Sept. 18 2013 12:00 AM

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape


Michael McDonald - Sat. Dec 21st

Tickets for Michael McDonald’s “This Christmas: An Evening of Holiday & Hits” are on sale at McDonald is best known for his soulful vocals and keyboard skills in the Doobie Brothers from 1976 to 1982. The Doobies earned hits with “What a Fool Believes” and “Takin’ it to the Streets.” He has also earned critical acclaim for his solo efforts, including two Motown covers LPs. McDonald has won five Grammys and released eight solo albums and two Christmas records. This year he’s performed alongside Justin Timberlake on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and recorded with buzz-worthy indie bands Grizzly Bear and Holy Ghost.

Saturday, Dec. 21 @ Wharton Center, 750 W. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. $35-$65, 8 p.m.

Birds of Prey at Ten Pound Fiddle - Fri. Sept 20th

Married couple JT Nero and Allison Russell of the folk duo Birds of Chicago play the Ten Pound Fiddle on Friday. They’re touring internationally in support of their 2012 self-titled debut record, which received glowing reviews from the Chicago Sun Times, No Depression, Jambase and Daytrotter. Accompanied by a banjo and a guitar, their sound echoes of mountain gospel, street corner doo-wop and classic soul. Prior to starting their group, they were members of Po´ Girl and JT and the Clouds; the songwriters first combined musical forces on 2011’s “Mountains/Forests.” The Ten Pound Fiddle is a long-running folk music series. Check its website for a complete list of shows:

Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove Street East Lansing. All ages, $15, $5 students. 8 p.m

Grateful Dead Tribute Night - Fri. Sept 20th

A roster of Michigan bands pay tribute to rock legends the Grateful Dead Friday at Mac’s Bar. The Jerry Garcia-loving event is hosted by That Freak Quincy, a Kalamazoo-based jam/ funk band and Psychedelic Eyes Photography. Performing the all-Dead set list is an assortment of experimental bands and musicians, including members of That Freak Quincy, Digeometric, The Dallas Barr Band, Desmond Jones, Fried Egg Nebula, Mighty Medicine and more. Organizers describe the show as “a family jam.” Aside from the psychedelic sounds, the evening also includes a tripped-out light show and live painting from Cody Norman and Jaclyn Pack. Vendors include Dreaded Designs, Forest People and Tree House Creations.

Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 18 and over, $3, 10 p.m.

The Sillies - Sat. Sept 21st

Detroit punk legends The Sillies headline a night of punk Saturday at Mac’s Bar. Opening the show is The Chirps, a demented Lansingbased rockabilly outfit fronted by Chaz Brackx, a local songwriter and professional wrestling promoter. The Chirps are returning from an extended hiatus. The Sillies, formed in 1977 by front man Ben Waugh, may be Detroit’s first genuine punk band. In its heyday, the band warmed up stages for The MC5, The Cramps and The Dead Boys. The Alternative Press praised the band thusly: “The Sillies writhed with a reckless energy that also galvanized Detroit´s most revered rockers. The music swaggers with New York Dolls-like panache and is as raunchy as Iggy Pop´s reputation.”

Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 18 and over, $3, 10 p.m.

Aaron Carter - Wed. Sept 25th

Aaron Carter, brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, headlines a poppy night of epic boy-band proportions on Sept. 25 at The Loft. Carter broke into the music biz at 7, and became the youngest male solo artist to score four Top 40 hit singles. Tampa native Carter, 25, released his debut self-titled disc in 1997 when he was 10 years old. His 2000 album “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” became a Billboard hit and earned him opening slot on Britney Spears’ tour. “Oh Aaron” and 2002’s “Another Earthquake” followed. He began touring again last year and is working on a new disc. For hardcore fans, $65 VIP tickets are available, good for a meet-and-greet and photo.

The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $15 advance, 6:30 p.m.