BRFMF spotlights hundreds of Indiana musicians, supports nonprofits
WHAT: NUVO presents the Broad Ripple Fall Music Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 13, free up to $6 (a stamp at your first venue of choice will get you into other venues for $3 off admission price), 2 p.m.-3 a.m. (varies by venue), all-ages and 21+ venues
WHERE: various locales in and near Broad Ripple Village
WEB: See full schedule at www.nuvo.net/brfmf
This weekend, more than 100 acts on 21 stages will perform during one day as part of the first annual Broad Ripple Fall Music Festival — an experiment in diverse acts, decentralization and charity. Each of the venues has been booked by different promoters, bringing a distinctive flavor to each concert lineup, while operating under the same umbrella.
Proceeds from each show will be donated to a nonprofit organization, designated by the promoter and listed on the event Web site.
The acts range from newcomers to some of Indianapolis’ oldest veterans to everything in between, displaying the full array of musical talent to be found in this city. Here, NUVO has profiled several bands whose membership represents this diversity. For a full list of schedules, venues, performers and nonprofits, check out www.nuvo.net/brfmf or www.myspace.com/broadripplefallmusicfest. For more BRFMF band profiles, visit www.nuvo.net/music.
1051/Vibes Music, 5:15 p.m., all-ages
The Endies — self-described indie/folk rock/ghettotech — formed earlier this year when drummer Ryan Remington and Dan Snodgrass would talk music for long periods of time at Remington’s job. Later, they would form The Endies, a duo with an ever-rotating slate of guest players.
NUVO: What are some of your long-term goals?
Remington: A couple of years ago in the local music scene, it was fun. You’d go to shows to see your friends [and] book shows to see your friends. Bands are a lot more competitive these days. There’s a lot less camaraderie. One of the things we stand for is bringing fun back to music. Dan and I don’t care where we play; we just want to play, and we want to have fun doing it. If we can make careers out of this, that would be fantastic, but if we can’t, at least we had fun in the process.
NUVO: What kind of influences do you bring to your sound?
Remington: Dan and I both grew up so separately, and even right now, what we listen to is so different. I listen to a lot of hardcore and a lot of metal. Dan listens to Waylon Jennings and a lot of country, but there [are] a lot of things we agree on as far as bands and music go. We’ve changed and grown a lot since we started. We’re trying right now to just make fun rock and roll. If Dan knew how to play an electric guitar, he would. But he can’t, so we’ll make fun rock and roll with an acoustic guitar. A lot of the songs are loosely based on stuff we’ve gone through, girls we’ve dated, nights spent drinking until 3 in the morning in my apartment, bitching about everything we can think of. We’re trying to remind bands and fans alike that it’s not about money, not about prestige, it’s about having fun. We get paid for playing music; how can we bitch?
Indy Hostel, 7:30 p.m., all-ages
Singer-songwriter Lindsay Bloom started out in Cleveland, Ohio, but recently moved to Indianapolis. Her shows range in size from solo performances to a full band, depending on the venue; her BRFMF performance will be at the Indy Hostel, one of the city’s most intimate stages.
NUVO: What are your thoughts on Indianapolis so far?
Bloom: I didn’t know what the music scene would be like when I moved here, but I was pleasantly surprised a lot, and I really liked Indy. And now that I have the opportunity to move or go anywhere, I’m staying here. And there are lots of cool little places to play. Downtown, coffeehouses, Talbott Street. There [are] a lot of good venues, it’s just a matter of finding them all. Indy is close to all the colleges, [IU]-Bloomington, Chicago, Ohio State, so it’s easy to travel on weekends to some of these places.
NUVO: What kind of approach are you taking to your music?
Bloom: All my songs are personal, real life experiences. Some of them are too personal, but it’s hard to hold back when I’m writing. I’m trying to go a more commercial route, kind of pop folk rock. There [are] a lot of singer-songwriters I see who aren’t concerned with the three-minute, 30-second, radio-friendly songs. But I kind of want to take my music to that level and get in with all the radio stations, do videos, everything like that. I want to do little coffee shops and travel around, but I also want to move it up to that next level.
NUVO: What’s the difference between your larger and smaller shows?
