Saturday, November 1st – NapTown Sounds is proud to bring a new all ages live music experience to the Indianapolis area!

Freakaphonics is an event that shifts the paradigm for common live music experiences. Freakaphonics incorporates active surround-sound mixing of live bands, live “surround” video mixing/projection, and “surround” stage lighting. Audience members will be able to experience their favorite bands while submerged in a professional, multidimensional environment.

Freakaphonics

Featuring music from:
Hyryder
http://www.hyryder.com/

The New Old Cavalry
http://newoldcavalry.com/

Kaleidoscope Jukebox
http://www.kaleidoscopejukebox.com/

Audio: Matt Vice / Malcolm Johnson ( Naptown Sounds )
http://naptownsounds.com/

Lighting Design: Hey Tommy ( Herm Productions )

Video Projection: Jesse Bieber ( Bad Dagger )
Jeff Lowe ( Jeff Lowe’s liquid lights )

Doors: @ 7:00
Show: @ 8:00
Cover: $10 / $15 D.o.S.
All ages (12 & under FREE!)

the Irving

5505 E Washington St
Indianapolis, Indiana 46219


Buy Presale & Bus package tix here: http://freakaphonics2.brownpapertickets.com/

Admission Level Price
*General: $10.00 ($11.34 w/service fee)
Pre-Sale Discount

*Bus Package: $25.00 ($26.87 w/service fee)

The Bus Package includes free transportation from The Mousetrap (5565 N Keystone) to the Irving Theater and back. Entrance to BOTH venues is included.

Freakaphonics 2

__________________________________________________________

Want to win a ticket for this show?

Here is how you do it!

1.   In the comment section below, tell us is in, why you deserve to win. Make it good people. 100 words or less!

2.   Post this event blog to your Facebook Page and/or Twitter. Be sure to tag IndyMojo.com in your post and MAKE IT PUBLIC so we see it. Get as many likes as possible. (on your comment below) The winners will be picked by the amount of likes they receive.

It’s THAT easy!

Winners will be announced Friday, October 31st! 

Good luck!

10506967_10152627004947300_5561443072008087822_o Never miss a Werkout; after all, it’s for your health. The Werkout, a 3-day event filled with music, art, and all things silly, took place from August 7th-9th in Thornville, OH. An oasis of wonder and shenanigans, what more could one ask for?

After spending the time of our lives at Legends Valley, we set upon the task of reviewing the festival, recounting it for those who were there and recapping it for those who weren’t.

How to boil it down? Condensing 72 hours of bliss into simple text on a screen can be a challenge, but we’ve debated and discussed, recalled and reminisced, and this is the result. A list of 10 moments, bands, people, and situations to paint the picture of the Werkout.

10. The Comedy Stylings of Mr. Jesse Brown AKA The Blue Power Ranger

BeFunky_10402459_379736268841714_2713892266570187797_n.jpg

Jesse Brown (Left) and Johnathan Blackburn (Right) in front of the Furthur Bus at The Werkout 2014 (Photo: Gloria Ponciano)

Amusing would be an understatement had you met this gentleman moseying through the grounds on Saturday night. This guy was the real deal from the costume to his swift reenactment of “It’s morphin time!”  He was a true entertainer, as most witnesses would say. His comical gestures and witty dialogue were the perfect way to transition from one set to another.  I walked out of the situation with stomach cramps because I was laughing so hard. Werkout citizen Kenny Beebe went on to describe him as “Eloquent. He just kept on going forever. I didn’t want him to stop talking. This guy had to be a professional; he really put on a show.”

Jesse, if you’re out there and ever decide to go on tour just know that you’ve got yourself plenty of fans.

9. El Fuego

10521540_10152627013162300_4451564789036211852_o

Enchanting fire breathing displayed during Zoogma’s Saturday night set at The Werkout 2014 (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

A non-musical, yet integral, part of the festival were the performance artists throughout the weekend.   Nestled near the stages was a performance area set up specifically for performance artists of all kinds: hoopers, poi spinners, fire breathers and more. Performances of this kind are not uncommon to festivals by any means; in fact, they’re almost as expected as music is. However, Saturday’s events were something special.

As nightfall came and Zoogma tore through their incendiary set, fire performers captivated throngs of audience members with their craft. The performers worked three at a time, joining forces to create choreographed masterpieces of movement and light. Bright flames circled around on smooth trajectories, tearing beautiful patterns into the cool night air. It was mesmerizing. It was unreal.

Honorable mention: Fire cannons. Specifying further, computer-controlled, propane-fueledfire-cannons… with whistles to boot! Who knows what to officially call these contraptions; they shot short blasts of gas through an exhaust whistle and past an igniter. Epic. But… why, you may ask? Because that shit is awesome.

8. Ultraviolet Hippopotamus’ Saturday Night Special

Making the list of incredible performances to hit The Werkout on Saturday night was UV Hippo’s groovy performance. Always blistering and always on point, the band set the evening vibe right with their second set of the extended weekend. Starting out with the soothing and surreal, “Medicine”, Hippo amped up the energy track after track for the duration of their hour-long set. Moving through a 6-song set bordering on an average of 10 minutes a song they jammed their way through as only Hippo can do. The result? A meandering trail of color-clad humanoids dancing their way throughout the venue.

Set List:  Medicine > Verlander, Georgie (w/ Kenn Mogel on guitar), DNT, Tugboat, La Marea

Stream or download the entire set here

7. The Werks’ Two Sets on Saturday

1598988_10152627014667300_3345669073221144545_o

The Werks getin down Saturday Night at The Werkout 2014 (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

The Werks kept fans at attention with every beat of the night, hitting all of the right notes throughout both sets. They even brought the staff and production crew on stage for a solid moment of recognition; a grand round of applause. Zane Kesey and Derek Stevens from the Further bus did a narrative for the Anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death. Dave Weissman, the festival’s media organizer, and his son even joined the stage; dressed in galactic space wear (complete with capes), they played air guitar during the last song.

Setlist

Set One
Guido
Drop
Plain White Toast
Hard To Find Jam
Better Half
Fire Eater
Gameplan.

Set Two
For You
Galactic Passport
Cryptical Envelopment
The Other One
Rollin’

Stream or download the entire set here

6. The Furthur Bus

10448607_10152627009357300_8164816063369214039_o

Furthur bus posted up at The Werkout 2014 (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zane Kesey (the son of famed author Ken Kesey), Derek Stevens, and the next generation of pranksters made their way to The Werkout on their 50th anniversary tour. The bus, a beautiful piece of art and history on wheels was a one stop shop for fun, games, merch, and even a wedding! The Werk Out was the 6th official stop on their tour outside of their initial travels in Oregon in June.  I had the pleasure of speaking to Derek over the phone to ask a few questions, detailing their experiences on the road.  

How did the Werk Out become so lucky to be one of the stops of the tour?

“Actually, we were privileged enough to be invited by Rob Chafin of the Werks. I had the pleasure of talking to him over the phone a few times, and he said that they were trying to plan something special for us out there and said he’d appreciate it if we could make it.”

Is it safe to say that the Werks was probably your favorite gig out there?

“Without a doubt. The Werks were on top of it, it was a great gig across the board. They really stepped it up.”

Were there any other bands that caught your attention?

Actually to be honest I didn’t make it out on the grounds to explore very much until late night but hands down Zach Deputy. We had him on the bus, a little private recording session, and he just blew us all away.”

