This is a good weekend to party. Between the 20-person IU Brazilian Ensemble drum ensemble and the 10-plus member Flores de Samba dance band, there'll be enough drummers gathered at The Jazz Kitchen Saturday night's Carnaval party to come close to matching the decibel level of your average street dance in Rio. And that's not to mention DJ Kyle Long's second-to-none record collection, which he'll be spinning all night, and the giant vats of caipirinhas, which we'll be drinking all night. As the week drives on, several venues will host de-facto Mardi Gras parties — The Jazz Kitchen, as is usually the case, but also Room 929 at the Ripple Inn, where three bands will fight for space and stage time during a jam-packed show, and Big Car, where the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt will coordinate a weirdly-costumed, synth-driven, boundary-pushing shindig that'll capture the free spirit of Fat Tuesday, if without any of its cultural trappings. (And in case of interest, the Terror Pigeon team will stay the rest of the week in Indy, stopping by the Earth House this Friday.)
But, of course, there are plenty of sit-down shows this week, including Friday's concert by two of the state's finest singer-songwriters, Krista Detor and Cara Jean Wahlers. Take your pick:
A couple Indiana singer-songwriters share the bill: Cara Jean Wahlers, whose 2010 collaboration with cellist Grover Parido, Goodnight Charlotte, charted on this year’s Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll, and Bloomington’s Krista Detor, whose most recent album, Chocolate Paper Suites, was called “a small miracle” by Germany’s Rolling Stone and “intriguing” and “impressive” by The Guardian. For more, read our 2010 profiles of Wahlers and Detor. 8 p.m., $10, 21+.
As a younger man, Ben Taylor, the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, tried to shirk his destiny. He wanted to be an organic farmer, a tour guide — anything but a musician. But the pull was too strong, and 10 years into a solo career and now confident that he could make it on his own, Ben embarked on his first tour with his father this winter. He explained his decision to NUVO's Wade Coggeshall this week. 8 p.m., sold out, all-ages.
By most accounts, the inaugural Girls Rock Indianapolis day camp was a success, helping to turn mild-mannered middle schoolers into nascent rock stars within the course of a week. Girls Rock will do it again this year, with the camp slated for early August, and a fundraising concert Friday at Talbott Street. Pop Lolita, the late-‘90s dream pop band that would seem not to be broken anymore, being as this is their second reunion show within a week, will headline, joined by the pleasantly abrasive indie rock band Pravada and singer-songwriter Carrie Pietz. 9 p.m., $5, 21+.
The West coast rapper Murs has been making smart, mainstream-ready hip-hop for over 15 years, sometimes on major labels, but usually on the underground and in collaboration with indie hip-hop stars like Slug, the Atmosphere emcee with whom he formed the duo Felt. 7 p.m., $14 advance (eventbrite.com), $16 door, 21+.
When Indy music scene veterans Kathie and Patrick O’Connor moved back from California last year, they brought along with them their power-pop group The Shake Ups. The band premieres new material Saturday at the Irving. 8 p.m., $5, 21+.
In a sense, folks in the music scene, like in the baseball world, take it easy during the winter months, when festivals have run their course, when bands on national tours aren’t looking for support, when it’s too cold to even think about going out. So here’s your chance to see some local emcees loosen up for the coming year. Featuring Mic Sol & Ace One with SPStar, Oreo Jones, Son of Thought & F.I.R.E., Hinx Jones and DJ Deadrisk. 10 p.m., $5, 21+.
The Cultural Cannibals throw parties all year, sure, but it’s only for Carnaval that they pull out all the stops, booking two huge bands (the IU Brazilian Ensemble, Chicago’s Flores do Samba), hooking up a live video feed of the festivities in Rio, stocking crates of Brazilian beers and drinks and muddling together hundreds, no thousands, of caipirinhas. Not to be missed.
10 p.m., $12 advance (brownpapertickets.com), $15 door, 21+
A Pink Floyd tribute show devoted to keeping it "intimate" and achieving the "sensual attack of Floyd," according to the show's website. The band will perform Animals in its entirety, in addition to all of your favorite hits. 7:30 p.m., $32.50-79.75 (plus applicable fees), all-ages.
A gathering of jam bands featuring industry leader and Owl Studios recording artist Twin Cats, up-and-comer LadyMoon, 2010 Battle of Birdy’s winner The Breakdown Kings (not really a jam band, more rap-rock) and DJ Indiana Jones, y’know, jamming it on the turntables. All in celebration of Mardi Gras. Expect it to be packed; the bands alone will take up a lot of available space. 10 p.m. $5, 21+.
NYC’s The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, called “the performance art party band to end all performance art party bands” by Papermag, may very well throw the dance party to end all dance parties Tuesday night in the Big Car space. The group, whose membership ranges from four to forty depending on the show (we’re guessing closer to four when on the road), puts on delirious, interactive live shows heavy on props and costumes (coats made of stuffed animals, pumpkin suits, disco ball hats, glitter, strobe lights). 8 p.m., 21+.