Bloom: I’ve been doing bigger venues with my full band; last week I did a show in a small coffee shop in Fountain Square. I could talk to the audience and tell stories. I like doing that. It’s good to have both, because sometimes I like to have the feeling of the full band backing me. I think I’ll keep on doing both and be based out of Indy for a long time and see where it takes me.
Spin Nightclub, 8 p.m., 21+
Beta Male arose earlier this year from the ashes of Extra Blue Kind, with bassist Tyler Bowman and singer/drummer P. David Hazel recruiting Allison Hazel (P. David’s wife) and Jessica Hack on keyboards, and local veteran Vess Ruhtenberg — once of the Zero Boys — on bass. With a decidedly low-tech approach, their music is highly listenable, energetic and attractive, a 1960s pre-new wave feel. Their MySpace page has some of the wackiest band descriptions and philosophies out there. Just go read it if you don’t believe me.
NUVO: How did this get started?
Tyler: It just sprawled out of P’s imagination and creativity. He was wanting to do things different. It was the whole idea of the Beta Male thing in general, a secondary behind-the-scenes kind of guy. It’s a very sex-influenced band. And really, just trying to get a little bit deeper and darker than Extra Blue Kind — maybe not serious, but more of a new wave kind of sexy dance band.
NUVO: You emphasize a lot of live performance on your Web site; tell us more about that.
Tyler: The stage shows have really come together well. We all came from different bands and all had different live experiences. It’s a really energetic show. We plan to do some video projection; we’re a very visual band. It’s a really energetic and crisp kind of show. P. David’s really set on this idea of every song taking on its own life. So what we hope to do with this projection is to have different video aspects to each song. The songs do have a lot of meaning and a lot of depth, and we want to get that across in more ways than just performing them.
We Are Hex
Spin Nightclub, 10 p.m., 21+
Brandon (drums), Jill (vocals and electric piano) and Mark (bass and keyboards) — they only go by their first names, at least when they’re talking to media — formed earlier this year after the breakup of their old band, Muncie-based ari.ari. Now presenting a post-new wave, hyper-tech, electronic pop style, We Are Hex has only performed a few times but has already assembled a polished style and will be releasing a full length album next month.
NUVO: How is We Are Hex different from ari.ari?
Brandon: Once that band called it a day, the three of us decided we were still going to write together. This band is a whole different sound … but the three of us have been writing music together for three or four years. Sound-wise, it’s just abrasive pop music. ... At the end of the day it’s something completely different than any of us thought it was going to be, but we all love doing it. We’re really into it.
NUVO: What kinds of themes or messages do you try to get across with your music?
Brandon: We kind of try to shy away from sending a message to anyone. The lyrics are actually pretty personal, I would guess. Jill is the main lyricist. They’re just everyday basic story-of-the-life kind of deals.
NUVO: What do you have planned for the BRFMF?
Brandon: This is going to be our third or fourth show, so we’re going to just do our thing. We’re excited to do it. We try to shy away from playing Indianapolis a lot, because I think we all agree that it’s more about quality, not quantity, so we want our Indianapolis shows to be as good as they can be.
Birdy’s Bar & Grill, 11:30 p.m., 21+
Philadelphia-based alt-rockers Zelazowa have made their names in the last two years as one of the most aggressive touring acts in the country, hitting more than 200 dates per year. Their previous Indianapolis appearances include the Melody Inn, Birdy’s and CT Pepper’s. “I pretty much remember everywhere we’ve been, which is crazy,” says bassist Ian Sharkey. They recently came back from a European tour; the end of this month will see the release of their tour documentary, “What You Want Us To Be, We Can’t Always Be.”
NUVO: With so many live shows, how do you keep it fresh every time?
Sharkey: It’s about giving it our all, giving them what they expect, a high-energy show. We have a lot of songs, so we can always change it up; we’re always bringing in new material. … Plus, we only hit certain places not too much. I guess we try to hit a market two or three times a year. It’s helped us to step to our big goal of being very successful and recognized all over. We’re almost a freaking novelty. Zelazowa, the touring band!
NUVO: What musical influences do you bring to the table?
