Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

2013 Michigan music roundup Part 3 of 3

The final part of the Lansingmusic.TV 2013 Michigan music round up is here! Check out part 1 here and part 2 here. Here’s to a great 2014 in Michigan music.

Small Houses “Exactly Where You Wanted to Be” LP

Now a resident of Atlanta, Ga., previously a resident of Philadelphia, Pa. and before that, a resident of many Michigan cities, Jeremy Quentin, aka Small Houses, released a great followup LP to 2011′s North this year. Similar to Frontier Ruckus or Chris Bathgate, Small Houses carries a midwestern ethos wherever he’s located.

From my Central Michigan Life review: ““Oh, Hiding Out” starts the record off with lush guitars, sharp harmonica and unusual anthem-like vocals during the verses. “Saint Louis isn’t gone/No, it’s hidden and waiting in my voice,” he sings with volume and conviction.

Without any drums to be heard on the record, Quentin relies on instruments such as an acoustic guitar, piano and his voice to effectively tell the stories his songs convey.

“Sarah’s Song” is a standout track. With the piano providing the hook, it’s reminiscent of New Jersey, Springsteen-influenced punk band The Gaslight Anthem. It has memorable vocals and powerful piano chords that stick in your head with a heck of a hook.

“You were exactly where you wanted to be,” he sings on “Our Sweet,” a track which has storytelling at its finest.”

Frontier Ruckus “Eternity of Dimming” LP

Metro Detroit’s Frontier Ruckus released the massive and expansive “Eternity of Dimming” 20-song album back in February. They then toured the U.S., Europe, played many a summer festival including Lollapalooza then toured again, this time in the midwest and east coast. Ever the workhorses, they’re already working on a followup LP.

Full of intimately specific lyrics (all 5,500 or so of them), this is a great record if you just want to get lost in a sea of localities, memories and emotions. Songs like “Dealerships” and “Eyelashes” show why this band will continue toward more and more success.

Jahshua Smith “The Final Season” LP

Now living in Washington, D.C., Jahshua Smith, a member of Lansing-based hip hop collective Blat! Pack, released a great hip hop LP called The Final Season in February. With high chart performances on the CMJ hip hop chart, look out for more from him in the future.

From my Central Michigan Life review: “With cameos from a who’s-who of Michigan artists from Joe Hertler (on lead track “Seven Year Itch”) to fellow BLAT! Pack members Philthy, The Amature, Yellowkake and Red Pill, the diversity shown in the featured artists is just as diverse as the production on the tracks themselves. “Seven Year Itch” features Hertler’s soulful crooning on the chorus, while “Carry On/The Ark” features Philthy’s lisp-laden flow.

Smith’s lyrics range from the political to the personal, with a party track thrown in here and there. On “Censored,” he raps about making it to college “but still had to wait for Uncle Sam to split the bill.”

It’s a bit of a stream-of-consciousness, pointed diatribe with a bit of hope tied to it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel here.”

Cavalcade – Dear Entrails LP

After founding vocalist Zak Warren parted ways with the band and recruited Wastelander’s Sean Peters to take on vocal duties, Cavalcade, Lansing’s “weird metal” champions came back in May and June in full force. The band had a busy second half of 2013: They released two albums worth of material (“Dear Entrails, …” and “15 Year Dog Plan“) on their Bandcamp and, later in the year, played the Housecore Horror Film Festival in Austin, Texas and released a 7″ record, their first physical release in half a decade.

If I were to pick an Album of the Year for 2013, this would be it.

Here’s a little bit about their “Dear Entrails, …” record, from my (quite lengthy) LMTV review:

“An album about failure never sounded so successful in its vision. The self-described “weird metal” band have been combining disparate genres like avant, jazz, sludge, doom and even traditional instruments like tuba and saxophone since at least 2006 and here, after releasing their debut album a few years ago, finally show what their twisted vision is capable of.

“Agents of Bolivian”, with a backwards guitar effect in the intro, puts Cavalcade’s sound in an angular, skewed template. Guitar solos that could fit on a modern day thrash inspired-metal record clash with tuba and glockenspiel, although the latter is minimal while the overall tempo here is sludge and doom-inspired but maybe a little bit faster.”

The Avett Brothers, Frontier Ruckus announced for Commonground; Jahshua Smith – The Final Season review

The Avett Brothers have been announced for the Commonground Music Festival held in downtown Lansing this summer and Frontier Ruckus have been announced to open for them.

Be on the lookout for more performer announcements in the future.

In other news, Lansing hip hop artist Jahshua Smith has released a new album called The Final Season.

Check out a review here, via Central Michigan Life:

Lansing emcee and BLAT! Pack member Jahshua Smith (formerly JYoung the General) released his new album “The Final Season” last week, and with almost an hour-and-a-half musical journey, the listen is a bit long but well worth it.

With cameos from a who’s-who of Michigan artists from Joe Hertler (on lead track “Seven Year Itch”) to fellow BLAT! Pack members Philthy, The Amature, Yellowkake and Red Pill, the diversity shown in the featured artists is just as diverse as the production on the tracks themselves. “Seven Year Itch” features Hertler’s soulful crooning on the chorus, while “Carry On/The Ark” features Philthy’s lisp-laden flow.

Smith’s lyrics range from the political to the personal, with a party track thrown in here and there. On “Censored,” he raps about making it to college “but still had to wait for Uncle Sam to split the bill.”

It’s a bit of a stream-of-consciousness, pointed diatribe with a bit of hope tied to it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel here.

“The Ghosts of Medgar Evers” is another political track drawing on the mindsets of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

“They take up 130 words to sum up a black life,” Smith raps over a synthesizer and snare beat.

