Turn it Down: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape

By Rich Tupica

Tucos mix power pop and alt-country

Jeremy Porter & the Tucos blend
classic alt-rock with whiskey-soaked alt-country vibes. The Plymouth,
(via Marquette) band lists The Replacements, Cheap Trick, and Gram
Parsons as some of its primary influences and describes its sound as
power pop/Americana.

The band opens a show at Mac’s Bar
Thursday in support of its new 7-inch single “Night on the Town”
(Magwheel Records). In early 2010 Porter also released his debut solo
album, “Party of One,” then went on to play dozens of shows across the
East Coast, Midwest and Canada, hitting all the major cities. Headlining
the night is Floodgate (members of Atrium), Blissfield and Fair Enough.

Thursday, July 28 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, $5, 5 p.m.

Experimental tuba player at Mac’s; Ghoulie opens

Brian Wolff first discovered the tuba at a
music store in Austin, back in the summer of 1994. Soon after that he
hooked up with drummer Tony Nozero and formed Drums and Tuba, which
developed a visceral blend of old brass and new electronic instruments
and sound effects. The band toured the world extensively with Cake,
Primus and Ani DiFranco (among many others), building a fierce
underground following in the process.

Since Drums and Tuba officially parted
ways, Wolff has continued touring under the clever alias Wolff. He still
blends his tuba with an array of digital sounds while drummer Steve
Garofano provides the backbeat. Fans of electronic and experimental
music may want to check this out, or visit www.wolffandtuba.com.

Opening the Mac’s show is local
electro-weirdo Ghoulie, who performs an experimental set of grimy soul,
noise, funk and rap. Ghoulie is one of the many projects of Lansing
musician/producer Patrick Wenzel, who is also known for his
analog/electro groups Public Pubes and Sex Ghost. In January Ghoulie
released a digital EP, “Ouch! There’s a Gorilla in Your Ass.” In July he
released a follow-up album called “Tales from the Toilet”: Both albums
were released by Madlantis Records and are free downloads at
www.ghoulie.bandcamp.com. The latter release is also available on
cassette at Flat, Black & Circular in East Lansing.

Opening the show is Remote Viewing Society, a Lansing band that plays slightly dark, high-energy rock.

Friday, July 29 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 and over. $8, 9 p.m.

Free local indie show at Record Lounge

The Record Lounge, an East Lansing vinyl
record shop, hosts a free in-store event Sunday. A roster of local indie
bands will play live sets, including Audrey, Elliot Street Lunatic, The
Sunset Club, Scott Brown Countdown, Sherman’s Wake and more.

For details on the in-store, visit www.facebook.com/therecordlounge.

Sunday, July 31 @ Record Lounge, 111 Division St., East Lansing, all ages, FREE, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Green Door still offers up roots rock every Monday

Steppin’ In It plays every Monday from
9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Green Door. The four-piece band combines
blues, folk and Cajun into one melodic blend of traditional, old time

Aside from becoming a staple in the
Lansing roots scene, the band has toured the country and released a pile
of acclaimed albums.

On a national level, the band’s bassist
Dominic John Suchyta recently played bass on the latest Wanda Jackson
album, “The Party Ain’t Over,” on Third Man Records, a 2011 album
spearheaded by the label owner Jack White (of the White Stripes).

For more Steppin’ In It tour dates, visit www.steppininit.com.

Monday, Aug. 1 @ Green Door, 2005 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m.

Mac’s hosts release show for Bomb the Music Industry!

Bomb the Music Industry!, a New
York-based DIY musical collective led by songwriter/producer Jeff
Rosenstock, plays Mac’s Bar Tuesday. The early, all-ages event is a
release show for the new album, “Vacation.”

The band plays catchy punk-pop, but also
lists Harvey Danger and Neutral Milk Hotel as influences. BtMI also
releases all their music for free online and burns fans free CDs. The
collective/band also operates Quote Unquote Records, a donation-based
record label.

Opening the show are The Sidekicks, The Riot Before and We are the Union. For more information, visit bombthemusicindustry.com.

Tuesday, Aug. 2 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $10, 5 p.m.