Thursday, April 27, 2006

Indianapolis ignored by national touring acts

Note: This is another column by my music editor "the kid"

About a half dozen or more times a year, I travel out of state. During those times in airports and assorted bars I wander in and inevitably meet someone else and strike up a conversation. Those situations can at first be awkward while both people size up each and try to break the ice. Almost by nature, most people attempt to do this by the easiest question that comes to mind: “So, where are you from?” When I respond Indianapolis, I am met with varying levels of response or curiosity. Half the people I talk seem to think Indianapolis is a neon cornfield inhabited by slack jaw yokels enamored with watching cars go around real fast. About twenty five percent of people I talk to actually have some idea about Indy, which is based primarily on sports, or based on their experiences when they were here twenty years prior. The remaining persons, and those who I particularly enjoy the most, generally respond with variable degree of wording: “Nice City.”

Indianapolis is a city ripe with potential and dreams of becoming a great city in its own right. It appears that our city leaders have realized that our city does have an image problem of sorts and have made efforts to minimize it. Our leaders have hired an advertising firm from New York to help with our “branding”. To show our progression our leadership touts our life science assets to give some indication that the city is on the cutting edge. Also our media outlets try to help our own self-image. Whenever our fair city hosts a big event, the local media comb the city for a visitor for a sound bite about how wonderful it is here. I can almost hear Sally Field in the background yelling “You like me, you really like me.”

As much as I would defend Indianapolis to all naysayers, it is hard to defend the city when it comes to our concert scene. Although the city does get a few national tours, the bookings in our city are as cutting edge as a phonograph. During the past few months several bands that I enjoy and who have toured the country have not bothered to stop by the Circle City. Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, Secret Machines, Elefant, Nada Surf, Artic Monkeys, Tapes N Tapes, Elf Power, Belle and Sebastian and the New Pornographers are some of the few whose only stop in Hoosier State at best consisted or will consist of a restroom break off I-65 on their way to Chicago. Can someone explain to me how Birmingham, Alabama can get the Strokes while we spend our Fridays at the Music Mill jamming to a Guns and Roses’ tribute band?
Now don’t get me wrong. This writer is no stranger to the emotional brilliance of “Rocket Queen”, but they fact still remains that the original band put out that song almost twenty years ago while new critically lauded bands steer clear of Indiana.

The easy answer is that our city does not have enough places to play. But simply put that isn’t true. In addition to one of the most successful amphitheaters in the country located in the Northern suburbs (Torpor has agreed to but a round of shots for anyone who can prove that they consistently call it Verizon Wireless Music Center and not Deer Creek), our larger venues include Conseco Fieldhouse, the Murat, and Clowes Hall. On the smaller level, and venues probably most appropriate for some bands on their first album, the city has the Vogue, Music Mill, Birdy’s, Emerson Theater, the Lawn at White River State Park and Radio Radio all, in my humble opinion, under used.

Perhaps the concert promoters of the Country share the same lack of familiarity with the city as I have encountered. As such they don’t feel that our city has quite the open mind to go see a band that may not have a song on heavy rotation on our local “alternative” station. Or perhaps it is the curse of the Rolling Stones who after not selling out the Dome several years back damned the city and swore never to return. All I know is that as a friend stated recently, when it comes to concerts Indianapolis doesn’t get much love.

That being said I have a few suggestions, some feasible some a little more difficult, to address this problem:

1. Our local radio station. Right now our local alternative station boasts a play-list that was rocking in 1995, but is very much dated today. Although the station deserves some credit for playing local bands Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos and the Virgin Millionaires the fact still remains that their play-list is dictated by corporate giant Clear Channel. I submit to you that if those persons who make the decisions what will play well in Indianapolis don’t know the city or have opinions that don’t reflect the city’s growing level of sophistication we will still be singing to Seven Mary Three five years from now. However, if by some chance, corporate has allowed the play-list decisions to be made locally, then it is plain sad that they don’t believe that the listeners could handle a song by a unknown or newer band but during two time periods: the wonderful “Hang-over Café” on Sunday morning or their edge of the X play-list for 15 minutes in the evening. If a newer band has a song that actually had some playing time here, then promoters might take a chance and book them here for a show.

