79 articles found by Jim Fester
||“Life is full of strange absurdities…”
Pirandello ain’t easy. And Six Characters In Search of an Author might be one of his more… challenging plays.
||Record Store Day 2014
It’s hardly news that the industry once responsible for producing, distributing, and selling recorded music on physical objects is not as robust as it used to be.
||Saga of the Santa
The calendar says the first day of winter is December 21. Stores start decking the aisles not long after the pumpkins of Halloween have been put away — so early, in fact, that Santa has to fight for space with cardboard turkeys and pilgrims.
||Record Store Day 2012
For well over a decade, it’s been common knowledge that the industry once responsible for producing, distributing, and selling recorded music on physical objects is not as… robust as it used to be, to put it mildly.
||The Return of I, Wombat
Has it really been since 2007 that we’ve heard a new album from Fort Wayne’s hard rock masters I, Wombat? A glance at FWR’s archives confirms that indeed that's the case. So why the delay?
||License to rock
Many years ago, Cyndi Demaree got a call at the Firefly coffee house — the business she co-owns with her husband Paul — from an out-of-town number she didn’t recognize. “It sounded like a young woman, and she was asking things like ‘do you have live music this weekend?’ and ‘do you have open mic nights?’” Demaree recalls.
||The Bach to the Baroque
Dr. Daniel Reuning, the founder and the Artistic Director of the Bach Collegium in Fort Wayne, probably has to deal with a particular “chicken-or-the-egg” question when it comes to talking about the type of music the Bach Collegium performs…
||Hands of a master
TRIAAC is hosting one of the internationally recognized masters of the jenbe, Guinean master artist Moussa Bolokada Condé, as part of a nine day residency from October 22 to 31.
||A sampling of music-related stuff happening in October
Metall Mayhem at Sweetwater! An 80s tribute at the Brass Rail! Peter Case! Bill Bruford! Here are just a few cool music events happening around town over the next couple weeks.
The story behind Sweetwater’s GearFest is a lot like the company itself: it started as an ambitious but relatively small venture back in 2002, and then it just grew. And grew. And grew…
||The Sacred Broncos set sail on the Analog Ocean
As an appetizer for their debut album Analog Ocean, a member of The Sacred Broncos sends me a song called “Be My Gun,” a slouching slab of psychedelia-tinged garage rock — complete with backwards guitar solo — that has Your Humble hitting “play again” as soon as it’s over.
||Chicago bluesman Nick Moss strides the generation gap
If there’s a generation gap when it comes to playing the blues, you can’t hear it when you’re listening to Nick Moss.
||The Leaving: A chronicle of a bad year
Songwriter Lee Miles pays a lot of attention to words. There’s hardly a throw away line in his lyrics, no pat phrases chosen just to fit a rhyme scheme or fill a chorus, so it’s probably not surprising that when talking about his new album The Leaving, Miles seems a little self-conscious or hesitant about some of the adjectives Your Humble is throwing his way…
||Stay Young Fest
Summer is usually the heavy touring season for bands — daylight lasts longer, people aren’t hunkered down in their homes, if the van breaks down you won’t freeze on the side of the road, and a winter tour didn’t work out too well for Buddy Holly, did it?
For the members of TIMBER!!!, it all started, more or less, with a text message that guitarist Ben Larson sent to singer Kendra Johnson, a friend of Larson’s girlfriend: “I heard you want to start a Husker Du band,” the message read. “I need to play guitar in that band.”
||Songs of Love and Hate (but mostly love)
Last year, when Gary Doan started organizing a bill of Fort Wayne musicians to participate in the All Star Tribute to Leonard Cohen, he says that some of the performers worried that the folks on stage might out number the people in the audience.
||Locals playing locals
There’s a tribute show of another kind going on at the Brass Rail on Saturday, September 25. “Locals Doing Locals” features four great original bands from the area — Left Lane Cruiser; Poopdeflex; Thunderhawk; and The Staggerers — performing each other’s songs.
||Sweetwater Presents GearFest 2010
If Sweetwater — the world’s third largest retailer of music instrument and pro audio equipment — is like this really big box of goodies for musicians, then their annual GearFest event is when they break that box open and spread out the contents for everyone to take a look.
||100 days. 100 paintings.
