Listen. Love. Donate.

Today is about my friend, Ryan M. Brewer. The best friend my husband will ever have and the biggest pain in my ass there ever will be. One of the most talented songwriters I know. For those of you reading who don’t know Ryan, he describes himself as follows:

“my name is ryan. i play music quite well. i write catchy melodies upon which i float clever lyrics, and am rarely tolerable otherwise.”

Most would find this statement true. Ryan is the guy who will not hesitate to piss you off for the sake of comedy, argue for the sake of argument or tell you at your wedding (in which he is the best man) that he “guesses he has to love you now…you know because [you’re] marrying his best friend”. Ryan is the guy who doesn’t use capital letters and once fought a professor to the death over the principal that letter capitalization was mere preference. Ryan will never hesitate to eat your leftovers and leave your toilet seat up.

But, my friends, what you might not know is that Ryan is the most loyal friend my husband has ever had and he has a heart of gold (okay, maybe gold-plated brass…but he tries 😉 ). Some of you may be thinking at this point that this post is a bit strange. Why and how would I know so much about this fella? Well, he’s not only my husband’s best friend…he’s been my dear friend since I was 15 years old. You know, when we were wearing trucker hats, quoting Homestar Runner and Strongbad and having what we deemed as deep conversation in the field at church camp.

I could continue…but I don’t want to embarrass or taint Mr. Brewer’s reputation. So, I will get to the real point of this blog. Today, really isn’t about Ryan M. Brewer (sorry buddy!), but it is about the song he wrote for the victims of the Indianapolis State Fair. The song that he wrote in coordination with Alan Johnson at the Static Shack studios in the heart of Indy. The song that’s proceeds will be 100% donated to the victims and their families.

Today, dear readers, is the day I ask you to please have a listen, make a donation and create a little hope for these families. Below I have posted the song, its lyrics and direct buy/download button.

“we all prayed for rain and we all waited
but we weren’t ready the night it came.
the clouds they opened wide and
the rage of thunder filled the sky…
we stood hopeless with fearful eyes.

as you rode the clouds away.

we all prayed for faith and we all waited
but we just couldn’t make you stay.
the clouds they opened wide and
a flash of lightning filled the sky…
we stood watching with tearful eyes.

as you rode the clouds away…
as you rode the clouds away.

my heart, it skipped a beat.
desperation filled the streets,
but i watched strangers running back.
these heroes sprang to their feet,
helped the wounded up from their knees,
it was beauty and it was humanity…
but it was hard to go on breathing knowing

you rode the clouds away.
and you rode the clouds away…”

Thank you and as always…Until We Meet Again,

Arin

Local cognition…ya dig?

And I always promised myself I'd never be the aunt that pinched cheeks. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

My niece, the divine Miss O, is six months old.

O is at that “o, how cute” age when everything is a first for her. Laughing, tasting bananas (loves) and peas (hates), swinging and grabbing glasses (mine in particular), getting her teeth and figuring out how to hold herself up on her own…it’s all a part of her day-to-day education in life and by golly, it is amazing.

The whole idea of learning is fascinating. Where, when and how do we learn to love certain things? In the same vein, where, when and how do we learn to hate certain things?

And though I am no Piaget, cognition seems to be such an insanely intricate process that involves nature, nurture, the right time, the right place, age and is (at times) purely circumstantial, that it feels like we can never “unlearn” what we have already learned in the beginning. Basically, bad habits die hard.

Wrong.

Over the weekend I attended Rickyleepotts.com’ Presents: Six4Six. Six4Six was a fantastic event held locally that included six local Indy bands all for six bucks (hello, the name says it all).

If you have been a loyal reader from the beginning, you know that Arin and I are deeply passionate about the local Indy music scene. I won’t go into too much detail about the music aspect of it (but I strongly suggest you check out the Six4Six line-up here…they are all flipping amazing), but what I will discuss is the awesome buzz of excitement that was in the air at Birdy’s.

Eyes On Fire rocking it out at Six4Six. Check them out: Facebook.com/EOFmusic

From the folks at DoItIndy, Local Music Only, to our favorite boys from Holland, The Holland Account, there was a fantastic showing of local sponsors and bands supporting the local movement in Indy. So what does this have to do with cognition and me?

Local cognition

I will be the first to admit that when it’s convenient I shop the big box, big corporation retail outlets. Who doesn’t? However, I want to make a change in myself. I want to work on my “local cognition.” What I mean by local cognition is this; I want to learn about the great local businesses in Indianapolis.

I want to shove the food of the best local restaurants down my gullet. I want to wear the local jewelers’ pretty baubles and rock the latest duds from the best local clothing boutique. I want to clank glasses with my friends at the most happening local pubs and run my ass off at a local community center that knows my name.

