Broad Ripple Music Fest: A brief primer 

  • Kate Lamont.
  • Photo by John Crowe.

We won't waste much space with an intro, but let it be known that the crew behind Broad Ripple Music Fest - comprised of guys from local web design outfit SmallBox, and, in particular, drummer, promoter, manager and SmallBox employee Daniel Fahrner - have once again put together a completely legit (a-too-legit-to-quit) party on the streets of Broad Ripple, making the most of a streetscape that's been down a full-time venue for some time (the erstwhile Spin and Patio space), leaving it up to the music community at large to book the best shows they have in them and donating all the proceeds to a good cause.

Last year, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful received a $2000 check from the Fest; this year, Girls Rock! Indy, the music education day camp for girls founded by members of Neon Love Life, will be the recipient of whatever comes down the pike. Over 150 bands on 17 stages will participate in Friday's and Saturday's festivities; here's our pick of some of the best showcases of the lot. Check out for more details. All-access wristbands, available here for $15, afford access to all showcases except Friday night's party at The Vogue.


Kate Lamont's farewell show
The Vogue, 8 p.m., $10, 21+

She's been an institution on the Indy scene for over a decade, first with R&B and hip-hop band Mab Lab, then nu-grass collective Blueprint Music, later pursuing extra-musical interests as co-founder of the Earth House Collective. But, truth be told, Indianapolis remains a tough place to make it as a musician, and come the end of the year (or the end of her lease), Kate Lamont plans to move to San Francisco, where she hopes to increase her chances of getting her stuff out there - via licensing, session work, old-fashioned gigs and all the kinds of opportunities that open out once out on the West Coast. Lamont has been heading out to San Francisco since she was 12; her sisters live there now and have been needling her to move out for years. She's saying goodbye this week with an EP release show that will feature contributions from her collaborators throughout the years, from her Mab Lab days to her current lineup.

The new EP, Quality, is a collection of odds-and-ends she's recorded over the past year and a half at the ARK studio; she's keeping an album's worth of tracks that were recorded at the same time in the can, hoping to release them once she's made the trip out West. Lamont wrote the title track for a collaboration last year with Motus Dance Company. Other songs date from the Mab Lab days ("Paralyzed," presented in a edition with and without a rap by Dicky Foxxx) and the past couple years (the rocker "Nothing to Do with It"; and "On My Own," which Lamont calls a "little ditty on piano").

The show will feature the same band Lamont performed with at Radio Radio in August: Devon Ashley (drums), Mike Hogan (bass), Dicky Foxxx (DJ), Josh Silbert (saxes) and Reggie Bishop (keys). Jazz pianist Bob Wilson will join Lamont for a few piano-and-vocals numbers.

Vess Ruhtenberg, who produced and played on After the Traffic (among perhaps hundreds of other records), will open, along with the hip-hop/soul collective T.J. Reynolds & the Freehand Orchestra.

A Squared and Rad Summer showcase
Connor's Pub mega-tent, 8 p.m., $10, 21+

Once again, the mega-tent stationed outside of Connor's Pub will host two of the biggest shows BRMF has to offer: Friday night's showcase headlined by "Lemme Smang It" hip-hop collective Turquoise Jeep and Saturday's Standard party, which closes with a DJ set by Of Montreal pied piper Kevin Barnes (see below). The Turquoise Jeep crew was through town earlier this year; if you haven't seen their YouTube videos, you're missing public access-quality parody on the level of Tim and Eric, not to mention disgusting-but-inspired lines like "This is what I like to call 'smash-bang fusion' / Gotta focus, mama don't wanna get a cooch contusion." Also on the lineup: emcee Oreo Jones, and DJ B-Qwyatt; NYC dubstep DJ Proper Villains, whose stuff has seen proper release on Norman Cook's Southern Fried label; and a more than solid opening lineup of local DJs (Action Jackson, DJ Metrognome, A-Squared DJs, Kaiton & Jordan, CRKSHNKS).


