Month: April 2017


You have to be a pretty amazing visual artist to be interviewed by the radio.

That was part of New York artist Jenny Morgan’s brief stay in Lafayette as she opened her riveting new show, “Transcendental Supra-mental,” at Purdue University’s Fountain Gallery, 330 Main St. The exhibit of eight large paintings runs through Oct. 11.


Just hours before her Sept. 4 opening reception and talk, Morgan had an initial, “pre-interview” with National Public Radio. The feature will focus on her tremendous late summer push, which saw her land the cover of Juxtapoz magazine, make her Greater Lafayette debut and soon to open a solo exhibition in Denver where the artist was based for years before taking on the Big Apple.


“Transcendental” features mostly figurative pieces of nude female and male subjects. Morgan’s skill with the figure has classical realist technique but it is combined with her modern, emotive talents. What’s inside her subjects is as important – perhaps more so – as the outside.


During her talk, Morgan revealed that the better she knows or picks up on the personalities of her models, the better the piece usually turns out. A firm believer of human auras, the artist adds subtle color and blurring effects to some of her pieces to give a dreamlike effect. She “scratches” out hands or faces to represent insecurity. The blurring occurs with a dry brush and sometimes white paint added.


The artist herself is in some the pieces while two works centering around a skull that had been in a friend’s family for generations, “Exit” and “Come and Go,” hints at a more abstract, surreal direction.

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Its quantity and quality at Lafayette local artists and married couple Sherri and John  new shows, hanging now through Feb. 14 at Tippecanoe Arts Federation.

Both have had compelling shows displaying drawing and painting skills in recent years. In About Face: 380 Self-Portraits, McGlothin again displays the results of her daily drawing exercises in 2012 and 2013. Thats 365 drawings displayed on a wall in TAFs Northwest Gallery. The small pieces practically wallpaper the space.

Again, McGlothlin chose to draw herself. The artist revealed that original idea was to break away from the self-portrait but she was drawn in by the artists most available subject herself.

McGlothlins style in these is loose and unflinching. Various angles are explored.

A self-portrait by Sherri McGlothlin

The daily drawings are flanked by about a dozen larger, more complete self portraits in various media: Oil, charcoal, monoprints and even middle school favorite tempura paint are used. McGlothlins latest work comes in the form of needle felt. The fabric self portraits are bright and bold. The new technique, for her, is as strong as the artists more traditional styles.

Frigos work makes up most of the 20 Years of Live Music exhibit, which displays flyers, posters, handbills and ticket stubs from every concert presented by the Friends of Bob live music co-op since 1994. Most shows are represented in 8 1/2 x 11-inch flyers printed on bright orange, blue, red and green paper. Youve probably seen Frigos handiwork stapled to telephone poles and bulletin boards over the years promoting concerts with the likes of Jonathan Richman (both in 1995 and 2013), Marshall Crenshaw, The Blasters and Frigos personal favorite Nick Lowe.

Frigos design style starts with the headlining bands name. Basic, of course, but some concert posters are more to stroke the artists ego. Frigo is all about the show first with a little bit of a throwback style mixed in. The posters must grab attention and inform people walking to class or work.

In 20 years, Friends of Bob have hosted more than 160 shows at current venues like Lafayette Brewing Company, Lafayette Theater, Long Center for the Performing Arts and Duncan Hall as well as those long gone like the Boiler Room, River Stix and TA Toms.

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Inviting someone to your band’s CD release show is met with mixed reactions in 2014:

“Awesome!” or .

“I can no longer play CD’s.” or …

“I think my mom still buys CD’s.”

Independent bands need to go the extra mile in order to effectively deliver physical versions of their music to potential listeners. Music must be formatted in interesting ways in the digital age. Lafayette metal act The Mound Builders is doing just that when it unveils its four-song EP, “Wabash War Machine.” The band will release an accompanying comic book that correlates with the EP’s tracks on Friday, Dec. 5.

To celebrate, The Mound Builders will perform with locals Lucifist and The Fantasies as well as Detroit “speed rock” band Against the Grain at 8 p.m. Friday at Lafayette Theater, 600 Main St.


“Wabash War Machine” is a tremendous nugget of metal power, recorded at Sonic Iguana studios in Lafayette and mixed and mastered by Dan Precision. The band continues to appeal to heavy and fast music connoisseurs with its blend of big Sabbath-friendly riffs, classic thrash speed and a dash of punk rock attitude.

