and announced that a North American Cricket Tournament in Indianapolis would be just super. That idea has progressed just as far as Ballard’s notion announced at the same time that a Chinatown in Indianapolis would be just as grand. But Jatin Patel, who makes the mysport-is-better-than-yours claim that fans in India love cricket more than Americans do football, is determined to make a little of Ballard’s dream a reality. An native of India with an American belly and salt-and-pepper mustache, Patel is president of the Indiana Youth Cricket Association, a group dedicated to promoting the sport at the grassroots level in schools across the state. “It’s a slow process to introduce cricket to anyone,” Patel admits, but by training gym teachers at free workshops and conferences, and, when possible giving away the expensive equipment needed to play the sport in gym classes, Patel hopes his organization might help schools and groups to at least overcome economic barriers to entry. A partnership between INYCA’s parent organization, the United States Youth Cricket Association, and Reebok is helping to make possible equipment purchases on a national level; locally, the INYCA gets additional help from cricket supplies website thecricketspot. com. With almost 100 schools already participating in INYCA programs, the organization is shifting gears from individual sessions to larger conferences. But it’s more than financial concerns that keep cricket on the margins of the American sporting conscience. The
unmatched complexity of its rules make explaining cricket difficult. Patel focuses on the basics during training sessions at schools across the state, giving kids the opportunity to hit the ball instead of worrying about laying out all the game’s rules. It’s a strategy that speaks to his experience working with kids — he’s more eager to have them play the game at all than to have them play it the right way. They all get excited as soon as you give them the flat bat,” he says of the training sessions. “They all get solid hits, and it’s a flat bat so it goes a long way.” As for those rules, if you know how baseball works, it’s not much of a stretch to wrap your head around cricket; most sport historians see cricket as a formative influence on baseball’s structure. Imagine a baseball diamond, except in the shape of a circle and sans bases. The pitcher, catcher and batter are in the middle of the circle in a small rectangle called a pitch. The rest of the field is filled with the fielding team’s players who are all sort of akin to outfielders in nice sweaters (and sometimes goofy hats). And there are of course the two iconic wickets located at either end of the pitch. We haven’t the space to explain the rest; rest assured the mighty Internet has a primers for the unitiated. In the long run, Patel’s organization is most interested in promoting the short version of cricket, which takes three hours to play. “On every delivery, something is going to happen,” Patel says of this short version. “And the result is coming in three hours,” instead of three days, a not uncommon length for “fullscale” cricket matches. Patel believes that the institutional system of soccer in the U.S. — where players advance from youth leagues to club teams, then on up to regional and then national teams — is one cricket can follow as it establishes itself. Seeing the way that soccer has blossomed in 25 years, Patel and cricket enthusiasts around the country hope to mirror its growth on an accelerated scale by taking a more proactive role in the sport’s promotion and organizing the thousands of cricketers already in the U.S. to help the sport grow. Patel and his cohorts welcome input from anyone else interested in being a part of the sport’s progress. Patel directs interested parties to indianacricket.org, the organization’s website that lists all their upcoming events and provides information on contacting Patel about bringing a cricket workshop to a school. It will also be the place to go for information on a local public workshop in September as plans solidify. Patel’s ambition for cricket’s growth is tempered by realism. “We are starting a grassroots level program,” he said. Laying out these roots is the first step to slow expansion of the sport, allowing the children learning the sport now to age and fill out rosters for school and club teams. They’re poised to grow beyond the lowlevel work into something large and influential. Maybe Ballard’s tournament isn’t so out of the question, after all.
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As the sun set over White River, HART’s production of Othello presented a free chance to enjoy talented performances from some of Indy’s best actors, including Ryan Artzberger (Iago) and NUVO cover dude David Alan Anderson (Othello). While Anderson’s Othello was evenly played, Artzberger stole the show with his bombastic portrayal of Iago, his performance seemingly made for an outdoor performance setting, where anything and everything can derail a show. Artzberger handled microphone issues and low flying helicopters with style as he presented Shakespeare’s most infamous villain as a crazed master-manipulator with a twisted sense of humor and schadenfreude. Diane Timmerman also stood out in her characterization of Iago’s wife, Amelia, as a base woman desperate for her husband’s approval.
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With A Whimper at Phoenix Theater
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WITH A WHIMPER PHOENIX THEATER THROUGH AUG. 19 r
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Unfortunately, the talented cast was compromised by the show’s untenable pacing issues. A two-hour first act had audience members in a tizzy as they waited for an ideal opportunity to relieve themselves from their evening’s picnic cheer. Director Michael Shelton failed to consider his audience’s total experience, and the three-plus hour show seemed to drag despite the wealth of talent on stage.
With A Whimper, the second play in a sci-fi trilogy penned by newcomer Pete McElligot, places five outlandish characters at the end of the world, literally. As the vicious killer Apostle, Ben Rose is a true star, offering authenticity and humor with each word and every facial expression. Nick Carpenter, donning the mask of an astronaut who’s lost his marbles, offers a delightful portrayal of insanity, simultaneously endearing and annoying, and believable through the arc of the story. As Sister Planter, Karen Irwin is our vehicle for understanding this new reality, offering compassion and spot-on comedic timing as the straight (wo)man in the room. However, as the lustful and blind John Boy, Shane Tarplee presents a flat portrayal of a screeching adolescent, his one-note performance failing to plumb the depths expected from a seer who understands the great complexities of the apocalypse. With A Whimper’s world premiere at the Phoenix, which essentially commissioned the last two parts of the McElligot’s trilogy, was pushed back a week due to ongoing renovations of the theater space. Perhaps the script, practically fresh from the press, could have done with even more incubation; instead of presenting conflict and action, large chunks of the play are consumed with exposition and explanation. Still, the show engages as it offers a variety of angles on how we each might handle our impending demise. — KATELYN COYNE
THE BEST OF BROADWAY MARSH SYMPHONY ON THE PRAIRIE, JULY 20-21 t On a near-perfect weather evening, guest conductor Stuart Chafetz set the tempo with Irving Berlin’s “Strike Up The Band” for a tour across the footlights from 1927 to the near present, featuring ISO players and three vocalists. Michele Ragusa’s multiple Broadway and regional roles particularly lent credibility to her rousing “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun . Christina Bianco, whom we recently enjoyed as Minnie Fay in ISO’s Pops’ version of Hello Dolly!, especially pleased with her interpretation of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. Christopher Johnstone, whose credits include the role of Peter in the FringeNYC 2011 four-part play The Apartment, filled the Prairie with a heartfelt “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. The orchestra, featuring James Beckel on trombone, brought depth to selections from Porgy and Bess and a whole beautifully voiced Harry Simone’s arrangement for Cole Porter’s Begin the Beguine. This reviewer first heard Simone’s arrangement about a decade ago when performed by The Singing Hoosiers, and remains impressed at how amazingly Simone brings a palette of instrumental vocal colors to this ballroom dance song. The ISO equally gave breadth to the Overtures to West Side Story and Candide. — RITA KOHN
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Stephanie Hunt in Somebody Up There Likes Me .
