Page 1

THIS WEEK in this issue

NOV. 30 - DEC. 07, 2011

VOL. 22 ISSUE 46 ISSUE #1032

cover story




During a 10-day-long trip this fall, Lee, a Herron professor, explored glaciers in the Juneau Ice Field, with the purpose of using art and photography to reveal the disturbing reality of glacial melt. BY DAN GROSSMAN • COVER PHOTO BY MICHAEL HOEFLE









This year Indianapolis has, by our count, a whopping seven productions of the Nutcracker, each offering a different spin on the old story. Enjoy the gift of choice as your decide which Nutcracker is right for you and yours.


music 23








Some crazy twists to the Occupy Indy story have emerged over the last couple of weeks: a contentious financial instrument, a faction divide, arrests and an unsuccessful Taser deployment. BY REBECCA TOWNSEND



The staff is warm and welcoming, the food has wide appeal, the service is smartly efficient and the space is elegant and spacious. The truly extraordinary breaded bone-in veal chop was the best I’ve enjoyed since a memorable lunch in Vienna 27 years ago. BY NEIL CHARLES

Four female singer-songwriters will take their talents to the Locals Only stage this Saturday. Cara Jean Wahlers, Bobbie Lancaster, and Kate Lamont are familiar to the Indianapolis scene, but this is Kim Taylor’s first solo performance here. Her songs have been showcased on various primetime TV shows, including “One Tree Hill,” “Smallville,” “Justified” and more. BY GRANT CATTON

from the readers


Why wasn’t he asked about all the staff that was let go in his short time at the IMA? (“Maxwell Anderson: The exit interview,” David Hoppe, Nov. 23-30, 2011) … Instead of working to keep people they worked to get money to open their nature park or to obtain art even though 90% of their art has never been seen but in … storage. …The people are what makes a museum great. I guess everyone forgot that. …

To NUVO intern Jill McCarter, we are so sorry to have misspelled your name in your recent coal ash story (“Congress continues attack on coal ash regulation,” Jill McCarter, Nov. 16-23.) Please forgive us and keep up the good work.

Posted by William Frye via


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HAMMER Living with the past

Can’t run, can’t hide …



man can attempt to run away from his history, that is to say, one can usually live out one’s existence quite satisfactorily with only the passing nod to everything he has experienced, until something happens to where he can’t do that any longer. Other people dwell and obsess upon, not only their own personal history, but every notable event that’s happened in their lives, interjecting themselves into great events by recounting where they were when they heard about 9/11 or the election of Barack Obama. Most people are a mixture of both personality types, reminiscing about things when they feel the need but focusing mostly on the moment, things such as getting the kids to school, that important project at school or work, etc. For some reason, history has been sitting on me like the famous albatross from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” not something pleasant, no, but something that is to be both respected, feared and, if possible, avoided, as you would a 25-pound sea bird perched on your shoulders. The Thanksgiving holiday reminded me of this over and over, from my 92-year-old grandmother talking about her travels of long ago, of working hard for a dollar an hour, of the losses she has known. You don’t get to be 92, let alone half that age, without having a lot of accumulated memories and tragedies fused in your DNA by happenstance. The holidays are tough on a lot of people for that reason; for some folks it’s hard to live through the present Christmas season when you remember all the ones that preceded it, with their associated joys and sorrows present with you almost as a physical entity. With my wife away at her parents’ home and me stuck in Indianapolis tending to a terminally ill friend, history seemed to be everywhere. I couldn’t get away from it. It took the form of the ’70s TV shows in perpetual reruns to specials on the JFK assassination and the space shuttle disaster and much more personal things, such as finding old family photographs or notes written years ago and newly rediscovered. It is a fact that most people form their cultural tastes and habits at a relatively early age. The music you prefer is probably the same music with which you grew up. If you’ve always preferred, say,

Coca-Cola, you’ll probably be a Coke drinker for life. So while the future is slowly revealed by the present, in some ways the past never goes anywhere. It’s always beside you, whether you want it or not. Sometimes a person can get inundated with it to the point where it overwhelms you, particularly when the memories are of a painful nature, but sometimes even when they are not. We see this in the high school football god or head cheerleader who tries, with ever increasing difficulty, to ride their former popularity for years, sometimes decades, afterward. History to them is like an ATM, something that can be relied upon to deliver every time until the overdraft fees come. Some scholars of quantum mechanics have postulated that time is an illusory notion, meaning that concepts we know past and future have already “happened,” in the sense that each occupies a unique time-space that is perpetually unfolding. This same concept is found in many religious texts and even in the minds of people, such as when they say that a departed loved one is “still with us,” which sometimes is enough to bring solace to those in dismay. So your beloved pet or your deceased parent is gone to us but is still living in the places of time-space that they inhabited. The past coexists with the present and future in the giant loaf of bread that is eternity. So John Kennedy is still cavorting with Marilyn Monroe and enjoying an automobile drive through Dallas, Martin Luther King Jr. is still talking about the mountaintop and the promised land he hopes one day to see and, by definition, Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray are still loading their rifles. But your first love is still unfolding as are all your other moments of joy, victory and transcendence. So things may be rough right now — and for me and most everyone I know, they are — and those things are permanent and cannot be removed, even though the future by definition makes no promises of any kind. One feels compelled to apologize to the readers who’ve trudged through this column only to discover I have no astonishing insights or conclusions about these matters, only the begrudging acknowledgment that they exist for all of us and there’s literally nothing we can do about it. I’ll come up with some boob jokes and sarcastic comments about politicians next week; as things presently stand, I’m at a desk listening to the rain hit the roof and the ideas and memories flow through my brain. Thanks for reading. „

So while the future is slowly revealed by the present … the past never goes anywhere.

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HOPPE IPS is done

There is no system


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y now the news has had time to sink in: The state will take over four schools in Indianapolis — Arlington, Howe and Manual high schools and the Emma Donnan Middle School. Just what this means, exactly, remains to be seen. That’s because the state isn’t actually going to take charge of these so-called “failing” schools. The state is turning management of them over to private operators who will then be charged with providing kids with a better education in these buildings than they were getting before. Some people think this is good news. They think students at these schools have been getting cheated out of a decent education by inept teachers and administrators. Other people think the takeovers are terrible. They argue that while these schools have certainly been wracked with problems, it’s wrong to think that putting them in the hands of private operators is going to solve anything. They also object to what they see as an assault on our public education system. Time, of course, will tell. One thing, though, seems clear: The public education system as we have known it in Indianapolis is almost certainly finished. Actually, you could argue that Indianapolis has never had a truly coherent system of public education. Racial segregation kept city schools from being truly unified. But it also must be said that, during that period, the overall quality of education here was better than it would ever be again. Those were the glory days of Crispus Attucks High School — the city’s “Black” high school — and, a few miles north, Shortridge, known for its academic excellence. More important, that was a time when neighborhood schools were a source of stability for the families who lived in close proximity to the places where their kids were taught. Court-ordered busing, the first major intervention into the administration of Indianapolis Public Schools by outside interests, put an end to that era. In 1971, federal Judge Hugh Dillin found that IPS was organized around racial lines and ordered that African-American kids be bused to predominantly white schools. In 1981, a federal court ordered that 7,000 African-American kids be shipped to schools in other townships. The consequence: Since 1971, IPS has lost over 70,000 students and closed more than 100 schools. Now IPS has a student population that hovers around 30,000, not exactly the kind of number you would ordinarily associate

with a city of almost one million people. In spite of the structural and social challenges that have dogged its path, IPS has created innovative magnet schools, including Montessori options, the Centers for Inquiry, and the Key School, as well as programs designed around the arts and humanities, the sciences and civics. But even these programs have, in a backhanded way, undermined the fundamental concept of a unified school system, substituting a smorgasbord of options for a comprehensive vision defining what a meaningful education, for all kids, should be. In the highly touted film about the crisis in American education, Waiting For Superman, the case was made that the highwater mark in American public schools came during the baby boom of the 1950s and ’60s. Schools were built in record numbers and academic achievement soared. But public education in those days wasn’t about providing families with an array of options, tailored to learning styles. It was one size fits all, and kids were tracked for vocational studies or college prep. In many ways, schools seemed to be modeled on the draft experience that so many parents lived through during the second World War. In World War II, millions of young men from around the country were drafted. The armed forces became the closest approximation of America’s supposed melting pot that anyone had ever seen, as guys from big cities were thrown together with country boys and all manner of ethnic groups mingled (as long as they were white). Postwar public schools took a similar tack. There was a basic curriculum and everyone experienced it together, regardless of what part of town — or what part of the country — they lived in. It may not have been the best way to educate kids, but it was a mighty unifying experience. I suspect that experience is at the heart of what the defenders of public education are talking about when they lament the dismantling of IPS. Trouble is, the people who remember a time when public education really worked are getting older. Most of us no longer have school-age kids of our own. The issue of what happens to IPS is increasingly abstract — it’s not about what impacts our families, but our city and its “quality of life.” While we can appreciate what’s at stake, it’s happening at a distance. Younger parents necessarily feel a greater urgency. Their kids’ lives are happening here and now and are more important than the perpetuation of an idea called IPS. I’m doubtful about whether statesponsored school takeovers can work. But without a truly unified educational system, school reform can only take place one building at a time. That’s what we’ve come to. IPS — the Indianapolis Public Schools system — is done. „

The people who remember a time when public education really worked are getting older.


by Wayne Bertsch

HAIKU NEWS by Jim Poyser

climate scientists emails hacked; naught new beneath the blistering sun anti-occupy powers suggest pepper spray is nutritional U.S. citizens called to make sacrifice by answering pollsters like Pavlov’s dogs we flock to malls to continue consumerist ways gal who shot pepper spray to beat fellow shoppers is salt of the earth study says U.S. health care system proficient at screwing patients U.S. won’t sign Green Climate Fund abandoning Mother Earth again U.S. students, freed from Egypt, release floodgates of tears, gratitude Pacers’ quest: thwarting curse they instigated with the Detroit Pistons Ruth Stone was lucky to be born as were we to read her poetry


Follow @jimpoyser on Twitter for more Haiku News.


About 184,500 people in Marion County, or about 21 percent of the local population, lived at or below the poverty level in 2010, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. This marks an increase of 7.4 percent from 2009. Of this group, about 68,200 are children aged 1 to 17. An estimated 30.7 percent of the county’s children live in poverty. The survey data estimated the median income in Marion County at about $39,393 in 2010, down 4.4 percent from a year earlier.


The need for solid land stewardship was brought into sharp relief this week when the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization released a report finding that a quarter of the earth’s land is highly degraded. Ag production has grown 2.5 to 3 times over the last 50 years to keep up with demand, yet, often times, the practices used to accomplish those gains further degrade and erode the available land, the report’s authors note. Still, demand continues to grow. “Toward 2050, rising population and incomes are expected to call for 70 percent more food production globally, and up to 100 percent more in developing countries, relative to 2009 levels,” the report said. The 2007 Census of Agriculture estimated that Indiana had 14,773,184 acres of farmland, down nearly 752,000 acres from 1997. As our farmland continues to be lost to other uses, Hoosiers must acknowledge the connections between our land-use choices and our role as a leading global food source. We need to make sure we are preserving our soil, not paving it under or washing it away with careless production practices.


A positive note from Indiana’s 2010 Medical Error Report: No reported deaths or serious disabilities from medication errors occurred during this period. In years past, the report noted anywhere from three to eight deaths per year. Our local medical professionals still have plenty of medical malpractice fears to face, though. The report notes 33 cases of surgical items left in patients and 17 falls in medical facilities resulting in a death or serious disability. Lawmakers have kept the legal bogeyman somewhat at bay, however. The state caps medical malpractice claims at $1.25 million.

THOUGHT BITE By Andy Jacobs Jr. Local critic Dan Landwerlen suggests Mrs. Gingrich’s emergency jewelry needs fueled hubby’s appetite for lobby largesse.

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news Occupy divided

Free society can get ugly



ome crazy twists to the Occupy Indy story have emerged over the last couple of weeks: a contentious financial document, a faction divide, arrests and an unsuccessful Taser deployment. On the face it, Occupy Indy looks a lot like it has over the few weeks since it started — a rotating bunch of characters encamped at the Indiana Statehouse, sometimes protesting with signs decrying financial injustice or advocating individual freedom, other times huddled under the building’s eaves to stay warm in the bone-chilling rain. Beneath the surface, though, some fractures are evident among the various personalities that have contributed to the local occupation. A group calling itself the Occupy legal committee issued a statement last week announcing that the group would sever ties with Deanna Erickson, one of two Occupy Indy participants who had been arrested during the protest. Another group, IndyOWS, issued a Nov. 17 news release to “renounce the behavior of the individuals occupying the State House lawn under the guise of Occupy Indianapolis.” The statement cites the election of leaders in “a leaderless movement,” the tolerance of violent members and suspicion of the revocable living trust established to handle donations. In separating from the Statehouse group, IndyOWS vowed to work “to educate the public on corporate involvement in the government and working towards policy change at the state level.”

