Indy-based funk and hip hop rock band Audiodacity to release their first full length album on Friday March 20th at The Vogue.
Audiodacity is celebrating proper with a stacked lineup featuring some of Indy’s finest local talent presented under the theme of #SUITUP. Guests will arrive at The Vogue’s doorstep by way of a red carpet, assuming they make it past the paparazzi with no issue, and are encouraged to dress to impress.
Audiodacity – a six-member band – was built from an eclectic mix of backgrounds and instruments (vocals, guitar, sax, trumpet, bass and drums make up the band’s arsenal of talent) and that converged diversity is apparent on their debut album, On A Roll.
From the jammy guitar solo and dreamy melodies on “Double Take” to the warm, Caribbean flavor of “Tide” to the chill vibes and rapped vocals on closer “Vicious” – this album has something for everyone. Sure to be favored on the new album, “Never Sober” is pure rock’n’roll gold while the title track “On A Roll” finds a perfect hybrid of funk and brass that’s impossible not to groove to. And if your body isn’t moving by the time “Reign” plays, please check your pulse.
Chicago Loud 9 will follow, and you’ll not want to miss the funk, grunge, reggae and hip-hop blend that Indy Mojo writer Wes Ogden once described as having no boundaries. “They play what the moment calls for, and they do it damn well,” he wrote.
Check out the latest from cLoud9, the lead single off of their upcoming EP that serves as an introduction to their new vocalist Aya Smith and Cellist Geoffrey Kartes. “Punk Soul” has a groove that is reminiscent of 80’s funk and blends big vocals with jazz and hip hop.
Friday March 20, 9 PM, $10
The Vogue Theater
With special guests
Chicago Loud 9
The Rob Dixon Trio
Can’t get enough Audiodacity? Check back later this week for a special edition of Mojo Minute!
These tour stats are impressive, but they barely begin to scratch the surface of understanding what it takes to produce a DIY tour with fully independent artists. As he prepares to take his entourage on the fourth #ghostgunsummer road tour in a year, I asked Freddie Bunz to talk about his plans for this run and how he keeps track of all the moving parts.
The Necessity of Touring
The tour will consist of a caravan of three vehicles: one van carrying the nine-person #ghostgunsummer team (a hybrid of Heavy Gun and GhostTown Collective members & their road crew), another van occupied by nine members of Bored. and one car with a filmmaking group from Musical Family Tree. All in all, a grand total of 22 people.
Bunz, the organizer of the tour, didn’t get here over night, though. In fact, he credits Andy D for taking him under his road warrior wing .
“Andy D really did show me a lot. A large part of it is all about making real connections with the people you meet,” Bunz says reflecting on his first time performing on the road.
Building on that momentum, Bunz hit the road again a few months later (this time without Andy D’s guidance) and then again in more recent months. This time around, he’s nearly got it down to a science – right down to the hired driver who doubles as a roadside chef.
Bunz says he never saw himself playing this role (“I thought I was just gonna be like, Freddie Bunz – the artist.”) but one day realized that people won’t just stumble onto his music and become life-long devoted fans on their own.
So he started booking tours because, he says, “That’s what it takes is… leaving here.”
It’s all part of the bigger picture that focuses around building a network of venues and promoters across multiple states and cities. Local fame is great, but Bunz isn’t quick to settle into the idea of working in a bubble, either. And for him, it’s not enough to share Naptown talent with the rest of the country; he wants to bring new styles and sounds to The Circle City, too.
“I used to think, ‘Man! There’s just so much talent here,’ but the truth of it is –there’s dope stuff in every single city on this planet. There are really great, passionate artists of every stroke everywhere you go and I want to be able to feature as much of that as I can.”
Which speaks to the necessity of touring: He has to build that network of contacts that both trust him and who he can trust when it comes to quality, reliable artists so that they can trade dates and share audiences whenever new talent is ready to try their hand at touring.
The Art of Touring
Bunz says he learns something critical every time he and the #ghostgunsummer crew start another adventure on the road. The biggest lesson he learned on the last tour, he says, is timing. Arriving at the destination long before the show starts that night is a crucial part of keeping morale high and stress levels low.
Because of this, they often leave in the middle of the night (this is when having a hired driver comes in handy) and sleep in the van to make sure they comfortably (time wise) get where they need to be the next day. This approach ultimately buys them more chill time on travel days, allowing hour-long rest stops to stretch their legs and make a sandwich out of the cooler.
Which is another key learning Bunz has found only through trial and error: how to stay nourished for cheap while on tour. Fast food catches up quickly with both the wallet and the stomach, so it’s a luxury they reserve for days when they’re most pressed for time.
