Sept. 19 2012 12:00 AM

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape


The bird is the word at (SCENE)

Breathe Owl Breathe, an East Jordan, Mich. folk group, blends guitar, banjo, cello and vocals into an earthy indie folk sound. The trio’s original songs are subtle and heartfelt, but sometimes come with a touch of humor. The band headlines a night of indie-folk Friday at (SCENE) Metrospace. Local support for the show is Gifts or Creatures, a husband and wife Americana duo made up of Brandon John and Bethany Foote, who sing about Midwestern folklore and old world history. Breath Owl Breathe is made up of singer/guitarist Micah Middaugh, drummer Trevor Hobbs, and Andréa Moreno-Beals on cello. The group recently toured nationally with French musician Yann Tiersen (known for his work on the “Amelie” soundtrack). Breathe Owl Breathe is currently touring in support of its latest release, a children’s book/7-in. vinyl single titled “The Listeners/These Train Tracks.”

Friday, Sept. 21 @ (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing, all ages, $12, doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m.

Woody Guthrie revisited

The iconic folk songwriter who inspired Bob Dylan to pick up a guitar will be honored in song Friday at the Ten Pound Fiddle. The event features local veteran musicians playing their favorite Guthrie tunes. Taking the stage is Jen Sygit, Joshua Davis (of Steppin’ In It), Drew Howard and Jim Hall & Cindy Morgan. This show is to celebrate the year of what would have been Guthrie’s 100th birthday. Ten Pound Fiddle organizers will have cake and a giant card for attendees to sign, which will be sent to Guthrie’s daughter, Nora. Guthrie, who was known for having “This Machine Kills Fascists” displayed on his acoustic guitar, wrote his best-known song, “This Land Is Your Land,” in 1940. He died at age 55 in 1967 from Huntington´s disease.

Friday, Sept. 21 @ Ten Pound Fiddle – Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove Street East Lansing, all ages. Box office at 7 p.m., doors 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $15 public, $12 Fiddle members, $5 students.

Mutemath stops at The Loft

Mutemath is an alt-rock band from New Orleans that’s been kicking out melodic indie tunes since 2003. This Saturday, the Warner Bros.-signed band plays The Loft with openers Paper Route, a Nashville-based electro-pop band. The group, which just wrapped up some dates opening for Linkin Park, is led by 36-year old vocalist and keyboardist Paul Meany, who penned some of the band’s biggest hits like “Blood Pressure” and “Typical.” Before Meany’s work in Mutemath, he was a member of Earthsuit, a now defunct Christian rock band. In 2007 Mutemath was nominated for a Grammy Award for its “Typical” music video. That same year the band landed an opening slot on Alanis Morissette and Matchbox Twenty’s “Exile In America Tour.” Since then the band has kept busy releasing an EP, live album and a couple full lengths including 2011’s “Odd Soul” LP, which touched on new areas like blues and funk riffs.

Saturday, Sept. 22 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $20 advance, $23 at door, doors 7 p.m.

Rusted Root kicks out the jam

Although Rusted Root formed in 1990, the Pittsburgh-based jam band didn’t begin receiving national attention until its second album, 1994’s “When I Woke.” The band is known for merging acoustic, rock, and a variety of world music genres, like African, Latin American, and Native American styles. Over the last two decades, the band has developed a large following, mainly from its energetic live shows, and sold over 3 million records across the globe. Sunday the band plays The Loft along with openers Lucy Stone (indie-folk from Philadelphia) and Covert (Flint-based funky jam rock). This year is the 20th anniversary of Rusted Root’s first album, and also marks the release of “Movement,” its seventh studio album which has an October 30 release date.

Sunday, Sept. 23 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $20 advance, doors 7 p.m.

Theatrical psycho-cabaret bands at Mac´s

While Hellblinki’s hometown of Asheville, N.C., might be known as a bohemian mountain region, their repertoire consists of pirate songs and dirty south blues. The theatrical band plays Mac’s Bar Wednesday, Sept. 26 with their blend American folk and European cabaret, punk, and noise rock. Fans of Gogol Bordello, Tom Waits or Nick Cave might want to check out this show. Warming up the stage is Devil’s Cut (local bluegrass-rock band) and Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle, a Gypsy-jazz and Americana band. 

Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 and over. $10, 9 p.m.