Bogus banishment

The legal committee’s statement claimed that Erickson had taken it upon herself to take actions on behalf of the movement without permission from the movement. Four committee members’ names were listed on the statement, including James Kerner, the other protestor who had been arrested and, in fact, bailed out by Erickson. Kerner later told NUVO that the banishment of Erickson happened without his knowledge. Erickson responded that opportunists within the movement co-opted control of the legal committee during a poorly attended session of the group’s nightly General Assembly, the mechanism used by the group to assess its voice and needs. The assemblies takes place every night at 7 p.m. “Actions that contradict the basic fundamentals and philosophy of the movement aren’t really part of the movement,” Erickson said. The legal committee’s actions are in violation of the group’s commitment to consensus and rejection of hierarchical control


structure, she said. In a barrage of comments responding to the legal committee’s statement, which is posted on the NUVO website, people lambasted the concept of exclusion. Commenter Jeramy Townsley, an Indianapolis resident who earned 5 percent of the vote as an independent-progressive candidate for the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council earlier this year (Democrat Joe Smith won the seat with 81 percent voter approval), noted that no accepted provision exists for banishment of a protest participant. “Ironically, while they claim to be banishing Ms. Erickson for claiming to act on the behalf of the GA but without the GA’s authority, in fact, these four individuals themselves are claiming to deliver a ruling that was never passed by the GA, and are thus guilty of the very offense they claim Ms. Erickson has violated,” he wrote. In a follow-up email exchange with NUVO, Townsley clarified his point. “The strongest measure the Occupy Indy has affirmed is ‘censure’ which is symbolic only and no punishment attached,” he wrote. Critics also focused on the formation of the revocable living trust, formed to manage donations of cash and property to Occupy Indy, with James Kerner as the sole trustee. “No one OWNS Occupy, including Kerner and Company,” wrote commenter Lori Perdue. “ … (P)lease ask James Kerner why he wants to control Occupation finances through a living trust that empowers him and him alone instead of forming and working through a committee process or a notfor-profit org, as is the Wall Street Model.”

“Actions that contradict the basic fundamentals and philosophy of the movement aren’t really part of the movement.” —Deanna Erickson

In response, Kerner recounted, via email, his attempts to gain the General Assembly’s support for a living trust. A proposal needs 20 votes before being enacted as an official group action. After one blocked attempt, the GA passed Kerner’s trust proposal, he said. “My name is on the trust because I was the only human being bold enough to put my good name on it,” he wrote. “I said, ‘Here hold me accountable if any of the funds go missing.’” He noted that he thought greater accountability and management of the group’s finances were needed as winter approached and the group may need to prepare for expenses such as heaters or medical care. “It took a lot for this trust to get adopt-

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Occupy GA: Occupy Indy, shown here minutes before its Nov. 21 General Assembly, has been dogged by allegations of aggressive behavior, but a core group has maintained a continuous presence at the Statehouse. Members on this evening affirmed a commitment to peaceful occupation.

ed,” Kerner wrote. “We had to get 20 signatures notarized, two witnesses, and a tax ID number. I can only withdraw money with the approval of a 20-person General Assembly. Right now we only have $53.” He said a second trustee would be able to access the funds as soon as he checks in with the bank. And, he added, the Occupy Indy General Assembly can change or dissolve the trust at any time.

Occupy Indy

On a rainy Monday night before Thanksgiving, a group of about a dozen Occupy members stood scattered across the front steps of the Statehouse. They used to be encamped beside the Capitol’s south entrance. An official cleanup resulted in the removal of the more permanent structures that were deemed to present a threat to public safety. Near 7 p.m. the mass coalesced into a line of signs and the protesters chanted in unison — “together united will never be divided,” among others — and then broke into a call-and-repeat routine expressing general discontent with economic inequality before calling the evening’s General Assembly to order. Though the meeting was short, the agenda reflected the fractured unity among the various protest contingents. The group grappled with the challenges of technology, including the effort to build a new website and Facebook page. “There’s a lot of slandering going on in the old stuff,” said one meeting participant. “That’s not what we’re about, so we’re trying to separate ourselves.” GA participants also emphasized their desire for a peaceful protest. Several complaints — including those lobbed by IndyOWS — report experience with violent people at various times throughout the occupation. A few days later, though, with Erickson back at the Statehouse and live streaming, the atmosphere heated up as the Capitol police arrested Kerner — for the second time since the protest started. The next day, during what she called “an ugly, chaotic” scene following the evening’s GA, her computer was stolen.

The Kerner case

Kerner’s first arrest attracted the attention of Steve Dillon, a long-time Indiana attorney and perennial Libertarian candidate for offices such as mayor and governor. The arrest happened on a sidewalk of the south lawn where Kerner was sheltering himself from the rain under a beach umbrella. The large umbrella blocked the sidewalk and presented a safety hazard, the police said in the arrest report. After several requests to remove the umbrella, including from Indiana Office of Administration Commissioner Robert Wyncoop, the police charged Kerner with trespassing and arrested him. “I’m surprised (the case) made it this far,” Dillon said in a recent interview. “I don’t think refusing to take an umbrella down in the rain is criminal trespass.” He requested a jury trial. The second arrest took place Oct. 26. Capitol police reported that “a large crowd of juveniles” at the bus stop near the Occupy site had been involved in “other disturbances” throughout the evening. The police noticed two Occupy participants “were trying to cause trouble with juveniles.” Occupy participants, captured on the video, said they were “trying to empower the youth.” The police report notes a police captain “approached the subjects and advised them not to cause a problem with the juveniles and not to interfere with the police who were trying to stop the fights and disturbances with this group (of kids at the bus stop).” The situation soon deteriorated. The officers report that Kerner was running around Capitol Avenue and refusing to heed the officers commands that he stop. “Seeing the apparent danger, Officer McVay advised the subject by saying, ‘Taser’ three times before deploying his Taser. … The Taser did not have any effect on Mr. Kerner because only one probe hit his backpack,” according to the police report. Soon after, the police succeeded in subduing and arresting Kerner, who, the police report, was “freed by the court on his recognizance” at 5:47 a.m. the following day. „


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see the sun peak out of the clouds once or ou can usually find Flounder Lee, an twice during their trip. assistant professor of photography “The first day we were there we just at IUPUI’s Herron School of Art and drove out; seeing Mendenhall Glacier for Design, somewhere around town, either in the first time was amazing,” Lee recalls. “It a classroom or the gallery he co-founded, was so big and loomed over the valley. The SpaceCamp MicroGallery. But Lee periodinext day we went back to that same glacier cally takes trips far afield — from Alaska to and hiked out the West Glacier Trail.” Northern Europe and beyond — to explore They followed the trail up onto the the borders that divide nations and peoples massive glacier. from one another. “It was terrifying at first,” Lee says. “But Lee’s latest excursion to the Juneau Ice we’d been told that during this part of the Field in Alaska, from Oct. 14-24 — which year the danger is the least and we had ice he thoroughly documented with video cleats on, thankfully.” and photography — will form a new body Later in the trip, they approached of work yet to be completed. (The trip Mendenhall Glacier was supported by both by kayaking to the a research support base of the glacier and funds grant from by helicopter, and they the office of the documented this journey vice chancellor for with video and digital research at IUPUI.) — Flounder Lee photography. They borLike other glacier rowed the kayaks from systems around the the University of Alaska world, the glaciers of South, where Lee had the Juneau Ice Field are retreating because of the current warm- the opportunity to lecture on his work to ing trend in atmospheric temperatures. Lee faculty and students. “He was received really well,” Hoefle wants to use his art to reflect this trend. says. “There were a few students there who “It’s similar to what I’ve been doing in the definitely understood what was going on previous four years,” he says, “but this is with the work. A lot of his earlier work that pushing it in an environmental direction.” he showed happened to deal with Native During their 10-day-long trip Lee, along American treaties. It’s kind of a hot issue in with his assistant and Herron grad student the Alaska area.” Michael Hoefle, explored glaciers in the During the trip, Lee and Hoefle explored Juneau Ice Field, which is surrounded by the ramparts of three glaciers. Sometimes the mountains and, in the lower elevations, weather got in the way of their itinerary, howa temperate rain forest. The weather was ever, especially when traveling by helicopter. overcast and drizzly and they were lucky to


Way too dangerous to land.

“On the trip to the second glacier we just circled around and that’s where it felt like we were getting way too close to the mountainside,” Lee says. “We could see the sheep out there and they were like, ‘you guys are crazy.’ I’m glad we didn’t land, because it was hairy. ... The winds were coming off the top of the glacier, just bailing down. Way too dangerous to land.”

GLACIERS IN RETREAT In Lee’s previous projects, the cartographic boundaries incorporated into his art have been political ones. But in this case he was looking for natural borders — the previously mapped lines (termini) of glaciers in fast retreat. These imaginary lines indicating past measurements of a glacier’s reach might be found in the middle of a lake or a talus slope. Not only are these lines often more tenuous than political boundaries, they’re also more difficult to locate. The ultimate products of Lee’s art will likely show maps revealing the growth or contraction of glaciers. These might be superimposed or juxtaposed with his photography documenting his trip. The maps of the Juneau Icefield do not accurately reflect the ongoing glacial retreat, according to Lee. It’s a problem he hopes to address with a system of orientation combined with photographic documentation he has developed over the past decade. “For the first few years, I used a hacked together system on my cellphone with a

Bluetooth GPS. Now, through the grants I’ve received, I have a more rugged GPS that is waterproof and daylight readable. I use it as sort of a puzzle edge in my work. I shoot four pictures in each direction and then the GPS to indicate that those are the ones to be included.” With the help of GPS, Lee was able to successfully navigate the rugged Tongass National Forest, but there was a limit to how useful it could be. “The lines [on the maps] would be the previous terminus points,” he says. “But the landscape was so rough that I couldn’t go to all of these places. It could be in the middle of a river or a lake or up the side of a cliff. ... I wasn’t able to follow the termini precisely like I’d planned because real world obstacles were a lot more difficult in Alaska than anywhere I’ve been. “Alaskans also don’t think of them as issues. One forest ranger told us that crossing 30-foot logs over a raging river wouldn’t be ‘that bad.’ We didn’t do it!” But the quest to find, and to walk along, previous glacial termini — successful or not — is in itself part of his art. “Anytime I’m walking these sort of spaces, it’s sort of a performance,” Lee says. “I’m looking for [my photographic and videography work] to be the final product, but they’re also a documentation of the performance to an extent.” Any way you look at it, there’s a lot of work — footwork and otherwise — involved in creating this type of art.

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person to begin with that was carrying my camera, like going to these parties and things like this and no one carries a big “I grew up on a chicken farm,” says SLR camera to a party but I do anyway. I Lee, 33, who was born in Cullman, Ala. “I guess it gave me a strong work ethic more was going out dancing and things like that. I was either documenting or filming than anything else. In high school I was a for our social groups.” yearbook photographer, but even before This was well before the social that, I was just doing photography. For as media explosion. long as I can remember I always wanted “Fifteen years ago you’d have the same to do something with science. I wanted to roll of film for Christmas as you would for be an aerospace engineer and I had a full your summer vacation,” says Lee. “Now scholarship to the University of Alabama people take hundreds in a single day. It’s for aerospace engineering. And I went just a complete change in mindset.” there for a year and as a job I was doing Lee was somewhat party photography.” prescient, then, in decidBut Lee soon found ing to document his he hated his coursework interest in photography in aerospace engineerin the most comprehening nearly as much as sive way possible. he loved taking photo“My thesis project for graphs. So Lee left the my MFA was dealing University of Alabama, with sort of not editing moved to Florida and took all that out and havart photography courses ing it all,” he says. “So I at a community college. included every photo that “Once I started taking art I ever had from certain classes it was all over,” he years, from like 2000 to says with a laugh. “I just 2005. I scanned in all my went straight through from negatives, all my digital there and got my underfiles, and all my friends’ grad at the University of files that I had. So I just Florida and I graduated included them all. The with an MFA from Cal State title was “All my photos.” Long Beach. And that was Lee’s MFA thesis, comin studio art in the photog— Flounder Lee pleted in 2007, was the raphy area.” prototype for much of But his interest in phohis work that contains tography spilled over photographic mapping. outside the classroom in college just like “When I didn’t have the digital files I it had in high school. “Back when I was just scanned it in as close as I could to working for the [high school] yearbook, I chronological order,” he says. “And they was taking just hundreds and hundreds of were shot chronological order left to right, photos,” he recalls. “And I was even in this top to bottom; so that’s the first project contest where I took something like 400 I did that involved grids. You see that in photos in one day or something like that. my work now. Pretty much all my work … Even back [in the early 2000s] I was now has grids in it. Even if I change topics carrying my camera — I was like the only


I wanted to be an aerospace engineer and I had a full scholarship to the University of Alabama for aerospace engineering.


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and change methods, I try to have some parallels between my previous and my new work. … These grids, they’re contact sheets basically, made in Photoshop, automatically in chronological order. One of the other pieces I did for that same thesis show documented all my Internet surfing for three months and it was over 60,000 images in chronological order, top to bottom, left to right.”

