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Jim's MFT Radio playlist
Posted January 06, 2020 by Jim Rawlinson

In 2020, Musicaly Family Tree is looking to have guest curators hop in to help us program out the local music hour on 99.1 WQRT. Thanks to Big Car for giving us the airtime! This week the playlist was picked by Jim Rawlinson, a musician in Maravich and a number of other bands over the last couple of decades. He's also MFT's Board Chair and the Project Manager of the Indy Music Strategy. 

I was really excited to get to put together a playlist for the radio show last week. We wanted to cram in as much music as we could so I didn't waste much time talking during the show. but wanted to take a minute to go through my list and talk about some of the bands on it and why I chose them. My approach was to find some gems of bands throughout the years of my music journey in Indy that meant something to me and that I think don't always get the love the deserve now. You can kind of divid this up into three categories: 

Legends: 
Birdmen of Alcatraz; Johnny Socko; the Ataris; Burn It Down; United States Three; Chevy Downs (Chamberlain), Old Pike, Mysteries of Life

If you had to pick a group of bands from the late 90s/early 00s that were going to blow up from Indy, all of these acts would have been at the top of the list, and for a couple years at least the Birdmen of Alcatraz were # 1A. "Rap Rock" as a genre burned itself out pretty quickly nationally but Birdmen were owning that game before anyone had even heard of Fred Durst, and did it in a way that still holds up. I saw them last year and they were just as amazing then as when I saw them in high school. 

Burn It Down is probably THE Indy band who has meant the most to me throughout my music journey. They were at the forefront of activist music, and most importantly to me, they were a legit hardcore band that played with ANYBODY. They'd step into the nu metal scene, the hiphop scene, etc. Their message and presence grabbed so many kids and pulled them into their orbit, leading them to the DIY culture, veganism, animal rights and other forms of progressive activism. And, really, they kicked ass live. 

Chamberlain I always say was a few years too early. If "The Moon My Saddle" had come out a year after Wilco's "Summerteeth" instead of a year before, they'd have been gigantic. They are right there with Burn It Down for me as well, a band that came out of the hxc community (as Split Lip) and transitioned to a life after punk rock like very few other bands could pull off. I'm so excited that they are starting to put out new music again! This track is technically labeled as Chevy Downs, the band that singer David Moore joined after Chamberlain with some of the Old Pike guys, but it's been released as a Chamberlain song as well. Speaking of Old PIke, their Video Saloon EP was part of what pushed me to Bloomington in college. I always thought of them as Chamberlain's kid brothers but as time has passed they stand on their own as Indy legends. Lindquist did a cool twitter thread where he detailed where the Old Pike members went after the band broke up here: But safe to say... big stuff. 

Vess is a legend in his own right and US3 was kind of where it started for me, "Put Your Arms Down" was on the first CD of theirs I bought (at Tracks back in the day) and this live version is fun. Speaking of fun, it's hard to remember now, but ska had a moment in the late 90s and Johnny Socko was absolutely gigantic back then. They'd easily pull in a room of 400 kids any night of the week. 

All Stars: Brazil; State; Andy D; In the Face of War; Shadeland; Project Bottlecap: These bands were all amazing.

Brazil was the biggest Indiana band that it seemed like no one in Indianapolis knew of at the time. At the front of the prog-punk movement, they had an aesthetic like no one else locally. I was lucky enough to see them from their first show and see them grow into a real national act, see my blog a few months ago. Just an amazing band. Speaking of amazing bands... 

State... this band was just unbelievable. Dave Barajas has been in a number of fantastic bands (and is still doing great stuff with Stealing Volume and Bullet Points) but for about a year or two, no one could hold a candle to State. The "You Shouldn't Stare" LP is imo the gold standard of hard rock albums by an Indy band. Dagan Thogerson's (now of Murder By Death) drums on this were mind blowing. 

Andy D stands alone in his own wing of local music, truly unique and creative and unlike anything else. Similar to Brazil, Andy had a vision for what he wanted to do with his music and made it into a complete experience that he lived. And he's still out there killing it!

Shadeland / ITFOW / Project Bottlecap: lots of nights in sweaty basements and dive bars with these guys. Shadeland might be the prettiest Indy rock band of the 00s, Project Bottlecap the poppiest of pop punk, and In The Face of War brought raw energy that made you want to move. 

DEEP CUTS: Impure Jazz; Anapparatus; Saababanks

Impure Jazz is maybe the best band I ever played of that you probably have never heard of. Just unbelievable musicians that floated the line perfectly between jazz, punk rock and jam bands. Their schizo guitar parts were all held together by Josh Morrow's incredible percussion. They only did this one EP but they are mandatory listening. 

Saababanks is a band out of Muncie that has been in the game for DECADES now. A group of fantastic musicians who fall into the Fugazi / Hoover realm of post-punk stuff. Guitarist Eric Johnson was also in Brazil for almost all of their run. Chronically underapprecaited great band. 

Anapparatus were one of the best instrumental / atmospheric metal / post-rock bands to come out of Indy. It seemed like Joel Lauver produced every metal/hxc album made in Indy for a few years. Most of these guys are all still doing stuff in new bands. Great for fans of Pillars or Russian Circles.

 

See Jim's WQRT playlist HERE: http://musicalfamilytree.com/playlists/user/3965

 

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