All Nite Skates debut full-length album, Western Shame, begins with an appropriate explosion before spinning into layer after layer of epic guitar work. No, this is not your average Fort Wayne band, not in the slightest.
Upon the release of their self-titled EP (more specifically the opening track, Bear Claw) All Nite Skate became a band to watch. Usually, when a young band releases a teaser EP, everything feels half-realized. Such was not the case with ANS. No, they came out of the musical womb as teenagers, one half-step away from beauty and bronze and, to the everyday listener, a world away from everything else going on in Fort Waynes burgeoning music scene. Western Shame is Fort Waynes most original product all year, a sound to cherish and an album to play for your out-of-town friends who dont believe it when you tell them that your hometown has a band every bit as good as Explosions in the Sky. Yep, they're already that good.
Such early mastery doesnt come without a lot of work and a clear understanding and knowledge of your craft. Clearly, Cole Strader (bass, Rhodes), Bob Haddad (guitar, harmonica), Darcy Flanagan (keys, bells, piano, accordion), Kay Gregg (drums, percussion) and Omar Afzaal (guitar, bass) have done their homework and spent their share of time practicing. Sonic Youth, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Pelican, Explosions in the Sky, Can, Slint and even the Smashing Pumpkins are all somewhere in the mix of the 10 songs that make up Western Shame. And while ANS have a way to go before they can be named alongside such accomplished bands, Shame is Pumpkins aside better than any of said bands debut releases.
Despite utilizing a decent number of instruments and a slew of guitar layers, ANS keep it simple on Shame. With no singer in sight, minimal production, beautiful hand-made album artwork and word-of-mouth promotion, Shames approach is the kind that inspires. With above average talent, a whole lot of hard work, persistence and a good record collection, its possible to put out an album that transcends the term local, and these guys (and gals) have done it.
Battlestations, Bearclaw and Darcys Song are all reworked from the EP into less flashy, more intricate mini epics that thrive on both the tight chemistry of the band and, notably, Haddad and Afzaals modern Tom Verlaine/Richard Lloyd-like guitar chemistry.
As Lou Reed once told The Strokes guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond, Jr., I know what you guys are doing with those two guitars because I used to do it, and it sure wasnt easy. The same can be said for Haddad and Afzaals tangling guitar work. With their juxtaposed riffs and solid-as-a-rock rhythm section, ANS add the bonus flourishes that every good instrumental band needs to take their sound to another level. These flourishes come, usually, by way of multi-instrumentalist Flanagan, who adds all the right moves at all the right moments, further proving that ANS are well-studied.
The sprawling Darcys Song/White Wire builds to climax around the 3:30 mark, then drops its bags, relents and picks right back up with a whole new knuckle sandwich of ideas. ANS are, if nothing else, very capable of dreaming up impressive 10-minute songs that show their compositional skills. They dont noodle around like a jam band, and they dont sway in their skivvies to the tiny prick of ambiance; rather, they build saturated epics made especially for advanced listeners. Listeners who used to love King Crimson and Brian Eno but anymore find them to be boring or predictable. Quite the feat, I must say, for a band so fresh.
For an A.D.D.-plagued generation thats too modern for Beethoven, All Nite Skates Western Shame is a fine example of modern composition at its most fulfilling (see Andre the Giant for a quick, easy fix). Sure, they arent for everyone, but to the folks whove spent 100 times more money on records in their life than clothing, this is (once again) it. Western Shame is guitar-textured proof that Fort Wayne isnt the stupidest city in the U.S., as previously reported by some attention-seeking rag a couple of years ago. The album, as well as the bands EP, is available at Convolution Records on Wells St. or via www.allniteskate.com.