The added appeal is the comic book. Each song gets two pages, one for the lyrics and another a one-page comic inspiration of the song. Illustrated by accomplished Boise, Idaho, artist Adam Black, the style harkens back to the old Heavy Metal series along with vintage EC horror comics. The comic also contains artwork from local illustrator Patrick Wetli and Chicagos Ech as well as an original story by Mound Builders vocalist Jim Voelz.


The comic is a very cool, creative touch from one of the top dogs in the local hard rock/metal scene.

In 2014 and probably 2015, bands need to put in a little more effort than they used to just 10 years ago in terms making a buzz with recordings. Sometimes its in videos, pressing vinyl or investing in an original comic book. By combining its sonic force with a comic, The Mound Builders’ effort is impressive and appreciated.

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In my last post, Part 1, I wrote about why you should ride. Now, lets talk about what you need to know about cycling and infrastructure.

So What do you need to know?


Many cyclists and drivers may not realize that cycling on the sidewalk is illegal, not to mention dangerous. Under Indiana law, cyclists have all the rights given to drivers on roads, but are also required to follow the same traffic regulations. Cyclists on the road are required only to ride as close as what is practical to the right hand side of the road, not to be confused with what would be possible.


Cyclists in Indiana are also legally allowed to ride two abreast. Last summer West Lafayette also enacted a Safe Passage Ordinance to protect cyclists on the road. Drivers have to give three feet of clearance to cyclists when passing. The ordinance states: “The operator of any motor vehicle driving on the roadway of West Lafayette may only overtake or pass a bicyclist when there is a safe distance of not less than three feet between the motor vehicle and the bicycle.” Lafayette also unanimously passed similar legislation on Monday.


I spoke to Steph Silva with Bicycle Lafayette, she says:


It is acceptable for children to ride bicycles on the sidewalk at a slow pace and they must yield the right of way to pedestrians, taking extra care at storefronts and anywhere foot traffic is heavy.


Children who are capable should ride in the street when possible. This might mean their parents ride with them on the side closest to traffic. In fact this is a great way to make sure your kids are ready to obey all traffic laws.


Adults should ride on the road or bike lane/path. In the case of heavy traffic and sidewalks present and in good condition, as well as little-to-no foot traffic, sidewalk riding can be acceptable. Improved bicycle infrastructure would alleviate the need for this patch style of solution.


The most important thing to remember is that crashes are more likely to happen when the cyclists visibility to a motorist is compromised. Sidewalk riding puts yourself and others at risk, and many sidewalks end abruptly or are not suitable for riding.

As a cyclist, your bicycle is a vehicle, and you can ride in the road. As the operator of a legal road vehicle (your bicycle), you must follow all traffic laws, just like any other legal road vehicle (cars) would have to. This means, riding WITH the flow of traffic, stopping at stop signs and traffic lights, and signaling your lane changes. Riding on the sidewalk isn’t only illegal, it’s dangerous. Cyclists are not as visible to drivers when they are on sidewalks.


Infrastructure Tell me more!


Essentially, there are three levels to bike infrastructure. Typically, the most desirable is a completely separated bike path. Completely separated bike paths are most desirable for drivers and novice cyclists alike. Unfortunately, bike paths that are completely separated from the road are not always possible or practical to build, so bike lanes that are physically part of the road are the next best option.


When a bike lane along a roadway would create a narrow situation for both the car and the cyclist a sharrow might be the only option.
Most people are familiar with separate bicycle infrastructure and bicycle lanes, but what is a sharrow? A Shared Lane marking, commonly called a “sharrow,” typically looks like a bicycle emblem with two chevrons above to indicate the direction of travel a cyclist should use. Sharrows remind drivers that the cyclist does have a right to use the road that driver has to share the road. Sharrows also show cyclists the recommended routes to take; however, cyclists are not required to use roads marked with sharrows or other bicycle infrastructure, and may use other roads not marked.


A shared lane marking give some visual connectivity between cycling infrastructure already in place. The markings help the cyclist know the most ideal routes to connect from bike lane to another bike lane or their destination. Behavioral studies have shown that streets with shared lane markings encourage cyclists to ride outside of the door zone, reduce wrong-way cycling, and sidewalk cycling.

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A new cycling season is upon us. Believe it or not, after a long and tiring winter, spring is finally here. It is May, right? May is also National Bike Month! If your favorite bicycle is gathering dust, it’s time to bring it out of hibernation: air up your tires, lube up the chain, and start rebuilding your pedaling muscles for our Lafayette hills.


Why should you ride?


