During these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever that we come together as a community. As a locally owned station, we rely on the support of local businesses to operate. And right now, these businesses need our support more than ever. Our listeners and our advertisers make the community stronger, and a more special place to live. So please, support the advertisers that support WTTS. After all, we’re in this together. Stay safe and click below to see how you can support local businesses, during this time.
SMALL BUSINESS CORNER
Join CLA on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 pm EST, for a multipart livestream series to engage in the latest changes related to these uncertain times. You’ll hear strategies for navigating what these developments mean for you. Topics include issues related to legislation, liquidity, workforce, and other relevant topics.
INDY CHAMBER INTERVIEW
Rob Humphries interviewed Michael Huber from the Indy Chamber. They discussed how the Indy Chamber is helping local businesses with the “Rapid Response” Hub. The interview is below.
WTTS Rock To Read Series,
presented by Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza returns
this fall, as we help to raise money for children’s literacy programs through
the Indianapolis Public Libraries.
On Sunday, October 27th, experience the music of Ray LaMontagneat Old National Center. Tickets are on sale now. Thank you for your contribution to children’s literacy programs in Indianapolis. We’ll see you at the shows!
This year, Brandi Carlileis our first benefit concert of the season when she plays Old National Centre on September 8th with special guest Katie Herzig. Tickets for this concert are on sale now, buy them HERE.
Once again, proceeds from our Rock To Read shows will benefit children’s reading programs with the Indianapolis Public Libraries.
WTTS and Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza have teamed up once again to present a WTTSRock To Read benefit at IU Auditorium. Benefiting children’s reading programs at the Indianapolis Public Library the WTTS Rock To Read series features three concerts this year and Ray LaMontagne performed the second of those shows. Below you can see a few shots of the show as well as the guitar Ray signed for our listeners to bid on as a part of the charity benefit.
WTTS Rock To Read, presented by Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza, returns this fall, as we help to raise money for children’s literacy. This year Ray Lamontagne plays the IU Auditorium on Saturday, November 4th for our first benefit concert of the season. Tickets are on sale Friday August 4th and 92-3 VIPs can buy pre-sale tickets here. Proceeds will benefit children’s reading programs with the Indianapolis and Monroe County Public Libraries. WTTS Rock To Read is also supported by Karma Records.
Design by Natalie Warner
Be sure to visit Jockamo’s three locations at 9165 Otis Avenue (Lawrence), 5646 E. Washington St. (Irvington), or 401 Market Plaza in Greenwood to register to win tickets from August 28th – September 24th.
WTTS and Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza have teamed up once again to present a WTTSRock To Read benefit at Old National Centre. Benefiting children’s reading programs at the Indianapolis Public Library the WTTS Rock To Read series features three concerts this year and Spoon performed the final and possibly most unforgettable of those shows. Below you can see a few shots of the show courtesy of Rhythm In Focus Photography.
Friday night, November 13th, WTTS presented the third installment in the annual Rock to Read benefit concert series. Alternative rock band and long-time WTTS favorites, Guster, performed at the Egyptian Room at Old National Centre and proceeds benefited children’s reading programs all over Indianapolis. They also stopped by Sun King Studio 92 earlier in the day. Look for our posting of the interview and photos soon.
Guster began its story in 1991 and have seen much success throughout their career. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts while attending Tufts University. On this tour for their latest album, Evermotion, the band decided to give high school/college bands the opportunity to open for them at various cities across the U.S. Porky’s Groove Machine opened up in Indianapolis and captivated the crowd with their many members, wacky costumes, and contagious funk grooves. Guster has a dedicated and ever-growing fan base that proved to be present in Indianapolis Friday night.
After WTTS DJ Paul Mendenhall thanked WTTS listeners and Guster fans alike for coming out to the show, the band took the stage. The four members took their places and began playing in front of a black curtain. The stage setup was unassuming and simple, as if to highlight the music. Only lighting changed the mood of the song outside of pure musicianship itself.
The band opened with “Diane” to a crowd who knew exactly what song it was from the first two chords and roared with delight. After the first song, lead singer Ryan Miller told the audience they looked beautiful and followed with, “It’s like Burning Man in Indianapolis…and I like it.” We do what we can, Ryan!
Brian Rosenworcel, who is nicknamed “Thundergod” alternated throughout the show between a traditional drum kit on the right side of the stage and a different set for hand drumming on bongos, congas, djembes, and other percussion instruments. “Thundergod” has to have broken a finger or two over the years of Guster recording and performing. He plays with such enthusiasm and passion that he even strikes the cymbals with his hands and gets great sound out of them. Organ, marimba sounds, brass instruments, synthesizer, and various other percussion instruments were featured alongside the guitars, bass, and keys.
Guster’s members are all blaringly obviously multi-talented and humble. They switch instruments throughout the show, they provide their own backing vocals on stage, and they seem to just enjoy playing together no matter where on stage they may be located for a certain song. It leaves the audience feeling that they’re getting a well-rounded show from men who are all on an even playing field. It makes for some magical tunes.
