Music » Music News

Soundcheck: Weekend edition



Luisa Maita, perfoming at Lotus Fest this weekend.
  • Luisa Maita, perfoming at Lotus Fest this weekend.
It is, undoubtedly, all about Lotus this weekend. Every year we take our best shot at inspiring Indy readers to make the 45-minute trek south to Bloomington to experience the finest music event in the Midwest. This time, no cajoling should be necessary: with 26 acts representing over 20 nations, the 2011 line-up is the strongest in the festival's 18-year history. On the lineup: soul legend Mavis Staples, the Creole Choir of Cuba and Brazilian singer Luisa Maita and, well, 23 others. In downtown Bloomington. Ticket prices vary; a Friday-Saturday festival pass runs $56 advance ( and $66 day of show. We're running profiles on artists performing at Lotus Friday and Saturday, and, come Monday, we'll have review coverage of the whole shebang on this here website. If you can't make the trip, we understand; while the free options at Lotus are almost as good as the paid showcases, sometimes even gas money can be hard to come by. So, here are some options closer to home, including an atypically active Monday night with shows by Elvis Costello, Shellac and Dirty Beaches.


They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton at The Vogue
They Might Be Giants have being doing work for two distinct audiences over the past decade or so. On one side are the kids records, including ones concerning about science, numbers and letters; on the other, what we’ll call not-kids records, since there’s nothing “adult” about the group (at least not in the obscene sense). Their latest not-kids record, Join Us, was released in July. I interviewed TMBG's John Flansburgh a couple years back, just after the release of a science-themed kids album; feel free to revisit the results. 8 p.m., $23 (plus fees), 21+.


Triple Threat at Locals Only
Skittz, Blake Allee and Tony Styxx, who make up the triple threat here, are banding together to release their new albums on the same night. Skittz will premiere Rhymestrong; Blake Allee, My Best Friends Are Machines; and Tony Styxx, It’s Bigger Than Me. CDs available for purchase for $5 each, or three for $12. With special appearances by Mic Sol, Sonny Paradise, ACE ONE, Scoot Dubbs, Joe Harvey, Hinx Jones and DJ Spoolz. 10 p.m., $5, 21+.


Rocky Ripple Festival
Rocky Ripple, that scrappy little town tucked into the creek bend of a much larger city, will put on its 11th annual neighborhood festival this weekend. Andra Faye, interviewed here by Matt Socey during the farewell tour by her group Saffire: The Uppity Blueswomen, will headline at 5 p.m. Also on the bill are Zydeco ensemble Mojo Gumbo, party band Gemini, electric blues trio 78 RPM, classic rock outfit Whoa Tiger and acoustic duo Cathy Hurt and Joel Conner. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., free, all-ages.

Found Object Orchestra Internationale at IndyFringe Building

Found Object Orchestra Internationale, a Michigan-based electro-acoustic trio devoted to making music on found objects, as well as a few conventional musical instruments, will make the trip down to the Fringe Building this Saturday night. James Cornish, who’s been through down for the experimental Blank Slate Festival, will play euphonium, trumpet and flute; Ian Fulcher will man electronics and trumpet; and Curtis Glatter will handle the titular found objects, as well as keys and percussion. 8 p.m., $15 adults, $8 students, all-ages.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
If Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra leader Wynton Marsalis doesn’t play “outside” enough for you, well, then, you’re free to skip this one. But maybe you can hold two attitudes in your head at once, and acknowledge that, despite Marsalis’s conservatism, his band is one of the finest in the country, capable of playing in a certain style and from a certain repertoire at an extremely high level. In that case, good tickets are still available. 8 p.m., $15-110, all-ages.


Johnny Rivers at Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
“Secret Agent Man,” “Poor Side of Town,” “Summer Rain”: a few of the hits Johnny Rivers scored during the late ‘60s, when the born-too-late guitarist enjoyed his most mainstream success. But he’s always been around, playing an in-the-pocket, straight-ahead rock and roll that might be best compared to early rockers like Buddy Holly, while at the same time dabbling in different styles — chiefly soul; his covers of “Baby I Need Your Lovin” and “The Tracks of My Tears” both charted, and a version of “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” still gets plenty of airplay. 6 p.m., $32 (with fees), all-ages.


Elvis Costello and The Imposters at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St.

Elvis Costello’s Indy appearance will involve a heavy element of chance, with set lists for his Singing Songbook tour determined by a spin of the wheel (of fortune) upon which 40 songs are listed, including hits, rarities, new ones and surprises. If the wheel lands on jackpot, well, you get a super-medley of songs upon a certain theme or sharing a word in their titles. This should be fun. 7:30 p.m., $29.50-69.50 (plus fees), all-ages.

Dirty Beaches at White Rabbit Cabaret
On his latest record, Badlands, Alex Zhang Hungtai, a Taiwan-born Canadian who performs by the nom de stage Dirty Beaches, chews up early ‘50s rock and roll and spits it back in its essential form — but not before distressing it so that it might sound like it was recorded at a bottom of the well. His stuff sets up an atmosphere that seems both nostalgic and alternate-dimensional — like a biker bar on Mars. 8 p.m., $8 advance, $10 door, 21+.

Shellac at Radio Radio
Shellac is famous for not really doing any of the things band are supposed to do. They record infrequently; they rarely do press; they rarely tour. And, of course, guitarist Steve Albini — who’s perhaps best known for his work as a producer and engineer — is vocal in his denunciations of the industry, and of those silly enough to think they might become rock stars. And he’s usually right on target. 8 p.m., $10, 21+.


This Week's Flyers

Around the Web