Turn It Down: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

By Rich Tupica

New year, retro rock

This month the Lansing music scene is stocked with a few things it does best: electronic music, ‘90s alternative, vinyl records and punk-rock.

Getting the weekend started a day early (Thursday, Jan. 7) is Electro Nightz, a new, weekly techno night at Mac’s Bar. Set to spin are DJs Rob Perry, C Phear, Juan Trevino, Dr. Sketch and G K. Also be sure to check out Neon Tuesdays, another weekly electronic music night at Mac’s Bar. The next Neon Tuesday is set for Jan. 12 and will feature DJ Derrick H.

Electro Nightz is free for 21 , $3 for 21 and under @ 2700 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing.

The Lansing music scene has had a soft spot for ‘90s alternative music since “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” On Friday, Jan. 8, Sex With Exes will pay tribute to that brand of grunge and college rock at Small Planet. The Lansing band’s growing set list includes a variety of Buzz Bin tunes by Nirvana, Primus, Pearl Jam, Space Hog, Alice in Chains, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Also, for those who remember the now-defunct Lansing alt-rock station 92.1 The Edge, on-air personality Brock Elsesser (now on Q 101.1-FM in Chicago) plays guitar and sings in this outfit. The band also features Tony Salinas, a slap bass prodigy and former member of Dementia, a Perry, Mich. death metal band.

18 show. 8 p.m. doors. $5 for 21 , $8 for 18 @ 16800 Chandler Rd, East Lansing.

Lovers of ‘90s nostalgia should also keep The Verve Pipe in mind. The band is booked at the Small Planet on Friday, Jan. 15. The East Lansing band scored huge national hits in 1996 with “The Freshman” and “Photograph,” both from the platinum-selling album “Villains” (RCA Records), which led to headlining tours and a gig opening for KISS on a European tour.

In October 2009 The Verve Pipe released (the download-only) “A Family Album,” featuring a batch of new friendly songs, written and recorded for families. It is available on the band’s Web site.

Opening the Small Planet show are local acts Alco and Elliot Street Lunatic. Tickets are available online and at Flat, Black & Circular and Music Manor.

18 show. 7 p.m. doors. $15 in advance @ 16800 Chandler Rd, East Lansing.

For those who still prefer hearing music on vinyl and compact disc, the Lansing Record & CD Show is
worth a look. The free-admission, 54-table show is setting up shop
Saturday, Jan. 9, at the University Quality Inn in Frandor. The huge
show (which passes through Lansing once every two months) runs from 11
a.m. to 4 p.m. and features a mix that is 70 percent vinyl (45s and
LPs) and 20 percent CDs. The other 10 percent is a mix of rare music
DVDs, band posters, T-shirts, vintage magazines and all sorts of music
memorabilia. From rock‘n’roll and soul, to jazz, country, funk and folk, all genres are represented. Record junkies can email Ken at kpwildwood@sbcglobal.net and ask to be put on the mailing list.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free @ 3121 E. Grand River Ave, Frandor (next to Holiday Lanes).

those looking for brash, threechord punk, on Saturday, Jan. 9, Basement
414 (B414), Lansing’s favorite underground art/music venue, has got it.
Four rock bands from across the state share the bill. One of those
bands, The Hubies, combines hardcore punk with ska and some rockabilly. The Amoebas, one
of the best punk groups in Michigan right now, will also take the
stage. Combining lo-fi sensibility with catchy rock‘n’roll hooks, The
Amoebas understand how to correctly mix pop and rock into a genuinely
menacing sound. The Plastic Boyz is another band of lo-fi dudes who thrash out sloppy punk — but in a good way. This Macomb County band is obnoxious and raucous, a must-see for punk purists. The Squints are also set to make some noise.

All-ages show, donation only @ 414 East Michigan Ave, Lansing (take alley behind Nuthouse Sports Grill).