63 articles found by Ben Larson
||The Return of Joe Buck
Joe Buck must like us. We certainly seem to like him. Buck returns to the Brass Rail on October 6 for his… umm, we’re not sure. Fourth show? Fifth show? Does it matter?
||Jon Keller on Deception -or…
If you were lucky enough to see Greg Locke’s recent documentary Holler and the Moan, you may remember Jon Keller as guy who intermittently made everyone laugh hysterically, and then instantly grow entranced as soon as he started playing his guitar.
||Fort Wayne Musicians Pay Tribute to One of Their Own
This past January, Fort Wayne lost one of its most beloved musicians, guitarist George Ogg, after a battle with cancer. Before passing away, Ogg stated that he wanted his team for the “Light the Night” walk (sponsored by The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), Team Ogg, to make a contribution to the event…
||Vinyl record sales are up — way up — but why?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ve probably noticed that vinyl records have been making a comeback. According to the Nielsen SoundScan report, vinyl LP sales are up 41% compared to this time last year.
||The Sounds of Summer
More so than any other season, it seems like summer is the time when people have a specific soundtrack that they come back to, year after year, that is unique to them. Let’s face it, some albums just sound better to you when it’s hot outside.
||Rock Meets Classical at Fortissimo
“An unprecedented spirit of collaboration and wiiiiide open minds,” is how the Fort Wayne Philharmonic describes Fortissimo, an upcoming musical event that looks to be simultaneously canonical and unorthodox.
||Acclaimed rockers Marah hit town
Having the One Lucky Guitar stamp on a concert has long been a mark of quality. The design firm’s owner (and champion of all things Fort Wayne), Matt Kelley, has been responsible over the years for bringing many critically-acclaimed acts to town, and on June 7th he will continue that streak when OLG hosts Marah at The Brass Rail.
||Sean Townsend and Somnambulist Red
The story of Sean Townsend and his band, Somnambulist Red is closely associated with the entire Fort Wayne metal scene of the last 10 years or so.
||Local Rapper Sankofa Hammers Out His New Project, The Silversmiths
In preparing to cover/review the new album A Tandem / of Giants, by semi-local hip-hop group The Silversmiths, I reached out to Stephen Bryden (aka Sankofa), the local part of the group, and asked him to give me a “brief bio.” What he sent me was so. . . well, you’ll see…
||Damien Jurado: Portrait of the Artist as a Free Man
In my sheer excitement to interview Damien Jurado, I nearly forgot to ask him about fellow songwriter John Vanderslice, and it seemed as if he was more excited to talk about Vanderslice than himself
||Record Store Day Celebrates the Independent Spirit
On April 18th, 2008, something amazing happened. That day, people all around the country showed that they were still interested in independent record stores. That was the first official Record Store Day, and was officially kicked off by Metallica at Rasputin Music in San Francisco.
||Canada Invades Fort Wayne for a Night of Dreamy Pop Fun
Saturday, March 26th, will bring a double shot of Canadian dream pop to The Brass Rail in the form of Paper Bag recording artists Young Galaxy and Winter Gloves, with local openers Wooden Satellites. But it occurs to me that a good portion of my readership may be completely unaware of what the term “dream pop” means…
||Church Shoes Release Album, Then GTFO
On Saturday, March 5th, Church Shoes will release their first full-length album on Chain Smoking Records. Then, on Monday the 7th, they are leaving Fort Wayne for the outskirts of Austin, TX.
||Wooden Satellites New Album, Let’s Make Crimes, Kicked My Butt
Most people in Fort Wayne see that a band is from here, and instantly the bar is lowered. I love you, Fort Wayne, but sometimes you wouldn’t acknowledge a good local band if they came up and slapped you in the face.
||Local Music Writer Greg Locke puts on His Filmmaker’s Cap
“People who've seen the early cut of the movie tell me that I made Fort Wayne look cooler than it really does. I don't think that's true. I think we're all so used to it that we forget that the city - downtown, especially - is a pretty cool place.”
||The alchemy of Andy D
There is a fundamental truth that one must accept in order to fully understand rapper Andy D, who returns to the Brass Rail on December 4 for a CD release show marking the release of his sophomore CD, Songs In the Key of Magic…
||My In-No-Way-Definitive Top 5 Records
For my final article for the Fort Wayne Reader, I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of my favorite albums, and what it is about them that I find so special.
||Jon Keller: “Sideman” goes solo
Guitarist Jon Keller has been a major part of the local music scene for quite some time. He’s been a member of Alabaster Fox, Wooden Satellites, Lee Miles & the Illegitimate Sons, and (sometimes) Thuderhawk…
||Lee Miles Opens His Grievous Heart
Just out is a new EP from local singer/songwriter Lee Miles, titled Open Your Grievous Heart, on the Sixty Years War label. This is being released in anticipation of a new full-length album, titled Fought and Won, and includes some songs that he couldn’t fit on that album, as well as some songs that were specifically written for this release.
