Seventh Annual Allotropy
Oct. 8-9, 5-10 p.m.
The Model Mill Building, Eighth and Mulberry streets, Noblesville
All ages welcome; cash bar for 21 and older
Information: www.primarycolours.org www.mythopeicindustries.org Lord of the Yum-Yum This weekend’s Allotropy Art & Jazz Showcase in Noblesville is not just another nice collaboration between Central Indiana’s music and visual arts scenes.
Along with a juried exhibition of 30 artists’ work, the seventh annual event, organized by the not-for-profit arts group Primary Colours, will include seven live acts and two DJs.
The pairing of sight and sound is not unusual in itself, but the lineup booked by independent promoter Nick Ohler’s Mythopeic Industries could make this the edgiest musical happening to hit Hamilton County in a while. Six acts hailing from as far as New York, all loosely fitting under the umbrella of jazz, will perform during the two-day event, which takes place in a landmark 19th century building now under renovation.
The MC will be a unique, Chicago-based performer with increasing visibility in Indianapolis. He is called Lord of the Yum-Yum, and his stated goal is “to take the modern voice to a new place.”
The Lord’s repertoire boasts some of the most beloved melodies of Western civilization, including Bizet’s “Carmen,” Mozart’s “Rondo à la Turk” and Copland’s “Hoedown.” The presentation, however, is not entirely conventional.
Picture a lanky guy in a funny suit, bouncing around the room with a wireless microphone and vocalizing nonverbally through an echo pedal to create showers of overlapping sound. It’s an act that looks like David Byrne, works like Freddie Mercury and sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
This outlandish persona emerges from an otherwise unassuming fellow named Paul Velat, a former punk rocker who earned a composition degree and now teaches elementary school music and leads a Presbyterian church choir. When he’s not tied up in his day gigs, or performing with one of his accordion-based rock bands, he makes time for a wife, some cats and the Yum-Yum thing.
This past Sunday, the Lord opened for Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Cheer Accident at the hipster nightclub Radio Radio. At 4 p.m. Saturday, prior to Allotropy, he will appear at the Cottage Home Neighborhood’s 20th annual block party.
NUVO recently enjoyed an intimate chat with the Lord. The edited results follow.
NUVO: Is the powder-blue tuxedo a signature element of the Lord’s stage presentation?
Lord: I have expanded now to two other suits. I have one that’s red with a gold ruffle shirt, and I have a canary yellow suit with a canary yellow ruffle shirt, which I’ll probably be showcasing at these upcoming shows.
NUVO: Is it challenging to confront the audience the way you do, breaking down the “fourth wall,” as they say in the theater?
Lord: It’s part of the act to have the wireless and go out and bring people into the show in some way, whether they’re into it or not. Usually they’re not, but that’s OK. Sometimes they enjoy it and get really into it. But yeah, losing the inhibitions was not something that came overnight, and I’m still working on it every time I play.
NUVO: What is that device you use? Lord: It’s a live loop-making pedal that allows me to do as many layers as I want, up to 40 seconds. It’s made by Akai, and it’s called the Head Rush. I don’t know that they make them anymore. I recently purchased something to be my backup, because it’s broken on me a couple times during live gigs.
NUVO: What do you do when you’re not being Lord of the Yum-Yum?
Lord: I teach at a Catholic school, believe it or not, and I do Yum-Yum style pieces for the kids sometimes, and they just love it. They go crazy for it. They’re always asking me to “do the gibberish”; that’s what they call it.
Other acts at this year’s Allotropy FRIDAY
• Conference Call - New York-based quartet features German woodwind virtuoso Gebhard Ullmann (bass clarinet, bass flute, tenor and soprano sax), percussionist George Schuller and the piano-bass duo of Michael Jefrey Stevens and Joe Fonda. All four members compose for the band.
• IsWhat?! - Hip-hop-flavored Chicago trio comprised of Jack Walter on sax, Matthew Anderson on bass and Napoleon on vocals and human beatbox. • Hakan Ali Toker - A member of the Bloomington world-music band Salaam, this Turkish-born pianist has performed solo and with orchestras in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Denmark, Iceland and the United States.
• ZZZZ - Chicago scene veterans Steve Sostak on sax, Greg Sharp on drums, John Brady on bass and Ellen Bunch on electric piano create a sound that is danceable and pleasantly spooky.
• Monster Zero Orchestra - Bloomington-based ensemble can field nine or more players, led by composer-arranger-drummer Koven Smith, formerly of Saraswati.
• Impulse Trio - Local combo features drummer Matt Price, keyboardist Kathy Ryan and bassist Steve Wolf, formerly of Birdmen of Alcatraz. Both nights will include the DJed sounds of Mpozi, spinning reggae, and E. Brown, spinning avant-jazz.
Scott Hall writes about music and stuff at www.onthebeat.org.