Posts Tagged ‘lansing’

2012 LansingMusic.TV Album of the Year

Sean from LMTV here. This year has been quite the busy one for Lansing music (and Michigan too). Now it’s time to choose the Album of the Year for 2012 (maybe the last one ever (if the Mayans are to be believed). Well, here it goes: The LMTV 2012 Album of the Year is….

Having reviewed Fisherking’s past releases (2 Songs and the Forget It EP) and seen the band play a few times, I’ve followed the Lansing band’s progress in the last two years. Finally releasing their first full length album entitled Ghost independently earlier this year at a rare small club show with Ceremony at Mac’s Bar, the album does not disappoint.

From my Central Michigan Life review earlier this year:

“I am the ghost/The lonely soul,” are the opening lines of their first full length album, which is being distributed primarily through their Bandcamp page but will have a limited physical release at their show with California punk band Ceremony in Lansing at Mac’s Bar on Thursday Sept. 20.

Those and other honest, emotional lyrics make this record stand out. On tracks like “Conflicts Reside” Holmes sings “I don’t speak my thoughts/instead I bottle them up,” and “I know I can’t hide forever/I just don’t know what to say.” On “The Difference,” he yells “You know, you don’t really have to scream/You know you don’t really have to be the center of attention.”  I love his lyrics. I think many of us can relate to them.

The music, though, adds a backbone to his lyrics. That’s not to say the music here is boring. Quite the contrary. On multiple listens, there are many time changes, a couple slow and quiet sections and even a bit of experimentation. On the track “Giver,” where Holmes’ vocal sounds like it was recorded through a bullhorn. There’s also a guest appearance by Zach Smith, of Kalamazoo band “Ackley Kid” on the track “Defeat Me”. Smith’s voice takes the anger and amplifies it to the maximum. When both of them scream along to a chaotic aural scene of crashing blast beats and guitars, it becomes a bit overwhelming.

Even the track list itself is subtle. Listening to the album from beginning to end, the listener hears a bit of musical continuity, which has made me keep the record on repeat for days. Listen to it from beginning to end and you’ll know what I mean.

I love this record for its under-the-surface musical complexity. The album makes subtle, successful attempts at breaking away from the hardcore mold, while staying within it. Post-hardcore tendencies abound here. It satisfies a strict hardcore listener while giving other more adventurous listeners a treat too.

Three months later I still find everything I said above to be true. The record resonates with me on a personal level, but it’s the intensity, hidden experimentation and brutal honesty I love about this record. Vocalist and bassist Ryan Holmes lays it all out lyrically, exposing his innermost thoughts in a form in which he’s most comfortable. He comes across as getting these thoughts off his chest rather than scared to do so. He’s yelling most of the time and it fits the music perfectly. Guitarist Ben Jenson adds to the intensity all the while being creative in certain areas too. Post hardcore isn’t lost on this trio. Even if the hardcore tendencies shine through, the post hardcore leanings are just below the surface.

Check this out here.

AMP Magazine artist spotlight: Craig Horky

Check out this artist spotlight via AMP Magazine on resident Lansing artist Craig Horky. He’s designed many a poster for shows across Michigan, nationally and even internationally. He designed the artwork for the Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing album too.

 

Bomb the Music Industry’s Final Lansing Show Now Available To Stream **Live Set Now Available for FREE Download**


NY punk band, Bomb the Music Industry, played their last Lansing show on Wendnesday. I recorded the show and now it’s available to stream below. **EDIT: The live set is now available for FREE download at the same page**

I also realized something. I think all of the ID tags of the songs’ titles just say “Vacation” and not the actual song titles. Here’s the setlist. Song titles with a slash between the two mean that they are on one track.

Just in case that’s true, here’s the setlist:
Campaign For a Better Weekend
Everybody That Loves You
The First Time I Met Sanawon
All Ages Shows
Sorry Brooklyn, Dancing Won’t Solve Anything
493 Ruth
Vocal Coach
I Don’t Love You Anymore
The Shit That You Hate
Hurricane Waves
Even Winning Feels Bad w/ Bulls on Parade (Rage Against The Machine cover) interlude
Everybody That You Love
Saddr Weidr
Can’t Complain/Wherever You Are
Syke! Life is Awesome!
Don’t Destroy Yourself
Jobs Schmobs

Decades talk touring, forming the band, influences and more

Photo courtesy of the Decades Facebook page.

Decades, a new band formed by Matt Waterman and Damon Depew from the ashes of former Michigan bands Jason Alarm and Clear Blue Ska, respectively, played Bomb the Music Industry’s final Lansing show. They talked with me (Sean Bradley) about their recent 2-week East Coast tour, their songs, forming the band, plans for the future and more.

You can listen to the interview below.

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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.

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 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.

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