Bomb the Music Industry talk final tour, the future, favorite Michigan spots and more

 

Jeff Rosenstock (left, vocals/guitar) sings during their last Lansing show. Photo by Sean Bradley.

Nassau, NY punk band Bomb the Music Industry, who recently announced their current tour will be there last, stopped in Lansing on Wednesday. They talked about the band’s future plans, their lives back home and while they were in Lansing, talked up their favorite Michigan spots they’ve been to and someday want to visit. Check that out below. Also, I (Sean Bradley) recorded their set. Look for that to come out soon. That’ll be post at Lansingmusic.TV’s Purevolume.com page.

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Language “Self-Titled” EP Review

Language is a new band from Lansing, MI, recently making their live debut (as well as releasing a self-titled EP) alongside The People’s Temple, Racket Ghost and Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts at Mac’s Bar.

Here’s a review of said EP.

On first listen, a few different things come to mind from the self-described “post-art-pop” band. Although I’m not really sure what their stated influences are, I can tell they have a love for ’60s style rock and roll (similar to Lansing band The People’s Temple). Bands I can think of off the top of my head that they share sonic qualities with include The Velvet Underground (for their steady, repetitive rock and rough tones), the Beach Boys (for their harmonies and a pieced together feel somewhere near a similar sound) and Joy Division (for the vocalist’s droning style that actually carries a lot of melody behind it). Sonic Youth comes to mind too.

With all of these varied influences converging at a new point with Language’s music, I can’t say it’s something that’s entirely new in the large scheme of things. For the Michigan music scene, it definitely is. It’s a refreshing sound that I could get used to. Maybe there are other bands beyond Language as well as The People’s Temple who are doing something like this but probably not as exciting or interesting.

A lot of the instrumentation is really cool. “Indian Giver” has a dance-New Wave beat to it. The last song on the EP, “Lake Effect”, has a guitar tone very similar to The People’s Temple song “Sons of Stone”. Kinship indeed. The rhythm section is solid and spot on. It really drives the songs and helps them reach new heights as they progress. The drum fill into the chorus on “Koch Party” pulls you in.

The opener, “Sault Marie”, reminds me of a Joy Division or Velvet Underground song fronted by a singer who is gargling mouthwash. I can’t really understand him (beyond clearly hearing the chorus). Maybe that’s some of its charm. The guitar tone is fluid and trance-like. Good stuff.

They definitely don’t forget how to craft a good pop song among an overall washy mix. Songs like “Sweet Randy” have an overall dreamy tone to them but you can still tell where the verse ends and the chorus begins. It never drifts off into something unintelligible. They know where the songs are supposed to go and end where they naturally should (even if it’s a little abrupt like on the opening track and a couple others too).

Check this band out when you get a chance. They’re a refreshing sound in mid-Michigan that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

 

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers release “Ego Loss…” Music Video

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers released their newest music video for “Ego Loss on Grand River Avenue” yesterday. Filmed by MSU student Matt Hallowell during the Michigan State University homecoming parade last year, the video is one continuous take.

The band are currently working on new music, including their newest single “Home For a Funeral”, which is a free download on their website. Catch them opening for The Wallflowers and Lights at Commonground Music Festival in Lansing, MI tomorrow. Buy tickets here.

Midwest Fest 2012 poster released; Tickets available now

Midwest Fest 2012, held this year on September 25-29, at Rubble’s Bar as well as Kaya Coffee and Tea Co. in downtown Mount Pleasant, MI, has released the poster after holding a contest to design this year’s festival poster. The winner was Gina Heydens.

Photo courtesy of the Midwest Fest Facebook page. Flier by Gina Heydens.

Lansing bands playing the festival include Drinking Mercury and Elliot Street Lunatic. Detroit’s The Hard Lessons are headlining the final night of the festival but other bands such as Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, The Soil and the Sun, Empty Orchestra, Gifts or Creatures, Child Bite and many others are playing throughout the week. Get your tickets at the above link by clicking on “Tickets”.

Nathan K. “Dishes” review

Michigan indie-folk musician, Nathan K. (real name Nathan Klages) is back with a new album called “Dishes”, slated for release on the 26th. He is currently on the Warped Tour as a full-time member of Grand Rapids electro-pop group Stepdad.

Check out this review of “Dishes”.

Recorded the previous winter on a 4-track recorder in the waiting room of the hospital where his grandfather was dying (who has since passed on), “Dishes” has a nervous yet expectant feel to it. On a re-worked version of a previous song, “Ghosts”, Klages sings with a warbly falsetto among drum loops and acoustic guitar chimes. “For your own good”, the album’s opener, he sings “I really should try to relax/For my own good”, has an eerie, self-assured feel to it as knowing the record’s back story. The most personal song on the album, “Hospital Walls”, he sings “I was working on a great big painting to give my grandpa as a gift/But he died one cold, dark evening so I threw it in the ditch”, exposing Klages’ some feelings about his grandfather’s passing.

