Words » Journalism

Best of the Rest: Oct. 30, 2015

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Sure, we want you to visit Sky Blue Window daily, but we realize stories about incredible events, entertainment and interesting organizations that are transforming Indiana pour out of publications all over this city. So in this space, we bring you the Best of the Rest, a collection of other notable pieces spotlighting arts and entertainment around town.

Check out the list of hot topics from beyond our Sky Blue Window. When you’re finished, stick around to browse some of our stories you might have missed this week. Enjoy!

Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain. - COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
  • Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain.

Distorting art through political filters: Did Mark Twain do a historical injustice to Jim?

By Jay Harvey via Jay Harvey Upstage

Our culture is so fractured these days; it’s nearly impossible to find a ubiquitous subject upon which nearly everyone can relate. Despite this truth, Mark Twain remains. Nearly everyone who has attained a sixth grade reading level has wrestled with the likes of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn or both. As we’ve mentioned time and again in this space, Sky Blue Window does not dabble in criticism. We hope to serve as a gateway to the arts for our readers, instead of a judge of their merit. That being said, we recognize the role criticism plays within our dialogue with the arts.

This week, Jay Harvey takes to task The Nation’s literary critic Ben Ehrehnreich for his critique of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in relation to a new novel from John Keene that imagines Twain’s Jim post-escape from slavery. In Harvey’s opinion, Ehrehnreich’s critique moves beyond an assessment of Twain’s work, to hold the author accountable for his lack of a progressive political statement in defiance of the era in which he wrote.

Beyond any opinions on the books at hand, Harvey does much to spark a debate on the object of artistic criticism itself. The debate calls to mind a previous Sky Blue Window story from Dan Carpenter in response to widespread outcry over Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.

More Like Hello: BYBYE releases new album Saturday at State Street

By Seth Johnson via NUVO

Sky Blue Window contributor Seth Johnson sat down with experimental soul rock group BYBYE ahead of its album release show at State Street Pub for a story in NUVO this week. Johnson explores the group’s origins with its founding members David Wessel and Marty Green, as well as its unorthodox recording style. Green and Wessel have collaborated for decades. Their sound has been bolstered by a trio of veteran, local musicians including Cody Davis on drums (of Bonesetters), Nick Peoni on guitar (of Street Spirits), multi-instrumentalist Sam Shafer (also of Bonesetters) and auxiliary percussion Brandon Basore (with Jessica Albatross/Digital Dots). Visit NUVO for the full scoop ahead of Saturday’s release show. For more on the group, scope a profile I penned for Musical Family Tree last year.

Thoughts on the IRT’s April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream

By Lou Harry via IBJ

IBJ ’s A&E head honcho Lou Harry published a reaction to the latest Indy original at Indianapolis Repertory Theatre. The new play, April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream addresses the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the historic Indy campaign stop of presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy. While Harry finds the occasional flaw in the production, he remains largely positive, describing one scene as “moving, beautifully acted and directed.” Visit IBJ for the full recap. For a look behind the scene at an IRT production, revisit Cathy Kightlinger’s profile on shop manager Guy Clark from last year.

No Exit is ‘quitting theater’

By Emily Taylor via NUVO

It’s always interesting when an artist or collective shifts its focus. For this reason, our own Jennifer Delgadillo spoke with Michael Runge of Know No Stranger about his decision to depart the performance troupe at the height of its game earlier this year. This week, NUVO arts editor Emily Taylor told a similar story about the shift in direction No Exit will take under its new executive director, Lukas Schooler. According to the story, No Exit plans to move beyond a traditional theater model to expand audience expectations of performance art in Indianapolis.

Schooler plans to accomplish this feat by moving No Exit into nontraditional venues with more experimental performances. Head over to NUVO for the scoop, and stay tuned for what’s next from No Exit. For a glimpse into No Exit’s past, revisit Justin Brady’s conversation with the group’s previous executive artistic director Georgeanna Smith.

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