Reflecting on an entire year’s worth of memories is always fun, but never easy. Rather than writing lists of the “best” of anything and everything that happened this year, we simply asked our staff what their favorite memory is from 2014.
What follows is a list of favorite concerts, festivals, artists, events and local releases that stand out as incredible memories in the minds of the Indy Mojo editorial staff. We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane, but are equally excited for all that 2015 will bring us.
On behalf of everyone at Indy Mojo – Thank you for a great year!
Read our full review: Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival, a Look Back at the Last Festival of the Season
Read our recap of all our fundraising efforts for the 2014 Mutt Strut in this article, Mojo’s Mongrels run the Trap.
Read the full profile here: Young, Artistic Talent – Julie Young
This performance was just one of our top 10 moments at The Werkout. See the full list here: Don’t Miss a Werkout – the Top 10 Recap of The Werkout Music and Arts Festival
Read our recap of the 2014 Special Olympics Polar Plunge recap,
Read our full review here:
Learn about the curriculum, the staff, and what the students have to say in this deep interview with the co-founders: MOJO IN SESSION – Deckademics DJ School
Summer Camp Music Festival, Summer Camp, Scamp, the best freakin’ party in Illinois. Whatever you call it, it’s coming soon and firing on all cylinders. Taking place over four days (May 22nd – 25th) in Chillicothe, IL, it’s guaranteed to be hands down one of the best weekends of the summer. A days-long event of music, workshops, positivity, friends, and tomfoolery; in short, everything that a growing human needs.
If you don’t have your ticket yet get it soon because you don’t want to miss this. Keep in mind, though, that ticketing is slightly different here than at most festivals. A regular ticket will get you in for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pre-Party passes can be purchased at an additional fee to get you in early for Thursday’s acts. Also, there are late night sets at the Red Barn for an additional cost. The other stages will still be in operation when it’s going down at the barn, so don’t fear. But, please remember that the barn shows that tickle your fancy will cost a little extra (for more on Summer Camp do’s, dont’s, and things to know, check out The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals Pt. 1: In Our Own Backyard).
So, do you have your ticket(s)? The appropriate answer to this query is a proper, “No sh** dude, I’ve had my ticket since February.” Next is, “I just found a ride and snagged my ticket, catch you there!” The least appropriate… “Summer Camp?”
If you’re in the latter category or are just on the fence about shelling out the dough, let this article be an inspiration, if nothing else. Please come join the party. As a disclaimer, this writer does not make money from ticket sales nor will he if sales increase as a result of the statements contained herein, so please don’t treat this as a long-winded advertisement. Instead, please accept this as a friendly invitation to The Boogie.
Given five words, what is the best way to describe Summer Camp? How would one provide the utmost meaning and deepest imagery, without losing meaning on useless prepositions? How would one convey the feeling of Scamp, without wasting a single breath? In an attempt to provide the supreme explanation, the greatest rationalization, and the most scintillating justification, these words have been chosen wisely:
Alright, so 5 words may have been a lie. But, technically, they’re hyphenated, so it kind of counts. Regardless, and without opening an English book, one thing can be agreed upon. THERE WILL NOT BE A SINGLE MOMENT WITHOUT GOOD MUSIC.
To support this statement, here is a sample schedule to give an idea of what the weekend could be like. It isn’t an ultimate schedule for everyone or even anyone for that matter. It is just a possibility. And, as every soul is different, there is no right or wrong way to Scamp it, unless you don’t see who you truly want to. The sample schedule reads:
Thursday, May 22nd:
Blue Fruit Snacks (1:30p)
Cosby Sweater (6:30p)
Funky Junk (7:00p)
Future Rock (9:30p)
Manic Focus (11:00p)
Digital Tape Machine (12:45a)
Friday, May 23rd:
The Diggity (12:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (1:30p)
Victor Wooten Band (3:45p)
Slightly Stoopid (5:30p)
Robotic Pirate Monkey (6:00p)
Blues Traveler (7:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (7:45p)
Beats Antique (9:00p)
UV Hippo (10:00p)
The Motet (2:00a)
Saturday, May 24th:
The Floozies (12:00p)
Future Rock (2:00p)
Greensky Bluegrass (3:45p)
The Devil Makes Three (4:45p)
Keller Williams (5:30p)
G. Love & Special Sauce (6:45p)
Break Science (8:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (9:00p)
The Werks (10:00p)
Umphrey’s McGee (11:00p)
Sunday, May 25th:
Umphrey’s McGee (1:00p)
Yonder Mountain String Band (2:30p)
Zac Brown Band (4:30p)
Trey Anastasio Band (7:00p)
Wolfgang Gartner (8:15p)
Trey Anastasio Band (9:00p)
Russ Liquid (3:00a)
To repeat again, THERE WILL NOT BE A MOMENT WITHOUT GOOD MUSIC.
