I recently got a ton of great information on the entire Indiana music scene, from the Bloomington band RESTING ROOSTER.
The band is a folkrock/psychedelia three-piece, which is releasing its first record next month on UNDERWATER TEA PARTY RECORDS.
"The Indiana scenes that I am most familiar with are Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Muncie," the band's David Bower said. "Bloomington has a long legacy of interesting music. The town's liberal attitude lends itself to a broad variety of bands. I have lived (there) and have been musically active for the past six years."
In Bloomington, Bower recommends checking out:
• THE IMPOSSIBLE SHAPES (Secretly Canadian): Seventies acidic folk-rock with a Pavement meets Television edge. He also noted their side projects: NORMAN OAKS and THE HORNS OF HAPPINESS.
• TURN PALE: One of the most exciting live bands around. Sounds like the Birthday Party, The Cure, and Echo and the Bunnymen with a very theatrical leading man. Also see: Drekka and Panoply Academy
• VOLLMAR: Justin Vollmar is an amazing songwriter. He sounds like Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, David Bazan, and Jandek. Very much worth a listen.
• RACEBANNON: Harsh metal spasm madness. It seriously sounds like if captain beefheart was a german prog metal band.
Bower said the go-to label is SECRETLY CANADIAN, which People with Animal Heads couldn't agree more with. But he also noted ART HOSPITAL and Landlocked Record Store.
In Indianapolis, Bower said to watch for these bands:
• ODAWAS: Neil Young meets Ennio Morricone. Their records are complete multi-track lunacy, but in a good way. www.myspace.com/odawastheband ... i am sure you haven't heard anything quite like it. Their side project is MORE ANIMALS OF THE ARCTIC.
• MARMOSET (Secretly Canadian): In my opinion, Jorma is one of the greatest songwriters of our time. "Today it's you" and "Record in red" are total classics. The band sounds like Wire, Syd Barrett, John Lennon, and Swans.
• ELEPHANT MICAH: Talented singer songwriter.
He said venues worth noting include the BIG CAR GALLERY.
Bower said that Muncie is home of Ball State University. All the bands from here tend to have a large roster and a cute, quirky element. Many of the bands from this town, as well as a few from Indianapolis, are on the Standard Recording label. For the Columbus folks, that's the former label of Miranda Sound.
• EVERYTHING, NOW!: Probably the most popular band from muncie...sounds like the Flaming Lips meets the Beach Boys at an ice cream social.
• CASTLE OLDCHAIR: Good songwriter, great guitarist. A little like Elliott Smith.
• EVERTHUS THE DEADBEATS: Sounds like Roxy Music on pixie sticks.
"So, I definately left out a lot of good bands, but this is my particular taste. And these bands are trying hard enough to tour/make good records et cetera," Bower said.