Shimmercore

Shimmercore, better known as Mike Contreras, has been in and around the Indianapolis music scene since 2001, and chances are that if you love music, you’ve seen him. He has played with an impressive roster of bands, such as Pop Lolita, The Shivers, Lunar Event, Red Light Driver, The Playboy Psychonauts, Dead Princess Black Unicorn, Thee Pernicious Unicats and The Shake Weights.

Growing up being involved in music since the first grade, Contreras used to listen to his parents’ Beatles records and his older sister’s KISS records, starting to learn how to play the guitar when he was 13 years old. Throughout the years since then, he has taught himself how to play a multitude of instruments, including drums, bass, keyboards, accordion, harmonica and even sitar! He uses these instruments to incorporate different sounds into his recordings. “My next album will be an instrumental acoustic 12-string guitar and sitar plea for world peace and transcendental meditation,” said Contreras. “It will probably be available by the time ORANJE rolls around.”

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Shimmercore has always been Mike’s solo song writing project, and now, after a few album releases, he has put together a band of musicians to help bring these songs to stage, which he describes as “psychedelic drone-pop.” He starts by writing a melody or phrase that he sings to himself, building from that melody and constructing the music accordingly. “I used to write music first and try to paste words over it, and that usually ended up with a weak vocal melody. I mostly write music that I would be into and wish there was a band or more bands that played this type of music locally.”

When it comes to Indy’s local music scene, Shimmercore tries to perform at least once or twice a month locally. He’s shared the stage with bands from many different music circles around town, with his favorite venues being The Vogue, Radio Radio, The White Rabbit Cabaret, Indy’s Jukebox and The Melody Inn. Some of his favorite local musicians right now include Drill Alaska, KO, Stagnant Pools, DJ Crookshanks, No Direction, Mr Clit & The Pink Cigarettes and Deezen.

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Over the years, Contreras has been an ORANJE attendee and has played in other bands that have participated in the past. “I’m really interested in seeing the artwork. It’s great to be a part of something so big and full of creativity.”

What does Shimmercore have planned for the future of his music? “To continue to write/record/produce albums and play some cool shows. Hopefully, within the year, more of the Shimmercore releases will make it to vinyl.”

You can keep up with Shimmercore on Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter…and make sure to catch the live performance on October 12 at ORANJE!

 

Homeless Cop

If you watch Adult Swim, you might have already seen some work by Homeless Cop. This Indy artist by way of Chicago has created 11 animations that are now airing and a billboard that has its own time lapse video online.

Jason Fennell, the man behind Homeless Cop, is an oil painter that also dabbles with drawing, design work, t-shirt designs and making cartoons and music videos. Although he’s never been homeless or a cop, he put the two words together to create a memorable name and hopes to one day have a food truck to give away soup to the homeless and veterans.

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Originally from St. Louis, he has lived in Chicago for the last 12 years and recently moved to downtown Indy. He used to play drums in hip hop, funk and art metal bands, always making the flyers. Skateboard graphics and t-shirts caught his eye and he began making his own shirts, which led him to deciding to paint. “Actually, the movie Basquait was, and is, a big influence on me. I paint like I draw, and I make what I like, so that’s where I’m at today. Living the life and working at my art so when I’m dead it can live on around the world.”

His colorful and crispy creations have been featured at an art show in The Foundation Room at the House of Blues Chicago, and until recently has been in a downtown Chicago coffee shop called Dollop. Not to mention that some really cool guys such as Rainn Wilson, Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker and John C. Reilly all own work by Homeless Cop. “I live the life of an artist; I make art and I’m not concerned at all about paying my bills,” said Fennell. “Life isn’t hard. I do help out occasionally at my friend’s painting company because I’ve always liked painting and it’s cool to hang out with friends, listening to music and talking all day.”

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This will be Fennell’s first year as an ORANJE participant, and he promises to have a booth that kicks ass. “My art will be there doing it’s thing. I think it’s honest and it’s real, and I’m hoping it has a positive effect on people. I’ll probably have my cartoons and music videos playing on a loop. From what I can tell, ORANJE is going to be a great event with a lot of creative people, so I’m glad to be a part of it and I’m pretty sure I’ll have fun, ORANJE-style.”

