Category: News

WINDOW SHOPPING

Out and about this week, I had the opportunity to drop by a handful of charming local shops.

American Treasures and One Earth Gallery
This Lafayette staple carries a variety of Native-American and international fair trade items, including a huge array of hand-crafted gold and silver jewelry.

 

Genevees Studio

This full-service salon also has a vintage clothing store in the basement with a variety of mens and womens clothing, shoes, and accessories.

Hot House Market

This is a brand new vintage boutique at the top of 9th Street hill, carrying mid-century, bohemian, and shabby chic housewares. They also have a selection of womens vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories.

Lala Gallery

This was my first time in the gallery, and the owner gave me a tour of the artwork and workshop. They not only sell art, but host a variety of classes for all ages. There was a large selection of desirable pieces here, and I found myself fawning over the owners own work hanging in the back. To die for for more information on SEO harrisburg PA visit them here.

Main Street Mercantile

This store boasts a huge variety of vintage and antique items, ranging from household items to vintage curiosities. They also carry quite a bit of Purdue ephemera. One special thing about this store is the number of large items in stock, like conversational art pieces and unusual wood carvings.

No Comments

Categories: News

Vintage Purdue Elliott Hall of Music Postcard, circa 1940-1955

Purdue Hall of Music postcardPurdue Hall of Music postcardPurdue Hall of Music postcard

12

This is a charming postcard depicting the band shell of Elliott Hall of Music sometime between its opening in 1940 and its rechristening as Elliott in 1958. The scallop-edged postcard measures 4 x 6 inches and is in good condition with some yellowing with age. This would be a nice gift framed so that both sides of the card are visible.

 

Product Description

This is a charming postcard depicting the band shell of Elliott Hall of Music sometime between its opening in 1940 and its rechristening as Elliott in 1958. The scallop-edged postcard measures 4 x 6 inches and is in good condition with some yellowing with age. This would be a nice gift framed so that both sides of the card are visible.

More information on Elliott Hall of Music from Wikipedia:

 

The Edward C. Elliott Hall of Music is located on the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. With a seating capacity of 6,005, it is one of the largest proscenium theaters in the world, and is about 100 seats larger than Radio City Music Hall. The facility is named after Edward C. Elliott (1874–1960), who served as President of Purdue University from 1922 to 1945. The stage of the hall is one of the largest in the country. It is roughly the same size as the stage of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

 

The hall was designed by Walter Scholer, assisted by consulting architect J. Andre Fouilhoux (who was also one of the architects for New Yorks Radio City Music Hall). Construction began in October 1938 and was completed on May 2, 1940, at a cost of US$1,205,000. The facility was dedicated as the Purdue Hall of Music on May 3-4, 1940, and was renamed in honor of Elliott in 1958. The Elliott Hall of Music is connected to Hovde Hall, Purdue Universitys administration building, by a walkway on the second floor. During spring commencement exercises, students walk up the staircase in front of Hovde Hall and go through the walkway into the Hall of Music where the ceremony is held. For winter commencement exercises, students enter the Hall of Music through the Purdue Bands entrance located behind the stage, where they proceed under the structure and to the rear of the auditorium where they enter.

 

Locally, the building is informally known as Elliott Hall or the Hall of Music. Evening exams for large classes (typically math) are often scheduled in Elliott Hall of Music. In a typical exam seating arrangement (every other seat occupied), Elliot can handle about 3000 students during one exam.

No Comments

Categories: News

1 2 3 4! OI! THE BOAT RECORDS, THE WORLD-RENOWNED PUNK ROCK RECORD LABEL IN OUR BACKYARD

Fascinated with what it takes to run a record label out of Lafayette, Indiana, I met with Max Campbell and Joe Yakamicki of Oi! the Boat Records to discuss the ins and outs of operating a punk label in flyover country. And then, inspired by our conversation, I spent the next two days researching the history of local punk music and fell down a Google vortex, finding myself alone on Saturday night reading old blog reviews of Tramlaw and Gadfly albums of yore.

Oi! the Boat Records

Oi! the Boat Records

 

Maybe the first thing to know about how Oi! the Boat, a local independent record label specializing in punk, oi!, ska, and hardcore bands, and how it fits into the Lafayette music scene, is that Lafayette has a long history of nurturing a punk aesthetic.

 

Early bands like Dow Jones & The Industrials (70s) and Gadfly (80s) experienced notoriety and brushes with fame, and later emo and hardcore bands like Walker, Summerfield, and Scab, among others, commanded numerous shows around town and around the Midwest in the 1990s. After 2000, bands like The Mans and The Sweet Sixteens carried the torch. Dozens of other excellent bands have come in and out of the scene, staffing and overlapping the same seasoned musicians in a Venn diagram of notable people looking to make good music.