The instrumentation on the album is a bit repetitive but considering the circumstances in which the album was recorded, I’ll give that a pass. He does his best to liven up the instruments on occasion; on “Leave Them”, there’s a light, omnipresent hand clap that adds a bit of rhythm. “Hospital Walls” is really lush and warm, featuring strings along with his voice and many layers of his guitar. The guitar line on “Criminal” is really cool; it feels like a pendulum, swinging back and forth while a banjo lightly plucks.

This album is only nine tracks and I do think his re-worked version of “Ghosts” should have been left off the album. His backing unbearably high falsetto is something I could do without. I’m sure he’s getting better at hitting the high notes. He just needs a little more focus and he’ll have it down next time. I did like the drum beat on it; shows the influence Stepdad has had on his songwriting. If only he brought a few more of those elements into the album, I think I could discern a few of the songs. A lot of the tracks have the same feel to them; instrumentation, vocals, etc. I guess it’s the nature of the folk/singer-songwriter genre. Good songs but just stuff I’ve heard before from him. A little diversity and/or approach next time would be great.

His lyrics are great, telling stories with a passionate energy. The imagery gets in your head. Great stuff on that front. The instrumentation, while limited, does its best to work with the lyrics. Maybe he’ll stick to a style like this next time (hey, I can’t blame him, he’s great at it), but to push his songs to a new level, a wider array of  instrumentation is definitely needed.

Pre-order the album here. Pick up the album when it comes out at the same link.

New 3-Way Singles Club split featuring Calliope, Curent and Stargrazer

Check out the new 3-Way Singles Club split featuring new music from Calliope, Curent and Stargrazer.

artwork courtesy of the It Takes a Village to Make Records' Bandcamp Page

Listen here: http://music.itavrecords.com/album/3-way-singles-club-volume-14

New LMTV videos

We’ve got some new videos coming out soon.

First up is Young Dan Tucker live at Bermuda Mohawk Fest 2010 playing “I Don’t Want You Back” (Warning: Explicit Content)

We’ll have more Young Dan Tucker and some videos from The Cartridge Family soon.

 

Elliot Street Lunatic tour blog Part 6: Home at last

After a week of excellent adventures, great shows and lots of driving, Elliot Street Lunatic and The Cutthroat Drifters played at Mac’s Bar in Lansing along with Detroit’s The Wall Clocks, Lansing’s Commodore Cosmos and Grand Rapids’ Simien The Whale.

Johnathan Mazzei (center) singer and guitarist for The Wall Clocks from Detroit, MI

The Wall Clocks played a damn good show. Lead singer and guitarist Johnathan Mazzei has the look of a ’50s doo wop guitarist with an old-school hollow body (which I can’t name) and microphone plus a full suit. Definitely had the look down. I enjoyed their brand of ’60s-esque psychedelic rock and roll. Their second guitarist even busted out a guitar solo cover of a Pink Floyd song. Good times from these dudes.

 

Simien The Whale and Commodore Cosmos played well too. I (admittedly) didn’t catch much of either set but I liked what I did here. Simien The Whale has a lot of slow, funky jams. Commodore Cosmos (a duo, with ESL’s Jason Marr on drums) with Jon Mickelson on guitar and vocals. I liked the stripped down nature of this band’s songs a lot. Solid drumming from Marr and lots of power chords from Mickelson. Cool stuff worth checking out.

Dave Meyers, guitarist for The Cutthroat Drifters

Later, The Cutthroat Drifters played a pumped, energetic set of rock and roll tunes for the crowd. Over the past few days of touring this band has gotten tighter and tighter and it showed here. Everything was rocked out and on time. Nick Kjolhede has the front man thing down pat. He definitely loves what he does, running around stage and engaging the audience. Definitely entertaining. Guitarist Dave Myers showed his chops, shredding but also jamming the blues. He can play with the best of ‘em.

The Cutthroat Drifters, from Denver, Colorado.

The drumming was great. Simple yet concise. Jeremy Robins (brother of ESL guitarist Eric Robins) played the bass, keeping time and mostly playing root notes. In a rock and roll band such as theirs, root notes and precision are important and the rhythm section do it perfectly.

Elliot Street Lunatic, after a week on the road, played the hell out of their songs. They shows on the road tested them as a band and a unit. They’ve come out of it even better than when they left. The rhythm section of Caleb Knight (drums) and Josh DeBrabander (bass) were tight, bouncy and powerful. Knight has definitely improved over the last week of shows and is definitely home behind the kit. He even sings echoing backup vocals, adding another layer to the band’s sound. Marr and Robins play their parts with a passion and energy that this past week of shows has only helped to increase. One of their newest songs, “Illuminate”, is bouncy and incredibly catchy. The verses will have you hooked.

The band were glad to be back in Lansing after a long week of shows. Here, Josh DebraBander (left) and Jason Marr (right) are featured.

Their set ended with usual closer “Lullaby” but with an extended outro with about 20 people (me included) singing along. With all that momentum, I couldn’t have imagined the band would play another song but they unexpectedly played “Dearly” from their first album “Stories from the Void”. A great end to the tour and a great week that none of us will forget.

