ARTISTS TO WATCH: The Ramettes

The Ramettes

 

There’s plenty of room to get in on the ground floor as a fan of the Ramettes, an incredibly good band from Broad Ripple in Indianapolis which not nearly enough locals have yet heard. If you’ve been to the Melody Inn regularly you may have caught the band before. If you haven’t, you’ll at least get a shot to hear them play a half-hour set March 28 as part of Punk Fest 2015 at Indianapolis’s 5th Quarter Lounge.

Barring that, you can check out “Train Track Suzy” below, which I think showcases their sound perfectly. The Ramettes offer up a fuzzed-out take on 60s psychedelia and distorted 80s lo-fi, anchored by organ work which echoes Jefferson Airplane even as the vocals hint at a more distorted Liz Phair or Kim Gordon. The deceptively simple hook swims beneath the surface ready to strike at any moment. Hear it once and you’ll have to hear it again just to revel in these 150 seconds of near-perfection. You can hear this and three additional songs (I highly recommend “The War”) at MFT.

THE LIVE WIRE: Catalytic

Catalytic's own Dustin Strole during the band's set at 5th Quarter Lounge in Indianapolis

Catalytic’s own Dustin Strole during the band’s set at 5th Quarter Lounge in Indianapolis

If you didn’t already read my profile of Indianapolis’ next big thing in melodic metal in this week’s NUVO, go check it out! Then crank the volume up on your computer speakers and let Catalytic take over your brain for these two tracks in one video: “Saving This Day” and “Evil Will Fail”. The band opened their blistering set at Indianapolis’ 5th Quarter Lounge with these two, and from there it was a quick free-fall into an intense show no one in attendance is going to soon forget. I heard several people commenting later that it was the band’s strongest set to date, which bodes well for a band I feel deserves major label attention and a fast-track to national recognition.

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NEVER SAY NEVER: Ian McLagan (1945-2014)

I’ve been listening to an angel’s cry
I can dream if you hang around
I can do anything
With you by my side
Never loved anyone
I never loved anybody
But you baby
Never been lucky babe
I’ve never backed winners
But I’ll never say never again

Rock music lost a legend today, but the music won’t be going anywhere. I could listen to Ian McLagan play on a non-stop loop and never be disappointed. If I disappear for a few days it’ll be because I’m digging up any Faces clips I can find and watching them on repeat. Here’s a personal fave from his later years, off Letterman, who was clearly a huge fan. And Patty Griffin on harmonies … just wonderful.

THE LIVE WIRE: Tony Lucca

Tony Lucca at the Rathskeller in Indianapolis. (Photo: Jonathan Sanders)

Tony Lucca at the Rathskeller in Indianapolis. (Photo: Jonathan Sanders)

Tony Lucca has a lot on his plate. He’s touring constantly (and putting on a mighty fine show of things, if his performance at the Rathskeller on the 22nd of November was any indication), plotting the release of a new album, getting ready to sing the national anthem and do a halftime show for the Redskins vs. Eagles game on the 20th, and he’s going to Guatemala later this month to assist MILE (Music Is Love Exchange) organization! If all that wears you down to read it, imagine living it.

I had the opportunity to profile Lucca for NUVO Newsmagazine in Indianapolis, and he had plenty to say about what really goes into the songwriting process, the result of which you hear below via the laid-back version of “Pretty Things” with which he closed out his Rathskeller set. If you think all he’s got going for him is his time on the Voice, think again. You’ll be hearing plenty more than this from Lucca in 2015!

F#@^ YEAH IT’S CHRISTMAS: DePue Brothers Band – “Linus and Lucy”

I love Christmas, bluegrass and the Charlie Brown Christmas album, so when I stumbled on this track from the DePue Brothers Band, off their album When It’s Christmas Time, I couldn’t help but spread the word! Zach DePue, on violin, is currently the concertmaster for the Indianapolis Symphony, which gives this some local flavor. But what I really loved about their backstory is how much family history there is in the group’s celebrations of the holiday spirit. Their father, Dr. Wallace DePue, Sr., wrote a new Christmas carol for the family as his holiday gift, a tradition carried forward to this day:

No matter where they may be performing, the brothers reunite each Christmas and each year their dad writes another carol. These carols were musical expressions of love to his four sons and enduring gift cards to the DePue‘s family and friends with personal notes and updates from each growing child. In addition, as a gift to their community, they would perform in their hometown church and, now, they return to the church this Christmas with an additional gift – their holiday music recorded.

The entire album is as captivating as the video below, capturing the beauty of the holiday season via rollicking bluegrass arrangements you won’t be able to help tapping a foot to. As you settle back into your groove now that Thanksgiving’s come and gone, let this reworked classic get you into the spirit of the season!

INTERVIEW: The Kickback

The Kickback (Credit: Jim Vondruska)

Billy Yost has spent the last few years really priming fans of the Kickback with information about what it’s like to really be on the road these days. And he’s a fountain of information. Hell, after we got done talking last week, he had to call me back just to clarify that he had indeed listened to Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic” at least fourteen times that day. Because that’s just who he is.

Never a band to merely sleep through the interminable road trips, Yost and company record a great deal of what goes on in the van during those early morning drives. Just last week the band celebrated the release of the 100th episode of their “DISASTOUR” podcast, and as they work toward the eventual release of that long-awaited full-length debut, they continue to play Geography defying series of live shows that bounce them throughout the country. Judging by live videos like this oneor this one … the result is something fans really should be celebrating this night before Thanksgiving.

Yost sat down to talk to “Hear! Hear!” about the band’s songwriting process, what fuels the band’s live performances, and just how big an impact being from a small town plays in how they relate to fans.  You can listen to the full interview at the link above.

The band will be at Indianapolis’s Melody Inn tonight, so get your tickets if you haven’t!