Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape
|By Rich Tupica|
The 500 Club sails into The Loft
Ben Keeler has come a long way since his punk-rock days in Lansing. As a teen, he played in the catchy punk band The Van Ermans (a pre-Cheap Girls band). The band released four albums before splitting up.
In 2008, after graduating from Columbia College in Chicago with a music composition degree, Keeler’s sound began to morph into a polished blend of Sam Cookestyle soul and Tom Waits, while still staying true to his ‘90s alternative roots. Catch his latest band, Ben Keeler and the 500 Club, live at The Loft on Thursday, Dec. 23. Opening the show are Billiards Music (Lansing acoustic/ dub) and Violent Sun (East Lansing nu-jazz/psych).
Thursday, Dec. 23 @The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, $6 for 21 , $8 under 21, doors at 9 p.m.
Champions of Breakfast liven up Christmas
The electro-pop sound of Champions of Breakfast is headed to Mac’s Bar Saturday for A Not So Silent Night 2, a concert hosted by Fusion Shows. Prior to the show, the band will perform on The Impact 88.9-FM at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16.
Also set to make some noise is Elliot Street Lunatic, a spacey Lansing-based indie band. Opening the show are A Children’s Crusade (Muskegon indie), along with Commodore Cosmos (Lansing indie), Way To Fall (Lansing pop punk), The Rival (Lansing alt-rock) and Get Home Safe (Flint indie).
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ Mac’s Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, $8 advance, all ages, 6 p.m.
GLÄMHÄMMER revives ‘80s hair metal at Uli’s
Uli’s Haus of Rock is one of the go-to venues in Lansing for current heavy metal. However, This Friday and Saturday Uli’s is going back in time with GLÄMHÄMMER, an ‘80s hair-metal cover band (which features Chris Baratono of Narc Out the Reds, a busy Lansing band). GLÄMHÄMMER will rip through the biggest hits of the hairspray and make-up era of rock and roll. For those with soft spots for Mötley Crüe, Poison, Skid Row, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, this could be your new favorite tribute band.
Friday, Dec, 17 and Saturday, Dec. 18 @Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Blvd, both shows are 18 and over, FREE admission, 10 p.m. to close.
Cheap Girls headline holiday bash
The Cheap Girls seem to be on a roll these days. Aside from touring non-stop, the band has also been receiving rave reviews for its two full-lengths.
The band, which is half way through writing its third album, was recently featured in Spin Magazine for a Bad Religion tribute CD they contributed. The Girls are also getting set to tour with major label punks Against Me! in January.
Catch the band live at The Cheap Girls Holiday Show, set for Friday at Mac’s Bar. The night is a showcase of local acts from different genres. Opening the show are the delicate folk sounds of Small Houses, the shredding metal of Genocya, and the hardcore punk of Dire Wolf — an eclectic bill to say the least.
Friday, Dec. 17 @ Mac’s Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing $5 advance, $7 door, 9 p.m.
Smokin’ cover band at Green Door
With a set list that ranges from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to Naughty by Nature’s “OPP,” The Smoking Jackets (Lansing cover band) pride themselves on covering multiple genres. The band, which won the Yankee Doodle Days Battle of the Bands in June in Grand Ledge, performs at the Green Door Friday. Those who attend will hear a large dose of ‘80s tunes and some newer pop hits by Justin Timberlake, Franz Ferdinand, Kid Rock and Cake — as well as some classics from Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder.
Friday, Dec. 17 @ Green Door, 2005 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
New venue hosts evening of solo artists
Local music fans may want to check out a new edition to the list of Lansing venues Friday, as Blackened Moon Concert Hall hosts an evening of solo artists.
The Sunset Club, a project by Jory Stultz, performs a set of his piano-driven alternative pop. Also taking the stage are Mountain Nobility (Jeffrey Renton), Some Polish Girl (Julia Lubash) and Nick Strong.
Friday, Dec. 17 @ Blackened Moon Concert Hall, 3208 Suite B, S. Martin Luther King Blvd, Lansing, $5, all ages, 7 p.m.
Chicago metalheads at Blackened Moon
Chicago-based headbangers Kastasyde perform at Blackened Moon Concert Hall Saturday. In September, Kastasyde released the “Poisoned, Ripped Off, and Lied To” EP, a CD mixing thrash and heavy metal with hints of country and blues.
Also performing is Chaos N Confusion (Lansing rock), Death Valley Drag Line, and Junk Drawer.
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ Blackened Moon Concert Hall, 3208 Suite B, S. Martin Luther King Blvd, Lansing, $5, 21 and over, 7:30 p.m.
If your band has an upcoming show, post it at www.facebook.com/turnitdown