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THIS WEEK in this issue

DEC. 07 - DEC. 14, 2011 VOL. 22 ISSUE 47 ISSUE #1033

cover story




While the Super Bowl may be the pretext for 46 For XLVI, this project is about a lot more than an operatically hyped football game. It has resuscitated Indianapolis’ faltering public art program, provided artists with meaningful work and promises to make mural art a nationally recognized part of the city’s cultural profile. BY DAVID HOPPE ON THE COVER: MURAL ART BY EDUARDO MENDIETA, LOCATED AT MASS AVE AND EAST STREET. PHOTO BY MARK LEE





STAR EMPLOYEES PROTEST NEWSROOM GUTTING On top of the layoffs, Star employees endured unpaid furloughs totaling 4 percent of guild workers’ 2009 pay, a 10 percent salary cut in their most recent two-year contract and a proposal to outsource page design and copy editing jobs to a regional Gannett hub in Louisville, Ky. BY REBECCA TOWNSEND





Friday, Dec. 9th




It’s been twenty years since Guns N’ Roses’ last visit to Indy. They’re back this Thursday, and they’re bringing brand new guitarist Dj Ashba. We spoke with the Hoosier-born Ashba about eating dinner with Slash and touring Chinese Democracy. BY KATHERINE COPLEN

from the readers

editor’s response


Glacier melt is not hyperbole, and quoting from a 1968 book does not replace the facts that temperatures are rising way beyond any “natural” cycle. The National Park Service, led by Jon Jarvis, is fully aware of glacier melt. I was with Director Jarvis in Glacier National Park in October of 2010, where he said climate change was the greatest threat to the National Park System in its history. Director Jarvis made perfectly clear that glaciers are in profound retreat, and there is, sadly, no better place in the United State to witness it. One hundred years ago, GNP sported 150 glaciers; now, it only has 25. It’s predicted that the glaciers will disappear altogether in 10-20 years.

There is so much hyperbole over the melting of glaciers (Cover, “Flounder Lee’s big adventure,” Dan Grossman, Nov. 30-Dec. 7) that the real facts are being ignored. Quoting from the book The Creation of the Teton Landscape published in 1968: “Modern glaciers are probably not remnants of Ice Age glaciers-it is more likely that the earlier glaciers melted completely away and that the ones we see today have formed in the past couple thousand years” (and in particular during the Little Ice Age). This information is published on the back of the current map of Grand Teton National Park published by the National Park Service.

Compass Rose Located Above Taps & Dolls

247 S Meridian St., Indianapolis, 46225 Hours: Thurs - Sat: 7pm - 3am Thurs - Sat: DJ

—Jim Poyser

Glaciers come and go and have not been specifically influenced by human life. They have been in retreat for over 9,000 years since the last major ice age warmed.


—Steven Pettinga INDIANAPOLIS


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HAMMER The ballad of Herman Cain His dreams are not unlike our own



t is time for someone to write a mournful ballad for the presidential campaign of Herman Cain, a man who sought the highest office in the land only to be felled by sex scandals and allegations of affairs, just when his chances of becoming the Republican nominee for president were increasing exponentially. He suspended his campaign on Saturday instead of ending it permanently, leaving open the option of re-entering the race if the public decides to forgive him his many alleged trespasses of moral character. Since the chances of that happening are basically nil, Cain’s dreams of living in the White House are over. The end of his campaign also signals an end to the era where politicians could shrug off their sexual escapades as innocent mistakes, or at least something which should be overlooked in the big picture. For more than 20 years, starting with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and continuing through President Bill Clinton, politicians and other public officials have been able to portray their personal failings as being irrelevant when placed in the context of everything else. Cain’s problem, mainly, was that there wasn’t anything else. He was never a serious candidate for president in that he wasn’t trying to get elected as much as he was trying to promote the brand of Herman Cain, conservative genius and best-selling pundit. His much-hyped 9-9-9 tax plan was a gimmick designed to fool those who want a simple and fair tax code. It would have given massive tax breaks to millionaires and hit hard the wallets of working-class men and women. His knowledge of foreign affairs was, putting it mildly, sparse at best. He never seemed certain where certain countries were located and what their problems were, much less how to go about resolving them. More bizarrely, he kept attributing one of his favorite sayings, “Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it’s never easy when there’s so much on the line,” to an unnamed poet. The words, in fact, are lyrics from a Donna Summer song featured in a Pokemon movie.

For commentators and comedians, Herman Cain was a gift that kept on giving. They, as much as his supporters, should mourn his exit from the campaign. More than Clinton or George W. Bush, Cain was custom-built to provide comedic material. That’s gone now, as is his campaign, which seemed as if it were built upon eggshells. It could withstand one allegation of sexual harassment, maybe even two. But when an alleged ex-mistress came out of the woodwork, his notions of morality offended even other degenerates and conservatives, not to mention the growing class of conservative degenerates. It must be no less unsettling to Cain that other politicians had gotten amnesty for their affairs, including Newt Gingrich, who, in an odd turn of events, has become the de facto frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. John F. Kennedy’s compulsive acts of promiscuity were widely known but went unreported at the time, as have every other president’s before and after him with the exception of Clinton. In fact, the only presidents since Kennedy about whom sexual misconduct hasn’t been alleged are Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Make of that what you will. For a while, Cain seemed to have escaped the persistent rumors of his affairs, but even he gave up trying to defend himself after a while. When asked if his last accuser’s claims might not be disproved through credit card receipts and travel logs, he only said, “Let’s not play detective.” That’s a far cry from “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” the technically correct but misleading statement by Clinton. It’s not even the non-denial denial of Thomas, who claimed he was the victim of a “high-tech lynching” during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. If anything, Cain’s too-brief campaign was a lesson with several points. First, that while Republicans pride themselves on electing purposefully ignorant candidates, Cain’s credentials combined with his sexual escapades were too much even for them. It also proved that racial progress is such that a black candidate with no qualifications is equally likely as a white candidate with no qualifications to be the subject of ridicule. Still, it’s tempting to feel sorry for Cain. For a few moments, he was the leading Republican candidate for president. With fewer accusers and a little more luck, he might have made it. Just as he approached the summit of his dreams, he slipped and fell all the way to the bottom. Those are also the ingredients of minorkeyed, subdued folk ballads and maybe someday someone will write a suitable song for the lofty ambitions and shattered hopes of Herman Cain. „

For commentators and comedians, Herman Cain was a gift that kept on giving.

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HOPPE Breadth, depth and downright beauty Classic Arts Showcase



e visited my dad in Florida recently. Since Dad’s kitchen is barely big enough to boil a can of soup, the family preoccupation during these gettogethers usually revolves around where we’ll go to eat dinner. After that’s taken care of, we usually settle in and watch some TV. Now I am fully aware of the ways that watching TV can be a drag. I get how it can be a substitute for more meaningful forms of human interaction. That, too often, it’s a pacifier, lulling viewers into thinking that because they are watching something, they are being active when, in fact, very little is actually going on. So it came as a happy jolt one evening to find ourselves being thoroughly entertained and, at times, even edified, by a programming service carried in Dad’s town called Classic Arts Showcase. It’s a ridiculously simple concept. Way back in 1994, a rather stately looking gent by the name of Lloyd E. Rigler apparently decided to start a fine-arts-oriented television channel based on the model pioneered by MTV. Except where MTV was devoted to videos presenting rock and pop music performers, Rigler wanted to show clips featuring classical music performance, as well as dance, musical theater, opera, drama, museum art and even bits of classic film and documentaries. In essence, what Rigler did was to create a curated channel devoted to collecting and programming fine arts film and video clips spanning, roughly, the past 90 years or so. These clips are run continuously, without commercial interruption or, for that matter, the tedious explaining by so-called hosts. At the beginning and end of each clip there’s a stamp of text naming the artists, what’s being performed, where and when. That’s it. Every week, the curators at Classic Arts Showcase assemble an eight-hour stream of 150 of these morsels, which is then broadcast three times each day. Where my dad lives in Florida, a local public broadcasting channel carries CAS on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Given the funding struggles faced by public television, this is probably a life-saver, since CAS is offered free. Any public, educational, or government access channel on

a cable TV system that requests a feed can receive CAS at no cost. Over 500 channels in the U.S. and Canada now show Classic Arts Showcase. The service is funded entirely by the Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. Although Rigler died in 2003, he left at least 20 years worth of funding to the channel, which says its mission is “to inspire viewers to go out and see live performances in their own communities.” I’m not a huge opera fan. I don’t particularly dig choral music. And as far as musical theater goes: Forget it. Characters with a penchant for suddenly bursting into song make me want to head for the nearest bartender. But I find Classical Arts Showcase addictive. Part of this is because no one clip is ever long enough to drive you away. Unlike, say, a tape of an entire concert, there’s no need to make a commitment of time or energy. And then there’s the element of surprise. CAS never provides a schedule because, they say, “if people knew what was coming up they would only watch clips they like, and perhaps never try anything new. Surprise is an important part of our strategy of creating a new audience for the arts.” In the course of an hour or so, you might see a 1964 film of master pianist Claudio Arrau playing Mozart; Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel being taught how to sing “One Enchanted Evening” without sounding ponderous; an excerpt from David Lean’s classic take on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations; archival video of a Cold War performance by the Bolshoi Ballet; a 1954 kinescope of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, done with puppets; a bit of silentera Buster Keaton; and an absolutely mindblowing version of Maurice Ravel’s “La Valse” arranged for two pianos. These bite-size performances actually convey a great deal. On the micro level, they can help one get a better feel for certain artists. A couple of clips based on performances of pieces by Leonard Bernstein, for example, reminded me that while the maestro was a great interpreter of other composers, he had a cringe-inducing tendency to try too hard when it came to writing his own music. Most of all, though, an evening spent with Classic Arts Showcase is a welcome reminder of the breadth, depth and downright beauty of what we call “the fine arts.” It’s like a highpotency vitamin shot of culture. CAS also seems a great way to introduce coming generations to the spectrum of experiences, styles and traditions that continue to find expression on stages all over the world. As my wife said, if you played CAS continuously in pre-schools, little kids wouldn’t have to be told this stuff was good for them — they’d feel it. When Butler University had a public station, it ran CAS for a while. They did little to promote it and the impact, like the station itself, was negligible. Too bad: In the right hands, this service could be a gem. „

It’s like a high-potency vitamin shot of culture.


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To learn more about Classic Arts Showcase, go to


by Wayne Bertsch



ban preventing horse slaughter lifted; cows are now researching that ban


by Jim Poyser

woman held 12 years on a Scientology (not a Tom) cruise ship Cain was unable to shake allegations that he’s a bad brother 1,400 cops in LA arrest hundreds to slice Occupy central banks free up bucks to liquidify too big-to-fail Europe Buffet buys hometown newspaper — imagine his obituary! FBI agents claim that the “G” in G-men doesn’t stand for “gay” Utah man shot by his own dog; with friends like these who needs enemies? Fox anchor proclaims Santa doesn’t exist but is Fox really “news”? NOAA says Arctic is deteriorating into a hot mess


Follow @jimpoyser on Twitter for more Haiku News.

In the end, disgraced councilman Lincoln Plowman left us with at least one beneficial legacy: a strong public service message that crime doesn’t pay. (Unless you see $6,000 as a fair exchange for your job, your leadership position in local government, your reputation and a bonus 40-month stay in federal prison.) Plowman, a former member of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council and major in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was sentenced last week after being convicted of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe from an FBI agent posing as a strip club developer seeking to open a club downtown. His fellow inmates may not be impressed with his history in government and law enforcement, but they’ll probably appreciate his opposition to the smoking ban. Thumbs up to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for looking into the dark backrooms of local politics and bringing this bad behavior to light.


Yes, climate change is a natural phenomenon — at work since the primordial ooze first began to bubble. The warp speed at which that rate of change is increasing, however, is driving grave concern. This month, scientific journal PLoS One published research from Indiana University that models changes in species habitat over the past 300 millennia and extrapolates those changes into the future, based on the mean annual temperature changes of at least 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius over the next 90 years as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The study focused on timber rattlesnakes, but the researchers posit that the model can be applied to other species as well. “(A)t best these species’ ranges will change more than 100 times faster than they have during the past 320,000 years,” said lead author Michelle Lawing, a doctoral candidate in geological sciences and biology, in an announcement of the study’s release.


In an age of gutted newsrooms and cronyism between regulators and the regulated, we need as many committed watchdogs as possible, especially when it comes to complex environmental issues. The merger of two of Indiana’s leading environmental advocates — the Hoosier Environmental Council and the Legal Environmental Aid Foundation — promises to boost critical oversight of our state’s air, land and water resources by allowing the groups to be more efficient with their financial resources and educational outreach. The unified entity will operate under the HEC name. Stay on task, environmental champions. You are needed now more than ever.