MARRYING ART TO THE INTERNET Lee received his, MFA in photography and digital art in 2007. He joined the faculty at Herron that same year. The year before, he legally changed his first name from Adam to his nickname Flounder. “If you Google ‘Adam Lee,’ Lee says, “the top ten things that come up are ten different people. Number one is a famous balloon twister.” The Internet — and new media in general — is a topic that Lee has explored extensively in his artwork. In Lee’s 2009 “Marriage of Art to the Internet” performed at the Big Car Gallery in Indy’s Fountain Square — and simulcast to galleries in Houston, Miami, and Brooklyn, N.Y. — he officiates a marriage ceremony between two entities in hopes of promoting a certain philosophy of preserving artwork. In this video, you see him decked out in a white lab coat and, apparently, reading from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. “For things like new media art and performance art, if that stuff is to survive and become part of the canon, then the big collectors and museums have got to dedicate themselves to keeping this stuff and keeping it in its original form,” Lee says. For a given exhibition, he’d rather use an intact Atari play station to play video games, as opposed to buying an Atari app for an iPhone.

“They’ve actually got to take a computer from now and set it aside so it doesn’t change, like operating systems don’t change,” he says. “So the art of these new media artists still works. It’s important to capture actual performances so you’re not just looking at documentation of something so that you’re actually looking at the thing in its original form.” Video is also a medium that Lee has explored to amazing conceptual and aesthetic effect. Take, for example, his loop video “U.S. Tribal Treaties 1794-1895” in which you see an outline of the United States filled with blue toy soldiers and yellow toy Indians. In the one-minute video, yellow is steadily overtaken over by a wave of blue as if in a time machine in fast-forward.

WAVES OF PEOPLE Lee’s art began to address immigration after he moved to Indiana from Los Angeles. “I started thinking about the history of Indiana,” says Lee. “And I pulled up these maps and these old treaties and I got to thinking about how my family was not from up here but from down South. … My family, basically, we acted like we were American for like as far back as you could go. I started doing research on it. We knew that there was some ScotchIrish in my family. And we knew there was some Cherokee in my family. But when we started digging into it … some of my family arrived in Alabama in like 1840s like very beginning of Alabama. Some of them arrived in the U.S. in like the 1630s. Then some of them were natives. And there’s waves of people that make up all of us that we don’t really think about.” “I don’t claim to be a native artist,” Lee adds. “I just claim to be interested. … So thinking about that even further is why I did that work in Europe the first time

Indianapolis. In a 2008 photographic mapbecause I was thinking about how do you ping series, “IPS-Township School District just pick up and move across the ocean Borders,” he questions the gerrymandering to a brand new place that almost nobody of school districts and the educational disknows anything about? It’s a mindset that parities that result. we can’t even fathom now.” Perhaps Lee was in that mindset when he created the art for a recent display in SPACECAMP MICROGALLERY the window of the DXDX Design Studio Group in Plymouth, England, entitled Another activity that Lee pursues close “Plymouth, Also.” to home is his curatorial work centered “I sent them an image that I had made,” in his former studio at Suite 212 in the says Lee. “They projected it onto the winMurphy Art Center. It’s more of a glorified dow and drew it on the window. So it’s walk-in closet than a gallery; but, per the kind of fun. It is a drawing, but I just didn’t curatorial copy, “SpaceCamp is dedicated draw it myself. It’s of all the places in the to bringing small (size wise) but large United States that are named Plymouth. It (idea wise) national and international art opened during the British Art Show. It’s to Indianapolis.” once every five years so it was held during Lee shares curatorial duties with cothat. It was funny. It was also during the gallerists Paul Miller (who currently has a America’s Cup.” show of his own going on at the Wheeler; “Plymouth, Also” drives home the serisee infobox) and Kurt Nettleton. On Dec. ous point that the English colonists didn’t 2, a Lee-curated exhibition will open in exactly integrate with the Native American the space: “Mapable,” featuring the work inhabitants — in terms of language, culof twelve artists drawn ture, and, of course, from around the world place names. (see infobox). “One of the argu“My work is about ments made about maps so I wanted to have immigration is that a show that was speakthe people coming ing about maps as an art over now, they bring form,” Lee says. “We’ve their own culture and got artists from Israel. they’re not trying to There’s a Scottish artist integrate with us,” says [Stuart McAdam] who — Flounder Lee Lee. “They say ‘When rode his bike to Denmark our ancestors came and back. The piece is over, they integrated just a trace of him riding with the culture.’ And his bicycle for that time.” it’s like, yeah, that’s why we speak Cherokee While SpaceCamp shows local artists now, isn’t it? I’m like, this language that we frequently, there’s a particular emphasis speak, it’s called English!” on bringing in outside voices. “I think part In addition to his work reflecting on of the issue with galleries that show only historical immigration patterns, Lee has local artists is that there’s no one to go out also focused his attention on the city of and extol our praises. So that’s why I try

I don’t claim to be a native artist; I just claim to be interested.

to bring artists in and I encourage artists here to try to get their work out. We want to bring in fresh ideas and get our ideas out. Not out ideas but our name. So that people can see that we have a really good thing going. We live in such a global society. ... And ideas don’t really cost anything. So that’s something we can really think about is how to bring in more ideas.” Curating, for Lee, is part of his artistic practice, and it flows into his teaching as well. He could probably draw a feedback loop on a blackboard (or an iPad) explaining how every aspect of his existence on this planet influences his art. His art, likewise, feeds back into his life. Or as he states on his website, “The intersections between public and private, art and life, history and the present among others, have always informed his work. He uses mapping and indexing to recreate/reconstruct various pockets of space time.” Lee’s big ambition is to engage in a photography/videography project in Antarctica, where the West Antarctic Icesheet seems to be headed toward meltdown, according to numerous scientific observers. This is a project for which he would need substantial outside funding. Michael Hoefle, his companion on the Alaska trip, would bet Lee could overcome any roadblock that gets in his way to finding funding and completing a successful trip. “He’s just really, really focused on these big projects that he wants to get done, and he doesn’t allow anything to stop him,” Hoefle says. Perhaps Lee’s toughest border to cross is at home. “My family’s supportive but they don’t understand it all,” says Lee. “They understand the stuff I’ve been doing a lot more than the stuff that I was doing in grad school or even undergrad. It’s still concep-

tual, but they know that it’s talking about history or talking about environmental issues. It’s funny. I haven’t even talked to my dad about the Alaska stuff because he doesn’t even believe in global warming. So that’s one of the reasons that I’m doing this project is that people don’t understand. It’s not something you believe in or don’t believe in. It’s happening.” For more on Flounder Lee go to See for an extended interview with Lee, regarding his childhood desire to be an astronaut.

MAPABLE “Mapable,” curated by Flounder Lee, will explore the intersection of art and mapmaking in the work of twelve artists from all over the world. “We’ve had maps for a long time now,” states Lee in the SpaceCamp release. “We have even had art about maps for quite some time, but personal mapping and the pervasiveness of mapping technologies is reaching a crescendo recently. With GPS becoming part of every device, we are seeing maps in completely new ways. Paper maps becoming relegated to theme parks and other tourist attractions.” For more info: „

MAPABLE SpaceCamp MicroGallery Murphy Arts Building 1043 Virginia Ave. Suite 212 Opening reception: Friday, Dec. 2, 7-10 p.m.

Open select Saturdays throughout December and January, check for details. Open by appointment.

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For comprehensive event listings, go to




In Revue @ Earth House A collective devoted to sustainable living (and community-building and creativityenhancing) has to sustain itself, right? Thus, as another year comes to a close, the Earth House Collective presents its In Revue fun-


draiser, a variety show featuring live theatre (that ragtag puppet-friendly bunch Know No Stranger), comedy (Cam O’Connor), music (once-Deadbeat Joe Fawcett and Kayla Schaaf; one-half of Twin Peaks, Cameron Hodges), art (Jonathan McAfee, Kate Wagner, Benson Harlamert), salsa dancing (Latin Expressions), photo boothery (Kelley Jordan) and foodstuffery (Brad Gates). Tickets for the 7 p.m. event are $25, and may be purchased in advance via 237 N. East St., 636-4060, „




Wug Laku at Circle City Industrial Complex.


Red Carpet Preview @ Circle City Industrial Complex


There’s too much going in the downtown Indy galleries this First Friday for you to see everything that’s going on in one night. Wouldn’t it be easier if some of the downtown galleries opened earlier in the week? That’s exactly what’s happening at the Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC) Wednesday night, which will be the debut evening for a group of artists who have recently opened studio space in the complex. “We’ve got the new section, the South Studios of the complex, where artists are moving in,” says Wug Laku, who has had gallery space in the CCIC since 2007. His mission is to fill the sprawling 13½ acre complex with art studios and galleries. Among the artists on hand Wednesday evening in the South Studios will be Carmen Hurt, showing off her new gallery space, and Carla Knopp, who will debut her Dewclaw Gallery. That Knopp has chosen the CCIC to house her gallery is a major coup for Wug Laku and his fellow CCIC artists and gallery owners. Knopp, in addition to having solo shows of her work at the Harrison Gallery and the 4 Star Gallery, recently had her work featured in the prestigious journal New American Paintings. “This first show [at Dewclaw] features paintings from my ongoing Lane Markers


series,” says Knopp. “And this will be the first time I have shown them as a group. These works are painted on a metallic ground which has an unusual optical and subjective effect.” Other highlights on Wednesday night will include a solo show by Joseph Crone in Wug Laku’s Studio & Garage . Crone’s hyper-real pencil drawings on two-sided frosted acetate might remind you of film noir stills. Crone isn’t the only artist in the CCIC with a penchant for the hyper-real. Matthew Davey, who recently had a sculpture as well as a painting featured in the Unclothed: Exposing the Art Nude show at StutzArtSpace, will be on hand in his studio. Because of his technical skill, you might feel like you’ve been transported back to the Italian Renaissance when you step into Davey’s space. But Davey’s art also seems contemporary in both its subject matter and in tone. To quote Baudelaire, great art at once is eternal and reflects its time and place. After seeing all this work, you might decide you want to come back and see it again. In which case you can — on First Friday. The CCIC galleries and studios will also be open on that night for the IDADA Artwalk. “On Friday we’ve got a vanful of people coming in from Kokomo, from the Economic Council, to tour the place,” says Laku. — Dan Grossman

RED CARPET PREVIEW EVENT Circle City Industrial Complex, 1125 Brookside Avenue Wednesday, Nov. 30, 5 p.m., free; 317270-8258,

„ Pur | The Company review by Paul F. P. Pogue „ A Beef and Boards Christmas review by Lisa Gauthier Mitchison

A Very Phoenix Xmas 6: Our Goose Is Cooked @ Phoenix Theatre The Phoenix has been all about song and dance this year — witness their fine productions of Avenue Q and Spring Awakening — and their annual holiday variety show will be no different. Bring on the musical numbers. Bring on the dance, choreographed by Dance Kaleidoscope performer Marielle Greenlee. And, of course, bring on the funny, with scripts


Under the mistletoe.

provided by playwrights both local and national ruminating on all the major winter holidays, for this is not just an Xmas show. Phoenix Theatre producing director Bryan Fonseca will again helm his creation. Shows run Dec. 1-23; tickets run $25 for adults and $15 for those 20 and under, with discounts for groups and mid-week productions. 749 N. Park Ave., 635-7529, „



Fast Forward @ iMOCA


The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, which recognizes gifted con-

temporary artists from the Midwest, looms large over this week’s Go&Do. This year’s fellows, who will receive $20,000 grants to fund their work, will be announced at a private reception Dec. 1; mum’s the word because of an embargo on the names, but you can head over to Thursday to get the scoop. As the fellowship moves forward, there’s also time for reflection, for looking back at work by the 35 artists who have taken home $700,000 worth of grant money since the fellowship





Katie Lampert’s Robot Circus @ Indy Indie It’s not too often that a thesis show makes its way to a major local gallery. But Katie Lampert’s Robot Circus is a little more ambitious than your average (dancing) bear. „ Lang Lang with the ISO review by Tom Aldridge „ Urban Home Indy update by Justin Spicer

Linda Adele Goodine, “Scout”.

was inaugurated in 2004. And, thus, you have Fast Forward, iMOCA’s exhibition of new work by 10 former Efroymson Comtemporary Arts Fellows. Paula Katz picked and chose from among qualified applicants for the show, singling out work that hasn’t been seen in Indianapolis in the recent past. The opening night reception kicks off at 6 p.m.; Fast Forward runs through Jan. 14. 1043 Virginia Ave., 450-6630, „

Like a circus, there are several elements that are bound to amaze and entrance: one (1) large installation, twelve (12) circus posters, three (3) large B&W prints in her “Misfits” series, fifteen (15) raku ceramic robot masks, six (6) mixed media circus characters, two (2) robot sculptures (made out of functioning printing presses), one (1) popcorn machine and four (4) circus performers. No promises — this is a thesis show, after all — but even if you’re not fond of the art, there will be jugglers, and it’s impossible to frown with a juggler in the room (unless you’re a sad mime). 26 E. 14th St., 322-1322, „


„ Parallel Fashion by Michael Trace

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Work by Katie Basbagill and Joel Rockey of INDYrefugee.





