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Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
Upcoming Shows To Get Excited About
By EA Poorman
Fort Wayne Reader
I used to pride myself on my hermit-like behavior. Invitations to go out and see this band or that show were waved off with a forceful "Nah. I'm good. I've got books at home", or "Sounds great, I'll call you later", which was followed of course by no call. Eventually people realized I wasn't much of an outwardly guy and lost my number (it was probably fake, anyways.) Unless you caught me at 7 am at Tom's Donuts reading a paper and enjoying a cup as black as my soul you rarely saw me among the living.
But then something changed. The quiet of my apartment became louder than the crowds I avoided. Netflix binges and stacks of time-weathered biographies of jazz legends weren't filling the voids like they once were. Even the collection of vinyl I'd coveted and cultivated over the years seemed to only build a charred, smoking wall around me and not cleanse my soul like it once did. Truth is, on my self-made island of one I was not only alone, but I'd begun to be lonely.
So what does a lonely music sap like me do in a town like Fort Wayne? Well he goes to shows, and there's been many for the picking so far this year. There was Void Reunion and The Meat Flowers at the Brass Rail; March On, Comrade at CS3; Shade at Skeletunes Lounge; Ryan Kerr at Bob Vila's This Old House; Heaven's Gateway Drugs and Streetlamps For Spotlights at The Brass Rail, and too many more for me to remember. Point is, I've dropped the hermit act and I'm letting rock and roll heal my beat up psyche from the outside in, or inside out. I even went and saw Kiss last weekend, AND took in a Tin Caps game. I'm starting to feel like a real contributing member of society (okay, I won't push it.)
So we've now entered August. Kids can hear the death knell of summer break approaching, the summer heat is kicking up a notch as September and fall are just around the corner, and the summer concert season is slowly morphing into the fall concert season. But hey, let's not rush it. we've got a couple killer shows coming our way very soon, from Italy with love.
On August 22nd, the Italian alternative band Smoke The Bees will be playing Skeltunes Lounge with local heroes Streetlamps For Spolights. They're touring in support of their album Mesmerise, a loud and brash guitar record that would make any fan of Oasis, Kula Shaker, that first Spacehog record (hey, "In The Meantime" was great song, so don't say a word!), and modern psychedelia a happy camper. The band hails from Turin, Italy and they formed in 2012. As far as their music, here's what their website had to say about it: "Their music combines diverse genres and influences creating an distinctive sound with a leading thread. It is intense, atmospheric, reflective, as well as tuneful, irreverent and catchy. This generates a natural empathy from the first listening, diverging from the local music scene and the Italian music in general." They cite Radiohead, Sparklehorse, Syd Barrett, and the Icelandic music scene as influences. Listening to Mesmerise, you can hear bits of the aforementioned bands, but there's also something decidedly more immediate and accessible to it than say a Good Morning Spider or Kid A. Here's what they had to say about the making of Mesmerise: "Its creation was as natural and organic as the relationship of its musicians, as it came about as a necessity to leave a “mark” musically and artistically in a form that was not ethereal and fleeting as music normally is in the moment it is played. MESMERISE shows the eclectic musical choices made by Smoke the Bees all the while keeping an overall artistic and musical cohesiveness that gives a very distinct and pleasurable sound to the listener."
I think a show with Smoke The Bees and Streetlamp For Spotlights will be one not to miss. And they're coming all the way from Italy, so the least we can do is come out and give 'em an ear or two. Head over to smokethebees.com and give 'em a listen, then see them live on August 22nd at Skeletunes.
Also, on September 2nd the Water Witches are making their way back to the Fort from the Buckeye state for an evening of freak folk psychedelia at the Brass Rail. If you didn't catch these guys the last time they were in town, well here's your chance to right that wrong. They put on a hell of a show, and their album Feathers is pretty great.
And of course, don't forget on September 16th and 17 at Headwaters Park is the inaugural Middle Waves Festival. So far, the Flaming Lips, Best Coast, Doomtree, Jeff The Brotherhood and Sidewalk Chalk have been announced; as well as local heroes Metavari, Heaven's Gateway Drugs, Either/Or, and the recently added Void Reunion. There's still artists to be announced, so keep your eyes and ears open. I'll be there Saturday the 17th, hopefully sharing a Bravas burger with Wayne Coyne. Should be fun.
What I've learned in the last couple of years is that Fort Wayne is not a town for the hermits and homebodies. If you want to exist in your own four walls, move to South Bend or Warsaw. Fort Wayne has too many great things to see and hear. The momentum is building. Jump on and take the ride.