Is there any advice that you want to share with the youth of America and next generation of merry panksters?

“Best thing to keep in mind is that it’s okay to think differently. It’s okay to express yourself with music and art. Whatever it is that brings up your passion…. We’re not saying to tune in, turn on and drop out by any means. We don’t even roll like that anymore, especially right now on tour. You can be high on the hill but you end up missing those little things, you know? Be you and have fun. It’s okay to be yourself. You don’t have to go down any set path to be free and have fun. It’s all about living in the moment and not missing those little things.”

He went on to share a few intimate moments they had along the tour and added, “It’s those stories that color what this entire experience is about. You know, we actually had an opportunity to get – and I’d hate to mention it – corporate sponsors, but we turned it down. It didn’t feel right not having the bus on the road interacting with people. That’s not what this bus was about and we’re glad that we didn’t. We’ve made so many friends – lifelong friends – along the way.”

Next stop on the Bus tour will be in Baltimore, MD at The 8×10 room with special guest John Kadlecik of Furthur this Tuesday, August 19.

Check out more tour dates here

5. The Werks’ Stripped Down VIP Set/Q&A Meet and Greet

This may have not been a part of the main festival, and it wasn’t accessible for everyone, but it definitely deserves to be on the list. As a part of the VIP ticket package for The Werkout, ticketholders were treated with a special set from The Werks in the VIP lounge. Relaxed and laid back, it gave audience members a chance to see the band and interact with them in an uncommonly intimate setting. The session started with a heartfelt thank you from The Werks, detailing how fans and supporters are truly the reason that events like The Werkout exist. It felt good.

Seated among a group of spectators, The Werks played several stripped down songs including a new and yet-to-be released tune. They told stories and joked around. It was comfortable and enjoyable. After the short performance, they moved on to a Q&A session with the audience, prompting us to ask anything about the band, the festival, or whatever else was on our mind.

The shining moment of the Q&A session, you ask? They announced that there were 7 cinematographers filming Thursday’s Dark Side performance. The kicker? The soundboard audio and video of the set will be edited and released, FOR FREE, in several weeks once the project is completed. Another tasty tidbit? Anthony Thogmartin of Papadosio is mastering the audio. The days can’t tick by fast enough.

4. Everyone Orchestra

10494314_10152627008372300_5310931401018642013_o

Matt Butler in his slick get up during Everyone Orchestra at The Werkout 2014 (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

For those who don’t know, Everyone Orchestra is the ever changing, improvisational, brainchild of musician Matt Butler. Boiled down to its core, it’s a jam session, but not just any old jam. Featuring a rotating cast of some of the world’s top musicians (past participants have included members of The Grateful Dead, Phish, moe., String Cheese Incident, Taj Mahal, a presidential candidate and more).

For The Werkout’s incarnation, EO was a 14-piece band creating brass-laden funk fusion with Butler manning the helm as the Orchestra’s psychedelic conductor. He guided the group of musicians toward their auditory goal, creating and closing sonic space as he sees fit. As any musician will tell you, that’s easier said than done, especially with 14 people improvising at a time. Butler guided the group through the jam using vocal cues, hand gestures, and a little whiteboard that he feverishly scribbles directions to the musicians on. It truly is an awesome and silly sight of madness and music.

Stream or Download the set here

3. Zoogma’s Saturday Night Set

10547946_10152627012817300_2473159849200140849_o

WTF is a Zoogma? Saturday night set at the Werkout 2014 (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 4-piece livetronica outfit hailing from Oxford, Mississippi, took no prisoners with Saturday’s set at The Werkout festival, their second overall performance of the weekend. Sandwiched between The Werks’ two sets that night, they had some big shoes to fill. Zoogma pulled through with what may have been the most talked about set of the weekend.

As the last notes of The Werks’ first set tapered off, the bass took hold from the opposite stage… and so it began. Contrasting the stylings of the previous act’s more traditional sound, Zoogma was a swirling synthesis of organic and electronic instrumentation. Wasting no time and starting things off with a bang, they launched into what can only be described as an electro-blues banger. “Let My Shorty Ride (RL Burnside x Young Buck)”, a seamless blend of hip-hop and righteous gritty slide guitar, foreshadowed what was to come over the course of their set: an eclectic mix of originals and reworkings of a slew of other tracks.

Additional highlights of the set were the Michael Jackson and Eagles classics “Thriller” and “Hotel Crunkafornia (Notorious B.I.G. x The Eagles)”, respectively. For those of you who weren’t there, let’s get one thing straight: these were not simply covers, but incredibly solid and innovative rehashes of the original masterpieces. One has never heard such guitar playing like this during a “Thriller” performance, guaranteed.

As “Thriller” climaxed in one final intensifying crescendo, a surprise awaited, the opening notes to “Hotel California” rang out, soon to be layered in with some Biggie vocals. Intriguing? Damn straight. With dueling guitars and saw-bass low-end, Zoogma soared on this one; imagine Joe Walsh and Don Felder duking it out on the famous solo, but only that this time through they had discovered the glory of Ableton before writing the track. Hands. Down. Breathtaking.

Setlist

Let My Shorty Ride
Mirage
Jerry Diesel
Starrey Eyed Thriller
Hotel Crunkifornia
Jaguar
M10

Stream or Download the full set here

2. Zach Deputy

The one-man-band from Savannah, GA that kept on keepin’ on! It was almost impossible to keep from ‘to his funky tunes, even if you were just passing through for that midafternoon delight. Had the dance floor not been made of rocks, people surely would have kicked off their boogie shoes! The guitar was funky with a few flicks of beat boxing here and there and Deputy laid down smooth, soulful, swingin’ vocals. This man would have you down in New Orleans one minute then out with island fever the next.

Deputy made sure to engage the audience throughout his set to enhance the vibe and step up the jive. He kept the loop train going all throughout Friday and Saturday night, even on into Sunday morning. Even the schedule didn’t know what time he would be done! Embracing his collaborative spirit, he also provided  vocals during the Dark Side and Everyone Orchestra sets as well. What ‘chu know ‘bout The Deputy?!

1. And the downright obvious of the all things epic: Dark Side of the Werk Out set!

10452917_344632282370013_1844742781101217678_o

Epic Dark Side of the Werkout Set with The Werks, Papadosio, and Dopapod (Photo: Joe Chung)

What an incredible way to bring in the first night of the festival.  There was so much zest and excitement in the air leading up to this set of epic wonder. By the time The Werks ended their last song of their first set the crowd had swelled up. One could feel the intensity and the anticipation for what was about to take place – the fifteen minute set change seemed to take forever.

Finally, each band member took their place and the lights dimmed to their appropriate state. The crowd cheered louder with every pulse that lead into the sudden stroke of “Breathe”, and then the pack got wild! Chills are currently pacing their way up and down this writer’s spine just reliving that moment. And who better to open up the tribute other than the festival director and beat master of The Werks himself, Rob Chafin.

As if the Dark Side set wasn’t enough, more surprises made their way into this grand recital. Kevin Dumont laid down the smooth and saxxy melodies during “Money.” The enchanting vocals of Mr. Zach Deputy were brought in for “Great Gig in the Sky”, and, boy did that man bring a few people down to their knees! Making their way through the crowd at that moment was the full cast of Wizard of Oz, even the Lollipop Guild, as the movie played on the backdrop. Overall, it was an inspiring sight to behold.

