July 31 2013 12:00 AM

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape


Coolio at The Loft

Looking for some ‘90s nostalgia? Coolio headlines The Loft on Aug. 8. The crazy-haired, 49-year old rapper won a “Best Rap Performance” Grammy Award in 1996 for his hit single, “Gangsta’s Paradise.” The track was featured on the “Dangerous Minds” soundtrack and sold over 4 million copies. It was also Billboard Magazine’s top single for 1995. A year prior, Coolio signed to Tommy Boy Records and released “It Takes a Thief,” his certified platinum-selling debut LP. His “Fantastic Voyage” single hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His latest album was 2009’s “From the Bottom 2 the Top.” Opening the Loft show are Ricky Rucker, Mcellus, Badstar, Kid Smitty, Wulf Hogan and DJ Ruckus.

Thursday, Aug. 8 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, $15, $12 advance, 18 and over, 8 p.m.

The Hollands at The Avenue

The Hollands, an internationally touring family-folk band, headlines Thursday at The Avenue Café. The Hollands perform a mixture of folk, gypsy and Americana tunes, taking influence from the Carter Family, Nancy Griffith and The Pogues. The Hollands are native Australians who moved to the U.S., where they tour so often they call themselves “merrymaking nomads.” The rigorous gigging has made them seasoned concert performers. The four-piece unit has a knack for engaging audiences with rousing sing-a longs. Opening the show are The Illalogical Spoon from Jackson and Abbey Hoffman, a Lansing-based artist and musician. Hoffman, who spent her childhood years living in Queens, is also a singer in the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle.

Thursday, Aug. 1 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 Michigan Ave., Lansing. $10, 9 p.m. 

Izzy Cox at Mac’s Bar

Izzy Cox, a “voodoo-billy jazz” vocalist/guitarist, performs Friday at Mac’s Bar. The Montreal native lives in Austin, where she performs her distinct brand of old-time barroom blues. Her storytelling lyrics read like diary entries written by serial killers, cowboys and snake handlers. Her primitive sound blends a variety of Americana sounds, including rockabilly, outlaw country and some southern-style Gothic punk. While singing and guitar slinging, Cox also stomps a kick drum, one-man-band style. Billy Pitman plays lead guitar. Fans of Wanda Jackson, Barbara Pittman or the Secret Sisters, might want to check out this show. Opening are local pop punks Frank and Earnest and Fatboy & Jive Turkey.

Friday, Aug. 2 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 18 and over, 9 p.m., $9, $7 advance

Peter Nelson Quartet at The Avenue

The Peter Nelson Jazz Quartet has CD release show at the Avenue Café on Wednesday. The quartet is led by local jazzman Nelson, a trombonist and composer/arranger, with Matt Lorusso on guitar, Judson Branam on drums and Sam Copperman on bass. The new disc, “Watercolors,” has 11 tracks, including three of Nelson’s compositions and eight original arrangements of standards. The album, which was mostly recorded at Elm Street Recording in Lansing with producer Ryan Wert, features a string quartet and a guest pianist and percussionist. “Watercolors” is stocked with romantic string melodies and fast-paced swing and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. It’s “music that’s danceable and grooves” with “melancholic muted brass statements,” Nelson said.

Wednesday, Aug. 7 @ The Avenue, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, $5, all ages, 7 p.m.

Arlo Guthrie at Wharton

Tickets are on sale for the Arlo Guthrie show at the Wharton Center, set for Oct. 3. Guthrie, 66, is the son of folk legend (and Bob Dylan’s muse) Woody Guthrie. Over the years, Arlo Guthrie has had a few bursts of international success. His acclaimed 1967 debut “Alice’s Restaurant” launched him from the folk underground into the major label industry. In 1970, his song “Coming into Los Angeles” was featured on the “Woodstock” film and soundtrack. In 1972, his “Hobo’s Lullaby” LP featured “City of New Orleans,” a Steve Goodman-penned Top 40 hit. Guthrie’s concerts showcase his original tunes, some folk standards and his father’s masterpiece, “This Land Is Your Land.”

Thursday, Oct. 3 @ Wharton Center, 750 W. Shaw Lane, East Lansing, $15- $37, all ages, 7:30 p.m.