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Thursday, Jan. 17 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing.
All ages, $15, $13 adv., 7 p.m.
Petal, a Scranton-based indie rock outfit, headlines Thursday at Mac’s Bar. Opening the all-ages show are Sir Babygirl, Cave People, and Shortly. Led by its only permanent member, songwriter Kiley Lotz, the band has dropped a series or alternative EPs and LPs that range from riff-driven, upbeat rockers to moody and melodic pop ballads. In 2013, Lotz launched the project with a self-released EP, “Scout,” which caught the attention of Run For Cover Records, a Massachusetts-based imprint, that promptly signed the band. By 2015, Petal issued its first proper album, the “Sooner” LP, and the sophomore full-length, “Magic Gone,” followed in 2018. According to the label, “Magic Gone” takes a “bitingly honest” look at adulthood, accountability, responsibility and mental health. “There comes a moment where all the paranoia, anxiety and pain become too much and you realize the structure you built to survive is no longer going to serve you,” Lotz said of the intense three-year period that inspired her album. “I had to make some very big life changes to make sure I didn’t die. It was not easy taking that level of control over my life.” The end product offers a candid snapshot of Lotz’s life, and showcases her dynamic abilities as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. Drawing inspiration from her heroes, like Queen and Nina Simone, but also contemporary artists like Solange and Mitski, the disc is stacked with powerful vocals and earnest lyrics that dares listeners to face their personal demons.
Thursday, Jan. 17 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing.
21kknd, FREE, 8 p.m.
GTG Records co-founder Tommy McCord, aka Tommy Plural, has been a positive force on the Lansing music scene for more than a decade — releasing a string of albums with his band, The Plurals, and overseeing a long catalog of discs from other local and national indie groups. In 2013, McCord started to quietly release his own solo projects, including “Tall Paul’s Winter Ride” EP. The following year, he dropped the lo-fi “Nothing could Possiblye Go Wrong” EP — all via his locally-operated label: GTG. In the spring of 2017, McCord issued his most polished solo record to date, the “Idiot Cousin” LP. The 10-song album, which is streamed at tommyplural.bandcamp. com, echoes throwback punk and alt-rock bands like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü. The disc was self-recorded and produced by McCord from October 2016 into early 2017 at his Lansing studio — however the tracks were mastered by Rick Johnson (of Mustard Plug) at Cold War Studios in Grand Rapids. Thursday, Tommy Plural stakes the stage for a solo gig at The Avenue Café—opening the free show are The Stick Arounds (local power pop) and Elroy Meltzer (West Michigan-based indie pop duo). As for the Stick Arounds, late last year the Lansingbased five-piece released its latest album, “Ways to Hang On.” The vinyl LP, pressed by GTG, of course, is available at stickaroundsmusic.com and at local record shops.