There it is, the Werkout in review. While this isn’t an all-inclusive list or even the big picture of what went down that weekend, it’s our little version. Short and condensed, just add water – or beer – to reconstitute. Given the chance, would we go again? Yes. As for you, the reader, should you consider it next year? That’s not for us to say, but, if this article was met with intrigue and a peaked interest, you probably already know the answer to that question.

Want more pictures? 
The Werkout 2014 with Aaron Lingenfelter
The Werkout 2014 with Joe Chung

For this installation of “The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals” we’re continuing our quest and branching out, covering music festivals from all over the United States. Whether it’s down south for Wakarusa or out east for Rootwire, organic focused like The Werk Out or all electronic like Movement; globetrotters from near and far will be able to find something of interest in this week’s edition. Here is this week’s scrumptious list of festivals:

1. Wakarusa

Wakarusa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEN: June 5th-8th, admission on June 4th included in VIP passes

WHERE: Ozark, AK

Cost: $204 4-Day GA, $139 3-Day Pass, $109 2-Day Pass $705 VIP (prices shown without tax and fees)

Style: Multi-genre focused on jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

16 artist collectives and performance troupes will be in attendance at Waka this year. Activities, performers, and installations include: workshops, stilt walkers, flow jams, meditations, audiovisual installations, a slackline park, spray art walls, mobile art installations, a New Earth Sacred Temple, and much, much more. Here at IndyMojo, we’re crossing our fingers for a repeat appearance of last year’s Ferris wheel; buy the weekend pass if you see it!

Things to Know

You must buy parking passes for your car at Wakarusa; up to 5 people can ride per car and split in on the cost. Passes can be bought for the main venue, west woods, and riverside locations. At this point, only riverside spots remain, but they’ve been known to release more passes as the festival nears. Don’t count on it, though, last year’s extra releases sold out in about 15 minutes. Other words of wisdom: you are truly in the middle of nowhere at this festival, come prepared. But to begin…

Oh yes, Wakarusa. By now this name should resonate with seasoned festie goers and newbies alike. With kick-ass lineups, artists, and one hell of a location this festival is not one to miss this summer (or any summer for that matter). Nestled on top of Mulberry Mountain near the southern edge of the Ozarks, Wakarusa can be a bit of a hike to get to from most parts of the Midwest. But, as past attendees will tell you, it’s well worth it.

Ranging from festival mainstays like The String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, and Umphrey’s McGee to lesser known acts like The Werks, The Magic Beans, and D.V.S.*, fans are drooling at the thought of this year’s shenanigans. In addition to the musical lineup, Waka has one of the more diverse art and performance influences that you’ll find at a festival. Make sure to check out the woven wooden domes from Helping Hands, the interstellar 3D projections in the tree line from Maizz Visual, and the atmospheric sculptures and installations from BhuddaBones Art, just to name a few.

With a lineup that nears the greatest of the year, completely subjective of course, planning a trip down to Arkansas can be tantalizing. Unbelievable scenery, unbelievable tunes, and unbelievable artistry will exude from the Ozarks the weekend of June 6th. And, with all of the sights, sounds, an experiences promised be had at Waka this year it only one problem exists… which shows to hit?

Must See Headliners

-The String Cheese Incident

-Bassnectar

-STS9

-John Butler Trio

-Rusko

-Lettuce

-Xavier Rudd

-EOTO

More Lineup Surprises

-Papadosio

-The Werks

-Boombox

-Minnesota

-Ott.

-The Magic Beans

-Random Rab

-Govinda

 

2. The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival

The Werk Out Poster 2014 Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When: August 7th – 9th

Where: Thornville, OH

Cost: $99.99 GA, $179.99 VIP (OG Status)

Style: Diverse, ranging from freak out jam to downtempo and everything in between.

Things to Know

If there’s one festival that pays respect to the Midwest music scene, it’s The Werk Out. Thrown annually by Ohio natives, The Werks, this year’s lineup features multiple night performances from nine different acts. That’s right, nine different acts! What does that mean, you ask? You’ll not only get to catch double the performances from your favorite bands but you’ll get to hear all of the deep tracks that rarely get played in one-off festival performances.

Although this festival does prominently feature many bands and artists that first made their mark in the Midwest, don’t think that that’s all that there is to see (read: hear) at The Werk Out. Emancipator, Phutureprimitive, Dopapod, Twiddle, and many more round out the out-of-the-region acts. If you like a healthy heaping of face melting rock, check out The Werks. If you’re more into mind-bending jamtronica, find Papadosio for your fix. If chilled out downtempo is your thing, Emancipator is the act to see. Jonesin’ for some high-energy trashgrass, the Rumpke Mountain Boys are your guys. All in all, there’s only one thing to do: grab a beer, go dance, and have a good time. 

Must See Headliners

-Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon played in its entirety by members of Papadosio, The Werks, and Dopapod

-The Werks (x3)

-Papadosio (x2)

-Emancipator

-Future Rock (x2)

-Zoogma (x2)

-Dopapod (x2)

More Lineup Surprises

-Phutureprimitive

-Rumpke Mountain Boys (x2)

-UV Hippo (x2)

-DJ no DJ (A Live Band Tribute to Daft Punk)

 


 

3. Spring Awakening Music Festival

Soldier Field, Chicago

Soldier Field, Chicago

When: June 13th – 15th

Where: Chicago, IL

Cost: $246.09 GA*, $363.21 VIP* (21+ only)

*Includes tax and fees

Style: EDM

Things to know

This is NOT a camping festival, so prepare to hit up some Chi-town buddies to do some couch surfing or save up and split in on a hotel with some friends. Also, the VIP section is 21+ so keep that in mind. No totems/rage sticks, glowsticks, LED gloves, food, or empty water bottles are allowed inside the venue. With no outside food or water allowed in, make sure to being enough cash to grab adequate food and hydration inside the gates. Also, the music ends at 11:00pm each night so you might want to plan on hitting some after parties to keep the good times rolling into the late night.

Held in Soldier Field in Chicago, IL, Spring Awakening is a relative newbie to the festival circuit. One of the few all EDM festivals that we’ll be covering in this series, Spring Awakening is a festival geared towards all the bass loving EDM cats of the world. Featuring huge names from all over the electronic scene: Tiesto, Pretty Lights, Kaskade, Diplo, and Benny Benassi just to name a few, Spring Awakening promises to be a rager. Chicago won’t know what hit it.

Must See Headliners

-Pretty Lights

-Kaskade

-Diplo

-Big Gigantic

-Knife Party

More Lineup Surprises

 -Benny Benassi

-Bingo Players

-Paper Diamond

-Manic Focus

-Thomas Gold

4. Movement Electronic Music Festival 

Movement Photo

Hart Plaza, Detroit

When: May 24th – 26th

Where: Detroit, MI

Cost: $130 3-Day Pass (Tier 2), $55 1-Day Passes for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Style: EDM

Things to Know

Movement, like Spring Awakening, is NOT a campout. It’s held in the heart of Detroit, so plan on finding a place to stay for the weekend. And, unlike most festivals, Movement runs Saturday-Monday so plan accordingly. Also, this one is HUGE. Last year’s attendance was over 107,000 so be prepared.