 

During the late 80s and early 90s, there were also venues almost exclusively dedicated to live music for young people that had a punk-heavy lineup. Semi-legal house parties were abound with great bands from the 80s through the present. Door #3 (90s) in downtown Lafayette hosted many, many local punk and metal shows, as well as University Church, the Wesley Foundation, the Vons parking lot,  and Garcias Pizza (subsequently Roxys). Downtown Records, Tazzmas ROCK-O-RAMA, and Zoolegers hosted in later years.

 

I asked Max about his favorite memories of the scene in his earliest days in Lafayette. I was personally always a huge fan of Chris Benedyks bands, he says.

 

 

Indian Boys, the Places, the Mans. The shows were always an entertaining shit show that usually involved more than one bodily fluid and some nudity. The first time I came to play a house show in West Lafayette, my band Bastards Choir was playing after the Indian Boys, which was also the first time I met Chris. After watching an incomprehensible set, Chris punctuated it by vomiting on the microphone for their last song. They walked away from the gear at the same time the sound guy let us know that there was, in fact, only one microphone, but didn’t seem to understand why that was an issue.

 

 

Joe and Max both assert that Lafayette is a hotbed of experienced musicians eager and willing to collaborate, despite the challenges of building and sustaining a live audience. Joe has taken the time to digitize some of the rarest recordings from some of the shorter-lived bands so others can enjoy them too :

 

 

I still listen to The Turners demo (best thing ever recorded in Lafayette) pretty often.  Eric and the Happy Thoughts LP still makes it to my turntable as often as a few times a week  I liked checking out bands like Walker and the Smegmites when I first moved here and then, later, sharing bills with other local bands like Usurp Synapse.  Nearly all of the best times happened during times when most people wouldnt be caught dead anywhere other than in front of the stage during the opening and headlining bands.

 

 

Oi! the Boat was very much borne of this time and era. Both Max and Joe came to Lafayette separately as Purdue students, and both stayed in Lafayette because, as Max put it, the cost of living is low enough to extend yourself, to say, support a band tour, or to run an internationally-loved record label out of your home.

 

Their assimilation into the local music scene was swift. During his first week as a Purdue student in 1995, Joe saw a flyer promoting a show at Door #3 and figured out how to walk from campus to downtown Lafayette to catch a live show. Max, already a performing musician during high school, played a show at University Church during his first week as a freshman at Purdue in 2004. Joe and Max met through mutual friends as members of noted acts like Bastards Choir, Hudson Falcons and The Brassknuckle Boys.

 

Joe started Oi! the Boat as a digital distribution-only record label to release recordings for The Brassknuckle Boys, and helped distribute digital records for local acts such as the Green Room Rockers. Today Oi! the Boat Records has grown into an internationally recognized independent label with a back catalog of vinyl and digital releases from some thirty acts from all over the world. Their fans are rabid superfans, sporting tattoos of the ship- and anchor-heavy label art, and signing up to receive digital and vinyl copies of new releases months before the release date. Their fans range from famous musicians like Lars Frederiksen of Rancid, who also signed with Oi! for his newest project Old Firm Casuals, to crusty old school connoisseurs who like the curated band list and personal, DIY vibe.

 

They are, in addition to co-owners of the label, bandmates in The Gestalts. They are joined by fellow Gestalts TJ Maxfield, Richie Brumbaugh, and Trent Downey.

 

 

Whats the most important aspect of their label? They both agree: the individual attention paid to choosing the catalog of artists and packaging a quality product.

 

Joe emphasizes the boutique aspect of running a label your power is in curating a consistent, quality sound. If you like one band, the chances of you enjoying the rest of the catalog are high.  When you become a repeat customer, you might find some special goodies in the box. Just as each band carried by the label is hand-picked by the team, each order is hand-packed by the team. Joe says:

 

I recognize names of customers, constantly.  Often, we will run into people when we are at shows across the country and we will recognize their name because they have ordered from us a bunch of times.  Many times, Ill remember the city they come from.  We often include little notes in packages and a host of other things that a regular business probably doesnt do.  We do it because of a genuine connection we have with our fans/customers, not as a marketing ploy.  Our customers like what we love.  Thats a pretty good basis for genuine connections.