THOUGHT BITE By Andy Jacobs Jr. Donald Trump shouts angrily at Obama on TV news for adding to traffic with New York fundraiser, thus changing his name to Donald Grump. 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 12.07.11-12.14.11 // news


news ‘Star’ employees protest newsroom gutting More cuts loom



magine sitting in a room the size of a football field crammed with a battalion of reporters when word begins to circulate: “The grim reaper is on the move.” Every few minutes a phone rings to inform someone that management has cut his or her job at The Indianapolis Star. Stunned disbelief, tears and even piercing wails follow as colleagues process the losses. When the Star laid off 62 people across all its departments last June — the fourth round of Star layoffs since 2008 — the event felt like “two hours of hell,” said Bobby King, a reporter who witnessed the event. King still reports for the Star and now serves as president of the Indianapolis Newspaper Guild, the union that represents newsroom employees and the janitorial staff. Last week, he helped organize a rally outside the Star’s downtown headquarters. “We’ve never done anything remotely similar to what you see here,” King said. “The energy reflects the frustration in the newsroom and among the staff about the direction of the paper.” The local newspaper guild represented 219 employees in January 2008. Layoffs and a hiring freeze have since eliminated 44 percent of those people. Today, Guildrepresented employees number 125. The paper now has only a dozen photographers, down from 23. The number of copy editors has dropped from 26 to 15 and editorial writers have been halved from eight to four. On top of the layoffs, Star employees endured unpaid furloughs totaling 4 percent of guild workers’ 2009 pay, a 10 percent salary cut in their most recent twoyear contract and a proposal to outsource page design and copy editing jobs to a regional Gannett hub in Louisville, Ky. Then, last week, the staff received a memo from Gannett corporate management in McLean, Va., announcing another round of furloughs. The unpaid time off would not affect guild members, but the sting was strong enough to provoke reaction. Last week dozens of the paper’s employees spent their lunch hour picketing in front of the Star’s downtown headquarters. The chants included calls of “Shame on you!” “More news, less greed!” and “Save the Star.” 8

After picketing, the crowd rallied around a handful of speakers. “I’m proud to be a journalist,” said reporter John Russell, who was recognized as Indiana Journalist of the Year by the Society of Professional Journalists for breaking the story of unethical dealings between Duke Energy and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. “I’m proud to be an officer in your guild. But every week that goes by, I’m a little more ashamed of Gannett and what they’re doing to journalism.” Gannett’s Chief Executive Craig Dubow’s salary totaled $9.4 million last year — twice as much as the combined salaries of the 125 people the guild represents, according to King. When Dubow left the company this fall due to disability, his retirement package was estimated at $37 million. “Is it fair for the CEO to leave with $37 million while we take less and less and less?” Russell asked. “We’re here to say that’s wrong.” The guild, which has a dues-paying membership of about 80 percent of all the employees it represents — including reporters, photographers, copy editors, researchers, page designers and custodial staff — met with Star management following the rally. “We’re concerned about our families’ economic situation and we’re concerned about the future of the newspaper,” King said. “We’re not asking for the moon — just the 10 percent back from two years ago and cost-of-living raises of 3 percent a year.” When asked for comment, Star Publisher Karen Crotchfelt offered a brief response via email. “We are currently engaged in the process of collective bargaining and fully intend to respect and honor that process,” Crotchfelt wrote. “We also are looking forward to reaching a new contract with the Union as soon as possible. However, because we are currently engaged in negotiations it would not be appropriate or proper to discuss in detail our negotiations with the Union.” Guild members worry that the company’s consolidation plans may portend additional cuts to the Indianapolis newsroom — a fear Gannett’s furlough memo did not allay. Materials accompanying the memo, reviewed by NUVO, note “as we continue to consolidate some operations to achieve greater efficiencies there will be some position eliminations as our normal course of business.” A recent research report from J.P. Morgan analysts helps to summarize the pressure on Gannett executives to cut newsroom costs, though it does not mention the disparities between executive and newsroom pay. “Management reiterated during the (third quarter 2011 earnings) call that it will remain vigilant on costs to help protect profitability, but despite a good track record of cost containment … margins of 16 % fell short of our 16.9 % estimate,” the analysts wrote, noting margins were down about 2 percent from the prior year.


„ Two Indiana environmental groups merge by Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism

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‘Star’ staff rallied downtown last week to protest concerns about the direction of the company.

“In our view, the newspaper margin miss may indicate that (Gannett) is finding it increasingly challenging to keep cutting expenses in line with revenue declines, and heightens concern over the company’s ability to protect profitability in 2012 as there has not yet been any meaningful improvement in the print outlook.” Companies often use reductions in print advertising to justify newsroom cutbacks, though some quantitative research now questions the efficacy of such approaches. A study authored by professors in the business and journalism schools at the University of Missouri looked at 10 years of financial data for papers of small- to medium-sized newspapers with circulations of 85,000 or less and found that cuts to newsrooms affected news quality. “If you lower the amount of money spent in the newsroom, then pretty soon the news product becomes so bad that you begin to lose money,” said study co-author Esther Thorson, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, in an announcement of the study’s release. On the flipside, said Murali Mantrala, a professor in the business school, “Better news quality drives circulation, and circulation drives advertising revenues.” In reaction to the cuts sustained at the Star, a group of 15 local religious leaders, including nine reverends, three rabbis, an imam and a bishop wrote a letter of concern to Star executives. “As leaders in the Indianapolis faith community and readers of your newspaper, we have watched with great concern the declining role of The Indianapolis Star as this city’s most vital and primary source of local news,” they wrote. “We are also aware of the challenges facing the newspaper industry, yet we are deeply troubled by the pattern of local layoffs and staff pay reductions while executives at Gannett … received large pay raises. ... As faith leaders we feel called upon to shine the light of public inquiry on justice issues such as these in our community.” „

„ Innovate Indy: growing grassroots innovation by Nathan Brown

„ Strides made locally against AIDS by Rebecca Townsend

TIMELINE January 2008 - The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild represents 219 people — newsroom personnel (reporter, photographers, copy editors, page designers, researchers, clerks, paraprofessionals) and custodians. Aug. 19, 2008 – The Star lays off five Guild workers as part of a larger cut that includes a total of 23 employees company wide. Two non-Guild newsroom managers are cut. Dec. 3, 2008 - The Star lays off 19 Guild workers as part of a layoff of 52 people across the country. One newsroom manager is cut. January 2009 - The Star threatens the Guild with more layoffs unless it aggress to take an unpaid, weeklong furlough. The Guild workers agree to do this. It amounts to a 2 percent pay cut for the year. April 2009 - The Star threatens layoffs again, and the Guild votes to accept another weeklong furlough. It’s another 2 percent off out annual earnings, a total of 4 percent for 2009. July 2009 – The Star lays off 14 Guild workers as part of 37 layoffs across the Star. Aug. 25, 2009 – The Star threatens more layoffs unless the Guild accepts a 10 percent pay cut. The Star says the cuts are necessary for the newspaper’s financial health. Guild members narrowly approve a twoyear contract with a 10 percent pay cut. Managers and non-union workers are not asked for similar cuts. Sept. 18, 2009 – The Star enters an 18-month hiring freeze newsroom hiring freeze. More than 20 jobs — the environmental reporter, two business reporters, several features reporters among other positions — disappear. June 21, 2011 – The Star lays off 25 Guild workers as part of 62 cuts across all departments. Another 19 vacant positions companywide are eliminated. Companywide 700 workers are laid off — the Star takes the biggest hit. The Guild now represents 122 people, a 44 percent reduction in three years.

„ Graduation Day at Second Helpings by Katherine Coplen

Source: The Indianapolis Newspaper Guild

„ Indy’s first green roof completed by Brendan Cronin


Indianapolis Newspaper Guild President Bobby King helped to organize the rally.

An open letter to Gannett CEO Gracia Martore Editor’s Note: Robert Annis now freelances for NUVO among other publications. You probably don’t remember me; I was one of 62 employees who were laid off at The Indianapolis Star last June. Of course, 700 other employees across the country also were let go around the same time, so I forgive you for not being able to put a face to a name. I wish I could say I was shocked when I heard you had asked many of the remaining employees to take yet another one-week unpaid furlough less than two months after your predecessor, Craig Dubow, walked away with a $37 million retirement package. But then again, this is Gannett we’re talking about. It’s not like Craig didn’t deserve that money, just like he deserved the more than $16 million he made in salary and bonuses the previous two years, as thousands of employees were let go or forced to take unpaid time off; he did some special things during his tenure as Gannett’s fearless leader. Look at the stock price, which went from about $10 a share to more than $75. Oh, wait a second, that’s backward — Gannett stock actually dropped by $65 a share. Just the same, not many CEOs can say they managed to do that. I felt for Craig as he left the company. Physical ailments are tough, just ask the pressroom guys or the reporters who can’t afford their health insurance premiums after you cut Star newsroom employees’ salaries by 10 percent a few years ago. I don’t think the cause of his back pain was ever made public, but I’m guessing it had something to do with that enormous golden parachute weighing him down and not the crushing guilt that he was raking in so

much cash at the expense of hard-working employees across the company. I apologize for any glaring mistakes; it’s 3 a.m. as I write this and like any good journalist, I’m nothing without a great copy editor. Of course, the current reporters are going to be finding that out soon enough, after you outsource the copy desk jobs to a hub in Kentucky. But why stop there? Why not ship the jobs to India or China or somewhere they don’t even speak English at all? After all, it’s not like a copy editor based in Louisville is going to automatically catch when, let’s say, Pennsylvania Street is mistakenly referred to as Pennsylvania Avenue. That might embarrass the old guard — Pennsylvania is the street the Star is located on, in case you’re wondering — but I don’t think you or the rest of the executive crew at Gannett’s headquarters in McLean, Va., are capable of shame. I’m proud of the decade I spent working at the Star. I was never going to win a Pulitzer, but I was dedicated, hard-working and genuinely loved my job … mostly. I used to tell friends and co-workers I loved being a Star reporter, but hated working for Gannett. Everyone knew what I was talking about. You’ve taken a once-respected, but still extremely profitable, newspaper and wrung every last cent you can from its withered husk. The media landscape is constantly changing, but you and the others at Gannett HQ seem content to remain on a sinking ship, looting the fine silver and tossing random crewmembers overboard. I would consider you and the rest of Gannett’s leadership (term used loosely and with a bit of a smirk) common whores, setting aside any concept of morality and ethics for money, but that’s an affront to prostitutes everywhere. At least when one of their clients gets screwed, he’s walking away with a smile on his face. Parasite might be more appropriate, as company executives continue to suck workers dry. But it’s no longer my problem. I’ve moved on — bitter, late-night screeds not withstanding — to new challenges, with my head held high. I don’t think you or Craig can say that. — Robert Annis 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 12.07.11-12.14.11 // news


MURAL CITY Indy gets 46 For Super Bowl XLVI by David Hoppe • “


his probably has been the most ambitious and most challenging project I have worked on in my professional life,” says Arts Council of Indianapolis chief Dave Lawrence of 46 For XLVI, the Arts Council’s mural project that, since July, has been enlivening urban walls with works of art in celebration of the city’s hosting the 46th annual Super Bowl. But while the Super Bowl may be the pretext for 46 For XLVI, this project is about a lot more than an operatically hyped football game. It has resuscitated Indianapolis’ faltering public art program, provided artists with meaningful work and promises to make mural art a nationally recognized part of the city’s cultural profile. Dave Lawrence combines a cherubic demeanor with executive polish. Hours of board meetings, fund raising calls and public presentations have not dampened his capacity for enthusiasm when it comes to promoting the arts, particularly when he sees an opening to — forgive the irresistible gridiron allusion here — push the ball down the field … for a big gain. Lawrence remembers a summer day in 2010. He was driving into work, thinking about how the city was trying to come up with a plan to address the decaying murals that were becoming eyesores on walls along Downtown’s Canal Walk. City planners had been trying to figure out what to do about these surfaces for over a year but had not taken action. It occurred to Lawrence that the 2012 Super Bowl could be the trigger to not only get the canal beautified, but launch an even larger initiative. “The mayor had

said he wanted us to act boldly,” Lawrence recalls. He decided to take Mayor Greg Ballard up on his challenge. During a meeting with Deputy Mayor Mike Huber, Lawrence confided, “I’ve got a wacky idea.” What if the canal beautification plan was connected to Super Bowl XLVI through the creation of 46 murals — not only on the canal, but in neighborhoods throughout the city — by local, state and even national mural artists? Huber immediately texted this idea to Ballard. In a matter of moments, his boss texted back: “Love it.” And 46 For XLVI was born.

the city that needed to be addressed,” Lawrence says. “We began collecting those. We also knew there were a lot of partnerships and organizations that were already doing city beautification efforts that we could work with.” Keep Indianapolis Beautiful was an early partner that, in turn, involved the Lilly Day of Service volunteers. Lawrence also saw 46 For XLVI as a way to rejuvenate the city’s public art program. During Bart Peterson’s mayoral administration, a board of civic leaders called the Cultural Development Commission was formed to serve as a nimble cousin to the Arts Council. Funded Murals for the city largely by the Capital “When I started thinkImprovement Board and ing about 46 For XLVI, Lilly Endowment, part of the one thought I had the CDC’s charge includwas this really needs ed creation of a public to be a mural initiative art initiative resulting for the city,” Lawrence in, among other things, says today, “not just the an annual installation Super Bowl. It has to live of works by such interabove and beyond that.” nationally recognized Lawrence’s idea startartists as Tom Otterness ed with a Super Bowl and Julian Opie. connection, but made — Dave Lawrence But a change in mayan extra, important oral administrations and leap that also linked the a tanking economy put mural project with the the CDC in mothballs and, with it, the pubBallard administration’s desire to enhance lic art initiative. and revitalize neighborhoods. This leap “Another track of this,” Lawrence says of informed the Arts Council’s approach to 46 For XLVI, “was my desire to reactivate site selection. that campaign, get public art happening “As things started to ramp up for the again in the city, and bring all of those Super Bowl, you started seeing articles in players back together.” all the media about city fix-it Lawrence reconvened the CDC’s Public lists, things that needed to be Art Selection Committee, a collection of done and areas of

“You’re not going to like all 46 of them, and that’s OK. That’s the nature of public art.”

