Feature Stories

July 31, 2007

Camp counselors, beware: Jason is coming.

Seriously. Ari Lehman, who played the original Jason from the Friday the 13th movies, is coming to Bloomington. And he's psyched.

"It will be scary and brutal," he said.

But don't worry; he's just getting into character. As a special guest at the Dark Carnival Film Festival, he's going to "kill" the winner of the costume contest at the horror-themed dance party, just one of the events featured during the weekend of August 23-25.

July 31, 2007

Indisputably one of the 20th century's most important literary figures, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. needed "repeated reassurance" that the batches of personal and professional ephemera he sent over a period of 10 years to the IU Lilly Library "were actually wanted," according to Seth Bowers, one of four undergraduate IU students who curated "Mustard Gas and Roses: The Life and Works of Kurt Vonnegut," an exhibit that runs at the Lilly main gallery through Sept. 8.

Even after the Lilly Library officially secured the bulk of Vonnegut's letters and manuscripts in 1997, the complex iconoclast, who many regarded as the Mark Twain of 1960s counterculture, continued feeding materials to the library until shortly before his death in April at 84.

July 17, 2007

At first glance, Beth Lodge-Rigal's classes and workshops are a refuge for women writers or women seeking to be writers.

But in actuality, Women Writing for (a) Change is a venue for all women seeking clarity, consciousness and community. The tool just happens to be the written word.

WWf(a)C seeks to inspire women to "craft more conscious lives through the art of writing and the practices of community," according to its brochure.

July 17, 2007

There's no MTV crew following Jeremy Gotwals around these days. But other than the fauxhawk with a platinum blond streak he now sports, not much else has changed about the 17-year-old Bloomington High School North student.

He still talks rapidly, as if he's impatient to get the right words out, and he often combines this with dramatic gestures and sighs.

As someone who appears constantly at ease with himself, Gotwals is even more comfortable without the MTV crew in tow. On this particular evening, he's actually more subdued. But that could be because he has mono and is not feeling quite up to par.

July 3, 2007

As another summer from Hades blankets south-central Indiana, an early sign of merciful fall arrives with the Summer Night of Lotus, a concert of musical hors d’oeuvres meant to whet appetites for the upcoming Lotus World Music and Arts Festival.

Three very different – but all triple-strength caffeinated – musical adventures will unfold in high gear at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre on Friday, July 13, at 7 p.m.

Initiated three years ago as an annual means of officially launching the Lotus “season,” this year’s Summer Night of Lotus features Grupo Fantasma, a lively, 11-man, Austin-based Afro-Latin funk fusion outfit; the Wilders, a four-piece string band from Kansas City known as much for their torrential, comedy-peppered live performances as for their remarkable musicianship; and Kusun Ensemble, an exhilarating percussion and dance group hailing from Ghana, that many folks will recall having seen during Lotus Festival, 2005.

June 19, 2007

Bloomington's abuzz about more than parking this summer.

The IU Summer Music Festival kicked off June 17, showcasing once again the phenomenal musical skill that floods this landlocked city through the Jacobs School of Music.

Running through Aug. 4, this 30-event festival blends the sounds of summer with the flair of students, faculty, conductors and internationally renowned alumni alike.

Hosted by the music school, this annual event will satisfy the pickiest music connoisseur's hunger with a combination of diverse performances, from orchestral concert bands to solo artists to opera theater productions.

June 19, 2007


Sun 06/17
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Auer Hall, 4:00

Mon 06/18
Biava Quartet
Auer Hall, 8:00

Tue 06/19
American Chamber Players
Auer Hall, 8:00

Wed 06/20
Ann Schein, piano
Auer Hall, 8:00 FREE!

Fri 06/22
Yong Hi Moon, piano
Auer Hall, 8:00 FREE!

June 5, 2007

A dreamy, chromatic self-portrait painted by local outsider artist Maurice Marks leaps off the wall from which it hangs in Max's Place at 109 West Seventh St. The arresting, self-satirizing image of a middle-aged, half man-half jester - whose single eye occupying most of his forehead smiles lazily back at the viewer - captures the same casual, unique and playful atmosphere Max's has come to be known for since opening in late 2004.

Max's owner and local musician, Travers Marks, also son of aforementioned artist Maurice, found time during a recent Tuesday mid-afternoon lull to chat about the epic adventures of planting and growing a business in Bloomington, and about his views on the local music scene and where he sees his own restaurant/live music venue on that ever-metamorphosing map.

June 5, 2007

On June 4 at midnight, IU student-run radio station WIUX changed its place on the dial for the second time in two years, moving from 100.3 to 99.1 FM.

The move was forced upon the station by federal rules that require low-power stations to concede airspace to higher-powered stations that choose to increase their broadcast range.

"About halfway into the first year on FM, there was talk that WYGB might eventually encroach on (WIUX's) frequency, and we'd have to vacate it," said Craig Shank, WIUX station manager for the 2007-2008 school year. "But at the time we were told that it would be something that, if it did happen, would not affect us for a few years."

May 23, 2007

When Bloomington pedigree singer-songwriter Suzette Weakley, or "Stella" of local folk country favorites Stella and Jane, encountered the round-robin live music format while gigging at Nashville's illustrious Bluebird Cafe with Bobbie "Jane" Lancaster, she was enthralled. She saw no reason why she couldn't seed something similar back home.

And though Weakley says there were some initial misgivings on the part of some locals about a system in which a handful of musicians sit on stage and take turns presenting new material - not unlike second graders during show and tell - Bloomington's own version of round robin is in its fourth month and gaining momentum and a homegrown audience at a dizzying pace.

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