Friday marked the beginning of a fresh addition to the music scene in Indianapolis, the opening of the Do317 Lounge. Do317 owners Josh Baker and Craig “Dodge” Lile along with the LaundroMatinee team and many others are to thank for this new space in Indianapolis. The room sits a top the Murphy Building off Virginia Avenue, right in the heart of Fountain Square.
Opening day for the lounge brought a private show by Denver band, The Lumineers. The band offered a four-song set sandwiched in between their sold-out Thursday and Friday shows at Radio Radio. While the band highlighted some of their more “popular” songs, b-side track “Morning Song” played well to the intimate setting. Free samples from Upland Brewery along with photo opportunities with the band helped add to the private experience.
The Do317 Lounge is another sign of growth for the music scene in our great city. I continue to notice many new faces at live shows and feel a growing excitement to the acts that come through Indianapolis. Sold out back-to-back shows indicate that Indianapolis is getting ready to burst at the seams as we continue to grow as a legitimate stop for bands passing through. Keep your eyes glued to Do317 for your next opportunity to check out the new space and show your appreciation for those who keep the ship sailing here in Indianapolis.
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Written by Brett McGrath
I have these moments a couple of times a week where I need folk music. An internal trigger kicks in and demands its presence. Folk is a funny type of music for me. I have always enjoyed the influence it plays in music rather than the genre as a whole. This is quickly changing. Fleet Foxes created the shift. Then bands like Typhoon and Stornoway helped to expedite my change in thought. Folk is not extravagant. It is gentle and stripped to the necessities. The honestly that this music brings is what tends to draw me in. Authentic, relatable stories where lyrics lead the listeners closer to the music is the center of folk music to me. Folk music is much like a good friend. It serves as a simple reminder to take a step back, slow down and enjoy life. My weekly folk triggers bring a certain sincerity to my overall listening experience, and this is causes me to grow closer to the genre as a whole. My latest reaction to the music from the roots has come from Colorado-based band, The Lumineers.
The Lumineers released their self-titled debut last week and I have been unable to stop listening to it. After I stumbled upon their Daytrotter session, I knew that this was a band that I needed to follow. After little more than a month of anticipation, The Lumineers have delivered. As I lie in bed, I realize that I am listening to this record for the fourth time in a row. I have no idea what happened to the time, but these songs have not only won me over, but brought me closer to folk music. Front man, Wesley Schultz is believable with his lyrics and his stories are relatable. I am captivated by the simplicity and proudly overwhelmed by the sensibility that the Lumineers offer.
The album kicks off with sweet guitar picking and introduction to the rasp of Schultz’s voice. Track, “Flowers in Your Hair” does an unbelievable job of setting the stage for the rest of this album. Neyla Pekarek (piano, cello) supports the chorus and causes listeners to be taken on a ride. Sitting just under 2 minutes, this song is the ideal pitch at the front of a record to catch listener’s attention. This is a fantastic tactic for grabbing as many early adapters as possible.
Song, “Slow It Down” is probably the simplest song on the record, but easily my favorite. The track showcases of Schultz’s honesty as a writer and it helps to create a genuine affection for me. A tale of failed love pieced together through rich imagery. Opening line, “I feel a filth in my bones, wash off my hands ‘til it is gone” provides an ugly, but honest context surrounding a lingering break. Curtains, car windows, beds and many other objects are leaned on throughout this song to paint a picture for listeners. The more I listen to this song and the others, the more I appreciate the value that The Lumineers place on imagery.
The last track on the record is “Morning Song” and I notice an interesting twist in their style with this one. This track adopts a Celtic-like vibe with the guitar riffs between Schultz’s vocal exchanges. It sounds like bagpipes could be brought in for support. I find this twist interesting, but engaging. The unexpected turn still captivates me with each play.
The Lumineers are a band that is going to continue to gain more importance for me as 2012 progresses. They are the glue that is going to keep me connected to my folk roots. This release is a must-listen for those that need a simple dose of roots music to pass through the week. While folk will never be my favorite style, I know it will always grab my interest as long as there are at least one band like The Lumineers to introduce themselves to me every year.
The Lumineers will perform at Radio Radio in Indianapolis on May 25. Tickets are available for $10 via MOKB Presents.
Written by Brett McGrath
An artificial layer continues to spread through the musical landscape that encompasses my listening experience. The rise of the low budget DIY approach in the independent music scene has paved acres of innovation, while embracing alternate forms of musical communication. The number of musicians that use drum machines and synthesizers to substitute band members mounts. As the electronic influence rises and machines slowly chip away at the human element of music, it grows more difficult to dig up a project that roots itself deep in the dirt of traditional Americana sound. While I appreciate the new direction of independent music, I find myself trying to break the earth for its missing authenticity. Luckily for me, I have cracked my shovel on a dependable band whose roots are deep in the stratum sound.
The Lumineers hail from Denver, CO and have shown that they treat tradition with a specific respect. Their songs ring with an authentic emotion that sends chills down my neck with each play. This band embraces the feeling of vulnerability as their songs are stripped to let the voice of Wesley Shultz shine through their surface. A sense of honesty lures me in, as it feel like I am being let in on a secret with each line. Track, “Ho Hey” highlights their return to the rustic while promoting the rich vocals of Shultz. This song resonates because it perfectly pairs sound with lyrics. Shultz pleads, “I belong with you, you belong with me, my sweetheart,” displaying his confident honesty. This track hangs on an acoustic guitar, tambourine, and back up vocals. While stripped and simple, Shultz’s powerful vocals create a mountain of sound. After each listen of “Ho Hey” I reflect on not only the elevation of this song, but also the future of The Lumineers.
The Lumineers will release their first full length LP on April 3. If you like what you have heard and need to continue your Lumineers fix make sure to check out their Daytrotter session.
Live in Indianapolis:
When: Friday – May 25, 2012
Where: Radio Radio
Tickets: $10-12 via MOKB Presents (On sale beginning March 30th)
Written by Brett McGrath