GIordanos

Indy Mojo had a chance to get an exclusive sneak preview of Giordano’s before their Grand Opening on February 3rd. For those of you that don’t know – Giordano’s is what some might claim as Chicago’s best pizza, alongside Gino’s and Lou Manati’s.

The recipe comes from a family tradition that goes back 200 years when Mama Giordano use to bake her sons an “Italian Easter Pie”. When the boys grew up they made their way to Chicago and opened their own pizza business using their mother’s double-crusted, cheese stuffed Easter Pie recipe. Since 1974, this Easter Pie has become known as staple of Chicago-style pizza. And for the first time in over 40 years, they have opened new locations out of Chicago and in to Indianapolis’s own backyard.

This small restaurant is located right next to Harry and Izzy’s at 4110 E. 82nd St. While waiting to be seated they have a viewing window of the kitchen where the pizzas are being tossed, sauced, and cooked to perfection. Hidden away to the left is the bar area with six 42 inch TV’s, 10 beers on draft and a full bar. It’s what I like to call “The Adult Area.” To the right is normal seating, and in the back of the restaurant there will be patio seating with a full view of the lake to enjoy once Spring arrives.

bar area

By: Erin Gobble (Bar area)

Fair warning: this pizza does have a wait time of 45 minutes, but don’t be discouraged as there are plenty of appetizers to hold you over.

I tried “The Best” Ripe Tomato Bruschetta, which came out quicker than expected and I dove right in: crisp, toasted bread with a fresh slice of mozzarella and a heaping pile of tomatoes with a hint of basil. It was more than enough to appease my appetite until the pizza was delivered.

bruschetta

By: Erin Gobble (Bruschetta)

Upon arrival, my mouth started to water with anticipation. The gooey, cheesy goodness – known as the “Chicago Classic” – was stuffed with pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. The crust was sweet and the slice almost melted in my mouth. With eyes bigger than my stomach, I tried to muster down a second piece because my taste buds wanted more, but I had to box up the reminder of my slices.

stuffed pizza

By: Erin Gobble (stuffed pizza)

For those who are in for small portions stop by Giordanos for $10 weekday lunch special where they offer a choice a personal pizza, side salad, and a drink. They also offer Carry out and deliver within a four mile radius of their location. There has been talk of another restaurant opening up in downtown Indianapolis if all goes well for the 82nd street location. Bring your appetite and head on in to Giordano’s you won’t be disappointed.

Still got the munchies? Check out our quest to find Indy’s best tenderloin here.

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Photo credit: Dan Frye

What better way to kick off the New Year than being in the Windy City with the one and only, Zeds Dead? The Aragon Ballroom and REACT Presents threw one hell of a show last Wednesday night to ring in the 2015 New Year. The night was a “Space Oddity” themed voyage led by our fellow astronauts, DC and Hooks.

 

If there is one things Zeds Dead can do, it’s make you dance. Dropping originals new and old, ZD has also been known to pay homage to their respected and inspirational influences.

Zeds Dead at The Argon NYE

Photo credit: Dan Frye

The shows was a great salute to 2014, with only one minor complaint: I felt the music didn’t necessarily have a logical flow. One minute I was listening to “Eyes on Fire,” the next it was Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic.” While I favor their passion and exquisite taste in track selection, I would have liked to see more thoughtful transitions and better care with jumping from track to track.

 

The Year in Zeds Dead

Growing bigger and bigger each year, 2014 was a great year for the hip-hop inspired duo. They released their successful Somewhere Else EP on Mad Decent, which kicked off a great year to the festival season.

Their studio time has been spent producing mind-blowing collaborations, including noteworthy tracks such as “Blink” with Perry Ferrell of Jane’s Addiction, “Stoned Capone” with Big Gigantic and fellow hometown hip hop artist and long time friend, Omar Linx.

Most recently, their collaboration with Oliver Heldens has earned them a lot more credit for being so versatile within the realm of EDM. It truly asserts that there isn’t anything ZD won’t try and they are certainly not afraid to bring a ruckus of followers when they do it. They research, analyze and reinvent sounds that have helped shape what music is today.

The pair are setup for a great year with the potential to evolve not only EDM, but all other possible genres. I believe there truly is no one more versatile and accepted in the EDM world than Zeds Dead.

