The painful truth

By Rich Tupica

The painful truth

Some bands write about booze and drugs, others force sappy girlfriend songs on listeners. Feel Good Violence prefers to spread the word of the Public Broadcasting System.

“I watch a lot of PBS,” lead singer Joseph Bravenstatt said. “That’s where a lot of inspiration for the lyrics comes from. I also read a lot of political books.”

The Lansing band has been together for more than a year, playing music comparable to Incubus, with Rage Against the Machine’s F-the-man style lyrics. The band addresses problems and offers solutions. “We talk about human extinction, the government and anti-establishment,” Dravenstatt said. “Other songs are about the course of humanity and society, its effects, and what we can do to fix it.”

The band will perform its messageheavy tunes at a free show at Basement 414 (an art gallery and music venue) in downtown Lansing on Saturday, May 2.

Ryan Keeton, Feel Good’s guitarist, said the band is not on a political mission, though the members are not shy about the band’s radical message. “A lot of our songs are politically driven most of them are, actually,” Keeton said. “We like to inform people. We’re not trying to tell people how to think, we’re just letting them know how we think.”

One tune in particular addresses the Bush/Cheney era. “We have a song called ‘Hijacked,’” Keeton said. “It’s about how many of our freedoms were hijacked during the last administration. We gave up a lot of the freedoms because of fear.”

While Dravenstatt and Keeton are founding members of Feel Good Violence, the band, which also features Jordan Glance (drums), Jeff Gill (guitar) and Brian Karaffa (bass), is a true democracy. “I just do the lyrics and vocals,” Dravenstatt said. “The rest of the band writes their own parts and then we jam until it’s structured. Everybody puts in their input. It’s a combined effort.” Listen to the band at

Feel Good Violence w/ To Fear the Wolf (Lansing) and Red Herring (East Lansing). 9 p.m. Saturday, May 2 at Basement 414, 414 E. Michigan Ave. (enter through alley behind the Nut House). FREE.

Other upcoming Lansing shows

Ever wonder what a band would sound like if Satan was on lead vocals? If so, stop into the Small Planet on Thursday, April 30, and see Dagon, a Lansing band with an appreciation for Slayer and Dark Tranquility. Sharing the stage is the Queensryche-like sounds of Silent Lapse (Westphalia), a progressive metal band whose CD would sit nicely on the same shelf as Dream Theater’s “Images and Words.” Foul Mustache (Lansing) and Detroit’s Mellotron open the show.
16800 S. Chandler Rd, East Lansing. 9 p.m., $5-$10, 18 www.thesmallplanet.

If head banging isn’t your thing, the following night (Friday, May 1) at the Small Planet, locals Kinase Moves the Audio will throw down some worldly afro-beats and progressive rock rhythms. Kinase’s experimental debut EP, “After Silence Part 1,” is available on the band’s MySpace. Headlining the early show is The Outer Vibe (Grand Rapids), a poppy band that seems to put much thought into extravagant stage attire. Opening the show is Cadillac Casket, Res Publica and Antreum.
16800 S. Chandler Road, Lansing. 6 p.m. $5 in advance, all ages.