Movement Electronic Music Festival takes place in Detroit, the birthplace of Techno. A Mecca, for decades, as many see it. A hard won and well worn spot for producers, DJ’s, and rave culture as a whole. Located downtown in Hart Plaza and on the city’s riverfront, Movement boasts 5 stages and over 100 acts to see. If you haven’t heard about this festival before and need to know you need to know one thing: it’s old school. For many festival goers, be prepared to see producers that have been doing it right since you were a toddler.

National and international musicians make the yearly pilgrimage to the holy land for Movement, and for many, it will be their only stateside appearance of the year. Music runs from noon to midnight each day, so it might be wise to get some late night plans in order. Don’t worry though, the people over at Paxahau (the producers of the event) have you covered. There are literally dozens of afterparties that have been organized around the city that weekend; all that you have to do is pick a couple.

Must See Headliners 

-Skream

-Richie Hawtin

-Bonobo

-John Digweed

-Carl Cox

-Loco Dice

 

5. Rootwire Transformational Arts Festival

Rootwire Hooper

When: July 17th – 20th

Where: Terra Alta, WV

Cost: $125 4-Day GA

Style: Organic and electronic blend

Extra Additions: Gallery works and presentations will be held by Alex and Allyson Grey.

Things to Know

While holding a nearly identical name as to Rootwire Music & Arts Festival, Rootwire Transformational Festival is loosely associated with the festival from which it gets its namesake.

Rootwire fans the world over held their collective breath this year; waiting to hear if their beloved festival would be thrown again. After it was announced that Rootwire Music & Arts festival would be changing locations this year, nobody knew what to expect. After months of waiting it was announced that Papadosio and EQ Endeavors would split, with EQ picking up the responsibilities for this year’s festival. This year has some of the bigger acts to grace Rootiwre’s stages: Shpongle, Beats Antique, Love & Light, the list goes on. With the changes to the organization for 2014’s event, it will be interesting to see how Rootwire will transform itself as well as the rest of us.

Must See Headliners

-Shpongle

-Beats Antique (x2)

-EOTO

-Conspirator

-Love & Light

-VibeSquad 

More Lineup Surprises

-Dirtwire

-Lynx

-Cosby Sweater

-Eumatik

-Magnetic

 


Continued from The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals: East Coast Styleeee

As the last of winter melts away and spring is set upon us, music fans the world over are joining in a collective daydream of something long lost to the months of cold. It is something loved and dearly missed. It is a sanctuary. It is a place for movers, shakers, and music makers. It is a long travel into the middle of nowhere. At the same time it’s just a short trip into the city. It is drum circle, and yet it’s a turntable and subs. It is an electric guitar, too. It is the great outdoors. It is sunny days and moonlit nights spent dancing under the stars. It is the unmistakable smell of patchouli and shenanigans. What is our dream, you ask? Simply put: Festie Season.

Here at IndyMojo, we’ve undertaken a project to help you decide where your summer mischief will be best spent. We’re compiling a festival roundup of sorts, detailing the ins and outs of America’s best music festivals. By no means should this be viewed as an all-inclusive or all-encompassing guide. Instead, it should be regarded as an informative look into festivals both large and small, created with the intent of helping you find your own unique path for the summer.

Because this is such an immense project to undertake, the guide will be broken up into a multi-part mini-series. For part one of the Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals, the focus will be on festivals located in the heart of our home, the Midwest. Here goes…

1. Summer Camp Music Festival

Summer Camp Photo

When: May 23rd-25th, Thursday Pre-Party May 22nd

Where: Chillicothe, IL

Cost: $212 GA* (tier 2), $33 Thursday Pre-Party GA*

*Prices Include all facility and service fees

Style: Multi-genre focused on jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

Late night barn sets (extra ticket required), musician workshops, community activism workshops, Soulshine tent, and kid’s area.

Things to Know

No car side camping (be prepared to walk with your camping gear). Limited shade in most camping areas, no outside alcohol allowed.

One of the largest festivals in the Midwest, the 14th annual Summer Camp Music Festival will take place this year in Chillicothe, IL. Founded in 2001, Summer Camp has grown from an initial attendance of 1,000 to over 15,000 in recent years and has previously hosted acts such as Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Widespread Panic, Pretty Lights, The Flaming Lips, Skrillex, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and many more.

As for Summer Camp 2014, the lineup has an incredible mix of both organic and electronic music, and one will be hard pressed to find a better combination of artists in once place this summer. To reiterate plainly, this year’s lineup is INSANE: Bassnectar, Umphrey’s, Lotus, Yonder, EOTO, and Trey, all on the same lineup. Say what!?

Some key things to remember, though, there are extremely limited forest camping spots so plan on bringing extra sunshades for your tent and camping area. Outside alcoholic beverages aren’t allowed in the park either, so plan accordingly if you want to get your buzz on over the weekend.

All in all, Summer Camp is one of the must-attend festivals of the summer, especially for those living within a few hundred miles. The acts listed below barely even scratch the surface of the Summer Camp, and there are still more announcements to come. There’s a little something for everyone in Chillicothe this year, head on over to the Summer Camp site to check the rest of the lineup out! 

Headliners (More to be announced)

-Moe. (x3)

-Umphrey’s McGee (x3)

-Bassnectar

-Trey Anastasio Band (x2)

-Primus

-Slightly Stoopid

-EOTO

-Zac Brown Band

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-Yonder Mountain String Band

-Lotus

-Keller Williams

-Gramatik

-Mimosa

-Beats Antique

-Lettuce

-The Werks

-The Devil Makes Three

-The Floozies

-Cosby Sweater

-UV Hippo

-Manic Focus

 

2. Electric Forest 

Sunset over Rothbury, MI

Sunset over Rothbury, MI

When: June 26th-29th

Where: Rothbury, MI

Cost: $265 GA plus ticket fees

Style: Jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

Sherwood Forest, silent disco, numerous workshops, additional curated events in the Tripolee area.

Electric forest is held at the Double JJ Resort, infamous for the whimsical Rothbury Music Festivals held there in 2008 and 2009. Since then, the festival has transformed into a new beast. For the fourth consecutive year, the Double JJ Resort will be converted into the Electric Forest, a vibrant playground for the mind, body, and soul. For those of you who been to the psychedelic Mecca known as EF, it is a sight to behold.

A mulit-genre festival that highlights both organic and electronic music, Electric Forest has top-notch artists from all styles to keep any music lover enthralled for days. Ranging from three nights of Cheese (with one night billed as the Ms. Lauryn Hill Incident) to sets by Xavier Rudd, Papadosio, and The Glitch Mob, there is a musical diversity on the EF bill that will keep everybody entranced. Whether you love jam, electronic, and/or everything in between; you will find what you’re looking for up in Rothbury.

The luminous Sherwood Forest

The luminous Sherwood Forest

Located in the heart of the festival grounds, Sherwood Forest is the optical masterpiece that Electric forest is named after; it comes complete with light, sound, visuals, and all things merry. It is a place of wonder, amazement, and indescribable astonishment that inspires awe to all who pass through it. Sherwood Forest alone is enough reason to go.

Car side camping is a big plus at Electric Forest, you’ll be able to pack a little more without worrying about carrying everything in and out of the festival. As with Summer Camp, though, the camping grounds are in an open field so plan to bring a source of shade.

