On a beautiful Sunday afternoon the Mousetrap was besieged by a host of canines. These pups were not a ravenous pack of wild beasts roaming the streets, but rather members and supporters of the Mojo Mongrels. The Mongrels are Indy Mojo’s team for the Human Society of Indianapolis’ annual Mutt Strut fundraiser. The Mutt Strut itself isn’t for another few weeks, however this past Sunday the team assembled for their own fundraiser prior to the event.

All Photos by Lacey Corn of BlackByrd Studio

Unknown Tongue of DOOM!!! – All Photos by Lacey Corn of BlackByrd Studio

The mood was festive as everyone gathered to enjoy some BBQ, Sun King beer, and the beautiful weather. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages could be found playing, barking, rolling in any dirt they could find, and more frequently sniffing any and every butt within range. The pups pulled out all the stops as they displayed their best tricks from jumping three times their own height, to howling “I love you”, to pulling their best Skywalker on Hoth and trying to tangle up all the humans.

Pup enjoying his birds eye view from his owner's backpack.

Mousetrap bartender Troy & his pup Taco enjoying a birds eye view – All Photos by Lacey Corn of BlackByrd Studio

The Mousetrap provided delicious barbequed chicken and hot dogs. Other attendees pitched in and brought various vegetarian sides to present a well-rounded spread for the day.

Mojo fixture and in-house dreadlocked ginger David Denman was there with his always-friendly pup Ursula and spoke a little about the event, “I have participated in the walk two years with Indy Mojo; the BBQ was a lot of fun and we both had a blast.”

This year North Paws Pet Care- a local pet care service that offers dog walking, daily care visits, and post-veterinary care- also came to join the festivities. They educated Mojos Mongrels about their services, including their unique pet care subsidy program that takes their own profits from the business and helps local pet-owning families in need so that they need not surrender their pet to a shelter. More info is available on their website.

Mojo Writer Rachel with her boyfriend and pup showing their love for the Humane Society

Mojo writer Rachel Hanley with boyfriend John and pup Cleo showing their love for the Humane Society – All Photos by Lacey Corn of BlackByrd Studio

Mojo has participated in the Mutt Strut for the past five years. This year they hope to continue growing their team and supporting the Humane Society of Indianapolis. There is still time to sign-up to walk with Mojos Mongrels at The Mutt Strut, or to make a donation. Be sure to look out for volunteers at the 420 celebration this weekend who will accept your donation in exchange for some delicious baked goods. Talk about knowing your target market.

Regular annual Mojo Mongrel participants Chris and Yvonne Noland were also in attendance with their pups Izzy and Balou. “We love seeing the Pits and Great Danes, and there always seems to be a troop of dachshunds running around,” the couple commented on Sunday. Balou, their one year-old Pit, is a rescue dog, so the Noland’s  understand the joy and happiness that can come from adopting a pup in need.

Mutt Strut 2014 with Mojos Mongrels

When: Saturday April 26th, 2014. Gates open at 9:30 am. with plenty of activities before the actual walk begins at 11:00am.

Where: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Who: Anyone that wants to support the Humane Society of Indianapolis (Dog not required)

How: Donate or join Mojos Mongrels on the team website

topherjones

Indianapolis native Topher Jones returns for a hometown gig on race weekend to share the Snake Pit stage with Diplo and Afrojack. Below, we chat about the Indy dance music scene (past and present).

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MOJO: You’re originally from Zionsville, so you’ve had the Indianapolis 500 in your backyard all your life. Do you have any special Race Day memories or traditions?

JONES: I’ve actually never been to the Indy 500… but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of memories after next weekend’s race!

MOJO: How often do you make it back down to Indianapolis? What’s on your agenda while you’re here besides playing The Snake Pit? 

JONES: I make it back to Indy every other month at least. I love getting to see my family there. I’ll only be home for about 18 hours on this trip, so I’m only going to sleep and go to the show before I have to head back up to Chicago!

MOJO: In an interview with The Palladium Chicago from two years ago you said that Indianapolis “has to fight to get anyone to come through the city because the scene there is small.” Do you still think that’s an accurate statement? 

JONES: I do think it’s an accurate statement. Indy isn’t one of the major markets. It’s a market that has to work to get international talent to come through. Slater Hogan and John Larner are doing an amazing job of really bringing in quality DJ’s. Those guys deserve a ton of respect.

MOJO: How has the Indianapolis scene changed since you were living here and active in it?

JONES: Dance music has become so much bigger and widely accepted in America since I last lived in Indy. Average music listeners know the name of big DJ’s and big dance music tunes. This has only opened up the doors for more events and more talent to be exposed in Indy.

MOJO: Everyone knows that Chicago is the birthplace of house music, but a new generation of dance music and dance music producers is upon us. Who do you consider to be your peers in the Chicago house music community? Who should Indianapolis dance music fans be keeping an eye out for?

JONES: Krewella is killin’ it right now. Blowing up. I wish Chicago had more people really trying to make a statement on an international level. I think more will start popping up soon.

MOJO: Are you performing anywhere around town after the race? Where’s the afterparty? (nobody has to work the next day!)

JONES: I’m actually heading back to Chicago that night because I have friends in town that are going to EDC Chicago and I need get back for them. There will also be a zillion artists in town so it will good to see them and catch up.

MOJO: What was the hardest thing for you about breaking out of Indianapolis and getting noticed for your work on a larger scale?

JONES: I think the hardest thing was the lack of other kids in my area of Indy that were into dance music. It was very isolated for me. It was hard to work with other producers to try to learn. One benefit from coming out of the Midwest is that Midwesterners work very hard and are usually down to earth. That goes a verrrrry long way. Talent takes you so far, but hard work trumps everything.

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Check out Topher Jones’ latest release below (a remix of Steve Aoki’s “Singularity”) and make sure you’ve picked up a Snake Pit wristband so you can partake in the madness on Race Day!