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Friday Mar 24

An Evening With Sunny War

$15 - $17
LO-FI Lounge
Indianapolis, IN
Mar 24
Friday
6:30 PM
Doors Open

More about this event

Learn More About This Show
Add to Calendar 03/24/2023 07:30 PM03/24/2023 09:00 PMAn Evening With Sunny WarMore Information: https://mokbpresents.com/event/an-evening-with-sunny-war/LO-FI Lounge
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ARTIST PROFILE | Sunny War

Americana/Folk

“I feel like there are two sides of me,” says the Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso known as Sunny War. “One of them is very self-destructive, and the other is trying to work with that other half to keep things balanced.” That’s the central conflict on her fourth album, the eclectic and innovative Anarchist Gospel, which documents a time when it looked like the self-destructive side might win out. “Everybody is a beast just trying their hardest to be good. That’s what it is to be human. You’re not really good or bad. You’re just trying to stay in the middle of those two things all the time, and you’re probably doing a shitty job of it. That’s okay, because we’re all just monsters.”

Extreme emotions can make that battle all the more perilous, yet from such trials Sunny has crafted a set of songs that draw on a range of ideas and styles, as though she’s marshaling all her forces to get her ideas across: ecstatic gospel, dusty country blues, thoughtful folk, rip-roaring rock and roll, even avant garde studio experiments (like the collage of voices that closes “Shelter and Storm”). She melds them together into a powerful statement of survival, revealing a probing songwriter who indulges no comforting platitudes and a highly innovative guitarist who deploys spidery riffs throughout every song.

It's a style she’s been honing for most of her life, at least since she took her first guitar lessons and fell in love with music. “When I was a kid, I was obsessed with AC/DC, and I loved dramatic ‘80s guitar bands like Motley Crüe. Later, I was obsessed with Bad Brains, the Minutemen, and X.” True to the punk ethos, her first punk band, the Anus Kings, made music with whatever they had at hand, and what they had at hand were acoustic guitars. That made them stand out among other Los Angeles groups at the time, and today Sunny is the rare roots artist who covers Ween and can drop a Crass reference into a song (as she does on “Whole”). “I don’t really make music with a traditional roots audience in mind. I like weird music, outsider music, like Daniel Johnston and Roky Erickson.”

Even as she was developing a guitar style that married acoustic punk to country blues, those two sides of Sunny were already at odds. As a teenager, she began drinking heavily, which led to her dropping out of school. She played punk shows, stole and chugged bottles of vodka, and quickly became addicted to heroin and meth. For money she busked along the boardwalks in Venice Beach, recording an album to sell out of her guitar case and letting that self-destructive side win most of the battles. But “the body can’t handle both heroin and meth,” she explains. “When you’re young, it’s hard to gauge that you’re killing yourself.” A series of seizures landed her in a sober living facility in Compton, so emaciated that she could only wear children’s pajamas.

Music remained a lifeline, and she fell in with a crew at Hen House Studios in Venice, where over the years she made a series of albums and EPs, including 2018’s With the Sun and 2021’s Simple Syrup. Twelve years after she kicked meth and heroin, Sunny is remarkably candid about this time in her life. “Everyone I loved died before they reached 25. They OD’ed or killed themselves. We were just kids who didn’t have anyone looking out for us. You’re not supposed to know so much about death at such a young age. Maybe that’s why I write a lot about not taking shit for granted, because it always feels like something’s about to happen.”

Building on those hard-won triumphs of previous albums, Anarchist Gospel documents a moment when Sunny had finally gained the upper hand on her self-destructive side, only to watch that stability crumble. “I went through a breakup,” she says of the album’s genesis, “and I was still staying in the apartment that my partner and I had lived in. I had to finish the lease. I was really depressed and drinking a lot. I felt so isolated from everybody I knew. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. It felt like the world was ending. Then I got Covid.” Sunny admits she contemplated suicide, but instead she wrote a song, “I Got No Fight,” a muted, measured gospel number on which she sings that title like a battered mantra. It’s a moment of almost unbearable honesty, although fortunately she did find the fight in herself. “I was just having a tantrum really. A lot of my songs are just tantrums. But I did feel better after writing it.”

