Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing's musical landscape
|By Rich Tupica|
Detroit Rock City invades Lansing
Seven bands will share the stage Friday at Mac’s. From metal to pop punk and funk, the night will be a diverse blend of Michigan rock outfits. Headlining the show is Hellmouth, a Detroit metal band on Paper Plastick Records. The band (with influences including Celtic Frost, Black Flag and Venom) released the full-length “Gravestone Skylines,” in November. The show will also serve as a record release show for Lenin/McCarthy, a Grand Rapids rock band featuring members of Mustard Plug. The band will release “Art,” its debut CD, on Bermuda Mohawk Productions. Also making some noise is We Are the Union (pop punk from Detroit), who are also on Paper Plastick.
Downtown Brown, another Motor City act, recently released “Grabbelton’s Beach,” a new album. Downtown Brown mixes Red Hot Chili Peppers funk, with hints of Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle and metal. Representing Lansing at the show is Fisherking, a Lansing hardcore punk band that has releases on BMP. The band recently recorded “2 Songs,” a two-song EP, with local producer John Krohn.
Looking for some ska influenced punk? Matt Wixson’s Flying Circus (Shelby Township) is also booked. Opening the show is Skitch, a pop-punk band from Ann Arbor. Tickets available at www.bermudamohawk.bigcartel.com.
Friday, Jan. 7 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., $10 advance, $12 door, all ages, 6:30 p.m.
Michigan indie-folk has been booming, and Friday, Jan. 14, Mac’s Bar will showcase some emerging talent. Gifts or Creatures (Lansing folk rock), led by the husband and wife combo of Brandon John Foote and Bethany Foote, will play a set of mellow, roots-inspired originals. The four-piece band released “Pilot House,” its debut CD in September, with help from Earthwork Music, a Michigan-based artist collective.
Chris Bathgate, who was voted best solo Michigan artist by Real Detroit Weekly, will also take the stage. Bathgate has steadily become a prominent figure in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti indie-folk music scene. While he has released EPs and albums since 2002, Bathgate released his most acclaimed album, “A Cork Tale Wake” in 2007, after being signed to Quite Scientific Records. Bathgate often draws comparisons to folk singer-songwriters Sufjan Stevens, Iron & Wine and Damien Jurado — although he cites American novelists John Steinbeck and Kurt Vonnegut as a couple of his primary influences.
Another husband-and-wife combo, Theme & Variation (Michigan indie rock) will also take the stage. The band formed when Daniel Lamb and Ashley Lamb -joined voices over two microphones and a single acoustic guitar. While initially a stripped-down folk duo, Theme & Variation’s sound has grown in complexity and energy as musician friends have added to the band's makeup. Opening the show is The Photographers, an acoustic indie-folk band from Chicago.
Friday, Jan. 14 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., $7, 18 and over, 9 p.m.
In November, Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill started booking blues, soul, jazz and roots rock. The venue is keeping up the momentum in 2011 with a calendar full of events. This Friday, Those Delta Rhythm Kings will blast through a show of jump blues and the little-big-band sound of the 1940s. The Lansing-based band, founded in 1982, plays the music of legends like Count Basie, T-Bone Walker, Roy Brown, and B.B. King, along with original compositions and modern classics. The band won the 2003 Capitol Area Blues Brawl and competed at the 2004 Memphis International Blues Challenge.
Friday, Jan. 7 @ Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill, 1526 S. Cedar St., Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m.
Leroy’s keeps the music jumping on Saturday with a performance by Cash O’ Riley & the Downright Daddies. O’Riley specializes in rockabilly, Americana and roots music. His sound is reminiscent of the Sun Records ‘50s roster, which included a young Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. For those who appreciate the birth of rock-n-roll, this could be the show for you.
Saturday, Jan. 8 @ Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill, 1526 S. Cedar St., Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m.
Ten Pound Fiddle will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 14, with a performance by Malinky, a five-piece band from Scotland. The band is deeply rooted in the Scottish folk scene and breathes new life into centuries-old ballads , while also playing some original songs. For those looking for a good fiddle tune, be sure to mark this show on your calendar.
Friday Jan 14 @ Ten Pound Fiddle — Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, East Lansing, all ages, 8 p.m to 10:30 p.m., $15 general admission, $12 members, $5 for students. www.tenpoundfiddle.org