After 12 years of running his custom framing business Northside Galleries in Fort Wayne, Charley Shirmeyer realized that not enough people knew — really knew — how many talented artists were working in Fort Wayne and the surrounding area.
||Voice’s of Unity Youth Choir chosen to represent in “Choir Olympics”
Fort Wayne’s Voices of Unity Youth Choir is headed to China to represent the city, state, and nation in the 2010 World Choir Games this July.
||Ceramic artist Joe Pelka
“Hand made means a lot out here,” says ceramic artist Joe Pelka, explaining why he and his wife, Kathleen, decided to move from California to the mid-west and set up shop here in Fort Wayne…
||The Nutcracker '09 offers new spectacle and special guests
Fort Wayne Ballet opens the 2009 holiday season with its classical rendition of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker for nine evening and matinee performances from December 4 through December 13, 2009.
||Fright Night, 2009
Only the brave will want to weather the chilling and electrifying streets of Downtown Fort Wayne on October 24 for 3rd Annual Downtown Fright Night…
||FRIGHT NIGHT SCHEDULE
A schedule of events…
||“…a title so awful… with a plot so absurd…”
The levels of irony, sarcasm, and irreverence going on in Urinetown are enough to make the brain of even the most avid and astute post-modernist combust. In fact, the musical comes right out and announces its intentions and tone right from the beginning, with the character Little Sally drawing attention to the “awful title” with a plot so absurd…”
||Wells Street Mural
The Fort Wayne cityscape on the side of Hyde Brothers Books on Wells Street is nearing completion, helped along by a recent spate of good weather and nice temperatures.
||Taste of the Arts
In a year of mergers, Arts United is bringing together several former Fort Wayne festivals into one free event. The new Taste of the Arts festival brings together food from the former Taste of Fort Wayne with entertainment and local talent of the Arts Unite event held during Three Rivers Festival. Like the old Franke Park Fine Arts Festival, there will be hands-on activities and the event will be held at different venues similar to Arts Crawl.
||Sweetwater Presents GearFest ’09
Sweetwater turns 30 this year, and to celebrate the music instrument and professional audio retailer presents GearFest ‘09, an indoor/outdoor festival featuring music, musicians, food, fun, and prizes.
It’s probably safe to say Fort Wayne hasn’t seen anything quite like the Phunk-N-Ink Tattoo and Music Festival, happening at the Grand Wayne Center the last weekend in March. Organizer and promoter Jayson Love, owner of Urban Expressions tattoo studio, promises to transform the stately Grand Wayne Center into a sort of “rock n’ roll circus” style event, complete with bands, belly dancers, BMX demonstrations (indoors!), art displays, contests… And of course tattoos. Lots and lots of tattoos.
||The Saga of the Santa
The calendar says the first day of winter is December 21. Stores start decking the aisles not long after the pumpkins of Halloween have been put away — so early, in fact, that Santa has to fight for space with cardboard turkeys and pilgrims. But for many people in Fort Wayne, the only sure sign that winter is upon us and the holiday season has begun is the lighting of the gigantic Santa and his reindeer on the side of the National City Bank building.
||Rockin' the suburbs… with a big string section
Ben Folds and his band the Ben Folds Five were a breath of fresh air when they came along in the midst of the “alternative” 90s. Their first hit, “Underground,” was a sarcastic take on the whole notion of “alternative music” and an underground scene. Irony and sarcasm were hardly in short supply in the 90s, but Ben Folds’ irony came across a little deeper, a little more earned and a little more biting. In other words, a little more adult. And when they’d leave the jokes behind to get serious, as on their massive hit “Brick,” it gave those songs an extra punch.
||Spy novelist Daniel Silva visits Fort Wayne
The Fort Wayne Jewish Federation is bringing one of the most acclaimed thriller writers in the US to Fort Wayne for a free lecture and a book signing on May 12.