Headliners (More to be announced)

-The String Cheese Incident (x3)

-Steve Angello

-STS9 (x2)

-Lauryn Hill

-Zeds Dead

-Flying Lotus

-The Glitch Mob

-Stephen Marley

-EOTO

-Zedd

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-12th Planet

-Papadosio

-Paper Diamond

-Bro Safari

-Emancipator Ensemble

-Conspirator

-Rising Appalachia

-Xavier Rudd

-Zoogma

 

3. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 

The 11th annual Bonnaroo, 2012

The 11th annual Bonnaroo, 2012

When: June 12th-15th

Where: Manchester, TN

Cost: $285 GA plus service fees

Style: Multi-genre encompassing all styles of music.

Extra Attractions

Silent disco, comedy theatre, cinema, on-site newspaper, The Academy (interactive arts experience and workshops), poster art exhibit, water slide, Centeroo fountain, yoga, kid’s area.

Things to Know

It’s freakin’ hot! Be sure to stock up on sunshades and water before this festival. Due to the dirt in the air, you might want to bring a gangster bandana as well.

What do Elton John, Kanye West, and Skrillex have in common? They’re all playing Bonnaroo! If you haven’t heard of the infamous ‘Roo yet, you’ve been buried deeper than just under a rock. For 4 days, Manchester, TN is home to one of the most eclectic and headliner-centric lineups in the world. Bringing heavy hitters in from too many countries to count, there’s something there for music lovers of all shapes and sizes.

If it’s EDM that works you up, check out Skrillex, Kaskade, and The Glitch Mob. If you’re big into the indie scene, head over to see Pheonix, The Arctic Monkeys, or Broken Bells. If it’s folk and Americana that gets you going, Neutral Milk Hotel, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Ed Helms’ Bluegrass Superjam will do quite nicely. For you metalheads, Meshuggah and Mastodon made their way onto the bill. Literally, every genre is represented here, and it’s beautiful.

The infamous Centeroo Fountain

The infamous Centeroo Fountain

In addition to the music, Bonnarroo offers some of the most creative extras that one may come across at a festival this summer. There’s a comedy theatre, an air-conditioned cinema, a solar powered stage, a waterslide, a salon (ha.), an on-site newspaper, a beer garden, a silent auction, and much much more.

Remember, though, that it’s almost guaranteed to be a scorcher. Bring out the sombreros, bandanas, and crazy lids to keep cool. Bring the tarps, tapestries, and easy-ups to provide shade. Bring extra gallons of water and bottles sunscreen to keep hydrated and safe. Basically, prepare for a middle Tennessee campout in June. Don’t let us scare you, though. If you’re prepared then there’s nothing to worry about.

After all, you’ll be dancing your ass off day and night to some of the best acts in the world. You’ll be basking in the mushroom fountain in Centeroo. You’ll be raving it up in the silent disco. And, on the ride home, you’ll be calling up your buddies to ask why they didn’t grab a ticket and come with.

Headliners (More to be announced)

-Elton John

-Kanye West

-Jack White

-Kaskade

-Arctic Monkeys

-The Flaming Lips

-Neutral Milk Hotel

-The Bluegrass Situation Superjam hosted by Ed Helms

-Superjam with Skrillex and Friends

Deeper Lineup Surprises 

-John Butler Trio

-Umphrey’s McGee

-Slightly Stoopid

-The Glitch Mob

-Yonder Mountain String Band

-Break Science

 

4. Paradise Music & Arts Festival 

Paradise Music and Arts Fesival 2014

Paradise Music and Arts Fesival 2014

When: July 11th and 12th

Where: Hustonville, KY

Cost: Early Bird, $60, GA at the Gate, $80

Style: Multi-genre focused on jam and EDM

Extra Attractions

25-30 minute professional fireworks show, yoga, workshops, live art/visual performances, hoop troupes.

Things to Know

There are only 500 total tickets available so plan on purchasing yours early!

Paradise Music & Arts Festival is a new kid on the block and a force to be reckoned with. For a first year festival, the lineup is chock full of insanely talented regional and national acts, and it’s near the top of the list for don’t miss smaller festivals this summer. A 2-day festival, lovers of jam, jamtronic, EDM, bluegrass and more will want to call this festival home for the weekend, and it’s looking to be a rip roaring good time!

Set in the rolling hills of Echo Acres in Hustonville, KY, the camping area is scenic and relaxed. The lineup boasts top acts such as: The Werks, Dopapod, Zoogma, Govinda, and Moon Hooch; lending an experimental vibe to this festival. Get your tickets quickly, though, with only 500 tickets to be sold you don’t want to sleep on this one!

Headliners (More to be announced)

-The Werks

-Dopapod (x2)

-Zoogma

-Govinda

-Kaleidoscope Jukebox

-Moon Hooch

-IndigoSun

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-Broccoli Samurai

-The Macpodz

-Blue Moon Soup

-Spankalicious

-The New Old Calvalry

 

5. Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival

Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival 2014

Phases of the Moon Music and Arts Festival 2014

When: September 11th-14th

Where: Danville, IL

Cost: $230 GA plus ticket fees (tier 1), extra costs apply depending on camping location.

Style: Multi-genre focused on rock/jam/bluegrass/funk

Extra Attractions

Tthe Sanctuary, numerous workshops, 170-acre lake on-site, hiking trails, fishing (with valid IL fishing license), and kid’s area.

Phases of the Moon is a first-year, 4-day, all jam/rock/bluegrass/funk camping festival held at the 3,000 acre Kennekuk County Park in Central Illinois. It will be a funky spot for a festival; the property comes complete with turn-of-the-century buildings, prairie lands, and several lakes, and streams on-site. The Sanctuary, and everything that goes with it, is an exciting little tidbit from the festival’s site preview too, head over to their page for an in-depth description of what it is!

Musically, the festival boasts an all-organic lineup, meaning that there isn’t a single DJ on the bill. Be prepared to jam out for days with Widespread (two sets), Bob Weir, Gov’t Mule, and many more. Art will also be a big focus of the festival with interactive sculpture, live art, and performance art playing an integral part of Phases of the Moon. 

Headliners (More to be announced)

-Widespread Panic (x2)

-Bob Weir & Ratdog

-Lunar Landing Conspiracy

-Railroad Earth

-Tea Leaf Green

-Tedeschi Trucks Band

-Gov’t Mule

Deeper Lineup Surprises

-Galactic

-Dumpstaphunk

-Soulive

-The Main Squeeze

-Moon Hooch

-Cornmeal

-The Rumpke Mountain Boys

Next in the series: The Midwesterner’s Guide to Music Festivals Pt. 2 : On The Front Porch

Pre-show dance party (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

Pre-show dance party (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

It’s a Friday night in Indianapolis and what’s there to do? On normal nights, this inquiry might pose a more serious question. Last weekend, however, the answer was quite simple. One phrase, five words, nothing more. Papadosio and The Main Squeeze. A righteous show, put simply.

For those of you who don’t know, Papadosio and The Main Squeeze are both bands that honed their chops in the Midwest. Papadosio first made their mark in Athens, Ohio before moving out to Asheville, North Carolina. The Main Squeeze are Hoosiers at heart, starting out in Bloomington before picking up and heading up to Chicago, Illinois. Jamtronica and Funk are their styles, respectively, if you could boil it down to one descriptor apiece. An awesome but odd combo for most shows. In this case, epic is the word that first comes to mind. And, on that brisk night, fans made their way to the Old National Centre for their night of festivities and frivolity.