INDYrefugee night @ Harrison Center for the Arts “Did you know that Indianapolis has a larger Burmese population than any city in the United States?” It’s a question human rights photographer Katie Basbagill ends up asking just about every time she talks about her latest work. The answer is usually, “No,” sometimes followed by, “You mean those families that are in here all the time?” Yes, those families, and as part of the INDYrefugee project, which will occupy Gallery 2 of the Harrison Center this Friday, Basbagill has been photographing and interviewing one Burmese family that landed in Indianapolis in April. The family — a husband, wife; and three daughters, all shy of 10 years of age — arrived in Indianapolis after a years-long struggle to escape Burma. The thumbnail sketch: Dad was arrested and detained by Burmese police, from whom he managed to escape (they were drunk). He headed into the jungle, and, after hitching a ride to Thailand (21 people in a 14 passenger van), he took a fishing boat to Malaysia (communing with the fish under a tarp), eventually to arrive in Kuala Lumpur. Three years later (during which he didn’t see his family), his wife and two daughters made the same journey he did. They made it to the U.S. in April with the help of the local non-sectarian refugee resettlement agency Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc., which brought more than 650 displaced refugees to Indianapolis in 2010. That’s when Basbagill first met the family: She had pitched Exodus an idea of telling the story of Indy’s Burmese refugee population through art, and they gave her a call one morning at 7 a.m. (far too

early, if you ask Basbagill or her friends) to announce that a family perfect for her project had arrived. The artwork to be displayed Friday combines Basbagill’s photography with illustration by Joel Rockey, with words and photos often playing off each other in a mischievous, lighthearted way. For instance, a photography of a pious-looking woman holding a Bible is layered with a quote from an interview in which she admits to talking back and beating up the boys when she was younger. Basbagill’s goals — and those of INDYrefugee — are twofold: to educate the American people about the current political climate in Burma and why it’s leading to such an exodus of refugees; and to connect Indianapolis residents in a very practical way with Burmese refugees. Friday’s show will be, according to Basbagill, “an opportunity to invite Burmese people and as many people from the community as possible to engage in a facilitated evening of communication.” Those wishing to get involved with the Burmese community will have the chance to talk with representatives from Exodus. The culminating event of the INDYrefugee project will take place this summer, when INDYrefugee plans to present a much larger art installation, including a replica of a refugee hut and extremely large installations featuring photos with illustrations. Basbagill recently received a small grant to defer the printing costs for the show, which she hopes will coincide with World Refugee Day, which falls on June 12, 2012. — Scott Shoger

INDYREFUGEE NIGHT (PHOTOGRAPHY, ART, PHOTOBOOTH, BURMA VJ DOCUMENTARY SCREENING) Gallery 2 at Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N. Delaware St. Friday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m., free; 317-660-5723, 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 11.30.11-12.07.11 // go&do



6281 N. College Ave.


Wednesday, Nov. 30-Saturday, Dec., 3 • Featured on “Comedy Central Presents” • Featured on BET’s “Coming to the Stage” • Featured on “The Late Late Show” • Featured on CMT’s “Comedy Stage” • Featured on “Last Comic Standing” • Guest on Nationally Syndicated “Bob • Studio Album “One Star Wonder” hit #6 and Tom Radio Show” in iTunes TOP Comedy Albums

Tickets: $5-$18


*special events not included

Upcoming: Wed., Dec. 7-Sat., Dec., 10 Tommy Johnagin WEDNESDAYS

Thurs., Dec. 15-Sat.,17 Harland Williams





Ladies in FREE


$5 Admission with ID

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Wednesday, Nov. 30-Saturday, Dec. 3 • Featured on “The Late Show with David Letterman” • Contributing writer to “Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update (September 08 – present)” • Contributed to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” • Heard regularly on the “The Bob and Tom Radio Show”

FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL 631-3536 Upcoming: Wed., Dec. 7-Sat., Dec., 10 Todd Paul Wed., Dec. 14-Sat., Dec. 17 Christina Pazsitzky




Art of the American Indians @ IMA It’s a good season for Native American art in the city. The Eiteljorg’s We Are Here! exhibition of new work by their 2011 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellows runs through Feb. 2012. And now a traveling exhibition of selections from the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art

—“a collection any museum in the world should envy,” according to The New York Times — arrives at the IMA for a twomonth run through Feb. 12, 2012. Art




The ISO’s admirably campy Yuletide Celebration kicks off this weekend;

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ranging from ancient to contemporary, including ritual objects, ceremonial clothing, pottery and basketry. The exhibition costs $8, with a $12 combo ticket including Art in Ancient Nigeria available; members, as usual, get in free. 4000 Michigan Road, 923-1331, „

Eric Stark leads the ISC.

ISO’s Yuletide Celebration @ Hilbert Circle Theater


of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection includes more than 100 pieces

Frolicking Santas.


Offer Expires December 7, 2011

Nepcetat (One-That-Sticks-to-the-Face) Mask

it’ll occupy the ISO’s calendar for most of December, with stops along the way for a more sober program conducted by Raymond Leppard (Classical Christmas, Dec. 10) and Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 17). You’ve heard the featured vocalists, even if you haven’t heard their names: sisters Liz and Ann Hampton Calloway together sang the theme to The Nanny, and Liz has voiced characters in several Disney films (The Swan Princess, Anastasia, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride). They’ve both had successful stage careers —Liz, in productions of Sondheim’s Follies and Merrily We Roll Along; Ann Hampton in Swing! — and Ann Hampton performs frequently in a cabaret mode, often doing her own material, which has been performed by Streisand, Minnelli, Feinstein, etc. There will also be flying reindeer, tap dancing Santas — but no dogs, for the frisbee dog has been cut from this year’s production. Performances run Dec. 2-23; tickets and times vary. 45 Monument Circle, 639-4300, „



Indianapolis Symphonic Choir’s Festival of Carols It’s been a year of milestones for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir . First off, it’s the 75th anniversary of the volunteer choir, which was founded in 1937 so that the ISO might perform choral-orchestral work. In October, they put out their most ambitious recording project to date, a two-disc CD of their 2007 performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Clowes Memorial Hall. And in 2012, they’ll be partnering with the ISO to present a world premiere of a piece by Stephen Hough. But let’s not get ahead of this weekend’s Festival of Carols , the ISC’s annual Christmas show, which will feature two new arrangements of carols commissioned for the choir, as well as a generous helping of the classics. The Dec. 2 performance is at St. John the Evangelist Church ; on Dec. 3, the choir heads north to the Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Carmel. Showtime for both nights is 8 p.m. 9409057, „

GO&DO of course, was a huge collector. He started very early, and as a patron of the arts, he had that art eye. So he collected objects of art that are still under-appreciated as artforms. Tools are tools — arrowheads, knives, spears, axes — but when you get into things like birdstones and these elaborate bannerstones, they are still an under-appreciated artform. The first time I went to his home he had a Rembrandt hanging on the wall. He kept yelling at me, “Larry, I thought you wanted to see these rocks,” and I said, “I can’t get past the Rembrandt, Earl!” … He absolutely had that artist’s eye. And he had the means; he could just throw down whatever. Popeye birdstone from the Townsend Collection.




Townsend Collection @ Antique Helper Auctions During his lifetime, Earl Townsend Jr. was known as the original television voice of the Indy 500, as well as an attorney and philanthropist. Now, in the years following his 2007 death, his collection of prehistoric stone Indian artifacts, which has been called “one of the finest in the United States” (Hubert C. Wachtel), is taking center stage. Antique Helper Auctions will be disseminating the collection to the highest bidder in the coming months; the first offering, which includes birdstones, quartz bannerstones, axes, cones and slate, will be auctioned this week. Some items are expected to fetch $100,000 or more, but parties without such resources may still view the collection during a preview party Friday. Native American artifact specialist Larry Swann, who’s curating the auction for Antique Helper, spoke with us this week about Townsend, the world of artifact collecting and the nigh-orgasmic feeling of holding an intact quartz bannerstone. — Scott Shoger NUVO: Are people still finding artifacts as valuable as those in Townsend’s collection? SWANN: There are still great finds all the time, but when they came in here — in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio — and started plowing up these great forests to plant corn, that stuff was just rolling out of the ground. Even if you weren’t a collector — if you had a onebottom plow, walking behind a horse — you’d have walked over spear points, axe heads; it would have been hard not to pick them up. Most farmers have a collection, whether they know it or not; they’ve got a cigar box somewhere with a bunch of blades in it. So the mass of stuff was collected, and then people like Townsend and these early doctors, lawyers, dentists and scientists had the means to go around and collect this stuff, especially during the Depression, when they would run ads and so forth. But stuff still comes up. A friend of mine found a nice birdstone last year: beautiful fantailed slate, the classic glacial [cane] birdstone; found it in Muncie, in a plowed field I’d hunted a hundred times. NUVO: How long was Townsend a collector? SWANN: He started in his twenties. His father was a collector and friend of Eli Lilly; Lilly,

NUVO: Is there any more consensus on what birdstones were for today than there was when Townsend wrote about them in 1950s? SWANN: You can ask ten people and get ten different answers. They really don’t know. They’re beat up, so they were obviously used; they didn’t just sit on a shelf. Even if they were ceremonial, they were used, because they’re salvaged, they’re broken, the holes are blown out. Some people’s theory is that they were tied on the atlatl, a spear-throwing device, so that the bird on the spear would carry the arrow to its mark, with the spiritbird connection. In South America, you can still find little bird effigies tied on bow and arrows; and that same kind of premise holds, that the bird is with the arrow. A lot of times they’ll use Cooper’s hawk fletchings on the back of the arrow because the Cooper’s hawk has such deadly aim and very seldom misses its prey. That’s one of the big theories; but, there again, that’s the theory. And some of these don’t even look like birds; some look like frogs, some look like dogs. And then some look like a decoy, a bird sitting on the water. NUVO: What kind of people do you anticipate being involved in the auction?

Stacey Halloway, “Balancing Act”



Stacey M. Holloway’s Neither Here nor There @ Gallery 924 To round out the calendar of Efroymson Fellowship-related events, the Art Council of Indianapolis’s Gallery 924 will feature new work by a 2010 fellow, Stacey M. Holloway, a Herron sculpture instructor and program technician who used her grant

to study Midwestern outsider art. Specifically, she used some of the cash to fund a road trip from through the Midwest, on which she visited everywhere from proto-steampunk metal sculpture Dr. Evermor’s Forevertron (the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world, just down the road from the House on the Rock), to Tud Kohn’s runway strip full of handmade model airplanes in Elberfield, Ind. Holloway will bring along photo albums from her travels for the show, which will include approximately 18 of her own sculptures. Neither Here nor There opens with a 6 p.m. reception Dec. 2 and runs through Jan. 6. 924 Pennsylvania Ave., 631-3301, „

SWANN: It’ll run the gambit. I wouldn’t be surprised if some heavy museum hitters were in there, thought they might remain in the shadows. It’s be everybody: blue collar, lawyers, doctors. A lot of these people are farmers, believe it or not, and the money comes out; it’s a build-it-and-they-will-come kind of a thing. Mattress money. Their wives don’t even know about this money. Arrowhead collectors are a tight little niche. Of course, how many people are players at a 100 grand? Not many. But you’d be surprised what these guys with old bib overalls will do. It’s a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity for these kinds of museum artifacts to come into public hands.


NUVO: And you’ve had an opportunity to interact with all the piece in the collection?


SWANN: Yes, it has my drool all over it. If you’re not an arrowhead guy, I don’t know how to put it into words. It’s a like looking at Playboy for an arrowhead guy; it’s a real sickness!

TOWNSEND COLLECTION PREVIEW Antique Helper Auctions, 2764 E. 55th St. 10a.m.-5p.m., free; from 5p.m. $10 Featuring food trucks and music by Vlsulele duo The Flea Bitten Dogs.