||Artist Michael Israel brings his “Art In Concert” to the Scottish Rite
At every one of his “Art In Concert” shows, artist Michael Israel gets the kind of rapturous reception from his audience that most performers would chew on glass for. They sing, they dance, they scream… there’s even a few tears. And what exactly does Israel do at these “Art in Concert” shows to elicit that kind of overwhelming response?
||Majic 95.1 and Sweetwater release second Majic Miracle Music CD
In 2006, when WAJI program director Barb Richards organized a charity CD to benefit the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, she was pretty sure it was going to be a one-shot deal. “I remember saying, ‘let’s not call it volume 1, because we don’t know if there’s going to be a volume 2,’ she laughs.
||www.jammerdirect.com: Fort Wayne-centric social media site for local musicians
During the day, Ryan Martin builds websites. He estimates he’s had a hand in developing around 300 websites for different companies, including Hewlett-Packard and Sony. He has a degree in computer science, with experience in a huge range of I.T. projects.
||University of St. Francis hosts annual 3 Rivers exhibition
The Ian and Mimi Rolland Art Gallery at the University of Saint Francis plays host to the Annual Three Rivers Exhibition through August 17.
||D.I.D. launches packed series of events this summer
School is out, TV is in re-runs… and the Downtown Improvement District thinks Fort Wayne is ripe to try something a little different this summer…
||A Brief History of Touch…
When playwright Jack Cantey jokingly refers to "A Brief History of Touch and other plays" as a “big bowl of theater,” don’t mistake the collection of original one-act plays as the dramatic equivalent of comfort food.
||Mainstream politics meets indie music
Caleb Jehl is used to putting on shows in his own house. A Fort Wayne-based musician, Jehl often travels out of town to perform, building an audience in other cities by sharing the bill with a hometown band. Every once in a while, he gets to return the favor by hosting a show in Fort Wayne and inviting his out-of-town musician friends here…
Jonah Sod, lead singer of local band The Sods, describes his group’s sound as “traditional Irish music with a little bit of punk attitude.”
||"Live On Stage" kicks off second season
The second season of Fort Wayne Reader presents Live On Stage kicks off February 11 at 1 a.m. with a performance from Fort Wayne’s top party band, The Freak Brothers.
||Yer all talk
The words on the Stage Banter homepage say it all: “God gave us the music to rock, not to talk about. But here we go…”
||An Inspector Calls
In all for One’s productions’ performance of An Inspector Calls, the members of the Birling family learn the hard way that the saying about not being able to hide from the ugly truth is more than just an old cliché.
||Fort Wayne Reader Presents Live On Stage brings some of Fort Wayne’s best original bands to a T.V. near you
Some of Fort Wayne’s finest bands have a regular gig in your living room at 1 a.m. every Sunday morning with the launch of The Fort Wayne Reader presents Live on Stage.
The half-hour music show showcases original local bands performing live at Come2Go ministries, as well as exclusive interview segments with the featured artists, and local music news. You can catch it on WISE 33, Fort Wayne’s local NBC affiliate, every Saturday night/Sunday morning right after Saturday Night Live.
||Civic Theater honors this year’s best with the 54th Anthony awards
As the entire nation breathlessly watched the Tony Awards on the evening of June 11 (okay, maybe “entire nation” is overstating the case, but I’m sure plenty of people outside New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut care a whole bunch. I don’t know any of them, but…), a Fort Wayne theatrical institution was holding its own awards ceremony for the best stage performances of the past theater season.
||Ribfest: Mecca for fans of BBQ and blues
Fort Wayne is a wait-and-see town. Nine times out of 10, if you give us a good idea, and we’ll look at it, study it, consider it, and if it sticks around for a while, we’ll think about embracing it.
||The kids wanna rock
What musician doesn’t dream about having an adoring audience shout “again, again” after each song?
||fortwaynemusic.com gets its act together
Back in 1999, when Chris Wallace started the Fort Wayne Music web site (www.fortwaynemusic.com), his basic goals were pretty simple — to provide a community-oriented network environment to benefit musicians and fans in the area, a place where bands could post news, fans could hear about upcoming shows, and everyone could exchange information on local artists.