Instead, the hired driver doubles as a roadside chef and plans as many meals in advance that he possibly can. From smoked, cured meats to pre-boiled, vacuum-sealed pasta – these are all signs that suggest this ain’t these boys’ first rodeo.
But there’s so much more to gain than just how the logistics of moving and feeding bodies works. There are also valuable lessons to be learned about business, communication and networking.
In fact, it’s someone’s job on the #ghostgunsummer road crew to collect the contact information of everyone they meet at every stop on the tour. Then Bunz uses his downtime in the van to connect the very next day on all the appropriate platforms and start working on the next project, before the current one has even concluded.
“I don’t think that there’s ever a bad show,” Bunz says of the unique learning opportunity that is touring. “You might not get the turnout that you want, but something positive happens at every show – whether it’s another artist that you might want to collaborate with or him giving you a lead on another place to book a show. Something positive always comes out of it. It just happens.”
The Success of Touring
Bunz says one of the biggest keys to the success they’ve seen is by finding their niche within mid-level markets – the small-but-large cities that are often overlooked on major tours carrying mainstream acts with big record deals and deep pockets. Noting the willingness of independent artists and promoters to help each other, Bunz says he’s always amazed at how enthusiastic strangers can be when they connect on tour.
“It’s so righteous because people just care about what you’re trying to do. Most people that have pull (like promoters) see it like this: These guys are out here thousands of miles from Indiana doing something their passionate about, not even guaranteed that they’re gonna make fifty bucks. And then they just help you. It might not be money. It might be a place to sleep – and you might be laying like sardines on the floor – but it’s not in the van and that means everything.”
But, ultimately, touring is about connecting with new fans – something Bunz has seen no shortage of, either. This is also a result of the fertile mid-markets they frequent, he says.
“Cities like Augusta, GA; Chattanooga, TN; and Greenville, SC have a good population but they don’t get a lot of stuff coming through,” Bunz says of the warm reception they’ve found in these and other cities across the south.
“People just go out to shows there. That’s a thing that I’ve noticed in other cities: they have venues that people just go to no matter what. They know if the venue has something going on that night, it’s gonna be cool and they just show up.”
The closest he’s seen to something like that – a place that’s truly accessible and approachable by all social circles and musical tastes – in Indianapolis is the HiFi, which is why he’s selected it for their tour kick off show this Monday March 9th.
If you want to help support what Bunz and the rest of the #ghostgunsummer crew are doing, cough up the five bucks (proceeds to help fund food, gas and lodging on the tour) and come give them a good send off.
Curious what tour life is really like?
We are, too. That’s why we’re sending Mojo Minute correspondent Jackie Dee along on the Good Luck In Your Dreams Tour. Keep a close eye on our social media feeds using the hashtag #ghostgunsummer (on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for updates live from the field until they return home on Sunday March 22nd.
Monday March 9, 8:00 PM – $5
HiFi (1043 Virginia Ave Suite 4)
#GHOSTGUNSUMMER (FREDDIE BUNZ, OREO JONES, GREY GRANITE, SIRIUS BLVCK, JOHN STAMPS, WITH ACE ONE.)
SEDCAIRN ARCHIVES ( FORMERLY DMA )
Here’s my newest original tune – a bit of an aquatic adventure into some new territory for me. I spent a lot of time focusing on melody and sound design on “Low Tide”, and I’m happy to present it now as a free download. When writing new music, especially after finishing an album, I try to let go of my old patterns and explore new ideas and themes that inspire me — hopefully that shines through on this newest single. My friends at Vice Magazine’s THUMP were gracious enough to lace you with the premiere and download – enjoy!
When we heard The Soup Nazi was going to be in The Circle City, at a soup festival nonetheless, Mojo Munchies had to investigate. So we ventured to the south side last weekend to partake in the Indy Soup Fest at Primo Banquet Hall and we’re here to say: the event did not disappoint.
For just $8, attendees were given a generous five tasting tickets with the option to purchase additional tickets if, at the end of five small cups of soup, they still had room for more. A portion of the proceeds were donated to Gleaners Food Bank – a local non-profit organization we’re sure all of our zombies readers are quite familiar with.
Fifteen local Indianapolis restaurants were on site to serve their finest and most creative soups to those seeking adventurous varieties of everyone’s favorite winter comfort food. Naptown residents showed up in hordes to try the best of the best and cast their vote for their favorites.