Once her lease in Los Angeles ended, Sunny moved to Nashville, where she was born and where she lived until she was twelve years old. Among the items she packed were demos for several new songs of heartache and hard-won hope. “I think the album is split between being a breakup album and being somehow uplifting.” She booked sessions at the Bomb Shelter to work with producer Andrija Tokic (Hurray for the Riff Raff, Alabama Shakes, the Deslondes). “I already liked a lot of the records that Andrija had made. As far as new stuff goes, a lot of my favorite albums were produced by him, so I thought we’d be a good match.”

Working with a small backing band, they captured a raw energy in these songs, although one instrument gradually dominated the music as they proceeded: her own voice and the voices of others trying to stay between good and bad. Most of these songs are call-and-responses with a small choir that includes Allison Russell, Jim James, Dave Rawlings, and Chris Pierce (her partner in the duo War & Pierce). Acting as the angels and devils on her shoulders, they alternately challenge her self-accusations or sympathize with her worries. “There’s so much singing on here. I didn’t plan for that, but I really like it. That’s why I thought it would be cool to call the album Anarchist Gospel, because of the choirs on these songs.”

Music assuaged her heartache and confusion, even the songs she didn’t write. Despite its title, her reimagining of Dionne Farris’s “Hopeless” is perhaps the album’s most hopeful moment: “I cried just a little too long,” she sings. “Now it’s time for me to move on.” On the sadder end of the spectrum is her cover of Ween’s “Baby Bitch”; showcasing her sly sense of humor, it’s a playfully melancholy kiss-off that features a choir of kids singing along as she tells an ex, “I’m better now, please fuck off.” It’s funny, but uneasily so: a joke that reveals something bleaker. “It’s such a great breakup song! You’re out there somewhere and run into your ex with their new partner. But you know who they really are. You know they’re being a bitch. There aren’t many songs that get to that kind of experience without turning it into a joke.”

As the sessions wound down and the mixing process started, Sunny got the worst news imaginable. “My brother called me and told me I should come to Chattanooga. My dad was in the hospital, and he wasn’t going to make it. I called Andrija and told him I had to cancel the session and catch a Greyhound. Instead, he insisted on giving me a ride. He drove me down to see my dad. I barely knew this guy, and he was doing this incredible thing for me. I don’t know too many other producers who could navigate that kind of situation.” That simple act of kindness helped her endure that astounding loss, even as the grieving process threw these songs into even sharper relief.

Because it promises not healing but resilience and perseverance, because it doesn’t take shit for granted, Anarchist Gospel holds up under such intense emotional pressure, acknowledging the pain of living while searching for something that lies just beyond ourselves, some sense of balance between the bad and the good. “This album represents such a crazy period in my life, between the breakup and the move to Nashville and my dad dying. But now I feel like the worst parts are over. What I learned, I think, is that the best thing to do is just to feel everything and deal with it. Just feel everything.”

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Supporting Acts

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About LO-FI Lounge | Indianapolis, IN

LO-FI Lounge is a unique art space, gallery, and special events venue located on the 2nd Floor of the Murphy Arts Center in historic Fountain Square. Looking for that off-the-beaten-path, hidden gem? With a capacity for up to 100 guests, LO-FI Lounge is the most intimate of our three venues. Shows and events at LO-FI are only open to guests 21 years of age or older. Find the venue for first time guests can be a challenge, but it’s also part of the experience. Guests can access the 2nd floor of the building via the main entrance (glass doors) on the corner of Virginia Ave next to La Margarita’s patio, and off Prospect St. across from the bank parking lot.

Box Office: 317-986-7101
Main: 317-986-7101

Getting Around the Venue

1043 Virginia Ave #215,
Indianapolis, IN 46203
Hours: Mon. thru Fri. 10am to 6pm
Doors: 1 hour prior to published door times

Frequently Asked Questions About LO-FI Lounge | Indianapolis, IN

What are the age restrictions at this venue?

LO-FI Lounge shows are always 21+. We apologize to our underage guests and are working to get this changed.

LO-FI requires a valid ID for admission for all guests. Only valid state or government issues ID’s are permitted. Expired and temporary ID’s are not accepted.

Can I upgrade my to VIP seating?

No. Due to the intimate nature of the venue, LO-FI Lounge does not offer any seating upgrades.

What items are permitted or prohibited at this venue?

At our venues, we strive to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests. While specific rules may vary slightly depending on the event location, the following list generally applies across all venues.

Any illegal items found will be confiscated immediately. Guests discovered with prohibited items inside the venue may face ejection, and those attempting to enter with such items may be denied entry.