Somebody Up There Likes Me r The resting expression on Max’s face is reminiscent of Popeye’s beloved Olive Oyl smelling Limburger cheese for the first time. Max is in his late 20s, but his stance is that of a teenage boy told he can’t use the car after all. Played by Keith Poulson, he’s the central figure in Somebody Up There Likes Me. The film’s detached tone and precious affectations are off-putting at first. So much fancifully-presented dourness! But the strong cast, especially the amazing Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation), does good work with a screenplay that isn’t as clever as it needs to be. Once you adjust to director Bob Byington’s M.O., there are pleasures to be had in this odd duck. What Byington does is present a series of vignettes covering 35 years, periodically jumping forward five years at a time. Most time transitions are indicated by cartoons of clouds. The appearances of the supporting cast change a little over the years — as much as the budget for a low-budget movie can allow — and Max’s son, played by several actors, grows up at the normal rate. He sports the same clothing and cap over the years, however, to make it easy for viewers to identify him. Max, on the other hand, doesn’t age at all. This could have something to do with a magical suitcase that emits white light and snow flurries when opened. No explanation is offered. Suffice the say that Byington is likely underlining Max’s arrested adolescence.
The story begins with Max and his steakhouse coworker Sal (Offerman) chatting. Max is a sour smart-ass, Sal is a deadpan smart-ass. Things happen, flatly. Max catches his wife (Kate Lyn Sheil) is bed with another man and barely responds. Max marries Lyla (Jess Weixler), a coworker with an unbridled love of the steakhouse’s bread sticks. They have a son, inherit big money from her father (Marshall Bell, the guy with the psychic baby growing out of his belly in the original Total Recall), let Sal move on to their estate, attend counseling with therapist Magan Mullally, etc. A babysitter (Stephanie Hunt) becomes a prominent player. So does Max and Lyla’s fully-grown son, very well played by Jonathan Togo. Affairs, successes, failures, births, deaths — it all seems so arbitrary, with the various scenes serving merely as excuses to let Max and Sal crack wise in different settings. But a curious thing happens — after a while, I came to believe that the arbitrary nature of the events was the point — affairs, successes, failures, births, deaths — it’s all part of the cycle of life. As events occur, life hums on, with Max and Sal providing muted color commentary. I didn’t find Somebody Up There Likes Me as funny as others seem to, but I was fascinated enough by the curious offering to watch it twice. I’m not sure whether the film is lackadaisically profound or simply an exercise in weirdness. Re-reading the last sentence, I think that’s a pretty good recommendation to see the movie.
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Somebody Up There Likes Me screens July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Earth House as the closing night event in Indy Film Fest; tickets $10; more info at indyfilmfest.org.
FILM CLIPS INDY FILM FEST
Indy Film Fest screenings continue through Sunday, July 29, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Earth House, with several special events planned for the weekend, including the closing night film (see above). A mini-animation festival July 28 at the Earth House that’s presented by the MG Collective, a state-wide affinity group for animators and motion designers, will feature a collection of animated shorts by MG Collective members (10:30 a.m.), as well as a hand-selected program of work from the Ottawa International Animation Festival (3 p.m.). Screening July 29 at the Earth House are the winners for the best feature and short on the Matter of Fact (2 p.m.), World Cinema (4:30 p.m.) and American Spectrum (7 p.m.) slates.
DR. NO (1962)
The first in an endless run. July 27, 9:30 p.m. @ Indianapolis Museum of Art Amphitheater
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
Careful, man, there’s a beverage here! July 27 and 28, midnight @ Keystone Art Cinema
100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // go&do
FOOD Why not sorghum?
Hoosier farm staple makes for mighty fine rum BY NEIL CHARLES NCHARLES@NUVO.NET Matt Colglazier is no stranger to the mystique of esoteric alcohols. Long before he made the first-ever commercially available distillate of sorghum, he was the publisher of a specialist website about American craft spirits, as well as a keen home brewer and director of marketing and spirits at Big Red Liquors in Bloomington. Driving around his native southern Indiana, Colglazier would see jars of sorghum at roadside stands. It didn’t take him long to realize that here was a fermentable sugar which nobody was making into alcohol. Besides which, sorghum reminded him of the malt extract he would use for brewing beer. Being the inquisitive sort, Colglazier did some research before locating a source of five gallons of the sweet sticky stuff at an Amish farm near Bromer. Adding wine yeast and water to make a trial brew, he took the resulting product to Heartland distillers, where
he met a kindred spirit in Stuart Hobson. The two joined forces to create what may well be Indiana’s most unusual craft spirit — Sorgrhum — as well as a new company, Colglazier and Hobson Distilling Co. Although not certified organic, Sorgrhum (it takes its name from a Caribbean spelling of rum) could hardly be more natural and un-tampered with. The process starts when drought-resistant grass is hand-cut and crushed in an ancient horse-driven mill. The ensuing juice is cooked down to make syrup. There are no additions or manipulations at any stage of production, making this as pure a raw product as you’re likely to find anywhere. In spite of its unique attributes and certain culinary appeal, the production of traditional sorghum isn’t exactly profitable these days. In fact, before Colglazier began negotiations with the Bromers to supply raw material, the farmers were getting ready to sell their equipment and get out of the business. Such has been the success of Sorgrhum, however, that more acreage has been planted this year, ensuring that for the foreseeable future at least, this Indiana tradition will continue with renewed vigor. Available in two versions, white and dark, Sorgrhum is a versatile spirit which happens to lend itself well to a number of classic and modern cocktails. Both are exceptionally clean spirits, with a purity and depth of flavor which only comes from expert distillation and premium raw mate-
Processing sorghum at an Amish farm — and the finished product.
