Posts Tagged ‘Rock’

Joe Hertler, The People’s Temple, more added to Common Ground Music Festival

Lansing bands Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers and The People’s Temple have been added to the annual Common Ground Music Festival, held in July in downtown Lansing at Adado Riverfront Park.

Joe Hertler and the funk-bringing Rainbow Seekers perform on Sunday July 23 alongside Earth, Wind & Fire, the Robert Glasper Experiment and more. The band has many tour dates lined up this summer, including stops at the Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois as well as many stops around Michigan.

Garage rock band The People’s Temple — who are in the middle of completing a U.S. tour — have been added to the bill on Saturday, July 12 alongside headliners Fitz and the Tantrums, Dr. Dog, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and more.

Lansing rappers James Gardin, L Soul and CyRus have been added to the hip-hop night featuring Big Sean, Juicy J and Machine Gun Kelly.

Review: Cheap Girls – “Famous Graves”

Cheap Girls are back with a new full-length album, Famous Graves, out today (Tuesday, May 13) on Xtra Mile Recordings. They also have a few tours this summer too: one with Andrew Jackson Jihad and another with The Hold Steady.

Here’s a review of their newest LP.

The Michigan band's new album is out now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Recorded in Grand Rapids, Mich. and Chicago, Ill., the simple rock ‘n’ roll format the band — guitarist Adam Aymor, singer/bassist Ian Graham and drummer Ben Graham — adopted over three previous LPs is in full effect here. “Knock Me Over”, about Ian’s knee surgery a few years ago, immediately starts the toe-tapping with the tapping of a high hat and a lightly strummed, crunchy electric guitar. The interplay between a chimey, ringing guitar cushioned next to a crunchy, riff-driving one is neat. This provides a melody to hum along to while heads still bob along.

“Pure Hate,” recorded a few years ago for a split with New York’s Lemuria, reappears here. I loved the track the first time I heard it and I love it all over again here. Ben’s playing is driving yet smooth and great to air-drum to. Ian’s vocal of “I only want to stare you down” is a monster hook. Aymor’s guitar solo is simple and driven by the overall melody and chord progression. The palm-muted guitar ending is a great cap to a fantastic song, even if it’s already been recorded and released once.

Ian’s vocals — from being charmingly uncomfortable on their debut to being recorded in one take on Giant Orange — have become one of my favorite things about the band. Sure, I love a loud guitar and a pounding set of drums just as much as the next guy but the vocal melody and delivery are something the band and Ian don’t take for granted. As he sings “I’d do anything to lose the pain” on “Knock Me Over”, the sincerity and catchiness of his delivery is a subtle mark of how much he’s developed into his role as a singer. The same goes for “Man in Question”. He can take his voice from a middle register to a higher, more emotive one in an instant. The “Woah-ohs” in the bridge are excellent, too.

Again: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. In fact, they’re not only an accomplished, polished and working unit but are improving with each new LP they release.

REVIEW: Small Parks – “Meet Me In Cognito”

A while ago, Lansing band Small Parks released their first EP “Meet Me In Cognito”. Since then, I’d been wanting to see them play and I finally did at Mac’s Bar. Opening for Lemuria at the end of June, they played an energetic set to a great crowd. Here’s a review of their EP, released on Triple Deke Records.

Small Parks is James Radick (vocals, guitar), Josh Talo (guitar), Danny Petrilli (bass, vocals) and Matthew Restorff (drums).

Cover photo by Hayley Lamb and layout by Corey Bickford. Photo courtesy of Small Parks' Bandcamp page.

Slow and dreamy opens up “Undone”, the EP’s first track, but a steady rock beat and chugging power chords take over, laying below Radick’s somber recollection of a failed relationship. “I sank into comfort and I got used to the end,” he sings. Later bassist Petrilli adds shouted, distant backing vocals. Going into overdrive, twinkly guitar lines play over a pounded drum beat and pumping bass. A great start to this record.

“Parallel Thoughts” has such a Gin Blossoms vibe toward the beginning, especially recalling their early 90′s hit “Hey Jealousy”. Talo’s distorted, intricate guitar picking gives the songs another tip-off to emo; noodley and textured like Connecticut’s The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die or Rockford, Illinois’ Joie De Vivre. Radick shows honesty and sadness in his lyrics: “You’re no longer with me when I sleep but your body still haunts me in my dreams/We could be onto something here/But I’m too afraid of failure to find out” and “yes it is true I once loved you/And at one point I loved myself too”.

Even though Radick’s old band, Howell post rock band Good Weather for Airstrikes has long been gone, I still hear some of the band’s sound carrying over (and hey, maybe it’s just me..I do love that band). During parts on “Shifting Positions” I hear some of the same tones and sound worlds his old band used to occupy. Both bands do have a connection: Radick’s personal and confessional lyrics, at the very least. The obvious difference is the song lengths (I once read on Facebook they posted: “This aren’t post-rock songs. This won’t take nine minutes of your time”…or something like that. I thought that was a funny way to contrast the two bands). Both bands, though, adequately occupy their respective song lengths in sounds and experimentation as well as lyrics too.