How can one truly say that there will be no moment without good tunes when the stages will inevitably come to a close each night as the microphones and amplifiers are eventually turned off? Quite easily, actually, because Summer Camp curiously happens to be populated by people like… you. Guitarists, percussionists, singers, and composers. Producers, DJ’s, songwriters, and storytellers. Artists, hoopers, contortionists, and dancers. In sum, all of the ingredients needed for a “let’s-keep-this-sh**-raging-‘till-the-sun-comes-up” gumbo that just refuses to quit. Need some examples of how this could play out?
Exhibit A: The Dub Wagon. If you are reading this and the mythical wonder of The Dub Wagon is your creation, please accept sincere apologies for the impromptu name given to the beautiful beast that you’ve wholeheartedly unleashed upon us in years past. No offense is meant by the nickname if any is taken. Essentially, The Dub Wagon is a cart of sorts, piled high with speakers, lights, and all things that glow in the night. It has been known to walk the grounds, late at night, once the grip of darkness has taken over the campground. Growls, womps, and sub-bass can be heard emanating from within its depths. And, if you’re in the right place at the right time, it will come and catch you.
Described in a more straightforward manner, The Dub Wagon is a pushcart that wanders Summer Camp, blasting beats from the late night until the early morning buzz of chatter. Processions have formed, as they will again, wandering slowly behind like zombies, unwilling to give up on the night as they make their way through the camps.
Exhibit B: Jam sessions. Acoustics will be strummed and djembes will be played, hopefully to the accompaniment of a drunken poet and the occasional smiling soul. If you’re lucky enough, you might come across a DJ SOLO/Fresh Hops percussionist tag team jam. It’s happened before, and who’s to say that history won’t repeat itself?
All in all, Summer Camp is a tasty smorgasbord of music, workshops, and more. Whether is jam, folk, rock, house, dubstep, or bluegrass that gets your dance juice flowing, you’ll find it in Chillicothe. It will be a weekend tunes, dancing, singing, and drinking. A weekend of smiling, laughing, and love. Hugs will be had and good times felt. In short, it will be an unforgettable weekend, if only we can remember it.
Three well-known local and regional bands brought the heat this past Friday at The Vogue Theatre in Broad Ripple. Local boys Funky Junk started things off early with a 9PM set time. The venue filled quickly as their local fans (endearingly referred to as “Junkies”) came out to support the rising star of the Indy jam scene. Funky Junk played through an evolving new repertoire of music while touching on some established cult classics. The band continues to gain attention as they head into festival season, recently joining the robust Summer Camp Music Festival lineup after winning a recent battle of the bands competition.
Another local powerhouse, The Twin Cats, followed Funky Junk. The Twin Cats have been bringing face-melting funk to the Indy scene for close to 10 years, but recently made an adjustment to their lineup as front man Nick Gerlach made a permanent transition to his side project Cosby Sweater. Though many feel that the missing saxophone leaves The Twin Cats with a gaping hole in their arrangement, the opposite is actually quite true. The four-piece band had a whole new air about them- the same funktastic flair that their music has always been steeped in, but with more room to breathe and experiment in jam and rock. Their evolved form evokes memories of Umphrey’s McGee circa 2004 and the Anchor Drops album- a tightly orchestrated and well-rounded group of trained musicians with a drive to push past their old image into uncharted territory.
As evolving bands seemed to be the theme for the evening, Cornmeal headlined with a new front lady on fiddle replacing the notorious Allie Kral. As Cornmeal took the stage, many crazed fans began screaming that Allie was on stage, throwing everyone for a loop at first, until they realized it was, in fact, a new female fiddle player. Slightly timid in her approach, her instrument’s presence was toned down and not as in-your-face as before, leaving Cornmeal’s new sound to be much more like a jam band with a fiddle player, as opposed to a bluegrass band with a jam band feel.
