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Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: The High Strung and Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers

Here is another edition of Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown with The High Strung and Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers.

Photo Credit to:

Detroit’s The High Strung have been on the rise in the last few years. Their song, “The Luck You Got”, is the theme song to the Showtime series “Shameless”. They opened for Guided By Voices in Grand Rapids and have been constantly playing shows since their inception. Keep an eye out for them at Midwest Fest as it will definitely not be the last time you hear about them.

Photo credit to:

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers have a lot going on as of late. They’re currently recording their new album, due out later this year. They recently recorded a new song, ” that was filmed by LMTV at Elm Street Studios in Lansing that you can see here (along with a few other bands too). Expect Joe and the Rainbow Seekers to blow you away at Midwest Fest.

Lansingmusic.TV and Elm Street Recording Sessions

A few weeks ago, Lansingmusic.TV and Elm Street Recording filmed a slew of bands including Jason Alarm, The Hangers On, The Rival, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers and more. Here are the first batch of videos, edited by Ryan Wert (Elm Street Recording) and filmed by Lansingmusic.TV. We will post the rest of the videos when they become available.

Jason Alarm – “Doppelganger”

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers -”We Are Everything”

The Hangers On – “Abuse Me, Use Me”

Philthy and Amature – “Nate’s Back in Town”

The Rival – “Speedy Gonzales”

Archana – “Getting Away With Faking a Friendship”

Lansing bands to keep tabs on in 2011

So, I’ve decided to post up a list of the bands I feel are currently making waves beyond Lansing and will be bands to look out for in the near future.


Lansing’s self-proclaimed “weird metal” pioneers, Cavalcade, have been making a name for themselves with their psychedelic, sludgy, metal and avant garde stew they call music. The band recently completed a string of shows in Texas with Phil Anselmo’s sludge supergroup Down and plan to release their new album “Dear Entrails” on his HouseCore records. With the metal horns raised, things are looking up for this band of musical misfits (…I mean geniuses).

(Photo by Kim Nastal)

Elliot Street Lunatic

With new rock leanings and a tighter sound than ever before, Elliot Street Lunatic, are poised to bring their brand of spacey and epic rock to the masses. Having recently announced that Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter will be producing their new album, the band has stepped up their live game. They will be going on a May tour that includes stops in Flagstaff, AZ and Denver, CO. After this trek, the band will head to California to record with Crescenzo. From there, the band’s future will be a bright one. (Photo by Christian Frarey)

The Plurals

The flagship band of Lansing’s Good Time Gang records, The Plurals, are releasing a new album in May and they are currently on a west coast tour. Exposing their brand of noisy and poppy cacophony to new audiences is a goal for this veteran Lansing band. Recent live shows at Mac’s Bar in Lansing and at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids have shown that their new material is their strongest yet. Songs like “Conifer Oberst” and “Queensy” show their ability to ply hooks to distorted, crunchy goodness. Their noisy side is just as good, with songs like “I May Not Be a Smart Man” featuring the trademark wails of Nich Richard and the let-loose guitar of Tommy McCord. Hattie Danby is on top of her game as well behind the kit. Look for this gang of good timers to hit your ears soon.

Cheap Girls

Catchy hooks, driving guitars and a killer rhythm section are just a few of the things that make Cheap Girls a band to look out for. Recently coming off a month-long tour with punk heavyweights Against Me! and a trip to South By Southwest, their new songs they’ve been playing have ignited this band to near-superstardom. Songs like “Pacer”and “Pure Hate” draw on the influence of 90s poewrpop bands like Superchunk and Buffalo Tom but Cheap Girls are definitely not a rehash of these bands. Guitarist Adam Aymor adds a flare and flourish to his playing that is full of energy. Singer/bassist Ian Graham lays down the nearly stoicly emotional vocal overtop quiet basslines and brother Ben Graham plays the drums with a punk intensity and a pop swagger. The band will be going on tour with Lemuria in July and August to Europe, further solidifying their rising stars. (Photo by Ryan Russell)

