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Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing CD Release Show

The Secret Identities CD will be released on Friday January 6, 2012 at Mac’s Bar at 9pm with an exclusive release show.

Admission is $7. CDs will be $8.

Each band that performs will play their respective cover during their sets.

Bands scheduled to perform include:

Frank and Earnest (playing Mystic Shake’s “Woman Like That”)

Cavalcade (playing Small Brown Bike’s “The Cold”)

American Gothic (playing The Fix’s “Signal”)

Small Houses (playing Jen Sygit’s “Marshall St.”)

Tommy “Plural” McCord of The Plurals (playing Flatfoot’s “The Crawl”)

LMTV interview with Opeth’s Fredrik Akesson

Lansingmusic.TV’s Sean Bradley talked with Opeth guitarist Fredrik Akesson before their show in Detroit at St. Andrew’s Hall on Saturday Oct. 29.

We talked about Heritage, his role in the band after 4 years in the band and more!

LMTV collaboration with Elm Street Studios on Lansing Public Access

Lansingmusic.TV’s collaboration with Lansing recording studio, Elm Street Recording, will be airing on Lansing public access Comcast channel 12 soon! We’ll let you know exactly what time of day the show will be on the schedule.

 

Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing

Lansingmusic.TV will soon be releasing its first compilation in tandem with our friends at Good Time Gang Records. It’s called Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing. It features The Plurals, The Break Ups, Drinking Mercury, Fields of Industry, Cavalcade and more. I’m working on a release show for the CD. The CD’s Facebook page is here. Please stay up to date on the compilation via the website, Facebook and our Twitter page. Stay Tuned!

Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts “Self-Titled” review

Kalamazoo’s Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts will be releasing their new self-titled album with a release show in Lansing on Nov. 17 at Mac’s Bar with Husband&Wife and Narc Out The Reds. The album will be released on vinyl by Lower Peninsula Records.

The band is Jake Simmons (guitar/vocals) along with Matt Blasco (guitar/keys), Ben Bojanich (bass) and Ian Cooper (drums).

Here’s a review of their album.

I love power-pop and this record splits the word right down the middle. Simmons’ guitar playing is simple yet crushing. The power chords on “The Bridge” punch right through you while the single note slices right through you in the chorus. He’s a regular killing machine with the axe (wow, puns). During the verses the guitars are pulled back in the mix but during the choruses they’re out in full force. The acoustic guitar bits add some texture to a great rock song. That’s what this band does well: good old fashioned rock and roll.

“Chloe” ups the pop factor with high pitched “oohs” from Simmons, showcasing his versatility as a vocalist with a gruff yet soulful voice. His croons get stuck in your head for days. I also love Cooper’s drumming. It’s really fun and simple; gets you moving. “Long Hair” is a fun song as well with its interplay of acoustic and electric guitar parts as well as Simmons’ layered harmonies. The band’s ability to equally complement their pop stylings (Simmons’ crooning and melodies) with the live, electric atmosphere of punk rock (fuzzy, distorted guitars and a great, energetic rhythm section) is astounding.

The production and recording (via John Krohn of Lower Peninsula Records) makes the record have a polish that doesn’t take away from the live, organically powerful atmosphere. The polish in this case reminds me of 1950s doo-wop groups and hit factory record labels like Motown Records. Every instrument has space but not enough to draw your attention toward a particular one. It, again, is a great balance of powerful instrumentation and pop sensibilities.

More LMTV collaborations with Elm Street Recording

More and more videos of our collaborations with Lansing based recording studio Elm Street Recording have been popping up as of late. Here are a few of them.

Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts “The Bridge” live at Elm Street Recording

 

Silk Filled Stilts “Long Live the Miscreants” live at Elm Street Recording

Way to Fall “Last Chance” live at Elm Street Recording

The Thornbills “Square Peg” live at Elm Street Recording

Drinking Mercury “Orcades” review

Drinking Mercury, by far the oldest Good Time Gang records-affiliated project at over 10 years old, has finally put out their first full length entitled Orcades. Here’s a review.

Opener “Grateful Day” has reverberated drums pulsating and guitars that sound like they’re planets away as swathing guitar fuzz dominates the left channel. “Barely Strung”, the following track, features loud (but not too overbearing) guitars and Michael Boyes’ distinct warbly falsetto. He even belts out some screams toward the end. “Pretend” has a Sonic Youth feel to it. Vocalist and guitarist Tommy McCord takes the lead vocal here. He doesn’t sound all that inspired and the track just feels a bit lackluster. I’ve heard a lot of the tones that they’re putting to tape on this track.

