Review: Why?, Kishi Bashi, Busman's Holiday 

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Joyful Noise Recordings took over the city of Indianapolis in full force last Thursday, seizing hundreds of Hoosier ears with the label's vast arrays of vibrations.

Performing at Radio Radio was a jam-packed lineup of fantastic JNR artists, including the likes of WHY?, Kishi Bashi, and Busman's Holiday. On top of all this goodness, Ryan Lott (better known as Son Lux) performed a solo set at the Christian Theological Seminary Sheldon Auditorium with special guest Tony Styxx, kicking off this year's Spirit and Place festival. After witnessing the utter excitement that this night fostered, I really do think JNR label head Karl Hofstetter should maybe consider declaring April 3 of every year Joyful Noise Day.

Busman's Holiday opened up the night with a set of their charming roots-chamber pop. A recent addition to the JNR family, the Bloomington duo just released their debut full-length album, A Long Goodbye, a collection of 10 songs recorded in the legendary church/studio owned by Arcade Fire outside Montreal (not long before it was abandoned due to a collapsing roof).

Playing several songs from the upcoming release, brothers Lewis (guitar/vocals) and Addison (drums/vocals) Rogers seemed to feel right at home inside the crowded Radio Radio interior, holding strong to the hilarious back-and-forth banter we've come to expect from the euphonic two-piece.

The venue's already cramped quarters got even cozier, as Kishi Bashi prepared to blow the roof off of the Prospect Street venue. After opening with "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!," the lead single for his forthcoming sophomore album Lighght, the buoyant audience immediately began bouncing around to the violinist/singer/loop-experimentalist's brilliantly enchanting live sound.

Bashi went on to play several songs from his debut Joyful Noise release 151a, engaging the audience through his genuine charisma and masterfully orchestrated looping. A founding member of Jupiter One, as well as a touring member of the band of Montreal and Regina Spektor, Bashi consistently captivated the audience throughout, whether he was playing his own sparkling tunes or a rousing cover of Paul McCartney & Wings' "Live And Let Die."

Following Bashi's excellent performance, WHY? prepared to close out the night. Immediately before their set, Ryan Lott walked on-stage to introduce his label mates. "Without further ado the greatest band in the world, WHY?," he proclaimed humorously.

The band jumped right into a set of career-spanning material, intermingling several of their early classics with selections from their most recent Mumps, Etc. full-length. The band's leader and founder commanded the crowd throughout with his conscientious articulations, much in the way he had a year prior when WHY? performed a secret show at Joyful Noise Recordings.

Near the end of the set, the band whipped out a number of fan favorites, including "The Vowels, Pt. 2" and "Good Friday," along with a couple other older selections ("Waterfalls" from their 2005 debut and "A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under from Alopecia) before putting a cap on the inaugural Joyful Noise Day with "Paper Hearts" from their most recent full-length.


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Seth Johnson

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