Commodore Von Keepsie's Magic Playhouse
Connor's Pub mega-tent, 4 p.m., $10, 21+

For the second year running, the good Commodore - a mustachioed character from the age of telegraphs and child labor transported to this moment in time and space by the Standard Recording crew - will host just about the biggest indie rock show this side of the Mason-Dixon, headlined by DJ List Christee, who you may better know as Kevin Barnes, the flamboyant genius behind Athens, Ga.-band of Montreal. Barnes's Magic Playhouse visit is also the release show for Joyful Noise Recordings' of Montreal cassette box set. If you picked up last year's Joan of Arc box from Joyful Noise, you'll know about what to expect; this time around, it's a custom-built wooden box housing the entirety of Of Montreal's long-playing work on ten cassettes, with original hand-screened art by Kevin's brother and Of Montreal art director David Barnes.

But wait there's more; not only do you get to rub shoulders with indie rock royalty, but a pretty freaking good local/Midwestern lineup is in store, including Bloomington Old West troubadours Murder by Death, gloomy indie-pop band Pravada, kitchen sink art-rock outfit Child Bite, the ever-mirthful Amo Joy, the keyboard-centric Elsinore. And then all these other bands, who we're just going to list for space reasons: Harley Poe, Slothpop, Sleeping Bag, Whip Cream Wars, America Owns the Moon, Learner Dancer, Crys, The Embraceables, Household Guns, Caleb McCoach.

Heavy Gun showcase
Casba, 8 p.m., $5, 21+

The rumors aren't true: producer J. Brookinz and emcee Grey Granite are still working together, and their blog/label/empire Heavy Gun is still an active concern. Both Brookinz and Granite cleared that up with NUVO this week before hyping some upcoming projects: a dubstep/hip-hop collaboration between Granite, DJ Ed Trauma and Freddie Bunz called Slaughter on the Audio; a Fela Kuti-inspired project with newcomer Fenya Fudiyah. And, of course, they've been putting together this beat battle/showcase, which will be packed into four-hour span (curfew is 12 a.m. for the show, according to Granite). The beat battle will, as usual, see two producers going head to head in a single-elimination tournament, playing minute-long samples of their beats for the consideration of judges, who will pick their favorite of the two, round after round, until the ultimate winner is chosen. This year's winner will receive a grand prize of $200 and the right to compete in a beat battle sponsored by Of course, it's not all about the battle; the rest of the lineup features just about everyone in the local hip-hop world, from Grey Granite to Oreo Jones, Proforms to Mr. Kinetik, Ace One to Mic Sol.They'll only have ten minutes each to perform, but as Granite puts it, "a good artist can give an amazing performance in that amount of time."

Indy Mojo showcase
The Mousetrap, 4 p.m., $5, 21+

The guys at The Mousetrap have done a yeoman-like job making their club the home for jam music in the Indy area. But it took the tag-team of IndyMojo and the G-9 Collective to take the club's offerings one step beyond. Mojo and company started off with a weekly dance night Altered Thurzdaze; they've moved on to put on occasional multiple-stage blowouts like the one they put booked for 4.20. Mojo's BRMF showcase will feature music on three stages: inside the 'Trap, in a tent and on the deck. We'll leave it to Mojo's Matt Ramsey to make some top picks: He's looking out for Ill-esha, a San Francisco-based dubstep producer and vocalist who usually doesn't get as far east as Indy. Chicago-based livetronica band Loyal Divide is another of his picks: "These guys have never played Indy, and having North Coast Music Festival and SXSW on their performance resume, certainly adds some meat to our lineup." And he singles out Shy Guy Says, a Bloomington-based producer who dresses as Super Mario villain Shy Guy on stage and performs live on Ableton software: "This guy is one of the most humble musicians I've met, and is just looking for the opportunity to showcase his talent on a big stage." With Eumatik, Loyal Divide and Blue Moon Review inside; Topspeed, Hollow Point and Psynapse in the tent; and Kodama, DJ Sarge and Kid Kollision on the deck.

