Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape
|By Rich Tupica|
Two new venues openThe Loft
Located in the heart of downtown Lansing, above Harem Urban Lounge, is the area’s newest rock club: The Loft. Masterminded by Jerome White, a veteran local promoter, The Loft opened in February to serve one purpose: live shows. Both national and local acts will be booked at the space.
“It’s not a restaurant or a sports bar,” White said. “There is no confusing what this room is — it’s a room for live entertainment.” While the venue may be nestled above Harem, White said it is operating as a completely separate bar from Harem. The Loft has no dress code and a different entrance. There is a staircase and an elevator that leads to the newly opened venue. The spacious room has exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, with a row of windows looking out over Michigan Avenue.
“It has a very urban feel to it,” White explained. “It reminds me of the electronic parties I used to go to in Detroit. It’s very industrial, very urban and very raw.”
White said there were some additions and improvements to the venue. “We did get some big televisions in there and we built the same kind of bar you see in Harem,” he said. “We also built a new stage and sound system.”
Upcoming show @ The Loft: Saturday, March 20 – 8 p.m. Know Lyfe w/ Forgotten Forgiveness, Adrenachrome, Circle of Crows, Identity X, Endless Aisle. $7 advance, $12 door. @ The Loft: 414 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing theloftlansing.com/
When Todd Karinen is not playing drums in MK Ultra Culkin or releasing Lansing band compilations on Silver Maple Kill Records (his independent label), he books weekly showcases of live, original music.
Gus’s Bar (located on W. Michigan Ave, between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Waverly) is the new spot for “New Music Mondays,” featuring an eclectic roster of local and touring bands from an array of genres, including a large dose of punk, experimental, rock and metal.
This weekly showcase is the re-birth of Karinen’s event that formerly took place at Rendezvous on the Grand (now defunct) in Old Town. After Rendezvous changed owners last year and became the Chrome Cat, “New Music Mondays” went on hiatus — until now.
Karinen said his live shows at Gus’s Bar will push the boundaries.
“There could be a noise band, a country-rock band and a doom-metal band all playing together. My style is that I book anyone together,” Karinen said.
“I don’t like it when musicians only play with one style of band. Bands should be happy to play with everybody; that way, they are intermingling with bands they normally wouldn’t.”
Upcoming shows @ Gus’s Bar: Monday, March 15: Rocky Moon & Bolt (Texas rock-n-roll), w/ TBA Monday, March 22: The Burning Hatreds (Coldwater, MI garage-punk), w/ TBA @ Gus’s Bar: 2321 W. Michigan Ave, Lansing . 9 p.m., 18 , $5. www.myspace.com/gussbar