Since December 2010 Tommy Plural has been sending out a monthly newsletter to folks that sign the mailing list. E-mail gtgrecords at gmail dot com to become one of these lucky, lucky people.
GTG Records Newsletter # 1 : Return of the Curse of the Creature’s Ghost
Tommy McCord from GTG Records here. You may know me as “the guy with the longer hair in The Plurals” or “that guy I went to high school with” or “that guy that I know for some reason but can’t remember why anymore.” If you’re getting this e-mail that means you signed up for the GTG mailing list! If you don’t like it, then, well, I don’t know what to say. Really. Well, you should expect to hear from me about once a month (I’ll try to send out an update around the 1st of the month, but you know how these things go…) regarding happenings in the GTG Records community, as well as releases available in the expanding GTG / Big Gig Productions music
store. To quickly put everyone on the same page, “GTG” stands for “Good Time Gang” although I like to change it periodically to such
delightful alternatives as “Guilt Trip Group” and “Goat Toe Grits.” Maybe we’ll have a contest for who can come up with the best “GTG”
meaning, with the winner getting a chance to be a “featured artist” on some theoretical hip-hop project. But, basically, in all reality, GTG is a record label and collective of musicians based out of Lansing, Michigan that I started up with Nich Richard, Hattie Danby, and Timmy Rodriguez a couple years ago. We’ve released or promoted or somehow been involved with some really cool music with more coming out all the time, and to help spread the word we started this mailing list! For the moment, our official website is www.thegtg.wordpress.com, so check that out for the artist roster, more in-depth news, and rambles from members of the GTG crew. We are, of course, active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegtg, and we also still have a plot in the graveyard of MySpace, for those who remember that thing.
So anyway, over the summer I met up with Scott Bozack from Big Gig Productions, a production company and online distributor based out of Connecticut, and we hatched the plan to launch a GTG / Big Gig online store. For the moment, this store is the exclusive home of the new EP “Austin Gump” by The Plurals, a digital EP thing that we rushed out just in time for the holidays (eye roll), and we’re having our official release party at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, MI on December 4th (THIS SATURDAY) with The Plurals performing alongside great bands Oh My God and Life Size Ghost. The store also currently has releases for GTG artists The Hat Madder and Narc Out the Reds available along with some great bands that Big Gig Productions has been involved with, including The Last Pop Band, Laslow, and Hawks and Snakes. All of the music in the store is worth checking out, and soon we’ll have a full selection of GTG releases up in the store, so stay tuned to www.biggigproductions.com/store.php . Soon to be available in the store is the rest of The Plurals discography, the out-of-print albums “Skulls and Stuff” and “GTG Sessions Vol. 1″ by The Break-Ups, “Old Francis” by Frank and Earnest, “Our Dusking Sound” by Small Houses, and “Homeland Insecurity” by MK Ultra Culkin.
Scott will be sending out a shorter version of this (for those of you who are already wondering why you signed up to this forum for this guy to throw drivel at you) along with some other Big Gig news, so don’t be surprised if that ends up in your inbox later today. Those of you in the Lansing area (and over 21, sorry, but we’re working on scheduling a repeat all ages performance) best be at Oade’s Hidden Camel tonight (see below)! Or, you know, it would be nice to see you
Quick December GTG News Round-Up:
12/3/2010 TONIGHT – Release party for long-awaited “Explosions: Lansing
Salutes Devo” and “No More Tomorrow Baby! A Tribute to KISS” at Oade’s
Hidden Camel in Lansing, MI. This is GTG’s first foray into the world
of tribute albums, pray we make it out alive. Check out this article
for more info: http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-5186-flashy-flashback.html
12/4/2010 TOMORROW NIGHT – Release party for The Plurals “Austin Gump” EP at Mac’s
Bar in Lansing, MI.
12/8/2010 – Release party (geez, 3 in one month?) at Gone Wired Cafe
(Lansing) for the compilation “In The Orchard of Osiris,” compiled and
released by Peter Richards of GTG’s Stargrazer.
12/17/2010 – Small Houses returns to the stage of Mac’s Bar, alongside
hometown heroes Cheap Girls and Genocya. Should be an interesting
12/23/2010 – Frank and Earnest and Jason Alarm celebrate the holidays
with an all ages matinee show at Mac’s Bar.
