GBV, The Drapes, Toad and moreScott Hall, Danica Johnson, Jill Brooks GBV, Impossible Shapes Feb. 22 @ The Bluebird What is it about the Midwest that produces such great British psychedelia? Experience the effect Saturday, when Dayton, Ohio"s own Guided by Voices lands at the Bluebird in Bloomington, with hometown special guest the Impossible Shapes. Admission is $12 for the 9 p.m. show. GBV, led by prolific frontman and cult hero Robert Pollard, is playing this one-off show while working toward a summer release for its next album, the follow-up to last year"s Universal Truths & Cycles. The Shapes, led by prolific Indianapolis native Chris Barth, have just released their third full-length album, Bless the Headless, on the local Recordhead/Mr. Whiggs imprint. Much like Pollard and company, an early inspiration, the Shapes have evolved from noodly, lo-fi, psychedelic folk-pop that exists only in the studio to ballsy, mid-fi, psychedelic prog-rock that cries for the stage. The new disc is the first to showcase a road-tested band lineup, with the addition of bassist Jason Groth and drummer Peter King to guitarist Barth and keyboardist Aaron Deer. Longtime collaborator Peter King, though not a member of the live band, contributed to the recording. The disc was mixed and mastered at Bloomington"s Echo Park Studios by Mahan Kalpa Singh, better known in music circles as Paul Mahern. Also offering guidance on a few cuts was Bill Doss of Olivia Tremor Control. Coming up is a March tour of the Midwest and Plains states with Songs: Ohia and John Vanderslice. The Drapes, America Owns The Moon and the Stapletons Feb. 22 @ Birdy"s If there are buzz bands in Indianapolis, America Owns The Moon is definitely in the hierarchy. This is a young rock and roll band with many influences and a lot of talent. In the past they have been compared to the Attractions - based more on philosophy than sound, but AOTM has a heart of pure rock and roll. The guys improve with every show. The Stapletons, based out of Cincinnati, are the variable factor for the evening. Their last show in Indy at the Melody was received strongly from those handing out opinions, but being unavailable to attend that show, my opinion so far is based on their recorded work. Although the songs leave open the possibility for the live show to swing my general perception, the recordings haven"t done much for my enthusiasm. I think every band deserves a live shot at making an impression, so I am looking forward to seeing them play. The Drapes are Chicago-based Kevin McDonough, Andrea Jablonski and Todd Osborne. The three make a true grit power rock punk trio that has been worth the drive every time I"ve made the trek to see them. The Drapes have been around for about six years, but just happen to have that ragged bluesy garage sound that is all the rage. Obviously, they are also a "The" band, but shouldn"t be easily dismissed as disposable. After all there have always been "The" bands just as there were duos predating the White Stripes. With the Drapes coming in from Chicago (finally) and Indy"s promising pompadours in America Owns The Moon taking the stage, this will be a very good show. It is this Saturday at Birdy"s at 9 p.m. Toad the Wet Sprocket Feb. 23 @ The Vogue For some rock bands, retirement is rarely a chosen endeavor. Fans shift allegiance and bands spend the next several years tapping their guitars against the cold ear of unpopularity hoping someone hears their "fret." Reunion tours, then, can often be risky and unmerited events. Not so for the college rock/pop band Toad the Wet Sprocket, who abandoned limitless fans waiting for more in 1998. The Santa Monica-based band recently and temporarily revived their mission, and listed Indy on its 24 "select-city" tour. They"ll play an already sold-out show next Sunday at the Vogue, and, well, damn it, many of us are still looking for tickets. They"ve recently played some L.A. gigs with the Counting Crows and Nickel Creek (who should consider retiring any day now), but have no stated, organized plan for officially regrouping. Glen Phillips has a new solo album, Live at the Largo, which will be on sale at the show if you"re lucky enough to be there, or online at www.glenphillips.com. The tour continues through March, which then becomes mating season for a Toad.
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