So gear up for 2015 folks! The music festivals are starting to release lineups and Zeds Dead will be there to bump your bass all summer long.

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Photo credit: Dan Frye

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Photo credit: Dan Frye

 

 

Lollapalooza 2014

Friday – Day 1

Curious to see what a set from Portgual. The Man might look like when presented as part of Kidapalooza, my first stop at Lollapalooza was the designated kid zone for the band’s early afternoon performance. They played mostly originals to their young (and old) fans, though they did manage to squeeze in a cover of “Night Man” from It’s Always Sunny in Philladelphia which led into the Beatles classic “Hey Jude.”

When Portgual’s set concluded and the audience cleared, the kid-friendly “pit” up front remained full of parents and their children hoping to snap a picture or snag an autograph. With the afternoon’s featured performance complete, fun activities across Kidapalooza resumed.

Around 3 in the afternoon, light rain started to fall that quickly turned into a short – but heavy – downpour. Many attendees found shelter with Green Street vendors or sponsor’s tents like Red Bull’s Sound Select Tent. Others embraced the rain and danced like no one was watching, taking advantage of the perceived lawlessness that comes with unpredictable nature of festival rainfall.

Iggy Azalea

I staked out early for Iggy Azalea at Perry’s Stage and consequently suffered through an intense tag team set from broish EDM DJs Etty and Joachim Garraud. When Iggy and her fly backup dancers finally came on, I was still too far back to see the stage and balked at the absence of video monitors for viewing assistance. As expected, she held her mega-hit “Fancy” for the end of the performance, but dropped her career-launching “Pussy” mid-set among many other well-received tracks from her current album The New Classic. With song after song of trap-tastic strip club anthems compromising most of the set, it lacked lyrical substance but excelled in energy, danceability, and rebellion.

Walking away from the chaos of Perry’s Stage, I booked it over to the serene Grove Stage to catch the end of Blood Orange. It was a welcomed change of pace to be able to approach the stage, see the musicians and to hear them elaborate on the message behind their music. Group leader Dev Hynes and girlfriend/vocalist Samantha Urbani dedicated their entire set to fallen victims of police brutality and shared spurts of knowledge and encouragement throughout the set. “If you see an arrest happening, record it!” Urbani pleaded as the set came to a close. Given their dedication to this cause, it’s both sad and ironic that the pair had an apparent quarrel with security later that day.

LordeA few hours later, a large majority of the Lolla crowd had assembled at the north end of the festival grounds to see a highly anticipated set from Lorde. Sonically, she delivered. Even while hopping around stage in her signature style of jerky dance movements, Lorde’s live vocals were near perfect.

She made effort to connect emotionally, too, as she sat on the edge of the stage to have a heart-to-heart with the massive Lollapalooza crowd that had decided to attend her set. “I don’t know how many of you are out there…” Lorde said as she peered into a never-ending sea of people before continuing, “But from up here it looks like a lot!” She went on to share her awe at “the gods above” having brought so many people together for her performance and exclaimed that it was “really fucking cool” so see such support from Chicago.

Despite all that, there wasn’t much happening visually on stage for most of the set. Her recurring facial expressions of wonderment looked forced and her bizarre body movements felt unnecessarily dramatic. Once, someone nearby yelled, “Iggy was better!” confirming my suspicions that the set was lacking in energy. Her die-hard fans in the front, mouthing along every word to every song, might be the only ones who would disagree.

Photo by Jack Edinger

Photo by Jack Edinger

Eminem’s headlining set was stacked with tons of hits from the past and sprinkled with new ones from his recent work throughout. Strategically stationed at the back of the audience for a quick escape to another set elsewhere, I was pleasantly surprised to find even the distant crowd enlivened. As we sang the lyrics to all the Marshall Mathers LP classics like “Fuck You”, “Marshall Mathers” and “The Way I Am” I felt like an angsty high schooler from the early 2000’s all over again. Rihanna, currently on tour with Em, also made an unexpected appearance to perform the pair’s songs “Love The Way You Lie” and “The Monster,” as well as to sing vocals on “Stan.”

