Just because Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year doesn’t mean you have to give up your chance to put on a costume and celebrate all Hallow’s Eve with some great music and great fun. Lots of clubs around town are hosting Halloween-themed events for every dress-up fetish and musical taste. Here’s just a sampling of where you can celebrate what is fast becoming America’s favorite holiday.
• NUVO hosts “Scary-okee Halloween” at Gelo Ultra Lounge, Friday, Oct. 27 with a karaoke contest, best costume prizes and another $500 in cash prizes. Gelo is located at 5252 E. 82nd St. Call Stephanie for additional information and VIP reservations at 317-577-9570.
• The Rathskeller will host Halloween Bash IX sponsored by Guinness on Friday, Oct. 27 from 6-11 p.m. Enjoy music from Cousin Roger, drink specials and awards for best scream, best costume and best couple — all in the haunted Biergarten! This event is FREE, so be sure to check it out. Log on to www.rathskeller.com for more details.
• The Melody Inn, 3826 N. Delaware, presents its Punk Rock Night Rip-Off Halloween Show with NOFX, Social Distortion, The Pixies, The Ramones and Cheap Trick cover bands on Saturday, Oct. 28. Doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m. Cover is $7. For more info go to www.melodyindy.com.
• A Halloween party with the Jerkwads will be held Saturday, Oct. 28 at The Underground, 1505 N. Delaware. An all-ages show featuring the Jerkwads, the Lucky Stiffs, TV Fatknock and newcomers Davey Casket and the Ghouls. Admission is $5 if you’re wearing a legit costume and $7 without. Check out www.myspace.com/piradicalproductions for more info.
• Stop by Urban Element, 901 N. Pennsylvania, for a Halloween concert featuring Batalyst on Saturday, Oct. 28. Entertainment starts at 10 p.m. and costumes are encouraged. Prizes for the most original and the most creative costumes will be given.
• The Slippery Noodle Inn is hosting a Halloween costume contest on Saturday, Oct. 28. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. The evening will feature entertainment by W.T. Feaster Band and Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys. There is a $5 cover. For more information, log on to www.slipperynoodle.com or call 317-631-6974.
From the ashes of Unicorns
Thursday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.
In 2003, a band called the Unicorns from Montreal were one of the biggest underground bands around, part of a new subculture that kick-started a Canadian indie-rock revolution that is still in full force today. In an odd twist, following the immediate success of the group’s debut, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone, the band dissolved. Celebrated as a trashier and more spastic version of the Flaming Lips’ noisy, over-the-top pop, the loss of the Unicorns was lamented by the indie community.
Nicholas “Niel” Diamonds and J’aime Tambour, two-thirds of the Unicorns, formed a new band in short order called Islands. While not straying too far from the format of their former band, Islands also introduced a psychedelic hip-hop vibe to the mix. It’s quirky stuff, but any fan of indie-rock bands that are somewhat frustrating though ultimately accessible and catchy (i.e. Wolf Parade, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) will find a familiar friend in Islands. Also performing at Bloomington’s all-ages venue, Rhino’s, will be underground hip-hop acts Blueprint and Subtitle.
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
The Bluebird, Bloomington
Thursday, Oct. 26, 9 p.m.
A founding member of the visionary hip-hop group Hieroglyphics, the Oakland-based Del Tha Funkee Homosapien got his start thanks to his famous cousin, Ice Cube. However, far from the tragic nepotism that brought us Warren G., Cube’s efforts introduced us to a legendary MC in the making.
Del’s unique, cerebral delivery, use of jazz-influenced beats and samples and sense of humor immediately set him apart in an era dominated by gangsta rap. Del released a number of critically acclaimed solo and collaborative albums in the ’90s and the early part of this decade, including the legendary Deltron 3030, an ambitious and genre-defying sci-fi concept album about a rebel MC living in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future.
However, Del’s most famous commercial efforts are not often associated with his name. He was a contributor on two singles, “Clint Eastwood” and “Rock the House,” released on the Gorillaz first album.
Regardless of whether you are a fan or are even familiar with underground or independent hip-hop, this show in B-town is a rare opportunity to witness one of the most skilled, imaginative and outright hilarious rappers ever to spit a rhyme. You owe it to yourself to attend, especially if you think intelligent, fun and humorous hip-hop begins and ends with Andy Samburg or, God forbid, Weird Al.
From despair to hope
Sunday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.
Austin, Texas, native Darden Smith has been performing for more than 20 years. He was named for a rodeo rider, and his first songs naturally had a country tinge. His excellent songwriting skills have stayed consistent over time, and his sound now leans toward adult pop. Smith spent the summer touring Europe and playing festivals with musical greats Emmylou Harris, Guy Clark, Jackson Browne and Loudon Wainwright. He has great stories from the tour; from the bad — stolen suitcases (and wondering why they didn’t steal his CDs), bar fights and blackberry patch break-downs — to the amazing — sitting off stage being inspired by Richard Thompson, drinking the perfect Guinness (and missing Kenny Rogers’ set) and sitting on the cliffs of Galway.
Smith’s latest CD, Field of Crows, is much like his tour, shifting from despair to hope. This album was borne from the war in Iraq, the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the 2004 election. “It always strikes me that in times like these, with all the craziness in the world, all the personal loss and tragedy, hope holds a high value. It means something when there seems to be so little of it,” says Smith, talking about the album.
Smith is playing as part of the Acoustic Café Series housed at the Old Centrum Auditorium, 520 E. 12th St. You can expect to hear songs from Field of Crows and music from his expansive catalogue of original songs.