Once inside the venue and two steps down the stairs the temperature change was already noticeable. Hot, humid air that comes to greet you and only means one thing… This sh** is rockin’. Fans showed up early to support both bands, something lost on many of today’s show-goers. It was due to the quality of the music, no doubt.

The Main Squeeze brought it hard and played a noteworthy set, kicking things off with the
fast paced rocker, “Where Do We Go?”, from their self-titled debut album. Moving on to some staple crowd favorites they jammed through two dance-fueling songs that harken back to the good ol’ Bloomington days. After this little funk rollercoaster they dropped a bombshell that nobody was prepared for: Sam Brouse and Rob McConnell of Papadosio sat in with The
Squeeze, cranking out some righteous tunes and keeping the heat wave rolling.

Max Newman of The Main Squeeze

Max Newman of The Main Squeeze               (Photo: Tyler Ott)

After an interesting interpretation of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, they brought out their cathartic magnum opus of a showstopper, “I’ll Take Another”. The feeling of this song live is indescribable; every soul should experience it, multiple times perhaps. Closing out with one final track, they left behind a boisterous crowd that was sweating, screaming, and wanting more.

Then came time for the main attraction. Papadosio, the infinitely skilled and ever exploring quintet, was set to take the stage. The lights dimmed and mouths erupted into one steady cheer as the crowd drew closer. The dance party, my friends, would soon to be at its peak. Dosio (the go-to name for many) surprised fans by bringing them in gently with a slow and cascading rendition of “Right Now”, a synth laden acousto-electric hybrid off of their newest album, T.E.T.I.O.S. Surprises awaited as Corey Frye of The Main Squeeze stepped onstage for the next performance; bringing the house down with an exquisitely brooding and intense version of “T.V. Song”.

Papadosio sharing the love

Papadosio sharing the love (Photo: Aaron Lingenfelter)

After being released from the dark grip of the T.V., the journey continued onward. With their unique blend of electronically driven harmonium Papadosio had the crowd entranced. The intense harmony of both electric and acoustic vibrations, their signature sound, is nearly impossible to describe except that it feels surprisingly at home in the heart and the bones. This writer is currently trying to figure out how to put it to words. One must find it for themself.

As smiles abounded and hugs were exchanged a crowd favorite, “All I Knew”, took everyone by the shirttails and left for another rollercoaster, destined with more peaks and valleys for all to experience. And then it was on to set break. Goodbye. Au revoir. Auf Wiedersehen. For now…

Picking up right where they left off, Papadosio blasted through the second set with an eclectic mix of tracks spanning their entire career: “We Are Water” and “Oracle Theme” from T.E.T.I.O.S., “By the Light of the Stars” and “Unparalyzer” from the By the Light of the Stars EP, “Night Colors” from Observations, and “Taking Turns” which has yet to be released outside of live recordings. Tired and exhilarated, the crowd watched Dosio leave the stage, soon to return with a feverish abandon that only a “Snorkel” encore can muster. An incendiary drumbeat soon warming up into reverb laced guitar lines and soaring synths, the crowd was immediately transported to another planet. The song ebbed and flowed and brought all of the night’s frivolities to a peak, culminating in one final climax. And, with that, the show was over.

In retrospect it was a night well done but over too soon. Friends were made and good times were had. Smiles were served, and all was well in the world. Indianapolis had its own little bit of magic that night. We came, we saw, and music conquered.

Papadosio Setlist:

Right Now

T.V. Song (w/ Corey Frye)

Fuse

You and Yourself

All I Knew

(Set Break)

We Are Water

By the Light of the Stars

Oracle Theme

Unparalyzer

Taking Turns

Night Colors

Snorkel (Encore)

 

The Main Squeeze Setlist:

Where Do We Go?

Funky Good Time (Intro)

Ebaneezer

Dr. Funk

Loud (w/ Sam Brouse)

Tank X-ing (w/ Rob McConnel)

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I’ll Take Another

Message to the Lonely

Ratdog Tour 2014

The Weir is here. Indy has hosted some of the nation’s premiere Grateful Dead influenced bands over the past few months: Terrappin Flyer and Dark Star Orechestra, to name a few. You’ve seen the rest, now see the best. The irreplaceable Bob Weir, longtime rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead, will be performing at Old National Center on Tuesday March 11th with his band Ratdog.

Ratdog was officially founded following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Bob Weir, guitarist, and Rob Wasserman, bassist, had toured together under the name “Weir and Wasserman” and “Scaring the Children” sporadically prior to Garcia’s death, but the passing of Garcia really got the wheels spinning on the project.

Needless to say, the group has garnered a large fan base. Aside from hashing out Grateful Dead classics, the band notably performs Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and other influential classic rock artists, too. Ratdog has hosted a slew of talented musicians in the lineup over the years. Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead percussionist), Bill Kreutzman (Grateful Dead keyboardist), Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio are among the smattering of musicians that have graced the stage alongside Ratdog. Current touring members include Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti, Steve Kimock, Jay Lane, Robin Sylvester and Rob Wasserman.

If you haven’t had your good old fashioned Dead fix this year, are aching for more, or simply want to start preparing for the upcoming festie season (yay!) mosey on down to Old National to witness Ratdog where you can catch a glimpse of good, old Bobby “playin’ in the band”.

Ratdog at Old National Center

8:00 PM

$41.50-$89.75

Terrapin Flyer Live

Dead heads rejoice! If for some odd reason you missed Dark Star Orchestra two weeks ago, or you just need another dose of the Dead, Terrapin Flyer will be at The Mousetrap this Wednesday February 19th at 8 PM.

This Chicago based group has been channeling their inner Grateful Dead since 1999, and understandably, as three of the members have been involved in various Dead affiliated projects. Legendary musicians Melvin Seals, Mark Karan, and Tom Constanten all have history with the Dead. Melvin Seals, of Jerry Garcia Band and JGB fame, has been playing with Terrapin Flyer since 2004. He toured with the Jerry Garcia Band for 15 years. Famed for his skilled organ playing, Seals is a seasoned veteran in the Dead catalog.

Former Grateful Dead member, Tom Constanten began touring with Flyer in 2006. Constanten was their keyboardist from 1968-1970. As a member, he contributed to the albums: Anthem of the SunAoxomoxoa, and Live Dead. Considering his stint with the Dead, he is more than well versed in their musical philosophy.

Additionally, Mark Karan performs with the group. Karan was selected after Garcia’s death to replace him in The Other Ones. Since 1998 he has been the guitarist for Bob Weir’s group RatDog. He has also toured with Phil Lesh & Friends every now and then. Other players in Terrapin Flyer include “Wavy” Dave Burlington from Cornmeal, and Mike Hazdra former bassist of Dark Star Orchestra.

Wow! Flyer certainly boasts an impressive and complex list of Grateful Dead family relations. Although Terrapin Flyer displays a diversity of musical influences, one thing can be sure, they will do their best to rouse the magic of the Grateful Dead this Wednesday.

Terrapin Flyer Mardi Gras Tour

The Mousetrap Bar and Grill

5565 N.Keystone  Ave Indianapolis, IN 46220

$15

 

 

 

Brooklyn, NY based band, Dopapod.

Brooklyn, NY based band, Dopapod.

