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16 Reasons Your Band Probably Shouldn't Go to Indianapolis (Even Though They Really Wish You Would)

If you hadn't guessed, I live in Indianapolis. Bands don't come to Indianapolis. Instead, they circle the drain, making a circuitous route from Illinois to Iowa, Iowa to Kentucky, Kentucky to Ohio, Ohio to New York. Death Cab for Cutie did it. The Decemberists did it. Wilco did it. It almost constitutes an indie rock rite of passage these days. In the rare case that a band actually ventures into Indiana, they invariably head to Bloomington, a college town more than an hour and a half away from the capitol. The following are sixteen explanations and arguments for why everybody should and does stay the hell away from this city.

1. Take your pick: Get brutally gang-raped on an absurdly small, undefended stage by your over-enthusiastic fans at the Emerson, play an in-store at Luna and watch impotently as one third of your audience promotes their own shows to the other two thirds, or play the Vogue and try to look surprised when nobody shows up because none of them can get in, as the aforementioned over-enthusiastic fans are barely old enough to rape you, let alone drink.

2. Desperate disabled people pathetically lunging at anything even vaguely resembling a bus (including your van) thanks to our public transit authorities fucking them up the half-paralyzed ass.

3. Our Democrats are at least three times as Republican as John McCain, and more than seven times as likely to claim to be from Chicago anyway.

4. You could play Chicago twice instead.

5. Hell, even Castle Oldchair won't come here. The guy lives two fucking towns away. That can't be a good sign.

6. One out of ten people is a juggalo or juggalette.

7. Chris Roe hated the place so much he left his wife and daughter to get out, only to spend the rest of his career bitching about how much he hated leaving them. But you'll notice he doesn't come back.

8. Half of The Shins once spent ten minutes trying to figure out, with their entire (miniscule) audience's help, how to play a venue here that people could actually come to/fit inside. When it became clear that no one had any idea how to accomplish this, they launched into an acoustic version of "Lola Stars and stripes" and never looked back.

9. Our entire population is on Face the Jury.

10. Every teenage girl in town will immediately claim you tried to seduce her, no matter how skanky she is, thus severely lowering your sexual street cred. That, or the rumors are true and Pete Yorn has gotten really desperate.

11. Project Bottlecap would probably try to open for you.

12. I'm not even completely convinced Sufjan Stevens will tour Indiana when he gets around to recording the Indiana tribute album. I'm not sure we'll be on map in the liner notes. It's possible he won't even record a tribute to Indiana in the first place. That would be just our kind of luck.

13. Instead of hip hop dance-offs culminating in massive orgies of popping and/or locking, our hardcore ghetto gangsters have euchre tournaments.

14. Our radio stations are still playing "When Lightning Crashes" pretty regularly.

15. Anyone coming to a show from outside the city will invariably end up associating your band with the guy who wouldn't stop grinding his ass into her belly, or who knocked over the porta-potty while she was in it, or who threw a beer can at the back of her head in the middle of a mosh pit, or who whipped her across the back with his skateboard, or who blatantly groped her right then and there, quite possibly for ten or fifteen minutes. All true stories. All ridiculously common true stories.

16. We switch time zones every six months. No fucking joke. It's crazy. Not much to do with the practical concerns of a band, but, you know, come on. You can't encourage that shit. It's just wrong.

(Indiana-lovers, send your complaints to)-- Mike Meginnis

Think you're some sort of clever boots? Why not send us your damn list? Come up with a creative topic and make certain to include artist, title, and label information. If we use your list, we'll send you some sort of prize...most likely a Splendid t-shirt. Or not, if you'd rather we don't.

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