Late Friday and Saturday night belong this week to Broad Ripple Music Fest, whose mega-tents and three-stage parties should occupy your time into the bewitching hours. But keep an eye on the rest of the week, which will feature art-rap trio Das Racist, jazz violinist Regina Carter (playing African folk) and singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer (playing with Indian classical musicians).
Carpenter is a bit less country these days; now that she's moved from major labels to Rounder offshoot Zoe, she doesn't have to craft work with crossover appeal and can pretty much follow her muse. On last year's "The Age of Miracles," her muse prompted her to write, with typical insight and soulfulness, about Tiananmen Square, marriage, long-term relationships and the plight of Ernest Hemingway's wife. 7:30 p.m., $30-100, all-ages.
The fifth annual Broad Ripple Music Fest kicks off this Friday with two big shows. Kate Lamont will say farewell to Indy with an EP release show at The Vogue; after more than decade at the center of Indy's music and social justice scene, she's headed to San Francisco at the close of the year. And a tent outside of Connor's will feature YouTube-famous hip-hop collective Turquoise Jeep. $10 for kickoff party at The Vogue (no wristband access); $10 individual ticket or $15 wristband for Connor's Pub mega-tent.
The Fest rolls on with a night of showcases tucked in every nook and cranny of the village, from the Connor's Pub mega-tent (headlined by Of Montreal lead singer Kevin Barnes, in DJ form) to Casba (home of the Heavy Gun beat battle), from TRU Nightclub (three stages of bass, house and other flavors of EDM) to the Mousetrap (hosting a Mojo-booked jam and dance party). $15 for all-access wristband; ticket prices vary for individual shows.
During her time serving as a cultural ambassador to India, Bloomington singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer happened to run into the Khan family, who are best known as masters of the sarod, an Indian classical instrument that is to the sitar as the cello is to the violin. They hit it off immediately, and when the Khans made a trip to the States, they stopped by Bloomington to collaborate with Newcomer on her fifteenth album, "Everything is Everywhere." Wade Coggeshall has more of the story, including interviews with Newcomer and the Khans. 7:30 p.m., $18 (available at Global Gifts), all-ages.
The biggest surprise with the Bacon Brothers, a band fronted by movie star Kevin Bacon, is how little they suck. In fact, they're a pretty versatile band, ranging from Wallflowers-style alt-rock to more roots-infused stuff, with some Stones-inspired hard rock and blues to boot. Michael Bacon is the full-time musician in the crew, and he's now become a sought-after film composer. 8 p.m., $15-90, all-ages.
Sure, you may associate the Buselli-Wallarab brand with a big band, but they can split into other formations, including the time-honored septet. And, yeah, you may think of Ellington as a guy who largely wrote for big bands, but he found the time to write and record hundreds of works for septet during his super-prolific career. So you pretty much have the idea behind this show. 8 and 10 p.m., $15, 21+.
Brooklyn-based art-rap trio Das Racist is back for another go at Indy this year, moving uptown to The Vogue after a packed show at the White Rabbit in April. Since that gig, they released their debut full-length, "Relax," which is funnier, angrier and more insightful than just about any record put out this year. Feel free to revisit our interview with Das Racist emcee Victor Vasquez, conducted this April. 9 p.m., $15 advance (plus fees), $17 door, 21+.
The always-adventurous Detroit-born jazz violinist Regina Carter used a 2006 MacArthur Fellowship to research and prepare her latest album, "Reverse Thread," which offers her take on African folk music, from Ugandan Jewish music to Afro-Cuban jazz. Her touring act features Carter backed by Yacouba Sissoko on kora (the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers, or griots), as well as accordion, bass and drums. 7 and 9 p.m., $25, 21+.
As tastes change, it's good to know that Matthew Sweet remains one of our leading producers of power-pop, both as an artist (his latest, "Modern Art," has been picking up solid reviews since its September release) and a producer (he was at the helm for the latest effort by The Bangles, which has been called their most energetic effort since their debut). 8 p.m., $18 advance, $20 door, 21+.