The People’s Temple

The inaugural Lansingmusic.TV interviewees, these 60s-inspired garagey kids have been making strides, if not waves, as of late. The People’s Temple and their debut album, Sons of Stones, hits Lansing with a record release show on Saturday April 9th at Mac’s Bar. Swathing with reverb and old-school rock and roll vibes, this album is one not to be missed. The band recently completed a jaunt to Texas for South By Southwest, where they played the HoZac Records showcase. (Photo by Allie Dunn)

Jason Alarm

Coming out of Grand Ledge and bursting into Lansing, these epic and heavy synth-punks mean business. Currently writing their debut album, Jason Alarm are also constantly playing shows to hone their new sounds. Amidst a lineup change in February, the band soldiers on. Songs like “Your Radio” are epic, catchy and complex. Ever since I picked up their debut EP Engage, I knew that this band would have something to offer down the line. With plans to tour in the summer, the band hopes that new listeners will be attracted to their self-proclaimed “power new wave”.

Frank and Earnest

Their EP, “Old Francis”, was named the Lansingmusic.TV Album Of The Year. You might think the band has a lot to follow up on…and you’re right. Catchy-as-hell pop punk is a specialty of these Lansing, MI self-proclaimed “stupid guys”. Their new songs, like “Paul 4″ and “GTG Fest” are super catchy, the guitars are epic and the rhythm section is tight. It’s no secret that I love Frank and Earnest and with shows coming up with Mixtapes and The Smoking Popes, I hope new listeners will fall in love with the band like I did.


Currently in the midst of his “Coolest Dude in Sunday School” release series, the emcee is redefining and leading Lansing hip hop. Along with his crew, The Blat Pack, he has helped to push Lansing hip hop to new levels. With new songs from his “Coolest Dude..” series emphasizing experimentation with samples and a can-do attitude, these songs are something to check out. He also released a collaboration with The Amature back in August called “Whatupdoe From Blat!”. Keep P in mind when you think of Lansing hip hop. (Photo by Jake McGeorge).

Narc Out The Reds

If there’s one Lansing band on this list that can blow out your eardrums, it’s these guys. Along with the heavy and crushing guitars, the vocals (by singer/guitarist Chris Baratono) are crooner-esque and the rhythm section is killer. The band recently recorded with Detroit music legend Jim Diamond and are working on new songs for future release. I recently reviewed their “…Are On the Run EP” and I hope after reading my review, you go and check out this offering.

Frontier Ruckus

Michigan’s folk troubadours, Frontier Ruckus, are making huge strides across the world. Recently, the band played a coming-home show in Lansing. They will be touring Europe in May as well as the US later this year. Their 2nd album, Deadmalls and Nightfalls, was released last year to critical acclaim. They are working on new songs for later release and we here at Lansingmusic.TV can’t wait for them. I’m sure you can’t either.

Frank and Earnest and Narc Out the Reds Live MP3s

Live sets by Frank and Earnest and Narc Out The Reds from Thursday January 27, 2011 at Mac’s Bar are now available for FREE download at

Frank and Earnest’s set

Narc Out The Reds set

Enjoy! rocks the Web, LM.TV on the radio, and other updates

Lots of LansingMusic.TV related updates.

First of all, big thanks to Rich Tupica and the folks at the City Pulse for the article on LansingMusic.TV. Check it out here.

Also, be sure to tune in Impact 89FM this afternoon at 4:30. Casey, Sean, and I will be doing a radio interview.

*Update: Here is a link to our radio interview:

In addition to those updates, we have a new interview up with Frontier Ruckus. Catch the video below.

Chaz/TCF Update: Cartridge Family responds with a “secret weapon”

Since my last article was posted here around this time last night, The Cartridge Family have taken my question posed, “How will The Cartridge Family respond to Chaz’s claims?” and have done just that.

In their response video entitled “TCF’s Secret Weapon” they claim to have a “secret weapon” that will ruin Chaz and his efforts to wage war on the Lansing music scene. TCF say they will unveil the weapon at Day One of BMP Fest this Friday.

With less than 24 hours before BMP Fest begins, what will Chaz’s last ditch effort be against TCF? Does he have a secret weapon of his own and if so, what could it be and when will it be revealed?

Show up to Bermuda Mohawk Fest Day 1 this Friday at Mac’s Bar to find out how the continuing saga will unfold!