 

Contrary to mainstream wisdom in a digital age, they believe in the viability of vinyl. As a serious collector, you want to hold something in your hands, Joe said. And the sound [on a record] is superior to digital. The process of putting a recording on vinyl is complex, but its a more enjoyable result for the listener. He explains:

 

We, in one way or another, become aware that a band is really good and available to release new material.  The band records, or more often than not, has already recorded.  We get the music off for lacquer mastering thats where the music is adjusted to work on vinyl and then etched in to a lacquer. The lacquer is sent for plating thats where it is electroplated with metal.  The metal parts are used to make stampers that will be used to press the actual vinyl records.  The first run will be 3 to 10 copies that are sent to us [for testing].   We evaluate them and either give the plant approval to proceed with the full run or we fix mixing/stamping/whatever errors and do it all again.

 

Max and Joe also do most of the album artwork, or have it printed here locally. By pre-ordering a record, you get access to an immediate digital version of the tracks. They arent worried about stealing, Joe says, or about the tracks getting dispersed digitally before the records ship. Its part of the landscape now. People steal music. It doesnt bother us we see it as a promotional opportunity.

Max spoke at length about what makes Oi! the Boat different from some of their peer labels:

 

The prevailing ethos behind everything we do comes from a DIY work ethic that [we learned] growing up in the punk scene. Whether it be web design, art work, shipping and receiving, customer service, or physically assembling the package—we’ve always taken on the various elements of the business ourselves and figured out the best and most cost effective method of producing our product. Because of our DIY emphasis, our label occupies a niche location in the punk landscape. We don’t put out the nicest product, our packaging isn’t the fanciest, and we don’t often do extravagant color vinyl configurations—there’s tons of labels that do that and their products are great, but we have a far more hands-on approach. The quality and sound of the records we put out stands up to anything anyone does, but after that we go down a separate path, sourcing as much material as we can locally (we’ve gotten about 98% of our 7” sleeves printed at Instant Copy on Main St.), we like to get as much material made in the USA as we can, and we hand-assemble most of our records ourselves. This process is obviously costly in terms of the time it takes to do everything ourselves, but it’s usually not hard to round up a couple friends to help if we have a few beers to offer. The end result is that we end up offering a product that’s highly stylized like Splunk ServiceNow because of the culture that we’ve created to bring our product to life. People can get records from lots of labels, and we hope they do, but when someone orders a record from Oi! the Boat—they know that they’re getting something that was put together by a couple guys busting their ass to make it work in their free time.

 

What are the lows? Max was pretty candid. The amount of time it takes to run this operation in addition to doing your day job can be a strain on your personal life. I asked Joe what, other than seed money and passion, a person needed to run a outfit like Oi! the Boat. His answer: Money and passion. The money is important for obvious reasons, he says, but theres nothing that will keep you going when youre packing records in a freezing warehouse at 2am and you have to be at your day job at 8am the next day, without a real passion for the music and the people.

What are the highs? The highs run pretty high. Max:

Of all of the great moments, the time where Joe and I felt most like we had arrived was when we got invited to the Rancid and Cock Sparrer 20th and 40th anniversary shows in San Francisco in April 2012 as guests of the band. The shows themselves were amazing, but getting to hang out and watch them from the side of the stage made me realize how far we’d come.

Joe and I both grew up in small rural Indiana communities, I used to stand at the shows; pressed, sweaty, and screaming lyrics at the barrier while jealously wondering how I got to be one of those people sipping beer in comfort on the side of the stage. Finally being in that position and realizing all of the hard work and sacrifice that that had entailed, I felt a real moment of vindication.

The weekend culminated in a brunch with members of both bands, as well as many heavy-hitters in the punk rock record industry who treated us as industry peers. The whole scene was surreal and something I will never forget. I found punk rock through a series chance occurrences, and I learned to play guitar by spending all my free time playing along to albums of bands that included Rancid and Cock Sparrer, and then over a decade later I’m at a brunch playing hide-and-seek with the kids from members of those bands so that they can get a free second to do an interview.  From a professional prospective, that was a weekend that served to validate all of the hours that Joe and I had poured in at the margins of our lives, burning the candle at both ends.

 

 

No Comments

Categories: News

NYC ARTIST JENNY MORGANS TRANSCENDENTAL WORK SHOWS WELL IN DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE

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.

No Comments

Categories: News

NEW TAF EXHIBITS SHOWCASE LOCAL MUSIC AND A YEAR OF DRAWINGS

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.

No Comments

Categories: News

THE MOUND BUILDERS COMBINE COMICS AND METAL FOR NEW RELEASE

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.

No Comments

Categories: News

MAY IS BIKE MONTH PART 2

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.

No Comments

Categories: News

MAY IS BIKE MONTH PART 1

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.
No Comments

Categories: News

GET VERTICAL!: AN INTERVIEW WITH CLIMB LAFAYETTE

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.

 

No Comments

Categories: News

FRIDAY: BIKELANTIS MOVIE FUNDRAISER AT CARNAHAN HALL

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.

No Comments

Categories: News