You can keep up with Homeless Cop’s work on Facebook, Twitter and his website. Make sure to stop by his booth on October 12!

Jomberfox

Meet Jomberfox, a rock and roll band made up of Nick Vote, Nick Mallers, David Sullivan, Andy Salge and Alex Kercheval.

This fairly new band morphed into Jomberfox from a previous project called Genius Johnson, and as of right now has only played one show together which was at The Melody Inn. But don’t mistake that for thinking this band is new to the Indy music scene, because between everyone in the band’s past and current projects, they’ve played nearly everywhere in the city. “What is so great about being in this band is that it doesn’t even closely resemble the music everyone plays outside of it,” said Nick Vote.

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You might recognize some of the guys in Jomberfox from other well-known bands in Indy. Andy Salge (bass) and Dave Sullivan (guitar) play in the local band Blue Moon Revue, Nick Mallers (drums) played previously with Lady Moon, and Alex Kercheval (guitar/keys/producer/engineer) has recently worked on projects with Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, We are Hex, Musical Family Tree and The Icks.

This will be the band’s first time playing ORANJE together. “Anything that showcases local art and music is awesome,” said Vote. “I’ve really enjoyed being exposed to new artists I might not have otherwise heard of without an event like ORANJE.”

So what can you expect from Jomberfox in the near future? “Our goal is to keep making music we like. We all agree that making great records is key to everyone’s happiness in this project. We are currently wrapping up mixing our first EP and are all pretty excited about getting some music into people’s hands.”

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Want to check out Jomberfox before October 12? You can catch them live at WARMfest on Sunday, August 31 as well as at The Melody Inn on September 25 with Pravada. You can find them on Musical Family Tree, Twitter and Facebook.

Caren Charles

Although Caren Charles has always appreciated the arts and enjoyed working with her hands, it wasn’t until about three or four years ago that she discovered her natural free-flow talent as an artist. Through this, she realized that her greatest dream is to become a successful artist.

Charles attended Indiana University, getting her BA in Fine Arts, where she developed fundamental skills in drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking and graphic design. Her current work is comprised of paintings, her favorites being made with ink, watercolor and acrylic paints. “I would describe my art as abstract, bright, positive and transcendent. Each painting is very detail-oriented with line work that is easy to get lost in. Sometimes I will have an idea of what the basic form will be in the end, but most of the time I like to let the painting reveal itself throughout the process.”

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Drawing inspiration from the natural flow of everyday life and the process of creation, Charles lets her subconscious take over, allowing her artistic intuition lead the way. “Growing as an artist is a process, where trying new things and taking risks is key. I want to continue to explore new media to keep things fresh and incorporate more messages behind my artwork. We, as artists, have the ability to share our ideas through our craft and make statements that will be remembered forever, so it is important to take advantage of that gift.”

Charles works on her art full-time in Carmel, also working on freelance graphic design projects for clients who need logo designs, show posters, album covers and more. She has also recently started working at a custom frame shop by the Design Center in downtown Carmel. Charles had her first art show in downtown Indianapolis in April, and since then has been bringing her art to several art and music festivals such as Good People Good Times Festival in Nashville, IN. She also travels with funk/rock band The Main Squeeze, sharing her art at their shows across the country.

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This will be Charles’ first year participating in ORANJE. Her paintings are mood-lifting, lively, energetic, soothing and therapeutic. Eyes are incorporated everywhere throughout her collection, giving a living quality to her creations. Several of them have no set orientation, so when rotated, each view presents a new, unique way of looking at it. For example, in her painting titled “Imagine,” you can discover many hidden faces, animals, plants and not to mention the word “imagine” incorporated in the design. Her intention was to get the viewers’ creative juices going and invite them to let their imagination flow when interpreting the pieces.

 

So what is Charles looking forward to during her first ORANJE? “I’m excited to share my art with as many people as possible! Seeing the originals in person versus images online is a completely different experience. I love showing people all of the hidden things they can find in my paintings and seeing people’s reaction to the art. I will also most likely be body painting people, so everyone should definitely come by and visit me!”