Pictured above: Dave Lawrence stands next to Hector Duarte’s mural along the Downtown Canal. PHOTO BY MARK LEE


cover story // 12.07.11-12.14.11 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER

some of the top curators, gallery owners and museum professionals in central Indiana, to help with site selection and to adjudicate artist applications. Then, last January, the Arts Council put out a national Request For Qualifications. “We were looking for muralists from all over the country: local, regional, national, to come and do this.” There were over 150 responses. Among the artists who were ultimately selected to participate, 58 percent are local and over 20 percent are artists of color. “One of the things we were really key on,” Lawrence says, “was not putting any thematic restrictions on the murals. They didn’t have to involve footballs or corn or anything like that. … We also wanted to bring the best practices of the mural world, so we could make sure the building owner was protected, the artist was protected, the artwork was protected at all points.”

Creating 46 canvases

From the outset, the Arts Council realized that its challenge would be to reconcile a high level of ambition — Ballard’s “bold” thinking — with a relatively modest budget. Lawrence was able to cobble together $500,000 for the project — $200,000 that had already been set aside for canal beautification, $150,000 from the Capital Improvement Board, $100,000 from the Boner Center and the East 10th Street Civic Association, with $25,000 each from the Buckingham and Indianapolis Foundations.

This meant defining a limited, yet acceptable, lifespan for the murals; determining what paints and other supplies would last and weather well; and retaining the flexibility to eventually create new works after the initial 46 murals were completed. Most of the murals, depending on materials and site, are expected to be up for 10 years. The paints being used should last 25 years. “Basically what we’re doing is creating 46 canvases throughout the city that, at a certain time, we’ll be able to turn over and create a new round,” Lawrence says, adding that creating a hard end date for the murals was necessary to avoid situations where murals might deteriorate with no available resources to maintain or restore them. But what if — as is likely to happen — the public or a building owner falls in love with a particular mural and it becomes a city icon? “There is a clause that if the building owner is OK with it and wants to keep it up, then we certainly don’t have to get rid of it.” The Arts Council, which will maintain the murals for the first 10 years, is prepared to work to raise more funds for further maintenance if need be. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Making art visible

The 46 For XLVI project represents somewhat of a departure for the Arts Council. In the past, the council has facilitated the arts through a grantmaking process to individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Rarely has it played such a prominent role in actually commissioning new and highly visible work. Lawrence believes this advances the council’s mission. “When we created our strategic plan in 2010, one of the key tenets of that and something that is my ultimate responsibility, is to raise the visibility of the arts in Indianapolis and central Indiana. One of the beauties of this program, and what public art does, is it puts the arts out there.” Lawrence, of course, is aware that the city has been embroiled recently in controversies involving public art, including

Will Schlough’s work appears on the west side of Teacher’s Treasures, 1800 E. 10th St.

protests over the placement of a proposed piece by Fred Wilson and the attempt to remove a piece by James Wille Faust at the Indianapolis International Airport. Controversy is a risk he’s willing to accept. The murals, he says, have created worthwhile dialogue. “I think even negative dialogue is still dialogue about the arts. If we’re getting people to talk about the arts and personal expression and community beautification, I think those are positive things. Another tangible benefit (of the project) has been to give folks a sense of ownership and a sense of pride in either where they work or where they live. … This really is a conscious effort by us to make sure that it reaches neighborhoods in Marion County and engages discussion and imagination of folks on a variety of different topics and subjects. I’ve

told our board, ‘You’re not going to like all 46 of them, and that’s OK. That’s the nature of public art.’ ” Lawrence also thinks the mural project has become a case study in the benefits of putting artists to work. “There are ways that creative people can be very beneficial to solve community issues. I mean, that’s what artists are: creative problem solvers. When (the city said, ‘We have all this money, we’re going to have to address the canal and we don’t know what to do’ … let’s get artists to help us solve these sorts of issues.” And, through that process, create an opportunity for artists to have a decent payday. Artists commissioned for the project are paid, Lawrence says, depending on such factors as the size of the mural and materials used. The range for the artist commissions spans $4,000-$30,000. The

Arts Council was also able to establish a relationship with Sherwin Williams, providing artists with a significant discount on paint. According to Lawrence, involving artists from other parts of the country helps create a positive image for Indianapolis. “We now have a lot of ambassadors out there that are talking about their experience. They are going across the country and we are getting a lot of national buzz about this program. Suddenly Indianapolis is a mural city. It’s someplace you need to come and see.” Local residents benefit, too, thanks to the ways the addition of a mural can turn a neglected or underutilized space into an asset. “Murals and public art help create CONTINUED ON PG. 13


Pamela Bliss is responsible for two of Indy’s new murals. One of these, her monumental portrait of native son and American literary master Kurt Vonnegut on Massachusetts Avenue, just west of Alabama Street, already shows potential to become what every work of public art aspires to be: a local icon. “People from San Francisco were walking by while I was working on it and said,

‘Hey! That’s Kurt Vonnegut!’ ” Bliss says. Couples are reportedly having their photographs taken in front of Bliss’ portrait. Bliss sees her work — and the 46 For XLVI mural project — as being in a direct line of descent from the murals created through the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. “(President Franklin D.) Roosevelt tried to get the economy going by employing different categories of the workfield, and the arts was one of them,” she says. “I feel like I’m part of that.” Bliss, who has another mural depicting such Indianapolis jazz greats as Wes Montgomery and Freddie Hubbard on the Musicians Repair and Sales Store on Capitol, believes murals enhance the community. “People tend to fall in love

with murals. I’ve painted a few murals over in Wayne County and people get really attached to them, especially if they see them in progress. They come by and they feel they’re a part of it. Instead of painting in a studio and you hang it on a wall, people are actually being a part of the experience. Their hands aren’t putting it on the wall, but they are experiencing it and that’s why they get attached to it.” Bliss says the mural project has put Indianapolis on the map. “It’s already become historic. Just like the WPA murals — they were created for a reason and, one of these days, all of these murals, as a whole, will be known in history as the Super Bowl murals.”

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public space. The Summit Realty building is a perfect example. They have a courtyard that sits between their building and the Regions Bank building that they’d like to make greater use of. I think the mural there helps define that space and allows them to think of it as a place where things can happen.” Lawrence points to a location that has long been one of Downtown’s chronic liabilities, the underpass at South and Capital streets. “For years the city and others have tried to address that area,” he says. The space suffered from poor lighting and drainage problems. Now, with the addition of a new mural, as well as its close proximity to the Cultural Trail: “All of a sudden, this dark, dingy corridor is a safe pedestrian throughway that connects Lucas Oil Stadium to Downtown in a way that didn’t exist before.”

“We were looking for muralists from all over the country: local, regional, national, to come and do this.” — Dave Lawrence


Lilly employees complete Carl Leck’s work at 10th Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

As for the Downtown stretch of the Central Canal — the location that began the process leading up to the development of 46 For XLVI, Lawrence says, “What’s wonderful about the canal is it’s really a sort of mini gallery. You have 10 murals. You can go down there and you’ll see 10 different works of art.”

Mural city

For Lawrence, 46 For XLVI is just the beginning. The mural project

is already generating so much positive buzz that the Arts Council is convinced it’s on to something that can benefit the city well beyond the ten years originally envisioned as the project’s life span. “We really want to see this grow because we’ve had such wonderful success.” Lawrence says that plans for two more murals are in the works. “We’re going to aggressively go after more funding opportunities to continue this.” Given the public works that have been created by the Cultural Trail, including the imminent completion of a major piece inside the Virginia Avenue parking garage south of Maryland Street by internationally renowned artist Vito Acconci,

Lawrence sees the mural project as adding a dimension to the city’s growing portfolio of public art. The murals, he says, can, in effect, provide the city with a special claim to fame. “When we talk about convention visitors coming in there are must-sees,” he says. “You must see the IMA. You must see the Children’s Museum. And the Eiteljorg, and the Speedway. But you should also have to walk around and see the public art program everyone’s talking about.” The beauty part to all this is that where, for example, commissioning a monumental public sculpture like Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” (better known as “the Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park can cost

millions of dollars, the city can find itself bedecked with murals for a fraction of that cost while, at the same time, finding a practical way to provide paying work for artists who, Lawrence is quick to say, need jobs as much as anybody else. “The knee-jerk reaction now is to say there’s no money for public art, so let’s get an artist to donate it. We are opposed to that. I think it is critical that we are paying artists for the work they do. We’re showing that it is possible to do a project without a lot of money, pay artists, celebrate them and have a big impact. At the end of the day, I want people to see Indianapolis as an art city, as well as a sports city.” „


Chicago muralist Damon Lamar Reed was commissioned to do a pair of murals on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, at 27th and 30th streets. Reed learned of 46 For XLVI through the request for qualifications posted on the Internet last January. “I was honored to get it because there were a lot of good artists included,” he says. The building owner at the 27th Street location asked Reed to create images of


Dr. King’s dream being realized. “I didn’t want just a big picture of King, so I included him in the context of being creative,” Reed says. “I have people marching and King is in the middle, in color, while the other people are sepia tone.” When Reed receives a commission, he begins by researching historical imagery. “I look for images that spark my imagination and to get across the ideas I want to portray.” But, Reed says, he places the highest value on beauty. “When I do a mural, the most important thing is beauty. Some people get political or social, some are ambiguous. But, to me, if it’s not first beautiful, then the message really doesn’t mean anything. If you don’t like looking at it, you won’t get it.” Reed’s goal is to bring joy to a community. “It’s putting a smile on somebody’s

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face, changing an attitude.” Murals, he says, “add a lot of culture to the city. It’s like a tourist attraction. People can ride around

the city and see all these different art projects. It enriches the city by adding historical value to it.”


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15 years. It will be 15 years in February. For 10½ years, I’ve been booking the standups on the show. I just booked myself a week and a half ago. You can see it on YouTube. I don’t book myself that often because I’m the booker and there are so many good comics and so few spots. But it was my birthday, I was feeling pretty good and I’d written a lot of new stuff. I figured: Let me write a set for the show. It turned out pretty well. NUVO: Is there something good comics have in common, besides being funny? BRILL: Yes. There are three things — and one of them is funny. I’ve been watching thousands of tapes of comedians. And of course, I look at all the classic comedians. And I say, “What is the thread in all the great comedians?” And other than funny, there’s two things: vulnerability and honesty. Richard Pryor is the ultimate vulnerable guy. We have all this bravado in life, and we get knocked down to size often. And that’s the vulnerability. And the best comedy comes out of honesty. Of course it’s embellished. But it has a base of reality. That’s the thread of all the great ones — Carlin, Cosby, Pryor, all these people.

Eddie Brill, looking svelte after losing 130 lbs. last year.



