Against Me! at the Loft
Tuesday, June 21 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $25/$22 adv., 7 p.m.
In 1997, Against Me! started as a Billy Bragg-influenced solo project by Laura Jane Grace. By 2001, it had evolved into a dynamic punk-rock outfit. The Florida-based band’s breakthrough record, 2002’s “Reinventing Axl Rose,” is a hybrid of punk and Americana. All Music Guide praised the disc for its “socially conscious and impassioned anthems.” Since then, Against Me! has released a string of albums on various labels, including Fat Wreck Chords, Sire and Universal. In 2012, Grace gained international headlines when she came out as transgender. The group’s “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” LP, released in 2014, garnered critical acclaim and commercial success. The band’s seventh album is slated for a September release. Tuesday, the band headlines the Loft; opening the all-ages show are Fea and Tim Barry.
Ben Bedford Concerts in the Courtyard
Thursday, June 16 @ Concerts in the Courtyard (Old Town General Store), 408 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing. All ages, $15/$9 students, 7:30 p.m.
Illinois-based Americana singer/songwriter Ben Bedford kicks off this year’s Concerts in the Courtyard series. The intimate live-performance series is held in the flower-lined courtyard behind the Old Town General Store. A portion of the proceeds benefit Music is the Foundation, which supports music education in mid-Michigan schools and communities. Bedford’s storytelling style of songwriting draws influences from a wide range of artists, including Townes Van Zandt, Patty Griffin, Vladimir Horowitz and Thelonious Monk. Over the past decade, Bedford has released a string of solid records, including his most recent, “The Pilot and the Flying Machine,” which came out earlier this year. Bedford successfully raised over $20,000 via Kickstarter to fund its release. Bedford has toured all over the country, including big shows at The Bluebird Café in Nashville and the Fayetteville Roots Festival.
Bear Creek Brothers at Mac's Bar
Sunday, June 19 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $10, 5 p.m.
The Bear Creek Brothers formed in Lansing in early 2014. Within a year, the band had released a debut EP and were packing clubs across Michigan. After building some local buzz, the contemporary-country band relocated last year to Nashville. The band is working on songs for a forthcoming record, tentatively due out later this year. Sunday, the band plays a homecoming show at Mac’s Bar; opening is Shelby Ann-Marie. The Bear Creek Brothers’ founders, songwriters Dylan Wright and Kevin Vermillion, describe the band’s sound as having the “grit of a country with the growl of good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.” The group’s energetic live performances have earned opening slots for big names, including the Band Perry and Parmalee. On July 14, the band performs for the Faster Horses festival kick-off party at Michigan International Speedway.