“Saydene” is by far the album’s standout track. I love the main guitar line here. It’s the audio equivalent of a Wild West duel. A swagger, sincerity and brittle toughness envelope the track via Boyes’ vocal and the excellent and dissonant walking bassline via Timmy Rodriguez. “Hey, Hey Sally” is also a great track. As I noted in my review of Drinking Mercury’s “Words” EP, I love Boyes’ vocal here. The version found on Orcades a re-recorded version which has a more “live” feel to it and Boyes’ vocal is more intense and dynamic.

Check this out for yourself here.

 

 

Small Houses “North” review

Small Houses‘ new full length, “North”, is a great record to listen to on a walk by yourself. It’s quietly beautiful and subtle, drawing on elements of classic country, top 40 country, indie rock and traditional folk music and even gospel music with a cover of “I and My Maker” by Jeremy Cassar. That’s not to say Jeremy Quentin, the man behind the Small Houses moniker, rehashes these styles. Quite the contrary. Songs like “Country Flowers”, with their whimsical banjo (courtesy of Frontier Ruckus’ Davey Jones) and mandolin (courtesy of Chris Bathgate) compliment Quentin’s choked up yet tuneful vocal delivery perfectly.
Less is more with “North”. A song like “Late July” with its subdued vocal by Quentin, quiet acoustic guitar melody, ringing piano chords and lap steel guitar, has more than a few musical elements but holistically they act as one quiet, emotionally subdued piece.
Even when more sounds are added, like on the title track, such as cymbal crashes, lap steel guitar or backing vocals on top of banjo, acoustic guitar and slide guitar, everything is mixed perfectly. The cymbal crashes sound off in the distance and the backing vocals are warm and soothing. Just because more musical layers are added, doesn’t mean the music can’t still be ethereal, quiet and beautiful.
The fastest track on the album, “In the Lawn”, draws on hoe down rhythms and a catchy violin melody alongside female backing vocals by Samantha Crain.
I had seen Small Houses perform in Brooklyn, NY in May by himself along with an acoustic guitar. I really enjoyed the intimacy of the performance and the album captures that atmosphere to a tee.

Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: The Shoutaways, Newday Dreamers and Morseville Bridge

Finally…the week of Midwest Fest has arrived! Get your tickets here. We finish up our countdown with The Shoutaways, Newday Dreamers and Morseville Bridge.

The Shoutaways

Photo courtesy of The Shoutaways Facebook page

Midland’s The Shoutaways are making their first appearance at Midwest Fest. With an indie swagger and a ’60s bubblegum pop swing, their songs, like “Deep” are infectious. They’ve played shows all across the state this summer. You can find songs like “Deep” on their self-titled EP available here.

Newday Dreamers

Photo courtesy of the Newday Dreamers Facebook page

Mt. Pleasant’s Newday Dreamers have unique sound, which combines a powerpop energy with blues, jazz and swing. I recently got the chance to see them perform at Rubble’s and it really enjoyed what I heard. This three piece are also young, having graduated high school earlier this year as well. Look for them to wow you at Midwest West.

Morseville Bridge

Photo courtesy of the Morseville Bridge Facebook page

This one man band from Flint is making his first appearance at Midwest Fest. His lo-fi recordings and his indie/punk live shows should be a great and unique experience for Midwest Fest goers. He also incorporates folk elements into his tunes. Check him out at Midwest Fest.

Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: Yoke and Ghost Heart

Midwest Fest is less than a week away! Get your tickets and have a great time. We’re profiling Yoke and Ghost Heart this time.

Yoke

 

Courtesy of the Yoke Facebook Page

Midland’s Yoke (aka Andrew Tamlyn) produces ambient, “chillwave” music but the difference between Yoke and all the others is that he uses a guitar and a few effects boxes and processors and not a multitude of synths. I saw him perform with Wavvy Hands at Rubble’s a while back and I liked that he uses his instrument in a unique way. Making his first appearance at Midwest Fest, his ambient drones and laid back “surf” guitar waves should not be missed.

Ghost Heart

Courtesy of the Ghost Heart Facebook page

 

Friction Records’ four piece Ghost Heart, from Grand Rapids, are making their first Midwest Fest appearance. Songs like “No Canticle” from their album “The Tunnel” are tribal and pulsating on the drums and guitars. Feedback drones as vocal harmonies intersect the instrumentation. You can hear more from them and their album “The Tunnel” on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

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