||The Alchemy of Andy D
There is a fundamental truth that one must accept in order to fully understand Andy D. Everything he does, whether it’s the music he makes or how he looks, he does because he personally finds it to be awesome.
||Brass Rail's Shift From Dive Bar to Music Haven
Last summer I wrote an article about a string of shows that happened at The Brass Rail. Since then, things have changed around there. What was once a bar that also hosted shows seems to have moved up a level, and is now a serious music venue that also happens to be a bar
||The Third Annual Roots & Rhythm Festival Returns to Headwaters Park
On July 31st, the third annual Roots & Rhythm concert will take place at Headwaters Park. Aside from providing an evening of top notch musical talent, the event is also a fundraiser for Vincent Village, a local organization dedicated to providing shelter, care, advocacy, affordable housing, and support services for the area’s homeless families with children.
||Words of Wisdom with The Dead Records
I sat down this week with The Dead Records, a local 4-piece rock band who just released their second album, titled Proud, this spring.
||City of Ships
On July 4th, City of Ships will be making a tour stop in Fort Wayne to play an all-ages show at 1624 N. Harrison St. The band formed in Florida’s Gulf Coast area in 2005, but now its members are spread throughout the country.
||June Music Shows
Summer is here (finally, right?), and with it comes another great batch of shows from both touring and local bands. Here are some of the June highlights as I see them…
||Chain Smoking Records Brings Harley Poe and Furious Frank to Town
If the midwest was suddenly to be overrun by hoards of the living dead, there’s not a doubt in my mind that Harley Poe would provide the soundtrack…
||"We don't keep it serious, we keep it funky"
“If we don’t always have something in the bag, I feel like we’re slipping,” Ryan Messmann, of local hip-hop group Third Frame, told me when I sat down with him and Derek Quandt the other night. Over the past decade, Messmann and Quandt have released an album every two years, like clockwork.
||Chicago-based Rocker/Raconteur Ike Reilly Returns to Fort Wayne
On February 16th of this year Chicago-based musician Ike Reilly released his latest album Hard Luck Stories, and on Saturday, May 1st, he will be performing two shows here in Fort Wayne.
||You Think There’s Nothing to Do in Fort Wayne? This is Just April!
With so many great touring bands coming to town in April, I though I’d dedicate this issue’s article to talking about what’s going to be happening in the next month, and give you a brief overview of some of the awesome bands who will be coming to town.
||2 inches with Dave
You may have just heard of local band Mister Doctor Professor, but the fact is that they have been around for a few years now. The reason they’ve been under the radar for so long is that they used to only play a small handful of shows every year (usually no more than half a dozen at the most).
||“We’re Our Biggest Fans, and You Can Too”
Since releasing their EP Why Can’t I Be Enough? last year, local band Wooden Satellites has undergone some major changes, most notably going from a primarily acoustic alt-country/Americana group to a electronic rock act with highly overdriven guitars, a fog machine, and light show to round out their live performances.
||Cabin Fever? There’s a Playlist for That
Are you as sick as I am of being trapped indoors due to the sheer nastiness of the winter weather? Do you need something to help you cope? Well, even if YOU don’t, I do, and I’m sure that there are many others out there like me who spend every winter staring at their calendars waiting for April, while cursing the groundhog for seeing his shadow.
||Metavari’s “Experiment in Composition”
On (or around) March 11th, local band Metavari will be releasing a limited edition vinyl only EP, titled Studies: Loosen the Bands, which will consist of a single, loosely-structured, 18-minute song on one side, and artwork on the other.
||Sleepy Furnaces and Upside-Down Guitars: An Interview with Mark Hutchins
Many of you who are familiar with the local music scene probably know Mark Hutchins through his bands Vandolah and New Pale Swimmers. However, on January 30th, Mark will be releasing his first solo album, entitled Sleepy Furnace, and will mark the day with performances at the N. Anthony Wooden Nickel and One Lucky Guitar.
||2010 Winter/Spring Preview: What to Expect In the Next Few Months
Now that the new year is here, it’s time to stop looking back on 2009 and start looking forward to what’s on the table for 2010, in regards to who will be releasing new albums, and who will be touring our region in the coming months.
||What Everyone Else Thought About 2009: The Year in Review
So, for my last article of the year, I thought I’d give you the favorite bits of 2009 from some of the other people around town who are involved in the scene.