2. Our colleges. Indianapolis, simply put, is not a college town. That being said, we still have several institutes of higher learning in the metro area. College should be a time of exploration and that includes to which music to be exposed. The student leadership at the area colleges should attempt to book some of the new noteworthy bands to come to their schools. Each school in the area that I am aware of has the space for a touring band to play and should capitalize on the opportunity.

3. Our local leadership. I say this tongue in cheek with the city leaders dealing with more pressing issues such as the sewers running amok and the consolidation of our police forces. However, if the city can pony up the dough for an advertising firm in New York then surely the city could front the money for a potential revenue-generating event that would bring the city an immediate buzz. Think about a Coachella, Bonnaroo, or Lollapoloza right in downtown Indianapolis. With an impressive line-up, imagine the number of potential visitors that would come to the city who would have never come here before nor would have a reason to outside of the month of May. When I say impressive I don’t mean Hoobastank rocking out the Circle during Final Four weekend but critically lauded bands (I will note some bands I indicated above are not an all encompassing list). But if anything, Final Four weekend showed it was that downtown could support a very large crowd for a concert as eighty thousand attended the Mellencamp show. Pulling off such an event would generate more buzz nationally than the commercials the city runs in other Midwestern cities and might influence concert promoters that the city could handle a band mostly ignored by our local radio.

Until the time Indianapolis is no longer ignored by concert promoters of newer bands, it will be road trips and disappointment. I look forward to the time when Indianapolis, when it comes to bookings, is at least in the same neighborhood as Chicago. Until then, enjoy “Paradise City” by some Axl wanna-be. By the way, if someone gets the chance to talk to that guy on Friday, see if he has any insight to when Chinese Democracy is finally coming out.

--The Kid

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Don't call it a comeback

The Mumps has been here for years.

I don't have a child so I don't know what sort of vaccinations are required today, but I remember being vaccinated against diseases which seem pretty rare these days: Measles, mumps, rubella, diptheria, pertussis, etc. I think I had the measles, but I was living a third world country called England, so what could I expect?

I was surprised to see mumps in the news again recently.

There are over 1,000 cases in Iowa, a case at Indiana Universtiy, and other isolated cases all over the country. Apparently, there have been over 100,000 reported cases of mumps in the UK over the past two years while there were only around 400 cases reported in the United States in 2003. It is believed that this strain may have come from there. What the hell?

The most common symptoms are fever, headache and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. It can lead to more severe problems, such as hearing loss, meningitis and swollen testicles, which can lead to infertility. It does not respond to antibiotics.

I guess this is one more reason never to go to Iowa. I'll take my chances with England.

Fox News in the White House?

I am absolutely shocked the White House would find its new press secretary at Fox News. Tony Snow should find this new position to be no different than his one at Fox News. Where is the challenge?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Random Post Which Keeps Growing

R. Kelly performed in concert last night in Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Star link to his review read: R.Kelly-Singer cranks up sex machine during Murat show. Is this a good thing? Do we want r.kelly cranking up his sex machine when he is alleged to have done this and this?* I haven't followed the case, but why isn't this man in jail yet?

*In fairness to David Lindquist, I am not sure he wrote the title for the link that has since disappeared from the front page. He also addresses r.kelly's legal problems in his review.

In other news, Masson has an interesting piece about n impeachment resolution pending before the Illinois General Assembly. This article claims there is a provision in the House Rules that allows a joint resolution of a state legislature to initiate federal impeachment proceedings. This may be a story to follow.

Former Baseball player and current broadcaster Keith sniff! Hernandez believes women do not belong in the dugout.

DailyKos has a link for the Ten Commandments of the Labor Movement.

I receive an extra one hundred page hits a day from people who come here looking for AOSept Clearcare. Surprisingly, that's even more than the time I mentioned "p0rn" in a blog entry.

Oh, and this blog is one year old.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Earth Day

Earth Day was yesterday.

The BBC has a photo essay which depicts several "then and now" shots of world landmarks to show the effects of global warming. The difference over the course of a few years is stark.

You can check your ecological footprint here. I am embarrassed to say my own personal footprint is 26 acres. I blame that on this city's lack of quality public transportation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Free Legal Form

Lawyers often use boilerplate forms for motions and sometimes all they need to do is to change a name or a date. Occasionally, they come across a unique situation where they must craft their own response. Lawyers, this motion is one motion you may want to stash away in your filing cabinet. It is a "Motion for a Fistfight" which apparently was filed in a Montana case.