It’s fun. It’s liberating. It’s exercise. It’s good for the economy. You save the planet, one pedal pump after another. You’ll notice things around the town you probably wouldn’t have seen confined in your car. I’ll admit, I’m still a fair-weather rider.


Until about a year ago, when Elly Blue from Taking the Lane visited, I didn’t know much about riding a bicycle for more than just exercise and fun. After Elly’s visit, I felt really empowered to take to the road and, as she would put it, take the lane (back)! I try to use my bicycle as a standard method of transportation during the warmer Indiana months.


So. It’s an exercise, right? Yes! Cycling will burn significantly more calories on your morning commute than you would have burned driving your car. You’ll also be burning last night’s pizza, and not fossil fuels. There are several positive economic and environmental impacts you can make by riding your bike. I won’t try to explain them, as I couldn’t explain it nearly as eloquently as Elly Blue can. If you are interested in the big-picture impact of cycling, I suggest reading Bikenomics.


Taken on the Harrison Bridge


Aaron grew up moving frequently around the country. His entire life has been a nomadic lifestyle. Aaron moved to the Lafayette area to attend Purdue University and in the process he fell in love with the area and now calls West Lafayette his home. I love bikes, bands, and adventures.
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11294325_10153331686279399_315659708_oI met with Kyle Batta and Kelly Dugger, the owners of Climb Lafayette. Kyle is a Lafayette native, and Kelly moved here from Evansville for school. I wanted to talk to them about what it was like to start their own business, what got them interested in climbing, and how it’s changed their lives. Climb Lafayette is a new climbing gym opening on the south side of Lafayette. Kyle and Kelly are determined to share climbing with the community, create a positive and encouraging atmosphere for others to join in their love for climbing.


Climb Lafayette is having their official Grand Opening June 5th at 3:30. Come out and celebrate if you can!


What was it that got you into climbing? How did you start to get where you are today?


Kyle: About 4 years ago I was quite a bit heavier, I started jogging, eventually I had lost about 96 pounds. I started thinking to myself: “what could I do now that I’m a little more svelte.” I tried climbing a couple of trees randomly and I decided to go skydiving in California. On a jog one day I decided to go rock climbing. I did some research and found a place in Indy. I went climbing with my niece for the first time, and eventually I made some new friends that wanted to climb.
I started climbing once every two weeks, then it moved to every week, and then a couple of times every week.


Climbing was something I had always wanted to try. Watching kids climb, and seeing how much fun they have is something special. If I climb a tree, especially When I would climb a tree and my niece would try and follow, shed get in trouble; but when we’d go climbing at the gym her parents were cheering her on to go higher. I wish there had been something like this around when I was a kid, I would have died of joy, I would have loved it.


Ever since that first climb I found friends that wanted to climb. I’d get several books and read up on everything that I could. I was always learning new types of things. I started eating better, so I could climb better, I started doing more exercises to climb better. I was doing everything I could to increase my climbing as a whole. About a year or so after my first climb I started dating Kelly.


Kelly: I had climbed before. I went to Vertical Escape in Evansville with my church group. I came up here for school for pharmacy. I had asked him to take me climbing with him when I found out about his hobby. He would go climbing on the weekends when I was working, and since then she’s been coming with me and we’ve just been having a ball.


Other than starting your own climbing gym, how has climbing changed you?


Kyle: Problem solving is the biggest part. If you’re climbing and you want to go a certain route you might need to take some time to figure it out, but eventually it just clicks.

Kelly: Climbing is part mental and part physical. Its not just exercising to exercise, there’s a whole mental workout as well.

Kyle: You might take a route and not make it, then come back the next day or the next week and make it this time. I dont make it to the top all the time, but it is not about making it to the top. We feel it is about trying and if you fail, who cares. Flexibility helps, and I’m not flexible at all. If you’re good at yoga, you have a step up on everybody else starting out. If you can climb a ladder, you can climb a route.

What kind of research did you do to open your own climbing gym? What were some of your challenges or obstacles you’ve had to overcome to make it to this point?

Kyle: I met with a couple of small business associations. There are so many free resources for starting your own business to help you get on, and stay on track.


I was living in an apartment during the early stages and I went in to detective mode. I started putting things up on the wall. I started connecting things, assessing problems, and trying to resolve them. Working though the problem solving and trying to nail down the finances.