Eddie Brill @ Morty’s When he’s not working on The Late Show with David Letterman, where he does the pre-show audience warm-up and books the comics, Eddie Brill is on the road doing standup. And looking for standup talent. And helping standups improve their work. And helping shape an annual standup comedy festival. And consulting on the Reader’s Digest humor issue. And acting on shows such as Louie. It sounds exhausting, but Brill isn’t. In a phone interview to talk about his upcoming show at Morty’s Comedy Joint, he sounded exhilarated. He talked about his role finding the best comics for the Letterman show — “What I’m looking for is that 1 percentile, the ultimate comic, the one of a kind” — and the art of standup. — Marc Allan NUVO: You primarily spend your time working for Dave, right? BRILL: It’s odd, because I actually have around 10 jobs right now, and three of them are full-time jobs. Two of them are working for Dave. One is warming up the audience, which I’ve done for nearly 14

NUVO: Is that something you’ve known for a while or something you’ve just discovered? BRILL: I’ve known it for a while. I’ve seen a lot of guys who are very funny and very popular, but they trash the audience. They put everybody down but themselves. That’s really not that funny after a while. I worked with Robert Schimmel. For years and years, I traveled with Schimmel and I noticed that’s why he was so great. He said, “I asked my wife if I could go in the other way and she pulled out her vibrator and said, ‘Let me do you first.’” What’s great about that is, he has all this bravado and then he gets knocked down to size. NUVO: You must be hit up by every comic on earth to get on Letterman. How do you handle that? BRILL: For years, I wanted to be liked by everybody. That’s out the window. Thousands of comedians contact me wherever I go to work — and I work around the world — but I understand that. I’m approachable. I’m also really honest. That saves me, by really being honest with everyone. Myq [Kaplan] will be the 19th comic on the show this year. By the end of this year, I believe there will have been 21 comics on. That means I’ve had to say no to 99 percent of the people who wanted to be on the show. „ Dec. 9 and 10, 8 and 10:15 p.m., $15. 3625 E. 96th St., 848-5500,


„ Patrick Ball review by Lisa Gauthier Mitchison „ Yuletide Celebration review by Rita Kohn

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Yelp’s Totally Bazaar @ Indianapolis City Market After taking a look over the list of vendors slated to participate in Yelp’s Totally Bazaar, we think we can call this Thursday night takeover of City Market, like, totally legit. For realsies. First off, there’s the alcohol: Sun King is the primary beer sponsor, so they’ll be on hand, along with Mass Ave Wine Shoppe, Hoosier Momma Bloody Marys and New Day Meadery — not to


Handmade, IndySwank, Vouched! Books, People for Urban Progress and LUNA Music. Admission is free, with music provided by A Squared Industries. 21+ only. „ Dec. 8, 6-10 p.m., free. 222 E. Market St., 634-9266,

gressive non-profits and, maybe, other things we weren’t told about. Vendors will offer jewelry, art, soap, hand-screened T-shirts, kitchen wares, CDs by local musicians, pottery, maple syrup and, most likely, preserves of some manner — boysenberry, peach, strawberry and what have you. „


Alternative Gift Fair @ Earth House And there’s one more excellent opportunity to shop local this weekend: the Earth

House’s fourth annual Alternative Gift Fair, featuring local and handmade crafts

and goods, organic food, organic coffee, pro-


mention the Tomlinson Tap Room , keeping regular hours. Then there’s the food, including Big Green Bistro (grilling outside), Smoking Goose — and a few resident City Market vendors, including the creative juicing team at Natural Born Juicers and recent Market arrival Papa Roux. And, finally, we have the shops, notably Homespun: Modern

Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $2 or free w/donation of a non-perishable food item. 237 N. East St., 636-4060,


Greening the Statehouse @ Butler

The big news for the the Hoosier Environmental Council this week was their merger with the Legal Environmental Aid Foundation, whose battle against VIM

Recycling’s Elkhart facility, led by lawyer Kim Ferraro, was the subject of a NUVO cover story in May. The new, better, stronger Hoosier Environmental Council will present their “Greening the Statehouse” forum Saturday, at which environmental experts will propose solutions for area mass transit, water pollution and clean energy policy. The keynote speaker is Jim Motavalli, expert on green transit technologies, former editor of E magazine, current contributor to The New York Times and NPR’s Car Talk. His speech will address mass transit solutions, green car technology and its possible impact on the Indiana auto manufacturing industry. „



ICO’s ‘Messiah’ @ Tabernacle Presbyterian Church For 23 years, without fail, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra — with the help of

a few soloists and choirs — has presented Handel’s Messiah oratorio in its entirety, all two and half hours and 20 movements

„ ‘Art of the American Indians’ review by Rita Kohn „ ‘This is Mine You Can’t Have It’ review by Charles Fox „ ‘Fast Forward’ review by Charles Fox

Jim Motavalli. Dec. 10, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $20 ($15 students) Atherton Union-Reilly Room at Butler University, 685-8800,

concerning the birth, death and resurrection of Christ. This year, four soloists and the choirs from Tabernacle Presbyterian and Fairview Presbyterian will join the ICO, with maestro Kirk Trevor, as always, leading the collected masses. In the spirit of giving and global-mindedness, ticketholders are invited to bring canned foods for Gleaner’s Food Bank. „ Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 11, 3 p.m.; $25 adult, $10 student. 418 E. 34th St., 940-9607,

„ ‘Robot Circus’ review by Charles Fox „ Butler ‘Nutcracker’ review by Rita Kohn „ A year ‘In Revue’ at Earth House by Katelyn Coyne

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‘Million Dollar Quartet’ @ Murat Theatre The jukebox musical Million Dollar Quartet, a Broadway Across America

production starting an extended run at the

Murat Tuesday, is based on the kind of

transcendental moment in rock history that critics like Greil Marcus live for: A Dec. 4, 1956, jam session at Memphis’s Sun Studios that brought together Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. Sun founder Sam Phillips — who is credited


for helping launch the careers of all four of those performers — narrates the proceeding, giving historical background on each of the performers, in a manner that reminded a New York Times reviewer of PBS documentaries aired during pledge drives. But the show’s ultimately an excuse to run through a hit parade by four of rock’s founding figures, and reviewers have praised the musical’s effectiveness of keeping the interludes between songs short and unobtrusive. As a marketing collaboration, Sun King has brewed a Million Dollar Quartet beer ; more details on the Dec. 8 tapping can be found in Beer Buzz (pg. 24). „ Dec. 13-18, times vary, $20-74 (plus fees). 502 N. New Jersey St., 231-0000,


Big Car farewell party @ Murphy Arts Center Big Car Gallery will close doors on its location at Murphy Art Center


next week, ending a 7 year run that included art openings, music performances, film screenings, readings, parties. The Big Car nonprofit organization and collective will live on and continue to serve Indianapolis in multiple ways and in multiple venues. Big Car will celebrate its legacy — and preview the road ahead — with a closing party on Wednesday. “It’s going to be really laid back,” says Big Car’s Shauta Marsh. “Anyone who wants to can bring an instrument and play. It’s going to be a really organic night, just going with the flow a little bit. We’ll probably make some art. People will be welcome to put whatever they want on the wall as long as it’s not spray paint.” When Big Car Gallery moved into its second floor space in the Murphy Building in 2005, art tours were infrequent and most of the storefronts in the surrounding neighborhood stood empty. But even during the first event that Big Car held — before there was an official Big Car Gallery — Jim Walker and his Big Car colleagues sensed that they were in the right place at the right time. “People were there dancing in that room that very first night, before we had any lighting or even knew what we were doing at all,” he says. “It was just a matter of what felt comfortable and getting to know each other. I think we knew right away that we had something good.” Big Car Gallery would go on to record 1500 people coming in through its doors

That’s a Big Car.

during one particularly busy First Friday opening. The gallery’s presence in the Murphy — and the impressive foot traffic it generated — helped to spark an artistic renaissance in Fountain Square. In fact, the sense that Fountain Square has become an established commercial district like Mass Ave has led Big Car leadership to feel it’s an opportune time to close their Murphy space. The relocation will allow them to focus on other areas of the city that would benefit most from their innovative community-building programs, say Big Car organizers.

Big Car’s Service Center for Culture and Community, located in a former tire

shop near Lafayette Square Mall, opened this past summer. Big Car will also operate the Made For Each Other Community Art Space, 2807 E. 10th Street, as a hub for its social-practice public art initiatives. And for those people who might miss Big Car’s presence downtown, not to worry. The nonprofit organization will be moving its offices to Earth House, and it will collaborate with that organization on programming. — Dan Grossman „

Dec. 14, 7-9 p.m., free. 1043 Virginia Ave., Ste. 215; 4506630;

A&E FEATURE Neither here nor there Stacey Holloway’s hybrid menagerie BY S CO T T S H O G E R S S H O G E R@N U V O . N E T Zonkeys exist. Well, they’re not called zonkeys; zebra-donkey hybrids, first bred in the early 19th century by a crazy chap known as Lord Morton and present in Darwin’s studies, are technically known as zebroids. But Stacey M. Holloway, a Herron sculpture instructor whose solo show Neither Here Nor There is up through Jan. 6 at Gallery 924, calls them zonkeys. And in one of her sculptures at Gallery 924, her zonkey is more donkey than zebra, in that it’s a beast of burden, towing a wooden teardrop trailer. For Holloway, the piece is more than a clever riff or demonstration of her sculpting prowess, though it is both those things. She feels herself betwixt and between at this stage in her life. The zonkey’s trailer is her “idea of taking your life experiences with you, that home travels with you until you reach that sense of home.” The zonkey is a liminal figure, not unlike Holloway, 28, herself. She’s not sure if she’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing, or the other way around. She has to act as an authority figure in her job — her ultimate goal is to become a full-time professor, though she spends much of her time as a technician at Herron, teaching a class or two each semester. But she’s still “vulnerable and shy and quiet” underneath. Holloway presents as composed and assured, but her pigtails and hoodie are hardly imposing. There’s also a touch of the tomboy to her, perhaps because she spends a lot of her time bending rebar and hacking at wood, although she thinks of herself as a artist, full-stop, rather than specifically a sculpture artist. Her search for home took her across the Midwest this summer, on three trips funded by the $20,000 grant she received as a 2010 Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellow. Accompanied by a student, she visited outsider art destinations like Dr. Evermor’s Art Park, an avant-steampunk collection of scrap metal sculptures in Sumpter, Wisc., and St. Louis’ City Museum, a P. T. Barnum-style, curio-packed fun house. She stopped by more highly-trafficked tourist traps, such as Mount Rushmore and the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., which she says was disappointing. There were unexpected finds: in Metropolis, Ill., which makes touristic hay of being the birthplace of Superman, she was surprised to find townspeople take a blasé attitude toward occasional floods. (A house on stilts she saw in Metropolis directly inspired a miniature found in Neither Here Nor There.) “Tud” Kohn’s field of model airplanes in Elberfield, Ind., was another unexpected pleasure; she says it was her favorite stop on her first trip.


It was all in the effort to better know her homeland: “I’m making work about the Midwest, but I’ve only lived in two areas of the Midwest,” says Holloway, who grew up in South Bend, and lived and studied in Minneapolis before moving to Indianapolis to take her current job at Herron. As much as the destinations, she found it inspiring to see the landscapes, to ruminate on and take pictures of empty billboards. Structures alien to the landscape such as cell phone towers and transformers moved her as well: “They’re visually appealing to me because they look like monsters, which is in line with a dream-like aesthetic I like to go with.” The Efroymson fellowship, designed to aid and abet artists in their work, seems to have worked in the intended way in Holloway’s case: “I spend a lot of time in my studio, so this trip gave me a chance to do things that were very Midwestern. My family has always been busy, so we never really went on vacations.” She had already visited some outsider art destinations as part of a college field trip, but this gave her a chance to further explore. Not that she likes the term “outsider” art, which unnecessarily exiles certain artists from the fine art world. But she uses the term because it’s familiar, and she identifies with the approach of certain outsider artists she visited — in their effort to create unique, representational art that says something concrete and auto-biographical and that readily speaks to a wider audience. Holloway made her trip a supplemental element to the Neither Here Nor There show, with materials in the anteroom to Gallery 924 telling the story: Pushpins mark her travels on a map of the Midwest; scrapbooks detail her visits via photographs and other ephemera. She ended up using the bulk of her grant money on materials, though. A typical sculpture by Holloway starts with a drawing, which she then renders in rebar. She then covers the rebar in blocks of foam, which she glues together with the industrialgrade sealant Great Stuff. After carving out the basic shape, she covers the foam in Bondo, which gives the structure strength and allows her to do more detail work. The structure finally complete, she covers the animals in music box flocking, giving the animals a furry, taxidermied look. Indeed, Holloway sometimes uses taxidermy materials, including glass eyes that are used in each of the full-size animal sculptures in her show. Aside from the zonkey, two deer and a jackalope play key roles in the show. One deer is propped on stilts; the other has a muzzle-loader embedded in its head instead of a muzzle. The deer on stilts connotes vulnerability: “It’s all a balancing act when you grow up and get older: sometimes it’s uneasy; sometimes you get scared.” The muzzle-loader deer is more aggressive: “I started thinking about a muzzle-loader, and I was like, ‘I want to turn her into a gun.’ It’s a way of giving her a defense.” The jackalope, quite simply, fascinates Holloway: “I love the idea: In order to catch one, you have to put whiskey out. And the jackalope kind of mocks you, taking on different voices.” Holloway’s jackalope is

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Above: “The Grass Is Always Greener,” from Neither Here Nor There ; below: Holloway crawls through St. Louis’ City Museum during her outsider art roadtrip. .

rendered in two parts: the hind end of the animal is seen burrowing into artificial turf that lines the floor of the trailer pulled by the zonkey, and the jackalope’s head is seen popping out the ground on the other side of the wall. It’s as if the viewer is turned upside down as she heads from one sculpture to the other. Holloway has been sculpting since she was a freshman in college; it’s her way “to show a self portrait without the self,” to engage with human emotions and concerns without actually depicting human beings. Even when she can potentially depict human beings — as in a miniature landscape akin to a model train set — she chooses not to. It’s like in the movie Village

of the Damned, she says, when all humankind is frozen for a moment: “I love that idea of complete solitude. I’ll have animals, cars, houses and telephone poles that remind you there’s people living here, but I never use actual people.” „

STACEY M. HOLLOWAY: NEITHER HERE NOR THERE Gallery 924 at the Arts Council, 924 N. Pennsylvania St. Through Jan. 6; open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; closing reception on Jan. 6, 6-9 p.m.