Not wanting to leave but also not wanting to miss the opportunity to see Phantogram live, I peeled myself away from Eminem and headed toward The Grove Stage. For the second time that day I was relieved to find easy access to a close view of the stage that allowed for a more intimate connection with the band. White light and strobes illuminated the grove, defining the band members’ every move on stage.

Photo by Will Rice

Photo by Will Rice

A vibrant mix of electro ambiance and edgy indie rock, Phantomgram kept their audience moving without assaulting their ears with aggressive electronic beats. Lead vocalist Sarah Barthel seemingly recognized this as she introduced her bandmate as “Josh Fucking Carter” and thanked him for “making such a fucking dope beat.”

Trends & Pop Culture at Lollapalooza

toothless ryan gosslingAttending a large, mainstream urban festival that spans a wide mix of musical genres affords one the opportunity to evaluate trends and themes in pop culture today. One such trend that’s evolved significantly since its inception is the rage stick – also referred to as a tribe stick, totem or simply “a sign.” Lolla’s best incidences of such phenomena were actually just giant images attached to sticks featuring cultural icons such as Hodor, toothless Ryan Gossling and a That 70’s Ashton Kutcher with the talk bubble caption, “Well, damn Jackie!”

Another unavoidable trend- dare I say epidemic- at Lollapalooza was the selfie. The swarm of teenage girls at Lollapalooza couldn’t help but snap photo after photo of themselves doing the things they thought made them look cool- such as sitting on the shoulders of their bros. This particular act was horrifically contagious; once one girl popped up on a pair of shoulders, five or six more would soon follow.

Lollapalooza Crowd

While most attendees squandered precious minutes of time shuffling through the impassable, congested main throughways, I frequently opted for a much more pleasant stroll through Green Street on the way to wherever I was going. The tent for hand-carved, organic jewelry merchant Coco Loco was particularly warm and inviting with staff that chatted me up and treated me like I was a long lost friend.

Fashion at Lollapalooza

Katie ParfetI also had the opportunity to speak with TOMS Style Ambassador Katie Parfet about fashion themes at the festival, who says Lollapalooza street style is always a welcome departure from the barely there bathing suits and super short shorts of earlier fests like Coachella. “The city backdrop lends itself nicely to motorcycle jackets thrown over a breezy dress or worn-in pair of denim,” she adds.

When pressed for tips on balancing fashion and function in the event of rain (such as the downpour we experienced on Friday) Katie advised that layering is key.

“I always pack an army jacket or a lightweight cardigan in my backpack. And comfy shoes are a must. I wore my TOMS Paseo lace-up sneakers all weekend. Their tomboy feel contrasted nicely with my girly top. And a little mud post rain made them look more grunge.”

Even a fashion amateur like myself could spot the festival’s most prevalent trend (sported most often by all those damned selfie-takers). Katie confirmed my suspicions were correct.

“From Fashion Week to Lolla, crop tops reigned supreme. The key to keeping it classy with a crop is to pair with a high-waisted jean or skirt. Statement eyewear was also everywhere. I chose to wear my TOMS Noah frames in honey tort.”

What about girls with a thicker frame who opt out of the crop top trend?

“I love a good lightweight cotton dress. It doesn’t wrinkle in your suitcase and can be dressed up with fun jewelry. Pair with classic sandals like the TOMS Correa for a pop pf color.”

The Provocateurs presented by Art Alliance

If you were in Chicago for Lollapalooza and didn’t make it to The Provocateurs presented by Art Alliance at Block Thirty Seven, you missed a great opportunity to see an impressive collection of internationally-acclaimed art. Curated by the one and only Shepard Fairey- a controversial street artist, graphic designer activist and illustrator whose work you might recognize from the 2008 presidential campaign (he designed the Barak Obama “Hope” poster) – the exhibit was not to be missed.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey’s focal pieces of The Provocateurs Art Show presented by Art Alliance

Shepard Fairey

IMG_0031

IMG_0033IMG_0032In addition to several prominent pieces of his own artwork, Shepard Fairey also included work from more than 40 other provocative artists.

Pixel-master Space Invader creates art with rubix cubes

Pixel-master Space Invader creates art with rubix cubes

Space Invader

3D sculpture artist Dzine used vintage jewelry, aluminum, enamel powder coating, glitter crushed velvet, quartz crystals, rubber, and an audio system, speakers and mirror from an actual car for this custom bicycle.

