TURN IT DOWN: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape
|By Rich Tupica|
Fests for the restWhile Huey Lewis & The News will no doubt rock Lansing at Common Ground Music Festival, for those who aren’t hip to being square, here are some alternative music fests to keep an eye out for over the summer.
Those looking for an eclectic mix of music can head to Hunter Park (on Kalamazoo Street in Lansing) Saturday, May 30, when the Allen Neighborhood Center will host the free Hunter Park Music Festival. In addition to a mix well-known of blues and acoustic acts, one of Lansing’s top rappers, P.H.I.L.T.H.Y., will take the stage, delivering smart and clever rhymes similar to Mos Def and Common. Also performing are Lansing favorites, Root Doctor (blues), Thom Jayne & the Nomads (Okemos, acoustic ambience) and Nervous But Excited (Ann Arbor, female-acoustic duo). 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. FREE. (517) 367- 2468. www.allenneighborhoodcenter.org.
First up, subterranean art space Basement 414, which hosts (donationonly) rock and art shows nearly every day of the week, will host Distresstival, a threeday rock festival from June 5 through 7.
From the lo-fi punk of Edible Intentions (Grand Ledge) to Lansing regulars MK Ultra Culkin, Danger Society, Minority Funk, Feel Good Violence and To Fear the Wolf, most of the city’s underground clique is booked for this event.
414 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing (enter through Jay Street alley behind the Nut House). FREE. All-Ages. www.myspace.com/basement414
Woldumar Music Festival
From the depths of the basement, we move to the open air of Woldumar Music Festival, which is a must for anyone with an appreciation for nature, rock ‘n’ roll and folk music. The fest runs from noon to midnight Saturday, Aug. 1, at (obviously) Woldumar Nature Center in Lansing. The free, all-ages festival will showcase nearly 40 Michigan bands, including (to only name a few) Mosquito Bandito, Falcorps, Dr. Device, Satyrasis, The People’s Temple, Red Swan, Elliot Street Lunatic and more many more.
Aside from free admission, organizer and local musician Nathaniel Kermiet, 18, said the outdoor event will also offer food and a variety of activities. While there may be a long itinerary for the concert, the message of the Woldumar Festival is quite simple. “I want everyone to realize how much you can learn from walking aimlessly through the woods when you have nothing better to do,” Kermiet explained. “But mostly, I felt like Lansing needed a festival that ventured into the depths of various music styles, a festival that offers something for everyone free of cost.”
Woldumar Nature Center is at 5739 Old Lansing Road, Lansing. http:// woldumarmusicfestival.blogspot.com/
Bermuda Mohawk Festival
Tentatively set for Aug. 22 at Mac’s Bar, keep an eye out this summer for more word on Bermuda Mohawk Festival. The event will be hosted by Bermuda Mohawk Productions (BMP), a local indie record label, which has released records by local favorites, like the Cheap Girls, and are set to release a 7-inch by Memphis garage rocker Jack Oblivian in June.
Set to perform at the festival are an array of local bands and BMP artists, such as Only Thunder (Denver).
Cost and time TBA, 2700 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing www.myspace.com/bermudamohawkproductions
While it may still be a few months away, be sure to keep FemCon on your calendar. The free festival is scheduled for Sept. 25-26 at Basement 414. Now in its third year, the annual festival raises feminist awareness through loud and live rock music. Set to perform are local indie kids The Plurals, the true hip-hop style of Sun Rise Above (Bronx, N.Y.) and Huge Euge, an Ohio-based rap/comedy act similar to M.C. Chris.
Free, all ages. www.myspace.com/ brf07