Smith’s flow is confident and powerful. Able to draw upon personal experiences, he channels a pent-up anger on his political tracks, while his laid-back style comes through on “Butt/Don’t Hold Back,” with its soulful guitar lead and interchangeable sample of the word “butt” with “but” cleverly implemented. It’s a party track “for the ladies,” as he says in a skit before the track.

He also takes time to dissect love and relationships with songs such as “Lylah’s Song.”

Smith’s travels down a few different avenues with this record and can cater to different groups. Including a few different bonus tracks, the album is a bit too long to listen to at once. The singles are where this album shines, but listening to the entire album helps the listener learn more about Smith: his triumphs, struggles and life. Regardless of what you listen to, you should pick this up. It’s got a bit for everyone and has Michigan roots.

 

Lots of shows coming up in Mount Pleasant

Sean here.

I’m back in Mount Pleasant for school and there are a ton of shows coming up in town over the next few months I’m really excited about and you should be too.

Check it out:

Rubble’s Bar is located at: 112 W. Michigan St., Mount Pleasant, MI

Hunter’s Ale House is located at: 4855 East Blue Grass Road, Mount Pleasant, MI

 

Thursday Jan. 17

Thursday Jan. 24

Saturday Jan. 26

  • Detroit indie-dance band Flint Eastwood play Hunter’s Ale House with Farwell’s Delightfuls and Mount Pleasant’s Benthos opening.
  • 9:30 p.m./FREE for 21+ and $2 for anyone 18-20

Friday Feb. 8

  • Grand Rapids ska band Mustard Plug play Rubble’s Bar with Lansing’s Decades and Mount Pleasant’s Ugly Broads opening.
  • 10 p.m./21+/$7

Saturday Feb. 16

  • Grand Rapids band The Soil and the Sun play an all-ages show with Mount Pleasant’s Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers, Moses and Newday Dreamers opening.
  • 8 p.m./Ticket prices TBA

Friday March 22

  • Detroit indie band Bars of Gold play Hunter’s Ale House with Grand Rapids band Empty Orchestra and a local band to be determined opening.
  • 9 p.m./FREE for 21+ and $2 for 18+

Be apart of the Lansingmusic.TV Band Database: Here’s How

Bands, singer-songwriters, rappers, instrumentalists from all genres in Michigan! I (Sean) am updating and expanding the LMTV Band Database page and want your band or act to apart of it.

Here’s how you can get your band listed on our site:

Send an email with the following information to lansingmusictv@gmail.com. Please include in the Subject Line the following: LMTV Database and your band’s name

1. Please attach a most recent photo of your band

2. The band’s genre (please do not say “Other” or something similar)

3. The first and last names of members of the band along with the instrument and/or vocals each member plays

4. A few of the bands your band has played with (can be both local and national acts, and preferably bands similar to your style)

5. Links to your band’s social media sites and/or band website

 

Thanks!

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

The Record Lounge’s top records of 2011

Heather Frarey, owner of East Lansing record shop The Record Lounge, was kind enough to provide us with her lists of favorite local and national records of 2011.

Local:


1. Frontier Ruckus- Dead Malls and Nightfalls: This was just a great follow up to the 2008 release The Orion Songbook. From the music that just blows you away with the arrangements as well as the stellar song writing. In this short span of time they have went from a great local Michigan folk band to a worldwide success in the Americana/Folk genre. (This album was re-released on vinyl in 2011 by Lower Peninsula Records)

2. Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers- On Being: This came out later this year and Joe really showed what a great song writer he is.
This music is indie at its best and I expect them to really blow up in 2012.


3. Gifts or Creatures- Pilot House: Husband and wife Brandon and Bethany Foote along with the likes of Seth Bernard and Trevor Hobbs and many other contributors really blew me away with this awesome folk cd. The production as well as all the different instruments that was used in this just shows that attention to detail results in a great cd!!

Here are her national picks for 2011:

Top 10 lp’s 2011

10. Toro Y Moi- Underneath The Pines : One of chillwaves best artists. This lp has great upbeat tracks that almost sound as if they were taken from some of the best pop songs of the 70′s. Great lp to put on, on that great summer day!

9. Battles- Gloss Drop: From the members Helmut, lynx and Don Caballero, brings their 2nd lp that blend great experimental rock w/ some math rock and New Wave thrown in. Fantastic lp!!

8. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues: These guys kept their blend of Folk/Americana rolling with this album. Although the first lp was better all around this does not disappoint.

7. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks- Mirror Traffic : Singer / Songwriter of the band Pavement brings us yet another indie / alt album that is great and this was also co-produced with Beck.

6. Kasabian- Velociraptor: 1st Full length since 2006′s Empire( also had an ep in 2009) This lp brought them back in a major way, in the UK but failed to chart here in the States.reat mix of Brit-pop/synth and new wave.

5. Tame Impala- Inner Speaker:Australian psych/chillwave band who’s awesome lp got me through the long slow summer!!

4. The Horrors- Skying: UK band who takes 80′s/90′s goth, garage and shoegaze to another level!! These guys are huge in the UK and are just starting to break through here in the States. For fans of The Kills, Vaccines, Editors, also Joy Division and Bauhaus.

3. Black Keys- El Camino: This follow-up to 2010′s Brothers lp keep their brand of lo-fi garage with catchy hooks alive well into 2012.

2. Mastodon- The Hunter: Prog-Metal Gods bring it with this tribute to guitarist Brent Hinds brother who died unexpectedly while hunting. I never really listened to this band until this lp and have since made them one of my faves.

1. Tom Waits- Bad As Me: This was Waits 17th lp and the first that consisted of completely new material since ” Real Gone” in 2004.
This lp really brought a great gritty , bluesy vibe and showcased his unique vocal style.

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