A&E REVIEWS outside the frame. There’s a sense of claustrophobia in this green-tinted drawing, where even the vegetation seems to be closing in on her. There’s also an astounding sense of depth, heightened by the blurriness of the leaves in the extreme foreground. Your perspective here is that of a camera’s eye — or of a stalker. The one small caveat I have about this show are the framing devices Crone uses to house his work. In the particular piece I just described, there’s an actual wooden window frame surrounding the drawing. You see this type of framing device in other — but not all — of the works here. I found such elaborate frames, while fun, to be distracting because they inhibit closer inspection of the work. — DAN GROSSMAN


Joseph Crone, “Prisoner of One’s Device” (detail)

VISUAL ARTS FRAGMENTS: DRAWINGS BY JOSEPH CRONE WUG LAKU’S STUDIO & GARAGE: THROUGH DECEMBER 30. e It was in the Herron School of Art & Design’s printmaking department that Joseph Crone

discovered double-sided acetate, used in printmaking, as a medium on which he could draw with colored pencil. (Crone graduated Herron with a BFA last year.) Using staged photographs as a reference, Crone creates scenes of hyper-real, luminescent precision reminiscent of film noir stills. In the drawing “While the Cold Night Waiting,” you see a woman in a white dress looking at a point

DEWCLAW INAUGURAL EXHIBITION: PAINTINGS BY CARLA KNOPP CIRCLE CITY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (SOUTH STUDIOS): THROUGH DECEMBER 30 e A mammalian dewclaw may be vestigial, but it’s not without interest from an evolutionary perspective. Accordingly, Knopp’s “Lane Marker” paintings, on display in her Dewclaw space, ruminate on vestigiality, on functionlessness. Take, for example, “Lastrada Estates,” where you see termite-mound-like edifices in the foreground. What could they be for, we wonder, seeing as these edifices would seem to be more consistent with Knopp’s imaginary landscapes (notably, her

“Mounds” series) than these paintings ostensibly depicting the natural world. But once you get past the mounds in the foreground, there’s more to puzzle over: The “Estates” of this painting, a series of low-slung buildings in the background, could be trailers or mausoleums or something in between — it’s hard to tell — but they don’t seem particularly well-suited to the Country Living lifestyle. The painting “Rothboden Place” showcases an even more déclassé locale. Beyond the pink growths bulging outwards in the foreground of this painting, you see a cement-block type building that seems normal except for the walls’ inward-warping curvature. In both of these oil on linen paintings — as well as in the rest of the series — the muted pinks and earth tones contribute to an overall hypnotic effect enhanced by being painted over a metallic ground. These landscapes have the power to draw you in — and make you wonder at the various painterly influences that congealed in Knopp’s mind to precipitate her art. — DAN GROSSMAN MAPABLE SPACECAMP MICROGALLERY; THROUGH JANUARY 30 r Paper maps are becoming increasingly irrelevant due to the rise of affordable GPS technology, but they remain a source of inspiration to certain artists. For “Continent #11,” Israeli artist Sharon Glazberg — one of several artists to use paper maps as their

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canvases in the show — drew dinosaur fossil bones in black ink directly on an archival political map of the Middle East. (At issue here are hotly contested fossil fuel resources composed of organic materials — like dinosaur bones.) Stuart McAdams’ contribution is even more minimalist. He traced a simple white line on a black backdrop to give the outline of his 2050 mile round trip cycle trip, which he undertook in 2010, from Glasgow, Scotland, to the Netherlands. Curator Flounder Lee likewise incorporates cartography into his own art, which is more substantial and technologically adept than most of the work displayed here. Still, this exhibit is a great introduction to a small genre of art-making that tries to make sense of our increasingly crowded global village. — DAN GROSSMAN

TOYS: AMAZING WORKS OF WONDER PRIMARY GALLERY, DEC. 2 r Primary Colours’ Toys show deserves a lot of credit. Now in its ninth year, the annual exhibition organizes donations of art supplies to VSA Indiana for disabled Hoosiers, and all the while provides an interesting glimpse at a wide swath of local artists. Toys also serves as an excellent gateway for new gallery goers to begin purchasing art, as the works are created and often priced with the idea that they would make good gifts. Furthermore, the work is usually extremely witty and clever, and most of the art this year certainly fit that description. Some of the art, such as Jeffrey Geesa’s “Choking Hazzards,” [sic] have titles that are sarcastic and relevant to the theme of the show. Eric Stine’s “COWABUNGA” packs in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles



Eric Stine, “COWABUNGA” references in a faux pizza sauce label without ever actually naming or including an image of an actual Ninja Turtle; for those who pick up on the reference, the piece is almost undoubtedly funny and nostalgic in equal parts. The only disappointment: A lot of wall space was given to Mike Graves’ collaborative pieces, which felt like simple, cliché street art for the gallery setting. — CHARLES FOX FAST FORWARD IMOCA, THROUGH JAN. 14 q The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, now in its seventh year, is perhaps the most significant regional funding opportunity available to artists in the Midwest. Each year, five

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artists receive $20,000 each to bolster their artistic practice. Fast Forward, comprised of recent work by past recipients of the fellowship, certainly shows that it has been money well spent. Anthony Luensman’s “Dream Machine” is a wall of sleep-aid audio devices in the size and shape of a bed — according to the exhibition text, the artist imagines it hanging over the insomniac’s bed. The devices are arranged so that the sound pours out in all directions, and the piece functions as an interesting statement on our increasingly sleepless culture and the ways we try to amend this problem; ironically, the effect of the audio devices becomes unsettling as they compete with each other and create an intense haze of ambient noise. Another highlight is Jennifer Reeder’s video piece, “Tears Cannot Restore Her: Therefore, I Weep.” The short film “depicts the emotional breakdown of a sign language interpreter as she mistranslates a factual lecture on electromagnetism by replacing the teacher’s words with a personal narrative of her failed relationship,” according to the exhibition text. While watching the video, I walked away feeling downright astounded by the fascinating linguistic, personal and cultural twists contained within. The cumulative effect of all of the art in this show was a much-appreciated reminder of what great contemporary art looks like and how it functions; the work in Fast Forward is of a nearly overwhelming visual beauty, and poses a genuine intellectual challenge to the viewer. Featuring the art of Linda Adele Goodine, Emily Kennerk, Arthur Liou, Anthony Luensman, Brose Partington, Jamie Pawlus, Melissa Pokorny, Jennifer Reeder, Tyson Skross, and Tom Torluemke. — CHARLES FOX

THIS IS MINE YOU CAN’T HAVE IT: SELECTED WORKS OF PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY BELL SHARED HERITAGE; DEC. 2 r The title fits: the photographs in This Is Mine You Can’t Have It feel somehow out of reach, like long-forgotten moments. Bell photographed his friends and everyday landscape for this show, and he gives artistic relevance to that subject matter with his undeniably keen eye and technical ability. In an interview, Bell said that his intent was to print images in large-format on a type of paper that is normally crumpled up in the trash rather than hanging on a gallery wall. The thin, crumply paper was left in uncut sheets of 10 inches by 30 inches, with one image appearing in the middle of each sheet. The images physically go beyond the conventional framed boxes or rectangles normally seen in exhibitions of photography and conjure up the appearance of tapestries. There are also some selected Polaroids chronicling some friends’ adventures on a sunny afternoon in Fountain Square. The title is a nod to the poetry of Philip Levine, whom Bell lists as an inspiration. Bell’s fascination with night photography and long exposures, attempting to record an event that is not immediately visible to the naked eye, shows through in some of the photographs featuring starburst streetlights. The exhibition is succinct and well thought out, and there is a lot of fleeting beauty captured in these photographs. Viewable by appointment only; email info@ at least one day in advance. — CHARLES FOX

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NoExit’s ‘The Nutcracker’ at Big Car Service Center, Dec. 1.

HOLIDAYS A VERY PHOENIX X-MAS 6: OUR GOOSE IS COOKED PHOENIX THEATRE; THROUGH DECEMBER 23 e The beauty of the Phoenix’s Christmas show is its ability to seem both familiar and strange year after year. Each year, audiences know what’s in store but are still able to delight at surprises. The show presents a multi-denominational rumination on various celebrations — Pagan, Christian, Jewish, etc. — with a mixed bag of skits touching on topics such as Santa’s elves (now on strike), the economy of Christmas, dancing sock-monkey dolls, inter-faith families and a horny reindeer. An ensemble of faces familiar to the Phoenix stage gel into a family, headed by Charles Goad. (Those that have missed their holiday dose of Goad as Scrooge at IRT will appreciate the return of his seasonal cheer.) Local artist Kyle Ragsdale takes the helm as scenic designer, creating dingy, durable decorations endowed with holiday sentimentality. Each quirky and beautiful painted flat clicks into relevance from scene to scene. “Curators” Bryan Fonseca and Lori Raffel should feel satisfied at the success of their annual holiday pageant. — KATELYN COYNE NOEXIT’S THE NUTCRACKER BIG CAR SERVICE CENTER, DEC. 8-10, 15-17 w Working a vaguely Eastern European accent somewhere between Yakov Smirnoff and Borat, Ryan Mullin’s Herr Drosselmeyer couldn’t have been much more magnetic in NoExit’s “Island of Misfit Toys”-style production of The Nutcracker (their second such production and first in Big Car’s Service Center). He worked the room with the skill of a standup (in one funny bit, exposing the audience’s proclivity to receive but not to give), acted as an aggressive ringleader trying to please the Nutcracker King (played by a puppet) while beating up on his crew of dancers, and generally maintained a level of manic, agitated energy through the two-hour production. NoExit’s Nutcracker was developed in a bouffon workshop, and as a bouffon — a French anti-clown who might be likened to an insult comedian — Strosselmeyer is a little too nice; we like him and the company too much for this production to have a truly hard edge, although the closing (which precludes


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a curtain call) does register as fairly hostile. The dance numbers — warped versions of the divertissements from the ballet’s second act — ranged from being a little trite (the Egyptian number), to likably punky (the Plastic Bertrand-esque French delegation), to quite funny and absurd (a riff on the Zumba craze that saw a pudgy dance instructor in tight denim shorts and vest smoking cigarettes before losing a Zumba-off to a talented student). NoExit made creative use of the Big Car space (for instance, the Rat King entered the former garage bay area through one of the garage doors), with its stark concrete floors and kleig-style lighting making the proceedings seem a bit more dangerous. This is a versatile Holiday show for NoExit — a crowdpleaser with its aggressive touches, it can evolve from year to year with the addition or subtraction of dance numbers; several numbers were new from last year’s more intimate production at the Wheeler. — SCOTT SHOGER INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA YULETIDE CELEBRATION HILBERT CIRCLE THEATRE, THROUGH DEC. 23 e Full of sparkle and delightful surprises, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 26th annual holiday concert is a community tradition that’s ever-evolving. Returning for a second year as co-hosts, Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway bring warmth and humor along with their impeccable singing and acting. Of special note were Ann Hampton Callaway’s tender Mary, Did You Know? and Liz Callaway’s rendering of Be Home For Christmas as a lovely ballad. Maestro Jack Everly’s arrangements were particularly fine, lending verve to I Love a Violin and selections from Elf: The Musical. His arrangement of The Enchanted Toy Shoppe showcased guest artists comprising Cirque de la Symphonie, including an aerialist, an illusionist and jugglers. The ISO players delivered his arrangement of Jesu, Joy of Man Desiring with finesse, and vocalist Ben Crawford brought pathos to Everly’s arrangement of Believe. Recurring favorite acts include the tap dancing Santas and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with narration and puppets. The rest is new, yet familiar, material, with a mix of our favorite holiday songs presented as company production numbers, solos, duets, and quartet harmony. The multitude of costumes glitter, the choreography zings and the company of singers and dancers are energized. It’s a fun time all around. –RITA KOHN