My only complaints with this EP are when Radick gets into his more screaming side of his vocal delivery, it does get a little grating at times. Also, and this is a minor nitpick, but this EP might end on a better and higher note if “Retrogression” and its soaring backing vocals, pounding drums and overall epic feel, closed out the EP. The finale in “Everything is Part of It” does have loud, soaring parts too but it’s a little busier with “bop-bop-bop” backing vocals as well as lyrics by Petrilli and Radick running simultaneously. A bit too much going on. Plus, the song moves back to the arpeggiated, spacey guitar lines like the song’s intro at a rather awkward pace and the song just ends. Kind of anti-climactic. The spacey, twinkly lines at the 1:54 mark, though, are super catchy and easy to hum along to.

Overall, this is a great release from this Lansing band. Despite some kinks in the track sequence and some missteps in the songs, they are off  to a great start. They’re playing gigs all the time and, having seen them play once already, I can say they sound confident in their songs and live show and will only continue to improve. Get on board with this band now. Download “Meet Me In Cognito” for a pay-what-you-want price here and check them out live in Lansing on Saturday July 20 at GTG House with Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts, So Long Naota and Brown Bottle Flu.

Cavalcade “Dear Entrails…” review

After almost two years of languishing in development hell after being recorded for release on Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records, Lansing’s Cavalcade have finally released their second studio album “Dear Entrails…” on their Bandcamp page.

Cavalcade, on this release, is: Zachary Warren (vocals), Cale Sauter (guitar), Craig Horky (bass, backing vocals), John Bruce (drums) and Brad Van Staveren (guitar).

Here’s a review of their long overdue sophomore LP.

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 album was mastered by Pig Destroyer and AxCx’s Scott Hull and the results fit the band’s sound perfectly. “Bury Sanders” pulls Warren’s vocals into the middle of the mix while guitar effects and pounding drums swirl around his raspy barks. “Cancer Fantasy”, one of my favorite tracks on the album, features guest vocals from The Break Ups’ Francesca Pierce, adding a beautiful, calming effect to the guitars and vocals, which are farther back in the mix. The drums here are fast, driving and fierce; they even have quiet a groove, showing groove metal’s influence here. You can probably dance to it if you wanted to. The mastering fares well, too, on “Untie These Vines” where acoustic guitars in the intro and distorted, white noise-layered guitars later on mix perfectly. Warren’s vocals later take on a spacey effect at points and the bass is punchy yet smooth. The guitar solo is loud and clear.

This band never shies away from horror movie and gore-inspired imagery and sounds. Instrumental “Poltergeists on Motorbikes” is no exception with a zombie groaning “I want your brains!” as sounds of a man being eaten alive by the zombie play before the encounter. The band also never shies away from sheer experimentation, as on “Big Sack of Tspiders” has the most danceable groove on the album. It’s fast, cathartic and even has hand claps, as guitar tones from previous songs make their way back here.

After a few more tracks of similar sounds, vocally and otherwise (“Walk Like a Magician” and “A Lifetime of Sick”), the experimentation takes a turn on the Russian-language titled “Призрак Захария”. With acoustic guitars, brooding synths with sounds recalling “Poltergeists on Motorbikes”, the second instrumental piece gives me the vision of wandering through a 13th century village in Transylvania at night (or something like that, and hey, that’s just me).

The latter third of the album really picks up in intensity and catharsis. “Michigan Winters” has pounding, fist-pumping power chord strikes with more power provided by a tuba in the chorus. That’s my favorite part of the track. “Bolivia Tremor Control” has some of the most powerful guitars on the album. They sound brutal and drenched in death metal fuzz and crunch. Bruce’s cymbal crashes sound bright and powerful and his bass drum kicks add a heavy weight to the song.

The album’s final two tracks showcase a lot of what the album has been about up to this point: bright instruments (bells, tubas, shimmering guitars, etc) and the contrasting, brutal vocals by Warren working together and sometimes clashing (but I think sometimes that’s their point). “A Jillion Years” has a cathartic chorus as Warren belts out the title of the song in only the way he can, then after the chorus, instrumentals take charge. Ringing guitars and bells close out the song to a sort of anti-catharsis.

“Cursing in Binary”, featuring Small Brown Bike’s Mike Reed during the chorus, pulls everything the album has achieved into one song. The guitars are the most powerful they’ve been so far, the drums are powerful and the bass is heavy. The chorus is drenched in layers of guitars as Reed’s yell of “This failure feels familiar” lays across Warren’s rasps of “Cursing in Binary”. The song ends with familiar brass instrumentation heard before and the backwards guitar heard at the beginning of the album.

I said earlier this album is about failure. The band stated in an interview with The Impact 88.9 FM a long time ago that this sentiment carried over the album. “Losing all desire. Losing, losing and losing some more” go some of the lines in “Bury Sanders”. Granted, a lot of Warren’s lyrics are hard to make out due to the rasps but from what I can pick out, there’s a lot of despair here. “What if those stories were right about me? What if those tales were as true as they seemed? What if I’m hating myself in a dream and what if it’s all a lie” Warren asks amid radio-like static coating his voice. “This Michigan winter chills me to the bone,” Warren screams on the track of the same name. The failure and despair culminates on “Cursing in Binary” with the already mentioned, and audible, audible chorus of “This failure feels familiar” by Reed.

Now that this album is out, it’s finally a contender for LMTV Album of the Year. If you’re a fan of sludge bands like Down, Eyehategod or Superjoint Ritual or even experimental bands like Mr. Bungle (or any of Mike Patton’s experimental projects), check this out.

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!

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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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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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.

 

 

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