Click the link and read the motion. It is quite funny.

Thanks to Jim for bringing this to my attention.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cheney to visit Indianapolis

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

This is what the Chinese are doing with the money they are making from all of the plastic @%$# you're buying from them.

A 40 ft. statue of Optimus Prime (leader of the the Autobots from Transformers) in Kumning, China.

New Indiana slogan to be announced today

After months of speculation – and plenty of jokes – Indiana gets its new state slogan on Wednesday.

I don't think "Indiana, flat, fat and all that" will win.

Update: The new slogan is 'Restart Your Engines'

I don't like it. Is it implying that we were stalled and sputtering?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Everyone is talking about the big storm Friday night. I was at Key Cinemas watching the Life of Brian and they stopped the film and made us go to basement. I have never seen it storm harder than it was. There was golfball size hail and I don't know how my car emerged unscathed. Anyway, here are other bloggers' comments about the storm: Jim, Indygirl, braingirl, and Indyness.

Jezebella is back with a good rant against the Democrat minority leader, Pat Bauer.

One shouldn't wait until the last day to sit down and figure out their taxes if they're going to end up owing a bunch of money.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but I like Myspace Yeah, I may be the oldest one there, but it's a good way to find cool music and new bands.

Monday, April 17, 2006

AOSept update

Someone commented they were able to buy some aosept on the southside of Indianapolis last night. My shipment of 8 bottles just shipped yesterday as well. I couldn't wait for them to arrive so I went to a southside CVS and bought the last bottle. Anyway, I'll have 9 bottles, so if the shortage continues, I can probably hook you up.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Margot & the Nuclear So and Sos

Note: This is the debut column of my music editor "The Kid".

I like the show Family Guy. For those of you who in the age of day-light savings time who have not grown addicted to the late night programing of the Cartoon Network, Family Guy is an animated show about a family's misadventures in Rhode Island. It is also famously the only show in television history that was both cancelled and then brought back by the same network. After two years of strong ratings and DVD sales, Fox brought back the show to prime-time this past year. On its first episode after the two year hiatus, the main character and patriarch, Peter Griffin, makes a speech. In his speech he mockingly names all the shows Fox had cancelled in the two years since the last original airing of Family Guy. I couldn't help but to think of that scene last night as I found myself at the Vogue watching the latest Hoosier contribution to the national music scene, the memorably titled Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos. In my head I listed all these bands- The Why Store, Old Pyke, Transamatic, Wonderdrug- whose base was Indiana but whose nationally released albums were met with minimal or little success.

In the past twenty years, it isn't like Indiana hasn't contributed to the national rock landscape. There is a picture of Axl Rose up at the Indiana State Museum for Christ's sake. And one can't forget that the too soon departed Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon was from Lafayette. But most of our very own who have made it have played down their connection to Indiana or like Rose or Hoon got their start and break outside the Hoosier State. The reality is except for some guy named Mellencamp, an Indiana based music artist hasn't produced a song that made its way to America's conscience since the Reagan era. Henry Lee Summer, where are you?

Indianapolis based Margot seem cognizant of this sorry fact and have done their best to escape it. While reading their official bio on their web site I was struck that the band indicated their origin began with the innocuous "somewhere in the Mid-West". I forgave them for this little misstep when Torpor's own and myself found ourself at the Vogue for what was billed as Margot's coming home show.

For those out there who haven't heard of Margot, here's the brief story. Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos are an eight member band consisting of seven men and one woman. They got their unique name, in part, from a character on Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums. Their music probably would fit in the category of chamber pop, a la Sufjan Stevens or Matt Pond PA, where in addition to the standard guitars and bass their group includes a trumpet and a cello. New York based Artemis Records re-released their debut album "The Dust of Retreat" in a re-mixed form last month that had been previously released by Indianapolis based Standard.

Anyway, back to the show. After the opening act LA based Something for Rockets and England's South (who Torpor and I came to the conclusion are actually the headliner but stepped aside in deference to Margot's homecoming), Margot took the stage and began what would be a 75 minute set.

