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Monday, October 27, 2014

Noah Gundersen at Deluxe tonight

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Noah Gundersen - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Submitted Photo
  • Noah Gundersen

Seattle-based singer Noah Gunderson took time to chat with us about his tour, which stops in Indianapolis tonight, and his new tour-only EP. 

NUVO: So you’re prepping for a tour coming up soon. How are you preparing for your six weeks on the road?

Noah Gundersen: Of course there has been a lot of practicing, but I like to prep more emotionally for the travels. I like to see my friends before I leave in order to get my head into a connected, positive place. We are having a group of seven people packing into a 15-seat van, and I’m lucky enough to be traveling with people I consider some close friends. Coming along with me is my brother, our drummer, my sister, a bass player, a guitarist, a keyboardist, the tour manager and the merchandise coordinator — so a pretty big group.

NUVO: So the new EP has four new songs and a cover. How has your writing for this album been different from your creative process as a solo artist in comparison to being part of a group dynamic in the band?

Gundersen: The new record has more full band songs on it, and to balance that out I did some subtle acoustic songs, sung in one take and put straight to tape. We covered Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I was kind of nervous about it, I would compare it to someone covering “Let It Be.” We changed it up enough to make it our own, but it’s an ever-evolving process. I have become more confident in my abilities, trust my gut in the creative process and as a leader. In the past, I was afraid of over-directing people and I didn’t want to be in a leadership role. I wanted everyone in the band to be equals but more often than not someone’s the wheel. It’s gotten really fun. Everyone is invested and contributing, giving ideas and connections that I don’t always hear. But it’s a little more hierarchal than it has been in the past. As far as performing goes, I don’t want to cater to an audience. I know that there is certain way to perform that is appealing to the crowd, but like to keep things fresh and interesting. Although I care about what the audience perceives, I like to play for myself, and play thing I consider interesting. I like to switch it up.

NUVO: Are there any artists that you look at and would like to model your career after?

Gundersen: You mean besides Michael Jackson? [laughs] I really like Neil Young, and I respect him for doing what he wants, making records that are interesting to him. Even though some of those records have failed, he was still able to have a career. The era that he stared in was a little more forgiving than now, because it was less saturated. I’ve always wanted to be able to push myself and make mistakes, take risks. I don’t know what that looks like in the 21st century music industry. I respect Neil for making music for him. I always want music to be fresh and not recycling the same sounds to keep it fresh.

NUVO: Are there some songs that you have more love for, or some that mean more to you to play again?

Gundersen: I think I’m most in love with whatever is the most current. When the last album came out everything was fresh. Now that it’s coming onto a year [since the release], we would like to switch things up and rearrange the existing songs. Those are the ones I’m most excited to play. The thing about performing personal songs is that you can only be emotionally invested for so long. I try to dig up old emotions but its pretty draining. I engage sonically with the songs but I don’t dig up old feelings every performance, I try to connect with the ethos of the song more. It helps to see how the song makes me feel, seeing how I can channel my connection to it. I’ve been writing songs since I was 13, and there are songs that are still out there that I can’t authentically perform because they aren’t relevant to my life anymore. They’re not interesting to me any longer, and I want to be interested by what I was playing. That’s why I got into music in the first place.

Editor's note: Thanks to Drew LaCroix for transcribing this interview. 

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Vid for Ke'Ondris' "Call Me Crazy" by Jace

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 11:15 AM

It's always a good day when we get a new video from local Jace. (see our profile on the videographer here), and his new offering is no exception. Dig into Ke'Ondris' "Call Me Crazy" below. 

Production Notes: 

ke'ondris as man
kat gulling as anne
eric johnson as detective 1
suresh easwaran as detective 2
director | Jace
assistant director | ebony smith-wallace
producer | a million other things..
wardrobe | made by melissa (melissa wallace)
make up | sasha mua

And more from Ke'Ondris

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mike Adams continues being the best, releases new music video

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Like Flannelgraph label guy Jared Cheek says, "Mike Adams is cranking out some of the best records of all time right before our very eyes." And Cheek is releasing those records, and we are agreeing with him. This summer's album from his project Mike Adams At His Honest Weight is an insta-classic, an imminently replayable piece of local pop in constant rotation in my office. 