Sharkey: I have absolutely no musical background whatsoever! I just decided to paly one day. Myself and the drummer [Terry Sharkey] are kind of self-taught for the most part. Bryan [Weber] writes the majority of the songs, lyrically and instrumentally, and we all add our parts. He and Kyle [Weber] had gone to school for music. He tends to talk about music as being math. He’s tried to explain it to me before, but it’s kind of a puzzle. You can choose from all sorts of techniques and little ideas to decide what you want to do. He draws from classical ideas, which is how we got our name. Zelazowa is the birthplace of Fredric Chopin. We seem to go over really well with other musicians. I wouldn’t say we gear our music towards that. We’re definitely not a mainstream pop act. We try to appeal to anyone from 14-15 to 35, or anybody who’s into music and not bullshit.
Acid Green reunion
Melody Inn, midnight, 21+
The gang from legendary Indy punk/metal/heavy band Acid Green has been together for 19 years, going back to 1988. As bassist Gregg Stewart puts it, even though they’ve only played a handful of times in the last decade, “We never really broke up, we just parted ways for a bit.”
This weekend at the Melody Inn, fans will have their chance to catch Acid Green for the first time in five years as part of Broad Ripple Fall Music Fest.
Acid Green formed at the Herron School back in the late 1980s and developed a punk rock sound, with heavier crazy riffs forming as new members brought in different influences. They opened up for bands like Helmet, White Zombie and Jesus Lizard; now they spend most of their time with other bands, but find the chance to occasionally gather. After this weekend, they have another show in November, with the possibility of others in the future.
NUVO: How is Acid Green different now that you’re playing together again after all this time?
Stewart: It’s interesting; since everybody’s gone off on other projects, we have a lot more to bring to the frying pan as far as getting together. It was a little frustrating at first.
Chad Prifogle (drums): We’re trying to refine and modernize the old material without losing the integrity of it. Back in the day we were an extremely heavy, loud band with all these influences. Velocity personified. We’re trying to clean it up, be a little more refined, and I think people will be pleased with how it’s evolved.
Stewart: We’re taking some of the older epic tunes and make them more of a “Reader’s Digest” version. Back in the 1980s, everybody wanted to do Metallica epics, and now we’re a little more refined.
NUVO: How did this reunion come about?
John Zeps (guitar): One of the main reasons we’re getting back together now is to finally record with Chad, because we never got to record with Chad, and we feel like that’s an injustice to him, because he’s been here longer than the original drummer.
Prifogle: We’re all good friends and we’re always shooting the shit and say, let’s get the band back together! And this time around we actually did it. It’s been five years since we actually played, and those were just one-offs for Halloween. It seems like it’s always this time of year that we get back together!
(Other members of Acid Green include Gym Stoffer on vocals and Bob Cripe on guitar).
Those Young Lions
Alley Cat Lounge, 1 a.m., 21+
In 2002, Those Young Lions formed from a number of major Indianapolis groups, when Brian Allen and Antonio Leiriao (Romance Morgue, Thin Fevers) asked Kris Messer (The Slurs) and Tony Beemer (America Owns the Moon) to join the group. In 2003, the group disbanded shortly after the release of their original three-song EP. Those Young Lions reformed in 2004 with Beemer and Sean McGary (Ho-Ti), asking Devon Ashley (Over the Rhine, The Pieces) to play drums. Beemer moved to guitar, and shortly thereafter, Messer re-joined on bass.
NUVO: TYL’s membership is made up of a wide array of longtime Indianapolis bands. How would you describe the sound that results from this collaboration
TYL: The coalescence of TYL’s backgrounds and influences can best be summarized as “On time, and in tune!”
TYL: “If your girl likes rock and roll… you may not like us after she hears us.”
NUVO: Given their extensive backgrounds, what’s the band’s thought on the current state of Indianapolis music? What do you hope for TYL to accomplish in this scene? How do you feel things have changed over the course of your experiences here?
TYL: We all think there are a lot of talented musicians and bands lurking in the shadows of the Indy indie scene, they just need a little light. Get out of the basement, kids! We need to see more diversity; that includes seeing more female blood (although not literally). Our vision is to contribute and encourage, while growing stronger all the while. We are focused on working smarter, not harder.
NUVO: Your plans are big; your minds are made up — so says your MySpace page, at any rate. Tell me more about the bigness of said plans.
TYL: Plans are only special when they are secret. In time, grasshopper.