Most rock 'n' roll reunions are driven by ego and greed, but not so with Saturday's return of the Lovemeknots, a local guitar-pop quintet that became fixtures in the early '90s Indiana scene with their modest, workman-like approach.
"It's flattering to be remembered by anybody after 10 years," says guitarist-vocalist Evan Finch. "We were just very average guys, and average guys don't often make the cover of Rolling Stone, but I think average guys can make some pretty good music."
So they did, which is why local impresario Nick Ohler proposed a Lovemeknots reunion for the final show of a busy year for his not-for-profit promotion company, Mythopeic.
Also on the bill Saturday at Radio Radio are local bands Phyllis (featuring Lovemeknots bassist Dave Magee) and the Humans. Between sets, guests can enjoy screenings of Russian animation and a sale of greeting cards and low-budget work by artists from the local Big Car collective. The evening's most delightfully random attraction will be a selection of pie and pie-related items from the Pie of the Month Club, which is best understood by visiting www.pieofthemonth.org.
Although Mythopeic is best known for bringing avant garde rock and jazz acts to the city, Ohler says he looks back fondly to the late '80s and early '90s, when he owned the A-1 Records store in Anderson and the alternative scene was still fresh and underground, not yet subdivided into a thousand commercial subgenres. That was the atmosphere that spawned the jangly, noisy, catchy sounds of the Lovemeknots, whom Ohler admired for their unassuming, "band next door" quality.
"I thought they were one of the better and most underrated bands in Central Indiana," Ohler says. "To me, it had more of a Midwest sound than a lot of pseudo Brit-pop that most bands were doing then. The Lovemeknots were not the most amazing band technically, but they were honest."
The band was founded in 1989 by a core group of Pike High School alumni who returned to Indy after their respective college careers. They performed around the Midwest solidly for five years and saved every dime for recording and releasing three full-length albums: Gary's Dog (1992), Full Tilt (1994) and Setting Noises (1995).
The band dissolved when guitarist-vocalist Kyle Barnett left the state, but the members stayed in touch.
Saturday's show will include all the guys, including Finch, Magee, guitarist Brad Shelor (also of Vinyl Shriner), drummer Rich Meyer, Barnett (now an Austin, Texas, resident and member of the band Hitchhike) and even original bassist Greg Dyken, whom Magee later replaced.
"I think in many respects we were just fans with instruments, and we wanted to be part of what seemed like an incredible surge of live music in Indianapolis," Finch says. "We got to play alongside incredibly good bands like the Vulgar Boatmen and the Datura Seeds and Modern Vending and the Mysteries of Life. I'm proud that we got to be a part of that time, and it makes me happy to think that I'm going to get together with my friends this Saturday and play that music again."
Scott Hall writes about music and culture at www.byrdlandstudios.com.