Grab your dancing shoes and get your rage face ready because Dopapod, one of the harder hitting jam-bands in the scene, is coming back to The Mousetrap on Saturday February 8th, one day after Dark Star Orchestra raises the dead at The Egyptain Room. For those of you who were at the last show or have had the opportunity to see them live before, you know what to expect. Raunchy staccato guitar lines, a tightly coiled rhythm section, soaring organ/synths; it’s a psychedelic, hard-rock-loving, bluesman’s dream. Think “Phish meets Rage Against the Machine meets Ultraviolet Hippopotamus” and you might have the slightest inkling of what these guys are bringing to the stage every night.

With a trio of studio albums under their belt and playing over 150+ live shows each of the last 3 years, Dopapod is one of the hardest working bands around. Regulars of the festival circuit, they’ve made appearances at major festivals like Camp Bisco, Bonnaroo, Burning Man, The Big Up, Rootwire, Gathering of the Vibes, and many more. That – folks – is what we call street cred.

Dopapod LiveTheir most recent studio effort, the self-produced Redivider (released Dec. 21st, 2012), is also the first to incorporate vocals into the band’s sound. Tracks like “Vol. 3 #86” and “Braindead” showcase this new direction, but there’s still plenty of room for that classic Dopapod style to keep everyone happy. “My Elephant Vs. Your Elephant” and “Bubble Brain” highlight the album’s instrumentals; both tracks sending listeners on a multi-faceted musical journey complete with a range of energy, sound, and emotion. Seriously, check these tracks out; you’ll dig it.

Along with their 3 studio releases, Dopapod has also released a slew of soundboard recordings for listeners to enjoy, all except for “I Saw Live Dopapod Evil Was I” are downloadable for free or pay (name your own price) on their Bandcamp page. Just a heads up, the NYE 2013 show at The Palladium is freakin’ glorious.

Lighting up stages with their incendiary live shows, this band has earned each and every fan as they’ve crisscrossed the country from show to show. They’re one of the few truly original acts out there, even pigeonholing them to a single genre can be downright difficult. Is it jam? Experimental? Prog? Who knows. Moral of the story, though: come out to The Mousetrap on the 8th and enjoy the show. Laugh with us. Dance with us. Jam with us. See you there.

funky junkThe 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.


Interview & Review by – Adam Langolf 

On Friday March 8th, Brooklyn, New York’s Dopapod and Grand Rapids based Ultraviolet Hippopotamus converged to create a night of joyful noise and instrumental insanity. This show was of particular interest to me having not seen much instrumentally complex music as of late.  Having previously performed with Dopapod, I knew quite well how talented the band was and eagerly awaited another unpredictable performance.   This was to be the third time I’d have seen UV Hippo.  Initially impressed with their performance at the first Rootwire, I managed to catch them at Muncie’s Come Together Festival for a set that absolutely delivered. UV Hippo’s blend of positive lyrics, carefree attitude and solid musicianship has quickly made them a midwest festival favorite. To me it is a treat to see how much these bands have changed six months or a year later. Inevitable at shows like this one, we enjoy aspects of one band more than the other.  I’ve been quite out of touch with the world of jam oriented music for some time now. But, given that Grateful Dead and Phish were two of my biggest early influences… I thought checking out UV Hippo and Dopapod, two very diverse and different jam/rock bands seemed a good fit to re-visit those roots. I throughly enjoyed a lot of the nuances these bands brought from our modern music spectrum. One thing is for sure, both bands are expanding exponentially.

This would be Dopapod’s third time playing Indianapolis. I had a chance to sit down with them to discuss the band’s new album, Redivider, among other things in what made for a very enjoyable interview:

Mojo: How are you guys tonight?

Band: Good! Wooh!

Mojo: Glad to have you guys back in Indiana. How many times have you guys played here?

Eli: I think this is our 2nd time.

Chuck: This is our 3rd time.

Rob: In the state of Indiana?

Chuck: This is our 3rd time in Indianapolis.

Eli: Really?

Rob: What was our first time?
Mojo: Birdy’s?
(whole band remembers and laughs)

Rob: Oh yeah.. there was like nobody there!! Like 2 people.

Chuck: No there was. Like.. 2 people that are here tonight.
(band asks me a few questions and decides Alex “Herm” Schneider with Herm Productions was at that show)

Mojo: I understand you guys went to Berklee College of Music in Boston.  Did all 4 of you attend the school?

Band: Yes.

Mojo: Did you all graduate?
(everyone but neil says no)

Neal:  I did!

Mojo: So was not finishing school a result of Dopapod starting to take off?

Band: Yeah.

Mojo: Is there anyone that helped you guys get off the ground or gave you a great opportunity?

Eli: Yeah.. Kevin McKluskey with Jazz Revelation Records. It’s a student run label at Berklee.

Rob: Yeah definitely.. Kevin McKluskey (excited)

Eli: They put together these events with the areas best jazz musicians.  Not only did they choose us for a compilation but they featured us as the last song of the night.

Rob: The crowd loved it but some jazz purists seemed unhappy.  A guy came up to me after our show the next day and said ” That was some nice blues music”.

Mojo: Obviously your not blues music. Purists can be kinda closed minded.

Rob: Purism has it’s place..well.. I don’t know.. sometimes I think it doesn’t anymore.

Mojo: Often those types can’t focus on the quality or sound because they are so grounded in rules.

Rob: Yeah I agree.

Mojo: From that show to The Mousetrap and now The Vogue with UV Hippo, you guys are obviously progressing rapidly in Indianapolis. Does everyone live in Brookyln?

Chuck: No

Eli: Everyone but me

Rob: It’s complicated

Mojo: Well, you’re music is complex.  How do you practice?

Rob: There is no set method.  We just have to find time where we can on the road.

Chuck:  The last two years what we’ve done is take January off, then get back together, write for several weeks about 4-5 days a week and get ready to go back on the road.

Eli: As of now..the last time we actually got to rehearse (other then sound check) was when we recorded Redivider. We’ve basically been on the road since without a break. (Redivider was released 3 months ago).  We lived up at our friends farm up. He was nice enough to let us live there for about a week and just relax and chill out.

Rob: We rehearse in sound checks.

Neal: Sometimes in a town we’ve been to, if we can set up for a few days and can find a spot to practice we will.

Mojo: So Redivider was released on December 21st.  Nothing bad happened to the world. We are all still here..

Rob: Except Redivider came out.

Eli: That was the end of the world..  (everyone laughs)

Mojo: How has the writing process changed for you guys since you started?

Eli: I would say it’s more thoroughly composed and adventurous.

Rob: Some of the early stuff we wrote, I think we were afraid to get complicated. The more you play with each other, you get bored with that and things change naturally.

Chuck: When we first starting playing together we played more Soulive and funk type stuff because that was something we all liked.  Once we were really comfortable playing those types of grooves we started getting more experimental.

Mojo: How often would you guys like to release new studio albums?
(everyone agrees about once a year would be good.. possibly more if time allows)

Mojo: About Redivider; The album has a sound that is very rare these days. For me it covers the sonic exploration and instrumental prowess of great 70’s jazz/fusion but it’s mixed with modern rock, dance and jam sounds. Was that a completely new set of music or how much was written before you started recording?

Neal:  We had most of it written. Probably about 80%.  We wrote a few new songs at the farm and finished a few too.

Mojo: The “Inside the Barn” videos you guys posted on youtube give the fans a good insight into the making of the album. I think it’s important for fans to have access to artists in that raw context. It’s nice for the fans to know where the music is coming from. Where was this farm located?

