a ton of good bands [promoters] want to expose to the scene but it’s hard to book shows with limited places,” says Vorndran. In the meantime, he and Peoni will be at the showcase, soaking up some of their favorite new acts.
SHE DOES IS MAGIC She Does Is Magic has a new album out that I think is very accessible and very cool; the instrumental and singing alternate.
TODD HEATON’S STREET SPIRITS
Todd Heaton plays drums with KO; he had a band called Our Imaginary Friends a few years ago.
BEER Beer is my band. [The name is] actually a reference to a Thomas Pynchon novel; Beer is a band in one of his books about some dudes who just have fun. It’s just for fun.
SWEET RETREAT Sweet Retreat is my friend Chris Mosson, of Charlie and the Skunks. For this, he’s playing with Tony Beemer and Jordan Allen from Ancient Slang.
ROYALTY Royalty is Grady Land and a drummer. It’s real loose rock and roll, but with a blues/ Black Keys vibe.
HOTFOX They keep getting better; Oliver keeps writing better songs. They decreased their band size as well — take a little bit out, and the songs get better and stronger.
THEE ROCKEFELLER SHEIKS Really loud, garage punk. Wild rock and roll by a straightforward trio.
CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL This is the only Lafayette band on the show. The singer, Zech, described it to me as “twang-pop.”
HEN They cross so many borders — comedy, music, performance art.
CALEB MCCOACH Caleb plays folk-country, understated music. I’m not sure if he’s playing with a full band or not, but either way, it will be good.
HA HA YOU This is Shawn Woolfolk’s band, who is in Household Guns. They’re kind of an all-star new band.
TEENAGE STRANGE It’s a couple guys from the Kemps and a new guy. They’re super rock and roll; really loud, really garage-rock oriented.
BED This is Ben Bernthal from Accordions, and Hammer Screwdriver and several guys from those groups.
PETER & THE KINGS This is Peter King’s solo project. He plays drums in Learner Dancer and several other bands. He’s a really great songwriter; his songs have clever, weird lyrics.
COWBOY ANGELS Dan Schepper, who played in Everything, Now! — this is his solo band. He’s switching to more of a rock format with this project.
PHOTO BY BRYAN MOORE
Scene from Cataracts, organized by Jacob Gardner in August
Growing a scene
“I think Indy’s music scene could learn a lot from the tech scene.” Jeb Banner, SmallBox and Musical Family Tree
in Source Materials. (Editor’s note: See a review of Christian Taylor’s EP by Grant Catton online at NUVO.net.) “We thought of Christian immediately because he’s a great musician, an amazing songwriter and he does a lot for the community, but he hasn’t always been able to get into the studio and release records,” Rogers told NUVO at the time of the project. MFT organized another recording session with artist Lisa Berlin, Brandon Jackson and Jason Arnold; the group recorded in Brian Jones Studio in mid-July. Projects will continue approximately quarterly and can be downloaded on the site. Other forthcoming changes to the site include the embeddable playlists, a new mobile site and even more bios telling the history of some of the 1,001 groups archived already.
As evidenced by Saturday’s lineup and the variety of acts stockpiled on MFT, the city is stacked with talented young artists making exciting music. But it’s no secret that most of these musicians’ time is consumed with day jobs necessary to support their real passions. “The thing that drives me crazy is that you’ve got people like that who are making their livings delivering subs for Jimmy John’s. [These are] people who are doing meaningful cultural things for the city — as meaningful as anything the symphony is doing, or the zoo is doing, in my opinion. They’re making this a place for young professionals to live,” says Banner. GloryHole Records label owner Jim Peoni knows the feeling. “I see them and think, ‘You’re so good at playing drums; I hate to see you washing dishes.’ Big bands have those problems too; it’s a problem,” he says. He’s sees grand potential in the city. “The music scene here is really amazing. I visit other major label showcases and think, ‘We have a really hot scene here,” says Peoni. Peoni is currently searching for a private venue of his own to open with Cataracts founder Jacob Gardner. “Somewhere we won’t get kicked out of, or shut down or bothered,” Peoni says, with a laugh. Indy blogger and promoter Derek Vorndran, founder of The In-Store, will welcome the opening. “For the size Indy is, there are only really three to four venues to see shows; there are
“There are people, 10 or more years older than me, who still love playing music who are still struggling to figure out how to make time for it, how to market themselves, all of that. I see MFT as trying to bridge that — [to say] there are people paying attention to what you do. If we can find ways to get musicians paid and get them good gigs, that’s what we want to do,” says Rogers. An idea, proposed in part by Banner and Asthmatic Kitty’s Michael Kauffman, to found an Indiana Musicians Council, ideally will do exactly that. The concept is to create a self-sustaining music scene — a place where musicians are respected and can make a living doing what they do well. Another scene is already successfully accomplishing this — in fact, Banner proposes that the Indy’s music scene could learn a lot from the tech scene. And, indeed, they’re already inextricably tied. For example, Banner’s SmallBox sponsors a majority of the projects on MFT, and past and future employees of the site, including Rogers, moonlight at his company. “There’s a reason we have breakout tech companies here, like ExactTarget and Slingshot. There’s a real lack of ego here. You see that in the leadership of these large companies. They’re not focused on building their wealth as much as they’re focused on building their business, and that business is involved in the community,” says Banner. He sees these burgeoning local tech giants as holding the potential to determine the city’s musical community’s direction. “The Lillies of the world, they supported things like the Symphony. I feel like ExactTarget is going to be the next Lilly. These new tech companies, they’re going to help decide, in a lot of ways, what the music scene will look like. They’ll sponsor and pay and support,” says Banner. The Musicians Council will appropriate the model of similar councils flourishing in Canada in order to create a city more like some of the places Indy musicians looking to break through flock to. “There are places all over that are like that: Austin, Portland, Seattle, Athens. Places where you think of music when you think of the place. How do we make this a musical city? It’s not that the bands in Austin are better than the bands in Indianapolis. It’s just been capitalized [in Austin]; it’s been turned into something. People who love music live in that city and want to be part of it. Indianapolis can be like that, but the important thing that I’m finding out is that nobody can make it as one person,” says Rogers.
How will this be achieved? “It would involve different promoters and venue owners, record labels and other people that are involved with Indiana music. I think it’s the right time for it, because a lot of people are interested in cultural arts,” says Rogers. Banner cites one group whose leadership has already changed the Indy cultural scene as an integral part of the idea. “Nobody has shifted our brand on a national level as much as Dodge and [MOKB Presents]. A lot of people think
100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 10.03.12-10.10.12
// cover story
Growing Music: Musical Family Tree greens Indy's scene.