rials. The white, at 43 percent alcohol, has a delightfully sweet and earthy nose leading to a full, spicy palate which gives the impression of sweetness while remaining dry. It’s perfect as a substitute for rum in mojitos or caparenas, or any other white rum-based drink, for that matter. The dark, which is aged for six months in new American oak barrels, is more complex, with creamy vanilla aromas and flavors, a hint of dark spice and a long,
well-rounded finish. It’s a great sipper, reminiscent of a fine Martinique rum, and it also lends itself well to mixing. Sorgrhum is available at finer retail outlets, including Crown Liquors, Kahns, United Package Liquors and Vine & Table. Find more info at sorgrhum.com
Neil Charles is a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine, meaning he's tasted more corked bottles than he'd care to count.
BY RITA KOHN
The most popular question around local taprooms and the like remains, “What’s your favorite beer?” (Our answer is always, “The one I’m drinking.”) But the next question these days is, “How many new breweries can Indiana sustain?” Beer Buzz would argue that there’s plenty of room for brewpubs and production breweries/tasting rooms with a realistic business plan, consistent quality beer, a solid neighborhood base and word-ofmouth reputation. So we welcomed the announcement of the founding of Indiana City Brewing Company by homebrewer Ray Kamstar. Kamstar says that, “Indiana City will be bringing beer back to the old pre-prohibition brewery building located at 24 Shelby St. near Downtown. In time, the brewery will be an outlet for local artists to display their work, perform, collaborate and expand local creative expression. Local artist Eric Stine is working with us to develop art for our three year-round brews.” Kamstar shared his brews at Tomlinson Tap Room last week, where they were well received. If you’re interested in investing, go to kickstarter.com; his campaign ends Aug. 11. Learn more at indianacitybeer.com.
Flat 12 Taproom, 414 N. Dorman St., BrewerButcher Tour and Dinner, meet at 6:15 p.m.; $65 per person; call Brittany at Smoking Goose, 638-6328; more at flat12.me. Sun King South Parking Lot, WTTS 20th Anniversary Party, 6-11 p.m., tapping of WTTS 20th Anniversary Beer: Hazy Daze Summer Wheat. Brew on the Bridge concert at Wolf Park, 4004 E. 800 N. in Battle Ground, Ind. 7-10 p.m., brews from People’s Brewing, music by The Woodstove Flapjacks, $10-12 at door, food and beer extra. More at wolfparkstore.com
Hoppy Birthday tasting featuring 40 brews with “unique hop-related attributes” at Kahn’s North Willow, 2342 W. 86th St., 5-7 p.m. The event farewell for Kahn’s “Beer Guy” Kyle Kaufman and the introduction of Al Asher in the post.
SOME NOT-TO-MISS ON TAP The RAM: Bayside Steam California Common Triton: Fortshire British Mild, their 2012 ReplicAle; (Oak Aged) 5 Barrel Brown Bier: Fruitcup Surprise; Weiazengoot Oaken Barrel: Cream Ale, the first solo beer brewed by assistant brewer Aaron Koerner Crown Brewing: Bohemian Export Pilsner, their second Crown throwback beer Half Moon: Dry hopped, seasonal golden American-Style Pale Ale, “made for the AllAmerican city of ‘Little Detroit:’ Kokomo”
The future home of Indiana City Brewing Company hasn’t been an active brewery since before Prohibition.
a&e // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
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 Power pop, revived
The Late Show finds new audience BY RO B N IC H O L S M U S I C@N UV O . N E T
lmost four decades ago, The Late Show had a shot at success. In 1974, the band went to New York City and worked with producer Jack Douglas — known for his work with John Lennon, Aerosmith and The Knack — at the Record Plant. Major labels CBS and Epic offered them record deals. The band, a potent mix of power pop vocals, guitars and reverberating drums, said no. They thought there were better offers to come. But, none came. So why is their independent debut album, Portable Pop, now getting acclaim more than 30 years after its original 1980 release? The band can thank the record label Trashy Creatures Records, which re-released the record in late May. It’s since picked up airplay on more than 70 radio stations of varying formats and dial positions. The Late Show is playing a number of Indianapolis shows this year and, according to leader Don Main, prepping a new record. NUVO spoke with Main — who went on to own the Puccini’s restaurant chain — to talk about the albums, his other band and how the hell this all happened 40 years after The Late Show got together. Formed in 1972 at North Central High School, The Late Show’s original lineup included drummer Mark Cutsinger and guitarist Kevin Kimberlin, along with Main and Mark Moran. By 1979, guitarist Rick Clayton and drummer Chris Pyle had replaced Cutsinger and Kimberlin. That lineup went into Indy’s Soundsmith Studios to record Portable Pop. Not liking the dead-sounding room, they eventually set up monitors in the loading dock area and recorded the entire album live. A gleaming, lively, of-the-period piece of work, Portable Pop echoes bands like The Knack and The Romantics, as well as the British Invasion sound, and Elvis Costello. Released in 1980 on Rave Records, it would be the only official release by The Late Show and out-of-print for many years. The band continued to play, first as The Late Show, then Recordio and finally, Rockhouse. They recorded a second record, Recordio in Stereo, in Memphis with producer John Hampton (The Raconteurs, White Stripes, The Replacements, Gin Blossoms) in 1983. It was never released, but Trashy Creatures is ready to revive some of those tracks, too.
THE LATE SHOW
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The Late Show’s 1980 LP Portable Pop; vintage band photos.
NUVO: Tell me how this deal to re-release your Portable Pop album came about.
after what may have been a letdown of not taking the major label deal years before?