||Fort Wayne’s poker underground
“There is a poker game in Fort Wayne any hour of the day, seven days a week,” says John. “There’s probably half-a-dozen regular poker games in Fort Wayne, and one of them is usually going at any given time.”
||Barr Street Market — 1957
This rare photograph shows shoppers at Fort Wayne's Historic Barr Street Market in 1957…
||My, what big box office you have…
On January 17th, film-maker and Anderson native Corey Edwards found out that his animated feature Hoodwinked had seemingly come out of nowhere to become the box office champ of the Martin Luther King weekend, beating out newcomers like basketball movie Glory Road and the new Queen Latifah vehicle. And what hotspot of the entertainment industry did the co-creator of the #1 film in the US find himself in when he learned the good news?
||Steady-gigging local jazz guitarist George Ogg — C.R.T. — takes the spotlight with Nothing Fancy
Guitarist George Ogg has been a fixture in Fort Wayne’s jazz community since the early 90s, after returning to the city from a decade’s stint in Los Angeles.
Complaining about Christmas songs has become as much a part of the holidays as last-minute shopping and re-gifting. There are annoying novelty songs we can’t get rid of, like the dogs barking “Jingle Bells,” “Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer,” and any version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” Complaining about these songs is futile. They will never go away, and we should simply accept the fact.
There are probably a dozen clever ways to describe Beatallica, but the concept sounds so bizarre on paper that I’ll just lay it out for you: Beatallica does Metallicized arrangements of Beatles songs. They basically reinterpret the tunes the way Metallica might, with a heavy dose of humor thrown in.
||Built to Shine Arts Collective benefit showcases a wide range of local artists
Ceramics and jewelry, paintings and photographs are among the diverse range of pieces on display at the Built to Shine Arts show on November 19 at Convolution Records. Dozens of local artists are gathering for the event in support of local charities.
||Convolution Records continues to buck the odds
We first did a piece on Kimberly Seslar, owner of Convolution Records, back in February, 2004. At the time, Convolution Records had been open a few months, and Seslar was still working her regular day job while trying to increase the selection of CDs she offers.
||Mad Anthony’s “Octobeer Fest” showcases Indiana breweries
There’s more to beer than meets the tastebuds. Like wine, cheese, chocolate, or coffee, some brewers take their product very seriously, and can wax poetic about texture, flavor, body, richness, boldness, etc. Granted, sampling a half-dozen different types of cheese won’t make you want to sing the entire AC/DC catalog a capella (though I’m told doing that will mark you down as an amateur as well as an idiot), but the principal is the same.
||Local classical musicians mobilize to boost awareness and community commitment
On August 11th, the Foellinger Theater will play host to a special free concert by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players Association to benefit Habitat For Humanity, the non-profit organization that builds and rehabilitates housing for families in need. There is no required admission for the concert, but free-will donations will be accepted at the door.
||Roanoke’s 9th annual patriotic concert honors local marines
The July 4th weekend kicks off in fine style with the Roanoke Patriotic Concert. A fund raiser for the Roanoke Beautification Foundation, the open-air concert will be held on Friday, July 1st on historic main street in downtown Roanoke, and features country artist Lee Greenwood.
||Third Cat compilation finds local musicians in a mellow mood
When Dave Nelson and his wife Lynda learned their son Julian had autism, they were told an aggressive approach was the best means of helping Julian reach his potential. “Early intervention is the key to reaching expectations,” says Nelson, a Fort Wayne musician and business owner. “Start early, and just pour it on.”
||Civic Theater presents Indiana premier of A Christmas Carol – the Musical
A Christmas Carol is as much a part of the Christmas season as snowmen and houses covered with blinking lights. Every Christmas, someone somewhere brings us another take on the classic story of the sour Ebenezer Scrooge, visited on Christmas Eve by the ghost of his dead business partner Marley, and the three spirits of Christmas past, present, and future.
||Pop songcraft and a great live show make Basement What contenders
Pete Jacobs, bass player for area band Basement What, isn’t afraid of the “p” word.