We tried traditional soups such as fire roasted tomato bisque and loaded potato, but we also pushed the boundaries trying less common soups such as Mulligatawny, a delicious curry-based soup with sweet hints of apple (it’s the infamous soup that Kramer sought in the iconic Seinfeld episode featuring The Soup Nazi) and even Popcorn Lobster Bisque – a unique combination of caramel corn and butter-drenched lobster.
However, none of them stood out more than Circle City Soup’s Brown Butter, Mushroom and Gorgonzola with Caramelized Onion and Bacon soup. The texture was smooth (that’s because their mushrooms are pulverized, not diced) and the flavor bounced all over our palate leaving us wanting more!
(full disclosure: we went back for seconds)
So when we heard Circle City Soups were awarded the grand prize – Best Soup in the City – we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Here’s how the final votes fell:
- Best Cream Based Soup: Your Local Deli – Portabello Mushroom Soup
- Best Broth Based Soup: Circle City Spuds – Wild Mushroom Soup
- Most Creative Soup: Artisan Foodworks – Popcorn and Lobster Bisque
- Best Vegetarian Soup: Bluebeard/Amelia’s – Salsify Puree
- Best Gluten Free Soup: Artisan Foodworks – Popcorn Lobster Bisque
- BEST SOUP IN THE CITY: CIRCLE CITY SOUP – Brown Butter, Mushroom and Gorgonzola with Caramelized Onion and Bacon
Be sure to follow Indy Soup Fest on Facebook so you can catch all the details for their 2016 event, or else… NO SOUP FOR YOU!
(sorry – we had to)
Review compiled by Danielle Look & Gwen Wilson.
Photos by Marron Photography.
Stepping inside of Untitled Ink, a cozy tattoo parlor in the heart of The Broad Ripple Village, I heard the familiar buzz of an ink session in progress. Peering around the corner to the work station belonging to Anthony Davis, the studio’s most notorious artist, I find Rob Siemasko aka Indigo Child resting on a table.
“Are you sure you can still talk while this is going on?” I ask, settling in to a chair nearby.
“Yea,” he says, assuring me that company is no distraction. Or perhaps quite the opposite – the perfect distraction. “Rich [JFet] was here earlier,” he says.
Davis nods and chimes in, “We like to keep it relaxed around here.”
With Eminem blasting out of the tattoo parlor’s speakers and Siemasko comfortably reclined in a horizontal position on the table, Davis entered his own world of artistic meditation and went to work on his client’s right rib cage. At this point, they were nearly five hours in to the session.
Violin, MTV, and NIN: The Early Years
Although he’s been a part of the G9 Collective for nearly three years now, it’s the first chance I’ve had to speak with Siemasko about his music, so I ask him to start at the beginning.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania by parents who always encouraged his interest in music, Siemasko says his mom and dad didn’t push him in any direction or attempt to influence his decisions.
“It was never ‘We want you to be a musician,’” he says of their approach to his decision to learn to play music. His father, a guitarist, simply urged him to find a creative outlet.
So, in third grade, Siemasko picked up the violin. Four years later he drifted away from classical music and learned to play bass guitar, searching for something with more push, more drive and more emotion.
He experimented with jamtronica music but was always drawn to dark and ominous sounds and took the approach of “Let’s do this, but make it darker.”
He cites Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails (“Trent Reznor will always be my favorite producer.”) and Primus as inspiration, but remembers one specific moment in time as having a profound effect on his outlook on music.
“I remember watching early morning MTV in ’95 or ‘96 – I was still a little kid – and I saw the video for Prodigy, ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ and then the video for NIN ‘Closer’ back-to-back, and I was like “… Oh my god! I want to do this! What is this?”
The Dubstep Discovery
It wasn’t long before he found electronic music and felt a special connection to the style of the underground sounds.
“I liked how, even with music that didn’t have lyrics, I felt it and understood the emotions that were coming out of the sounds.”
It was this phenomenon – the power to capture and portray emotions by painting pictures with sound – that ultimately drove Siemasko toward electronic music. And when he discovered dubstep in the early 2000’s, he says it was love at first sight.
“It was a lot chiller than the electro and breaks and house music that a lot of people were playing. I really liked the drum patterns and tempo of it.”
It snowballed pretty quickly from there. After attending college in New Jersey and (several years later) Tennessee, he ultimately determined that college wasn’t for him and decided – after some serious soul searching that included living on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico with his adopted father – to go all in on his aspirations to make a career of music.
Landing in Indy in 2008, Siemasko soon discovered the underground jungle community at a house party headlined by Topspeed. Following invites to The Melody Inn, he quickly started performing there. Eventually, that led him to Indy Mojo shows at The Mousetrap circa 2011 – around the same time that artists like Crizzly and Heyoka were headlining Altered Thurzdaze.
