Songs from the War
Northern Indiana (depending upon whom you talk to) is either a booming hotbed of just-under-the-surface musical talent or a wasteland punctuated by the occasional oasis of a worthwhile artist. I’d like to think the reality veers closer to the former. After all, it really comes down to what you’re looking for and how hard you’re looking.
Go to your local record store. Please do. You’ll find no shortage of locally released material in the bins. Quite a bit of it is worthwhile, and some of it even stands up to the stuff you find in the rest of the store. And, while you’re at it, consider that the vast majority of these folks have to slog through their day jobs, feed their families and do all manner of “real life” stuff before they get the opportunity to toil away at their art.
A long-winded intro to Andrew Apple’s debut, sure, but albums such as this deserve a bit of context. Now, I know next to nothing about Mr. Apple aside from the fact that he does indeed have a day job. And, you would find his album just in front of Fiona Apple’s. Thankfully, Andrew’s record is titled Songs from the War, not some paragraph-length moniker you’d expect to see from that other Apple. Such straightforwardness extends to Mr. Apple’s material which lives comfortably within the singer-songwriter realm and gets its point across with a minimum of fuss. From the reverb-drenched “I Will Love You” to the propulsive opener, “Army of One,” to the bleeding stoicism of “The Leathermen,” Songs from the War is filled with acoustic guitar-fueled folk-rock nuggets that stoke nostalgia for the early/mid-80s while still remaining fresh in their own right. Apple’s vocals recall those of Mike Mills (REM bassist/occasional vocalist): clean and sonorous, without a whit of pretension.
Bolstered by an elegiac piano and synthetic strings, the dirging “Oaklandia” paints a grim picture of desolation and unending struggle. “And in Oaklandia every day is war/ And in Oaklandia everyone is poor,” sings Apple over pealing bells. There’s also a hint of Neutral Milk Hotel in the spirit of the songs, if not necessarily in the substance. The closer, “Song for Julia,” conveys a psychedelic sensibility (“spaghetti hair,” “candy smiles”) inside its deceptively simple instrumentation. It’s the kind of tune that makes you appreciate local artists who are creating art for art’s sake.
Folks such as Andrew Apple are creating something that wasn’t there before. That’s a triumph in its own right.
by D.M. Jones
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Josh Johnson — Comedy at Calhoun Street Soups, Salads & Spirits, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., $10, (260) 456-7005
Vince Gill — Country at Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., $39.50-$79.50, 424-5665
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Community Orchestra — Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition at Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Music Center, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 7:30 p.m., $4-$7, 481-6555
Open Mic Night — Variety at Checkerz Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, 489-0286
Scratch N Sniff 2.0 w/1/4 Kit Kurt — Variety at Deer Park Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 6:30-8 p.m., no cover, 432-8966
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Fort Wayne Karaoke — Karaoke at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — Variety at Office Tavern, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 478-5827
Three Rivers Karaoke w/Rob — at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
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41st SOCA Student Exhibition — Works from students currently enrolled at USF’s School of Creative Arts, daily thru April 30, Weatherhead Gallery, USF Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Fort Wayne Artist Guild 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 April 30, fortwayneartistguild.org.
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
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
Rhoda Gerig: The Hope of Eagles — Photographic images of eagles, daily thru June 4, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Exhibition of works by IPFW graduation seniors, daily thru May 3 , Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery, Main Library, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Senior thesis projects from Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Brenda Drayer (sculpture), Derek Hibbs (printmaking), Ellen Mensch (painting), Nathaniel Morris (sculpture) and Kyle Snodgrass (sculpture), daily thru May 7, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709