Turn it down

By Rich Tupica

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

Tom Paxton at ´the Fiddle´

American folk legend Tom Paxton has been writing and performing music for 50 years. Four years ago he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of Paxton’s songs have become modern standards, including “The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Bottle of Wine” and “Ramblin’ Boy.” Over the years Paxton´s songs have been recorded by Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Willie Nelson and Pete Seeger, to name a few. Paxton has played thousands of gigs around the world, from Australia to Hong Kong — on Friday, he performs at the Ten Pound Fiddle. In describing Paxton’s influence, Seeger said, “Tom’s songs have a way of sneaking up on you. You find yourself humming them, whistling them, and singing a verse to a friend. Like the songs of Woody Guthrie, they’re becoming part of America.”

Fri., April 19, Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, East Lansing, 7:30 doors, $25 public; $20 Fiddle members; $5 students.

UV Hippo at The Loft

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, a Grand Rapids-based five-piece progressive improvisational band, has been touring non-stop and developing a growing fan base across the U.S. and, more recently, Europe. Thursday the band plays The Loft. Opening the show is Covert, a Flint-based funky-jam rock band. Covert melds funk, reggae, soul and twang into a hybrid sound that’s won a following across the state. UV Hippo mixes tight, funky jams with contemporary dance beats and earnest lyrics, topped off with a vibrant light. Cultivated from years of jamming, the band performs an eclectic selection of technically demanding compositions and improvised material along with unconventional and fun covers.

Thu., April 18, The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 , $12, $8 adv., 8 p.m.

Eight Ball Grifter reunion

Psychobilly punks Eight Ball Grifter have been absent from the music scene for quite some time. On Friday the band plays Mac’s Bar for one of two reunion shows (the other is a Grand Rapids gig). The PBR-fueled outfit comprises Wade Royale (vocals/bass), Johnny Diablo (drums) and guitarists Knuckles and Spades. The band released a small stack of out-of-print albums, but its 2003 release, “Som’Bitch,” is still available. Fans of Social Distortion, Bad Religion or Reverend Horton Heat might want to check out this show. Opening the show is the Michigan rockabilly band Cash O’Riley & the DownRight Daddies, which recently pressed the second run of its new “Jackson County Jail” album. Flatfoot, a local alt-country band, is also taking the stage.

Fr., April 19, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 . $10, $8 advance, 9 p.m.

Smokehouse Junkiez at Mac´s

The Smokehouse Junkiez, a Lansing-based rap duo, has been gigging in the underground hip-hop scene since 2005. On Saturday they headline a “420 Party” at Mac’s Bar. The pair, made up of Mr. Jaqadeliq and Dubb Sicc, prefer a DIY ethos — they’ve self-recorded and promoted much of their records on their Roach Records imprint. The duo is known for its “pro-marijuana agenda” and sharing bills with both rap and rock acts. Opening the show are Str8jaket, Jimi Kanklez, Freddy Grimes and Boby Knucklez. Kanklez, aka “the Six Foot Roach,” debuted in 2007 when he played his first gig opening for ABK. Since then, Kanklez, who was a finalist in this year’s Top of the Town contest for “Best Hip Hop,” has released three albums, including 2013’s “The Mutt.”

Sat., April 20, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages. $12, 7 p.m.

Blackflag´s Ginn at Mac´s

Good For You, a duo made up of punk legend Greg Ginn and Mike Vallely, a professional skateboarder and musician, plays an all-ages gig Sunday at Mac’s Bar. Another Ginn project, Greg Ginn & The Royal We, co-headline the event. The Plurals and Bert, two local bands, will also perform. Ginn is known as the founder, guitarist and driving influence behind Black Flag. Through his legendary record label SST, Ginn has performed, produced and released new music by himself as well as from an eclectic array of independent artists. Vallely turned into a pro skater in 1987. He formed his first band, Mike V And The Rats, in 2001. In February of 2012, Ginn and Vallely began work on their 2013 debut, “Life Is Too Short To Not Hold A Grudge.”

Sun., April 21, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages. $10, 7 p.m.