Overall, every band brought a new, developed and impressive sound to The Vogue, giving this writer a newly invested interest in all three. Funky Junk can be seen at various venues around Indy; The Twin Cats have no local shows as of now, but will be playing many local and regional festivals in the coming months; and Cornmeal continues to tour, showcasing their new vibe throughout the country. Look for all three a festival near you this summer!
Seven months ago, The Vogue Theatre put a call to action on Facebook; they needed bands to fill an event because a previously booked band pulled out at the last minute. Fans of the band Funky Junk immediately began posting, sharing and calling. As three local bands saw stars in their eyes, Bloomington based The New Old Cavalry, and Muncie based Glostik Willy, got together with Funky Junk and magic happened. Within an hour of sending an email, The Vogue responded, confirming that these three bands would take the bill, marking their biggest stage to date.
With only a week to promote, friends and family pulled together utilizing social media, grassroots marketing and word of mouth to get as many people out as possible. As the night approached nobody knew what the turn out would be, least of all the venue. After the show, tickets were counted and in under a week these three local bands managed to draw over 500 people. The venue noticed, promoters noticed and the fans noticed.
Seven months later, the boys are back, fueled by more time to promote, a larger fan base and their talents precisely honed and tuned in. The New Old Cavalry, coming off a summer tour, which included 60 gigs, many being weekend festivals, will be headlining the evening. Funky Junk will kick things off, keeping with last year’s tradition of the youngest band playing first. In-between will be heavy rockers Glostik Willy, just returning from gigs in New York and Philadelphia.
This past week, I ran into Chandler Pickard, drummer and self made publicist of Funky Junk. We sat down, had a drink and discussed how things happened last time around and what to expect at this up-coming show on Friday November 1st.
Chris: How did this event first take place?
Chandler: Well, the event first happened because last March I believe, a band canceled at The Vogue and the venue put a call to action to fill the space and we saw it. We then hit up the New Old Cavalry and Glostik Willy, and we all had the night off. I then sent The Vogue an email, and within an hour they got back to us confirming that we could play that night, that’s how we got the gig.
Chris: How much lead-time did you have before the gig was to take place?
Chandler: Last time we had one week. So in one week we were able to get 500+ people out to the show utilizing social media and our friends and family to spread the word.
Chris: Why is this event happening again?
Chandler: Well it’s happening again because the last time all of our fans came out and supported us, with only one week to promote and with such a turn out the venue noticed and realized they had something. So they asked us to come out again roughly 7 months later, this time with more notice to better promote and hopefully we can double our numbers this year.
Chris: How do you feel the first time this event took place increased your presence within the music scene in Indianapolis?
Chandler: First and foremost, within 24 hours after the event we had over an additional 100 followers on our Facebook page and this allowed us to reach to more people then we ever had before as well as increase our rapport with other venues in Broad Ripple. Because of that show we now have played, and continue to play, at almost every bar in Broad Ripple.
Chris: How are Funky Junk and the other two bands connected?
Chandler: We are all bands from Indiana and we all play in similar circles. It was a combination of seeing them live before we were a band, and then them seeing us after we got started and friendships just kind of formed over the course of time.
Chris: How did this event reinforce your friendship with these two bands?
Chandler: It reinforced it because we all realized if we all work together that we are a really strong team, especially since we got so many people out in such a short time. Also more shows have formed since then because they think they can out drink us, but they’re getting older and we’re still the same age.
Chris: So then are there any rivalries between the bands?
Chandler: Yes, there is one and I don’t know if the public is aware of this but Funky Junk started a drinking competition. This competition goes that any band from Indiana can challenge the previously winning team, that currently being the New Old Cavalry, to a drink-off after a show to win our “world champion” belt back. Unfortunately New Old Cavalry has the belt now because they are cheaters and they cheat, but we let them win it last time because we felt bad. This drink-off is a tradition we started at the beginning of the summer, and we plan on winning the title back this Friday.
Chris: So overall what are you most excited about and want people to know about this gig?
