NUVO's music section isn't doing an a traditional Year In Review – no best songs of the year, best albums of the year, best shows of the year, etc. (Although we do encourage you to refer back to our spring cover story 100 Best Hoosier Albums of All Time, if you're looking to get riled up over a list.) Instead, we're collecting a transcendent local music moment from each of our regular contributors. Our first several are below. We'll have more on Thursday for your reading pleasure. Click the contributors names to read their work from this year.
“In 2014, the most exciting musical moment for me was watching Ken Highland and Eddie Flowers jam out an impromptu version of "Black to Comm" by The MC5 on the couch at Magnetic South before beginning rehearsals for the Gizmo's reunion show in Bloomington. The love for rock and roll inside these gentlemen is purer than most things in this world, and seeing them connect again restored some hope that humanity could still avoid total corruption.”
"Sitting here on a slushy, sleepy winter day with Nina Simone playing softly in the background, all I want for Christmas is to be transported back to the Fourth of July show at Indiana City Brewing. Our band, We Are Hex, played with the likes of Pravada, Sirius Blvck, and notably on this night of America’s birthday, the beloved Andy D. Our roadie and buddy Big Chuck [Kidwell] brought his mom to see us, but she liked Andy D’s magical dance party better. Whatever, Chuck’s mom. After he played, the people demanded an encore. More Andy D to celebrate our freedom to dance, and to drink, and to wear denim vests with no shirts underneath! Despite my inebriated state, my friends let me dance with their small children. (I am now considering some sort of youth program). When the show ended, everyone sat on the wall outside the brewery and watched the fireworks light up our great metropolis . . . er, the Hardees parking lot on Washington anyways."
“I was standing at Radio Radio, enjoying KO’s EP release show back in September. With the previous song finished, the stage was quiet. The audience was still waiting to hear what was next. KO began looping vocal lines – singing notes, not words, to build a up a foundation. The melody was familiar. Well before the lyrics began, I knew that she was headed into “Stand By Me.” The chills ran down my back once Kristin launched into the chorus (even my ankles felt tingly). The vocal layers were perfectly composed and Todd added to the vibe with minimal drums and cymbals. The full power and range of her voice was evident and it was a beautiful moment to experience live.”
“Cloaca's a hardcore band I saw in a basement right around First and Henderson in Bloomington. They were playing with my Cincinnati buds Gazer and my Bloomington buds Fly Painted Feathers and I didn't know anything about them because they're riding that social media blackout train. I still know next to nothing about them except that they were loud and violent and precise beyond measure. The singer recklessly tossed herself into the crowd and I, shoved around and trying to angle in closer, barely noticed when I cut my head a little open on a low-hanging pipe.”
"During another year of outstanding jazz performances, particularly at The Jazz Kitchen, it was at Latitude 39 on Sept. 19, as part of Indy Jazz Festival 2014 that the Owl Studio Group’s innovative Gospel Jazz Experience provided the most transformative program. Sitting at a table in the cavernous theatre, with two people I had met the previous evening and others I was meeting for the first time, we bonded as a progression of twenty artists showcased their verve in a Las Vegas setting—far removed from the intimacy of a club the content of the program became the context and the atmosphere changed from being alone to being with kindred spirits. Two and half months later, I can recall each act and how emcee, singers and players interconnected to bring home that amazingly diverse talent grows right here in Circle City with readiness to take crossover risks for greater civic and artistic good."