And the associated videos have been great, too. I'm so happy to premiere this video for single "Good Thing Going" — which I have to admit, I agreed to do before even watching. That's how much I love Best of Boiler Room Classics and the promo informercial released along with it. When I actually did watch it, I wasn't disappointed (whew). Shot on a vintage tube camera at Bloomington's local public access station, "Good Thing Going" fits right in with the rest of Adams' oeuvre: goofy, sincere and totally in on the joke.

Here's our story on the connections between Adams and Cheek's labels and our profile of Adams from earlier this year. But wait! Before you do literally anything else — I mean it; if you're eating, I expect that spoon to be paused and quivering in your hand, Jurassic Park-style — watch this video. 

And that excellent infomercial we mentioned:

And then listen to the full album: 

And read his band's tour dates:

10/10/2014 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop, with Motel Beds
10/31/2014 - Dayton, OH - Blind Bob’s with Motel Beds & Hex Net
11/01/2014 - Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks with City Steps & The Lampshades
11/02/2014 - Philadelphia, PA - Chill Collins with TBA
11/03/2014 - Brooklyn, NY - Baby’s All Right with Eastern Midwestern
11/04/2014 - DC Area11/05/2014 - Cleveland, OH - Now That’s Class with Nowhere
11/06/2014 - Cincinnati, OH - The Drinkery with Frontier Folk Nebraska
11/07/2014 - Louisville, KY

And watch this episode of The Mike Adams Show: 

Okay, now you can go read the other articles. 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Sneak peek of Wednesday's cover

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 9:32 PM


We're so excited to have snagged the excellent Nat Russell to illustrate this week's cover, we just had to show off a piece. Pick up a NUVO on Wednesday for a comprehensive guide of one part of the local music scene. Which part it is — well, we're going to have to keep that under wraps for now. See you Wednesday. 

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Friday, October 17, 2014

New tracks from Last IV, Mr. Kinetik

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM

New socially conscious tracks for your Friday afternoon listening pleasure:

FIrst up: Last IV with "Don't You Shoot Me Down." The supergroup makes their recorded debut just one month shy of the one year anniversary of their first performance. Rusty, Tufty, Devon and Vess make a strong outing with this #Ferguson-referencing protest song. 

It pairs nicely with Mr. Kinetik's new track "Anyway," referencing Eric Garner's death by NYPD chokehold three months ago. Kinetik has plans for a full album release next week. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three questions for Gardens and Villa

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 5:26 PM


"Some nights, it feels like it has the intensity of a punk rock show. Some nights it has the groove of more of a cold, danceable, organic, early '80s vibe. We're always going to have shimmering flutes happening at some point," Adam Rasmussen, the synth player for Secretly Canadian band Gardens and Villa says on the phone. Which vibe their show will take tonight at Radio Radio still remains to be seen. But you can count on the flutes. 

Here's a few selections from my interview with Rasmussen earlier this month. 

NUVO: You named your last album Dunes after recording in Michigan. How did you get there from California?

Adam Rasmussen: We were in the market for a producer for the record, looking around. We were contacted by Tim Goldsworthy, formerly of DFA, and he said he had never seen us live and didn't own our record, but he had found this one performance online for Wild Honey Pie session in Brooklyn. We played "Orange Blossoms" live for that session, but it had more of a soul, Curtis Mayfield vibe. He said he watched it hundreds of times, he and his wife, and was just like, "This is amazing!" Based on that one video, he thought, "I've got to get ahold of these boys." So he got ahold of us, told us to find a studio, and it was kind of loose and up in the air. We thought maybe New York or L.A., but all the studios we found were way too expensive for our budget. So he ended up picking Michigan, at this studio he had recorded at before called the Key Club. 

It was just one of the coolest studios we had ever been in. It felt like it was a time capsule to the '70s. All the gear had a story, some creepy story about Sly Stone who had gorillas guarding his palace before the FBI came in and stole back all his cocaine, or whatever. Every pice of gear has some outlandish story attached to it. To be honest, it was so cold, we didn't go outside except for the Dunes, maybe three or four times. It couldn't be more difficult than California that time of year. 