DON MAIN: Well, when the Memphis label Trashy Creatures realized that we were back together and were writing new material for another release at some point, they thought that it made sense to re-release Portable Pop as a warm-up for the new record. The Late Show was very popular in Memphis and Portable Pop continues to show up on power pop lists and critics compilations. So it was just a natural thing to do. Burger Records in L.A. is also releasing on cassette with a bonus live set from 1981.
MAIN: That was not hard then. Mark and I had already blown deals with really big industry people [and] deals to be on TV guaranteed over two years. At that point, we were just happy to have four guys together who wanted to do the same thing and enjoyed doing it.
NUVO: How did you get the band back together? MAIN: We did a reunion at The Vogue a few years back. That fueled the possibility. Then we started playing just to play together, probably to retell the stories that used to propel us from state to state in a haze of self-medication, laughter and complaining, which is pretty much life on the road. But then we began contemplating another record together after all this time and it has taken on a new life. Everybody in the band is better now then ever. I think the new record will be fabulous. NUVO: After Portable Pop was recorded and released, how did you keep doing it
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NUVO: What was the evolution of going from The Late Show to Recordio? Why the name change? MAIN: Recordio came after the four of us had split for awhile, in 1983 or so. For three years, from ’80-’82 we averaged about 250 dates a year. Rick and I had developed some vocal problems so we needed to lay off for awhile. Mark and Chris went on without us with replacements. When we came back, we decided to change names and direction. Rockhouse was at the end, when you are just thrashing about [though] we were quite good and won the first Sunshine Promotions statewide battle of the bands. NUVO: Are you still a power pop guy? MAIN: I am not into stuff that sounds like it is of a period just for the sake of sounding like it came from that period. Everything borrows from everything. If it is good, it’s good. I hear stuff on the Disney channel that sounds like
Weekend wrap Forecastle Pitchfork Music Festival
All Good Festival Mayhem Festival
Beatles meets Grass Roots with auto-tune. NUVO: Tell me a bit about your other band, Hot Freak Nation. MAIN: Hot Freak Nation gets a little farther out with the songwriting collaboration of Greg Roberson and myself. We don’t have an identity, so we do what we want. [An album] comes out in July and we will see where we get pigeonholed. NUVO: What is your goal with music these days? MAIN: Finish up two records by the end of year. [There’s] more music to get out; wait until you hear this [new] stuff. NUVO: That’s all. Anything else? MAIN: I think it is pretty cool that a rerelease of a pretty obscure record like Portable Pop could get added to over 70 college and independent stations and be in the CMJ Top 200. I mean it is 30 years old.
Editor’s note: The Portable Pop album features the original 12-song LP, plus four previously unreleased studio bonus tracks recorded just prior to Portable Pop. The cassette reissue contains the original 12-song LP, plus an entire 10-song live concert from 1980.
A CULTURAL MANIFESTO
WITH KYLE LONG
Kyle Long’s music, which features off-the-radar rhythms from around the world, has brought an international flavor to the local dance music scene.
A passion for Huasteca As a kid, I was fascinated by Ritchie Valens’ 1958 hit, “La Bamba.” Years later, while researching the provenance of the song, I discovered it originated from a region of northeast Mexico, known as La Huasteca, with an incredible music tradition. I immediately fell in love with the music of the Huasteca, particularly a trio of closely affiliated genres: huapango, son huasteco and son jarocho. The genres’ rhythms are infectious, the melodies soulful and the energy always frenetic. I was excited to discover a group specializing in Huasteca music based right here in Indy: Pasion Huestaca. I met with the band after a recent gig at Locals Only, where I was seriously impressed by the group’s beautiful interpretation of the classic Huasteca repertoire. The band briefly transported me out of Locals Only into the tropical coastal vistas of Veracruz. “We’re one of only three or four bands playing this music in the entire United States,” musician Amber Martinez says. Martinez sings and plays jarana (a small, five-stringed guitar-like instrument) for Pasion Huasteca. I spoke with Martinez about the history of the group and her connections with Huasteca music. NUVO: Can you tell me how Pasion Huasteca came together? AMBER MARTINEZ: My husband Esteban and I came to Indy from California about three years ago. We started an organization called Meztli-Cultural de Indianapolis to promote Mexican folk art and preserve cultural traditions, including music. In 2010, our friend Roberto Castro came out to participate in our performance for Dia de los Muertos at the Indianapolis Art Center. When he came and played with us he was really excited about the possibilities here and he decided to move. So he and his wife, Lupe, have been here since last year. Lupe is from El Salvador originally and Roberto is from Mexico. They were living in California for 20 years and we’ve been friends for 18 years. NUVO: How did you first get involved with this music? MARTINEZ: I started as a dancer at the age of 5 with a group called Aztlan Academy. I wasn’t introduced to huasteco or huapango until I was 14. Huapango is a very difficult style to dance, you actually dance on the counter-rhythm. You don’t dance on the beat, which throws a lot of people off. My love for this region was born out of the dancing. But, I always wanted to sing and I would be singing as I was dancing. I was really just living and breathing the music. NUVO: When I listen to the music from the Hausteca region, the different styles sound very similar. Can you tell me some differences between son jarocho, huapango and son huasteco?