Innovate Indy Summit @ Big Car Service Center The Big Car Service Center has lately become a sounding board for new ideas about Indianapolis, a sort of



2011 Holiday Author Fair @ Indiana History Center Did you write a book that was published in 2011? Do you happen to live in Indiana? If your book was self-published, was it something other than a guide to surviving the Rapture/Apocalypse? If you answered yes to all of these, you’ll prob-

speaker’s square for Powerpoints on new models of waste disposal (Think Farm) or year-long civic engagement projects (Public Allies). Now along comes the Innovate Indy Summit , a forum for Indy residents, non-profits and government agencies to toss around ideas about how to cope with the demand to meet greater social needs with fewer resources. The summit is free with RSVP ( and runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with lunch included. „

ably be at the Holiday Author Fair at the Indiana History Center this Saturday. It’s the largest book signing for Indiana-related material, including works of non-fiction, fiction, cookbooks, photography books and children’s books. Plenty of familiar names will be available for conversation and photo ops: Dick Cady, Dan Ferber, Norbert Krapf, Susan Neville, Nelson Price, Ed Wenck, Lou Harry and umpteen

more we don’t have space to mention. The fair runs from noon to 4 p.m. and is free with admission to the IHC’s Indiana Experience, which itself costs $7 (with discounts for members and the young and old). 450 W. Ohio St., 232-1882, „

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A&E FEATURE A Nutcracker for every mood Each unique and special, like snowflakes BY K A T E L YN C O Y N E E DI T O RS @N U V O . N E T The classic story of a little girl’s Christmas Eve dream and her Nutcracker Prince is an undeniable part of the holidays, performed by almost every professional ballet company in the country this time of year. This year Indianapolis has, by our count, a whopping seven productions of The Nutcracker, each offering a different spin on the old story. Enjoy the gift of choice as your decide which Nutcracker is right for you and yours.

NoExit Performance Company’s Nutcracker @ Big Car Service Center NoExit Performance Company’s Nutcracker essays a grim twist on the

classic ballet, jettisoning fairy tale niceties for an altogether creepier setting. “The idea came to me when I saw Red Bastard at IndyFringe,” director/choreographer Georgeanna Smith says. “That was such an interesting show: He’s funny and charming, but he’s a little scary too. It hit me, what if we did the Nutcracker in a dark way? What if it had an element of fun and charm, but it’s also creepy and strange.” In Smith’s version, a band of misfits share their take on the Nutcracker: “A whole bunch of individuals from this strange world have come together to put on a show for you,” Smith explains. “It’s got some rudimentary theatrical elements to it; it feels like you’re walking into this show they just threw together. It’s vaudeville meets Tim Burton.” As far as music goes, don’t expect to hear the classic Nutcracker suite. “We sample all kinds of different musical tastes,” Smith says. “There is a little Tchaikovsky, but it probably won’t be what people expect.” NoExit’s Nutcracker, which is intended for mature audiences, will be the first performance in the garage bay area of Big Car Service Center . “The venue is totally different,” Smith says. “We are hoping to draw an audience that likes to see tradition ripped apart and stapled back together.” Dec. 1-3, 8-10 and 15-17 at 8 p.m.

Beyond the Pointe’s Naptown Nutcracker @ Madame Walker Theatre Center Shortly after Beyond the Pointe founder Nicole Hargro moved her company to Indy

in 2009, she started thinking about the kind of show she might present for the diverse crowds drawn to the Madame Walker Theatre. “I came up with the vision of the Naptown


Nutcracker… of having a contemporary modern/classical ballet presentation from my company,” she says. Her vision became to “offer a diverse culture of dance styles, from a variety of countries and ethnicities.” Instead of Clara, audiences follow Clarissa and her Naptown Nutcracker. “The Naptown Nutcracker exposes [Clarissa] to the land of many cultures,” Hargro says. “All the different cultures are presented from Spanish to Russian. We’ve added a Native American piece, a Chinese piece and an African-American piece. It’s not only AfricanAmerican, but also a medley of African traditional ethnic pieces.” Dec. 2-3 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker @ Murat Theatre The only touring Nutcracker stopping by Indianapolis this year is the Moscow

Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Choreographed by Anatoly Emelianov, the show centers on Masha and the Prince of Peace. Based on his experience as a young man growing up in Russia during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the story reflects Emelianov’s need to escape war and death. “Anatoly wanted to do something different,” Moscow Ballet representative Mary Talmi says. “He introduced a new character: the dove of peace, who greets Masha and the Prince as they enter the Land of Peace and Harmony.” In Emelianov’s restructured version, Masha dances through the entire ballet, instead of ceding the floor during the second act to a Sugar Plum Fairy. “It creates a better dramatic arc,” Talmi says. “We’re looking for that lost hope … that innocence we experience at Christmas time.” Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.


The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.

Butler Ballet’s Nutcracker @ Clowes Memorial Hall As one of the top five dance programs in the country, Butler Ballet’s Nutcracker offers a chance to see young ballet performers before they become big stars. “It’s the only one in town that is performed at Clowes Memorial Hall, and it is the only one performed with a live orchestra,” Butler dance department chair Larry Attaway says of his school’s production. Featuring 106 Butler students and 25 children from the community, this large-scale performance uses Marius Petipas’ traditional choreography. Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., Dec 2-3 at 8 p.m., Dec. 3-4 at 2 p.m.

Indianapolis School of Ballet’s Nutcracker @ Scottish Rite Cathedral With its set inspired by Victorian-era Indianapolis, the Indianapolis School of Ballet’s Nutcracker is the city’s only “indigenous Nutcracker,” according to director of communications Cathy Strauss, who notes that the company has recreated the Morris-Butler House in its scenery. Featuring George Balanchine’s famous choreography, including his well-known

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Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker.

Beyond the Pointe’s Nutcracker.

Pas de Deux in Act 2, the Indianapolis School of Ballet’s performance is appropriate for all ages. Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 17 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.

features a wide variety of music and especially traditional ethnic music from several countries.” Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker @ Pike Performing Arts Center Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre’s

production centers on Klara, a homeless orphan girl who discovers the power of giving when a homeless man presents her with a Nutcracker doll. “This contemporary re-telling of the holiday classic is not set to the traditional Tchaikovsky score,” artistic director Gregory Hancock says. “Instead, it

Indiana Ballet Conservatory’s Nutcracker @ The Toby The Indiana Ballet Conservatory traditional take on the Nutcracker will feature guests from the Dutch National Ballet. “We also look forward to sharing this gift with local underserved children and families during our free performance on Sunday through ticket donations to Indianapolis charitable organizations,” admissions director Misty Rust says. Dec. 16-17 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 17-18 at 2 p.m.


Authentic Irish Patrick Ball reclaims the Celtic harp

BY LIS A G A U T H I E R M ITC H IS O N E D I T O RS @N U V O . N E T Riverdance tributes, four-leaf clovers and drunken leprechauns are a dime a dozen, but proponents of less-corny Irish culture are hard to come by. Enter Patrick Ball, an Irish harpist and storyteller, who will present his holiday show, A Christmas Rose, Saturday at the Indiana History Center as part of the Storytelling Arts series. Ball was born in the States, but he was drawn to an ancient sound while out a-wandering one day. “The first thing [that drew me to the Celtic harp] was just the sheer sound of the instrument,” Ball says. “I was walking in a Renaissance faire and heard this sound, and it’s a sound heard by few people in the last 200 years. ... The man who was trying to sell harps at the Renaissance faire was the first man to make the harps after they died out 200 years ago.” The Celtic harp is shorter than a modern harp — it’s about four and a half feet tall — and it’s most notable for its brass strings, which are played with the fingernails. “It’s a very striking, beautiful design that comes from hundreds of years before modern harps were invented,” Ball says. “The main thing you notice is the sound. It is tremendously evocative, very moving. Even people who know nothing about or have little experience with Irish culture, music or history are swept up by the sound of the instrument. It’s a captivating, enchanting sound.” Ancient Irish poets likened the sound of their harps to the pealing of bells. “It’s going to sound romantic,” Ball continues, sheepishly, “but when I first heard it, it sounded like the veil between me and the past was torn aside and I could step back unto the past.” Ball’s heritage is Irish, though he grew up and studied in California. “Happily at that time I had just finished my master’s degree in Irish history, so I knew a great deal about the times when these harps were played centuries ago,” Ball says. “But I never felt what it was like until I heard the sound of the harp.” Around that same time, Ball discovered the oral traditions of Appalachia. “Before I became a storyteller I was hitchhiking around the country after grad school and ended up in the Blue Ridge Mountains,” he says. “The first time I heard someone telling stories I was thoroughly captivated by the music of the speech. I had never heard anyone talk in such a lyrical way. I know people in the mountains don’t think they are lyrical, but for me it was a transfor-

Pur | The Company Performers .



Patrick Ball

mative experience to hear people tell stories in that way. When I left I went straight to Ireland and found that same musical, lyrical quality in the storytelling. When I found the [Celtic] harp, the musical quality, sound and history blended perfectly with my experiences in the mountains and in Ireland.” Since the original Irish tradition had been lost, Ball had to rely on recordings to recreate the stories and music of his ancestors. “By the time I got interested in stories and was rambling about Ireland, no traditional storytellers were left,” Ball explains. “So the way I approached the old stories, first of all, was the people of Ireland say go to a pub and they’ll still be telling stories and having their own community in a pub. Most of the stories they told are relatively new or happen to them or in the countryside. I got the feeling for stories from listening to stories in houses and pubs. To get the old stories I had to go to sound archives, because before they died away many scholars and historians recorded the old storytellers and kept [the recordings] in archives in Ireland and England.” Many of these tapes were recorded around the turn of the 20th century and were in Gaelic, which Ball doesn’t speak, but others were in English. “[The tapes are a] wonderful way to feel like you’re right there, only 100 years before.” Most recently, Ball wrote and currently performs two solo musical theater pieces: O’Carolan’s Farewell to Music, the story of the last and most celebrated traditional Irish bard, and The Fine

Beauty of the Island, which tells of the abandoned Blasket Islands and a haunting tune. Ball says The Christmas Rose, which he’ll perform Saturday at the Indiana History Center, is different from his other shows. “This show is quite literary in a sense that the stories and some of the anecdotes are from books written in the early part of the 20th century, as well as other pieces,” Ball says. “For instance, one is A Child’s Christmas in Wales and another is The Wind in the Willows, and these are truly beloved stories. When I was growing up I ran across [these books] at a formative age and fell in love with them. Books that are really deep and kind of had a visceral quality to them, filled with, particularly Dylan Thomas, a variety of stuff: the sensory descriptions of a childhood Christmas, the sights, smells, feelings. These are recollections that seem to be universal to everybody.” „

A CHRISTMAS ROSE, TOLD BY PATRICK BALL PART OF THE STORYTELLING ARTS OF INDIANA SERIES Frank and Katrina Basile Theater at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St. Saturday, Dec. 3, 7:30-9:30 p.m.; advance tickets $20, door $25;

One of the best things about the neo-burlesque scene that has swept through Indy in recent times is that the form offers seemingly limitless variation. Consider for instance Pur | The Company, a prolific group with regular events throughout the city, who hit Blu nightclub downtown with a three-member mini-show the night before Thanksgiving. Led by former Las Vegas showgirl Evie LaRoux, the trio warmed up the chilly November night with an electric, jazzy routine that draws as much from modern popular entertainment as it does from the familiar burlesque elements of the past. The tack-sharp choreography, hair-tossing charm and rhinestone dazzle was an excellent match for the laser lights and glitter balls of Blu’s pre-holiday party. They entered the room with confident superstar cool and walked out like rock stars. Look for future issues of NUVO for more in-depth coverage of Pur. And if you want more, check out their next show, a full performance Wednesday night at Room 929; doors open at 9p.m., no cover, show begins after 10p.m.. — PAUL F. P. POGUE

THEATER A BEEF & BOARDS CHRISTMAS THROUGH DEC. 23 DIRECTED BY EDDIE CURRY t It’s good to know that some things don’t really change. After my two-year motherhood sabbatical, coming back to Beef & Boards’ Christmas show was like spending an evening with an old friend. Instead of themes and shtick, this variety show presents what it does best: solid vocals, elegant dancing (choreographed by Doug King) and exquisite costumes (Jill Kelly). The multitalented Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims continue their marathon hosting duties, sharing the stage with Jayson Elliott, Sarah Hund, John Vessels and Jillian Wallach. The BBC orchestra is freed from its balcony box and is on-stage and interactive, and Santa is a regular feature of the show. Musical selections are diverse, from traditional carols to Alvin & the Chipmunks to dueling bluegrass Christmas tunes. The serious — “I Pray on Christmas” — shares equal time with the silly — “All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan.” There are no showstoppers here, though, like Gerald Atkins’ past performances of “O Holy Night,” and I still miss the deviant Jingle the Elf. While the inclusion of child performers Ethan Halford Holder and Olivia McKenna is a good way to get youngsters to relate to the show, they don’t add any pizzazz, instead slowing the pace to a creep for their numbers. But A B&B Christmas does provide what it promises: mass quantities of comfort food mixed with Christmas spirit. — LISA GAUTHIER MITCHISON