Rob: It’s a small town called Palmford, Connecticut which is a small town out in the middle of nowhere.  It was either recording time to be creative, exploratory and inspired or just relaxation and the band hanging out.

Mojo:  So what are some festivals that are either new or that you are looking forward to returning to this summer?

Eli: We are returning to one of our favorites which is called Big Up. That one is gonna be awesome, in Upstate, NY. Also Disc Jam, which is a disc golf (course) slash music festival.

Mojo: That would be a lot of fun!

Eli: We’ve done that one for the last two years.

Chuck: It’s at a craft brewery in Massachusetts

Eli: What else.. Hyperion we’re doing for the first time and we’re really stoked about that.

Mojo: Well I look forward to seeing you guys again. Thank you guys so much for your time.  I’m looking forward to the show!

Rob: Thank you.. I think this went well (everyone laughs).

Dopapod began the night with the 8th track off of Redivider, “Blast”. What started off grounded in gritty rhythmic grooves (via bassist Chuck Masterson and Drummer Neal Evans) eventually stopped on a dime for some sultry organ leads by keyboardist Eli Winderman. After returning to the funk for a few minutes some serious musical math took place. This song was a good choice to open the show because it immediately showcases something this band is great at; building tension. Quickly shifting from intense heavy riffs, then moving through soulful layers and resolving eventually into bright and comfortable sounds is a theme of this band. To put it simply, Dopapod is dynamic. Throughout their performance, guitarist, Rob Compa displayed with very careful precision. Able to shred at a moments notice but spending a majority of the performance playing intricately woven riffs, he has quickly become one of my favorite touring guitarists.  It’s not about ego for him or any of the members in this band.. but more so about pushing themselves as musicians and entertainers.

The riff from there fourth song of the night, “Flipped”, reminded me a lot of Axilla by Phish and I was curious if they had “flipped” it. This was followed by another Redivider cut, “Vol. #86″. This song begs the question “Tell me what’s the difference from a child and an adult. Does acting like the former get results”. It was definitely one of my favorites from the entire night.  This song showcases interesting lyrics about aging and meeting someone. Unfortunately the bands vocals weren’t very audible live. I’m not sure how they came up with this name nor do I know how all these various ideas come together so seemingly effortlessly.  But as Dopapod ripped through funk, rock and reggae they eventually landed on something I can very much dig, four on the floor beats.  The dance heavy sections were nice but made me crave the heavy beats of The New Deal. They could be heavier. This along with vocals were the two things I noticed wanting to improve. The one point in the night where the vocals were clearly audible was when Eli’s organ wasn’t working. The band decided to let guitarist Rob Compa perform a solo version of Carolina. In this moment it became obvious the extent he will go to keep a crowd happy. This funny tale of of a man and his woes kept us entertained while we waited for the members to rejoin. After a nice rendition of the flashback “Trapper Keeper” the band launched into their final song, “French Bowling”.  Melodies drawing seemingly from a murder mystery paired with disco beats turned up a heavy ending that ended the set with a bang. 

______________________________________________________

Excitement was high for UV Hippo and admittedly I knew quite a bit less about them going into this review. But as soon as they started, it was immediately apparent that they have built a solid fan base in Indianapolis. Whether it be from following alone or due to a later crowd, the dance floor grew considerably and a shift in focus occurred. It took me a little while to start feeling the band but five songs in the energy lifted off during “Tugboat”. This song rips through fast jazz, zappa-esque riffage, a pretty piano section, some bulgarian wedding music sounding stuff (WTF!) into too many more styles to name in one sentence.  Overall I can feel huge influences from Phish and Umphrey’s McGee in this song. It has several parts that are fresh and what ensues is a live face melting mind bender. Nearing the end of this roughly 10 minute psychedelic climb, guitarist Russel Olmsted was was creating these ridiculously intense walls of sound. Acidic growls of wah, distortion, delay and chorus that had people screaming at the top of their lungs. His playing is clearly a highlight of hippo, but while Russel stays focused on entertaining the crowd with his guitar fireworks or subtle approaches, Bassist Brian Samuels is the glue that communicates ideas on stage.

UV Hippo reminds me that in the modern Jam world the technical aspect has become highly emphasized.  There are certain points where I draw the line.  When it’s too retentive or uptight, lacks soul or doesn’t seem to have too much thought, I can not enjoy it. Oddly.. the music of UV had more ups and downs than Dopapod for me.  Often in the first half of the set I felt a bit cheesy. Maybe that’s just a difference in age and what I like. Of course it is.  But then there were those moments of greatness, where they had the crowd completely in sync with them, and it was obvious this band will eventually be playing stadiums.   Either way, I could see that the crowd was greatly enjoying themselves, but this one particular song bears too much in resemblance to another favorite I prefer by another band.  Towards the end of “Swamp” an old friend started to tell me how he’d had a rough week and in that time,  he had played 4 hours of UV Hippo. He said it helped him get through that day.  It was at that exact moment that the feel good “it might make you feel better” lyrics from “Medicine” rang through the speakers.  He smiled and said, “Like this”. Well I have to admit that it did make me feel better.  Life is grand if you choose to make it that way and UV Hippo’s mission seems to be to perpetuate a positive vibe and focus on youthfully energetic grooves and good times. But the band isn’t just about happy hippie jams and certainly doesn’t waist time noodling around. Now I don’t want to keep repeating influences but “T1J” which followed is a complete homage to The New Deal.  This is a great thing as we no longer have TND. This live version was even better than the version featured on the bands album “Square Pegs Round Holes” and  took me back to progressive house of the late 90’s.  The keyboard parts are tighter and drummer Joe Phillon can play dance beats with the best of them

The last song I caught in the night was the ambitious “Broomhilda Suite”.  Now this was a great ending to my night. It takes me back to the reason why I became such a huge jamband fan. The synth lines of keyboardist Dave Sanders project the listener into space flight that feels straight out of the 70’s. Broomhilda is elaborately composed like a labyrinth of riffs that you feel completely compelled by and calmly confused… but happy. Until the progressive edge sets in.  Then everything takes the form of rage and rises into a piano section that seems lifted straight from the likes of scene of sorrow in a Tim Burton film.  The song takes form like the witch the song is about. Somewhere towards the end it is apparent she’s riding her broom through a storm of doom before a triumphant ending returns to lift you and make you feel good. The way UV Hippo intended… to “walk away together hand in hand”.  The most important thing I walked away with was knowing I’d just seen a great show that emphasized just how hard bands these days are willing to work and how high the bar has been raised in terms of effortlessly fusing various styles together to please a society that can be short on focus but generally just wants to have fun.

Dopapod Setlist:
Blast >
Braindead*
Present Ghosts
Flipped ->
Vol. 3
#86 >
Bahbi^,
broken organ banter,
Carolina%,
Trapper Keeper#,
French Bowling#

*Luke used a fake snow machine during the “snowflakes on the ground ” line. Rob told the crowd it was actually Chuck’s dandruff. During the “amputate” break, Rob said they’d have to get Chuck some head n shoulders shampoo

^Rob and Eli told that crowd that if they ate Chuck’s dandruff, they could absorb his power

%performed solo by Rob while Eli fixed his organ

#performed w/ out organ

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus Setlist:
J.V>
Don’t Break your leg Jam>
Georgia
Scar> Indiana Jam>
Kindred>
Tugboat>
Swamp
Medicine>
T1J
DNT>
Broomhilda>
N.C