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Pasion Huasteca at Locals Only
MARTINEZ: I like all the genres and they are very closely related as far as instrumentation and the manner of singing, although there are some slight differences in the verses. In son huasteco we have three rounds, the first singer calls out the verse, the second singer repeats the verse and the third singer wraps it up with some poetic notion. In son jarocho there might be four of five verses that will repeat back and forth. Son jarocho and son huasteco are a lot more accessible than the huapango. Huapango is a very particular and delicate music, it takes a lot of skill and practice to master because of the delicate rhythms. A lot of songs do translate back and forth between the different genres though. For example “Cieltio Lindo” is one song that would be sung in jarocho as well as huasteco. There are many others in common too, there’s “Malagueña,” and also “La Bruja.” There are many shared songs between these genres and a lot of that has to do with proximity. When we talk about the Huasteca as a region, we’re talking about seven different states. So you hear the different genres communicating back and forth within this region. NUVO: The rhythms of these musics are very unique from other Mexican folk styles. Considering that Veracruz is known for its Afro-Mexican population, can we speculate that African music influenced these styles? MARTINEZ: Huapango was practiced by the indigenous people. Haupango comes from a Nahuatl language term that means “to beat or drum on the wood.” People would dance on wood to provide percussion for the music and the percussion is related to the rhythms of the African slaves who were brought to the region by the Spaniards and other European nations. The history of huapango goes back at least 800 years, perhaps more. There’s some dispute as to who had more influence on the style, as it is an old, old, old music. NUVO: When I think of huapango, I often associate it with the harp. But your group is primarily guitar- and violin-based. Can you tell me about the traditional instrumentation of the music? MARTINEZ: Now, in huapango there is some infusion of the harp and bass, but traditionally speaking it’s only three instru-
ments. You have the violin, which carries the melody, you have the jarana which produces the harmony and then you have the huapanguera or guitarra quinta which plays the bass. Huapango is meant to be danced, so the dancer provides a fourth instrument, which is percussion. NUVO: What’s the role of this music in contemporary Mexican culture? MARTINEZ: Politically, it’s the best way to carry a message. There are often hidden meanings within the verses and that
might be how the people would comment on the elections or criticize politicians. Socially, the lyrics have much to do with relationships, loss and mourning. The lyrics go in so many different directions. That’s one of the reasons I love this music, there are so many things we can touch upon, from patriotism to love of nature. Kyle Long creates a custom podcast for each column. Hear this week’s at NUVO.net.
When punk rock and hockey collide
BEST OF INDY CELEBRATION
Up the Pucks stages game
BY S CO T T RA Y C H E L M U S I C@N U V O . N E T When the Warped Tour comes to town, fans stand in the blistering summer heat to see some of their favorite bands play for a mere 30 minutes. This year, several miles away from the festivities, two teams of hockey enthusiasts got together in the chilly Carmel Ice Skadium to play a game of pickup hockey. Among the players were members of two of this year’s Warped Tour bands: Matt Carroll from Boston hardcore act Make Do And Mend and Chris “#2” Barker from the punk group Anti-Flag. Barker and Carroll, along with a few local musicians and several adult hockey leaguers from the Carmel Ice Skadium were brought together by Peter Evans, frontman of local punk band Iafrate and co-host of the Up The Pucks podcast, which explores the connections between hockey and punk rock on a weekly basis. “One thing I’ve always noticed [at punks shows] is there’s always a guy in a hockey jersey or shirt, so I started to wonder if there was a connection between these two things,” said Evans. “[After we started the podcast, we realized] a lot of guys in punk bands play hockey or are interested in playing hockey.” Barker also noticed the same connections in interests when he started playing hockey again after performing with Anti-Flag for several years. “I found that for the most part, a lot of people that like punk rock also play hockey,” said Barker. “I got back into hockey about four years ago, and when I started playing at my local rink, I met lots of kids who were aware I was in the band. And so I wondered if other people who were into the band liked hockey, too.” While Evans, who works and regularly plays hockey at the Carmel Ice Skadium, set up interviews with Barker and Carroll, Barker announced online he was looking to set up ice time for pickup hockey games with fans during Anti-Flag’s stops on the Warped Tour. A few Twitter messages and emails to local players later and along with the late addition of Carroll the game was ready to go.
Peter Evans of Up the Pucks
“Everyone said ‘yes.’ There was not a single ‘no’ in the bunch,” said Evans, who invited members of his adult hockey league and local bands, including Matt Wilson from It’s All Happening and Damon Lyden from The Involuntarys. The casual game of ice hockey was evenly matched, ending in a score of 16-13 in favor of Barker and Carroll’s team. According to Evans, Barker was the MVP of the game, with seven goals and three assists. Carroll played well given that he had not played for some time and borrowed someone else’s equipment for the game. “This is one of the best games I’ve been a part of,” said Barker. “It’s always the best when everyone comes with a good attitude. Sometimes I go to pickup, and people will be like ‘What is this weirdo doing here?’ but this has been great!” Barker, who has played hockey games with his fans for three years, plans to continue doing so this fall when Anti-Flag goes on tour with NOFX, with NOFX guitarist Eric Melvin joining him for the games. Even though that stretch of the tour won’t come through Indy, Evans plans to continue arranging casual pickup games of hockey on a monthly basis at the Ice Stadium, complete with PBR and punk music playing over the loud speakers. Everyone interested is invited to join. Evans hopes to eventually form his own punk rock hockey team, much like the San Francisco Ruins, a punk hockey team Melvin plays for. “It was probably the most fun I’ve had playing hockey in the last two years,” Evans said. “And I know that feeling was reciprocated by a lot of the guys I talked to at the game.”
UP THE PUCKS PODCAST
Listen on iTunes and find more information on NUVO.net
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The second annual edition of Isis of Indiana’s Girls Create Music camp culminates with a per formance on July 27 showcasing the original songs of the campers at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre. Girls Create Music is a week-long experience that instructs girls ages 9-16 in songwriting, music theory, performance, instrumental techniques for guitar, bass, drums and piano. Campers will also be given instruction in navigating the treacherous world of the music industry. Musicians Monika Herzig and Heather Ramsey founded Isis of Indiana as a way to support the aspirations of women musicians. ROCK BEAR HANDS
White Rabbit Cabaret, 116 Prospect St. 9 p.m., $10, 21+
Indie rock band Bear Hands will perform at White Rabbit Cabaret as part of a tour in support of the band’s album Songs From Utopia Volume One. The album was released on Independence Day, and the band’s website describes it as “a collection of quasi-political ‘thought pieces’ that serve as a manifestation of overwhelming white guilt and a pinko elitist liberal arts education.” Bear Hands has served as a supporting act for The XX, Vampire Weekend, As Tall As Lions, Les Savy Fav and MGMT. Guitarist Dylan Rau was classmates with MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser at Wesleyan. Opening for Bear Hands are Brooklyn-based indie rockers Fort Lean.
