Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape
|By Rich Tupica|
Hip hop heads to Mac’s
Underground New Jersey rapper GDP will bring his experimental brand of East Coast hip hop to Mac’s Bar Saturday. Drug abuse and other mischievous activities are often a focal point in his clever rhymes. Fans of early Eminem and Esham albums might appreciate GDP’s wit and brash wordplay.
GDP has been busy in the last year. He released two albums, toured multiple times across the map, and played shows with hip-hop legends the Wu-Tang Clan. GDP’s “Useless Eaters” is slated for 2011. Fans can listen to his “Magic Bullet Cassette” for free at Run For Cover Records’ website.
Opening the show at Mac’s is Lansing’s notorious gang of trouble-making punks, the Cartridge Family and hardcore punk band Fisher King.
Saturday, Dec. 4 @ Mac’s Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing $7, all ages, 5 p.m.
Storytelling folkie booked at ‘Fiddle’
Veteran singer/songwriter Joel Mabus will showcase his storytelling songs Friday at the Ten Pound Fiddle. With a resume that includes the fiddle, guitar and banjo, this Michigan favorite has spent 35 years playing traditional and eccentric folk and Americana music. After 20 solo albums, his latest release “No Worries Now …” was released in 2009.
Friday, Dec. 3 @ Ten Pound Fiddle — Unitarian Universalist Church 855 Grove St., East Lansing Gate opens at 7 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m. 8 p.m. show. $15 general admission, $12 for members. www.tenpoundfiddle.org
(SCENE) hosts double header
Hailing from Williamsburg, Va., Mark Kroos is one of the few touring double-neck guitarists. His open harmonies, polyphonic textures and incredible tapping technique makes for a dynamic sound and show.
Kroos will play at (SCENE) Metrospace Saturday.
Influenced by folk, Celtic, indie, even punk, Kroos has developed his own brand of extraordinary acoustic music. Kroos will be joined by local indie-pop songwriter Kelly Daniels and Zack Bower, a Holt-based folk artist.
Saturday, Dec. 4 @ (SCENE) Metrospace 110 Charles St., East Lansing $5, all ages, doors at 8 p.m., music at 9 p.m. www.scenemetrospace.com
Motor City jazz master at Leroy’s Classic Bar
Widely known for his deep Detroit roots as a blues/soul/ jazz drummer and bandleader, RJ Spangler has worked with legends such as Alberta Adams, Andre Williams and Nathaniel Mayer. Catch his jazz show at Leroy’s Saturday. Spangler is a WC Handy Award-nominated drummer and has played on over 30 CDs.
Saturday, Dec. 4 @ Leroy’s Classic Bar 1526 S. Cedar St., Lansing 21 and over, 9:30 p.m. www.myspace.com/rjspangler
Alligator blues artists crawl into Green Door
Smokin’ Joe Kubek & Bnois King are set to play the Green Door Sunday. They’re on tour promoting their new album, “Have Blues, Will Travel,” on Alligator Records.
These two Lone Star guitarists have different styles that blend well. One is a hard-edged rocking blues player, the other, a jazzy, elegant rhythm player who delivers raw solos. This blues band boasts a fiery twin-guitar front line that rips through a set of original songs. After recording touring for 20 years, these two friends have an almosttelepathic sense of each others’ rhythm.
Opening the show is Bad Gravy, a Lansing blues band featuring veteran vocalist Freddie Cunningham.
Sunday, Dec. 5 @ Green Door 2005 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 21 and over, 6 p.m. to close
CMT star Jason Sturgeon rolls into East Lansing
Rising pop-country star Jason Sturgeon grew up in a family of coal miners, oilmen and farmers. He grew up listening to country music artists such as Kenny Rogers, Alabama and George Strait, but also rocked out to the likes of Pantera, Rage Against The Machine, and Godsmack. All of those influences collide on his latest CD “That’s Me.” Catch Sturgeon at the Whiskey Barrel Dec. 9.
Thursday, Dec. 9 @ The Whiskey Barrel 410 S. Clippert St., Lansing Doors at 7 p.m., show at 9 p.m. $5 for 21 and over, $10 18 and over www.whiskeybarrelsaloon.net
Frontier Ruckus heads home
After touring the world and releasing two acclaimed full-lengths, Frontier Ruckus has become East Lansing’s folk heroes. The band is set to play Mac’s Bar Dec. 10. Lead by songwriter and guitarist Matthew Milia, the band has become a staple in the emerging Midwest indie-folk scene. The band’s latest album “Deadmalls & Nightfalls” is in stores now. Opening the show is the Giving Tree and Gifts or Creatures (Lansing folk).
Friday, Dec. 10 @ Mac’s Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing 9 p.m. $10, 18 and over www.frontierruckus.com
If your band has an upcoming show, post it at www.facebook.com/turnitdown