We appreciate your cooperation in adhering to these guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment during our events.

Permitted Items include:

  • Small Purse / Fanny Pack – subject to security inspection
  • To-go food from local restaurants
  • A warm heart & smiles

Non-Permitted Items include:

  • No outside beverages
  • No weapons of any kind
  • No drugs or illegal substances
  • No coolers
  • No glass
  • No smoking or vaping in venue, designated smoking area outside venue
  • No backpacks
  • No pets
  • No bad attitudes

The venue reserved the right to deny any item, or guest, should they feel that it poses a security threat to the event.

Can I bring a bag into the show?

Yes! You’re welcome to bring personal purse, fanny pack or handbag so long as it does not exceed 14” x 14” in size. No backpacks are permitted at any time.

What’s the parking situation like?

Parking in Fountain Square can be difficult at times and we highly recommend you carpool, Uber, Lyft, or use public transportation when attending an event. Street and parking is available along Woodlawn Ave, Virginia Ave, and Prospect St. Bicycle parking is available in front of HI-FI on Virginia Ave and neighboring streets. Do not park in the Wine Market parking lot.

What is the camera/photo policy for this venue?

Our photo policy varies for each event and is at the discretion of the artist performing that night. This policy can change from night to night.

As a general guideline, we typically do not permit professional photography unless it has been pre-approved by either HI-FI or the Artist Management.

For approved photographers, you’re welcome to snap photos during the first three songs of the performance. However, please refrain from using flash.

Media personnel and professional photographers interested in covering our events can reach out to us at  to request media credentials.

Is there food and drink at this venue?

Yes, LO-FI Lounge offers a full service bar offering beer, wine and spirits along a small selection of snacks.

View seating maps for this venue

LO-FI is a general admission, standing venue. Guests who arrive early may be lucky enough to grab one of the few cocktail tables.

Can I leave and re-enter the venue?

No. Re-entry is only permitted for use of the restroom facilities.

Do you offer ADA, handicap or special needs options?

The Murphy Arts Center is a handicap accessible building. The elevator is located inside the main entrance near the intersection of Virginia Ave. and Woodlawn Ave. Once you have arrived at the 2nd floor the accessibility continues through the corridor to the LO-FI Lounge. There is no designated ADA seating area at LO-FI. Guests with any special needs or questions should reach out to our box office at boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Where is the box office located?

On the night of the show, tickets can be purchased at the door.

Through the week, guest stay purchase tickets at at any of our box office locations which include:

  • Virginia Ave Mercantile 1043 Virginia Ave – Suite 2 – Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m – 6 p.m.
  • HI-FI Box Office 1043 Virginia Ave. – Suite 4 – Open on all HI-FI show nights – See show listings for times
  • HI-FI Annex Box Office (located behind the Murphy Arts Center) – Open on all HI-FI Annex show nights – See show listings for times

I lost something at the show. Who do I contact?

To inquire about lost items including credit cards, clothing, phones, wallets, etc, contact marketing@hifiindy.com. Recovered items are available for pickup in our office (Suite 2) Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

What is your refund policy?

If a show is postponed, ticket holders will be notified of the change via email, and no other action is needed if you would like to keep your tickets. LO-FI will work to find a new date for the show and provide updates as they become available. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled date, refunds will be offered at point of purchase for 30 days following the rescheduled date. If you paid with cash at the box office for your tickets, you will need to contact boxoffice@hifiindy.com for further instructions to process your refund.

Tickets purchased online will be automatically refunded in the event of a cancelled show. Please allow 3-5 business days for the refund to post to your bank. No action is required and you should only need to contact the box office if you 1.) paid cash at our box office, 2.) have received a new/different card than the one you originally purchased with, or 3.) if you do not see the refund in your account after 5 business days.

Beware of counterfeit tickets. How do I tell if my ticket is valid?

All buyers should be aware when purchasing tickets through non-authorized sites and ticket resellers. There have been multiple instances of fans being taken advantage of on Facebook, Craig’s List, StubHubk Vivid Seats and other third party broker websites. LO-FI is only required to honor valid tickets issued from our authorized ticket providers with are: Tixr and See Tickets. In the event a show sells out, you can join the waitlist via the official event listing on our website, which will notify you if any tickets become available. When in doubt, you can always reach out to our box office at boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Can I purchase tickets in person without fees?

You may purchase tickets at any of our box office locations, during the specified hours, with no services charges.