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FOOD Harry & Izzy’s

Warm, welcoming, more or less perfect BY N E I L CH A R L E S N CH A RL E S @N U V O . N E T Harry and Izzy’s new location, like its downtown counterpart, sports a horseracing and betting theme, in tribute to Izzy Rosen, former bookie and late owner of St Elmo Steakhouse. It’s a theme that’s pleasingly idiosyncratic, transporting the diner back to Mad Men days, when handshakes were firm, cocktails were consumed in threes and time was measured in cigarettes. Although the ambience may tend towards the masculine, this is by no means a clubby kind of place. The staff is warm and welcoming, the food has wide appeal, the service is smartly efficient and the space is elegant and spacious. Catering to power-lunchers and harried shoppers alike, Harry and Izzy’s menu, overseen by the seasoned chef Dave Foegley, offers a broader menu than St. Elmo, but retains a few of that icon’s signature dishes. Those of a masochistic bent can enjoy the legendary Shrimp Cocktail ($15.95), a guaranteed cure for all but the most belligerent of head colds. A little more sedate is the seared tuna ($13), a generous and succulent serving of sushi-grade fish served with a sweet and savory ginger sauce. With everyone’s time being in such short supply these days, a good three-course lunch has become a luxury in which few of us can afford to indulge. Should the opportunity arise, however, I can think of few better places to do so than at Harry & Izzy’s. The pace is measured, the seats comfortable and the portions just right. On a recent visit my wife enjoyed a more or less perfect 6 oz filet ($23), while I bit into one of


Harry & Izzy’s profoundly flavored breaded bone-in veal chop ($33) and sadistic shrimp cocktail ($15.95).

the best prime rib sandwiches ($14) I’ve had in a while. Served on a super-fresh roll with a creamy (and not too hot) horseradish, this was juicy and packed with flavor. On a second visit, this time for dinner, the standout dish was a truly extraordinary breaded bone-in veal chop ($33). This may just be the best such dish I’ve enjoyed since a memorable lunch in Vienna 27 years ago. Seriously. Succulent, tender, profoundly flavored, this was exactly what veal is all about. Served with a side of creamed spinach, it didn’t need the embellishment of a starch to detract from its perfection. A rack of lamb ($32) was served simply with its juices and a portion of mint jelly. At first it appeared a bit more rare than I


DEC. 2

First Friday at the Harrison Center includes art and Sun King

DEC. 3

Lake Sullivan Sports Complex (Major Taylor Velodrome), 3649 Cold Springs Road, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun King is partnering with Marian College for the Indy Cycloplex, a double-header of cyclocross races including the NUVO CX and the Mayor’s Cup. Call 317-602-3702 Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company, Wednesday nights special: any beer $3 for a pint. Currently pouring Hoggy Style Amber, their newest seasonal.

DEC. 4

Triton Brewing Co., Lawrence: “Pint for a Pint Blood Drive,” 1-5 p.m. in 15 minute increments. Sign up at “Free pint of beer for a pint of your blood.”

DEC. 7

Rock Bottom College Park, 86th St. 6 p.m. Tapping of Old Curmudgeon


Fountain Square Brewing in Fountain Square, Indianapolis reports: “Our tasting room should be open within the month, having all 4 house beers and hopefully 2 seasonals as well….an IPA and Oatmeal Stout. We will be open Thursday through Sunday with Sunday being our $5 growler refill day.” You can also find Fountain Square brews on tap in many restaurants and bars around Indianapolis. Patrick’s Kitchen and Drinks opens in the Brick Street Inn, at 175 South Main in downtown Zionsville on December 3. Husband and wife team Patrick Mullen and Beth Dickerson say the new site will feature locally-inspired food with a seasonallyfocused, frequently changing menu. The new bar will feature artisan spirits in addition to popular favorites, a fun wine list and a large selection of craft-brewed beers, with draft beers focused on Indiana microbrews. 317-733-8755 or for more information. If you have an item for Beer Buzz, send an email to Deadline for Beer Buzz is Thursday noon before the Wednesday of publication.

usually like, but once I cut into it, the melting flesh and delicate flavor won me over completely. A third dish, the New York Strip ($37), was every bit as tender and properly aged as you would expect. There can be doubt that, since I first dined at St Elmo over 20 years ago, the quality of their meat has improved enormously, quite an achievement when one considers the sheer volume of cattle passing through its various kitchens. A short selection of desserts, including an immaculate crème brulée, rounds out the menu. And, of course, there’s the wine cellar: 2,600 bottles displayed behind glass in the main dining room. But that’s a story for another time. „

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w (PG) Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is a Dickens-lite tale of an orphan lad (Asa Butterfield) living in a 1930s Paris train station and his relationships with a disapproving toy shop owner (Ben Kingsley) and his young granddaughter (Chloe Grace Moretz). The production is also a love letter to the magic of movies, particularly the early silent films. This is a film to see in theaters — those who wait for video will miss the best use of 3D since Avatar. Scorsese employs the process brilliantly, composing his scenes so the 3D enhances the story without falling into gimmickry. I’ve seen so many films with bad 3D that, if I mention the process at all, it’s usually to urge readers to seek out a 2D version of the movie. Rest assured, this time the 3D is well-worth the extra fee. Hugo, based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, accompanies the boy on his secret routine in the train station. Following the death of his adoring father (Jude Law), Hugo is left in the care of his vile uncle (Ray Winstone),

whose job is to tend to the elaborate clocks at the station. When the uncle disappears, Hugo quietly takes over, taking care of the clocks, stealing food to get by and purloining various items to try to repair a mechanical man left to him by his father. The boy avoids the station inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), but when the station’s toy shop owner catches him stealing and confiscates the notebook of Hugo’s father, it appears the orphan’s world is about to collapse on him. Unless the old man’s granddaughter, who is itching to have an adventure, can help Hugo get the notebook back. In addition to all of this there is another plot line, dealing with silent films and faded glory. Hugo is filled with gorgeous images. Scorsese crafts his sets so meticulously that I was reminded of the disarming picture book style of Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Scorsese emphasizes the mechanics of objects — we see so many gears and other moving parts — to give the film the appearance of enhanced reality, but if you look closely (check the size of the Eiffel Tower in various scenes) you can see the filmmaker altering reality to reflect the moods and perspectives of the story. Hugo is an exceptional motion picture and I heartily recommend it to you. That said, I must note that Scorsese, in his quest to avoid sentimentality, may have been too emotionally conservative at times. There were moments where I knew I was supposed


Chloe Grace Moretz and Asa Butterfield in Hugo.

to tear up, but it didn’t happen. And then there’s the station inspector. Sasha Baron Cohen plays him big and slapsticky, but the tone of the character is more cartoonish than the world surrounding him. Even more awkward is the matter of his leg, which was injured in the war and is supported by a metal brace. More than one chase scene that appears to be intended as comical in addition to being exciting ends with the inspec-

tor’s brace locking up and preventing him from going on. You see the sadness on his face and any hint of humor disappears. Hugo has moments that don’t work, but the vast majority of it does — gloriously, magically. I’ve avoided specifics about the “love letter to the magic of movies” aspect of the film. Better that you discover that magic on your own. „




The following are reviews of films currently playing in Indianapolis area theaters. Reviews are written by Ed Johnson-Ott (EJO) unless otherwise noted. WE WERE HERE (NR)

On World AIDS Day, experience a film that puts viewers in the shoes of those with the disease. We Were Here chronicles the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco. Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle writes “If any movie can bridge that distance between those who were there and those just hearing about it, it’s this one.” Playing Thursday, Dec. 1; at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. in the DeBoest Lecture Hall. Free.

Real estate lawyer Matthew King (George Clooney) has been emotionally THE DESCENDANTS distant from his wife for quite a while. His relationship with his two daugh-

w (R)

ters has also suffered from his frequent absences. Now Matthew’s wife lies comatose in a hospital bed, the victim of a boating accident. The daughters are running wild and the situation demands that Matthew step up. Soon Matthew will learn something that will make everything even worse. The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne ( Sideways, About Schmidt, Election), is a hell of a good movie. The characters are distinct without feeling contrived, the conversations sound genuine, the pain and the laughter come naturally. This is the kind of movie I’ve been waiting for all year.

THE MUPPETS The plot of this reboot of the Muppet franchise for a new generation is largely about rebooting the Muppets for a new generation, with numerous t (PG) jokes about how pop culture has passed by the felt critters. Jason Segel, one

of the lead human characters (Amy Adams costars), was instrumental in getting the movie made. The jokes are the usual Muppet mix of laugh-out-loud lines and groaners. The musical numbers are fine. I thought there were too many wistful moments and that the script spent too much time trying to satisfy the adults and not enough time trying to satisfy the kids. At the end of the screening, however, the kids seemed pretty happy.


w (R)

Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas) is an intense plastic surgeon developing an artificial skin resistant to burns and insect bites. In Ledgard’s compound in the town of Toledo in Spain, he monitors a woman named Vera (Elena Anaya), who wears only a flesh-colored bodystocking and behaves like a trapped animal. Vera appears to be Ledgard’s patient and prisoner. The doctor is assisted in his daily tasks by his loyal housekeeper, Marilia (Marisa Paredes). Forget the romance you associate with Pedro Almodovar films. The filmmaker goes someplace else this time, presenting dark, bizarre events in a matter-of-fact fashion. Sure, he’s done that before, but this film gets darker and goes further out there than usual. Intellectually and visually stimulating, it’s his best film yet.

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music Ladies’ Night

Writers Round features four local singer-songwriters, including new voice Kim Taylor BY G RA N T C A TTO N M U S I C@N U V O . N E T


n Saturday, singer-songwriters Kim Taylor, Kate Lamont, Cara Jean Wahlers, and Bobbie Lancaster will participate in a Nashville-style songwriters round at Locals Only. The show represents the first time Cincinnati musician Kim Taylor has performed as a solo artist in Indy and it could possibly be the last time Indy native Kate Lamont will perform in Indy for a long while, as she’s in the process of relocating to San Francisco. If you haven’t heard of Kim Taylor, odds are you’ve heard her soulful, country- and folk-inspired tunes on TV shows like “Justified,” “Flashpoint,” “Smallville,” “Army Wives,” “One Tree Hill” and others. And if you listen to pop or country music, you’ve probably already heard songs that she’s co-written; she’s collaborated with songwriters who write for artists like Lee Anne Womack and Miley Cyrus and she’s soon heading to Epic Records to showcase some of her latest work. The recent ascension of producer L.A. Reid to the CEO position at Epic has opened up songwriting opportunities for Taylor. One of Epic’s A&R’s with whom she’s been friends for years has a close relationship with Reid, a music business connection which could potentially result in Taylor writing full-time for some of Epic’s artists. “That’s a whole world I’ve been trying to nudge my way into for a while,” said Taylor. “I’ve been making my own way with my songs for a couple of years, but I get really excited working with other artists; that’s kind of my goal.” Taylor and Lamont met in 2010 through Over the Rhine drummer Devin Ashley when Taylor was touring with the band. Since then, Lamont has been working as one of Taylor’s backup singers. Though their individual musical styles are pretty different Taylor plays folk- and country-inspired pop, Lamont is more R&B-influenced—both artists agree their voices are complementary. “Our voices blend really well together,” said Taylor in an interview last week. “There are tonal similarities, and I tend to be a pretty husky singer, while she has a more crystal-clear, pitch-perfect voice.” The two haven’t co-written anything as yet, though Taylor says they’ve discussed the idea. “It’ll be a little harder now that she’s moving to San Francisco,” joked Taylor. 26



Kim Taylor

Also at the songwriters round will be Indy’s Lamont has played in a number of difown Cara Jean Wahlers and Bloomingtonferent bands since 1999 including Fuzz, based Bobbie Lancaster. Wahlers’ debut which she founded with Devin Ashley, Mab album, Goodnight Charlotte (2010), which Lab and Blueprint Music, before releasing her first solo album, After the Traffic in she recorded with cellist Grover Parido, was 2010. After releasing her latest EP Quality at voted Best Local Roots Album this year by the Broad Ripple Music Fest, she says she NUVO and has gained national attention still has a full album from media outlets like worth of material that New York’s Village Voice. she’s written with Ashley. She and Parido also wrote ... the night promShe’s currently in the prothe score for the awardcess of recording, as she winning 2010 indeises to be the best moves to the West Coast. pendent film Paradise Having worked and Recovered, which was showcase of female played music in the filmed in Southern singer-songwritIndianapolis area for Indiana. most of her adult life, “Kate and Bobbie and ers to come to Lamont is hoping the I have been performing move to San Francisco in close proximity to each Indianapolis in a will enable her to gain other for years, and have long while. access to the film indusshared bills several times, try, where she hopes to but we’ve not been on write music on commisstage together, the three sion for film and TV She of us, really ever,” said says the move was prompted in part by her Wahlers. “I’m really excited to welcome Kim friendship with Taylor. Taylor to town, too. She’s got a great voice “Kim Taylor is thriving in [the film and and great songs, and it’s a lot of fun sitting in TV] world right now,” said Lamont. “She’s a line with other writers, trading songs and kind of my inspiration.” sharing stories.”