Sleepybear Campground, 13231 E. 146th St., Noblesville Friday-Sunday, prices vary, 21+
MojoFest features three days of the best of local, regional and national electronic, hip-hop, funk, roots and jam music, in festival form, presented by web portal and event promotions outfit IndyMojo. Stay overnight to catch the best handful of bands at venue Sleepybear Campground. You’ll see Reid Speed, Ill Gates, RoeVy, R/D, Best of Indy winners The Twin Cats, Eumatik, Mutiny, Cosby Sweater, Kaleidoscope Jukebox, Max Allen Band, Midwest Hype, The New Old Calvary, Jfet, Shy Guy Says, MC Sparkplug, Elton Mack, Psynapse vs. Gizzmo, Rudy Kizer, Steady vs. Brian Summers, James B, Jeremy Daeger, Ed Trauma, Heavy Gun emcees Grey Granite and Freddie Bunz, Blue Moon Revue, Brad Real, Mass Appeal, Buck Rodgers and more and more and more. Actually, at least 20 more artists are on the lineup, so you’ll want to check out the full thing for yourself at mojostock2012.eventbrite.com.
BEST OF INDY NUVO BEST OF INDY PARTY
Sun King Brewing Co., 135 N. College Ave. 2 p.m., $6 advance, $7 door, 21+
You voted in our 2012 Best of Indy poll — now come enjoy the show. Our cover subject, Oreo Jones, is slated to perform with his collaborator DJ Action Jackson, as well as the A-Squared DJs, Devil To Pay, Gay Black Republican and Angel Burlesque — all Best Of winners in the nightlife category. But that’s not all, no, not all at all. Nicey Treat, Hot Box, Yats, Bru Burger, West Coast Tacos, Bazbeaux’s and, of course,
The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, Hammond, Ind. 8 p.m., $62-$73, 21+
The men of Weezer bring their summer tour to The Venue at Horseshoe Casino. Weezer has been quiet on the album front as of late after releasing three studio albums and a rarities collection between 2008 and 2010. The band was expected to release its 10th studio album in 2011, though the year passed without its release, although drummer Patrick Wilson released Natural, the fourth studio album for his side project, The Special Goodness. The band has been busy on the touring front; in January of this year the band staged the Weezer Cruise, a four-day voyage to Cozumel, Mexico. They most recently performed in the area at Bunbury Music Festival; see a review of the performance online at NUVO.net.
SOUNDCHECK Sun King will be plying their tasty treats to all attendees. Kahn’s Fine Wines will also bring a bevy of all-Indiana wines for your enjoyment. Tickets purchased in advance are $1 of f. See more info at NUVO.net, and peruse the winners in the included guide.
Club Venus A GENTLEMAN’S CLUB
3535 West 16th Street
Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park, 801 W. Washington St. 7:30 p.m., $43-$62.50, all-ages
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ROCK FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
After jumping across the pond and making a big, big splash, British songstress Florence Welch returns once again to the Lawn. She was here last Independence Day, when she choreographed her encore to fireworks set off behind the stage, in a bizarre and lovely British-American celebration. No word on whether she’ll be bringing fire back with her, but she’s definitely got several more songs. Welch and her band are currently on the Ceremonials Tour, which began in October of 2011, and features an ambitious itinerary expected to last until December of 2012. The band’s sophomore release has enjoyed critical and commercial success, Appearing on many critics’ best of the year lists. Florence + The Machine released its second live album, MTV Unplugged, in April. The Walkmen serve as opening act for Florence + The Machine for the summer leg of its world tour. The Walkmen released Heaven, its seventh studio album in May; Stereogum called it the second best album of the year.
ROOTS BLITZEN TRAPPER
Deluxe at Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St. 8 p.m., $19, all-ages
Country-folk band Blitzen Trapper will play the Deluxe at the Old National Centre supported by Sarah Jaffe. The band’s most recent released was 2011’s American Goldwing, which received generally favorable reviews, though to less acclaim than prior releases. Blitzen Trapper also released a limited edition single featuring a cover of murder ballad“Hey Joe” for Record Store Day 2012. The band’s take on the rock standard was more influenced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s version of the track than versions cut by Love, The Leaves and The Byrds. Sarah Jaffe is a singer-songwriter from Denton, Texas. who released a new album, The Body Wins , this year.
ROOTS ALABAMA SHAKES
The Vogue, 6259 N. College Ave. 8 p.m., $21, 21+
Bluesy southern rock band The Alabama Shakes is headlining a sold-out show at The V ogue, supported by Dry The River. The band, which formed in 2009, has experienced a quick rise in fame and plenty of buzz around their live act. A four-song EP titled Alabama Shakes was released in September 2011 and helped the group earn an invitation to play CMJ. They’re also scheduled to release a series of singles for Jack White’s Third Man Record label. The band’s debut record, Boys & Girls debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200. Supporting act, Dry The River are an English folk rock act that mined Appalachia nostalgia — with songs like “Bible Belt” and “Shaker Hymns” — for their debut album, Shallow Bed. and like the headlining act, released a full-length album this year.
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ROCK JIMMY BUFFETT
Klipsch Music Center, 12880 E. 146th St., Noblesville 8 p.m., $48.85-$157.50, all-ages
Parrotheads unite! Jimmy Buffett makes his annual pilgrimage to Indiana for a night of songs about drinking, cheeseburgers and the ocean. If you missed the Beach Boys in Cincinnati in late June, you now have the perfect excuse for breaking out your Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts before you retire them for the summer. Buffett’s 40-plus-year career has garnered him a devoted group of fans who just adore his fun in the sun music and jump at the chance to get wasted in the heat during one of his summer concerts.
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NEWS OF THE WEIRD
The newest human right
Plus, beware the guerrilla housekeeper Perspective: Of the world’s 7 billion people, an estimated 2.6 billion do not have toilet access, and every day a reported 4,000 children die from sanitationrelated illnesses. However, in May, in Portland, Ore., Douglas Eki and “Jason” Doctolero were awarded $332,000 for wrongful firing because they complained about being inconvenienced at work by not having an easily available toilet. Menzies Aviation had arranged for the men to use facilities at nearby businesses at their Portland International Airport site, but the men said they felt unwelcome at those places and continued to complain (and use buckets). One juror said afterward that having easy access to a toilet was a “basic human right,” citing the “dignity (of) being able to go to the bathroom within 30 seconds or a minute.” Said Doctolero, “Hopefully, no one will have to suffer what I went through.”
