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Sep 19, 2010

This week kicks off another set of "... Returns" shows, which I've previously mentioned are a lot of fun for me, not only because I get to hang out with old friends, but also I get a more-relaxed interview that delves into more tangential topics than the standard fare of "How did the band form?" and "What is your songwriting process like?" Finer is no exception. This time, Stacy and Ethan, who were a great interview the first time around, brought along the rest of the band. It quickly becomes obvious in talking to them that this lineup has solidified into a tight-knit group that you would swear -- based on the wisecracks and plethora of great stories told both on and off mic -- have been playing together for years, rather than a mere 10-11 months. In addition, they generously share tracks from their new CD, Never Gone, which showcase a slightly more-refined style and direction from what we've previously heard. It's fair to say that this great new sound owes just as much to the new instrumentation as it does the quality of players in this band.

I think the lesson learned, and most unique thing about Finer as a band, is the amount of networking and support this band does for the Indianapolis Music scene. In addition to forging great relationships with local businesses and venues, Finer is one band that is always encouraging and supportive of both established and up-and-coming bands in the area. Though the band initially formed in L.A., where fierce competitiveness with other local acts is the norm, I frequently bump into Stacy and Ethan at other bands' shows, and they are always telling me about a great act they had seen the week before (or in the case of The Post Script, recommending groups to be on Indy In-Tune). In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of any band that they haven't been enthusiastically supportive of, or had anything other that praise for. This positive energy carries over into their live performances and back out to the audience, as evidenced in their first-round victory in the Battle of Birdy's where, though they admittedly didn't bring a large crowd of their own, they won over an audience that was not necessarily familiar with them. In fact, it is reported that in one instance, they even captured the #1 vote from a rival player, who ranked them above his own band on the ballot. Now that's a great indicator that you're doing something right.

Links referenced in the show: