May 5 2009 12:00 AM

Aliens, ogres take Lansing stages


Members of Elliot Street Lunatic may be from a small town, but the band’s new album, “Stories From the Void,” has enormous sounds that are out of this world.

Formed by Laingsburg natives in 2007, the “indie space rock” band’s lyrics mainly focus on situations occurring beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Guitarist and lead vocalist Jason Marr said the album avoids clich love songs. “It’s a very spacey sounding album,” Marr said. “A lot of the album has to do with the themes of being lost in outer space, the end of the world and alienation, with an emphasis on alien.”

Rounding out the lineup is C.J. Kjolhede (drums), Jordan Haha (bass) and Eric Robins (guitar), who all contributed ideas to the new CD. “We all write the songs, even the lyrics,” Kjolhede said. “Everything is pretty much collaborative. We come up with an idea and go from there.”

The 11-song album was recorded at Lansing’s Elm Street Recording by Ryan Wert, who Marr said helped create a psychedelic landscape of sound and vocal harmonies. “We used a lot of delay effects on the guitars and vocals,” Marr said. “We layered reverbs and noises in the background, so it feels like the songs are big.”

For a preview of the new album, tune into the Impact 89 FM on Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m., when Elliot Street is set to perform on the “The Basement,” a show dedicated to local acts.

Elliot Street Lunatic’s “Stories From the Void” CD release show. 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, with Way To Fall, Paradisiac and Night Daze & The Loune. All ages, $8. www.myspace.com/elliotstreetlunaticmusic.

the mid ‘80s, demented subgenres of heavy metal have emerged across the
world. Pioneering bands like Slayer and Morbid Angel inspired
impressionable youth to grow long hair and stencil illegible band logos
on the backs of their jean jackets.

The current Lansing metal
scene has absorbed that devil-horn culture, and a bulk of those area
bands are booked for this weekend’s Ogre Fest. The show is a 19-band
metal-head blowout celebrating its third anniversary at Mac’s Bar on
Saturday. From Noon to 2 a.m., all subgenres of metal bands will take
the stage for 30-minute sets, from death metal and thrash, to the
weirder sounds of Lansing’s Cavalcade. Other highlights include local
favorites Wastelander, Genocya, Satyrasis, Dagon and Sauron.

Peterman, of local thrash band Satyrasis, started Ogre Fest in 2007
with quality control criteria in mind. “I don’t go for a certain genre,
per say,” Peterman said.
“I make sure the bands are talented and bring something to the table. A
lot of festivals tend to book bands that draw well, but just because a
band draws a crowd doesn’t mean they are fun to listen to or play good

While the fest is a showcase for Lansing talent, there
are a few curve balls thrown in. “I’d say it’s about 80 percent local,”
Peterman said. “We have a couple bands from Ohio, a band from Kentucky,
one from New York; it’s a little bit more regional this year.” Peterman
said he hopes Ogre Fest will shed light on the thriving Lansing metal

“I definitely think it’s the most thriving scene in the
state right now,” he said. “We (Satyrasis) have been to bigger towns on
tour that don’t have what Lansing’s got.”

Aside from national attention
for successful tours and glowing reviews from metal Web sites and
blogs, Peterman said Lansing’s success in the metal field starts at

“All the bands know each other, we all play together and we’re
all friends for the most part,” he said. “People are starting to go to
each others’ shows and supporting one another.”

Fest. Noon-2 a.m. Saturday, April 25. Mac’s Bar. Featuring 19 bands,
including Sauron, Satyrasis, Dagon, Wastelander and more. www. myspace.com/ogrefest.