NUVO: Tell me about Televisor, your new EP. 

Rasmussen: Televisor is selected works between two different sessions. One being a session that we did with Richard Swift in February of 2012 that was intended to be an EP that would follow our first full-length LP. In hindsight, we were like, why didn't we put this out? It ended up being on the shelf for a little bit. We thought, "Shoot, we're hitting the road again, so let's put out some fresh material for people." Luckily we had these five amazing songs from the Swift session. So we picked a couple of those. The other two are outtakes from the late night, 3 a.m., tape-still-rolling, producer's gone to bed trickery. 

NUVO: What would you like to highlight about Dunes

Rasmussen: Going back to the studio being like a time capsule, there was a vast VHS collection, so between tracking we ended up getting pretty heavily into a couple genres of film. One being a sci-fi, like Blade Runner, stuff like that. The other being samurai movies. So I think there's quite a bit of influence, the tangible analog fantasy of the '80s, and concept about future civilizations and different dimensions. Maybe there's some underlying content there that might not be apparent. We ended up sampling some swords being drawn, noises from samurai movies in there. You can find those in some of the jams if you listen hard enough. Deep in there, there's some schwinggg! [mimics sound of sword being pulled out of sheath]

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Barfly sneak peek

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Ever wanted to get inside the studio of our beloved Barfly? Today's your day, baby. Here's a timelapse video of tomorrow's strip, featuring the Bleeding Keys. (That's their track backing it, too.) 

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Monday, October 13, 2014

LUNA kicks off 20th anniversary shows with Low in-store

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The little record shop around the corner (really, it is right around the corner from NUVO) is kicking off a series of shows celebrating its 20th anniversary with an in-store performance from Low on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. The show is free, all-ages and unticketed. And there's plenty more exciting things to come, too, but specifics are on the down-low right now. We'll update as we learn more. 

Details from LUNA: 

Behold! Our friends from Duluth are coming to the 52 for the express purpose of playing a FREE show — for you!

On their way to begin a tour with Slowdive (there is no other appearance by the band, in Indianapolis, at this time)—Alan, Mimi, and Steve will be gracing us with a full-on electric set!

As if that wasn't enough—we will also be giving you (the first 50 folks that come thru the door)—a limited-edition Commercial Artisan designed screen print!

This is the first in a series of FREE in-store performances celebrating 20 years of LUNA music — be certain to watch this space over the coming months to see who else will be joining the celebratory fun.

Capacity will be limited, so best to get here early. . .

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Egyptian Room

Posted By on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 3:25 PM

I'm interviewing Rodrigo of Rodrigo y Gabriela tomorrow to preview their show at the Egyptian Room on October 21, which means I've been buried deep in Mexican acoustic guitar music all morning. Have a question for the duo? Drop it in the comments below. 

Here's a May concert recorded at the Triple Door. 

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Pete Yorn comes full circle

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 2:48 PM


Pete Yorn has wanted to do it for years. To leave the bandmates and collaborators and other instruments at home, and get onstage totally alone, just him and a guitar … and a massive audience, of course. After a false start in 2006 (he got “cold feet,” he says), Yorn is finally setting out on a year of solo performances, including one in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Here's the good stuff from our September phoner with Yorn.

On his Colts connection:
“I played a show a few years back and this guy comes in the dressing room with some people and says, 'Hi, my name's Jim Irsay. I'm the owner of the Colts.' He was really into the kind of music that I was doing. He seemed really into music. I remember we were talking about Tom Petty. Another time I came and played, a bunch of [Colts] players came. I remember all these big linebackers. I was like, that's cool, football players coming out to my show. They were big guys.”

On going solo:
"I attempted [a solo tour] in like 2006, and then a week before, I got cold feet doing it all alone, so I brought some band members out, a bass player, a drummer and a piano player. I still had it in my head that I always wanted to do it, and it took me all these years to kind of get up the courage to go out and do it by myself. … I did a bunch of West Coast shows in May and early June and they went so well. I really enjoyed it."