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
• When Sherry Bush returned home in Westlake, Ohio, in May, she found an “invoice” written on a napkin, left by “Sue Warren,” billing her $75 for a housecleaning that Warren had done while Bush was out. However, Bush never heard of Warren, and there had been reports by others in Westlake of Warren’s aggressive acquisition of “clients.” “Did you get the wrong house?” Bush asked Warren when she found “Sue Warren Cleaning” online. “No,” said Warren, “I do this all the time. I just stop and clean your house.” Warren was not immediately charged with a crime. • Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker still owes the IRS a reported $6 million and now sells a line of “survival” products to help true believers live through the coming apocalypse. (It is unclear whether believers need to “survive,” since the popular reading of the apocalypse casts it as a fast track to heaven for the faithful.) The Talking Points Memo blog did some comparative shopping and found many of Bakker’s items to be over-
priced by as much as 100 percent. Bakker also offers the devout a $100 Silver Solution Total Body Cleanse Kit, which includes enemas.
• Medical Marvel: A 63-year-old woman in South Korea bit into a portion of squid and later felt “bug-like organisms” moving around in her mouth. According to doctors at the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Md., writing in a recent paper, the squid had probably expelled its spermatophores as if it were attempting insemination. (When squid is eaten in the West, the internal organs have been removed, but apparently not in South Korea.) A scientist who has worked with squid commented on the professional network Science 2.0, “I’ve probably had hundreds of spermatophores ejaculate on my fingers and never felt a sting.” • A start-up venture in Singapore announced in June that it has developed an adult diaper made of “Sofshell,” a substance that hardens on contact and redistributes weight -- so that if seniors fall on their rear ends, the impact will be absorbed with a lesser risk of broken bones. One of the developers demonstrated by dropping a bowling ball on a cellphone protected by the material, and the phone suffered not a scratch. • Researchers at the National University of Singapore described, in a recent issue of the journal Biology Letters, how a certain species of male tropical spider seemingly improves its chances of successful mating by castrating itself after releasing sperm. The scientists hypothesize that testes-removal makes the male nimbler and better able to trick and outflank competitor males that attempt to reinseminate the same females. Improving their strategic mobility also enables the male to avoid being killed by the female, which is yet another hazard in the spider-mating process.
Leading Economic Indicators
• While top stars of World Wrestling Entertainment, such as John Cena and Triple H, earn upwards of several hundred thousand dollars a year in U.S. rings, pro wrestlers in Senegal can (in the wrestling variation called laamb) make almost that amount too. In May, the undefeated national “champion,” the “King of the Arena” Yekini, suffered his first defeat in 15 years at the hands
news of the weird // 07.25.12-08.01.12 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER
of Balla Gaye 2, before a capacity crowd at Demba Diop Stadium in Dakar, earning the combatants a reported equivalent of $300,000 each. (Per capita income in the U.S. is about $40,000 and in Senegal, $1,900.) • Hard Times: (1) In May, the Missoula (Mont.) Sheriff’s Office was investigating the theft of a car from the victim’s yard -- a 1976 Ford Pinto (which, in addition to being a Pinto, had four flat tires). (2) In Mesa, Ariz., in May, Manuel Ovalle, 35, was charged with burglary after allegedly breaking into a home and taking a Playstation 3 and two bags of water from the home’s swimming pool. (Ovalle told police his own home had no water supply.)
• Suspicions Confirmed: Scientists from Lund University’s Primate Research Station Furuvik in Sweden announced in May that they had evidence that chimpanzees are able to delay using weapons they encounter, hide them and retrieve them later for use against “foes.” The weapons were stones and chunks of concrete, and the foes were visitors to the zoo who annoyed the chimps. According to the researchers, the 33-year-old chimp Santino also took pains to hide the weapons in locations where they could be accessed easily for the element of surprise against the visitors. • Bullfighting may be on the wane in some countries because of complaints about cruelty, but in the village of Aproz, Switzerland, there is a replacement each May: cow-fighting contests. According to a Wall Street Journal dispatch, this is a serious business, especially for Alain Balet, whose cow Manathan has won the heavyweight title for three years running, and who “follow(s) training regimens worthy of professional athletes,” including engaging masseuses. The action, however, is mostly head-butting (plus “abundant slobber,” reported the Journal), and the “contest” is won when one of the cows loses interest and wanders away. Balet pointed out an obvious additional pleasure in raising championship cows: “It’s still a cow. I can eat her.”
• Police in Decatur, Ala., were called to a home on South Locust Street in May on a report of a gunshot. They found that a
61-year-old man, who had been drinking beer to ease his toothache, had finally had enough and attempted to eliminate the tooth by shooting his jaw with a .25-caliber pistol. He was hospitalized.
• Undignified Deaths: (1) A prominent karate instructor and superhero impersonator (of the Marvel Comics character Wolverine) was found dead in Carshalton, England, in February, and a coroner’s inquest in May determined it was yet another sexual-misadventure death. The 50-year-old was discovered wrapped in a red nylon sheet with his neck and ankles tightly bound in what police estimated was three rolls of cling film. (2) Though authorities could not be certain, evidence suggests that Vicente Benito, whose body was found in his home in the village of Canizal, Spain, in May, might have been lying there for almost 20 years. The mayor of the 520-person hamlet told a reporter for London’s The Guardian that since the man had always been a hermit, he had apparently not been missed. No one noticed a smell coming from the home, but since the house was close to a pigsty, that was not unusual, either.
