Friday, February 15, 2008

The Noise of Naptown

Being that my relocation to the east coast is imminent, and hopefully will provide the QLE with some sort of editorial and geographical counterweight, I think it's best here to present a very brief summary of what goes on, aurally speaking, in my beloved home for 27 years, Indianapolis.

Having been an active musician in the city for ten years or so, I must confess it's truly a sad scene (hence the move to Brooklyn). No big college in town, no real history of big names, no chance for a visit by any big A&R rep. However, something interesting and creative intermittently arises from the Midwestern mire, before either disbanding or relocating.

A modest analogy: If Indy's music scene is a Chili's Triple Dipper appetizer, then truly the Boneless Shanghai Wings are Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos, a chamber orchestra of enfant terribles perhaps most easily comparable to the Arcade Fire (for instrumentation purposes, if nothing else...). They are on a major label, which is unheard of 'round these parts, and have a new album coming out soon. This video of "Quiet as a Mouse" is worth a watch if you are a fan of moody music, paper animation, or cartography.

The Southwestern Eggrolls are State, a former hard rock power trio that is currently retooling and recording something big and new. "She Dreams of You" absolutely kills. And the Reservoir Dogs meets Grace Jones workout tape video is a lo-fi treat.

And because I truly believe that real music actually gave up the ghost around 1974, I offer, as the palate-cleansing hot spinach and artichoke dip, a boogaloo funk cut from The Highlighters, "The Funky Sixteen Corners." This one-time local chart-topper lingered in milk-crate obscurity until some British DJs over at the Stone's Throw label resurrected it and made it a fitting soundtrack to accompany teenage Ecstasy binges in Manchester.

And finally, for a great central coast perspective on national music, My Old Kentucky Blog is stellar. Mp3s for days. Hipster, to be sure, but administrator Dodge always seems to find a few great artists that Pitchfork, et. al, overlook. And if you are a true music perv, type in "Covers Project" on the search, listen to 20 versions of "When Doves Cry" or "Suspicious Minds", and then reflect on another wasted Saturday afternoon.

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