SUNDAY, March 28 — Thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the vast majority of Lansing's indie rock bands have not performed a live concert in more than a year. But our tenacious local guitar-slingers have not been totally dormant. "This Must Be the Place: Quality Hits From Lansing" is a new compilation that gives the local music scene a well-deserved opportunity to shake off some of the pandemic rust.
GTG Records teamed up with music writer Rich Tupica — author of the longtime City Pulse column "Turn it Down!" — to herd together some of Lansing's best underground rock bands for a stacked compilation that features a fun blend of cover tracks. If you want a solid sampler of what's going on with local indie music, this an excellent starter pack to dig into.
"Each band could pick any cover they wanted. No restrictions or themes," Tupica said. "I felt that'd not only encourage more people to contribute, but also allow them to properly document a cover song they've been thinking about doing."
Each band featured on "This Must Be the Place" recorded a send-up to their favorite artist. Classic bands covered in the compilation include post-punk outfits such as The Talking Heads, classic rock groups like Jefferson Airplane and The Who, and even grunge acts à la Alice in Chains.
"This compilation came together organically. It just seemed like something that needed to happen," Tupica said. "There have been almost zero live shows, so this is sort of a stop-gap in that sense. It's a way to experience local bands while we can't see them in person."
"This Must Be the Place" is a fun smattering of music that is distinctly representative of both the current and past Lansing underground rock scene. New bands such as the Rodeo Boys and Silktail make an appearance, as well as veterans like Wally Pleasant and The Plurals. The cover art, a nighttime shot of a Quality Dairy parking lot, is also a fun, winking nod to Lansing culture.
The album is available 100% free to download on GTG Record's BandCamp page. Tupica said it was important that the compilation be easy to listen to and distribute.
"In short, this was just a fun project. And, something that's really important here, is that it's totally free to listen to and download. No profits, just fun," he said.