give me more of this: oranje 2011

There is some underground arts scene in Indy that I’m not cool enough to be a part of, but once a year the scene surfaces at an event called Oranje.

Last year, having just moved to Indy and desperate for culture, my friend and I discovered and proceeded to follow DJ Gabby Love (who did this amazing mix of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and Martin Solveig/Dragonette’s Hello) and Whitney Coleman (listen to: Free Love) wherever they were performing.

In addition to music, Oranje also features local artists and all their talents. Last year, we had a great time. Hosted in a warehouse, surrounded by art and music, Hoosiers pulled out all the fashion stops as well. I saw more good-looking and well dressed people in that one night than I think I saw the entirety of the following year in Indianapolis. It was energizing and refreshing and you didn’t feel so far from the vibrance of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc. So you can understand why we were so excited to go back this year. We were counting down the entire year for Oranje 2012.

Last night was Oranje 2012 and well… it was okay. This year it was held at the state fair grounds and maybe there were more artists than last year, but it certainly didn’t feel that way. There are large spaces between each exhibit. It felt more commercial than it did last year and that’s a shame because it felt so raw last year. I don’t remember if there were food trucks last year and though I don’t have the highest opinion of food trucks in Indy, I would have appreciated a variety of food options instead of: pulled pork, garlic fries and fish tacos, only one of which I can eat.

Awesome Style Konnection’s Water

So there were no food trucks. There were also no naked ladies. Last year, there were these girls walking around in body paint. Body paint so elaborate they could have been wearing clothes and you wouldn’t have known the difference. And even though you want to keep things fresh – there was no DJ Gabby or Whitney Coleman. We did find a few things that we did like: the Awesome Style Konnection, Mina and the Wondrous Flying Machine, and DJ Shy Guy Says.

The Awesome Style Konnection (A.S.K) had this amazing hip hop set inspired by the elements: water, fire, air, metal, earth. Take a peek at fire:

You can view a Water video here. I’m hoping that A.S.K has hip hop classes somewhere in the city. That would be fun.

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