• (1) A pair of mated giant tortoises that had lived in harmony for 115 years in zoos in Klagenfurt, Austria, are a couple no more, and apparently things ended badly. In June, the female Bibi bit off part of the male Poldi’s shell, and efforts to reconcile the pair, including using aphrodisiacs, proved futile. (2) Daniel Collins Jr., 72, was charged with aggravated assault in Teaneck, N.J., in June after allegedly threatening to shoot a 47-yearold neighbor. Collins said he was reacting to the neighbor’s passing gas loudly outside Collins’ apartment after the two men had been discussing noise. Thanks This Week to Telaraj Webster, John Beyrau, Gary DaSilva, Peter Levy, and Michael Tubbs, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
©2012 CHUCK SHEPHERD DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@ earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): In your personal chart, the planet Uranus symbolizes those special talents you have that are especially useful to other people. Which aspects of your soulful beauty are potentially of greatest service to the world? How can you express your uniqueness in ways that activate your most profound generosity? If you learn the answers to these questions, you will make great progress toward solving the riddle that Uranus poses. I’m happy to report that the coming years will provide you with excellent opportunities to get to the bottom of this mystery. And now would be a good time to launch a concerted effort. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): In the coming weeks, I’m afraid there’s only a very small chance that you’ll be able to turn invisible at will, shapeshift into an animal form and back, or swipe the nectar of immortality from the gods. The odds of success are much higher, though, if you will attempt less ambitious tasks that are still pretty frisky and brazen. For example, you could germinate a potential masterpiece where nothing has ever grown. You could legally steal from the rich and give the spoils to the poor. And you could magically transform a long-stuck process that no one thought would ever get unstuck. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Are there are any weaknesses or problems in your approach to communication? They will be exposed in the coming weeks. If you’re even slightly lazy or devious about expressing yourself, you will have to deal with the karmic consequences of that shortcoming. If there’s more manipulativeness than love in your quest for connection, you’ll be compelled to do some soulsearching. That’s the bad news, Gemini. The good news is that you will have far more power than usual to upgrade the way you exchange energy with others. In fact, this could be the time you enter into a golden age of communication. CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you narrow your focus now, the world will really open up for you in the second half of October and November. To the degree that you impose limitations on your desire to forever flow in all directions, you will free up creative ideas that are currently buried. So summon up some tough-minded discipline, please. Refuse to let your moodiness play havoc with your productivity. Dip into your reserve supply of high-octane ambition so you will always have a sixth sense about exactly what’s important and what’s not. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The state of Maine has a law that prohibits anyone from leaving an airplane while it is flying through the air. This seems like a reasonable restriction until you realize how badly it discriminates against skydivers. Legal scholars will tell you that examples like this are not at all rare. Laws tend to be crude, onesize-fits-all formulations. And as I’m sure you’ve discovered in your travels, Leo, one-size-fits-all formulations always squash expressions of individuality. In the coming weeks, be extra alert for pressures to conform to overly broad standards and sweeping generalizations. Rebel if necessary. You have license to be yourself to the tenth power. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I propose that you try to accomplish the following clean-up projects in the next four weeks: ten bushels of weeds yanked out of your psychic landscape; 25 pounds of unused stuff and moldering junk hauled away from your home; ten loads of dirty laundry (especially the metaphorical kind) washed free of taint and stains -- and not blabbed about on social media; at least $5,000 worth of weird financial karma scrubbed away for good; a forgotten fence mended; and a festering wound tended to until it heals.
addicted to beliefs that hide the true nature of the universe. That’s the bad news, Libra. The good new s is that every now and then, each of us slips into a grace period when it’s possible to experience at least some of the glory we’re normally cut off from. The veil opens, and previously undetected beauty appears. The weeks ahead will be the closest you’ve come to this breakthrough in a long time. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Can you guess which European country has the best military record in the last eight centuries? It’s France. Out of the 185 battles its soldiers have engaged in, they’ve won 132 and lost only 43. Ten times they fought to a draw. Of all the signs of th e zodiac, Scorpio, I think you have the best chance of compiling a comparable record in the next ten months. Your warrior-like qualities will be at a peak; your instinct for achieving hard-fought victories may be the stuff of legends years from now. But please keep in mind what the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu said in his iconic text The Art of War: The smart and powerful warrior always avoids outright conflict if possible, and wins by using slyer means. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): After consulting the astrological omens, I’ve concluded that during the next three weeks, you will deserve the following titles: 1. Most Likely to Benefit from Serendipitous Adventures; 2. Most Likely to Exclaim “Aha!”; 3. Most Likely to Thrive While Wandering in Wild Frontiers and Exotic Locales; 4. Most Likely to Have a Wish Come True If This Wish Is Made in the Presence of a Falling Star. You might want to wait to fully embody that fourth title until the period between August 9 and 14, when the Perseids meteor shower will be gracing the night skies with up to 170 streaks per hour. The peak flow will come on August 12 and 13. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You may have to travel far and wide before you will fully appreciate a familiar resource whose beauty you’re half-blind to. It’s possible you’ll have to suffer a partial loss of faith so as to attrac t experiences that will make your faith stronger than it ever was. And I’m guessing that you may need to slip outside your comfort zone for a while in order to learn what you need to know next about the arts of intimacy. These are tricky assignments, Capricorn. I suggest you welcome them without resentment. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): My daughter Zoe has been writing some fine poetry these last few years. I regard it as professional-grade stuff that has been born of natural talent and developed through discipline and hard work. You might ask, quite reasonably, whether my evaluation of her literary output is skewed by fatherly pride. I’ve considered that possibility. But recently, my opinion got unbiased corroboration when her school awarded her with the “All-College Honor” for her poetry manuscript. I predict you will soon have a comparable experience. Your views or theories will be confirmed by an independent and objective source. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The critic Dorothy Parker didn’t think highly of Katherine Hepburn’s acting skills. “She runs the emotional gamut from A to B,” said Parker. I realize that what I’m about to suggest may be controversial, but I’m hoping you will be Hepburnlike in the coming week, Pisces. This is not the right time, in my astrological opinion, for you to entertain a wide array of slippery, syrupy, succulent feelings. Nor would it be wise to tease out every last nuance of the beguiling vibes rising up within you. For the time being, you need to explore the pleasures of discerning perception and lucid analysis. Get lost in deep thought, not rampant passion.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Philosopher William Irwin Thompson says that we humans are like flies creeping along the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We literally cannot see the splendor that surrounds us. As a result, we don’t live in reality. We’re lost in our habitual perceptions, blinded by our favorite illusions, and Homework: Each of us has a secret ignorance that’s burning a hole in our soul. What’s yours, and what are you going to do about it? Testify at Freewillastrology.com.
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