||Mississippi Mass Choir headlines 1st Annual Fort Wayne Gospel Summit
On October 2, the Archey AIDS Foundation brings the Grammy-winning Mississippi Mass Choir to headline the first annual Gospel Summit.
||New state-of-the-art facility brings students and public to Indiana Tech
“We’ve had an identity crisis in Fort Wayne for the last 25 years,” says Joel Harmeyer, Associate Director of Student Life at Indiana Tech. “Nobody knows us, nobody knows what we do, nobody knows we had this many students… You end up hearing it all. But I’ve got to tell you, every time someone comes to the campus, they’re just amazed.”
||Guitar Summit II showcases masters in ‘Slide, Loop, and Shred’ styles
When local musician Kevin Hiatt organized the first Guitar Summit in early June at the Cinema Center, the concept was simple. He wanted to create a venue for people to hear virtuosic guitar playing in an informal, concert-like setting rather than a bar or restaurant.
||Garage rock veterans play the Brass Rail
For Matt Cotton, it’s been a dream of his to bring one of his favorite bands through Fort Wayne. “You know the movie Fitzcarraldo, where Klaus Kinski wants to build an opera house in the middle of the jungle?” he says. “This is my version of hauling the riverboat over the mountain.”
With their funny suits and proclamations of grandeur (“America, we love how we have you eating out of our hands!”) Sweden’s the Hives were supposed to be the jokers of the garage rock revival.
||They Might Be Giants
I suppose if you’re out of the spotlight for six years and come back sounding like you’ve never left, that’s sort of a triumph, isn’t it?
||Hot Cat In A Dog's World
Most major-label compilation albums with six-number budgets and international release dates don’t come close to having the consistent quality you’ll find on Hot Cat In A Dog’s World.
I’m a sucker for every 60s/70s wannabe band that comes down the pike: the Black Crows, Oasis, the Singles, Sloan, even Jet… Give me a band with dopey haircuts and vintage guitars and I’ll give you my $14.99. So why do I find Lenny’s retro shtick about as compelling as soggy bread?
It has probably been a decade or two since a new Loretta Lynn album got the kind of attention that Van Lear Rose is garnering. Why? Well, the CD’s superstar producer, Jack White of the White Stripes, certainly helps, but the truth is that White’s presence is only a hook: Van Lear Rose is simply a darn good album.
Britain’s Delays share a lot of characteristics with about a dozen English guitar-playing pop bands of the past 15 years. Chiming guitars, high-pitched harmony, infectious melody lines… it’s all here.
Don’t call it a comeback: Prince has been releasing albums at a downright prolific rate for years. But over the last decade, his experimental tendencies got the best of him, resulting in albums that only the most die-hard fan could love.
||Double Barrel Darrel
Double Barrel Darrel wear their Americana influences on their sleeve. This five-piece from Goshen play roots music, a textured blend of old-time country, folk, and rock, and the roots run very deep.
||Go Dog Go
Go Dog Go’s Long Story Short is an instantly likeable album. What makes it a tricky album to talk about is that it doesn’t make a big deal about what it does so well.
Anyone who misses the days when the likes of Blind Melon and Blues Traveler ruled the airwaves will love the melodic anthems on Basement What?’s self-titled CD.
||Valentine’s Day nightmare
The entire purpose of reality television shows is to make you cringe, but Fox’s My Big, Fat Obnoxious Fiancé kicks the flinch-factor up a few notches. The scenario is this: Randi must convince her family and friends that she is going to marry a randomly-chosen guy named Steve in order to win a million dollars. She thinks Steve is also trying to dupe family and friends for the prize money, but Steve is actually an actor playing an obnoxious, crude goof-ball.
Four Fort Wayne bands will team up for a tribute to Bob Dylan at Columbia Street West on Thursday, January 29th. The brain-child of Matt Kelley, guitarist for Go Dog Go, and Richard Reprogle at Columbia Street West, Homesick Blues — Celebrating the Songs of Bob Dylan is the first of what Kelley hopes will become a bi-monthly concert series.