Chandler: Over all what excites me the most is seeing local acts get back into The Vogue theatre. I really think that if us three bands work together and keep this going we can continue this tradition and turn it back into what it used to be. This involves seeing more local bands getting back into what is traditionally a nationally recognized theatre that typically only sees nationally touring bands. And really if anything else I just want people to feel the love I feel with these other great musicians from this area, because our community is a great big beautiful thing. The amount of love we get from the community makes us realize this even more. The Indy music scene has a really cool thing going for it and I want to see it blossom and grow as much as possible.
Again the event will take place this Friday, November 1st at The Vogue theatre. Doors open at 8pm, and Funky Junk is estimated to start around 9pm. Glostik Willy will play at 10pm, and The New Old Cavalry starting around 11pm. Each band is set get approximately one hour of stage time. Tickets are $5 and can be bought at the door and this is a 21+ event.
The perfect way to bring in the looming colder seasons is with good music, good people and good beer. Fountain Square Brewery is an Indiana brewery that began in 2010 and is dedicated to supporting local arts. This weekend they are hosting the second-annual Hop Your Face Festival in Fountain Square in Indianapolis. Hop Your Face is an all day music festival to kick off fall, tap their imperial IPA for the season and celebrate local arts.
This year, the headlining act is a jam band from Carmel, Ind. called Funky Junk. Funky Junk is a four-piece collaboration of Jake Dugan and Andrew Trefny on the electric guitars, Troy Wingert on the bass guitar and Chandler Pickard on the drums. Funky Junk are dedicated to giving the crowd a fun and rowdy show anywhere they go– just be prepared to drink their whiskey with them!
What is Hop Your Face?
Chandler Pickard: It’s a celebration of Fountain Square Brewery tapping their fall beer, the imperial IPA Hop Your Face. It’s the second year they are doing the Hop Your Face festival and it’s christening of the season of fall. It’s called Hops Your Face as a play on words from the Grateful Dead. There are some other bands playing before like El Guapo. We’re headlining the event and it’s all day. It’s outside Fountain Square Brewery and we go on at 9pm. Last year Strange Arrangement played. They were the headliner and they killed it. There was a great turn out. This year they expect to have more. It is a really local thing. It is all about keeping your beer drinking local.
The beer is great there; it is delicious craft beer. They are bringing Fountain Square back. It has really gotten nice in the last few years. The area of Fountain Square had been a little run down but within the past five years they have made a huge effort restoring what Fountain Square once was. Now it has become a really cool hip little place to come down and have a fun time. They have a lot of good local restaurants, a lot of good local beer at Fountain Square Brewery. It is a really homegrown feel, nothing corporate in that area; it is just all local stuff. I love that about it.
We (Funky Junk) are Indianapolis natives. We want to support Indianapolis in any way possible. It is our hometown and we will always love it. I would much rather play for Fountain Square at a local festival that is all about keeping everything local. I love having the locals that drink there come out for some fun. It’s all of our friends, rather than some corporate shit.
Do you guys have anything special planned?
Pickard: The coordinator asked every band to play a Grateful Dead tune because Grateful Dead’s Steal Your Face is where they got Hops Your Face. So we are going to learn a few new Dead tunes for the festival and it will make it really special and obviously bring our own jest of band that is Funky Junk too!
How did Funky Junk first begin?
Pickard: I have known Trefny since I was five years old. One day we just realized we should stop playing Sega and start putting songs together and we realized were missing that part of our lives. So we wrote some songs and Dugan ended up calling me up about playing a Phish cover band party in Bloomington. He wanted me to play drums for him. So a few weeks later we met up in Bloomington and played this gig and Trefny was with me. We asked him, “Hey would you want to check out some of our songs?” and he jumped on board. Then a week later we got Troy boy on board, as Dugan insisted that he was a good bass player. And that is how we all got together. We started playing from there and then started booking gigs and ever since then we have been doing what we are doing. That was early spring of last year, so it has only been a little over a year and a half now.
Reflecting back on this past year and a half, how have you guys grown?
Pickard: It has been nothing but happiness and love. This has really shown me that if you really put your love into something, give love to everyone around you and be a positive person, that positivity will come back to you. It has even brought me and my immediate family closer together, it has brought me and my friends closer together and obviously my band the closest together. I have watched so many people be so happy and it is a great thing to see that–we want to bring people happiness.
I really love watching people be happy when they get a drink or dance around and have some fun for the night when they’re off work and they want to go out and do something. We want them to be able to come out, enjoy a few drinks, see their friends, dance around and have fun. That is what we are here for.