  • Virginia Ave Mercantile 1043 Virginia Ave – Suite 2 – Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m – 6 p.m.
  • HI-FI Box Office 1043 Virginia Ave. – Suite 4 – Open on all HI-FI show nights – See show listings for times
  • HI-FI Annex Box Office (located behind the Murphy Arts Center) – Open on all HI-FI Annex show nights – See show listings for times

Do you have free WI-FI?

Yes. LO-FI offers free WI-FI during all shows. Simply select the HI-FI Free WI-FI network and you are all set.

21+
Mar 24

An Evening With Sunny War

LO-FI Lounge
$15 - $17
Presented By: Upland Brewing Co., MOKB Presents
Doors: 6:30 PM
Start Time: 7:30 pm

Learn More About This Show
Add to Calendar 03/24/2023 07:30 PM03/24/2023 09:00 PMAn Evening With Sunny WarMore Information: https://mokbpresents.com/event/an-evening-with-sunny-war/LO-FI Lounge

Buy Tickets

ARTIST PROFILE | Sunny War

Americana/Folk

“I feel like there are two sides of me,” says the Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso known as Sunny War. “One of them is very self-destructive, and the other is trying to work with that other half to keep things balanced.” That’s the central conflict on her fourth album, the eclectic and innovative Anarchist Gospel, which documents a time when it looked like the self-destructive side might win out. “Everybody is a beast just trying their hardest to be good. That’s what it is to be human. You’re not really good or bad. You’re just trying to stay in the middle of those two things all the time, and you’re probably doing a shitty job of it. That’s okay, because we’re all just monsters.”

Extreme emotions can make that battle all the more perilous, yet from such trials Sunny has crafted a set of songs that draw on a range of ideas and styles, as though she’s marshaling all her forces to get her ideas across: ecstatic gospel, dusty country blues, thoughtful folk, rip-roaring rock and roll, even avant garde studio experiments (like the collage of voices that closes “Shelter and Storm”). She melds them together into a powerful statement of survival, revealing a probing songwriter who indulges no comforting platitudes and a highly innovative guitarist who deploys spidery riffs throughout every song.

It's a style she’s been honing for most of her life, at least since she took her first guitar lessons and fell in love with music. “When I was a kid, I was obsessed with AC/DC, and I loved dramatic ‘80s guitar bands like Motley Crüe. Later, I was obsessed with Bad Brains, the Minutemen, and X.” True to the punk ethos, her first punk band, the Anus Kings, made music with whatever they had at hand, and what they had at hand were acoustic guitars. That made them stand out among other Los Angeles groups at the time, and today Sunny is the rare roots artist who covers Ween and can drop a Crass reference into a song (as she does on “Whole”). “I don’t really make music with a traditional roots audience in mind. I like weird music, outsider music, like Daniel Johnston and Roky Erickson.”

Even as she was developing a guitar style that married acoustic punk to country blues, those two sides of Sunny were already at odds. As a teenager, she began drinking heavily, which led to her dropping out of school. She played punk shows, stole and chugged bottles of vodka, and quickly became addicted to heroin and meth. For money she busked along the boardwalks in Venice Beach, recording an album to sell out of her guitar case and letting that self-destructive side win most of the battles. But “the body can’t handle both heroin and meth,” she explains. “When you’re young, it’s hard to gauge that you’re killing yourself.” A series of seizures landed her in a sober living facility in Compton, so emaciated that she could only wear children’s pajamas.

Music remained a lifeline, and she fell in with a crew at Hen House Studios in Venice, where over the years she made a series of albums and EPs, including 2018’s With the Sun and 2021’s Simple Syrup. Twelve years after she kicked meth and heroin, Sunny is remarkably candid about this time in her life. “Everyone I loved died before they reached 25. They OD’ed or killed themselves. We were just kids who didn’t have anyone looking out for us. You’re not supposed to know so much about death at such a young age. Maybe that’s why I write a lot about not taking shit for granted, because it always feels like something’s about to happen.”

Building on those hard-won triumphs of previous albums, Anarchist Gospel documents a moment when Sunny had finally gained the upper hand on her self-destructive side, only to watch that stability crumble. “I went through a breakup,” she says of the album’s genesis, “and I was still staying in the apartment that my partner and I had lived in. I had to finish the lease. I was really depressed and drinking a lot. I felt so isolated from everybody I knew. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. It felt like the world was ending. Then I got Covid.” Sunny admits she contemplated suicide, but instead she wrote a song, “I Got No Fight,” a muted, measured gospel number on which she sings that title like a battered mantra. It’s a moment of almost unbearable honesty, although fortunately she did find the fight in herself. “I was just having a tantrum really. A lot of my songs are just tantrums. But I did feel better after writing it.”