Siemasko remembers, “That’s when it grabbed me and it was like, ‘This is where you fuckin’ need to be!’”
Welcome to the Family
An adamant anti-fan of social media, Siemasko grumbles about the gamification of follower counts and likes; how it’s used as a convenient shortcut to judge an artist’s worth, instead of actually checking out their work and forming their own opinion.
“I think it’s bullshit. I think the gimmicks are ridiculous. The music I listen to and the artists I listen to made it on being good,” he says, rising slightly from the table to emphasize the point he’s trying to make.
That point is that he won’t change who he is to fit someone else’s idealistic mold, just to be packaged up and sold for money. Siemasko makes it clear that his artistic mission in life is to deliver his music into the hands and ears of the people who are meant to hear his music.
“I feel like there are way too many gimmicks and way too much emphasis on followers and social networking ability, rather than saying, ‘Wow, that guy’s a badass producer.’”
He says that’s what originally drew him to Indy Mojo and why he admires organizations like G9 Collective.
“They pick up artists that are unique and different and they promote them. There are people out there who see through the bullshit and are willing to push actual good music.”
He ultimately found more than just artistic support within Indy Mojo and G9 Collective and says that’s why he’s stayed so close to everything that they’ve done over the years.
“They put mine and my family’s well-being before any of the business and the music. I really respect that.”
The Art of DJing
Siemasko says his style is more diverse now than it ever has been, but doesn’t see himself as a trend follower.
“Unless what I’m doing at the time happens to be trendy,” he adds. “I’ll produce whatever I want and whatever I’m feeling, but when you come out and see me play it’s always going to be what you expect: high energy and as ruthless and heavy as I can get. What is the threshold on intensity? How far can I take it?”
He’s been DJing since the age of 14 (that’s 10 years behind the decks) and has managed to find an equal balance of staying true to the craft while keeping up to date with technology.
“I think you should progress with the times, but at the same time, I think you should be able to know the basics of it, to appreciate it and have an idea of how to do it.”
He points a critical finger at amateur basement DJs who never took the time to learn the art – who jumped on a trend after buying their first controller and started chasing the party lifestyle with dollar signs in their eyes.
“I started mixing with vinyl and I still know how to because I can beat match by ear, but I also appreciate the new technology and I love Serato Vinyl. I think it’s the greatest thing in the world because I can have my computer and spin on the fly without even really thinking about it.”
Learning From the Best
When I ask where he learned the most about making his own original productions, he replies with no hesitation, “JFet is my hero.”
He goes on to explain the mentor-like nature of their friendship, his words heavy with gratitude and admiration.
“I think Richard has a really great grasp on sound design. He’s not afraid to share his knowledge and be open with people if they’re really hungry to do it. He wants to see motivation and I showed him motivation to do it.”
Siemasko credits JFet for lighting the creative spark that fuels his work today and says he’s always been supportive of his music.
“He’s never been like, ‘This is the only sound that you should ever have.’ Instead he says, ‘Do something that nobody else has ever thought of. Do different shit. Try different things. Be different.’”
As the tattoo session wraps up, it’s clear that Davis’ client had reached his threshold for the day. He rises to stretch and takes a look in the mirror at the new permanent art adorning his side body. He thanks me for the company and we have a good chuckle over that one time we went haunted housing together.
Reflecting on our talk as I walk to my car, one quote stands out as summing it up the best:
When I was staying with my adopted dad on the Indian reservation in New Mexico I said, ‘I want to be a medicine man. I want to do good in the world.’ And he replied, ‘Your medicine is your music.’
And that’s kind of how it’s been since then. No matter what I play, people feel me. If those people get 15 minutes out of whatever shitty situation they’re in – no matter how bad work was, no matter how bad their life is, if they just broke up with a girlfriend or whatever – I want them to come out to my show and see me play, hear my music, and hopefully realize that everything’s gonna be alright.
Follow Indigo Child:
The Mojo Minute crew spent some time catching up with Govinda in advance of his January 22nd Altered Thurzday show at The Mousetrap. Watch the full interview clip below:
Celebrate Indy CD & Vinyl’s Anniversary February 15-21
To celebrate Indy CD & Vinyl’s 14th year on Broad Ripple Avenue, and their 1st full year under ownership of Andy, Annie, and Eric, they want to party with all of their patrons for an entire week. That’s why Sunday February 15th through Saturday February 21st is Indy CD & Vinyl’s Anniversary Celebration Week.
- 10% off all used vinyl and CDs all week
- 5% off all new vinyl and CDs all week
- awesome all-ages events
New Mochipet release features “heavy psychedelic shuffle beats with unbounded worldly influences.”