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Lancaster has released two solo albums and two children’s albums. Her most recent release, Live, came out this year. A regular on the local circuit, she’s recently appeared in Tim Grimm’s Hoosier Dylan, Springsteen, Hank & Johnny Tribute shows, as well as the John Prine tribute show, Pure Prine. She’s also currently at work on an album with the Millbranch Theory and a series of children’s books. “I really respect Bobbie’s music and energy. She’s an absolute joy to be around and to share the stage with,” said Wahler. With such a stellar lineup, the night promises to be the best showcase of female singer-songwriters to come to Indianapolis in a long while. “We’re really honored to have Kim playing at Locals Only,” said Lamont. “Cara Jean and Bobbie are both quality songwriters. That’s why we’re doing this Songwriters in the Round; because we’re not just singers, but [also] songwriters.” Lamont said she and the other ladies will be playing stripped-down sets; she with her beloved Fender-Rhodes piano and the others with their guitars. “Kim will probably play my piano as well,” she adds, with a hopeful tone. „


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Shy Guy Says

Don’t Miss: Shy Guy Says

Each week, NUVO speaks with a local music luminary about their favorite music. All albums are available at your local independent record store. In his own words, the black-suited and white-masked Shy Guy Says is an electronic music producer and performer “straight from the Mushroom Kingdom, an 8-bit villain ready to destroy any party at any time.” His upcoming full length, The Technolocaust, is exclusively written, engineered, produced, and distributed by the artist himself. He mixes hip hop, glitch hop, and drum step in his set. The artist is also planning on releasing Level 2, featuring outtakes from various Technolocaust sessions in the near future. Shy Guy Says will make his next appear ance at IndyMojo’s Solstice III, an all-night dance party at The Vogue this Friday night with Future Rock (Chicago), and Cyberoptics, (L.A.), also on the bill. Solistice is one of IndyMojo’s largest events of the year; this year, they’re mixing jamtronics (Future Rock) and EDM for a party that will keep you on your feet all night long. Digital Platforms Editor Tristan Schmid was out at a September Shy Guy Says show, commenting, “Shy Guy puts work into his production and his performance. Bouncing around behind his small rig, he had to turn from the crowd at one point, bend over and dump the sweat out of his mask.” This hard-working producer listens to tons of new music to prepare his sets. W e checked in with the man behind the mask to see what he just can’t put down lately. THUNDERCAT: THE GOLDEN AGE OF APOCALYPSE “This album took things in an entirely new direction for the artist. Thundercat’s bass skills are unparalleled, and his unique sense of harmony and melody has been really inspirational to me lately. Adding in Flying Lotus on production makes this album nearly perfect.” A$AP ROCKY: LIVELOVEA$AP “I’m digging this guy’s laid-back flow and uber-confidence a whole lot. The way his beats use that heavy ambient color as a tool for setting a mood is really refreshing to hear from rap and hip-hop.”

EPHIXA - ZELDA STEP EP “This stuff is awesome! I grew up with Zelda and always loved the music, but this EP just takes it to a whole new level of dubstep madness. [This is] a must have for any video game nerd.” SAMIYAM - SAM BAKER’S ALBUM “Yet another excellent collection of beats from Samiyam. His swagger gets thicker and thicker as time goes by, and the noticeable improvement in production quality on this album should not be taken for granted.” TEEBS - COLLECTIONS 01 “Every time I listen to Teebs, I am taken to another planet. His sounds are like pillows for your ears, waiting to comfort you slowly into your sweetest dream.”


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SOLSTICE III FEATURING FUTURE ROCK, CYBEROPTICS, AND SHY GUY SAYS The Vogue Friday, Dec. 2 8 p.m., $10, 21+ 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 11.30.11-12.07.11 // music


THE WAR ON DRUGS Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St. Tuesday, Dec. 6 9 p.m., $10, 21+ SUBMITTED PHOTO

The boys of The War On Drugs

Songwriting with The War On Drugs BY WADE CO G GESHALL M USIC@ N UVO.NET




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The War On Drugs is working to change the negative connotation associated with the name of an interminable and failed policy by the federal government. The Philly-based band is doing so through a mix of illusory sonics and loud, bedraggled guitar that somehow manages to sound both timeless and fresh. But singer/songwriter/guitarist Adam Granduciel admits getting there can be a struggle. “It’s not like [the songs] come quickly and have a clear vision from the start,” he said during a recent phone interview. “I let them evolve over time.” The recording process for Slave Ambient, The War on Drugs’ second full-length, was “legendarily chaotic.” Granduciel didn’t think the songs were done when others did. “I kept trying to move in a particular direction, kept waiting on the songs to feel special to me,” he says. “I was searching for a sound, but for each song to have its own identity too.” Granduciel isn’t a tyrannical perfectionist either. He knew Slave Ambient, released on Bloomington’s Secretly Canadian, would have layers and samples reaching grandiose heights at times. Even though he admits to obsessing in the creative process, Granduciel still believes he knows when a song is done. “I know when I get to a place where I’m happy with everything,” he said. “Sometimes you can only work on something so much.” It’s been enough to elicit comparisons of the quartet to luminaries as disparate as Bruce Springsteen and My Bloody Valentine, and, of course, Dylan. The latter one is just fine with Granduciel. He was a Dylan acolyte when he moved to Philadelphia from

Oakland in the early 2000s and started The War On Drugs with the now-solo Kurt Vile. He’s also quick to note such comparisons are more likely because of the musical style, its delivery and its verbosity, rather than any overall greatness. “I don’t think there’s any real comparison there, but I’d like think I sing with a certain level of conviction too,” Granduciel said. After two albums (beginning with 2008’s Wagonwheel Blues) and a few EPs, The War on Drugs started developing enough of a live reputation that fans started telling Granduciel he sounded different on stage than in recordings. Initially he was offended; he later decided against being so. “As you grow as a writer and performer, you start to approach all your music like it’s new and fresh instead of just going through the motions. That’s something I’ve learned from watching Dylan’s career. He’s always reinterpreting stuff as he grows as an artist. That’s where I’d like to be.” Granduciel remains the only original member in the group. Vile left after Wagonwheel Blues to start a solo career; both are still friends. Other wholesale personnel changes didn’t adversely affect the creation of Slave Ambient, Granduciel says, because The War On Drugs has never operated as a proper band outside of touring. “If anything, that’s given me the ability to do whatever I want to do,” he said, adding that this is the first year the lineup has ever been constant. “We’ve toured a lot since March with the same four people. It’ll be exciting in the future to see how that dynamic changes the next record – everyone working on it together.” Granduciel also takes credit (or blame) for the group’s moniker, something he suggested before there were any expectations of success. He’s heard numerous complaints that their name can’t be typed into a search engine without pulling up an overkill of government propaganda, though that’s solved by adding the word “band” (“You just have to think harder for one second”). “Sometimes people will ask if I’m for or against (drugs),” Granduciel says. “I’m hoping the more they hear us, the less they’ll think of the term’s origins.”„



Straight No Chaser



Murat Theatre at Old National Theatre, 502 N New Jersey St 7:30 p.m., prices vary, all ages

Fresh from the Macy’s Day Parade, this Indiana University men’s a capella group features a dozen members most famous for a ‘90s recording of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The tune will undoubtably be featured at tonight’s show.



Birdy’s, 2131 E 71st St 12 a.m., 21+

Currently touring on their sophomore effort Eraser (released in September), this New Orleans-bred hip hop duo have gar nered a diverse following since their 2008 debut. Combining elements of contemporary pop and electronic music with early ‘90s hip hop, brothers Krispy and Joey are known for their intense live shows that have landed them on the bill of many major North American summer music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Bumbershoot.



The Vogue, 6259 N College Ave 8 p.m., $10, 21+

See our Don’t Miss picks on pg 27 INDIE ROCK WHITE RABBITS

Radio Radio, 1119 Prospect St 8 p.m., $12 advance, $15 door, 21+

I first caught the White Rabbits as the opener for the opener for a Spoon show five years ago. Since, their albums have been produced by Britt Daniels of Spoon. Their energetic stage presence (including two drumsets) brings to mind a darker V ampire Weekend; they’ve also become known for their interesting cover song performances. The show is presented by MOKB.


Reilly Room at Atherton Union, 700 W Hampton Dr

8 p.m., donations encouraged, all ages See our interview with Butler Cof feehouse co-chairs on page 29



See our interview on page 26 VARIOUS ARTISTS BRADY BASH Birdy’s, 2131 E 71st St 8 p.m., 21+

A diverse lineup includes Whitney Coleman, The Hardees, Lynda Sayyah, Hinx Jones, Blake Allee, Thursday Book Club, and DJs Ridge and Soul Sauce. This event, in its third iteration, is coordinated by FourSee Entertainment and is intended to lift spirits before the Colts Patriots game on Sunday Considering the November 27 loss rounded out the Colts’ record at eleven losses, this is a sizable effort. Oh well; come for the music, not the Colts celebration. MYTHICAL CREATURE ROCK PHOENIX ON THE FAULTLINE ALBUM RELEASE SHOW Rock House, 3940 S Keystone Ave 9 p.m., $7, 21+

It’s hard to precisely describe the type of music the nine burly men of Phoenix on the FaultLine make. They describe it as “hard, melodic, sci-fi beard rock.” I describe it as “awesome.” They just claimed top honors at the 2011 Battle of Birdy’s with music from this album, Basement Of The Coliseum. The band, which claims to originate from a steampunk pig and a fold in time, will be accompanied by Indy locals Pragmatic, Midwest State of Mind and Dead Man’ s Grill. All nine members (including two guitarists, a bass player, two drummers, a lead singer, 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 11.30.11-12.07.11 // music









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Fitz and the Tantrums a trombone player, a trumpet player and a bari sax) will travel back from the year 3317 A.D. to release the Kraken. Er, the album.

ary arrangements by Count Basie and Glenn Miller of sacred and secular tunes. Space is very limited; make reservations in advance.




Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, 502 N New Jersey St 7 p.m., $25 + fees, all ages

Santa Slam is presented by WNOU and features stars that will make the tweens scream. Disney prince and princess Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas has had a rollercoaster year; Lovato made news last year after punching a Jonas Brother tour back-up dancer (she entered rehab shortly after). Lovato is back with a hit album and song (“Skyscraper”), and Joe Jonas, well, he never really left. The Jonas Brothers have been ruling Disney since premiering years ago on Disney’s “Jonas.”


Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St. 9 p.m., $10, 21+

See our feature on page 28 JAZZ BIG BAND CHRISTMAS

The Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N College Ave 7 p.m., $15, 21+

Sing along to popular holiday classics at the Big Band Christmas. The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra Holiday Show will showcase legend-


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Chicago recently made a surprise appearance at Notre Dame Stadium, playing a three-song set with the ND marching band. Although this show won’t be that much of a surprise, it will certainly achieve a certain level of skill. The band, who has been touring since the late ‘60s, retains four original members. Although certainly less politically charged (and relevant) than in the past, Chicago still puts on a relatively exciting live show . BENEFIT FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS, SCARS ON 45 The Bluebird, 216 N Walnut St 8 p.m., $22, 21+



Murat at Old National Centre, 502 N New Jersey St 7:30 p.m., prices vary, all ages

by Wayne Bertsch

Bring an unwrapped toy to the Toys for Tots show this Tuesday and WTTS will make sure it will get in the hands of a child who deserves it this Christmas. Fitz and the Tantrums have toured with Maroon Five and shared the stage with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. They’ve just released Pickin’ Up the Pieces, their first full length. They’re joined by the British group Scars on 45, led by former professional soccer player Danny Bemrose. Similar to Snow Patrol and Keane, their first release, Heart on Fire, was out October 25.



Walk the Moon

Butler Coffeehouse Show Benefits OutReach Inc. Co-chairs of Butler Coffeehouse programming Elissa Chapin and Katie Carlson are doing more than just keeping up on their studies. They’re programming free shows for the students of Butler and the Indianapolis community. Carlson, a junior who is majoring in public relations and advertising, has experience with Friday’s headliner Walk the Moon. She’s booked them for Butler performances before. “They’ve had an explosive rise in the past year, so when Nicholas [Petricca, the lead singer] called to ask if they were performing again this year at Butler, I said, ‘Oh ... sure!’ ” said Carlson. The band, out of Cincinnati, commented that Indianapolis, and Butler University students in particular, were the band’s first out-of-town fan base. Walk the Moon plays indie art-rock; members paint their faces before the show and bring enough to share with fans. They’ve received praise from performances on tour with Weezer, at the 2011 South by Southwest Festival and on various late-night shows. Chapin, who is a sophomore majoring in recording industry studies and public relations, spoke about their partnership with the women’s a capella group on campus, Freshly Brewed.

“We’re [both] taking donations at the door for Outreach, Inc. which provides support for teens living with homelessness,” said Chapin. The event benefits the organizers as much as the nonprofit for whom they’re raising money. “We see this as an opportunity to better ourselves. We both want to work in the music industry, so we’ve taken it upon us to explore and expand [the Coffeehouse],” said Chapin. For a university to program events, many hands are needed. “Our sound engineer Sam Dorrance functions as an official third co-chair for the organization. He’s a major contributor to what we do,” said Chapin. Bloomington-based, Indianapolis-bred Hotfox will open the stage for Walk the Moon. This uber-young and uber-talented group is signed to Indianapolis label Roaring Colonel. „

All proceeds from the event will benefit OutReach, Inc. HOW THE UGLY SWEATER STOLE CHRISTMAS Featuring: The Cheezies, men’s a cappella group from Miami of Ohio Freshly Brewed, women’s a cappella group from Bulter Hotfox Walk the Moon

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Ritual circumcision

Plus, suing your mom for mal-parenting Enterprising reporters get stories by earning the trust of their sources, which Simon Eroro of the Post-Courier (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea) obviously did. At a banquet in November, the News Limited (Rupert Murdoch’s empire) awarded Eroro its “Scoop of the Year” honor for reporting on militant tribal fighters of the Free West Papua movement -- a scoop he had to earn by agreeing to undergo a ritual circumcision, with bamboo sticks, to prove his sincerity. (Some of the rebels still wear penis gourds whose size varies with the status of the wearer.)