On his record store acoustic EPs:
"That really was me alone. That was when there were still a lot of indie record shops. There aren't so many anymore. That day, I would go and play a little solo show at a record shop, then we'd record it right there and you could get a little EP. I played so many different songs. There's like 40 or 50 of those EPs (Editor's note: Including one recorded at our own LUNA Music) floating around from all those different record shops. … Back in the day I would definitely hit up the record shops. I needed something to do in the afternoons when I was waiting around [for the show]. Usually, the venue, if it was a cool theater, you'd walk a few blocks and you'd find one. It was always a cool hub. I know a lot of them are gone, some are still there. It just it was it is, you know?"

On full circles:
"I started off on an acoustic guitar, just by myself. The first shows I ever really started to play in front of people were just me and a guitar. I was a kid then, but coming back now, I find that naturally I just feel more connected to everybody. There's a lot of elements that are stripped away and I feel like it has a good opportunity to reveal what's at my core. Sonically, there's nothing covering up my fingers on the strings, and the inflections in my voice, and I can really play with that. If anything, it just gives me freedom. And that's something I always crave. That's why I started playing music in the first place. It just gives me freedom – there's no setlist ever, I kind of purposefully don't know what I'm going to do before I get out on stage. I just walk out and let the atmosphere tell me what I should play first. Then it just goes. I kinda go into weird mode as it all starts to flow out."

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Open casting call for Big Damn Band video

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM


Can you do anything interesting? Anything at all? Reverend Peyton wants you to do that interesting thing in their new video. The deets are below. Our writing about the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band can be accessed here.

Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band is attempting to do another epic music video, one that continues to show the world that Indiana and the Hoosiers that reside here are underrated and talented as anyone.

We are looking for amazing talented people to be featured in our music video for "Raise a Little Hell".

We need unique people with unique talents that can be performed in an outdoor street setting like...
Break Dancers
Square dancing
Barn dance
Belly dance
Burlesque dancers
Marshall arts
University extra-curricular, ie, color guard
Stilt walkers
Skate tricks
Bike tricks
Freak show performers
Fire breathers
Circus performers
Dog/animal trainers

We need tons of people to fill a street parade and we can't do it without your help! Feel free to pass this along to any and all friends, too! We really want this to be EPIC!!!

When: October 19th (Sunday)
Time: Noon - dinner time (6ish)
Who: You and your friends
Where: TBD, in Bloomington, IN (we'll email you the week before the shoot)

Anyone that wants to help out and be in the video....
Please send an email to: and include a brief line or two (and / or a picture) describing what you would like to do in the video.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

St. Lucia's Jean-Philip Grober's jingle writing past

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Smart, slick, organic, catchy synth pop is a rare bird. But Jean-Philip Grobler has it on lock. His music, which he releases as St. Lucia — sounds like what nightclub in paradise would play. And not Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It's way more angelic than that. 

I caught up with him via Skype before his Indy show tonight at Deluxe. Locals Party Lines will open. 

NUVO: Yesterday was your 12th anniversary with your wife, who is also in your band, correct? Congratulations!

Jean-Philip Grobler: Yes! Well, it was our 12th relationship anniversary, not our … our actual wedding was just two years ago. So we've only been married for two years, but we've been together for a while.

NUVO: St. Lucia is not your band's name; it's your stage name, and you bring a band with you to create your music. Do you foresee in the future more collaborative studio work with the group of people you're currently touring with? What part do they play in the music writing process?

Grobler: The way that I view the band and the project in general is really open. In my head, it's not strictly my thing. It just so happens that it maybe just feels right when the music is music that I've written. There are songs that I've worked on that are collaboration. For example, the first track on When The Night, “The Night Comes Again,” I wrote that with Garrett [Ienner] who plays guitar in HAERTS. We sort of co-wrote that together. Ross [Clark], the bass guitar player in St. Lucia wrote part of “Elevate,” he wrote the bass line and he has a writing credit on that. Patty, my wife, has written a whole bunch of other parts. For me, it's just if it feels right, then I'm open to a collaboration. But it's never something that I want to force. And I also never want to shut out the possibility of a collaboration.