||Kevin Hambrick and the Orange Opera
With over 400 songs written and recorded over the past 15-20 years, local songwriter Kevin Hambrick, leader of The Orange Opera, could easily be described as “prolific,” if nothing else. Luckily, though, he has the talent to go with his proclivity, even if he admits that he’s still not sure if he knows what he’s doing. “I’m just a crazy OCD recovering addict who has all these songs in his head,” he says.
||Top 5 releases of 2009 (according to Ben)
Well, it’s that time of year again — time for gift giving, drinking too much at the company party, and top five lists. In keeping with that tradition, I thought I’d dedicate this weeks article to my top five releases of 2009, along with a brief explanation as to why I think they belong there. And heeeeeeeere we go:
||Lollipop Factory Returns to The Brass Rail
Saturday, November 28th will mark the return to The Brass Rail of glam rock duo The Lollipop Factory, with local openers I, Wombat. I thought I would use this occasion as an opportunity to both get some inside info. on The Lollipop Factory, and do some catching up with I, Wombat.
||Castles Made of Rock
Local band Castles, comprised of John Cheesebrew on drums, Ty Brinneman on Bass, and Omar Afzall and Bob Haddad on guitars, just released their first self-titled EP, which is available at their shows and (soon) your local Wooden Nickel. I sat down with Omar and Bob to talk about how the band has progressed from their formation to where they are now, and here’s what I got…
||Willie Heath Neal is not Leonard Cohen
Willie Heath Neal returns to the Brass Rail, and area artists perform a tribute to Leonard Cohen.
||Hey you! Yeah, you! Listen to goodbyewave; you’ll like it
John Hubner wants you to know that he is a Sagittarius. He enjoys Wes Anderson movies, architecture, and Hunter S. Thompson books. He is also the songwriter, guitarist, bassist, and pretty much everything guy for Warsaw’s goodbyewave, along with drummer Jack Long.
||Renaissance Man Andy Friedman Brings His Brand of “Art Country” to The Brass Rail
Saturday, September 26th will mark the return of alt-country singer/songwriter Andy Friedman to The Brass Rail. Described by The Athens News as “the hillbilly Leonard Cohen,” a little digging shows that he’s much, much more than that.
||Kantis rocks your face off
On September 25th, local act Kantis will release their first official full album on Chainsmoking Records. That night will see shows at both The Brass Rail and Harrison House, with another release party the following night in Indianapolis. To try and classify this band within a specific genre of music is tricky at best…
||Left Lane Cruiser Gives You All You Can Eat
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, chances are you’ve at least heard of Left Lane Cruiser, the local blues-rock duo, comprised of Joe Evans on guitar and vocals, and Brenn Beck on drums, misc. percussion and various other sonic items, who have a lot to do with why Fort Wayne seems to be getting some more attention lately.
||Bruce Lehman and Vincent Village bring the Roots and Rhythm Festival back to Headwaters Park
August 15th will bring the second annual Roots and Rhythm festival at Headwaters park, an all day music festival designed to raise money for the area’s homeless population. Specifically, the proceeds from the event will go to Vincent Village, an organization that has been dedicated to assisting homeless families for the past 20 years. I had a chance to talk to Bruce Lehman, the organizer for the event, to find out the origins behind the event, why it is important to the community, and what attendees can expect while they are there.
On April 26, 2009, Brandon Minier was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on his way home from a friend’s house, leaving behind a wife and 2 children, ages 10 and 6. Brandon was a good friend of many of the area’s local musicians, and, as a benefit and fundraiser for Brandon’s children’s educational fund, a special show will be held on August 22 at Portside Pizza, 5310 N Old 102 in Columbia City (near Tri Lakes).
||Sounds of Summer
So what makes an album a “summer” album? Is it the instrumentation? Does the fact that you bought an album during a past summer have something to do with it? Is it the lyrics? For me, I’d say all of the above, and then some. The fact is, most of us don’t know exactly why some albums just sound better in July than they do in January. They just, well, do.
||The Utah Spirit Babies
This week, I spent some time with one of the newer metal bands in town, the Utah Spirit Babies. The band formed last spring, and is made up of Kendy Overthrow on vocals, Dwan Porter on bass, Chaz Stenchlaser on guitar, and Pete Dio on drums. I got together with U.S.B. as they were getting ready to practice, and talked with them about their origins, influences, past experiences, and plans for the future.
||The Brass Rail shows its roots
The week of July 19-26 will contain a series of shows at local club The Brass Rail that will not only guarantee a great time, but also demonstrates that Fort Wayne has landed squarely on the map in regards to roots-based music.
||Introducing Snap Captain Non-Stop Action
I thought I’d dedicate this week’s article to introducing you to a local band that you probably haven’t heard of before, Snap Captain Non-Stop Action. Consisting of Ryan Hartman on guitar and vocals, Nate Weitzel on drums, and Josh Watson on bass, the trio plays a style of rock that can best be described by naming their influences. According to Weitzel, some of the bands that have helped shaped SCNA are Planes Mistaken for Stars, Cursive, and Kings of Leon.