The Litigious Society

• An Illinois appeals court finally threw out a lawsuit in August, but not before the two-year-long battle had created a foot-high pile of legal filings on whether two “children” (now ages 23 and 20) could sue their mother for bad parenting while they were growing up. Among the claims were mom’s failure to send birthday cards or “care” packages during the kids’ college years and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from a party (and once failing to take the girl to a car show). • Todd Remis, an unemployed stockmarket research analyst, filed a lawsuit in 2009 against the photographer of his 2003 wedding, citing breach of contract because the 400 shots taken during the ceremony failed to cover several key moments, such as the “last dance.” A November 2011 New York Times report pointed out that Remis is demanding not just the return of his $4,100, but for the photographer to pay for re-creating the missing scenes by covering travel expenses for all 40 guests to reconvene. (Remis and his wife have divorced; she has returned to her native Latvia, and Remis does not even know how to contact her.) • Consumer Rights: (1) Jonathan Rothstein of Encino, Calif., filed a lawsuit in September against Procter & Gamble for selling its Crest toothpaste in “Neat Squeeze” packages, which Rothstein said make it impossible to access the last 20 percent of the contents, thus forcing consumers to buy more toothpaste prematurely. (He wants Procter & Gamble to return 90 cents to everyone who bought Neat Squeeze packages.) (2) Sarah Deming of Keego Harbor, Mich., filed a lawsuit in September against the distributor of the movie “Drive” (starring Ryan Gosling) because its trailers promised fast-driving scenes (like those in the “Fast and Furious” series), but delivered mostly just drama.

Fine Points of the Law

• (1) A recent vicious, unprovoked attack in Toronto by Sammy the cat on Molly the black Labrador (bloodying


Molly’s ear, paws and eye) left Molly’s owner without recourse to Ontario’s or Toronto’s “dangerous pet” laws. The owner told the Toronto Star in November that, apparently, only dangerous dogs are covered. (2) Maya the cat was central to a recent contentious British immigration case when a judge seemed to favor residence for a Bolivian national because of Maya. The judge had concluded that the Bolivian man and his British partner had established a closeknit “family” relationship because of the need to care for Maya.


• Unclear on the Concept: (1) Licensed Texas physician Akili Graham, 34, who gives paid motivational speeches on healthy living (“How to Deal With Stress”), was arrested in October in Houston and accused as the front man for four “pain clinics” that allegedly dispense prescription drugs illegally. (2) A chief child-abuse investigator for the Catholic Church in Britain, Christopher Jarvis, 49, was sentenced in October following his guilty plea to possession of over 4,000 child-sex images on his computer. Jarvis had been hired in 2002 to protect against pedophiles’ access to church groups. • Why People Love Washington: U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in August that he and a partner had “settled” the lawsuit brought by the Bartow County Bank for failing to repay a $2.2 million loan they had taken out in 2007. Graves has been a staunch advocate for governmental fiscal austerity and voted against raising the federal debt-ceiling in August. However, he had balked at repaying the $2.2 million (though he had signed a personal guarantee) because, he said, the bank should have known when it made the loan that Graves would be unable to pay it back. • Violinist Martin Stoner, 60, who lost his job after 25 years and who is suing the New York City Ballet for age discrimination, petitioned federal judge Robert Patterson to disqualify himself from the case because he is too old (88) and, according to Stoner, has vision and hearing problems.

Compelling Explanations

• (1) Management consultant Graham Gibbons, 42, was on trial in Cardiff, Wales, at press time, charged with making a clandestine video of himself and his then-girlfriend in bed. Gibbons denied being a pervert, insisting that he made the video to analyze, for “efficiency,” the “time and motion” of his “performance,” as he might do for corporate clients. (Despite his alleged improved lovemaking, the girlfriend broke up with him.) (2) West Virginia roadkill-cooking activist David Cain told Bloomberg News in October that he generally supported Volvo’s new driver-safety technology that warns of objects ahead in the road. Cain pointed out that it was just a warning, that the driver “could still choose to run over something that’s good for eating.”

news of the weird // 11.30.11-12.07.11 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER

People With Issues

• In November, Tommy Joe Kelly, unsuccessfully acting as his own lawyer, was convicted of slashing a stranger’s tire by an Austin, Texas, jury, despite his explanation. “OK, I’m going to tell you the truth on this one,” he said from the witness stand. “It doesn’t sound right, but it is. I ... had hemorrhoids at that time, super duper bad.” (There have been 391 tire slashings in Kelly’s neighborhood over the last four years, but he was charged with only one count, and sentenced to 10 years in jail.)

Least Competent Criminals

• Robbers Easily Subdued: (1) Dale Foughty, 56, was charged with robbing a convenience store in Jacksonville, N.C., in October, despite attempting to intimidate the clerk by dressing as Spiderman. However, the clerk poked Foughty in the stomach with a broom, sending him away empty-handed. (2) Cody Smith, 18, was charged with snatching a woman’s purse in Johnson City, Tenn., in November. The victim chased Smith into nearby shrubbery, entangling him long enough for her to recover the purse. (3) Two men, attempting a robbery of the Ace Smoke Shop in Altadena, Calif., in July, fled after grabbing only part of the store’s cash. They were frightened off by the manager’s barking Chihuahua.

Recurring Themes

• The tactic of “patience” is usually employed when police believe that a suspect has ingested drugs for smuggling, i.e., nature will take its course, and the drugs will appear in the toilet sooner or later. On Oct. 12, Nigerian comic actor Babatunde Omidina (known as “Baba Suwe”) was detained before a flight at the Lagos airport because authorities suspected that he had ingested drugs to smuggle to Paris. Omadina denied the charge, but police locked him up and began monitoring his bowel movements. On Nov. 4, Omadina was released without charges following 25 “evidence”-free movements.

A News of the Weird Classic (March 2008)

• The divorce of Anton Popazov and his wife, Nataliya, is about to go through (in 2008), but the couple are still contractually committed to the Moscow State Circus, where their act includes Nataliya’s shooting an apple off of Anton’s head with a crossbow. The Times of London asked Anton during a show in Sheffield, England, in February whether he was afraid. “I still trust her because Nataliya is very professional,” he said. “(T)he show must go on.”

©2011 CHUCK SHEPHERD DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@ or go to


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ARIES (March 21-April 19): This would be an excellent week to head down to Pucón, Chile and hire a daredevil to fly you in a helicopter into the caldera of the active Villarrica volcano, whereupon you would bungeejump out of the copter down to within 700 feet of the molten lava. If that’s too extreme or expensive for your tastes, I urge you to come up a milder adventure that will still bring you a close encounter with primal heat and light -- and maybe even some divine fire. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): As a mouse looks for food or shelter, it is flexible enough to fit through a hole as small as a quarter of an inch. You would really benefit from having a talent like that right now, Taurus. Of course, even if you are as slippery and pliable as you’ll need to be, you will also have to be on high alert for the inviting possibilities, some of which may be brief or subtle. For example, let’s say you spy an interesting-looking person with whom you’d love to chat. The window of opportunity may be open for less than ten seconds. Seize that moment! Refuse to get hung up in shyness. Don’t convince yourself that another chance will come along later. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): One of my Gemini acquaintances, Tara, has been playing a slow-moving game of tag with three friends since they were all in second grade together. They’re 27 years old now, and still live in the same city. Currently, Tara is “It,” and has been so for quite some time. But she confided in me that she plans to make a move this week. She says she’ll sneak up on one of the other players during his lunch break at work, tag him, and run away before he can tag her back. I told her she’s likely to meet with success, since this is an excellent time for you Geminis to gain an advantage in pretty much any kind of game you’re playing. CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know,” wrote philosopher Eric Hoffer. This is a good idea for you to contemplate right now. I realize it may be a challenge for you to figure out what you would rather not know and are afraid to know and might even be allergic to knowing. Still, I hope you’ll make the effort. Maybe you could enlist a smart ally who’d be skillful in helping you uncover the taboo truth. And maybe you could formulate an intention to be as objective as you’ve ever been. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Biologists say there are 680 species of trees and shrubs in the U.S. and Canada. By comparison, Lambir Hills National Park on the island of Borneo is the home of 1,175 species on its 128 acres. I suspect you will feel right at home in places like Lambir Hills in the coming week, Leo. Your own creative urges will be running hotter than usual, and are most likely to thrive in contexts that are themselves teeming with lush fertility and rich diversity. Please surround yourself with inspirational influences, thereby giving yourself the best possible chance to express yourself with vivid imagination. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home,” wrote philosopher Dagobert D. Runes. Your assignment, Virgo, should you choose to accept it, is to refute that assertion. In other words, I’m inviting you to travel to all of your usual haunts and treat everything that happens there with the attitude of a firsttime visitor. Just assume that the familiar people and places in your life have stimulating gifts to give and lessons to impart. Remember, though, they can’t do that to the fullest unless you expect them to.

than your minimum requirements of these basics. If I may be permitted to resurrect a now-out-offashion slang term, I suggest that you also expose yourself to a lot of extraordinarily phat sources of intellectual stimulation. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The mawashi is the loincloth that Japanese sumo wrestlers wear while competing. It’s rare for the garment to come off, even in the heat of a match, but it did happen once in 2000, when a wrestler named Asanokiri suddenly found himself standing naked during his bout with Chiyohakuho. In conformity with sumo’s rules, Asanokiri was immediately disqualified. I don’t think you’re at risk for being rendered literally unclothed in the heat of a showdown or a plot twist, Scorpio. But I do advise you to take extra precautions to prevent a metaphorical version of that occurrence. Get your act very together, and keep it very together. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Dear Mr. Brezsny: My name is Sonny McGee and I own a website that caters to people who are addicted to playing poker. I’m a big fan of your horoscopes, and I’m wondering if you would like to advertise your work to our audience. Gamblers love astrology! Get in touch. - Sagittarian Wheeler Dealer.” Dear Wheeler Dealer: Thanks for your interest, but I’ll pass. I don’t like to encourage anyone to focus their gambling urges on trivial matters like card games, sports events, and lotteries. I prefer they direct that mojo to high-minded stuff like daring themselves to excel, pursuing exciting and idealistic adventures, and doing brave things to help save the world. By the way, it’s prime time for you Sagittarians to ratchet up your commitment to those kinds of gambles. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I hope you’re not so perversely attached to your demons that you’re inclined to keep providing them with a comfortable home. Why? Because the coming weeks will be an excellent time for you to permanently banish them from the premises. Yes, I know it may seem lonely at first without their nagging, disruptive voices chattering away in your head. But I really do encourage you to bid them adieu. By the way, as you plan your exorcism, you might want to include a humorous touch or two. They’re allergic to satire and mockery, you know. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Beauvais Cathedral in northern France has been called “the most daring achievement of Gothic architecture.” Its soaring facades, carved wooden doors, stained glass windows, and astronomical clock demonstrate high artistry. There’s a problem with the place, however -- it has never been completed. Work began in the year 1225, and experts are still talking about how to solve certain ongoing difficulties with its construction. I don’t know when this happy ending will occur, Aquarius, but I do expect that in 2012 you will be able to put the finishing touches on your own personal version of the Beauvais Cathedral. And now would be a good time to formulate definite plans to do so. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In my prayers, I’ve been negotiating with the Goddess to grant you the power to change the course of rivers, at least in a metaphorical way. I’ve also beseeched her to show you how to overthrow the Puppet Master and convert overwrought hawks into savvy doves. The Goddess seems to be seriously considering these appeals, and has even hinted she might offer you instructions on how to shape a new Adam out of one of Eve’s ribs, mythically speaking. In return, she does have one request: that you do what you can to make sure the sun rises on schedule for the next ten days.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The human brain is composed of 30 percent protein and 70 percent fat. So it wouldn’t be incorrect to refer to you as a fathead. In order to nourish your brain cells, you’ve got to eat foods that provide two essential fatty acids your body doesn’t manufacture: omega-3 ALA and omega-6 LA. Since you’re now in a “brain-building” phase of your astrological cycle, I urge you to get more Homework: Imagine what your life would be like if you licked your worst fear. Describe this new world to me. Go to and click on “Email Rob.”

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NUVO: Indy's Alternative Voice - November 30, 2011  

Flounder Lee's Big Adventure: Herron Prof Uses Art And Photography To Reveal Glacial Melt

NUVO: Indy's Alternative Voice - November 30, 2011  

Flounder Lee's Big Adventure: Herron Prof Uses Art And Photography To Reveal Glacial Melt