Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Elliot Street Lunatic tour blog part 3: Good luck and good people in Lincoln, Nebraska

ESL played a last minute show at the Zoo Bar in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska.

Some things just work out. Elliot Street Lunatic and the Cutthroat Drifters were expecting to play the Bourbon Theater in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. Two hours before the band were due to load in at the venue, Jason received an email saying the show was canceled. We were all devastated. The Bourbon Theater show promoter got in touch with Jason and scrambled for a show in Lincoln. The band got a break when they were offered a show at the Zoo Bar in downtown Lincoln. The band, with nothing else to do, took the show. The bartender said the band needed to draw at least 25 people to the bar in order to play. As we sat in Brothers bar across the street, we sat wondering how we would accomplish this task. The Cutthroat Drifters’ singer Nick Kjolhede, came up with a (what we all thought) was a crazy idea: take the band’s acoustic guitars and try to get people out to the show. With nothing else to lose, the bands took the task. We spent the greater part of two hours talking to people, asking them to come out to the show. By just talking and striking up a conversation, we managed to get almost 30 or 40 people out to the show.

Nick Kjolhede, singer for the Cutthroat Drifters, singing at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln, Nebraska. The crowd enjoyed both Elliot Street Lunatic and The Cutthroat Drifters.

The efforts of Caleb Knight, ESL’s drummer, and Nick Kjolhede made the night worth while. Caleb and Nick inspired the rest of us to push the show to be the best it could be considering the circumstances. It was all about making the best of bad luck. All about the love of music and putting on a great show. Sometimes when you’ve got nothing to lose, you take a chance. Maybe the people you approach won’t go to the show but by at least approaching them about it and letting them know is better than doing nothing. We were all glad the show worked out. The bartender, at first, seemed like he didn’t want the bands there but once the bands took the stage and played, people filtered in, and by the end of the night, they were overjoyed at how well this last minute show went.

After this inspiring night, we head to Iowa City to play at Gabe’s with locals Chasing Shade and Zeta June. We’re all pumped and ready to go for the rest of the tour.

Elliot Street Lunatic tour blog Part 2: ESL at Bender’s Tavern

Bender’s Tavern, in downtown Denver, was host to Elliot Street Lunatic’s tour kickoff on Saturday May 12. The bill was certainly one I wouldn’t expect ESL to play on. Hard rock and death metal opened and closed the show last night with bands like MF Ruckus and The Hookers playing along with ESL and the Cutthroat Drifters.

Josh and Caleb waiting in Bender's Tavern green room for their set to begin

The venue was really similar to Mac’s Bar in Lansing. In the green room, graffiti and band stickers covered the walls. Most of the bands with stickers on the walls I’d never heard of (and almost all of the band names were terrible too). Caleb, the band’s drummer, who, at 19 years old, was not allowed in the bar area of the venue so he had to wait in the green room before and after ESL played. Also interesting was the building itself: there were two rooms with two completely different shows going on. On one side, the ESL show with tables and a risen stage. On the other was a traditional country band, which actually felt more like a restaurant than a bar.  That was pretty neat.

I missed the first band and I didn’t really care that I did. ESL went on second.  The crowd, oddly and surprisingly consisted of a lot of Michigan friends of theirs, which was a nice surprise for them. Josh, the bassist, was even surprised with a visit from his friend Rachel. It felt like a local show in a way. The venue had the Mac’s Bar feel (but a lot more divey and scumey if you can believe that) and ESL felt at home playing Bender’s Tavern.

Eric and Jason playing during their set at Bender's Tavern on Saturday May 12.

Time seemed to move slowly during their set. The whole 20+ hour drive to Denver, the exhaustion, lack of sleep and gas station diets led to the show. They put a lot of their energy into trying to please the somewhat sparse crowd (maybe 30-40 people were there) and they seemed to do a good job. Opening with a cover of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles, it seemed appropriate for the hard rock crowd. Playing originals like new song “Illuminate” (which is my new favorite song of theirs), Ghost Town, This Modern World and Lullaby went over well with the crowd. They turned some of the crowd into new fans, as some later bought CDs and T-shirts.

Josh playing bass during ESL's set

The Cutthroat Drifters put on a good set of hard rock and roll. Singer Nick Kjolhede is a great frontman, dancing and swinging the mic around like he’s dancing with it. Bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin influenced this band for sure. They play their instruments well and with energy. The guitar play is very good, playing licks and running up and down the guitar. Their show was a good time.