We’ve been to other gyms and we’ve really wondered why they did certain things. We started visiting other gyms throughout the midwest and tried to understand why they were doing things a certain way. We tried to take the good points and improve on what they’re doing. We’ve noticed a lot of fitness gyms putting in climbing walls, but climbing is more of an afterthought, than the primary focus, and they lose a lot of the atmosphere.


Kelly: The financing was the hardest part. Market research for this area is really small. There are few climbing gyms in this part of the country, finding financing was the hardest part. We caught a break with a company that loans money to healthcare workers. It was a twist on their typical business loans.


Kyle: We worked on 3 year projections, local business owners, and consulted with a climbing gym consultant and they all said it was possible. If we can make it work on those numbers, we’re happy. We just want to share climbing with the community, and just want to share the love with climbing with everybody.


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Since 2012, Director and Producer Manny Cervantes (who is also a founding member of Think Lafayette) was working hard on accomplishing one of his dreams, a full-length documentary on bicycling culture around the country.

Tomorrow night, a fundraiser downtown is scheduled to help complete his movie in his absence. Please share this event, come to the event, and celebrate our ability to inspire and be inspired. If you cant come, please share with friends and family and consider giving a donation.

From the event page:

His film, BIKELANTIS, is an exploration of how cycling changes communities. The documentary explores more than 20 cities and looks at bike shops, bike sharing, city planning, competition, advocacy, bike touring and many other topics affecting cyclists nationwide. BIKELANTIS envisions a bike universe with a strong sense of community that is part of a healthier, creative lifestyle with global capacity for compassion between neighbors, and ultimately bike friendliness. Lafayette, Indiana, is featured as a vibrant cycling community where biking is evolving into a community force.


While Manny is no longer with us, his dream to uncover and redeem this Bikelantis-Utopia lives on. Manny was an artist, philosopher, visionary, and adventurer. Because he found beauty where it’s often overlooked, his film is uniquely precious and powerful.


Bikelantis Teaser Trailer from Manny Cervantes on Vimeo.

We are committed to completing this very important film, and seek your contribution to financially assist the post-production process. These finishing funds will provide every audience with a film that encourages each viewer to #livelikemanny, and strive for a better way of living together. BIKELANTIS reminds us of our own potential to inspire and be inspired, and to create positive change.

With your help, the film will be completed and available for screening by the end of 2014.

On a personal note, as mentioned above, Manny was a real cheerleader for the Greater Lafayette area, and helped us brainstorm what this site was going to be long before it ever started. He was one of our first writers and collaborators, and many of us had deep, personal relationships with him that are sorely missed. He passed away unexpectedly this Spring.

Because of this, this is a pointed request for you to come out and celebrate him and his vision with us, and help make this movie happen. There will be live music, a cash bar, and activities for children as well. Entry is free, but a donation is suggested.

If proceeds are raised in excess of the cost to complete his film, this money will be contributed to the #livelikeManny scholarship set up in his name.

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“Sing yourself to where the singing comes from” is Celtic Woman’s Mairead Carlins’ inspirational motto and an underlying sense of the show’s feel.

Celtic Woman’s 10th Anniversary, 80-city North American tour made one of its stops at Purdue’s Elliot Hall of Music on Oct. 3 following their shows in Evansville and Muncie. The all female, Irish singing ensemble was created by the musical directors of Riverdance back in 2004. The original group consisted of four female singers and a fiddler but has grown to include a 15-castmember ensemble with band and backup dancers and singers. While the group’s lineup has changed over the years to consist of Susan McFadden,  Mairead Carlin, Eabha McMahon and the original fiddler, Mairead Nesbitt, they have maintained their sound and feel from their earlier days.


What is most impressive about Celtic Woman is while the three principal singers and fiddler are still the focal point and foundation of the group, they have created a sense of community among the supporting musicians and dancers.  The group has developed a sense of sharing the spotlight to allow for each artist to present their talent and grace to the audience that sense of unity and tradition. The women not only extended the limelight to those on the stage, they extended the opportunity to the audience to singing along to popular songs and invited them into their community.


The rhythmic drums, the sprightly footed dancers and formal gowns worn by the women added to the show that gave this small Indiana town a sense of old Ireland. However the show also provided an upbeat, modern sound backed up by a driving group of percussionists and Uillean bagpipes.


Plainly said, this show was one to be seen and remembered.  The tour features a career-spanning set encompassing such Irish classics as Mo Ghile Mhear, and an a capella version of “Danny Boy” alongside contemporary compositions like Scarborough Fair and You Raise Me Up” and an a capella version of “Over the Rainbow. At the announcement of the classical, Celtic Woman favorite song, “You Raise Me Up”, the energy and anticipation from the crowd was palpable and an obvious crowd-pleaser when the song ended with a full-house standing ovation.


