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Sunday, February 7, 2010

LOCAL LIFT-OFF at The Vogue on 2.5.2010

The great blizzard of 2010 didn't keep people from descending on The Vogue Theatre on Friday February 5th for an incredible night of locally-grown music on the big stage in Broad Ripple. While we definitley would have filled the place in better weather, 300 strong braved the worst road conditions possible for six hours worth of some of the best hip-hop, rap, trip-hop, dance, electro and indie-experimental music this fair city has to offer. Metromix definitely had it right when it declared that this show was the #1 event to attend this week: Metromix 2.4.2010

Right from the start patrons knew the night was for real: hip-hop act TWIN MONSTER devoured any negativity brought by the eight inches of fluffy snow piling outside with an incredibly tight, polished act featuring three rappers, keys and a DJ. The live set was remarkable for its expertly performed multi-vocal selections, not an easy task considering the lightning-quick timing the group has perfected. Hours of practice must have gone into creating their set, because not one hiccup was heard in a blistering 35-minute rap extravaganza. TWIN MONSTER definitely set the mood and left the bar high for the next acts. Check out the group online at

Up next was Indianapolis' newest breakout act JOOKABOX (formely known as Grampall Jookabox), the brainchild of David "Moose" Adamson who over the years has taken a one-man programming/performance art/multi-instrumental/strange-yet-uncontrollably-dancy freak show and molded it into a four-piece indie-dance juggernaut. Three full-length albums deep into a career that has taken him around the world, this Vogue event was put together to hail the release of a remix EP put together by the cats at Audio Recon and released by globally-reached but locally-based Asthmatic Kitty Records. This release (which is available for download on the AK website) was the centerpiece of the evening, as it pointed out just how incestuous Indiapolis' music community truly is, even across different genres (hell, just look at the Jookabox lineup - it would be four pages of a tree map and flow charts to show how many bands are connected through these four musicians). Specifically, JOOKABOX's EP was remixed by musicians aligned with Audio Recon, headed up by the drummer of the headlining band MAB LAB, and contains tracks played out at DJ events by yours truly, A SQUARED INDUSTRIES, and the openers TWIN MONSTER helped with the record and is staffed by artists repped by Audio Recon. Confused? Us too. Anyway, check out JOOKABOX online at and check out some video from the show:

JOOKABOX live at The Vogue 2.5.2010 from A Squared Industries on Vimeo.

Headlining the live portion of the show (not that the DJs weren't "live," but, well, you know...) was MAB LAB, pretty much Indy's only trip-hop act for the past 10 or 11 years. A powerhouse of incredible (and famous) musicians in their own right, together as MAB LAB the band is the consummate headlining act with mature, well-written, incredibly performed, and stylistically unique songs that have always made this group ahead of its time here in Naptown. We remember when they used to sell out The Patio (sigh) on Friday nights back in the day, and we couldn't have been more excited to be a part of putting on a big show for them and what they have each done for the music scene here in Indy.  MAB LAB formed in early 1999 by vocalist/organist Kate Lamont and drummer Eric Brown, and were soon joined by MC/DJ/producer/artist Mike Graves. Brown was introduced to Graves through a mutal friend and top indianapolis drummer Devon Ashley. In 2000 they self-released their first album “Features and Controls” and followed that up with 2001’s "The Fadeback EP." Both of these homemade releases earned critical praise and were enough to garner them recognition from some serious industry folks, as they went on to work with producer Chris DeBenideto and bassist Jimmy “Jazz” Prescott (G Love and Special Sauce) as well as engineer/ producer Ray Kennedy (Steve Earle/Lucinda Williams) and producer Peter Collins (Rush/Indigo Girls/Queensryche). The ML crew has done notable work both musically and culturally in and around Indianpolis. Vocalist Kate Lamont released two albums with her progressive folk group Blueprintmusic and toured extensively. She has also been working on a new solo album with noted producer and musician Vess Ruthenberg (Queen Size Studio/The Pieces/Lemonheads) as well as serving as the director of operations of The Earth House. Mike Graves has been busy in the art and music worlds: in addition to creating new albums by Twilight Sentinels and People vs Radio he has had many successful showings of his art work from Indianapolis to Seattle. Eric Brown started Audio Recon in 2005, formed the glitch clique Post-Lab and released "Manifesto," then went on to release solo digital albums "Mind Film Vols. 1 and 2" in Dec 2007. He is currently working on a new glitch clique album as well as a host of other projects for Audio Recon. Ande Shaul was a integral part of the post-MAB LAB project New Year Revolution w/ Graves and Lamont, as well as playing bass for People vs Radio. He is currently writing material for an upcoming solo project as well as lending his many talents to various sessions around Indianapolis. These are important people who do important things - keep up with what they are doing folks and you will see just how we do it here in the Nap. Check out some video of their performance at The Vogue:

MAB LAB live at The Vogue 2.5.2010 from A Squared Industries on Vimeo.

And lastly, A SQUARED INDUSTRIES had the honor of DJing an incredible party after the bands with our buddy DJ ACTION JACKSON. If you aren't familiar with him, his parties in Indy and Bloomington have a reputation for being OUT OF CONTROL! Personally, we like him so much for being a good dude and good friend, and business-wise for showing how a motivated deejay can make a living through concentrating serious hustle. ACTION JACKSON keeps it real making a living by DJing locally most nights of every week. Kids, watch and learn. Here's some video of ACTION JACKSON for that night at The Vogue:

DJ ACTION JACKSON live at The Vogue 2.5.2010 from A Squared Industries on Vimeo.

All in all, it was quite a night (blizzard and everything!) Many thanks to NUVO for sponsoring the event, and to Transpanther, Asthmatic Kitty Records, Audio Recon, Musical Family Tree and The Vogue for making it happen.

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