Today (Sunday May 13) is a chilled out day for all of us. Cookout, beer tunes via the record player will make for a good, relaxing day. Tomorrow morning will be the start of a week of shows, beginning in Lincoln Nebraska at the Bourbon Theater.

Elliot Street Lunatic tour blog Part 1: Midland to Denver

Elliot Street Lunatic kicked off their tour in Midland, MI at the Tiz-It bar.

This blog started being written at about 10:30 am on some never-ending highway in Iowa, just outside of Iowa City on our way to Denver, Colorado. Last night’s show in Midland at the Tiz-It Bar (which I first thought sounded like the name of a strip club) was at least good for the gas money. The band played well to a small but enthusiastic crowd of locals. We arrived at the bar a little late (as the bar staff was saying) but after the band setup, they ran through their set in an almost practice-like fashion. Don’t get me wrong, they played the hell out of their songs but it felt a bit odd as everyone watching was sitting down (myself included) and it just didn’t feel like a “show” to me but more like a rehearsal for their shows later in the week. They even busted out their cover of “Sgt. Peppers” by The Beatles. Surprisingly, the crowd, consisting of older folks and your stereotypical bar-goers, enjoyed the band’s set and was screaming for more by its end. There were even some girls dancing to their music.

Killer Kong, the hometown band, killed it with an excellent set of power trio-style rock and roll. They’re like, as Jason puts it, “if The Rival were more ’60s influenced”. That’s a perfect description. Loud and abrasive but with a backbone of a bass and loud drums and dog-off-his-leash guitar, the band knows how to put on a show. The show was an unexpected success for both bands and was an excellent start to the tour.

The drives through Iowa and Nebraska were largely uneventful. Lots of Benadryl-induced sleeping and lots of listening to the (maybe) five radio stations available out in the middle of nowhere. A sign we saw at a gas station said “You Are Nowhere”. This sign, a small sign we almost didn’t see, encompassed our thoughts on the long, monotonous drive. It didn’t dampen our spirits though; it in fact made us even more eager to get to Denver.

We finally rolled into Denver at about 8pm Mountain time (10pm Eastern time, which we’re all used to). We stopped by the practice space of ESL’s tourmates, the Cutthroat Drifters, and watched them practice after we loaded their gear into the Drifters’ practice space. I currently write this at former ESL drummer CJ Kjohede’s apartment in Denver. It’s currently 2:44am (Denver time). We’re all exhausted but not even ready to get to bed. We’re all excited for the show at Bender’s tomorrow and the next week of shows. It’s going to be an awesome time.

Elliot Street Lunatic tour and website additions


First off, Lansing’s Elliot Street Lunatic are going on tour in support of their newest album, Ghost Town Lullabies, in a few days to Denver, CO and back with stops in Lincoln, NE, Iowa City, IA, Chicago, IL, Toledo, OH and finally back in Lansing. Check their website (linked above) for tour dates and show information. Singer and guitarist Jason Marr was interviewed by the Colorado University Independent newspaper ahead of the shows in Colorado. I (Sean) will be tagging along on the tour, documenting it on our website with blog posts, photos and videos. There will also be twitter posts @lansingmusictv. It’s definitely going to be a fun time.

Also, there will be some great additions to the website soon. First is a list of venues from around Lansing and beyond, complete with contact information and a description. That is currently being worked on and should be done very soon. Secondly, a encyclopedia-type database of Lansing bands, other Michigan bands and out-of-state bands that frequent the state will be on the website by the end of the summer. It’s going to take a while but it will be a great resource with pictures, video, contact information and everything else bands will need to contact other bands. Once it is done, the list will be periodically updated with new bands.

Look out for all of that soon,

Sean

Music of Mount Pleasant: Moses

Sorry for the missed post last week. I’ve been busy working on a lot of (coincidentally) stories on the local music scene in Mount Pleasant for CM Life. The stories will be published on Wednesday April 11 in this upcoming week’s Vibe section. Get stoked!

Back to the series, this time with Moses.

 

Playing a brand of folk rock which encompasses soaring and catchy melodies with an uncompromising experimental slant to their music, Moses has been making waves around Mount Pleasant since last year. With all members of the band being students at Central Michigan University, they take advantage of this fact. They often will play acoustic sets around the campus, further showcasing their DIY attitudes and willingness to just play music. Plain and simple. With songs like “Huron”, featuring hand drums and a catchy chorus, the members often switch instruments during sets and while writing songs, making the band a musical force to be reckoned with.

Their next show is on Thursday April 19 at Rubble’s Bar with Wavvy Hands, Delightfuls and Hour 24. RSVP to the show here.