3D sculpture artist Dzine used vintage jewelry, aluminum, enamel powder coating, glitter crushed velvet, quartz crystals, rubber, and an audio system, speakers and mirror from an actual car for this custom bicycle.

Camille Rose Garcia brings your worst carnival nightmares to life… in a good way.

Camille Rose Garcia brings your worst carnival nightmares to life… in a good way.

Camille Rose Garcia

A collection of custom D*Face skateboards made of reclaimed 1920’s school desks; signatures, scribbles, and carvings from the desks’ underside were visibly noticeable

A collection of custom D*Face skateboards made of reclaimed 1920’s school desks; signatures, scribbles, and carvings from the desks’ underside were visibly noticeable

Saturday – Day 2

My second day at Lollapalooza kicked off with industrial pop goddess Meg Myers’ 3 p.m. set on The Grove Stage. Appearing at the mic wearing nothing more than black and white horizontally stripped hot pants and a solid black crop top with the shoulders cut out, many in the audience were shocked to hear such a powerful voice come from within such a dainty woman.

Appearing to be in a perpetual state of sadness, Myers smiled infrequently and instead gazed intensely into the audience as if the angst of her songwriting was somehow stemming from us. She donned both an acoustic and bass guitar multiple times before the set was over, and her striking vocals – perhaps the most captivating aspect of her stage presence – never lost intensity, right down to the feral screams on “Heart Heart Head”.

When Myers’ set concluded and she left the stage, the crowd immediately pushed forward and got claustrophobically tight. I reconsidered my plan to leave, wondering what upcoming set had drawn such an intense crowd.

A bro in front of me began offering premature apologies to his neighbors for the insanity that was about to ensue. “I just want to say I’m sorry in advance, because I’m about to go hard,” he warned people to his left, right, front and back. Consulting the festival schedule, I hastily left the dense crowd and opted for the happy jams of John Butler Trio over the raps of Atlanta-based Rich Homie Quan. It looks like he put on quite the show, though.

The back right quadrant of the festival grounds looked a lot different on Saturday afternoon than it did for Friday evening’s Lorde performance. Instead of a vast sea of latent onlookers, Saturday’s crowd was lively and buoyant. I happily bounced around to John Butler Trio at the Palladia Stage and conveniently continued to listen from afar while waiting in line for an autograph in the corner of the concert field. Next, I quickly abandoned plans to see Gramatik when the galloping drums, trickling piano, and winding vocals of Grouplove’s “I’m With You” fell upon my ears and I zig-zagged into the crowd singing along.

GrouploveLater that night, falling perfectly in line with every rave review of this summer’s most buzzed about touring act, Outkast delighted all at Lollapalooza. The relentlessly fun and engaging set easily over-shadowed the lame-by-comparison performances from Krewella, Cut Copy and Calvin Harris.

Photo By Will Rice

Photo By Will Rice

To Lolla or Not to Lolla?

Lollapalooza is a smorgasboard of musical diversity with heavy representation from the hip hop, indie rock and EDM genres. Its host, The City of Chicago, is also a cultural melting pot of music lovers from all ages and backgrounds. While Lolla’s attempt to appeal to the masses is respectable (and fully achieved, logistically), curating a festival for mainstream tastes inevitably leads to vanilla results.

I suppose it boils down to your motives and goals for spending an exorbitant amount of money to attend one of the country’s largest and most revered festivals. Lollapalooza is a place to be seen; whether you’re taking selfies while sitting atop of your dude’s shoulders, turning heads on the midway with bold fashion statements, or living the high life in VIP- everyone wanted to look good at Lolla.

Lolla

Musical discovery and underground exploration is a hard goal to achieve when so many of the artists on the bill can be heard on the radio at any given time. Events that aim to draw a smaller crowd and cater to a specific genre are inherently better aligned with the entire festival population’s preferences. By focusing narrow and deep (instead of wide and shallow) a more musically and culturally enriching experience is inevitable. I say this because Lollapalooza was fun, but- in the end- hardly worthy of the hype and definitely not worthy of the ticket price.

lollapalooza chicago

Three-day passes for Lollapalooza 2014 sold out the day before the lineup was announced. Single day tickets sold out the next day, just two hours after going on sale to the public. This is the fourth consecutive year the festival has sold out. Chicagoans (and music fans from surrounding cities, and beyond) clearly love their Lolla.

