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You Think There’s Nothing to Do in Fort Wayne? This is Just April!

By Ben Larson

Fort Wayne Reader


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.

First on the list is Christabel and The Jons, who will be playing the Brass Rail on April 9th with local openers the End Times Spasm Band. Since forming in 2005, C&TJ have released two albums, Love and Circumstances, and Custom Made for You, and are in the process of writing and recording their third album, The Same Mistake. Lead Singer and songwriter Christa DiCiccio is quickly earning herself a reputation as one of the best female jazz singers around, and the band’s sound (somewhere between bossa nova and country swing) and talent has earned them spots at Bonnaroo, Riverbend, and opening slots for such acts as The Brazilian Girls and Loudon Wainwright. Expect a night full of nostalgia, not just from the sound of C&TJ and local openers the End Times Spasm Band, but from the vintage 20’s-50’s garb both bands adorn themselves in to give their stage shows the proper ambience.

Up next is the garage trio Turbo Fruits from Nashville. Fronted by Jonas Stein, formerly of Be Your Own Pet, TF will be taking a break for one night from their current spot opening for Surfer Blood to play the Rail on April 10. Their eponymous first album was released by Thurston Moore’s label Ecstatic Peace!, and last year’s Echo Kid came out on none other than Fat Possum, so to say there’s a good pedigree to this band is an understatement (the band also had a song featured in Drew Barrymoore’s recent roller-derby flick, Whip It). This night is a hodgepodge of similar bands from many different locations. Joining Turbo Fruits that night will be Toronto-based garage rockers Teenager, San Diego-via-Bloomington’s The Motives, and local boys The B-Sharps. This looks like it’s going to be a night of blistering garage rock in the Vein of Black Lips and Waaves.

Also on the 10th, indie-guitar rockers The Interiors will be coming to O’Sullivans’s with locals Streetlamps for Spotlights, Castles, and Mister Doctor Professor. The Interiors could easily be compared to fellow Chicagoans Eleventh Dream Day, but there are also elements of Pixies, Sonic Youth, and other late 80’s early 90’s indie rock influences that round out the band’s sound. The band released a self-titled album in 2008 on the label 54-40 or Fight! and have been touring the country ever since. The Interiors have garnered praise from such notable publications as the Washington Post and The Onion, who said “The Interiors balance on a power-trio platform with one foot and try to kick down the format's barriers with another.” This is a fairly accurate statement when you listen to their music, which is raucous and rockin’ on one side, but polished and mature on the other. Personally, I’m going to have a hard time figuring out where to be this night.
Monday the 12th will bring The Devil Makes Three to the Brass Rail. Described as “the best band you’ve never heard of,” The Devil Makes Three had the goal of being “an acoustic band but to play our shows like a rock show,” the band changed notions of what acoustic music could be. Laced with elements of ragtime, country, folk and rockabilly, the critically praised, drummer-less trio - consisting of guitarist/frontman Pete Bernhard, stand-up bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist Cooper McBean - brings forth a genuine approach to acoustic music that is deeply steeped in rhythm and alive with three part harmonies which is pleasingly dissimilar to most other bands in modern music. Joining them that night will be Fort Wayne’s own one-man-band Poopdeflex. Tickets for this show are available at the Rail or through Paypal at www.chainsmokingrecords.com.

On April 17th, there will be a great mix of alt-country/experimental/americana and post punk, in the form of New Hampshire’s Graph and Minneapolis natives The Chambermaids. Graph makes their sound from joining elements of experimental, post-hardcore, classical and rock elements, and does so in a way that makes you reminiscent of Ryan Adams. Formed by siblings Neil and Martha Wier, Minneapolis’ The Chambermaids are a post-punk outfit that draws influences from bands such as Wire, Wipers, Mission of Burma and The Replacements, and all of these influences are apparent in their music (they even go so far as to cover Wipers’ “Mystery” on their self-titled album). Anyone who has found themselves eyeing their old Gang of Four albums and wishing there were a band out now that still carried the spirit of 70’s-80’s post-punk need look no further than The Chambermaids. There will also be a new band opening up for the other two this night. Temporarily called Site, the band, featuring Members of Mister Doctor Professor, a former member of I, Wombat, and Utah Spirit Babies, are doing their best to mash up Husker Du with Sonic Youth. This should be a fun, fun night of good rockin’ tunes.

Up last on my list of shows not to miss is the triumphant return of the Lollipop Factory to the Brass Rail with local openers I, Wombat and Sparkleteaser. Lollipop Factory is a two-piece, consisting of David Tweed on guitar and Bekah Manning on drums, LP channels everything that was (and still is) great about 70’s glam rockers T. Rex, Slade, Sweet, and David Bowie. The Lollipop Factory will be celebrating the release of a new EP that night, which means new merch for all of you (and by you, I mean me) who have been wanting something new from them since the first time they came through town. With such great openers as I, Wombat and Sparkleteaser, this show might be the highlight of my Spring.

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