Their set actually consisted mostly of songs off of "Dust" with a few songs from a second album in the works (and also to be released on Artemis). Titles of songs, like people's names, I too soon forget and these new songs are no exception, sans one and certainly a highlight of the night-"Broad Ripple is Burning". This song seemed to get a rise out of the local crowd with excitement similar to seeing a local landmark on televison while traveling out of State. Torpor himself could not contain his excitement when he heard Margot sing in the same song about Fountain Square, a local neighborhood with an odd combination of mullets, art, hamburgs and duckpin bowling.

Their new work sounded great but being more familiar with their work on "Dust", I looked forward to hearing how these songs played live and seeing how all eight could coordinate together. Front and center of the band was the 21 year old lead singer and chief song writer, Richard Edwards. Immediately behind Edwards was one of their two drummers. On either side of the lead singer were the remaining six members of the band, with three on either side. I was not disappointed with how each song was presented nor the energy the band brought to the performance. In fact I was impressed and a little surprised by how animated the band was. The most animated member had to be Casey Tennis, who when not beating the second set of cymbals moved from one side of the stage to the other moving to beat of each song. The whole band seemed energized by the local crowd who knew who they were to begin with. This seemed to free up the band's creative energy to completely focus on entertaining the crowd as it was not concerned with winning then over
The other highlights of the set are two of my favorite songs off of "Dust". The first was "Skeleton Key". "Skeleton Key's" lyrics are indicative of Edwards' abilities as a song writer. Each one of Margot's songs are finely crafted pieces of melancholy that hit an emotional chord but do not reach the level of whining. The "Skeleton Key" played last night sounded more like the version (which I prefer) found on their Standard release. The other personal highlight was the standout song on "Dust"- "Quiet as a Mouse" that happens to their first single. Those mildly familiar with Margot may have heard "Quiet..." in heavy rotation on Sirius' Left of Center. "Quiet..." was one of the few songs of the night that all eight members appear actively involved in the song (someone give the trumpeter something to do). It's also the song that could likely bring Margot the national attention that this talented and entertaining band from "somewhere in the Mid-West" should receive.

The band concluded the night with all three bands on the bill playing on the stage simultaneously. It also was the only song I have every seen live where some body played the underused musical instrument, the hula hoop. I am not sure what that clown was accomplishing from a musical standpoint by pumping the hula hoop in the air. But I am going to lay this out there in case some one on the tour finds themself reading this article and feel they want to go in another direction with their hula hoop section. This writer plays the hula hoop and would welcome the opportunity to tour (assuming he could get out of his demanding duties as Torporindy’s music editor).

A local writer summed it up best recently about Margot, they're not good for Indiana they're just good. If you didn't make it out to the Vogue last night, you may have missed the chance to see some locals before they make it on the national scene. Still I felt the same about local legends The Why Store, but somehow, it just feels different this time.

Pick up Margot's The Dust of Retreat at Luna or

--The Kid

Mitch Daniels

It's not just Pacer fans who are not fans of Mitch Daniels.

Mitch Daniels is tied for 46th place in SurveyUSA's latest list of governor approval ratings. He tied with Arnold Schwarzenegger and is behind Katrina victim Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I am going to the Margot and the Nuclear So and So's show at the Vogue. My music editor will write a review of the show. Yes, I have a music editor and it's about time he started contributing.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I am jonesing for some AOSept Clear Care

Remember when Elaine on Seinfeld found out the Today Sponge was going off of the market? She bought the available supply and horded it in her closet. This is how I feel about AOSept Clear Care solution for contact lenses. My eyes are sensitive and this is the only solution that works for my eyes. For some reason, the product has been off of the market for several months. I am still not sure why. I heard there was a mechanical breakdown at one of their Canadian factories and I've also heard it blamed on some nebulous "distribution problem". Whatever it is, I need some badly. I found some on ebay for 50 dollars a bottle. I am not quite there yet, but I am close. I did order 8 bottles on for 57 dollars, but this order is on backlog. The Ciba website claims a shipment is on the way, but I don't know if I can wait. If any of you are holding out there, please let me know.
Yes, just like I mentioned the other day, he has found his issue.

Hostettler slams lack of arrests at rallies

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

People you meet on the Circle

I was walking yesterday at lunchtime and I met the individual pictured below. He granted me permission to take his photograph. He also handed me a pamphlet which listed his website with a lot of his unconventional views on subjects as diverse as Mayor Peterson, WKRP in Cincinnati, Krogers, irradiated mail and why the 2004 Indiana Pacers lost the NBA championship.