Diversity

Scanning Lollapalooza’s six wildly different headliners makes a bold statement about the festival’s embrace of diversity: Eminem, Outkast, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Skrillex and Calvin Harris.

childish gambino lollapalooza 2013

Childish Gambino at Lollapalooza 2013

Rap and hip hop have a stronghold on the festival with Nas, Childish Gambino, and Chance The Rapper supporting the genre’s two headliners mentioned above.

In today’s festival age, it’s hard to ignore the massive draw of DJs and producers. In addition to the two hugely popular EDM acts booked to headline, there’s also Zedd, Sebastian Ingrosso, Krewella, Above & Beyond, Chase & Status, Gramatik, Chromeo, The Glitch Mob and many more.

There will be Americana from The Avett Brothers, rock from Cage The Elephant, funk from Trombone Shorty, reggae from Rebelution, and certainly no shortage of indie rock.

In short: there will be a little of everything for everyone at Lollapalooza.

Chow Town

lollapalooza chow town

Lollapalooza takes pride in offering a wide variety of food and beverages for all tastes and diets. Far from standard festival fare like funnel cakes and corndogs, actual restaurants from The Windy City will be present to serve up perfectly portioned signature eats off of their regular menus.

Technology

lollapalooza app

As music festivals have grown in spectacle, capacity and sophistication, so has the technology that supports them. Lollapalooza’s website makes artist discovery a seamless, intuitive process in browser or on mobile.

Reference your personalized schedule, get important notifications in real time and see how far away your next show is on the festival map – all form your phone from inside the festival!

It could be over-whelming to arrive at Chow Town and be forced to make an uninformed decision about where to order lunch on the spot. Luckily, if you’ve got the Lolla app, you can quickly browse all the menus and bookmark the spots that make your mouth water.

After Shows

While festivaling in the heart of beautiful downtown Chicago comes with scenic benefits, it also comes with a strict 10 p.m. closing time each night (as is customary for most municipal music festivals). With official Lollapalooza after shows at multiple venues across the city, the festival does its best to support the Chicago music scene and keep the party going well into the night.

lollapalooza party

This writer is personally excited for her only chance to see Outkast on their buzzed about mega-epic summer tour; for the exotic allure of alt-pop divas Lorde and I-G-G-Y; for John Butler Trio’s feel-good jams; for Chicago hip hop up-and-commer Vic Mensa; and for what’s sure to be an emotional, raw performance from industrial pop goddess Meg Meyers (she’s on The Grove Stage at 2:50 Saturday afternoon).

If you’re in Chicago on Thursday night, there’s no shortage of things to do to kick the weekend off early. Consult Do312 for suggestions.

And when you’re walking around outside of the festival look for ART ALLIANCE:  PROVOCATEURS, the largest street/contemporary art exhibit the U.S., curated by Shepard Fairey, happening just blocks from Grant Park.

Lollapalooza 2014

August 1-3

Grant Park (Chicago, IL)

Tickets: sold out

Check back with IndyMojo.com next week for our post-Lolla coverage!

lollapalooza at nightAll photos via Lollapalooza Flickr

It can be easy to get wrapped up in a particular genre of music and only focus on that. Variety is the spice of life and if you’re looking for something a little different this weekend Vintage Blue will be performing at Birdy’s on Friday April 25th. Vintage Blue is a Chicago based band that lives by the motto, “Trends and fads come and go, but honest and heartfelt rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay.”

Vintage Blue

Vintage Blue

 

They are touring right now in support of their new EP No Going Back. The album is a strong showing that features six tracks. The band has been working on these tracks since the release of their 2012 album Strike the Mics. It definitely shows that a lot of hard work went into these tracks as the entire album has a flow that feels natural and well thought out. The intensity of the album slowly builds to my personal favorite track “The Enemy.”

 

They have recently released their first video for the title track off the album “No Going Back.” For the video they worked with director Kyle Dunleavy of Rhapsody Productions. The video features a young woman who seems to be caught in a “groundhog day” scenario. It begins with the video completely in black and white, as she walks past lead singer and guitarist Ben Bassett playing the song in a park, she stops and drops some change in his open guitar case. As this happens Ben appears in full color. This theme continues throughout the video as she interacts with various people they continue to gain color as she stays monotone. Finally at the end of the video, after seeing a finished street-artist version of the album cover, she achieves her natural coloring.

