Mighty Uke Day Old Town
Friday, May 13-Sunday, May 15 @ Old Town, Lansing. Schedule and prices at mightyukeday.com.
Returning for its sixth year, Mighty Uke Day celebrates the ukulele with performances, workshops, open mics, children's activities, jam sessions and more. This year’s performers include the Kansas Citybased duo Victor & Penny, among others.
“What I'm most excited about is our focus on Hawaiian culture on Saturday,” said festival organizer Ben Hassenger. “Chris Ka- maka is flying in from Hawaii to celebrate the 100th birthday of Kamaka Ukulele and young Hawaiian musician Kalei Gamiao performs. We'll even have hula dancers.” Attendees at last weekend’s Arts Night Out may have seen what is possibly the world’s largest playable ukulele in the back of a flatbed pickup truck parked near Sir Pizza Grand Café. The giant uke, which was constructed by Larry Stump of Dimondale, will return to Old Town for Mighty Uke Day. As for the festival’s location, it’s scattered throughout Old Town. “I like holding it at various spots. Our attendees walk from place to place and get to check out and shop at all the cool little stores and galleries and have a variety of choices for lunch and dinner.” Hassenger, a local ukulele teacher and performer, first picked up the ukulele seven years ago. Within a year, he started the Lansing Area Ukulele Group. “I've become Michigan's ambassador of the ukulele, spreading the joy and aloha sprit of this diminutive, yet dynamic, instrument,” he said. But the weekend, which last year drew 300-400 attendees from across the Midwest and Canada, isn’t just for uke enthusiasts. “It's a great time for families and anyone who enjoys music,” Hassenger said. “Many of our workshops and activities are free, so it doesn't cost anything to come and see what it's all about."
Wild Throne at Mac's Bar
Wednesday, May 18 @ Mac’s Bar, 2600 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $10/$8 adv., 7 p.m.
Hailing from Bellingham, Wash., heavy metal trio Wild Throne headlines Wednesday at Mac’s Bar. The band’s eclectic sound mixes over-the-top metal vocals with classic guitar riffs and elements of progressive rock, math rock and hints of psychedelia. Opening the show are the Jackpine Snag and Tempest. Wild Throne is on the road promoting its debut full-length LP on Roadrunner Records, “Harvest of Darkness.” The new record was produced by Ross Robinson, whose resume includes engineering work with At the Drive-In, the Cure, and the Blood Brothers. Joshua Holland (vocals/guitar) said the title track is “about hanging on to negativity and resentment and then answering to the consequences of doing so down the line.” Fans of Mastodon, the Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age or Judas Priest might want to check out this show.