Once her lease in Los Angeles ended, Sunny moved to Nashville, where she was born and where she lived until she was twelve years old. Among the items she packed were demos for several new songs of heartache and hard-won hope. “I think the album is split between being a breakup album and being somehow uplifting.” She booked sessions at the Bomb Shelter to work with producer Andrija Tokic (Hurray for the Riff Raff, Alabama Shakes, the Deslondes). “I already liked a lot of the records that Andrija had made. As far as new stuff goes, a lot of my favorite albums were produced by him, so I thought we’d be a good match.”

Working with a small backing band, they captured a raw energy in these songs, although one instrument gradually dominated the music as they proceeded: her own voice and the voices of others trying to stay between good and bad. Most of these songs are call-and-responses with a small choir that includes Allison Russell, Jim James, Dave Rawlings, and Chris Pierce (her partner in the duo War & Pierce). Acting as the angels and devils on her shoulders, they alternately challenge her self-accusations or sympathize with her worries. “There’s so much singing on here. I didn’t plan for that, but I really like it. That’s why I thought it would be cool to call the album Anarchist Gospel, because of the choirs on these songs.”

Music assuaged her heartache and confusion, even the songs she didn’t write. Despite its title, her reimagining of Dionne Farris’s “Hopeless” is perhaps the album’s most hopeful moment: “I cried just a little too long,” she sings. “Now it’s time for me to move on.” On the sadder end of the spectrum is her cover of Ween’s “Baby Bitch”; showcasing her sly sense of humor, it’s a playfully melancholy kiss-off that features a choir of kids singing along as she tells an ex, “I’m better now, please fuck off.” It’s funny, but uneasily so: a joke that reveals something bleaker. “It’s such a great breakup song! You’re out there somewhere and run into your ex with their new partner. But you know who they really are. You know they’re being a bitch. There aren’t many songs that get to that kind of experience without turning it into a joke.”

As the sessions wound down and the mixing process started, Sunny got the worst news imaginable. “My brother called me and told me I should come to Chattanooga. My dad was in the hospital, and he wasn’t going to make it. I called Andrija and told him I had to cancel the session and catch a Greyhound. Instead, he insisted on giving me a ride. He drove me down to see my dad. I barely knew this guy, and he was doing this incredible thing for me. I don’t know too many other producers who could navigate that kind of situation.” That simple act of kindness helped her endure that astounding loss, even as the grieving process threw these songs into even sharper relief.

Because it promises not healing but resilience and perseverance, because it doesn’t take shit for granted, Anarchist Gospel holds up under such intense emotional pressure, acknowledging the pain of living while searching for something that lies just beyond ourselves, some sense of balance between the bad and the good. “This album represents such a crazy period in my life, between the breakup and the move to Nashville and my dad dying. But now I feel like the worst parts are over. What I learned, I think, is that the best thing to do is just to feel everything and deal with it. Just feel everything.”

READ MORE >>READ LESS >>
CONNECT:

Supporting Acts

About the Venue

LO-FI Lounge is a unique art space, gallery, and special events venue located on the 2nd Floor of the Murphy Arts Center in historic Fountain Square. Looking for that off-the-beaten-path, hidden gem? With a capacity for up to 100 guests, LO-FI Lounge is the most intimate of our three venues. Shows and events at LO-FI are only open to guests 21 years of age or older. Find the venue for first time guests can be a challenge, but it's also part of the experience. Guests can access the 2nd floor of the building via the main entrance (glass doors) on the corner of Virginia Ave next to La Margarita's patio, and off Prospect St. across from the bank parking lot.
Amenities: Full Bar, 21+, Premium Sound, General Admission, Limited Seating, Street-Level Box Office


Ticket Support: Box Office opens 1 hour before published door time. For ticket related questions please email boxoffice@hifiindy.com.

Parking: Street Parking, Bike Parking
Refund Policy: All tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable unless the show is canceled.  Shows affected by Covid-19 pandemic will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Contact the box office with any questions: boxoffice@hifiindy.com.
1043 Virginia Ave #215 Indianapolis, IN 46203

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