12/31/2010 – We all try our damnedest to make it through the night and
make some cool stuff happen in 2011.
Tommy / GTG
GTG Records Newsletter #2: The Biggest Failure in Broadway History
Ahoy hoy and Happy New Year,
Tommy Plural of, you guessed it, The Plurals (and GTG and, uh) here with another installment of GTG Records happenings. If that doesn’t get you excited then I don’t know what will. I sit here in the living room of the high tech world headquarters of GTG Records, The GTG House, contemplating the future of the bands and myself while Ben Hassenger contemplates the meaning of his life if it includes three days straight of eating Subway (and there’s no “if” about this scenario). I can’t speak for Ben, but I’m feeling good on my topic of contemplation.
First off I want to direct everyone over to www.bermudamohawkproductions.com/media/ where there is a free download available of the newest GTG release, the annual free holiday compilation “Bermuda Snowhawk” that GTG and Bermuda Mohawk Productions release every year (with this one being the fifth). This whole compilation was recorded in two weeks and features new songs from “real” bands and some new “fake” bands that were formed for this project consisting largely of whoever happened to be in the room at the time of writing and/or recording. It might seem a little late to be pushing a holiday comp on people, but, eh, that’s what happened. Whoops! If people are interested in more free downloads of questionable integrity (wow, I really know how to make a sale don’t I?) check out the new digital EP from Frank and Earnest at www.frankandearnest.bandcamp.com which has two b-sides from the F+E’s 2010 album “Old Francis” and two new modern country cover songs. No joke!
Anyway, so what’s happening in January?
The Plurals, in addition to having the new EP “Austin Gump” available at www.biggigproductions.com/store.php are about halfway done recording a new full-length with Eric “CrookedSound” Merckling. The band will also be performing an all ages show at Jamestown Hall in Saginaw, MI on January 8th. The Plurals are scheduled to play around 5 PM so make sure to get there early. Check out www.rippedheart.com for more information.
Small Houses – GTG’s resident folk trabadour is kicking off a month-long midwest and east coast tour on January 8th. Check out the tour dates at www.myspace.com/smallhousessing and also check out the great new tune “Country Flowers” which will most likely appear on a spring release from this folky fellow.
Re-Evolution (GTG’s own Devo tribute band) and Calliope will be promoting a new pressing of the “Explosions: Lansing Salutes Devo” compilation that we SOLD OUT of at the release show last month, with a free, all ages show at Basement 414 in Lansing on January 15th. Check out this page for some more info http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=150860271633075.
Drinking Mercury is actually for real RELASING A NEW EP at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on January 22nd. Also performing at this show is Mason’s Case (Chicago via-Lansing) and friends The Playback and Life Size Ghost. Check out www.macsbar.com.
Narc Out the Reds and Frank and Earnest play at Mac’s Bar on January 27th. Frank and Earnest also will perform at The Loft in Lansing on January 29th for the 3rd annual “Middle of the Mitten Showcase” : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169553316405123.
And for a little preview of February, there will be a benefit for the Greater Lansing Food Bank on Februray 3rd at Mac’s Bar. GTG has a nice presence on the bill, with The Plurals
Narc Out The Reds, Josh David and The Dream Jeans and The Playback all performing. Come on out to that show for some great music and to help out a good cause.
So basically, stuff is happening. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!
GTG Newsletter #3: Now Who Wants Ice Cream?
Well we’ve all lived through the Snowmaggedon of 2011 and lived to tell about it, some of us with the help of Ben Affleck and a soundtrack of latter-day Aerosmith, and some of us without. Those of you outside the midwest perhaps didn’t endure the horror of (gasp!) 8-12 inches of snow and didn’t have to deal with the problem of the nation’s idiots forgetting how to drive at the sight of that weird fluffy white stuff from the sky, and for that we salute you. However, meanwhile in the midwest…
Jeremy Quentin AKA Small Houses is working his way from Philadelphia back to the midwest as we speak, with a homecoming of sorts coming in the 4th annual (SCENE) Metrospace Folk Festival on Saturday February 12th at 8 PM in East Lansing, Michigan. Sharing the stage with Small Houses on this evening is a stellar lineup consisting of Doug Mains, Gifts or Creatures, and Chris Bathgate, all of whom have graced the “stage” of the GTG House or a GTG promoted show at some point. Small Houses will also be appearing in Lafeyette, IN and Chicago, IL on February 18 and 19 respectively. Small Houses also is running a fundraising campaign for the forthcoming album “The North” and its accompanying “Just Before The North EP” over at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smallhouses/small-houses-full-length-album-north
. Kick whatever money you can his way and get an array of special goodies, in addition to a copy of the finished records, depending on whatever amount you pledge. More information, including up-to-date tour dates, is available at www.smallhousessing.com.