At one point in the evening, Guster announced that they would be collaborating with Porky’s Groove Machine for a song. Three band members joined them on Trombone, trumpet, and saxophone. Miller announced that they’d play a song they hadn’t played in a year and probably wouldn’t for another year. As soon as the song begins, the fans know it to be “Fa Fa.” The electricity from the stage was infectious from the faces of all those on stage and the crowd went insane. Later in the show, Miller explained that he saw an audience member playing the bongos on his girlfriend’s back along to an entire song. So, in Guster fashion, Miller invited them to the stage to play bongos on an impromptu song about bongos. It was hilarious and so refreshing in a concert of that size.
Highlights of the evening included “Happier,” “Simple Machine,” “Satellite,” “Do You Love Me,” “One Man Wrecking Machine,” and “Barrel of a Gun.” Guster closed with “This Could All Be Yours” before coming back on stage for a 3.5 song encore. They played “Long Night,” Red Oyster Cult,” and “Demons.” The half-song was another improvised song about a crazy cat lady in the audience who wanted them to sign a plastic cat from the stage. It was hilarious. A second encore performance included “Jesus On The Radio” to leave the crowd in musical bliss at the end of the evening.
Between the guests on stage, the simple stage setup, and the overall electricity from the band members who have been playing together (and enjoying it) for over twenty years, the final WTTS Rock to Read concert was a success. Ryan Miller coined it best when he proclaimed from the stage that this was “The night the Egyptian Room turned into a bunch of drunk babies.”
Thank you to all WTTS listeners who attended any of our Rock to Read shows this year! Don’t be sad it’s over, though, as our WTTS Christmas Can Concerts are right around the corner. At the beginning of December we’ll be bringing you Houndmouth (Dec. 3rd) and Leon Bridges (Dec. 6th) with proceeds from the shows benefiting Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard in Bloomington.
The first of three WTTS Rock to Read benefit concerts took place last night at the Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington. A longtime WTTS favorite artist, Wilco, took the stage to an auditorium of over 3,000 fans that would soon be mesmerized.
Wilco formed in 1994 as an alternative rock/alternative country band in Chicago. Since their formation, the music has grown and morphed with the band. Frontman Jeff Tweedy led his bandmates in what seemed like three different shows of the evening. It was organized, thorough, and brilliant. Nashville based singer-songwriter William Tyler opened for Wilco and provided an ethereal display of atmospheric sounds that were impressively produced from distorted guitars and a looper pedal.
The evening began with a collection of songs from Wilco’s latest album, Star Wars. The album was released for free on the band’s website in July of 2015. The stage was saturated with small light bulbs from end to end and the lights displayed all kinds of moving colors throughout the show to set the mood of each song. Most of the lighting tended to be blue and purple; This gave a sort of spooky feel given the season and the hypnotic nature of Wilco’s music. It seemed almost like a Rock ‘n’ Roll Lite-Brite toy (though I’m sure much more expensive). During this first part of the show, Wilco played “Random Name Generator” among other new tracks that definitely got the audience buzzing and excited for whatever was to come next. The harmonies were haunting, the drum solo was incredible, and the audience was convinced of Star Wars’ gravity (pun intended).
After a handful of songs, Tweedy vocally thanked the audience for listening to Star Wars and declared they would move on to other albums. They began this segment with “Either Way,” which was clearly a crowd favorite. Other highlights included “Handshake Drugs,” “Hummingbird,” and “Impossible Germany.” “Art of Almost” was an epic, visual and sonic rainbow and proved to not only please the crowd, but absolutely “wow” it. During this set of older music, “Box Full of Letters” provided some banter between Tweedy and his audience. When Tweedy announced that the next song was from their first album, the crowd cheered. He then retorted, “Aw, you guys didn’t like it then” in true Jeff Tweedy fashion. After the song was over, an audience member shouted, “Play more of that!” Tweedy only used his hands to perfectly respond to the man and the audience broke out in laughter.
After a short, one-song encore, the band returned looking a little different. They all gathered near the front of the stage, mostly seated, with acoustic instruments. They looked like they might be in a friend’s living room giving a private performance. That’s just what this portion of the show was: intimate. This rare six-song encore was really more of a bonus feature on a film. The audience was introduced to the songwriter version of Wilco, which is just as beautiful as their captivating, harder jams. They played “Misunderstood,” “Bull Black Nova,” “It’s Just That Simple,” “Jesus, Etc.,” California Stars,” and “A Shot in the Arm.” It may be hard to picture, but between the rock-songs-turned-acoustic and the change of lead singer during one of these songs, the crowd remained silent. They were stunned into this silence during each song, unless they were quietly singing and humming along, beautifully.
Wilco treated the audience to a full range of shows, taking a trip through their history without sounding stale and nostalgic. This show was a true testament to the diversity and sheer talent this band continues to possess, and their ability to hypnotize an entire hall full of people using their music.
We are proud to have had them play the first WTTS Rock to Read benefit concert of 2015 presented by Jockamo Uppercrust Pizza. All proceeds from these shows contribute to children’s reading programs throughout Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Be sure to get your tickets for one or both of the next WTTS Rock to Read shows, John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett on October 20th and Guster on November 13th. You won’t want to miss them.