Normally, we here at the Reader don’t normally do writeups for shows so close to our publication date, but when I got the chance to interview Merle Allin, leader of the Murder Junkies and brother to the infamous GG Allin, I just couldn’t resist.
||End Times Spasm Band puts the Hot in Hot Jazz
There is a very large difference between “traditional” jazz and what is known as “hot jazz.” For that reason, the members of The End Times Spasm Band are a little hesitant to label their style as hot jazz. That is to say, they don’t want to confuse anyone unfamiliar with this offshoot style into thinking that they’ll be playing “Caravan” or “All Blues” at any of their shows. Think Squirrel Nut Zippers as opposed to, say, Coltrane.
||My Trip Back in Time with Headbanger’s Ball and 120 Minutes
When I was growing up, there were two shows on MTV that I almost never missed (this was back when MTV actually showed videos). Those two shows were Headbanger’s Ball and 120 Minutes, and I’d like to take this week’s article to talk to you a bit about why those programs were so special to me (and, I suspect, a few others of you out there.)
||Joe Buck Me? Joe Buck Yourself!
May 2 will mark the third appearance of Joe Buck at the Brass Rail. Having first gained notoriety as a member of both Th’ Legendary Shackshakers and Hank III’s band (an impressive pedigree if ever there was one), Buck has gone on to have a successful solo career as a one-man band, and tours under the name Joe Buck Yourself.
||Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Poopdeflex
If ever there were a situation where it is necessary to separate the art from the artist, this is it. When he is performing as Poopdeflex, Scott Snyder’s personality takes on a brash, crass, vulgar, and often hilarious tone. Off stage, however, it’s a completely different story. The real Scott Snyder, I found, is so nice a guy that I walked away from our recent meeting hoping that I hadn’t somehow offended him.
||Laura Lydy and the IPFW guitar department prove that it doesn’t have to be rock n’ roll to rock
When people fist think of IPFW, I’m willing to bet the first thing that comes to their mind is not “hey, I hear they have a great classical guitar program!” However, each year that passes shows the department growing in maturity and notoriety. In fact, the guitar ensemble section will be participating in the Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival in Chicago, where some of IPFW’s best will be performing.
||A Brief Introduction to Some of The Best Local Bands You’ve Probably Never Heard Before
Never in my wildest dreams could I ever have imagined that there might be too many great bands in town. With just a few acts seeming to get most of the attention around here, one might be tempted to think that there really isn’t much to be found beyond the usual suspects. The fact is, however, that there is quite a lot of talent hiding out in Fort Wayne, and I thought I’d use this week’s column to talk to you about a few local acts that you may or may not be familiar with.
||The Kids Are Alright
Cherchez Kahuna, the title of the debut CD from The B-Sharps, is a half French, half Hawaiian term that essentially means “find the big wave.” In a way, the term seems fitting in the sense that the local quintet provides the kind of straightforward rock n roll that many fans of the genre are always on the lookout for. The album will be available February 28th, and I sat down with the boys to discuss the process of making it.
||Cigarettes & Guitars: Anthony Fanger of Chainsmoking Records
It’s hard to conduct an interview while firing a pulse rifle at bloodthirsty aliens hell-bent on obliterating the human race, but that’s exactly what I did recently with Anthony Fanger, owner and founder of Chainsmoking Records, a punk-oriented record label located here in the Summit City.
||A night at the Rail
I’m trying something a little different this week. Instead of doing some formal interview or band profile, I thought I’d take this time to to give you a warts-and-all picture of a typical show night at the Brass Rail from start to finish.
||Age of Anxiety
When I first sat down with Lindy Doster and Cory Troyer, the two people responsible for bringing Zeitgeist: Addendum to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art on Jan. 25th at 2:00pm, I expected to have a brief chat about the movie, their motivations for wanting to show it, and perhaps a little insight into the broader meaning behind the film. What I was not prepared for was the hand cramps that were to come from trying to capture absolutely everything they had to say. Obviously, these were people who’s knowledge on this subject went far beyond the film’s content.
||Juke Joint Duo's deep blues roots
Cedric Burnside is the real deal. The grandson of the late blues legend R. L. Burnside, Cedric began backing up his grandfather on drums at age 13, and in this way was able to see the world one stage at a time. Since then, he has drummed for a wide range of acts from Junior Kimbrough to North Mississippi Allstars and Widespread Panic. Additionally, Burnside was recently featured in the movie Black Snake Moan. The film is a tribute to his grandfather, and Burnside can be seen playing drums for Samuel L. Jackson.