Music of Mount Pleasant: Joe Hertler

We’re back with more Mount Pleasant music coverage…This time covering Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers

Photo credit to Victoria Zegler

In the last couple of years, Joe Hertler and the band have expanded their locales to include Lansing as well but their roots in Mount Pleasant will never go away. Hertler, a student at Central Michigan University, began playing open mics at Kaya Coffeehouse a few years ago and hasn’t looked back. Releasing “The Hard Times LP” by himself on bandcamp, he garnered praise for his unique voice, honesty and energy in his music. Hertler now plays with a band, the Rainbow Seekers, who compliment and expand exponentially upon his energy. Their live show, comprised of singalongs and loud yet delicate instrumentation, is something to be seen to be believed. The band released “On Being” last year to praise around the state. The band even played a CMJ Showcase show in Brooklyn, NY last year.

  • Catch Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers with Elliot Street Lunatic at Rubble’s Bar on Saturday April 14. More information on ticket prices and age limit soon.

Music of Mount Pleasant: Newday Dreamers

So, I (Sean) have been in Mount Pleasant going to school at CMU since last August. In my time here, I’ve discovered a few great bands worth talking about. Mount Pleasant isn’t a town to sleep on. Although the scene may be small, it has some great artists and musicians. I’ll be doing a weekly series profiling local musicians here.

First up is Newday Dreamers.

The band is: Micah Bracken, Cody Armstrong, Ryan Heisler and (recently added member) Adam Marth.

Forming in 2008, the band has been making more waves in the last couple years. They played Mount Pleasant festival Midwest Fest last year at Rubble’s Bar. They’ve also played countless gigs at Rubble’s as well as Kaya Coffeehouse and Tea Co. With a sound encompassing indie pop and rock, the band can pull off a slower song but can also crank it into high gear. They played the 2012 edition of the Middle of the Mitten showcase and, at another show, an entire set of Talking Heads songs in East Lansing recently. Their song, “Cars”, is an excellent example of their technicality and skill as songwriters as well. The band have been playing more and more gigs outside of Mount Pleasant at places like Mac’s Bar in Lansing and even playing a gig soon down in Ypsilanti at Woodruff’s Bar. “Cars” is also in rotation on 91.5 FM in Mount Pleasant and 88.9 The Impact in Lansing as well. Expect great things from this band in the future.

Check them out on Facebook, Tumblr and Bandcamp.

First update in a while.

Hey all,

We apologize for the lack of updates in a long while. We’ve all been really busy with school and work but we plan on getting some projects going for the summer. We’re still working on our public access show, airing on Comcast Lansing channel 12 if you wish to check it out. If you miss it on TV, you can also check out our most current episodes here:  http://vimeo.com/channels/266805. Those are some excellent pieces of work featuring bands like Year 200X, Way To Fall, Elliot Street Lunatic, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers and a lot more.

We will be getting a lot done this year. Keep your ears and eyes open for us.

Sean Bradley

-Lansingmusic.TV

‘Secret Identities’ CDs now in GTG store; New Quilted Attic session online

“Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing” is now available in the Good Time Gang Records webstore for $7 ($5 + $2 shipping). If you missed out on the release show, this is now your first chance to pick up the album. Do so here.

In other news, a new clip from last year’s Bigger Brush Media-Lansingmusic.TV collaborative Quilted Attic Session is now online. This clip features Philthy performing his song “Sometimes” in the Quilted Attic. View it here:

Sometimes – P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. – The Quilted Attic Sessions from Bigger Brush Media on Vimeo.

 

‘Secret Identities’ release a great success; CDs available at FBC, Record Lounge soon

The release show for “Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing” was a great success. Thanks go out to Tommy McCord, Cale Sauter and the whole GTG Records and Bermuda Mohawk Productions crew for putting in the hours of free time and dedication to this project. Thanks also go out to all the bands for just participating; that in and of itself is a great honor.

Thank you to Mac’s Bar for hosting the show and Scott Bell for running the door.

Thank you to everyone who purchased a CD and/or a poster. I greatly appreciate that and the bands do as well. I hope you enjoy it.

The CDs will be available the Flat, Black and Circular and The Record Lounge, both in downtown East Lansing, sometime next week. I will post when they have been delivered to their respective locations. They will be on sale for $5 at these shops.

They will also be available at the Good Time Gang Records website sometime next week as well. I and they will let all of you know when they’ll be available for purchase (and for how much) soon.

Thanks again to everyone and look out for Secret Identities: Issue #2 on the horizon.

Return top