Why? Because it is exciting. Because there is nothing better than supporting your local entrepreneur, musician, artist and event. Because at the end of the day, you are helping your neighbor and nothing is better than owning and being a part of something special. How would you stack up your local cognition?

Until next time!

XO,

Erin

PS-Have we met on Twitter? Follow me: @ErinCouch.

Ducks fly together…

Let's hear it..."it's the eye of the tiger..."

This may one of my briefer posts on here, but I think it’s worthy one. Arin and I have been discussing the next few topics we’d like to cover on this fantastic amalgamation of thoughts we like to call our blog. Stemming from Arin came this idea that can be only described in one word…champion. Confused by the ambiguity? Let me explain…

What is a champion?

I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word “champion” is a major pop-culture reference. He’s the perfect depiction of the underdog, the ultimate fighter. Ladies and gents, the champion I think of is….Mr. Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa. Nothing screams champion like that single fist pumped into the air. You know I am right.

"And when the roosters are crowing and the cows are doing circles in the pasture!"

The second thing that comes to mind is the almighty Mighty Ducks (ducks fly together…quack…quack…quack). Talk about another example of overcoming the odds (Mighty Ducks 2, anyone?). And though we are not Gordon Bombay, Arin and I like to think of ourselves as champions, but perhaps in a different way.

You + Us =Champion…We love what you do.

As marketing and PR professionals, Arin and I love to spread, amplify and (ultimately) get that amazing thing called “word of mouth” started on those things we love and are passionate about. Supporting the local Indy community, local music, businesses, benefits and charities are one of those “things” we want to be champions of. Put plainly, we love what you do, Indy. So help us, help you.

Doing a benefit concert? Putting together a fundraiser? Walking to help find a cure for cancer? Starting a new business? Let us know! Give us your story behind what you are doing and let us be your champion.

What do you say, my dear readers? Ducks fly together.

Until next time,

Erin

Listen up, Indy

Listen up, Indy! I’ve got a challenge for you…

If you’ve been with this blog from the beginning (our existence hasn’t been too long), you have quickly realized how much music means to both me and Arin. For me, music is much more than listening…it’s an experience.

The Glass Identity Crisis interview for Local Music Only

Case in point, almost all of my major life moments and memories can be attached to a song. Even more, a simple song can bring back the smells, the scenes, the sounds and the moments of times long forgotten.

When I am sad, I listen to music. When I am happy, I listen to music. When I am angry, frustrated, bored, content, working out, reading, writing, driving…I am listening to music. It is literally all around me.

But even further than listening, being a part of the music obsessed club is taking part in the act of supporting, growing and being a champion of music and the bands you love. I take this to heart. If there is a new band that I can’t stop listening to (and yes, I do get obsessive and oftentimes listen to a favorite artist over and over again), I am the first person to pass that information to anyone I know that would enjoy that particular artist.

Ryan M. Brewer at the Sounds that Matter Couch Sessions

So, what does this have to do with Indianapolis? Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure to attend a lot of really cool musical events. From sitting on the floor and watching a “Couch Session” for a fantastic website called, Sounds That Matter, to interviewing some of the best local bands in Indy and asking on who they are, what they do and where they are going for a website called Local Music Only, I have been immersed into an exciting culture where talent and drive run rampant. Simply put, it is invigorating, exciting and inspiring.

One of my favorite questions was, “what do you like and how would you improve the local Indy music scene?” More often than not the same answer is given in some way, shape or form. The community isn’t where it needs to be. And by community that is more than just the fans, it’s the musicians, the local venues, local radio, local papers and local music champions/enthusiasts. It’s got to be LOCAL. Right now we’ve got the foundation. Radio stations X103 and 92.3 do a fantastic job of reaching out to the local musicians and becoming their champion. I love that as a listener and I love that as a resident of Indianapolis.

The Last Good Year interview for Local Music Only

This brings me to my final thought, a challenge to my fellow music lovers and musicians in Indianapolis. What’s stopping us? What’s stopping us from being the next Nashville, Austin, Omaha and Detroit? Surely it isn’t that we don’t lack the passion, the fire and drive to support our local musicians? We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the fans. We’ve got the drive. So let’s make it happen! It starts with us…

Check out the folks that are already starting the movement:

Local Music Only
Sounds that Matter
Six4Six
X103

The local bands that you need to check out:

The Last Good Year
Ryan M. Brewer
The Glass Identity Crisis
The Holland Account
Grace@Arms
Goliathon

Until next time…rock out!

Erin

Picture proof of me geeking out. Sad trombone.

PS-It is with great joy to say that over the weekend, I turned from confident rockstar into babbling tweenager after meeting one of my favorite Indy dj’s, Deuce from X103.