I think because the first album was written mainly just by me by myself in the studio, alone, before I even knew anybody in the music industry, I feel like it was just me figuring out what I'm doing with my life and music and stuff like that. I think in the future, there will be even more collaboration as a result of me just knowing more musicians and more writers and more people now. For the next album, I'm probably going to work with a producer and co-produce the album with them, because I don't want to lose my mind this time. [laughs] It's just like right up until now, it has been that thing where it has been my project, but it may very well change. And it already has changed in a way.

NUVO: Can we talk about your past in commercial music placement? What did you do before you started with St. Lucia?

Grobler: I've pretty much been doing music my whole life. I was part of this boys choir in South Africa when I was growing up, from when I was like ten. We traveled the world and traveled around South Africa a lot, did a lot of touring. After that, I went to university in England in Liverpool and studied music over there. Once I finished that degree, my best option was to go down to London and try and do something there, or move back to South Africa.

Patty, my wife, her sister was traveling at the time, and ended up in New York, met this guy and started dating him. He was this guy who co-produced and mixed all The Prodigy albums. He was also a partner in this music house, this jingle writing company. I think as a favor to her, he gave me an opportunity to write and do some freelance with them from England. I really liked what they did, so after a few months, they offered to move Patty and I to New York, and then, it was an opportunity that I just could not turn down. Great city, having a full time job in an industry that I wanted to be in. I never aspired to be a jingle writer … but it just felt like a really good opportunity to learn. So, I did that. I did that job for a little over two years, I think. Through the time, my mission was to save up enough time and buy enough equipment that I could leave and keep doing the jingle writing thing freelance, but also make my own music with a bunch of great instruments. So eventually, I did that, when I got burnt out on the whole thing. So I started my own studio, and out of that development process came St. Lucia, over a few years of me being in that studio and working on my stuff and some other stuff.

NUVO: Do you see similarities between a successful pop song and a successful jingle?

Grobler: I think in some senses, there are similarities. It just depends on what your definition of a successful pop song is. There are definitely successful pop songs that are written in a very formulaic way. People get together and they're like, “We're going to write this hit, now.” They write it, it becomes a hit. That definitely happens. I'm more interested in the kind of writing that is from the more intuitive and mystical place, that has more to do with feeling. I like to think of music as something more than just a craft. Songwriting can definitely be a craft, and that's been proven many times. It's like, thinking of it that way is not enough to make me want to spend my whole life doing it, to devote my life and my time to doing a craft.

The interesting thing with jingle writing is that I also took that approach to jingle writing. And I was definitely one of the least successful jingle writers at the music house that I was at. It's kind of a weird thing, because I do think to be a more successful jingle writer, it's good to think of it as a craft, and to think of it just as, you're not trying to make your own personal emotional expression. It's better to just think of, “Okay, what kind of music will not fight with this tampon commercial?” Or whatever commercial you're making the music for. With some writing, I think the music that really sticks around and stays, to me it seems is music that was written from more of a intuitive place, if that makes sense. I do think that the two approaches can be very similar, but to me the more successful examples of pop song writing – at least the pop songs that I love – come from a different place than jingle writing.

NUVO: I know you've served as a producer with HAERTS and have done remixing for several other artists. What new projects do you have cooking that you can tell us about?

Grobler: I always have a bunch of different things. Unfortunately I don't really have enough time to devote to doing another similar thing like HAERTS. The HAERTS thing almost took up as much time for me as it took to make my own album. I was really working on that almost as a band member. It was like a full-on production process, and I just don't really have enough time to devote as much time as I would like to producing someone else's album. What I'm doing at the moment is more, kind of, collaborations with other artists on one track for them. I'm working on something with Alex Metric at the moment. There's a few other collaborations but I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about them. There's a few exciting things coming up.

I'm really devoting a lot of time on working on the next St. Lucia record. I've barely had any time in the studio basically for the last year. I've just had to embrace working on our tour van or bus or wherever we are, using a laptop and stuff like that. I'm doing a lot of writing and making sure I have a lot of material to work from when I eventually do have time to enter the studio, which I think will be after this tour, at the end of this year, beginning of next year. 

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