Also, check out this photograph of yesterday's protest march. The crowd was estimated at over 20,000 people.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Nuvo has an article about a new bus service which links Indianapolis to Chicago, Columbus and Cincinnati. If you buy early, the round trip could be as low as two dollars. I looked up Chicago for a Friday departure and a Sunday return and the roundtrip fares ranged from 9-16 dollars. That's not too bad, especially when you factor in gas and parking in Chicago. I think this bus makes perfect sense to go to Chicago. It is much better to read or maybe drink while on 4 hour bus trip than it is sit behind the wheel in crawling bumper to bumper traffic on the skyway.

I don't know if I would take the bus for the Cincinnati and Columbus routes unless I were going to a Crew match or Reds game and then to return home. These cities do not have the public transportation that Chicago has and I would want a car if I were to stay a period of time.

Here is Megabus' site.

Hostettler finds his issue

John Hostettler has appeared vulnerable in almost every election since his defeat of the late, great Frank McCloskey in 1992. He has given his enemies plenty of fodder from his comments about the right to possess nuclear arms, linking abortion and breast cancer and his handgun arrest at a Louisville airport. This year, he is facing his most formidable opponent (Vanderburgh Co. Sheriff Brad Ellsworth) in the past few elections. He is obviously nervous, but I think he has found his issue to galvanize the rural southwestern Indiana citizens who provide the votes to elect him year after--immigration. He appeared as a guest columnist in yesterday's Indianapolis Star.

I am from southwestern Indiana and I hate to admit that his hardline approach, which blames illegal immigration from everything from American job losses to 9/11 will resonate with a lot of voters from that area. This may be the issue he needs to deflect all of the criticism away from his other extreme policies and his decision to vote against Katrina aid.

Friday, April 7, 2006

The President in his own words...

Bush, press briefing September 30, 2003:

"Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.


I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.


leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And we've had them -- there's too much leaking in Washington. That's just the way it is. And we've had leaks out of the administrative branch, had leaks out of the legislative branch, and out of the executive branch and the legislative branch, and I've spoken out consistently against them and I want to know who the leakers are.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Papers: Cheney Aide Says Bush OK'd Leak

I thought President Bush said he'd fire the leakers.

Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.

Before his indictment, I. Lewis Libby testified to the grand jury investigating the CIA leak that Cheney told him to pass on information and that it was Bush who authorized the disclosure, the court papers say. According to the documents, the authorization led to the July 8, 2003, conversation between Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller.


Tell Matt Tully who should be Indiana's next Governor

The other day Matt Tully jokingly suggested John Mellencamp should run for governor. This comment spurred a discussion and Tully has now opened his blog for serious reader suggestions as to who should run for governor. The first suggestion was Michael Jackson. Who do you think should be our next gubernatorial candidate?

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

What else is there to say?

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

In the evening April four...

Martin Luther King was killed on this day in 1968 in Memphis.

Robert Kennedy was campaigning in Indianapolis on that day and gave an extemporaneous speech to the crowd. Here is an excerpt.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

Indianapolis was one of the few large cities without major rioting and unrest on the day of this tragedy. There is a historical marker at 17th and Broadway where Robert Kennedy gave his speech.

You haven't lived until you've offended an Indianapolis Star reader

Conservatibbs linked my DST post to the Indianapolis Star forum. At least one guy was offended by the so-called blasphemy, the “impeach bush” banner and the tastelessness of the joke. Come on! I have never claimed to be Jonathan Swift, but anyone should be able to see the intended joke on Pat Robertson and my fellow Hoosiers who had to be dragged kicking and screaming into DST.

In the meantime, I am enjoying the page hits.

Monday, April 3, 2006

God is punishing us for DST

At first last night's storm was an annoyance during the Sopranos, but I knew it was serious after the Emergency Broadcast System interrupted HBO.

We have no basement in our house and a lot of first floor windows, so we decided the pantry was the safest place in the house. We stayed there for fifteen minutes.

The pictures below depict damage to one of the tallest buildings in Indianapolis. I work around a block away from here. It was interesting to watch the footage of Mellencamp concertgoers taking shelter in Jillian's and other downtown businesses during the storm.

Where were you during the storm? Did you suffer any damage?

Girder that fell from the Region's Bank Building. (photos from Indianapolis Star

Another photo of Regions Bank damage

And again
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