Uncle Rudolf’s Moves to Funkyard (Updated)

In early September 2012,  Harloh’s Vintage in Fountain Square unexpectedly closed its doors.  Harloh’s was one of the top vintage clothing shops in Indy, but also housed Uncle Rudolf’s Record Rack that we have have written about here more than once.

In the first draft of this post, written earlier today, we noted that Uncle Rudolf’s had closed as well, but we should have checked their Facebook page first.  They’ve moved next door to the Funkyard space and therefore are still alive and well.

Heirloom Records Open in Evansville

Photo courtesy of Heirloom Records and Vintage

Heirloom Records and Vintage opened a few months ago  in Evansville.  Great coverage of the store by Evanville Living relieves us of the need to do much more digging. From the article:

Color and history paint the inside of Heirloom Records & Vintage. On one wall you’ll find a rare James Brown vinyl and a stack of The Talking Heads’ cassette tapes no one ever listened to. Paisley 60s skirts, trendy ties, generation-old leather shoes, and racks of clothing fill the middle, and treasures as quaint as an eggshell blue Eskimo fan line a bookshelf.

From selling vinyl out of a milk crate to a classy storefront on Franklin Street, John Bugg has become a local LP (long play) guru for his successful niche business, Heirloom Records & Vintage. Partnered with Kristen Gubbins, who has been selling vintage clothing and items on her virtual storefront, The Robot Parade, for more than a decade on eBay and Etsy, Bugg’s milk crates have turned into a full-scale pick and sell operation

Rest of article here.

Their Facebook page provides regular updates.  From what we’ve seen, they are turning up a lot of good records.  If you’ve visited, we’d love to have your comments here.

Here’s wishing John Bugg and his new store all the best success!

Uncle Rudolf’s Returns to..uh..the EXACT same spot!

Guest Post by Steve Peck of Uncle Rudolf’s

After being gone for several months, vinyl is back in Fountain Square!  Uncle Rudolf’s Records, once a neighborhood fixture within Square Rootz Deli, is back at its old address.   Uncle Rudolf’s is now found within Harloh’s Vintage clothing store, which recently moved  into the same 1110 E. Prospect St. location where Square Rootz used to be!   You can find the record racks in the rear of the store, by the men’s clothing section.

Having records and vintage clothing together is a real natural, offering the best of all possible worlds – very cool vintage clothes and very cool old records.  At the “Racks” you can find vintage albums from the 50’s and early 60’s, as well as a ton of Classic Rock (including obscure favorites), old school Jazz, real Country, plenty of R&B, Funk and Disco, lots of New Wave and Alternative, and as much Punk and Metal as can be kept stocked (it goes super fast!).  Uncle Rudolf’s prides itself on its selection, even if it is limited to a couple of racks.  Meticulous care is taken in selecting records for sale, and the stock is updated nearly every week to keep things fresh and exciting.  Prices are very reasonable, making it affordable to buy a stack and still have change in your pocket.  Higher end records and collector’s items are available as well.

Uncle Rudolf’s is run by Steve Peck, a long-time central Indiana record collecting fanatic.  Steve has taken his extensive experience as a customer and has put together a nice little operation that should appeal to the novice beginner as well as the seasoned collector.  Steve also sets up shop at the local Alpha Music Collectors conventions with a completely separate stock.   There is nothing he loves more to do than hunt something down for you, or have a conversation about your favorite tunes.

Uncle Rudolf’s Records
1110 E. Prospect St
Indianapolis, IN  46203
Located in the historic Fountain Square neighborhood

https://www.facebook.com/unclerudolf8

Arnie and his Soul Brothers – The Interview

Several months ago, I was searching for information on a long-lost LP  by Arnie and his Soul Brothers entitled “Doin’ the Prune”.  It’s an excellent early 60’s rocker with a soulful jazzy flavor and one of the very few rock LP’s released in Indiana during the pre-Beatles era.    When I stumbled into Arnie’s blog I thought immediately, “Hey, I know that guy!”

I’d met Arnie Goldberg in 2010 at a business networking event, and we had a pleasant chat for 30 minutes or so, yet I was without a clue that he had a musical past.  Recently I ran into him again and decided it was well past time for an interview with Arnie.  Sincere thanks to Arnie Goldberg for the info and photos, and if any of you have a copy of the LP that you’re willing to part with please let me know.

Q:  Tell me about the formation of Arnie and the Soul Brothers.  When, where and how?

A: Founded in 1959 Bloomington, Indiana   Indiana University campus .. the first rock n roll, rhythm n blues, soul jazz group ever on the IU campus.