The style of Vintage Blue is not necessarily one that the Indy Mojo festival-music-loving demographic would typically be drawn to. However, after viewing some of their live performances its clear that this will be a show that is definitely worth the time. The album is a beautiful collection of songs that will be interesting to see how they translate to the live arena. In our city we have a reputation for strong support of live music of all different genres. If you are looking for some live music Friday night, I can assure you this will be a good show to see.

What: Vintage Blue, Chicago-based Rock Group

Where: Birdy’s Bar and Grill – 2131 E 71st St. Indianapolis, IN 46220

When: Friday April 25th

Arlum Village - The Ballad of Paka

Disclaimer: I know Scott Archer from high school and over the years he has sent me clips and recordings, asking for advice and critiques for his various music projects. As a thank-you for giving him advice over the years, he added my name to the album credits.

Though Rocketbot is defunct, its legacy continues on as Arlum Village.  Described as a musical collective with roots in Indianapolis and Chicago, front-man Scott Archer has teamed up with ex-members of Rocketbot and current members of Indianapolis-based alternative rock band, Great Future to record a new EP, The Ballad of Paka.  A conceptual recording alluding to the early and “wild west” days of the World Wide Web, the EP follows a man named Paka who battles wolves and his own mortality.

The Hunted

 

The Ballad of Paka starts with a strong clapping rhythm and distant and echoey harmonies sung by Archer. A nice mix between a glockenspiel and an Omni chord can be heard before delightful electronic and synth rhythms enter with marching-like qualities. The lyrics are somber, and Archer sings about Paka, who describes a violent death by wolves. Archer’s lyrics are clever and whimsical and follow a smart rhyming scheme. “They are the wolves, but I am a man. They have their fangs but I have my hands,” sings Archer.  The marching-like rhythm adds heavy and introspective emotions to the scenery of something that would normally be quite unpleasant, like fighting off violent wolves.

Young Pup

 

A smooth transition is made using a bright and playful electronic melody that clearly returns to the roots and influences of Archer’s old band, Rocketbot. Distorted guitars provide a fluid harmony as the electronic melody and a hearty bass rhythm drive the momentum of the song. Even with that momentum however, Archer’s lyrics continue to take a more somber tone and continues to make violent allusions. In a way, it makes it odd for the theme and tone that “Young Pup” has taken, though Archer’s lyrics also reflect a positive outlook. “The gods’ll make me whole again, please take me back. I wanna go back, to where I’ve been,” sings Archer. What’s interesting about that line is while the violent imagery would imply a sort of disruption to the natural cycle of life, the assurance of becoming “whole again” seems to resolve the disruptive setting, bringing a surprising amount of solace as “Young Pup” concludes.

Toothless

 

The instrumentation here is perhaps some of the best on the entire EP. Light and delicate piano melodies are accompanied with the low-key but meaningful percussion of Gary Koers. Again, the lyrics become more somber, as Archer sings, “I can feel my bones aching, but I can’t stay awake”. These lyrics work well with a very beautiful electronic melody that enhances the mood of the song. Slow but heavier percussion emerges as harmonious and impassioned vocals sing atop the electronic melody and cello provided by Brett Byron. The percussion and cello persist, very reminiscent of the instrumentation of Brent Knopf from his days in Menomena, particularly from their album Friend and Foe. Even when Archer sings, “Oh this can’t be real,” not only does he obviously take influence from Brian Scott from their days in Rocketbot, but there is also very noticeable and admirable influence from Knopf in terms of vocal delivery.

Under the Snow

 

The sentiment is very sweet and heartwarming, accompanied with clean guitar and glockenspiel melodies. The song appropriately signals the end of the EP, as Archer sings, “I’m going home, under the snow. If it’s time to say goodbye, then goodbye.” An electronic and synth harmony almost electrifies the air which really contributes to the emotion of the song as Archer sings, “I am not a perfect man.” The high harmonious vocals provided by Carmen Oneida are especially bittersweet, which adds complexity and sincerity to the song. Archer concludes the song and EP by simply singing, “I am not afraid to die”, paying tribute to The Unicorns’ final album, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?