Chaz Brackx lights fire under Lansing music scene, continues “War”

After declaring war on Lansing’s music scene on August 9th at the Chaz Brackx and the Tight Teens Mac’s Bar show, Chaz has been the target of criticism as well as the instigator of a debate that is now raging here. Is the scene stale? Does it need to be rejuvenated? He seems to think so. Others are left to wonder if he is right or if he is full of it.

Recently banned-from-Lansing band, The Cartridge Family, seem to be in the latter category. On September 2, 2010, almost a month later, they responded with a reminder to Chaz that they will be at Mac’s on September 17th to reclaim the current scene they helped to birth and grow.

The volley was now back in Chaz’s corner. He took to the camera to call the Cartridge Family a “kid in a cowboy hat” and calling The Cartridge’s Families’ The People’s Champ, “the people’s chump”. He then took the time to promote the Red Swan reunion show on September 25th, 2010 with his respective band as well as Funender at Basement 414.

Will the war end and if so when? How will The Cartridge Family respond to Chaz’s claims? How does the Red Swan reunion show factor into this war?

You’ll just have to find out this Friday night at Mac’s Bar where Bermuda Mohawk Fest will be the battle ground between Team Chaz and Team TCF!

P2daHI and The Amature Interview

Check out our interview with Lansing’s own The Amature and P2daHI.
Watch the videos, then check them out here:

Cavalcade bring about new sounds on “Dear Entrails”

Lansing’s favorite sons of metal, Cavalcade, are back with a new record entitled “Dear Entrails”. Earlier this month the band released a preview of the new record with three new songs, “Cancer Fantasy”, “Agents of Bolivian” and “Big Tsack of Bspiders”, available for free download through their myspace page. Cale Sauter (guitar/melodica) says, via email, that musically the band wanted to challenge themselves in new ways. About the song “Big Tsack of Bspiders”, he says “Sometimes our writing process is borne out of challenging ourselves in a way where someone will bring in something dance-able like that and then we challenge ourselves to try to make it heavy, or someone will bring in something really dirty and dissonant and we’ll challenge ourselves to find a way to make it move”.

Although dance-able rhythms are seeping into Cavalcade’s sound, their core sound of brutal blast beats, Black Metal rasps and aggressive guitars are still there and always will be. Sauter says the Black Metal vocals are the key to a similar sound, yet being able to provide for experimentation. “Either way, Zak’s invariable vocal style, while perhaps alienating some, allows us the freedom to write all kinds of different music without sounding like six different bands. His rasp is the constant that keeps it cohesive” Sauter said.

The rasps may keep the sound cohesive, but the lyrics in which the rasps speak are very different than the loose serial killer concept of “Into Bolivian”. To bring about new lyrics, Sauter and Craig Horky (bass) would volley absurd song title back and forth and they would write lyrics as each new title came to mind. Failure is a major theme here, says Horky. “We had a loose theme of failure this time around…the songs are more personal and have more meaning” he said.

Since the release of their debut “Into Bolivian”, the band has played shows with Sludge Metal supergroup Down, which features Phil Anselmo of Pantera fame as well as Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod. Cavalcade’s other axeman, Brad vanStaveren, says that these shows had a particular effect on his musical output, not just “Dear Entrails”. He says, “the only thing I can mention really in reference to Eyehategod is that for me personally, (they have) always been a reference point in this band in terms of dissonance, ugliness, riffs, and controlled chaos through distortion.”

Indeed, “Dear Entrails” expands on the ideas of “controlled chaos through distortion”. The song “Cancer Fantasy” includes clean guitar parts, a rarity in the band’s catalog. Also, the song features female backing vocals by Ms. Frankie Knoch, singer in local band The Break-Ups. Another guest on this record is Mike Reed of Small Brown Bike. Sauter thought Reed should contribute when both he and Horky could hear Reed signing the chorus in their heads and asked Reed if he wanted to add his stamp to the song. These new editions help the band expand their musical vocabulary, yet maintain a certain aspect on their music that is easily recognizable.

Visit for more information on the band’s new record “Dear Entrails” including a free download of three of the new songs. Check them out this Wednesday August 11 at 9pm at Mac’s Bar. Also, see them on with Tombs at Mac’s Bar on August 21st at 9pm.

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