by Greg Locke
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Tessa Lark w/Peter Klimo — Classical at Arts Place, Portland, 7:30 p.m., $8-$18, 726-4809
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Fort Wayne Comedy Connection — Comedy at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Hubie Ashcraft — Acoustic at 469 Sports & Spirits, New Haven, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 749-7207
Open Jam — Hosted by G-Money at Nick's Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, 482-6425
Open Mic — Hosted by Mike Mowry at Pedal City, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-12 a.m., no cover, 415-6167
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Classic City Karaoke w/Bryan Lee — Variety at Pine Valley Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., no cover, 490-9464
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Brian — Variety at AJ's Bar and Grill, Fort Wayne, 8 p.m., no cover, 434-1980
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/Josh — Karaoke at Columbia Street West, Fort Wayne, 9:30 p.m., no cover, 422-5055
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — Variety at Chevvy's, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., ,
Karaoke w/Bucca — Variety at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
Karaoke with Rooster — Variety at By: Belle Haven, South Whitley, 8 p.m., no cover, 866-716-9243
Shooting Star Prod. w/Stu — Variety at Office Tavern, Fort Wayne, 8 p.m., no cover, 478-5827
Shut Up and Sing — Karaoke at Duesy's Sports Bar, Fort Wayne, 7-11 p.m., no cover, 483-5681
Three Rivers Karaoke — at Dupont Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., no cover, 483-1311
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22nd Annual Valentine’s Invitational — Works from local and national artists, Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment thru March 31, Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 426-6568
41st High School Exhibition — Student art from Great Lakes region high schools, daily thru March 19, Weatherhead Gallery, USF Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — Award-winning works from northern Indiana and northwest Ohio middle and high school students, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Afros: A Celebration of African Hair by Michael July — Contemporary photography exhibit by Brooklyn author/photographer, daily thru April 14, D’Agostino Art Gallery, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, 399-8626
An Artful Spring — Works by Gwen Gutwein, Patricia Weiss, Austin Cartwright and more, Tuesday-Saturday thru March 31, Crestwoods Frame Shop & Gallery, Roanoke, 672-2080
Decatur Sculpture Tour — 31 original sculptures and 15 permanent exhibits on display, walking tour maps available, thru April 1, Decatur, free, 724-2605
Echolilia — Works from Timothy Archibald and his autistic son, Eli, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Entropy — Daniel Swartz solo exhibition explores relationship between death and mourning through combinations of mythology, mathematics, multi-dimensional physics and pop culture, Monday-Saturday thru April 1, Jennifer Ford Art, Fort Wayne, 740-1309
An Exploration of Perspective — Multimedia works by Deborah Robinson Miller, Tuesday-Sunday thru March 24, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
Expressions of Existence — An exhibition of works by artists through history, including Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Francisco Goya and others whose works have been influenced by disabilities, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Fort Wayne Artist Guild March Exhibitions — Works by Alice Siefert at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Jennifer Caudel at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, Anita Trick, Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Darlene Selzer Miller at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Patricia Weiss at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Emily Jane Butler at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Carolyn Stachera at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, John Kelty at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service, Wiletta Blevins at Town House Retirement, Karen Bixler at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Barb Yoder and Karen Harvey at Will Jewelers, thru March 31, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Fort Wayne Photographers Club — Exhibition featuring local photographers, Tuesday-Sunday, March 5-April 30, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Garden Party — Garden-themed works in a variety of mediums from over 30 local artists, Monday-Saturday thru March 31, Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, 436-0927
Generations: A View of Who Was Who — Works by Romare Bearden, Kara Walker, Alma Thomas, Jacob Lawrence and other African-American artists, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 9, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
Liberations of Line & Matter — Digital works by Adam Meyer, Tuesday-Sunday thru March 24, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
A Mary Poppins Garden Party — Child-oriented garden exhibit, Tuesday-Sunday thru April 1, Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, Fort Wayne, $3-$5 (2 and under, free), 427-6440
Maurice Keltsch Art Collection — Works from the collection of the late pharmacist and patron of Fort Wayne arts, daily thru March 19 , Goldfish Gallery, Rolland Arts Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-8064
Moments in Time: Reflecting on the Human Spirit — Elizabeth Opalenik photographs from her recent Amish series A Journey Home and her Reflecting on the Edge exhibition, daily thru March 26 , Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Overlapping in the Proximity of the Sublime — Works by Ashley Beatty, Tuesday-Sunday thru March 24, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
RAW. Untamed. Unashamed. Visions of Freedom. — Abstract romanticist works in acrylics and epoxy from Kristy Jahn, Fridays and Saturday-Thursday by appointment thru March 25, The Gallery at Pranayoga, Fort Wayne, 423-9642
Semantic Sequences — Exhibition of letterpress prints by Stephanie Carpenter, assistant director of the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Tuesday-Sunday thru March 24, Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Wayne, 424-7195
Sharon — An exhibition of Leon Borensztein photographs chronicling the struggles he faced raising his severely disabled daughter, Tuesday-Sunday thru June 11, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, $5-$7 (members, free), 422-6467
SOCA Student Highlights Exhibition: 3D — Works from students enrolled in USF’s School of Creative Arts’ 3D studio art program, daily thru March 19, John P. Weatherhead Gallery and Goldfish Gallery, Mimi and Ian Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Tim Brumbeloe Retrospective — A retrospective of local photographer’s works over the past 25 years, Monday-Friday thru March 17, Lupke Gallery, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Artlink Educational Programs — Art classes offered by Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, dates and times vary, Artlink, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-7195
Fort Wayne Dance Collective Workshops — Workshops and classes for movement, dance, yoga and more offered by Fort Wayne Dance Collective, dates and times vary, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne, fees vary, 424-6574
IPFW Community Arts Academy— Art, dance, music and theater classes for grades pre-K through 12 offered by IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts, fees vary, 481-6977, www.ipfw.edu/caa
Sweetwater Academy of Music — Private lessons for a variety of instruments available from professional instructors, ongoing weekly lessons, Sweetwater Sound, Fort Wayne, call for pricing, 432-8176, academy.sweetwater.com
Tincture Trivia — Trivia night for teams of 4 or 6 people, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Nick’s Martini & Wine Bar, Fort Wayne, free, 482-6425
Watercolor Instruction — Artist Tom De Somer of De Somer Fine Art Studio offers watercolor painting instruction 6:30-8:30 p.m. the first four Thursdays of each month, Indiana Wesleyan University, Fort Wayne, $144/four-week course, 805-328-8336, www.desomerart.com/classes