Turn it down
|By Rich Tupica|
A survey of Lansing's musical landscape
Meat Puppets - Wed. Oct 2nd.
When the Kirkwood brothers took the stage in 1993 to back up Nirvana on MTV´s “Unplugged,” they´d already been playing the underground rock circuit for a shade under 15 years. Perhaps that’s why Kurt Cobain chose to cover three of the band’s songs (“Lake of Fire,” “Plateau” and “Oh, Me”) during the legendary live session. The Phoenix-based band plays Mac’s Bar on Oct. 2; openers are The Hat Madder and Enemy Planes. The Meat Puppets formed in 1980 and were soon mixing rock, punk, folk and country, a raw sound dubbed "cow punk." Over the years the band’s songwriting and playing skills have evolved, which can he heard on their latest album “Rat Farm,” released in April.
Stardog Champion - Thu. Sept. 26th
Stardog Champion may be a new addition to the hard rock scene, but the band’s members have collectively sold over 4 million records worldwide. The unit features former members of Breaking Benjamin, Lifer and The Drama Club. The northeast Pennsylvania quartet headlines Thursday at Uli’s Haus of Rock. Openers include What Comes to Life, Ignite The Borealis, Pollychromic and EndsEve. Stardog Champion’s debut EP, “When We Fall,” was produced by Grammy-nominated Neal Avron, who’s worked with the likes of Switchfoot, Everclear and Linkin Park. As for the state of Breaking Benjamin, after some 2011 legal issues within the band the Hollywood Records band has been on an extended hiatus.
Anne Hills and Michael Smith - Fri. Sept 27th
The striking soprano tone of Anne Hills can be heard Friday at the Ten Pound Fiddle. The folk singer will perform as a duo with her longtime collaborator, Michael Smith, a Chicago-based songwriter. Hills, who cut her teeth in the Chicago folk scene throughout the 1980s, has recorded a number of earnest solo albums, spent time in the studio and performed live with folk legend Tom Paxton. Her 2012 album “The Things I Notice Now” is a 12-song Paxton covers album. The admiration goes both ways; Paxton said this about Hills
songwriting: “(It’s) as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done
today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”
Mustard Plug - Sun. Sept 29th
Ska-punk veterans Mustard Plug return Sunday to Mac’s Bar. The band has played over 1,500 shows over the last two decades, selling 200,000 albums along the way. The Grand Rapids-based band started playing DIY punks shows in basements and released their debut in 1992, a cassette tape called “Skapocalypse Now!” The band gigged hard after that and saved money to record their first CD, 1994’s “Big Daddy Multitude.” That album gained the band national exposure and opening slots on tours for The Bouncing Souls, MXPX and Less Than Jake. Since then, the band has recorded five albums with Hopeless Records, including 2007’s “In Black and White.” Opening at Mac’s Bar are Take A Hint, Explicit Bombers and The Faultline.
Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $12, $10 adv., 6 p.m.
Larry and His Flask - Mon. Sept 30th
In support of their upcoming album, “By the Lamp Light,” the Oregon-based Larry & his Flask headlines Monday at The Loft; openers include The Crane Wives, Goat Machine and The Devil’s Cut. Larry & His Flask have released a pile of records on the Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club label and are known for their rustic five-part harmonies. Aside from mellow folky influences, the Americana-rock band incorporates elements of punk, bluegrass, soul and high-energy rock ‘n’ roll, similar to Mumford & Sons. The group was formed by Jamin and Jesse Marshall in 2003; the Flask spent its first five years playing punk rock shows. By 2009 the band’s sound was honed into a blurry blend of lightning-fast picking and rock.