TURN IT DOWN
|By Rich Tupica|
A survey of Lansing's musical landscapeThe Used at The Loft
Post-hardcore/screamo veterans The Used headline Sunday at The
Loft. Opening the show is Life Remaining and Hidden Hospitals. The Used
released their latest full length last year on its Hopeless imprint.
This month, the band dropped “The Ocean of the Sky,” a five-song EP.
Utah-native Bert McCracken (vocalist) formed the band in 2001; a year
later he inked a deal with Reprise Records and released a self-titled
debut. The band’s follow-up, “In Love and Death,” arrived in 2004. The
album’s title and much of the lyrics reference McCracken’s troubled
life, including poverty, drug addiction and the death of his pregnant
girlfriend. The band has sold millions of records and went gold or
platinum in six countries.
Sunday, July 21 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages , $30, $27 advance, 7 p.m.
WOJCIK at The Avenue Café
Lansing-area native Hailey Wojcik, chief songwriter in the
three-piece band WOJCIK, plays a free hometown gig Sunday at The Avenue
Café. The DeWitt native, now living in Brooklyn, fronts the all-girl
gothic/garage-band unit. She played many of the instruments on the new
“Wise Blood” LP, the follow up to the self-titled 2011 EP. “Wise Blood”
was inspired by Wojcik´s love of Flannery O’Connor and her childhood in
Michigan. The album cover, which features a coyote, paid homage to her
zookeeper parents. Also performing at The Avenue is Missouri-based band
Honky Suckle, who play harmonica-driven bluegrass/folk and The Leper
Colony, a local “dark folk” band. Fans of The Misfits/Danzig or Hank Williams might want to check it.
Sunday, July 21 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, FREE, 18 and over, 8 p.m.
Mega-selling alt-rock veterans Fastball headline Monday at The
Loft. Opening the show are Life Size Ghost and The Last Pop Band.
Fastball, originally named Magneto U.S.A., formed in Austin in 1994.
Around 1996, the band updated its name and signed to Hollywood Records.
Their debut disc, “Make Your Mama Proud,” didn’t make an impact on the
charts, but their 1998 sophomore LP, “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” went
platinum in six months. The band’s catchy hit singles, “The Way” and
“Out of My Head,” kept the record on the charts for a year. The Grammy
nominated band has released a string of acclaimed records, the latest
being 2009’s “Little White Lies.”
Monday, July 22 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $17, $15 adv., 8 p.m.
Evening of smooth jazz
BMRW Promotions, a Lansing-based events and promotions
company, hosts “An Evening of Smooth Jazz” on July 26 at Holt High
School’s Margaret Livensparger Theater. Headlining the annual event is
saxophonist Jackiem Joyner. Also performing is local jazz group 496
West. Joyner, a chart-topping contemporary jazz artist, has toured the
world. In 2007, after releasing his debut “Babysoul,” the composer and
producer was named “Debut Artist of the Year” by Smooth Jazz News. The
Virginia native lives in California and records his distinct blend of
jazz, gospel and instrumental pop/R&B on Mack Avenue Records and the
Artistry Music label. His latest album “Church Boy” was released last
Friday, July 26 @ Margaret Livensparger Theater, 5885 W. Holt Road, Holt, all ages, 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 517-372-7246 or visit bmrwpromotions.com.
Sycamore Smith at The Avenue Café
Sycamore Smith is the stage name for Marc Smith, who was a member
of the defunct band The Muldoons and a fixture in the Upper Peninsula
punk scene throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Smith headlines Monday at The
Avenue Café, performing his kazoo-blowing solo act. Smith’s folk songs
are old-fashioned and vaudevillian, his lyrics infused with heroes and
swindlers. A few of his lyrical characters include Wolfskin Rosie,
Legless Paul and Bobo, who have triumphant, melancholic adventures.
Smith, an agnostic, also writes lampoon tunes, such as his song “Hokum
All Ye Faithful,” a satire of Christian beliefs. Fans of Elvis Costello
or Jonathan Richman might want to check out his rustic set. The opener
is Stephen Marcus Cowles.
Monday, July 29 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, donations, 18 and over, 8 p.m.