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

 

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,

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.

Music, Moments & My dad.

By now you have realized that music is the utmost passion of my soul. If you didn’t know, you haven’t been paying very close attention or you’re new around here. So I’ll say it again. Music is the utmost passion of my soul. My parents swear I started singing before I could talk, I asked for a piano before a Barbie and a new guitar instead of a car. I was in my first musical at age 5 (the teddy bear brigade in the Anderson Mainstage Theater production of Teddy & Alice.). I started singing in a professionally trained choir when I was 7 (Anderson Area Childrens Choir). I was the president of my show choir in high school. I studied jazz & popular music at the University of Hull in England while in college. Now, I could go on and on about my musical accomplishments and how kick ass I am- but then you would wonder why this post is called “Music, Moments & My dad” so I’ll restrain it for now.

For those of you that think you are smart and can predict where I’m going with this- “My dad was the biggest inspiration of my musical life and I wouldn’t have music without him, blah blah blah.”

Wrong.

I would have music without my dad because music is the utmost passion of MY SOUL, not his. However, my dad did teach me at a young age to find that passion, whatever it may be, and never let it go. So this post is a tribute to my dad- in song. Those top 20 bands, songs and musical moments that have reminded me of him throughout my life. I love you, dad- mullet and all. 🙂

In no particular order:

Alvin & the Chipmunks – Yes, I listened to this on vinyl record as a child. My dad sang the Christmas song in his best chipmunk voice every year.

Shirly Temple – As if it wasnt bad enough that I was obsessed as a child, my dad sat through every 2 hour movie I owned with me…at least 5 times.

Amazing Grace – This was alway my dads favorite song to hear me sing when I was young, even though I always tried to sing like Leanne Rimes.

Grease – One of my favorite musicals growing up. I can still see dad mocking the scene in the auto garage…smooth like Grease Lightnin.

Foreigner– The first cassette tape my dad ever gave me.

The Spice Girls– My first concert. Yes my dad took me. Yes he danced.

Elton John, Crocodile Rock. – This was one of the first songs I learned on my keyboard as a kid. The keys lit up which notes to play. My dad always sang along.

REO Speedwagon – I still remember the day my dad told me boy bands have always been around. “REO was our version of that whiny sh*t they put out there now”

Michael Bolton – My dad always rolled his eyes and left the room when my mom would blare Mr. Bolton during spring cleaning.

James Taylor – One of the best things my dad ever did for me.

ZZ Top– My dad liked to play a game in the car when we were kids. He would turn up a song real loud on Q95 and when it was over he would turn it off and ask us who is was. It wasnt until later in life I realized that 99% of the time it was ZZ Top.

The Commitments Soundtrack– A good portion of my early 90’s musical influence. Mustang Sally, Try a Little Tenderness…I’ll stop here for fear of embarrassing the old, er…young, man.

Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, & Heart – The three female acts my dad always loved. I guess there is a reason I started smoking cigars in college to try and make my voice sound more like Janis Joplin. Don’t worry dad, no one blames you 😉

Motley Crue, Smokin in the Boys Room – The day I realized this may have been my dad’s theme song in high school.

Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue – There was a good chunk of my middle school years where this was constantly playing in the car.

Ray Stevens – My dad showed my brother and I this video compilation of his when we were kids. We watched it so much it stopped working. “oh yeah they called him the streak…”

Joe Cocker– Dad just loves Joe. The father/daughter dance at my wedding was to his version of “You are so beautiful”.

Any country music from the 1990’s – I was a shy and awkward elementary student…my dad would line dance in my living room when I would have friends over to loosen me, and everyone else, up. Talk about sacrifice.

The Other Side of Grace – My first album. Yes I recorded an album. I was 18, it was terrible, but my dad was so proud.

ACDC– Simply one of my dad’s all time favs and for good reason. Also, when I was a kid I had no idea what they said in “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. I would always say “Dirty Deeds” really loud and trail off with made up words so my dad would think I was cool.

So there you have it. Me, my dad and our musical journey through life…so far.  Thank you, dad, for showing me passion, excepting mine in music and encouraging me to pursue it with all my heart.

Have a happy Fathers Day, stop reading this and go spend some time with your family! 🙂

Cheers,

Arin