Hundreds of the faithful trekked out on a cold, rainy Friday night for the kickoff show to the Broad Ripple Music Fest at the Vogue, taking in a fairly diverse show that ranged from experimental rock (the Abner Trio, Grampall Jookabox) to alt-rock (Mardelay), psych rock (Everthus the Deadbeats) to tap-dance and brass (Born Again Floozies) and closed with funk/jazz band The Twin Cats.

Abner Trio lead singer Daniel Paquette could intone just about any phrase that comes into his mind and sound calm and authoritative. And, oh wait, he does: spinning loopy spoken-word proto-narratives over the band’s similarly loopy stripped-down guitar, bass and drums.

For the first time in a good while, David “Moose” Adamson performed with another musician, bringing along former Bigbigcar drummer Pat Okerson to supplement the more complex arrangements on his new album. They attacked “Take Me From Diamondhead” with distorted intensity, Adamson strumming bass instead of acoustic guitar, taking that song from the more sedate sonic world of “Scientific Cricket” into the heavier new world of his latest, “Ropechain.”

I have trouble getting excited about Mardelay; while they’ve hit the ground running promotion-wise, are active in the local music community and have a substantial repertoire, their sound has too much of an alt-rock sheen for me, and most songs have a mid-tempo beat and energy that sounds roughly the same.

Some new material by Everthus the Deadbeats didn’t suffer from the same kind of exposition that bogs down some of “John Kill”; what works well on a concept record doesn’t always work so well taken out of context, though I love the weird dialogue on “John Kill Visits the Doctors.”

Far be it from someone who’s basically a non-musician to suggest, but maybe the Born Again Floozies could use a piano or organ (or both, on one of those newfangled keyboards). It just seems like there’s something missing between the trombone, tuba, drums and tap dancer, and that even with Welch’s creative way of tapping the bridge to play melodies, there’s not enough filling in the spaces, if you will, giving the songs a forward momentum, establishing chords. That being said, the Floozies put on another fun and idiosyncratic show, with fine solos by Charlie Krone on trombone and Welch on guitar.

There weren’t a lot of folks left to dance to The Twin Cats by the time 2 a.m. rolled around, but those that did grooved through double-time runs, jam-band synth and funk bass that sounded a bit generic, and a solid saxophone and guitar.  


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