 

With the success and influence that Scott Archer forged with Rocketbot, it should be no surprise that The Ballad of Paka would continue to exert that kind of influence and creativity within the music scenes of Chicago and Indianapolis. Archer has employed a very talented ensemble of individuals to record this EP and tell this story, and future stories ought to be highly anticipated.

 

 

Check out Arlum Village SoundCloud.

Blane Fonda at The Hideout in Chicago in Feb 2013

Blane Fonda at The Hideout in Chicago in Feb 2013

On the dark, snowy night of Friday December 13th, about 40 people young and old braved the elements to meet at Fountain Square’s tiny, all-age music venue, the Hoosier Dome, for one common purpose: To see a rock show.

This four-band lineup showcased several talented musicians, all from the Midwest. One of the groups, self-proclaimed “dance rock band”, Blane Fonda from Chicago, is a 5-piece outfit with trumpet and keyboard included. Blane Fonda brought in quite the rambunctious crowd, with their diverse sounds (Scorpians meets Dearestazazel meets The Matches, meets Glenn Danzig), and wild stage antics.

During their set, and every set afterwards, a giant paper airplane made its way over the tops of heads and, occasionally, hit the die-hard crowd surfers. When the paper airplane ended up on stage, and the band threw it back out to the crowd, the lead singer proposed a game.

“Whoever throws the paper airplane the farthest,” singer Mark Wetzel said, “gets whatever they want from our merch table!”

Three fans got up on stage and tried their luck at throwing the huge, awkward airplane. The winner managed to get the airplane all the way past the crowd, and to further celebrate his victory, commenced to crowd surf.

Blane Fonda at The Hideout in Chicago in Feb 2013

Blane Fonda at The Hideout in Chicago in Feb 2013

Blane Fonda played mostly original songs, but in the middle of the show, Wetzel asked if they should do a Christmas song.

“If we were to do a Christmas song,” he said, “What should we do?”

Christmas song titles billowed out and toward the stage.

“’You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch’, you say? Well, it just so happens that I have all seven verses of it right here!” He lifted up a piece of paper to show the crowd.

The cover was executed perfectly. Wetzel’s voice, deep and bluesy, meshed pristinely with the song and the character he was trying to portray.

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” prompted a Conga Line, circling and trapping the moshers. Other fans jumped up and grabbed onto the top of the sturdy wooden-framed stage, some of whom ended up falling from the platform.

Their last song of the night was “Opportunity Rocks!”, a song so popular that fans were fighting each other to get on stage to sing with the band.

The official music video for “Opportunity Rocks”:

At the end of their set, Blane Fonda sat in the back of the venue to talk to fans and sell t-shirts and CDs. They handed out download cards to everyone who stopped by their merch table.

“We made a new CD,” guitarist Daniel Leu said, “And we’re just giving it away for free to people who come to our shows!”

The band immediately following Blane Fonda, Cincinnati-based Automagik, brought in even more fans.

“Alright, this song is called ‘Boogieman’”, lead singer Zachary Evans said, and began singing in his funky, bluesy, higher-pitched voice (think Circa Survive meets Blood Brothers meets The Mars Volta).

Although Automagik’s genre on Facebook is listed as “Rocky Road Ice Cream”, Automagik plays energetic rock, funky and bluesy music that’s easy to dance to. The crowd did pseudo Irish jigs and moshed throughout Automagik’s set of songs from their self-titled 2010 album, Automagik, and their newest album, Black Sundae.

In keeping with the wild stage and audience interactions throughout the night, Evans looked at Devin Williams, lead guitarist, and said, “Devin’s a freak! This song’s about Devin!”, at which point a man in the audience yelled, “Take off your pants!” This incited a full chant of “Take off your pants!”

The band started playing their song “Freak”, and another man from the audience took his pants off and threw them on stage. Williams wore the pants on his head for almost the entire song before throwing them back to the crowd!

Photo by David Sorcher.

Photo by David Sorcher.

When “Freak” ended, Evans once again spoke into the mic, with a blank, serious face. There seemed to be something wrong.

After several seconds of silence, Evans spoke.

“Who likes pizza?” he asked.

The crowd laughed and screamed in excitement.

