For the most part, I'm here and functional in my new home of New Orleans. Moving a ton of musical gear is never an easy feat, but compressing it into a smaller area than before is truly a challenge. On the plus side, I managed to turn up three or four pedal power adapters I'd forgotten about - that pedal board will be much happier with less batteries now.
Now that everything is back together, I should be able to get the Playboy Psychonauts EP uploaded to Bandcamp for sale to the general public within the next week or so. Still tweaking the files a bit, but everything else should be ready to go.
And Victor Wooten is in town next week, with a bonus Anthony Wellington clinic earlier in the day, at Howlin' Wolf. Gotta manage my work schedule.
And, of course, gotta find a gig now. So I'll be hitting the streets - let me know if you hear anything, okay? And if you're just running across this blog for the first time, feel free to peruse sound samples at my SoundCloud site.
My time spent playing music in Indianapolis consisted of a bunch of wonderful musicians being far too kind to me. When I first got to town and joined the union, I was attempting to play jazz in a fill-in gig with Dick Dickinson (and folks like Pookie Johnson and Jimmy Coe when they would drop by the regular Wednesday night gig). "Attempting" is the key word here because, quite simply, I was muddling my way through it and just wasn't that good. Nevertheless, they tolerated my learning efforts, encouraged my playing, and then probably walked away shaking their heads. I am amazed and gratified by the tolerance, kindness, and immense talent they displayed.
My blues gig with Dwight Edwards was better for both, I think, and it provided me the memory of trying to play while rabid Star Wars fans (testing the Slippery Noodle's tolerance for costumes pre-convention) swung plastic lightsabres at my feet. It also got my feet wet with 3-set-a-night gigs and the tolerance and stamina it took to get through those. Such great players in this band, too.
From there, I started playing more rock and funk, and it's about this time that Indianapolismusic.net came into my life. The people involved in that website and community were far too kind by not stringing me up when it came to No*Star and such things. The website resides in the Internet equivalent of mothballs now, but it was such an important part of my musical life for so many years - it's hard to quantify or explain how much it meant to meet and interact with all the musicians and good people associated with it. Especially the club owners that put up with our shenanigans. I can only hope I paid back a small fraction of what everybody gave to me in my time with it.
And finally, the musical theater folks who let me perform what might be the perfect job in the universe - walk in to a gig, play a show with amazingly talented musicians, and leave without having to move an amplifier. I can only assume the next life provides us with some variation of that activity when we receive our final reward. John Austin Butsch and the Q Artistry folks (Ben Asaykwee and Will McCarty) - thanks so much for letting me be a part of it.
Because Indianapolis bands never break up (seriously - so incestuous) and because there's always new folks on the way (like my current neighbors, who still play far too loud for their own good - seriously, save your ears), I'm not intending this to be a final summary or review in any way. I just wanted to say thanks for the kindness.
Contractors recently turned on the new fountain in the new plaza at the corners of Shelby, Prospect, and Virginia in Fountain Square. This new plaza represents yet another part of the Cultural Trail project that began just after we moved into the neighborhood a little over 6 years ago. When we moved in, it was an old parking lot next to the now-defunct Deano's Vino restaurant, and it occasionally held small performances and festivals (like the Masterpiece in a Day competition). It's just one of the changes we've seen in our short time here, but it's been wonderful to see all of these changes happen - my wife and I will definitely miss seeing what continues to happen.
I never really liked leaving Fountain Square to go to a restaurant - the best of the city was already here, so why waste gas going somewhere else? And the people behind these enterprises were so wonderful and involved in making the neighborhood, so they deserved any support we could give them. Especially when businesses like Santorini Greek Kitchen and Calvin Fletcher Coffee Company (and so many others) made direct contributions to causes so important to us, like the Fountain Square Arts Council or Girls Rock Indy.
Fountain Square was also the first time my wife and I lived in a neighborhood. Before, we'd been in buildings or planned communities, but they were always some place we left to go somewhere else. Morris St. was our first house, and it held a diverse population of neighbors that we probably would have never met had we not moved in. We already knew some of the musicians living on our block, but we came to know so many other people. People that came together to build the neighborhood through community organizing, clean-ups, art events, co-ops, and more. There's no other place that could have convinced me to carry a globe made of neon innertubes through a parade while wearing a luchadore mask. It just seemed right.
This was the only neighborhood in the city for us - it was the only neighborhood where we wanted to live. Because of the people. Because of what they put together and what they continue to do.
Fountain Square has so much more to offer, and I'm so happy that it's no longer a neighborhood "on the way." It's already here and doing wonderful and attractive and diverse things. We were only here for six years and saw so much change and development in the neighborhoods and the businesses and the culture. It was wonderful to be part of that slice of time.
Hey, this blog missed a post last week - never put anything out regarding the music in Fountain Square that weekend. Promise that I have a really good reason for it.
My wife and I were looking for a new home in New Orleans.
In a couple of weeks, we'll no longer be Fountain Square residents, and the reality of leaving such a wonderful neighborhood in such a wonderful city sinks in slowly. While we won't be strangers (too many friends and family in the area, plus the need for business travel), we will sell our house and pack everything up and eventually leave for our new city.
That also means that we have a lot of people to thank and wish well (both inside the neighborhood and out), and I'll do that next week while we're actually packing the boxes and such. In the meantime, I do want to leave you with a great resource that will do a wonderful job of keeping you up-to-date with the happenings in Fountain Square - http://discoverfountainsquare.do317.com. The folks over there not only list all of the events taking place in Fountain Square (musical and otherwise), but the do317 Lounge in the Murphy Building brings some great acts into a wonderfully intimate space. Dodge and Josh and the rest at do317.com have been around music for quite a long time now - you're in their hands now.
It's First Friday - go out and enjoy Fountain Square. It's a fantastic place, and I'm more than a little sad to leave it.