McFadden, Carlin and McMahon’s voices were clearly showcased in this song with their wide-ranging octaves and soft yet full-bodied sounds went together like a perfect cocktail.  The energy, the exuberance, and the gracefulness of the group was rewarded by the audience with a long, loud standing ovation following the final song. Carlin and the other Celtic Women held up to the inspiration of “singing yourself to where the singing comes from.



Tim Brouk

Tim Brouk has covered Greater Lafayette arts and entertainment since 2000. The St. Louis native has a passion for all forms of local arts and culture as well as a passion for covering, reviewing and featuring them for the public. He has won awards for writing and videography from The Associated Press and Hoosier State Press Association.

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Co-written by Aaron Bumgarner and Cathryn English


Afroman, famous for songs like Because I Got High, regularly rolls through southeast Lafayette. Last Friday, we finally made it to a show. The Hideaway is a bit of a dive, tucked behind Lafayettes worst Pizza Hut. Our only expectation for the night was to hear “Because I Got High”. We saw no reason set the bar any higher.


Each attendee got a copy of the new Afroman album, Marijuana Music. A quick internet search turns up the fact that he has released at least 28 albums. Still, Afroman has just one hit song, originally popularized by the Howard Stern Show. “Because I Got High” was an international hit. He embraces his lack of success with grace, even performing a song titled “One Hit Wonder”.


The first perfomer (missed his name) sounded bad at the back of the bar, so we grabbed a drink and got closer. Still bad. Next up was PLOT, a local hip hop group with a small following. The third act was the Insomniacs, who brought a large and devoted crowd.
At some point during PLOT, Afroman entered the building. His afro was immaculate, he smelled nice, and he wore a shiny short-sleeve turquoise suit, obviously custom tailored. He was happy to converse with fans, and asked us for requests. We couldnt tell if he genuinely expected the crowd to be familiar with his huge body of work. We bought him a shot of SoCo to change the subject.

The crowd had thinned once Afroman took the stage, but he got a wild response. We were both surprised by his deep, soulful voice and his commanding stage presence. Even more exciting were the numerous times Afroman busted out his double neck guitar. Though impressed with his skills, we were greatly disappointed that he never touched the upper 12-string neck.


Mid-set, Afroman took a quick intermission from the music to tell several vulgar and mediocre jokes. Shortly after a pilled-out townie was punched in the face by woman with only one arm, the crowd dwindled to us, a pregnant couple, three frat boys, and a very short Vietnam veteran shaking his cane to the beat. Unfazed, Afroman maintained his level of showmanship until the end. We left the bar listening to his new CD on the way to Jimmy Johns, and both agreed that Afroman is best experienced live.

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Bike Polo For Beginners

I was first introduced to bike polo while riding my bike through Tapawingo Park last spring. Riverside Skating Center was packed with weird-looking bikes and happy looking people. I watched as people wielding makeshift mallets rode haggard bicycles and tried to whack a small orange ball into goals on each side of the rink. My heart swelled and I fell in love instantly with something I knew nothing about.


Bike polo is beautiful. The rules are simple, the play is fast, and the game is fun, outrageously fun. Two teams of three aim to put a roller hockey ball into a goal on a rectangular court. The ball starts in the center, a player from each team “joust” to gain control of the ball. Goals can only be shot, not shuffled. In other words, contact with the ball must be on the end of the mallet. Once a goal is scored, the ball is taken back to the middle of the court. Last and most important rule: you’re on a bike and you never get off the bike. Your feet hit the court and you must ride back to mid-court and slap your mallet on the wall. The simplicity of rules does not reflect the complexity of play. Bike polo is also aggressive and filled with strategy personal to each team.


Mondays and Wednesdays in the GLA have since become the best weekday nights of my young adult life . I spent my first few weeks as an enthusiastic spectator and eventually (with much heckling and peer pressure) became bold enough slink onto the court and spend the majority of my time smashing into the fence and laughing hysterically. Bike polo is still held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8pm. With adequate notice, an extra bike can be provided for first timers.


Some of my favorite people on the planet play bike polo, and sixteen wildly talented teams from all over the Midwest will compete in the Star City closing tournament this year. The free, all-day event (9am to 11pm) will be held at Riverside Skating Center, 100 Tapawingo Dr., IN 47906 on November 10th.


Bike Polo photos by ISPhotographic.

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