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FOOD Donatello’s

Thick, soggy, overdone BY N E I L CH A R LE S N CH A RL E S @N U V O . N E T Ever since Chef Tony Hanslits’ outstanding Tavola Di Tosa closed almost a decade ago, the benchmark for Italian restaurants in this town has dropped precipitously. It’s almost as if that great establishment and its sister market never existed. I love Italian food, but, based on a number of recent experiences at local eateries, I get the distinct impression that locally the genre has regressed back to 1950’s post-war America. Things have evolved a bit beyond the checked tablecloths and raffia-wrapped chianti bottle candlesticks, but I have so far yet to find a restaurant here that even pays lip service to modern Italian gastronomy. With local chefs constantly pushing the envelope of Midwestern cuisine through their insistence on better ingredients from local sources, why can’t the Italian restaurants seem to recognize the diversity of nature’s generosity right here on our own doorstep? Patrick Aasen made quite a name for himself as chef and owner of Arturo’s

Italian Restaurant at 86th Street and Keystone Avenue. The food was wellprepared and enjoyed a lightness of touch that elevated it from the everyday. His new venture in the increasingly fashionable Arts District of downtown Carmel unfortunately displays none of his former flair. Located in a tiny storefront, Donatello’s promises a classically romantic and intimate atmosphere. The carpeted floor, however, reminds one of an office space, and the otherwise unbuffered acoustics make conversation a chore at times. On a recent visit, service was frustratingly tortuous and uncoordinated, particularly toward the end of the meal, when such things tend to matter the most. I’m saving the food for last, almost because it seemed to be a bit of an afterthought itself. Following our server’s suggestions, we chose the gorgonzola ravioli ($7), three large stuffed parcels served in a dense and stunningly clogging cheese sauce. I was expecting something lighter and more delicate, like a velouté, perhaps, but this sauce was so thick, it was hard to comfortably finish the dish. In spite of its name, the one flavor lacking, however, was gorgonzola. A daily special of pasta e fagiole soup ($5) was well-prepared and suitably fresh tasting. Of our two main courses, the spaghetti carbonara ($16), a simple classic which


Donatello’s gorgonzola ravioli.

should be an effortless ace in the hole, was marred by the inclusion of stronglyflavored onions. There is no place for onions in this kind of sauce, so the dish went largely uneaten, a fact unnoticed by our server. The second main course, another simple classic, veal parmesan ($20) was soggy and overdone, as if it had sat too long in its own juices. Although the prices aren’t exactly egregious, I really would expect more from a restaurant of this pedigree in this location. „





DEC. 7

Thr3e Wise Men new seasonal Hubbard & Cravens Porter, $3 a pint on Wednesday night.


Flat 12, 5:30 p.m., Bike Bucket Workshop. Flat 12 is celebrating “12 Biers of Christmas.” Watch for new releases that began with Glazed Ham Porter.

Brewer Dave Colt researched the beer with the notion of recreating what the four rock icons might have been drinking during that recording session. “When conducting research, I learned that Katz Drug Store sold a private label beer, and that one of Elvis’ early shows took place on a flatbed truck in an alley behind a Katz store in Memphis,” Colt says. “Further research led me to believe that the private label beer was a Vienna Lager, a Germanstyle beer similar to Oktoberfest but lighter.” Colt says that he “typically works with indigenous ingredients to create new twists on established beer styles.” But because he wanted the Million Dollar Brewski “to be authentic and true to the humble beginnings of rock and roll,” he stayed close to the Katz lager’s original ingredients. Colt and brewing partner Clay Robinson will be at the tapping to talk about their Million Dollar Brewski. Rockabilly trio Bigger Than Elvis will play at 7 p.m., following the tapping. More at 317-6023702 or

If you have an item for the Culinary Picks, send an e-mail at least two weeks in advance to

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9 W. Main St, Carmel 564-4790


In an inspired marketing push, Sun King has created a beer inspired by The Million Dollar Quartet, a musical dramatizing the 1956 Sun Studios jam session featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. The tapping of Sun King’s Million Dollar Brewski will take place Thursday, Dec. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at The Rathskeller; the musical, a presentation of Broadway Across America, runs Dec. 13-18 at the Old National Centre.



DEC. 12

Sun King will release a limited amount of Wee Muckle in cans to Hoosier liquor stores. The 2011 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winning Scotch Ale, Wee Muckle has a similar flavor profile to Wee Mac but features a higher alcohol content and a huge toffee taste.


Bier Brewery is serving as a collecting point for both Gleaners Food Bank and Toys for Tots this December. The pitch for Gleaners: “When you grab your growlers for a refill, grab some food from your pantry, but please avoid glass containers.” Unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots will be accepted through Dec. 15.

NEWLY OPENED End of the Line Public House, 1105 Shelby Street, serving a line up of Indiana craft brews.


Barley Island Brewing Company, Noblesville: Snow Mizer Christmas Ale, a dark ale brewed with brown sugar and spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and bitter orange. Half Moon, Kokomo: English-style Brown Ale, a medium bodied beer with nut, caramel and roasted malt flavors. Winner of two medals at the 2011 Indiana State Fair Brewers Cup. If you have an item for Beer Buzz, send an email to Deadline for Beer Buzz is Thursday noon before the Wednesday of publication.

MOVIES Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey B Y S A M W A T E R M E IE R E D I T O RS @N U V O . N E T

e (NR) As kids — and probably adults, too — we don’t think about the people behind of creations like The Muppets. We lose ourselves in the illusions they create. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey follows a man who does both. Kevin Clash, the voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo, still watches puppet shows with childlike wonder — but he’s also made a career out of doing them himself. Clash was interested in puppetry early, as a kid growing up in urban Baltimore. While his peers were shooting hoops, he was building puppets, in the hopes of making his way to Sesame Street, which he considered a funhouse mirror of his diverse neighborhood — and a preferable home. The first half of the film is an exhilarating free-fall through Clash’s youth, a barrage of photos and footage of his work with local TV

shows all the way up to his collaborations with master puppeteer Jim Henson. Without a puppet, Clash is shy and reserved. While performing, he bursts with life. Although his characters seem otherworldly on the surface, they share his DNA, his humanity. As one of his colleague says early in the film, “When a puppet is good and meaningful, it’s the soul of the puppeteer you’re seeing.” And as Elmo, Clash radiates a pure, unconditional love for life. Director Constance Marks matches Clash’s exuberance in chronicling his steps out of the backstage shadows and into the spotlight. Not merely a glossy look at dreams come true, Being Elmo finds pathos in Clash’s story. There is a particularly poignant moment during his daughter’s sweet sixteen party. When Elmo pops up in her tribute video, we see Clash shed a tear, not only out of pride in himself and his daughter, but also out of regret for missing most of her childhood to bring joy to others through that character. In addition to being an emotionally complex character study, the film serves as a fun trip down memory lane for viewers of all ages. (The sequence about the Tickle Me Elmo craze may bring back some bad memories for parents, though.) Being Elmo is ultimately a heartfelt explorations of the creative process, making the magical tangible without stripping it of any magic. And like most biographies, it is similar to a comic book origin story, making its


Kevin Clash and Elmo.

hero at once relatable and larger than life. That’s where the inspirational, motivational quality of bio-pics comes from — the notion that the extraordinary subjects on screen could be any one of us. In recent interviews, Clash said that when he performs as Elmo, most kids — and a few adults — simply see him as “the guy holding their friend.” This film shows that he is much more. The documentary is more than

it seems as well. I went into it expecting a fluff piece and came out misty-eyed from one of the year’s best films. Friday, Dec. 9, Indy Film Fest will host a screening of Being Elmo at Earth House (237 N. East Street). Tickets are $5 in advance, $8 at the door. The film starts at 7 p.m. „


The following are reviews of films currently playing in Indianapolis area theaters. Reviews are written by Ed Johnson-Ott (EJO) unless otherwise noted. INTO THE ABYSS (PG-13)

In his exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) probes the human psyche to explore why people kill — and why the state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including a 28-year-old death row inmate eight days from execution, Herzog achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” His inquiries extend to the families of the victims as well as the state executioner. 106 minutes. At Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema.


Romantic comedy celebrating love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts, using intertwining stories told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year. The big cast includes Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer and Hilary Swank. Directed by Garry Marshall ( Valentine’s Day). 117 minutes.


The Indianapolis Public Library’s Movies That Move the Arts series wraps up for the year with a double-punch of late-’60s experimentalism — Robert Downey Sr.’s satire Putney Swope and Richard Brautigan’s novella Trout Fishing in America — presented by visual artist Casey Roberts. The 1969 provocation Putney Swope, directed by Robert Downey, Sr., during his most productive phase, concerns the accidental rise to power of Putney Swope, a token black executive of an advertising firm. Swope uses his newfound freedom to produce angry, subversive, profane advertisements designed to keep consumers as far away from the malls as possible, but then falls into familiar dictatorial patterns associated with corporate bigwigs and other tyrants. It’s not a consistently funny film — it loses steam after a while, and the company’s ingenious commercials are too few and far between. But the film’s harsh black humor and Dadaist zest are still impressive — the President and First Lady are played by German dwarfs — and Swope speaks truths that were, at the time, still largely off limits to film and television. Trout Fishing in America remains Brautigan’s best-known work, his “vision of America” that turns trout into currency and “Trout Fishing” into a name of a character. Reading like a work in progress, the novella sees Brautigan struggling to sort through his memory while elevating trout fishing — in all its facets — to a transcendent, obsessive plane. Roberts will lead a discussion concerning the film and book following the screening. Sunday, Dec. 11, 2 p.m., in Clowes Auditorium at the Central Library (40 E. St. Clair St.). Free. —Scott Shoger


The most lighthearted of the Epworth-Sierra Club’s eco-film series, Truck Farm tells of a man who planted a garden in his truck bed and used it to raise awareness of urban farming. Thanks in large part to filmmaker Ian Cheney, there are now truck farms across the country, including in Indianapolis. You can see this film for free on Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m., at the Epworth United Methodist Church (6450 Allisonville Rd.).

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music Axl’s back

Decades later, Guns N’ Roses returns with Hoosier guitarist BY JE F F N A P IE R M U S I C@N U V O . N E T


ver since Guns N’ Roses announced their first Indianapolis concert in almost 20 years for this Thursday, nine out of the ten people I’ve spoken to about it have something negative to say. Yeah, yeah, W. Axl Rose is fully responsible for a lot of this negative sentiment. After all, he is a man who thinks nothing of starting a show two hours late. Hell, he has not shown up for entire tours in the past. This is also the man who broke up his band because he wanted to be more like Elton John or Freddie Mercury, and started wearing fishnet shirts and spandex boy shorts. This is a guy who incited riots that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to venues after walking off stage. Yet, no one can deny that, despite his disastrous proclivities, Axl is one of rock’s alltime greatest vocalists, if for no other reason than because he is the last of his kind of lead vocalist. He is a prima donna, but he is not afraid to get his hands dirty. He rebuilt a new Guns N’ Roses with former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson and a revolving door of guitarists. It took 14 years to release the follow up to Use Your Illusion . That follow up, Chinese Democracy, isn’t a bad record. The tracks “I.R.S” and “Shackler’s Revenge” are killer punches of heaviness, while “Sorry” and “Street of Dreams” continue Rose’s quest to write the ultimate power ballad (a la “Don’t Cry” and “November Rain”). If you love rock

Don’t Miss:

Four See Entertainment Acts including The Martianz, Son of Thought, Grey Granite, Freddie Bunz, Soup or Villainz, Dying Breed and DJ Txtbook join for an evening of genre-mixing and booty shaking at December’s Mashup Monthly. The event is presented by Four See Entertainment and 8729 Records. “The turnout at the inaugural Mash Up Monthly made it clear to us that we really struck a chord with lovers of the local music scene,” said Shay Daily , of Four See Entertainment. Daily is one of three founders at Four See; the others are Jason Keenan and Ryan Marganti. We wanted to find out what the guys from Four See were spinning, so we gave them a shout and they sent over their five favorite new albums. From local duo Hinx Jones to mega-quartet Coldplay, their tastes 26

and roll music, it should be mandatory to be in Conseco Fieldhouse Thursday night, despite any negative feeling you may have about Bill Bailey (Rose’s given name). I recently had a few minutes with Dj Ashba, the newest member of the group. He spoke with me before a recent Canadian stop. Ashba was born in Monticello, Indiana and earned money for his first guitar in a truly Hoosier way—by detasseling corn as a teenager. He eventually made it to LA, where he joined The BulletBoys. In the 2000s, he formed Beautiful Creatures and then hooked up with Nikki Sixx in Sixx A.M. Ashba also penned most of Mötley Crüe’s last album, Saints of Los Angeles. Outside of his tenures in Guns N’ Roses and Sixx A.M., Ashba also runs Ashba Media, which, among other things, is responsible for the design of Virgin Megastores and Ovation guitars. NUVO: How’s it feel to be coming home? ASHBA: It feels great. I love coming home. NUVO: You’ve come a long way from the cornfields ... ASHBA: Yeah, but those corn fields are where I learned a great set of values and mores that have sustained me. I learned the importance of hard work in making dreams come true. NUVO: Your first concert was with Mötley Crüe and now you are bandmates with Nikki Sixx. How did that first show affect you? ASHBA: It made up my mind for me that I was going to be in the rock and roll business. There was nowhere else to go at that point. From then on, I set out to make my dreams happen. NUVO: How did you get the call to join Guns N’ Roses? Did your Indiana ties help? ASHBA: The management called me up. I’d met Axl a few times at that point, but I think I was asked to join because of my involvement in the Hollywood scene. NUVO: Tell me about the current tour.