Q:  You released  two 45’s and one LP.  When did they get released?  Did you run your own label, or did someone else do it for you?  What does “Emmes” mean?

A: Emmis was my own label (it means “truth” in Jewish) and we released “The Prune /”Lookout” in 1961 …  followed six months later by “Tenderloin”/” Dream Theme”;   all four songs were originals by the band. “The Prune”, “Tenderloin”, and “Dream Theme” were created by Marty Zuroff , “Lookout” was created by Arnie.

Q:  Tell us about the recordings  How many copies of the 45’s and the LP?  Where did you get them pressed? Where was the music recorded?

A:  “The Prune” was recorded in Don Sheets Studio, Nashville Indiana … a few others were recorded there… a couple were recorded in a studio in Chicago…   All records were pressed by RCA in Indianapolis and if I were to guess 20,000 copies of “The Prune” were pressed before the rights to “The Prune”, and the band name Arnie & the Soul Brothers was sold to Jacob-Carle Records in Chicago .. rumors have it that “The Prune” was a hit in Brazil, Bolivia and a European country. However the bad news was that Jacob-Carle Records turned out to be a fly by night company and disappeared and I and the band never received any money from them.

500 albums were pressed at RCA in Indianapolis and approximately 100 of them were used for promotion for the band…  the others were sold at retail at events etc …

Q:  What was it like, musically, in the early 1960’s at Indiana University?  What other kinds of bands/artists were around?  Where did you play live?

A: The band was booked 32 times a year during the school year, for three full years never missing a single Friday or Saturday night ..   played mostly on the IU campus, but did play several times at other universities, like Purdue, Ohio State, Wabash College, DePauw College, Ball State and several high school proms throughout Indiana.   Our first year and last year (together for five years) we played approximately 20 times per school year.   Our final year together, 1963, was spent in Indianapolis playing in three different bar locations.  Two of the musicians were guaranteed two nights a week work and were actually on my payroll for three full years … 

We played mostly fraternities and sororities, several campus wide dances at the Student Union, and the Delt Street Dance three different years with about 7,000 students dancing outside in the street.  Competitive bands were playing what I called “society music” to include Al Cobine and 6 pieces playing Glen Miller and that type music…  great musicians but not what the kids wanted.

Q:  How and why did the band break up?

A:  The band broke up when I got married in April 1964 and then had to go to the Army in June 1964 for two years.

Q: What is your fondest memory of being in Arnie and His Soul Brothers?

A:  I think two of the fondest memories were playing on the Bandstand Show in Cincinnati (Bob Braun Show) with a group of dancers that accompanied us occasionally called the Benjy Schulman Dancers and they were on the TV show with us. Another was playing at the Rooftop Garden in Monticello, IN following Joey Dee and the Starlighters in for two weeks “The Peppermint Twist” … also playing at a large venue in Ft. Wayne with approximately 5,000 young dancers.

Q:  If you were do one thing differently with the band, what would it be?

A:  Same band .  I was and still am very fond of organ jazz …  and love organ combo’s with guitar, drums and saxophone … to include Jack McDuff, Joey De Francesco …. Loved Ray Charles’ big band.

Q:  What else would you like people to know?

A:  The band played one time in at my birthday party in 1989 after not playing for 25 years and now has a band job on December 18, 2011 which is 47 years since 1964, the last formal time the group played.   Marty Zuroff passed away a few years ago and we will dedicate a couple songs to him …

Shakeout in Fountain Square (Updated)

Fountain Square logo

UPDATE:  Larry and Jane’s Record Shop is sadly, no more as of October 15.  The good news:  Jane is going to continue in the same location with a vintage shop which will feature some vinyl records, along with clothing and mid-century modern relics.  Larry will still be setting up at Indy record shows. Still, it’s a loss for record fans.  Larry and Jane’s was a great shop and will be missed. Be sure to shop at Jane’s new store and especially, buy vinyl so she’ll be encouraged to continue with it.

——————————————————————————-

It was fun for awhile.

Fountain Square, the funky neighborhood just south of downtown Indianapolis, looked for all the world like it was going to be the vinyl capital of Indiana.  Early in 2011, with the addition of Modern Mediums, Fountain Square boasted FOUR retailers that specialized in vinyl to some degree:

  • Larry and Jane’s Record Shop
  • Thrifty Gypsy
  • Square Rootz Deli featuring Uncle Rudolph’s Record Rack
  • Modern Mediums

Unfortunately, it didn’t last.  Due in part to the perpetual “Cultural Trail” construction which has decimated parking, and in part to the continuing tough economy, Square Rootz abruptly closed early in the summer, leaving Uncle Rudolph looking for a new spot for his record rack.  No idea if he has landed, though I’ve seen him at the last few Indianapolis record shows.

