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

Utilities

Music. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely something I turn to. Whether it be to escape, grab inspiration or remember how to feel. That last one is big for me. And, in light of the recent Indiana State Fair tragedy, I can’t tell you how often I fall into my routine, my day in day out just to look in the mirror and see a robot. Music tends to bring me back to that place where I feel again.

Today, friends, I feel inspired to share the lyrics below as they have been creeping in and out of my subconscious for the past week and I just can’t shake ’em.

I know I’m not perfect, but I tend to try pretty damn hard to be sometimes. And if your like me, it can be exhausting. Well thank you, Utilities, for reminding me that all I want is to be something somebody can use.  What inspires you? How do you pull yourself back to reality?

Utilities by The Weakerthans

got this feeling that today doesn’t like me
oh, the air tastes like flowers and paint.
there’s a sink full of bottles and cutlery
and the car has got a list of complaints.
i just wish i were a toothbrush or a solder gun
make me something somebody can use.
we can wish on the pop of a lightbulb
or those photos lying yellowed and curled.
lose some boxes near abandoned electronics
in the corners of the basements of the world.
guess our wishes don’t do dishes or break repairs
make them something somebody can use.

got a face full of ominous weather
smirking smile of a high pressure ridge
got more faults than the state of california
and the heart is a badly built bridge
seems the most i have to offer
doesn’t offer much
make it something somebody can use.
make this
something somebody
can use.

That’s all from me today, folks. Be inspired. And remember:

Don’t stop dreaming

Remember to think

and Dare to create something beautiful this week!

 

And to all you unsung State Fair heroes, thank you for being something somebody could use. Thank you.

 

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.

Big guitars and bigger hearts…

Alabama Tornado Relief Show....

We saw it on the news, heard about it on the radio, talked about it with our friends. The greater portion of the Midwest and South had one hell of an introduction to spring from the maddest mothers around, Mother Nature.

Spanning from Texas and Missouri to Indiana and Georgia, communities across the country saw one of the most active and destructive Tornado seasons in history. Towns were wiped off the map; communities, families, houses and cities were completely destroyed and one of the hardest hit areas was Alabama. With a final death toll being close to 200 and estimated damages reaching $2 billion, many areas of Alabama are in need of active relief.

Hoosier hospitality

I have always been amazed by the sheer generosity and genuine care folks in Indiana have for those in need. It always seems we are ready, willing and able to give a helping hand when it is needed. The following is one of my favorite examples.

This Friday, (July 8th ) Lazy Hawk Promotions is putting together a fantastic benefit concert to help raise money for those affected by the Alabama tornado outbreak. With a goal to raise over $1,000 dollars for the cause, Lazy Hawk Promotions has teamed up with local businesses, radio stations and artists to help out those in need. For more details on the benefit, check this link out.

More than a kick ass band

Indianapolis band, The Holland Account (www.thehollandaccount.com) is one of five bands (find out who else is playing here) who are prepped and ready to melt the faces off the greater Indy area. And it is all in the name of doing great things.

The Holland Account...\m/

Why they are the “Rocky Balboas” of the Indy scene

The Holland Account has more benefit concerts on their show listings than any other local band I have seen.

Last week they did a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in a few weeks they will be playing a benefit for Papacal at Visions and, of course, this Friday they are playing the Alabama Tornado Relief Show.

At the end of the day, the gentlemen of The Holland Account are about being fighters. “If there is a cause that needs a fighter, we try to add a soundtrack,” says vocal lyricist and powerhouse Nick Ramey of The Holland Account.

Parting words

What impresses me the most about the guys of The Holland Account is the immense amount of humble gratitude they show toward their fans and their
community. Not only are they fantastic guys to chill with, but they have big hearts to go with their rockin’ music and badass attitudes.

When asked to say something to the readers of this blog, here is what they had to say:

“We appreciate the continued support from our fans, friends, and family. This is going to be a great show for people that really need the help. Come out and prove that Indy has a big heart! We will continue to fight for those in need, not only outside, but also in our own communities.

And thanks to you and your blog for helping spread the word, not only about this show, but also for helping expose our sound to the masses. You might not think you are huge, but you are so huge to us and we appreciate you!”

Alabama Tornado Benefit Event Details:
Friday, July 8, 2011
7:00pm – $5.00 Cover Charge – 21+

Where
Vollrath Tavern
118 E Palmer St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

We love it. So get out there and show your support, Indy. Hope to see you there!

XOXO,

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.

Cupcakes, music…kapow!

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you two of my favorite addictions are sugar (in all forms and sizes…I do not discriminate) and music (seems to be a reoccurring theme of this blog these days).

More often than not,  I find myself combining these two delicious and delectable  interests to create a fantastic mash-up of rock n’ roll tunes and tummy pleasing treats.

So without further ado, I present to you Erin’s Boozy Air-Guitar Cupcakes (also known as, Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes) and the playlist that went along with it!

Enjoy and be sure to comment and let me know how you like the songs and the cupcakes (if you dare to make them!)

Note: Check out the starred bands.  They are local to Indiana and will definitely make your ears happy!

xoxo,

Erin

The Playlist:

Tunes to Bake To

An odd mix for an odd recipe.

People in Planes– Get on the Flaw
Satellite Stories-Helsinki Art Scene
The Whigs-Kill Me Carolyne
Grace@Arms-Brighter Days*
Horse Feathers-Starving Robins
We Were Promised Jetpacks-Short Bursts
Flogging Molly-Black Friday Rule
The Fallow (Ryan M. Brewer)- My Evil Ways*
Win With Willard-Sympathy*
Murder by Death-The Desert is on Fire*
Cursive-The Recluse
The Distillers-The Young Crazed Peeling


Bailey's Cupcakes

You're going to want to bottle the yummy smell up and save it for later!

The Cupcakes:

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 tbsp butter, at room temperature
2 whole eggs + 2 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream

For the Bailey’s Buttercream:
1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream

Ta da!

Frost those suckers and pig out!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs and egg whites one at a time, beating on low between each addition. Add vanilla.

Add flour slowly in 3 additions, alternating with Bailey’s, starting and ending with flour.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full and bake 15-17 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

While still warm, brush a little bit of Bailey’s on the tops of each cupcake.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, beat butter in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until completely mixed. Add the Bailey’s and beat until well combined.

Poke holes in the tops of the cupcakes and brush some Bailey’s on each before frosting.

Load frosting into a piping bag fit with a large tip and decorate as desired.