 

 

Elliot Street Lunatic tour blog Part 5: Toledo, Ohio and back home to Lansing

Elliot Street Lunatic performed at the Ottawa Tavern in Toledo, OH.

We arrived in Toledo, Ohio at about 2pm after a long night driving through Illinois and Ohio after the show at Reggie’s Music Joint in Chicago. Seemingly arriving in Toledo extremely early, we were bored with nothing to do. We wandered around the city looking for a place to chill and relax but no luck. We went back to the Ottawa Tavern and sat in front of it for a while, chilling and watching Dragonball Z Kai. It’s been a long tour, and by now, the exhaustion has set in with all of us.

Caleb Knight (left, drums) has been playing with Elliot Street Lunatic since the beginning of the year. This show was the first time he has played in Toledo.

Later on, after more killing time, the show finally began at about 11pm with Elliot Street Lunatic. The band, tired like the rest of us, still played an excellent, energetic set although the bar patrons seemed a bit indifferent to them (and the other bands as well). It was definitely a fun show though and reminded us all of what was to come at their show in Lansing. The Toledo show was a warm up for both ESL and the Cutthroat Drifters.

With only three bands, the show would have seemed to go by quickly but it really felt slow and dragged on. Being in Toledo for that long with nothing to do took a toll on us all. The car ride home was a tiring but rewarding one: we were all finally home in Michigan.

Tonight is Elliot Street Lunatic’s return home show with some great bands including The Cutthroat Drifters and Commodore Cosmos.

Elliot Street Lunatic tour blog part 4: Iowa City and Chicago (Days 1 and 2)

Tuesday May 15, 2012 – Iowa City, IA

 

The entrance to Gabe’s. Along with local bands, the venue also brings in nationally-known punk and indie bands.

Tours have their ups and downs. Some shows are great (like in Lincoln) and some shows are not-so-great (like in Iowa City). We rolled up to Gabe’s, which has a lot of pretty big bands roll through, especially punk bands. The Dear Hunter played the venue a couple of weeks ago and one of the locals that played Tuesday’s show opened for them. The show finally started around 9 with the Cutthroat Drifters. As the night wore on and ESL took the stage, a few people walked in a little after their set began. The local bands, Chasing Shade and Zeta June played long sets (which we didn’t expect) and, although they were good sets, they play for a very long time. They did manage to bring some people out though, which was good.

After the long night at Gabe’s (which we hope to be back to soon), we crashed hard at our hotel. Now, we’re on the road to Chicago for an eventful two days. ESL have a radio interview with Fearless Radio and a full band open mic at The Elbow Room. The following night, ESL plays at Reggie’s Music Joint. Looking forward to that.

Wednesday May 16, 2012 – The Elbow Room

We arrived in Chicago just in time for the band’s interview on Fearless Radio. The band’s interview was really good. They were asked great questions and even got a question from a listener in the UK. That was definitely a pleasant surprise. The interview will be online on the Fearless radio website.

Once we met up with their friend Parker (who let the band store their gear in a friend’s practice space), we went to get pizza (again). After some chilling around the city, we headed to the Elbow Room for the band’s open mic. There was a pretty decent crowd and they reacted well to the songs of both ESL and The Cutthroat Drifters. My cousin Chris came out to the show and bought a CD from ESL. The band played great and worked out their songs live even more. We all did a bit of networking at the show too, which is always good to do.

ESL played at The Elbow Room at the full-band Open Mic on Wednesday May 16.

Thursday May 17, 2012 – Reggie’s Music Joint

The next night at Reggie’s was excellent. The crowd was small but the bands were awesome. Alar Wave, who played after The Cutthroat Drifters, were a two piece (acoustic guitar and bass) that really reminded me of Andrew Jackson Jihad. The Chicago band killed their set and kept warming up the crowd. I would definitely see them again in Chicago when I go back.

Chicago band Alar Wave played second, after The Cutthroat Drifters. They play as a duo with Gerard Pannekoek (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Alex Sisto (bass, vocals).

ESL took the stage played the best show of the tour so far. The band were on and super tight. It was a great show for sure.

The Cutthroat Drifters opened the show at Reggie's Music Joint in downtown Chicago.

Elliot Street Lunatic performed at Reggie's Music Joint on Thursday May 18, 2012.

The following band, This Magazine Is Haunted, were awesome too. Playing a brand of power pop like The Lemonheads or The Replacements, they played an excellent set. I loved everyone of their songs. It was too bad they didn’t have any CDs on hand as I would’ve definitely bought one. They said they only play gigs about once a month or so. Hopefully I’ll see them again too.

As I type this in Toledo, Ohio’s Ottawa Tavern, we’re waiting for the show to start. We rolled into Toledo at about 2pm and have had almost nothing to do. Luckily we have each other to keep each other entertained. Tomorrow’s show in Lansing will be great. It will be great to be home. I (and the rest of us) can’t wait.

 

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