When was your realization of, “Wow- this is actually going somewhere”?
Pickard: This summer is when I realized it. It has always been my dream to play music for a living. But I really felt like this past summer, instead of me calling places, places started calling me about gigs and I started getting gigs by other people calling me. I started realizing there is a demand for what we’re doing.
What is your favorite place to play?
Pickard: The coolest place I have ever gotten play was The Vogue in Broad Ripple because it is a beautiful room to play and it’s big. The sound is like a mile wide and playing on that stage is really nice. But I have to give love to the Mousetrap for giving us our platform and also Plumps. I have mad love for all of them.I also really loved the festivals we played at this summer. But everywhere in Indianapolis are places that really hone in on the music that we’re doing and show us nothing but love and support. They are all super caring and treat us well.
How did you become a drummer?
Pickard: I became a drummer when I was a really young boy and I heard John Fishman of Phish and Jon Bonham of Led Zeppelin play and started thinking, man I really want to do that! I remember when I was a kid and the first time I listened to Zeppelin ‘s Black Dog on my headphones laying in bed, and I was like, “Wow this is crazy. I want to be able to do that.” It seemed fun to me and ever since then my family has never been anything but supportive. I thank them so much because having a nine-year-old kid wanting to play the drums is going to have a time that’s a little obnoxious. So I appreciate them toughing it out.
What future plans do you guys have for your music?
Pickard: We are going to have our EP coming out this month–Mashed Up Vol. 1. We actually recorded it at Ball State. We are really excited about that. Then we are going to keep on doing what we are doing- keep booking gigs and hopefully more festivals for next summer.
Why are you naming the EP Mashed Up Vol. 1?
Pickard: Well you know, that is just for our friends. Our family of friends is all equally mashed up. They have been so supportive of us and have helped us get where we are at and been so far. It’s to them and how much we care about them.
For more information visit: http://fountainsquarebrewery.com/
The local music scene in Indiana has seen its fair share of great musical acts rise up and make a name out of themselves, allowing many to fulfill their dreams of being professional, touring musicians. This has been a factor of a great community, an availability of shows to play and outright talent. New comers to the Indy scene, Funky Junk, have all of it and more, bringing a precisely developed sound to local bars and festivals. Primarily, you can catch them at this years Mojostock running July 26th-28th at Sleepybear campground in Noblesville, IN.
Comprised of Jake Dugan (electric guitar), Andrew Trefny (electric guitar), Troy Wingert (bass) and Chandler Pickard (drums), this 4-piece jam band has steadily risen within the Indy music scene in a little over a year. Heavily influenced by musicians such as Phish, The Grateful Dead and The Talking Heads just to name a few, they have a bass slapping, wildly controlled guitar jamming sound that infectiously makes every passer-by hop into a lil dance groove. With weekly and monthly gigs currently booked around Indy, as well as a slew of regional festivals, they are confidently making a name for themselves.
Funky Junk recently played a show this winter with well-known regional artists The New Old Cavalry and Glostik Willy. In a test to their marketing prowess, these bands drew in over 500 people to the show, with as little as a weeks worth of notice to promote. They will be returning to do this again this November where it would not be unrealistic to expect numbers to double.
In the midst of developing and releasing their first EP, Funky Junk has developed a very strong catalog of original music filled with playful, yet inspiring lyrics. From the song “Slopness Monster”, Troy Wingert sings, “All of my friends, what would I do without, always so rowdy, screaming the hoot and shout, Please forgive us for our evil ways, from sunrise to tour, gotta keep us going for days.” In “Slopness”, Wingert develops a heavy bass line that makes your hips move in sync as his fingers slide up and down the bass. Another original, “Break”, is a feel-good jam with Andrew Trefny on vocals and Jake Dugan on lead Guitar that hits all of us hard working young-adults with lyrics like, “Sit down, be easy on yourself, don’t let this job stress you out, we all seem to need ourselves a break, lets go somewhere easy and grab ourselves a drink.”
Funky Junk will be helping open up Saturday afternoon of Mojostock at noon on the Barn Stage. More info on Funky Junk can be found via their Facebook page; stream music on Sound Cloud. Tickets to Mojostock can be purchased online here, as well as at the door until there are no more.