'90s Alt-Rockers at Uli's

Caroline’s Spine, who saw national success with Hollywood Records back in the mid-‘90s, plays Thursday at Uli’s Haus of Rock. Opening the show are modern-rockers Adalene and the acoustic-rock sounds of Surviving Justin.
Caroline’s Spine, led by lead singer/songwriter Jimmy Newquist, toured throughout the ‘90s, putting out singles like “The Light Inside” and “Sullivan” and sharing the bills with alt-bands like Catherine Wheel and Better Than Ezra, as well as legends like KISS and Aerosmith. Around that same time a couple of the band’s tunes landed on the soundtracks of the 1997 chiller “An American Werewolf in Paris” and James Van Der Beek´s 1999 hit “Varsity Blues.”  The alt-rock band’s 1997 major-label debut, “Monsoon,” was followed by “Attention Please” a couple of years later. Although the band left Hollywood Records in 2000, Caroline´s Spine has been keeping busy: In 2007 the band dropped the “Captured” LP, then “Work It Out” followed in 2008. Caroline’s Spine’s latest disc, “Do U Remember When,” was released last year on the 7th Kid label. 

Thursday, May 17@ Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., Lansing, 18 and over, $5, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Indie-Rocky at Mac's   

Rocky Votolato, a Seattle-based singer/songwriter, brings his stripped-down folk to Mac’s Bar on Friday, along with openers Jeff Pianki and Kevin Long. Votolato grew up on a horse farm in a small Texas town where he listened to Willie Nelson and Steve Earle, who would later influence some of his country-tinged songs. As a teen, he moved to Seattle and formed the indie band Waxwing in 1996. Starting around 1999, Votolato began hashing out his own tunes in a similar style to Elliot Smith. Since then he’s released a handful of solo records and toured with the likes of Lucero. His latest album, “Television of Saints,” was released in April and features 10 poppy alt-country songs. It can be heard at, or you can buy a copy at the Mac’s show.

Friday, May 18 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages. $12 advance, $14 door, 8 p.m.

Neon Trees light up the Loft

The poppy dance-rock outfit Neon Trees has been making national waves since its single “Animal” hit No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the album “Habits” climbed to No. 1 on the Heatseekers chart in 2010. The band plays an all-ages show Tuesday at The Loft, where it’ll be promoting “Picture Show,” its latest album on Mercury Records. The Provo, Utah-based band started to gain steam back in 2008 after opening some shows for The Killers. Neon Trees features vocalist/keyboardist Tyler Glenn, guitarist Chris Allen, bassist Branden Campbell and drummer/vocalist Elaine Bradley, who met while attending school in California; soon afterward, the band began developing its pop-rock/new-wave sound that sometimes heads into power-pop territory. Opening the Loft show, which is hosted by 94.1-FM The Edge, are Twin Atlantic (indie rock from the United Kingdom) and The Active Set (Los Angeles alt-rock).

Tuesday, May 22 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $15 advance, $18 doors, 7 p.m.

He is we plays the Loft

Playing a stripped-down brand of acoustic-driven pop, He is We has managed to gain national notoriety after signing with Universal Motown Records in early 2010 and releasing the “My Forever” LP. On May 23, the pop duo plays The Loft along with Deas Vail (Arkansas-based indie-pop), Windsor Drive (Wisconsin-based dream pop) and South Jordan (Nashville-based pop rock). He Is We is made up of Trevor Kelly (who writes the music) and Rachel Taylor (pens the lyrics), who met while working at Ted Brown Music Co. in Tacoma. 

Wednesday, May 23 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $15 advance, $18 doors, 7 p.m.

Downplay at Uli´s

On May 24, Uli’s is bringing another hard-rockin’ band, Downplay. Some may remember Downplay as the opener for Theory of a Deadman at last year’s Common Ground Festival. Warming up the stage are Concordia, Crashing Broadway and Siren for the Carrier. Downplay has toured with bands like Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle, 10 Years and Sevendust. Last year, the band recorded with producer Dave Fortman (who also worked with Evanescence, Slipknot, Mudvayne, Godsmack). Downplay released its fourth record, “Beyond the Machine,” late last year, and recently finished another EP that´s set to be released in June.  

Thursday, May 24 @ Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Blvd, Lansing, 18 and over, $5, 8:30 p.m.