You can find her on Etsy and Facebook, and make sure to stop by her booth on October 12!

 

Stella Brickel

You could say that art is simply in Stella Brickel’s blood, and that she can’t survive without it.

Coming from a family that shares a passion for art, design and fashion (her father is a wood worker and artist), Brickel has always loved to draw. With plans to go to school for art, her life took a different direction as she focused on a General Studies degree, worked full-time and served in the Army Reserves. She eventually started working as the Coordinator of Staff and Environmental Development at Outside the Box, an organization that provides day, employment and art services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It was at this time that her creativity really picked up.

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Brickel met Lauren Church and Kate Wagner (former ORANJE participant) at the art studio at Outside the Box and fell in love with everything they were doing, so she picked up a paintbrush and started painting. With no former painting experience, Wagner and Church gave her pointers and tips to help Brickel develop her art and technique. Ever since then, Brickel hasn’t stopped creating. “I don’t feel like a whole person if I don’t draw, paint or do something creative,” she said.

Brickel’s artwork can’t be put into a box or specific genre, and she doesn’t use specific techniques or materials. But if there’s one word to describe what she does, it’s funky!  ”I really enjoy painting, creating jewelry and drawing. My paintings are vibrant and playful; I love colors…bright colors! I do like to incorporate texture into most of my pieces, but some have none. I use collage from time to time as well. All of my most recent drawings are created with black ink and are sort of doodles. I also create wearable art from recycled paper products and other materials…some old, some new.”

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Brickel’s jewelry (starting at $25) has been shown at the Chicago open air artisan market early this Spring. Although she has an Etsy site, she’s somewhat computer-challenged so she shows her pieces in her home or others’ homes. ORANJE will be her first “official” art show. “I have been to ORANJE as an observer and it was so cool. I am super excited to have the opportunity to be on the other side of things. The event is so alive and the place is teeming with talent. If you have not ever been exposed to art, this is a great first event to attend because it has such a fun, party-time atmosphere. People should come to my booth because I am totally new to the scene. I don’t want to give too much away, but I am planning a pretty kick-ass display as well!”

Come look for Brickel’s booth on October 12 at ORANJE 2013!

Blake Allee

More than just a musician, Blake Allee is a producer, writer and recording pro, mixing, mastering and sampling all of his own music.

This one man machine does all of his own projects from beginning to end, only involving others who are featured in songs when he records. “I love the concept of making something on my own and giving it directly to the people,” Allee said. “No middle man. No mainstream rapper does that. I even Photoshop my own covers.”

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A self-proclaimed loner, Allee creates during the night but writes all day long, constantly on a notepad jotting down new ideas. Right now, he has three phones full of lyrics and over 20 notebooks full of ideas that have come spewing out of Allee’s brain and into writing. And when he’s not writing, he’s performing in his bedroom to a small crowd of invisible people who seem to approve of what he’s putting out.

One thing that is obvious about Allee is how passionate he is about his music, which he describes as “like a microwave timer going off when you’re really hungry, more futuristic than futuristic.” Indy’s local music scene has provided an outlet for him to perform and meet other like-minded people who are on a similar path as him. This year, he released his latest project called Televisionn (which you can grab for free at www.blakeallee.com), but he’s still working on new music every day.

So what does Allee hope the future holds for him in his musical journey? “To keep innovating and pushing the boundaries of music. Anybody can grab a beat and rap. I am more concerned with taking sound to places it hasn’t been before, going as far as I can go honestly. Also, to keep interacting with fans; they are very interesting people. One of them can blow his own booger directly from his nose into his mouth!”

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Although Allee has been to ORANJE two times as a guest, this will be his first year as a performer. So what does he love about ORANJE? “How it brings art and music together. I look at music as more of an art form than just entertainment and sound. So I love the whole concept about ORANJE.”

If you want to check out Allee’s work before October 12, you can keep up with him on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and his website!

Mike Altman

It’s hard to believe that someone who has had clients such as Nickelodeon, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, TV Guide, Denny’s and AT&T goes dumpster diving for spare cardboard for his work, but it’s all part of what makes Mike Altman and his colorful, fun and wacky creations so unique.

