Jan. 12 2011 12:00 AM

Three guys from Dewitt launched a music channel to showcase noteworthy local performers




The emergence of social media sites, blogs and YouTube in recent years has enabled anyone with a creative passion to capture stories and easily post them in front of target audiences.

With a few digital cameras and computer programs, LansingMusic.tv founders Sean Bradley, Casey Cavanaugh and Austin Howard produce interviews and shoot live performances by local musicians from every genre. The DIY station also posts written album reviews, show previews and other local news.

Through use of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and an official website (www.lansingmusic.tv), the three Dewitt natives are continually updating their followers.

“Promotion, growth and expansion of the scene are the main goals of Lansing Music.tv,” said Bradley, 21, a local music writer who conducts the interviews and generates all the written content on the site.

“It’s a platform for any artist that works and lives here to showcase what they are doing,” Bradley added. “We know there is a wealth of talent here that is just waiting to be exposed to the world. We hope to be a vehicle for that exposure.”

Since LMTV launched last May, it has posted nearly 50 videos, featuring locals such as The People’s Temple, Philthy (P2daHI), Chaz Brackx, Fields of Industry, The Plurals and Elliot Street Lunatic, just to name a few.

“Things are moving faster than I could have ever imagined in the little over six months since we started this venture,” Bradley said. “These are exciting times for us and the Lansing music scene as a whole. I’ve made a lot of new friends and have met a lot of cool people by doing this project. Every band and artist we have worked with has loved what we have done for them, and we’re glad to help promote the scene.”

A recent financial boost from the city of Lansing ensures the guys will stay busy for at least a couple of years.

“I was recently awarded an equipment grant from the city of Lansing for $10,000 of video equipment,” Howard explained. “The grant comes from the newly formed Office of Community Media and requires that we produce at least one hour of content per month to be shown on Lansing City TV (Lansing’s government access channel) for 24 months. After 24 months, I own the equipment and have no further responsibilities as far as the grant.”

Howard, 20, said the LMTV guys are honored to receive a grant for their efforts supporting local talent.

“I feel very lucky to have been awarded this grant. Only $250,000 was awarded in total and over $600,000 was requested. Being chosen out of so many applicants seems to validate what we’ve been doing. It’s good to hear someone say, ‘We like what you are doing — here’s this equipment to ensure you are able to keep doing it.’”

As for LMTV’s genesis, Cavanaugh, 21, said that among the three of them they seemed to have all bases covered to produce the videos and website.

“Sean Bradley came to me with the idea of filming the interviews that he already was writing for Examiner.com — he wanted to turn them it into a Web series,” Cavanaugh said. “It seemed a perfect fit, seeing as Sean was interested in journalism and Austin and I are into video production.

“Our first interview was with a band called The People’s Temple back in early May,” he added.

“They ended up playing acoustic versions of a couple of their songs, which was pretty cool because we weren’t really expecting it. Those songs are still among our most viewed videos. Since then we have tried to have bands play an acoustic set for us after an interview.”

Another band that has appeared on LMTV is Frank and Earnest, a Lansing pop-punk group, featuring former mayoral candidate Ben Hassenger.

“Other local people have attempted similar things, but no one has taken it as far as them,” Hassenger said.

“They’re continuously interviewing all styles of bands from around here. They also come out to all sorts of different styles of shows and record live performances and post it on their website. I feel like they genuinely enjoy Lansing music and want to share it with everybody.”

Hassenger said he feels the channel’s video coverage shows how Lansing music can be diverse and united simultaneously.

“When you watch the episodes you see bands of different genres mentioning each other in the interviews,” he said. “It shows how the scene is not segregated and is looking out for each other. I think the guys have done a good job at picking all these different styles of music and combining them into one area where people can come and learn about them and see how closely intertwined everything is.”


Next episode, premiering Thursday, Jan. 13, features the Cheap Girls and Frontier Ruckus Streamed at www.lansingmusic.tv