Axl bares his heart.

ASHBA: This tour is amazing. The production is killer and the band just sounds incredible. We are doing stuff from all three periods of G n’ R. I don’t think anybody’s going home disappointed. NUVO: How long are we going to have to wait before the show starts? ASHBA: Actually, we been pretty good about starting on time during this tour. But, y’know this is Guns N’ Roses so you can never be certain. [chuckles]

are definitely diverse. Perhaps this explains their tendency to program events with per formers from all kinds of genres.

varied influences are evident here as well. It all adds up to a sonic vibe that is uniquely Portugal. The Man.” — RYAN MARGANTI

HINX JONES — FROZEN LIQUOR “This hip-hop duo from Indianapolis does it all. They are a great blend of old-school hip hop with that new-school flavor. Their songs range from classic party tracks to tracks discussing serious matters. W e haven’t met a fan of hip-hop that does not like these guys. It’s a must that you get this album.” — SHAY DAILY

BLAKE ALLEE — MY BEST FRIENDS ARE MACHINES “Blake Allee is almost impossible to describe with words, let alone a couple sentences. Listening to his album you will understand why his best friends are machines because they help him make great music. He produces all of his own material. You will want to listen to this album for the beats just as much as the lyrics. [It’s] a great live set as well as Blake and his Machines fill the stage.” — SHAY DAILY

PORTUGAL. THE MAN — IN THE MOUNTAIN IN THE CLOUD “The beauty of this album is that it sounds like no Portugal album before it. Every release they’ve put out has been a unique step in the band’ s evolution toward this album. The sound can probably most be easily labeled as psychedelic pop, but their

TJ REYNOLDS AND THE FREEHAND ORCHESTRA — PURPOSE “Do not try to classify this group or their album into any specific genre of music. You could say they are jazz, funk, hip-hop or rock, but that wouldn’ t be


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NUVO: What do you do when you see Slash? ASHBA: I’ve actually had dinner with Slash, and y’know, it’s cool. I always put myself in the fans’ shoes. They come to see all of those great Appetite songs, and who am I to change it up? I’m a fan too, so my motivation is to stay true to Slash’s sound. „ GUNS N’ ROSES Thursday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m. Conseco Fieldhouse $30-75, all ages enough as they cross into every genre somehow. Their passion for what they do is very evident in this album and after listening to it, you will be just as passionate about it as they are.” — S H A Y D A I L Y COLDPLAY — MYLO XYLOTO “I could not make a top five list without this album in it somewhere. The music on Mylo Xyloto is terrific and somewhat different then a lot of their previous work. “Paradise” the single off this album will catch you and pull you in to listen to more. The coolest thing about this album is the concept and how each track follows this concept to tell a story. The album flows very nicely. This album has been in my CD Player (yes, I still use a CD player) for weeks. Enjoy.” — SHAY DAILY

MASH UP MONTHLY Saturday, Dec. 10, 9 p.m. Locals Only, 2449 E. 56th St. $5, 21+ „ Gauntlet Hair, Chandelier Ballroom „ The Daredevil Christopher Wright „ Melismatics and Vaudevileins „ Guns N’ Roses


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‘Tis the season. Jazz lovers will be offered a variety of holiday events this season at both ends of the social and financial spectrum. The annual Indianapolis Jazz Foundation’s Holiday Showcase is now at the Jazz Kitchen on Wednesday, December 14. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 6:30 p.m., featuring the Jesse Wittman Trio. One of the major events during the IJF’s Holiday Showcase is its induction of local musicians into its Jazz Hall of Fame. The 2011 inductees are Alan Burke, piano/organ; Carl Hines, piano; Gene Markiewicz, drums; Gary Walters, piano; and Steve Weakley, guitar. “Celebrating the Indy Jazz Legends” will be the theme of this year’s IJFs Holiday Showcase with guest artists performing. Scholarships will be awarded to four outstanding college jazz studies music students. A silent auction will be held in the banquet room of the Jazz Kitchen, and food and drinks will be available from the Jazz Kitchen’s award-winning menu. Admission is $20. On Saturday, December 17, the Crispus Attucks Museum invites the community to attend the museum’s year-end holiday jazz celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. This event is free of charge and features legendary Indy jazz pianist Carl Hines with fresh interpretations of your holiday favorites and complimentary dining. An RSVP is required for this free and open to the public event due to limited seating. The event is the Crispus Attucks Museum’s way of saying thank you, to the community. To RSVP call 317-226-2435 On Sunday, December 18, the Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra presents its holiday show featuring the rich baritone voice of Everett Greene at the Jazz Kitchen. The BWJO will perform selections from Duke Ellington’s innovative rendition of the Nutcracker suite. Shows are at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $25. On Monday December 19, some of Indy’s finest gospel performers will perform its exciting Holiday Gospel Showcase at the Jazz Kitchen. The show is directed by jazz

drummer Kenny Phelps. It features soulful modern gospel renditions of holiday favorites. Performances are at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Admission is $12. On Wednesday, December 21, a special black tie event will be held at the Jazz Kitchen. The Indy Jazz Fest, Owl Studios, Maribeth Smith and Associates, The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, American Pianist Association, Mark Sheldon and the jazz community will celebrate the 80th birthday of Indianapolis native and living jazz legend, Dr. David Baker. Dr. Baker, who founded and led Indiana University’s Jazz Studies program to a prestigious national and international reputation, will be honored by generations of jazz musicians who studied under his tutelege. An evening of special music programs under the direction of Brent Wallarab will feature the compositions of Dr. Baker by the BWJO, The David Linard Trio and the American Pianist Association’s jazz/fellowship finalist Zach Lapidus will perform. The event requires an RSVP and black tie attire. Admission is $125 per person. The evening includes a cocktail reception and a buffet dinner. Donations will be accepted for the IU Foundation for the David Baker Scholarship. Contact the Jazz Kitchen to RSVP. The sounds of the season are superbly represented in vocalist Heather Ramsey’s new holiday CD Peace Like a River . The collaborative efforts of Ramsey and Monika Herzig’s piano and arrangements are scintillating. The title track of Amy Grant’s “Peace Like a River” is a gospel rouser featuring a children’s choir of Ramsey’s students from her music school. Herzig’s arrangements lift Ramsey to a soulful shouting performance. The musical textures are diverse, and include guest appearances by trumpeter Mark Buselli, violinist Carolyn Dutton, guitarist Peter Kniele and saxophonist Tom Clark. The tunes are holiday secular; Ramsey creates a responsive performance to Herzig’s arrangements. „

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THUR. 12/08

FRI. 12/09





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The Melismatics



Egyptian Room at Old National Centre, 502 N New Jersey St 8 p.m., ticket prices vary, all ages

Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden and Audioslave, has already had an impressively varied career, and he’s certainly not finished. Soundgarden took him through the alternative rock/grunge era that was the ‘90s. Now that we’ve got some distance from it, the Seattle-based grunge scene seems to have shaped quite a few musicians and bands. Cornell phased in and out of significant work with other musicians (like Tom Morello), and into his own projects; he had his ups and downs, and now he’s back on the concert scene with his solo acoustic album, Songbook. Cornell is relaxed and just sort of jamming— spewing his mind, his history, and everything that has gotten him to this point. FOLK CAROLINE SMITH & THE GOOD NIGHT SLEEPS, THE DAREDEVIL CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT White Rabbit Cabaret, 1116 Prospect St 9 p.m., $5, 21+

Three releases in, the three boys in The Daredevil Christopher Wright make pop songs with a subtle touch. Tracks like “Day Song” from The Longsuffering Song EP have a Fleet Foxes flair. Folk poppers Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps just finished Little Wind , mixed by Tom Herbers (Dark Dark Dark, Andrew Bird and Low). Indianapolis man-about-town Christian Taylor will open the show. POP THE FRAY, SIMPLE PLAN

Murat Theatre at Old National Centre 502 N New Jersey St 6:45 p.m., prices vary, all ages

The last part of WZPL’s three-show Jingle Jam features radio darlings The Fray . Out of Denver, The Fray went doubleplatinum with their debut How to Save a Life in 2005. Since, the piano-driven band has been a constant fixture in AAA radio. Canadian pop-punkers Simple Plan hit it big with their 2002 album No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls . Their lineup and sound have not changed since, but they’ve been focusing on live albums and fundraising efforts instead of studio albums.


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Conseco Fieldhouse, 125 N Pennsylvania St 8 p.m., ticket prices vary, all ages

See our interview on pg 26 JAZZ HEATHER RAMSEY

The Brass Ring, 1245 S. Shelby St 9 p.m., free, 21+

See Jazz Notes on pg 27


The Bishop, 123 Walnut St. (Bloomington) 8 p.m., free with canned good or clothing donation, 18+

This show features performances by Sleeping Bag, Wet Blankets, Drekka, She Does Is Magic, New Terrors, Tim Felton and Frank Schweikhardt. Flannelgraph has just released their second holiday compilation, entitled The Holidays Don’t Have To Be So Rotten, Vol II . Proceeds from the show and sale of the album benefit Stepping Stones and the Monroe County Red Cross. Stepping Stones offers transitional housing for young adults in Bloomington, IN.


ROCK MELISMATICS AND VAUDEVILEINS The Melody Inn, 3826 N Illinois St 10 p.m., $5, 21+

The Minnesotan Melismatics have just signed with Chicago indie label Pravda Records. They return to Indianapolis for the second time this year to play with the V audevileins, Chicagoans who mix prog and pop rock. DIY VARIOUS ARTISTS

The Hoosier Dome, 1627 Prospect St. 6:30 p.m., $5, all ages

The Alliance Agency presents a night of all ages music at the Hoosier Dome. Electronic hardcore group Gamma Pulse will be playing their last show of the year , as well as hosting an after party . Many of the bands on this bill have crossed genres and created their own unique sound combining metalcore, folk, indie, hip-hop, and electronica. Those attending should plan to dance, mosh, and dance a bit more throughout the evening.

SOUNDCHECK WORLD COMMUNITY DRUMMING CIRCLE Eiteljorg Museum, 500 W Washington St 12:30 p.m. all ages

The Community Drumming Circle is a weekly event at the Eiteljorg Museum taught by Tony Showa. Come shake of f the stress of the week with this sweat lodge pow wow leader and drum maker. The only cost is admission to the museum.

Spice up your Holiday with our lingerie sale

ROCK ULTRAVIOLET HIPPOPOTAMUS The Mousetrap, 5565 N Keystone Ave 10 p.m., $5, 21+



Progressive rockers Ultraviolet Hippopotamus are touring their third album, Square Peg Round Hole . Fellow musician Michael Travis of the String Cheese Incident said, of UH, “There are some wonderfully introspective and finely crafted songs that truly caught my ear and showed a wonderful depth of char acter and insightful song-writing sense.”

Chris Cornell




The Center for the Performing Arts, 335 City Center Dr 9 p.m., prices vary, 21+

• Holiday Lingerie (Small to Plus Sizes) • Massage Oils & Lotions • Romantic Gifts • Stocking Stuffers • Novelties & Games • Gift Cards

After his songs made appearances on multiple David Lynch soundtracks in the late ‘80s, Isaak’s fame began to escalate. Now , twenty years later, Isaak has become an actor himself. He’s made appearances in over twenty films and television shows.