A full-time artist and ORANJE veteran, Altman uses simple line work and bright, bold colors to illustrate pieces that are complex, laced with symbolism, satire, spirituality and double-meaning, and sometimes as simple as a blue dog. Now in his fifth year as an ORANJE participant, he has used the event as a yearly release of new works. One of Altman’s latest projects has been collaborating with Flat 12 to do work on their labels. Whether you see his work above someone’s sofa or on a bottle of beer, his distinct style is hard to miss.

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Working from his studio that is cluttered with inspirational items that has been described as a museum meets Pee Wee Herman’s set, Altman works with a variety of materials to complete his work. Some are on cardboard, some are on canvas; some use pencil while others use watercolor. With ideas brewing all the time, his work has been shown all over the place, from Jacksonville, Florida to Nashville, TN.

So why does Altman continue coming back to ORANJE year after year? “I consider ORANJE the unveiling show for my work in Indianapolis…and there are always tons of friends and fellow artists to chill with. It is the premiere event for art and music in Indy…people have a great time and art is available, my art especially (haha)!”

541123_10151076077714331_1581723072_nYou can keep up with Mike Altman at his website, and make sure to stop by his booth on October 12! You can find his work in Indianapolis in December at Upland’s Propaganda Room in the Murphy Building and also a Henry’s on East.

Rugged Russian Bear

Imagine what would happen if you had a really good mix of David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), Weezer and Delta Spirit, resulting in a folky punk indie sound. Well, that sums up what Rugged Russian Bear is all about, and luckily for you, they’re playing at ORANJE on October 12!

Playing with bands such as The Bonesetters, And Away They Go, Neulore (Nashville) and Kisses For Free, Rugged Russian Bear is made up of vocalist/guitarist Mike Brewer, bassist/vocalist Cory Miller and drummer/guitarist Jacob Eaton. Beginning as Bob Dylan-esque folk music featuring only an acoustic guitar and harmonica, RRB has evolved into a quirky rock band with a three part harmony that speaks of love, triumph, failure, imagination, supernatural, travel and just plain life.

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All three members of RRB come from musical backgrounds and have been performing since they were children, including being involved in teenage rock bands. Like many others before them, it all started with just listening to and falling in love with music, coming to a realization that it is what you want to do forever, no matter what. The band puts a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making music and recording it, but especially love playing live shows. Being a three-piece band, their live sound is pretty stripped down but is full of sound and passion.

The trio is currently in the middle of recording their first full length album, slated to be out this winter. The very tight and consistent band plays, on average, about two times per month. “Every show we play is awesome and fun in it’s own way, but we have had a few exceptionally fun shows,” said Brewer. “One of which was a show we played at Indy’s Jukebox a little over a year ago. Unfortunately, the show got a late start and we got bumped to playing last. By the time we went on, it was like 1:30 or 2:00 am and there was no one there except the sound guy, bartenders and one of the other bands. It was just one of those shows where nothing seemed to be going right, so we were all pretty frustrated. Naturally, we took it out on the stage! We turned everything up really loud, put a lot of fuzz on guitar and bass, played really fast and just punked out the show!”

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Rugged Russian Bear has some tight ties with other local bands in Indianapolis and sings their praises. Right now, they are digging Caleb McCoach and SM Wolf. “Caleb McCoach’s album Songs From an Empty Shore is inspiring, but when he mixes it up with a full band at one of his live shows, it really brings them to life. SM Wolf’s stuff is some of the best music being made in Indy right now. Also, have to give a shout out to The Bonesetters. We have been good friends with these guys for a long time, and they are some hard-working dudes!”

Some of the bands that RRB is looking forward to seeing at ORANJE 2013 include Shimmercore, Indian City Weather, Rusty Redenbacher and The Bearded Lucys. “There are some really great acts playing this year; local music can’t thrive without your support! It’s such a great atmosphere, a real festival crammed into one day without all the expensive travel.”

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So where does the band see themselves going in the future? “Getting this album that we are working on finished, mastered and out to the public is a major, major goal right now. Long term? Is Rock Stardom too much to ask?”

Keep up with Rugged Russian Bear on Facebook, Twitter and their website!