“How about this, when I yell ‘pizza’, you yell ‘pizza’”

The audience continued to yell “pizza”, and the percussion started for the song apparently called “Pizza”, in which Evans professes his love for the delicious Italian pie, stating that he “eats more pizza than the Ninja Turtles!”

The band wrapped up their set with a song called “Waterslide”, a song about how easier things are as a child, when you aren’t aware of all the evil in the world. Evans sings, “If I could do one thing easy, I’d go where nobody else could see me. Waterslide, take me away to a better time in my life, when life gets me down.”

At the end of their set, although they didn’t have a merch table, the band members were happy to talk to excited fans as they were loading out. Many got sweaty hugs and handshakes, before leaving with proud smiles.

For updates on Automagik: https://www.facebook.com/Automagik

For show dates and an opportunity to download their new CD for free by Blane Fonda:
https://www.facebook.com/BlaneFondaMusic

For volume 21 of our Collective Sessions Mix Series, we have a VERY special guest in Chicago Bass Maestro, Richie August! Starting with Dubstep in 2008, Richie’s first official release came in early 2009 on Betamorph Recordings. 2010 until spring 2013 he was the brains behind the “Hulk” group until leaving to further his solo career. He’s worked with labels such as, Play Me, Rottun, Sub Human, Ultragore Recordings, Multikill Recordings and released a full length album on July 4th 2013. This mix has lots of originals sprinkled amongst a sea of heavy hitters! We hope you enjoy and share with your friends!

Collective Sessions vol 21 Featuring Richie August

@soundcloud.com/richieaugust
www.facebook.com/richieaugust420

Track Listing:
1. London Future & Djemba Djemba – Look At Me Now feat. Ifa Sayo
2. Jacob Plant – Fire (Dubsef’s Festival Trap Remix)
3. Jesse Slayter – China
4. Richie August – Loco
5. Woogie x Ransom – We Get Down
6. Burn The Disco – Turn Up
7. Yello Claw – P_$$YRICH feat. Adje
8. GTA – Yolohton
9. Meaux Green – Grindin’ On Acid
10. Jackal ft. CRNKN – Bubblegum (LVX Remix)
11. Buraka Som Sistema – Hangover (Cosenza ReTwerk VIP)
12. Hifee – So Ghetto
13. Matrix & Futurebound feat. Max Marshall – Control (Torqux Remix)
14. Meow666 – Meow Machine
15. Stafford Brothers – Are You Ready
16. Samual James – Mega
17. Gianni Marino – Piew
18. New Young Pony Club – Hard Knocks (Astronomar Remix)
19. Cutline – Crack It
20. Duck Sauce – Radio Stereo (Bingo Players Remix)
21. Jitta On The Track – Mollylujah (Watapachi Remix)
22. Remedy – Welcome To Tha Trap
23. Kai Wachi – Game Over
24. Bommer & Invictous – Blat!
25. Yellow Claw & Yung Felix – You Make Me
26. Debroka x BoyJamez – Autograph
27. Duwell – Duck Season
28. Kill The Noise – Rockers – (Bro Safari & UFO Remix)
29. Richie August – Robo Lean
30. Metallica – Battery (Richie August Remix)
31. Gianni Marino – Azn Girls (ETC ETC Remix)
32. Pote – Stomper
33. Invictous – SmokeSalmon
34. Richie August – My Lady
35. Razihel – Falcon VIP
36. Hulk & Dan Wall – Brotorious (Richie August Remix)
37. Boy Kid Cloud & p0gman – Hood Rich
38. Bro Safari & UFO – Drama (Sadhu Remix)
39. JuJu & Bommer – Al Capone
40. KnightRiderz – FallInLove

Artwork by Nicholas Love Visuals
www.facebook.com/nicholaslovevisuals

RSRADIO015big[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/72782311" params="auto_play=false&show_artwork=true&color=ff7700" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

On the fifteenth installment of No Bad Ideas presents Rad Summer Radio, we continue Chicago expansion with a run through the trap from bassheads The Sleepers! To download, go like No Bad Ideas Clothing Company on Facebook. Make sure you also grab one of the NBI x RS collab snapbacks at our online bodega and watch for The Sleepers’ Void EP to drop January 21st on Rad Summer!

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