MOKB/Roaring Colonel showcase
Rock Lobster, 5 p.m., $10, 21+

Local indie rock dude Dodge will represent at BRMF by offering a mix of the kinds of bands he talks about on his My Old Kentucky Blog - a couple Minneapolis-based headliners: XL band Tapes n Tapes, whose sound gestures towards giants of indie rock like Pavement and The Pixies, and Rough Trade garage rockers Howler - alongside the locals who've either released work through his Roaring Colonel label or ought to: Neon Love Life and Hotfox, both of whose full-lengths the label released this summer; and a couple garage rock bands whose stuff can be heard on Gloryhole Records, The Kemps and Vacation Club.

OnTrack and InHouse showcase
Tru Nightclub, 9 p.m., $10, 21+

One of three three-stage shindigs at BRMF, OnTrack and InHouse's party at Tru will be available in two flavors: House, courtesy of Deanne, Zebo, Compact Disco (to name a few); and bass, brought to you by El Carnicero, The Grimey Kids, Mowgli and others. An outdoor stage will host a couple battles of sorts: Chachi vs. Taylor Norris and Fate vs. Brandon Patrik.

Ripple Inn and Crush Entertainment showcase
Ripple Inn, 5 p.m., free before 9 p.m., $5 after 9 p.m.

Here's a rather eclectic lineup at the Ripple Inn. Out on the patio: soul and funk from Bulletproof Soul, electric blues from Harvey & the Bluetones and more trombones than is usually required from Trombonymous. Inside, at Room 929, plenty of DJs, including Lockstar, Indiana Jones (both a sponsor and a performer) and Gabby Love. And at the bar, singer-songwriters like Jamie Nichole and Chad Mills.

We've left out other excellent shows at Locals Only (featuring the return of Mardelay), the Melody Inn (Chindi, Eastside Larry) and Birdy's (Permacrush) - not to mention our own showcase (presented with Oranje) at the Monkey's Tale, headlined by neo-soul cats Bashiri Asad and Whitney Coleman. We don't like to brag too much; find out more about all the showcases at But we did want to emphasize BRMF's all-ages shows, all three of which are considered below.

Piradical showcase
ES Jungle, 6 p.m., $8, all-ages

Yes, some of the best of BRMF is off-limits to the kids, but the kids will have to live through it (it gets better, sort of). There are three shows designated as all-ages; this is only ticketed one, a headlining set by oversized Bloomington pop outfit Rodeo Ruby Love, with help from Blane Fonda, Tax Brandywine and Indian City Weather, among others.

XRA Records showcase
LUNA Music, 12 p.m., free, all-ages

LUNA Music will hand over its corner stage area Saturday to XRA Records, a Bloomington-based label that tends towards indie-pop and that is sometimes known by its full name, Crossroads of America. Frank Schweikhardt, State Park, Wet Blankets, Doug, Rodeo Ruby Love will represent the label. A couple ringers - Everything, Now!, which was part of XRA's CD-a-month series but isn't on the label's active roster, and Dave Adamson's new solo project, DMA - round out the lineup.

Indy CD & Vinyl, 12 p.m., free, all-ages

And Indy CD & Vinyl doesn't need a theme for its entry at BRMF, which will feature local bands from across the spectrum, with an emphasis on singer-songwriters. The lineup: Irene & Reed, NMKjeldsen, Emily Poe Project, Loyal Divide, Mike Reeb, Cities of Noise.


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Scott Shoger

Scott Shoger

Scott Shoger staggered up to NUVO's door one summer afternoon, a little drunk, poor and crazy-haired, muttering about future Mayor Ballard. He was taken in, hosed down, given NUVO-emblazoned clothes to wear and allowed to work in exchange for food and bylines. Refusing to leave the premises, he was hired on as... more

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