The bass-centric release shatters musical boundaries through its fusion of hyphy tempos, cultural accenting and kaleidoscopic sampling. ‘Psilocybin Samurai’ is guaranteed to be a mind-expanding good time for your auditory sense as well as your intellect!
Promising collaborations with Machine Drum, Mr Lif, Salva, Robot Koch and Z-Trip in the pipeline, as well as a “long overdue” Mochipet remix contest and limited edition vinyl pressings, the west coast DJ and producer recently dropped this four-track EP that’s “made to enjoy with your favorite psychotropic side dishes.” Bon appetit!
Hidden in the heart of Irvington on an unassuming side street, The 5547 Project is Indy’s newest haven for those seeking local art and music. Void of the pretentiousness of formal art galleries (and lofty price tags on the art), The 5547 Project puts arts-based community learning first.
Continuing in the tradition of Irvington’s strong communal mindset, the gallery aims to be a place where children can come to learn about art, artists and musicians. On top of investing in the next generation of creative souls, it’s a place for residents of Indianapolis to gather and admire art over a good cup of coffee and great conversation.
Project 5547 has the same raw, industrial vibe as the large commercial building at 24th & Illinois that used to be home to Oranje, but makes it uniquely its own with shrewd use of a small, intimate space and an eclectic collection of avant garde art and repurposed objects.
Artville & Art Town
To kick off 2015, The 5547 Project partnered with The Stutz Gallery downtown to hold a Second Saturday showing in January, due to the fact that January’s first Friday fell right after the New Year. Free limo rides gave patrons a safe way to get to both events, seamlessly connecting Art Town in Irvington and Artville at The Stutz.
The change of scenery gave attendees the chance to hop from the cozy, intimate, DIY vibes of The 5547 Project to the more prim and conservative space at The Stutz. Both locations featured a variety of live music, but the most interesting performance I found was at Artville. Performing under the moniker Duck Trash, experimental singer/songwriter and cellist Hannah Groves turned conventional acoustic songs into beautifully bizarre, layered productions using nothing but her voice, a small handful of stringed instruments, and a loop machine.
February is shaping up to be just as exciting as January with a variety of events on the calendar – the first of which, titled “Love Lives Here,” will take place on February 6th and feature performances from Kayla Jo and Emily Myren, in addition to tons of local artists’ work on the walls. They’re also working on special, interactive events for both singles (February 7th) and couples (February 14th) in honor of Valentine’s Day.
Looking further into the future, The 5547 Project will focus on local pop art in March and, like the rest of us, they’re anticipating warm weather when they can open their garage doors and hold outdoor events.
From the drop of the first beat to the funky bass line and chirping piccolo on the final track – The Let Go captivates from cover to cover.
Produced in its entirety by Bangs Nicely – the vibey alternate DJ persona of Cool Hand Lex – the album was meticulously pulled together over the last five years.
“Every sound you hear was chosen for a reason, from the type of birds chirping in ‘Harness Factory’ to the voices in ‘Sluggin’ to the drum programming of ‘Lazy Sundae’ – everything was chosen for a historical or emotional connection to a specific thing I was experiencing at the time,” he says of the album’s source of inspiration.
Bangs Nicely previewed the final product (some songs seeing more than 15 significant revisions over the course of production) this past Monday at General Public Collective in Fountain Square. With nearly 30 guests in attendance, the story of how The Let Go came together was told to an invite-only audience of important figures in Indy’s music scene.
Faced with emotional turmoil after ending a relationship to focus on music, Bangs Nicely’s quest to build an album from the ground up ultimately progressed into a five-year journey of learning and progression – both as a musician and as a person.
“I recognize no one else will fully grasp the symbology, I just want you to know this isn’t made in the same vein as a lot of the cookie cutter music we hear coming out every day.”
After numerous shout-outs to friends, mentors, teachers and fellow musicians for their contributions to the album, the lights dimmed and vibrant rays of color flooded the walls of General Public Collective.
As Bangs Nicely prepared to perform the album in its entirety for his guests, he shouted to the audience, “You guys don’t have to be quiet or anything like that. It’s cool to keep talking.”
But no one did.
An IndyMojo.com Exclusive: Sluggin’ from The Let Go
The Let Go‘s tentative release date is set for spring of 2015, but we’re proud to present this IndyMojo.com exclusive to hold you over until the full album drops.
Catch Bangs Nicely LIVE next week as IndyMojo Presents: Altered Thurzdaze w/ Bangs Nicely at The Mousetrap!