When Dan and Toni Carr were married in 2002, it was a merger of sorts of an already tight music community. Dan was the guitarist/singer for alternative rock band Medicated Becky, while Toni was the bassist and often singer for Chuck Marten, a moodier, darker rock outfit. Both bands were already veterans of the local scene and had played several shows together, but it wasn’t until a gig in Valparaiso, Ind., that Toni noticed Dan’s pants. ”He was wearing these really hot blue pants (laughs),” she says.
“That’s when she started chasing after me,” Dan adds.
Forming in 1997, Medicated Becky, kings of spots like Smedley’s Dream and the Volcano Room, released two albums, including 2000’s Picture Perfect Show. They played hundreds of shows and had a decent local fan base until internal problems and a Spinal Tap-esque issue with drummers caused the band to break up in 2004.
More recently, Dan has gotten back into music with the band Hero, but this time it’s a little more relaxed. “We’re big in Japan,” he says. “We’ve only played four shows in the U.S.” In other words, Hero remains a band of mystery at this point, but former Chuck Marten guitarist Russell Sellmeyer is in on the act, as well as Perfect Nothing members Brandon Lytle and Matt Wilson.
Chuck Marten technically never broke up; they changed out a member or two and played as Painting Jaime for a couple years before disbanding in 2004. Since then, Toni has appeared on the DIY Network for her hobby of knitting and is currently a member of The Naptown Rollergirls, the newly formed local roller derby team. “I’d never skated before this,” Toni says. “But it’s great. It’s something you just have to see to get.”
At Strange Brew, a Greenwood area coffee house that they own and operate, the Carrs are comfortable reminiscing about the good old days. “I do miss it sometimes,” Toni says. The old stomping grounds, venues like the Volcano Room and Smedley’s Dream, are just a memory, as are most of the bands that once played those stages.