The next to fall was Thrifty Gypsy, home of an eclectic and vibrant mix of collectibles.  Seems that a tattoo place wanted to lease his space long-term, so the month to month deal they had with the building owner went bye-bye.  They closed up in late August with no immediate plans to reopen elsewhere.

Finally–we hope this is the last bit of bad news–Modern Mediums has decided to close, with their last day quickly upcoming on September 17.   We enjoyed Modern Mediums quite a bit–great quality control, interesting selection and an engaging, passionate owner.

That leaves Larry and Jane’s as the only survivor in Fountain Square, and as far as we can tell, are doing pretty well.  Larry is an encyclopedia of music knowledge–especially related to Indiana musicians–and I always find new and intriguing records in their store.  Especially love the beautifully displayed and mostly-for-sale memorabilia, including Larry’s famous photographs.

Here’s wishing continued success for Larry and Jane, and new life for both Fountain Square and the proprietors of the departed stores.

Side Note:  We’ve added a link for the relatively new “Odds and Ends Collectibles” in our store roster.  Odds and Ends is run by Rob Coyle and his brother.  Rob’s a regular dealer at the record show and offers a variety of collectibles, including CD’s, DVD’s, and video games. Congrats to Rob!

RIP Jason Stonewall, ex Why on Earth

Word reached us yesterday of the death of Jason “Stonewall” Seidler, longtime Indianapolis guitarist.  Stonewall was a leader of Why on Earth, which released two LP’s, “Why on Earth” in 1983 and “Action” in 1985.  Why on Earth was a very popular hard rock act in Indianapolis during this time.

Stonewall later teamed with fellow Why On Earth guitarist JoJo Weekend in a band called Stonewall Weekend.  Stonewall Weekend released two CD’s on German labels in the 1990’s.

A number of Stonewall Weekend videos are on YouTube, as is this memorial tribute to Stonewall, just posted on You Tube.  Apparently Stonewall had battled heart disease and died following bypass surgery.

Been to Modern Mediums Yet?

Back in March when I wrote about the new store in Fort Wayne, Neat Neat Neat, I was not aware of another new store, Modern Mediums in Indianapolis.  Located at 636 Virginia Avenue, just north of the heart of Fountain Square, Modern Mediums opened their doors in January.

Me, I just stumbled into them from a Facebook post a few weeks ago. Those in the know, however, have been making a steady path to this store.  Lots of very clean vinyl, and an eclectic, ever-changing mix, priced to move.

Modern Mediums is pretty focused on vinyl.  They have a small CD selection and a few cassettes, but records is their bread and butter.  You’ll also find some intriguing artworks scattered around the store–nice paintings and watercolors that would be at home at a fine antique mall.

Proprietor Anton is a genuinely nice guy and is very enthusiastic about records.  Be sure to talk to him when you stop in.  One other thing: stop by their Facebook page and join the conversation.

Four Freshman Founder Dies

The Four Freshmen

Cover of The Four Freshmen

From the Indianapolis Star, sad news for old school Indiana music fans:

LAS VEGAS — Bob Flanigan, an original member of the four-part jazz vocal harmony group The Four Freshmen founded at Butler University, has died in Las Vegas at age 84, a manager of the group said today.

Flanigan died Sunday at home of congestive heart failure, with family members nearby and several local trombonists playing songs, IVI Management agent Dina Roth said.

“Flanigan’s voice was indestructible,” said Ross Barbour, the last remaining original member of the four-man group. “He could drive all day and all night without stopping between gigs, and when our voices were on the edge Bob was still in full form.”
Barbour, 82, now lives in Simi Valley, Calif.

Flanigan and his cousins Ross Barbour and Don Barbour formed the group in 1948 with Hal Kratzsch while attending Butler University in Indiana. Flanigan played trombone and bass and sang lead parts.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20110516/ENTERTAINMENT/110516030/Four-Freshman-founding-tenor-from-Butler-dies-84?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com

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Record Store Day 2011: Indianapolis

Record Store Days 2010/2011

Took a spin through three Indy stores on Record Store Day this past Saturday:  Indy CD & Vinyl, Luna, and Vibes.

Due to other obligations, I wasn’t able to get going until 1 pm or so.  By this time, Indy CD& Vinyl was pretty much mobbed, though it was possible to move around.  I nested my visit after Pop Lolita’s set and just before Beta Male was to start.  As much as I wanted to see both bands, I was focused on the shopping part.

