Saturday, April 7, @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 21+, $5, 8 p.m.
The second Hip-Hop & Rock Spectacular—a showcase cross-pollinating local rappers with local rockers—happens Saturday at the Avenue Café. The inaugural 2017 Spectacular, which raised $1,000 for the Reo Town Sessions-operated #ProjectArtMatters, benefits Lansing high school seniors who need assistance in continuing their arts education. This year, the goal is $1,500. “The mission,” said organizer Jeffrey Gower, “is to bring groups of people together to recognize Lansing’s musical diversity, while supporting the arts.” Performers include Jahshua Smith, Sareem Poems, Ghost Bunnies, Narc Out the Reds and The Stick Arounds. Pop-up shops from LNSNG and The Record Lounge will also be on-site. “There are several vibrant scenes in Lansing, often they are isolated,” said Gower, who is also a member of the Stick Arounds. “But when they come together, we can do great things for the community.”
Friday, April 6, @ The Robin Theatre, 1105 S. Washington Ave., Lansing. All ages, $18, $15 members, 7:30 p.m.
Written by Si Kahn, and performed by folk musician Sue Massek, “Precious Memories” is a one-woman musical centered on the songs of Sarah Ogan Gunning, a labor organizer and musician who went on to befriend Woody Guthrie and perform at 1964’s Newport Folk Festival. Before Gunning’s death in 1983, she spent nearly two decades living in Hart, Michigan. Friday, her story — told through a blend of Americana and theatre — will be told at the Robin Theatre via the Ten Pound Fiddle concert series. Massek’s Appalachia-tinged voice and galloping clawhammer-banjo transports listeners back to Gunning’s birthplace, an Eastern Kentucky coal camp circa 1932. Massek, a co-founder of the Kentucky-based Reel World String Band, learned banjo decades ago from old-time players in West Virginia and Kentucky after she hitchhiked from her home state of Kansas. Today, she celebrates her 50-year career as a traveling performer.
Thursday, April 5, @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 18+, $5 ,9 p.m. (Photo by Tyler M. Smith)
Since 2014, the Lansing-based ska-punk outfit Whoopi Goldblum has gigged across mid-Michigan, and also released a couple albums. In the fall of 2014, the band debuted with “Torture Land” and then two years later issued its sophomore LP, “Cardboard: The Album.” Both records are streamed for free at whoopigoldblum. bandcamp.com. The band comprises bassist/vocalist Travis Thompson, Matt Carr (guitar/vocals), Jason Roedel (guitar), Ted Foltz (trumpet) and drummer Adam Phelps. Thursday, the band plays the Punk Rock Pizza Party at Mac’s Bar. The event delivers not only pizza, but also five bands for $5. Sharing the stage are New Architects, the Bloody Lips, Disappointed Dad and Foxhole. Last week, Whoopi Goldblum announced via Facebook that it’s taking a break from live shows to concentrate on life matters and completing a record, so this may be their last gig for the near future.