Birdy’s, 2131 E 71st St 7:30 p.m., 21+

Fishbone? Fishbone! This show will drum up a bit of extra interest because of the recent Roots’ cover/Michele Bachmann/Jimmy Fallon debacle. Nerdy music fact: John Cusack was actually blasting Fishbone out of the stereo in “Say Anything.” Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” was added later. If it’s good enough for John Cusack, it’s good enough for me.

Local’s Only, 2449 E 56th St 9 p.m., $5 21+

See our Don’t Miss picks from FourSee Entertainment on pg 28 ROCK THEY’VE SHOT FLANIGAN RELEASE PARTY Wheeler Arts Community Center, 1035 Sanders St 7:30 p.m., $10, all ages

They’ve Shot Flanigan is releasing The Outlaw and the $10 admission includes a complimentary copy of that album. Free beer and wine has been donated, compliments of sponsors Fountain Square Brewery and the Brass Ring Lounge. They’ve Shot Flanigan has been making music in Indy for almost a decade; this new record is a concept album about the life and death of gunslinging cowboy.

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Buffoon dictators

Plus, a $4.3 million photo • Was Moammar Gadhafi the last of the “buffoon dictators,” asked BBC News in October. His legend was earned not merely with his now-famous, dirty-oldman scrapbook of Condoleezza Rice photos. Wrote a BBC reporter, “One day (Gadhafi) was a Motown (backup) vocalist with wet-look permed hair and tight pants. The next, a white-suited comic-operetta Latin American admiral, dripping with braid.” Nonetheless, Gadhafi had competition, according to an October report in the journal Foreign Policy. For example, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s dictator owns, among other eccentric luxuries, a $1.4 million collection of Michael Jackson memorabilia. North Korea’s Kim Jong Il owns videos of almost every game Michael Jordan ever played for the Chicago Bulls.

Leading Economic Indicators

• In March, William Ernst, 57, owner of the QC Mart chain of Iowa convenience stores, excitedly announced a companywide employee contest with a prize of $10 for guessing the next worker that Ernst will fire for breaking rules. “Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes (containing the entries), award the prize, and start the contest again.” Ernst added, “And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cellphone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!” (After firing a cashier who had complained about Ernst’s attitude, he challenged the woman’s unemployment-compensation claim, but in October, a judge ruled in her favor.) • Even in a flagging economy, Christie’s auction house in New York City was able to attract a record sales price for a photograph. In November, a 1999 photo by German artist Andreas Gursky, of a scenic view of the Rhine River, sold for $4.3 million. (It is possible, of course, that buying the actual waterfront property that Gursky photographed from -- to enjoy the same view every day -- would have been less expensive.) • Unfortunately, Manulife Financial Corp. is a Canadian firm, and thus it had a very bad year. If exactly the same company had been magically relocated to anywhere in the United States, it would have had an outstanding year. Under Canada’s hard-nosed accounting rules, Manulife was forced to post a loss last year of $1.28 billion. However, under the more feelgood U.S. accounting rules, according to the company, it would have shown a profit of $2.2 billion and been flush with $16 billion more in shareholder value. • Following October arrests by Nigeria’s Abuja Environmental Protection Board, authorities learned that local prostitutes earned premium fees by selling their customers’ semen to “juju priests,” who use it as “medicines”


in rituals. Police who rounded up the sex workers found inventories of condoms with the necks tied.

Wait . . . What?

• In the course of an October story on an ill-fated Continental Airlines flight during which all restrooms in coach were broken, the reporter for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis sought reactions from experts. Calling the toilet failures a “bad situation that hasn’t been addressed” was Robert Brubaker, a spokesman for something called the American Restroom Association, “a Baltimore-based advocacy group for toilet users.”

Our Animal Overlords

• An Oxford University researcher reported in August on the African crested rat, which is so ingenious that it slathers poison, from chewing the A. schimperi plant, onto an absorbent strip of fur on its back as protection against predators many times larger. The researcher observed first-hand a dog quivering in fear after just one failed mouthful of a crested rat’s fur in his laboratory. The noxious goo is also used by African tribesmen on their hunting arrows. • Researching the Itty-Bitty: In October, Popular Science dubbed researcher Gaby Maimon of Rockefeller University as one of its “Brilliant 10” for 2011 for his monitoring of neurons in the brains of fruit flies. Maimon first had to immobilize the flies’ brains in saline and outfit their tiny neurons with even tinier electrodes -- so that he could track which neurons were firing as the flies flapped their wings and carried out other activities (work that he believes can be useful in treating human autism and attention-deficit disorder). • Oh, Dear! (1) An October Associated Press dispatch from New Orleans warned that “Caribbean crazy ants” are invading five Southern states by the millions, and because their death triggers distress signals to their pals for revenge attacks, up to 10 times as many might replace any population wiped out. Said a Texas exterminator, of a pesticide he once tried, “In 30 days I had 2 inches of dead ants covering (an) entire halfacre,” and still the ants kept coming, crawling across the carcasses. Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are currently the most vulnerable. (2) Biologists found a shark fetus with one centered eye inside a pregnant dusky shark off the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, in October. A marine sciences lab in nearby La Paz confirmed that the unborn baby, which filled up a researcher’s hand, had the extremely rare congenital “cyclopia.”

Cutting-Edge Science

• Japan’s Showa University School of Dentistry has for several years been training future practitioners using lifesized synthetic patients from Orient Industry, based on the company’s “sex dolls,” and recently upgraded to the fancier silicone dolls with human-feel skin that can cost as much as the equivalent of $9,000 when sold to perverts who custom-order young women for companionship. According to a July CNN report,

news of the weird // 12.07.11-12.14.11 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER

advanced robotics added to the Showa version allow the doll to utter typical patient phrases, to sneeze, and (when trainees mishandle tools) to gag.

Creme de la Weird

• Police in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, arrested a much-too-zealous expert on local cemeteries in November, suspected of digging up the bodies of 29 women buried in the city and taking them to his apartment. Local media identified him as prominent historian Anatoly Moskvin, 45, possessor of “certain quirks,” including making solitary forays through the hundreds of graveyards in the region. Police found the mummified corpses, outfitted in dresses and headscarves, in Moskvin’s home, along with an assortment of plastic dolls wearing frilly dresses.

Hey, What’s “Good News” Doing in “News of the Weird”?

• (1) Japan’s National Police Agency revealed in August that during the five months following the tsunami-provoked nuclear disaster, super-honest searchers had turned in wallets containing the equivalent of $48 million and safes containing cash of the equivalent of $30 million. (2) In August, the school superintendent of Fresno County, Calif., refused $800,000 in guaranteed salary and said he would run the 325-school system for three years on less pay than a

first-year teacher makes. (3) Employees at the dump yard in Pompano Beach, Fla., gave Brian McGuinn zero chance of ever finding the custom-designed ring he had given his wife but had accidentally tossed in his trash at home on Oct. 30. Facing nine tons of 10-foot-high rotten eggs, dirty diapers and other garbage (which made him vomit), he found the ring within 30 minutes.

A News of the Weird Classic (May 2009)

• Russia’s long-running Moscow Cat Circus/Theater, reported in News of the Weird in 1998, is still in service, astonishing all who ever tried to train a cat. In the United States, Samantha Martin runs her own similar show (at such venues as Chicago’s Gorilla Tango Theatre in March (2009)) featuring the Rock Cats trio on guitar, piano and drums, as well as a tightrope-walker, barrel-roller and skateboarder, among other performers. Martin admitted to a Chicago Tribune reporter that the cats’ music “sucks,” in that “when they’re playing, they’re not even playing the same thing,” and anyway she has two backup drummers because her regular is prone to “walking off in a huff,” sort of “like diva actresses.” “This is why you don’t see trained cat acts. Because . . . the managers can’t take the humiliation.”

©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


TO ADVERTISE: Phone: (317) 808-4609 E-mail: Mail: Classifieds 3951 N. Meridian St., Suite 200 Indianapolis, Indiana 46208

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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Researchers at the University of Oregon claim that in certain circumstances, they can make water flow uphill ( I’m not qualified to evaluate their evidence, but I do know that in the coming week you will have the power to accomplish the metaphorical equivalent of what they say they did. Don’t squander this magic on trivial matters, please, Gemini. Use it to facilitate a transformation that’s important to your long-term well-being.

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): At, food critic L. Nightshade gathered “The 78 Most Annoying Words to Read in a Restaurant Review.” Among the worst offenders: “meltingly tender,” “yummilicious,” “crazy delicious,” “orgasmic,” “I have seen God,” “symphony of flavors,” and “party in your mouth.” I understand the reluctance of any serious wordsmith to resort to such predictable language in crafting an appraisal of restaurant fare, but I don’t mind borrowing it to hint at your immediate future. What you experience may be more like a “party in your head” than a “party in your mouth,” and “crazy delicious” may describe events and adventures rather than flavors, per se. But I think you’re in for a yummilicious time.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In “Nan You’re a Window Shopper,” British recording artist ADOPTION Lily Allen sings, “The bottom feels so much PREGNANT? ADOPTION CAN better than the top.” She means it ironically; the BE YOUR FRESH START! person she’s describing in the song is neurotic and Let Amanda, Kate or Abbie meet you for lunch and talk about your insecure. But in using that declaration as a theme options. Their Broad Ripple agency for your horoscope this week -- the bottom feels offers free support, living expenses so much better than the top -- I mean it sincerely. and a friendly voice 24 hrs/day. YOU choose the family from What you have imagined as being high, superior, or happy, carefully-screened couples. Pictures, letters, visits & open adop- uppermost may turn out to be mediocre, illusory, or tions available. Listen to our birth undesirable. Conversely, a state of affairs that you mothers’ stories at www.adoptiononce considered to be low, beneath your notice, or 317-255-5916 not valuable could become rather interesting. And The Adoption Support Center if you truly open your mind to the possibilities, it may even evolve into something that’s quite useful.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Emily Rubin invited authors to write about a specific theme for a literary reading she organized in New York last September: stains. “What is your favorite stain?” she asked prospective participants, enticing them to imagine a stain as a good thing, or at least as an interesting twist. Included in her own list were chocolate, candle wax, lipstick, grass, mud, wine, and tomato sauce. What are yours, Libra? This would be an excellent time to sing the praises of your best-loved or most provocative blotches, splotches, and smirches -- and have fun stirring up some new ones. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Mickey Mouse is a Scorpio, born November 18, 1928. Bugs Bunny is a Leo, coming into the world on July 27, 1940. In their long and storied careers, these two iconic cartoon heroes have made only one joint appearance. It was in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They got equal billing and spoke the same number of words. I’m predicting that a comparable event will soon take place in your world, Scorpio: a conjunction of two stars, a blend of two strong flavors, or a coming together of iconic elements that have never before mixed. Sounds like you’re in for a splashy time. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Harvey Ball was a commercial artist who dreamed up the iconic image of the smiley face. He whipped it out in ten minutes one day in 1963. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t trademark or copyright his creation, and as a result made only $45 from it, even as it became an archetypal image used millions of times all over the world. Keep his story in the back of your mind during the coming weeks, Sagittarius. I have a feeling you will be coming up with some innovative moves or original stuff, and I would be sad if you didn’t get proper credit and recognition for your work. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): There are 501 possible solutions to your current dilemma. At least ten of them would bring you a modicum of peace, a bit of relief, and a touch of satisfaction. Most of the rest wouldn’t feel fantastic, but would at least allow you to mostly put the angst behind you and move on with your life. But only one of those potential fixes can generate a purgative and purifying success that will extract the greatest possible learning from the situation and give you access to all of the motivational energy it has to offer. Be very choosy. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The quality of your consciousness is the single most influential thing about you. It’s the source of the primary impact you make on other human beings. It changes every situation you interact with, sometimes subtly and other times dramatically. So here’s my first question: How would you characterize the quality of your consciousness? The answer is complicated, of course. But there must be eight to ten words that capture the essence of the vibes you beam out wherever you go. Now comes my second question: Are you satisfied with the way you contribute to life on earth with the quality of your consciousness? It’s an excellent time to contemplate these primal matters. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Some martial artists unleash a sharp percussive shout as they strike a blow or make a dramatic move -- a battle cry that helps channel their will into an explosive, concise expression of force. The Japanese term for this is kiai. A few women’s tennis players invoke a similar sound as they smack the ball with their racquet. Maria Sharapova holds the record for loudest shriek at 105 decibels. The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to call on your own version of kiai, Pisces. As you raise your game to the next level, it would make perfect sense for you to get your entire body involved in exerting some powerful, highly-focused master strokes.

Homework: Show me why I might enjoy following you on Twitter by sending some of your sample tweets to And find me on Twitter at

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