At Indy CD, there was a long line at the cash register, probably 20 or more folks, stretched all the way to the back of the store.  As most of my meager record budget goes towards Indiana stuff these days, I didn’t come there on a mission to buy RSD merch, though some of it intrigued me.  I ended up grabbing the 2 LP “Live at the Old Waldorf” set by Television, something I missed on CD a few years back and was glad to land.  A trip through their used vinyl-which continues to improve, by the way–landed me an original German copy of the first Kraftwerk LP.  An extravagance at $60, but hey, it was Record Store Day.  And it completed my run of early Kraftwerk originals–the pre-Kraftwerk Organisation – Tone Float lp and the Kraftwerk II have been in my collection for a while now.  Also nabbed a cheap copy of the Evansville radio sampler, “Home Cookin” from rock station KC103, which includes a cut by hard rock legends Amulet.  Fortunately by the time I was ready to check out, the line was down to a handful.

On to Luna, which was a complete madhouse.  They did it up right–several ancillary tents outside, including a $1 CD fest that pulled me in and West Coast Tacos which I somehow missed, but got to holler at Mudkid Rusty Redenbacher during his outdoor DJ set.  I left happily with eleven buck CD’s and could have grabbed many more but it was hard to see everything due to the crowd.  Highlights were three Punkin Holler Boys demo CD’s from their early days.  I really wanted to go inside–ya think?–but the combination of a crush of people and a very loud live hip-hop set were enough of a barrier that I couldn’t deal.  Getting old, dang it.  I’m sure I missed some goodies.

Vibes was the calmest spot, but the traffic there was still brisk.  I arrived pre-entertainment and was happy to pick up copies of Zero Boys – “History Of” and Action Strasse’s LP, both of which had been on my list for awhile.  Also found a nice used copy of the Math Bats goth-wave LP from the 80’s, something that doesn’t turn up much.  None of it RSD merch, but again, that wasn’t necessarily what I was after.  Though I was sorry I didn’t land a copy of Big Star “Third” test pressing.  Emerging Indianapolis label Glory Hole Records was prominent with a table of nice looking releases, but I wasn’t sufficiently tuned in to buy.  Hope they did well.

Would have liked to hit Larry and Jane’s in Fountain Square, but curtailed my trip due to massive hunger of the food variety.

Reflecting on this as a collector, fan, and former record store owner, I am thrilled to see the patronage at our local stores, but I’m a little distressed at the “manufactured collectible” frenzy that is driving much of this traffic–dozens of limited pressings designed to be out of print in a single day.  By Sunday night, there were more than 3,000 listings for Record Store Day vinyl on eBay, a clear indication of the “grip and flip” mentality that pervades this fine holiday.  Unavoidable and not necessarily a bad thing, but I found myself wishing for the old days of not so long  ago.

When every day was record store day. ;=)

The Conscious Effort Band – No Suppression

From Washington, in beautiful southwestern Indiana, comes the Conscious Effort Band.  Their lone LP, “No Suppression” was recorded at Bloomington’s  Audio Village in 1980, with the LP released the following year on the band’s Factory Wave label.

The LP features a well-designed gatefold cover that belies the notion that you can’t judge a record by its cover.  The main illustration, of an open patio with suspended-in-air windows overlooking endless rolling hills, and set against a denim-styled background, evokes the rural stoned country vibe that is present in the grooves.

A range of styles are present, but all of them complement each other and feel part of the whole.  Some tracks are reminiscent of Grateful Dead in the early to mid 70’s, with flowing electric leads from Jerry Bush and Tim Wildridge supporting Jeff Chambers’ sweet,  reedy vocals, which evoke Jerry Garcia.

This is hardly a Dead knockoff band, though.  All the tunes are original and veer into rural flavored folk rock, Charlie Daniels/Marshall Tucker-inspired straight country rock, and harder edged psychedelic rock.  At times, you can hear a tiny bit of early new wave influence in the heavier tracks.  Helping to anchor things are the backing vocals, a stirring mix of both male and female voices.

Listening to this LP, I imagine a warm, starry southern Indiana with great friends, fine refreshments and not a care in the world.  This is a wonderful relic of simpler times and deserving of greater exposure.  Copies are difficult to find but tend not to be very expensive on the collector market.

(In the small world department, I recently discovered that a good friend’s stepmom—Deb Tolson–was responsible for both the LP’s graphic design and was a  backing vocalist.  Also,  Dave Burks, who contributes  synth and horn arrangements as well as engineering, was my instructor for an electronic music course at IU around this same time.)