Another fundraising project worthy of promotion is the forthcoming full-length album from Trenton, NJ’s Honah Lee, a band that we lovingly refer to as “GTG Stepchildren” and responsible for the second half of last year’s Plurals/ Honah Lee “Lick-It-EP Split.” Check out http://honahleemusic.com/products-page/ for more information. The guys are really kicking out the jams lately, with spring shows including dates with The Queers and some touring across the east coast and the midwest to promote the new album. Stay tuned to them for sure.
Frank and Earnest, the punky dudes that Razorcake magazine described as “slightly rough-around-the-edges melodic punk rock with passionate, charmingly imperfect vocals, a terrific sense of melody, and well-placed, tasteful leads” are playing February 19th at Mac’s Bar in Lansing with fellow GTG boys Jason Alarm (who are about to drop their debut music video any day now – check ‘em out on Facebook) and Detroit-via-Lansing mitten music mainstays The Hard Lessons. Frank and Earnest has been getting a ton of press as of late, with their next planned release being a split 7-inch with The Plurals, due out this summer. The Plurals, in the meantime, are very close to finishing a new full-length album recorded by Eric Merckling, with a projected mid-May release date. Prior to this The Plurals will undertake a monthlong tour to California and back. Keep an eye out for those tour dates!
Narc Out the Reds and Josh David and the Dream Jeans are both slated to hit the studio within the month. Narc Out the Reds are following up their excellent 2010 “Are On the Run” EP with a 7-inch to be recorded by Detroit music legend Jim Diamond. A projected June release date is scheduled, with a spell of summer touring to follow. Meanwhile, Josh David and the Dream Jeans are finally getting ready to cut their debut full-length that will be out this spring. The band has recently played a spell of stellar gigs, with the last one garnering a graffiti review in the women’s bathroom of Mac’s Bar that simply reads “I love Josh David and the Dream Jeans.”
Perpetually in the studio acts The Hat Madder, Drinking Mercury, and Stargrazer are all chipping away at full-length records. With the first half of 2011 likely to feature new music from The Plurals, Frank and Earnest, Narc Out the Reds, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, and Small Houses and the second half slated to include Drinking Mercury, The Hat Madder, Stargrazer and more, this really is shaping up to be a great year for music. If you disagree, well, I’ve always loved hate mail. Ha! But seriously, what a great audience.
Get in the pit and try to love someone,
GTG Newsletter #4: Who Let You In?
So, you were probably thinking “It’s the middle of March, thank goodness that danged GTG Tommy Plural guy isn’t sending me e-mails anymore.” If you were thinking this, you’re wrong, DEAD WRONG. My tardiness is not due to any sort of inactivity, rather, we have been revamping our GTG website and I wanted things to be current before I sent out another newsletter, instead of being all “Aw, gee, you should check out the new website in like two weeks or something, I swear, it’ll be real neat.” I can now, confidently say, go on and check out www.gtgrecords.net for streamlined pages about the respective GTG bands including photos, biographies, downloadable songs, and the updated catalog with the easy option to buy the in-print catalog directly from the website via paypal. We’re darn near legit.
In a lightning round of less techy news, head over to www.smallhousessing.com for some samples of the upcoming Small Houses Just Before the North EP and the latest in show dates – including a date this Saturday, 3/19 at the AvE House. Jason Alarm has recently re-instated founding member Pat Hogan on bass guitar (set to make his re-debut at Mac’s Bar on April 9th!) and, rumor has it, completed recording another song in their ongoing “Deep Deep Pink Sessions” singles series. Peter “Stargrazer” Richards has announced an exciting new “3-way split singles” series through his It Takes A Village to Make Records imprint, which will feature many contributions from the GTG roster and friends, as well as other exciting music. The series launches May 1st, 2011 – check out http://itavrecords.blogspot.com/ for mroe info. Narc Out the Reds recently did some recording with Michigan music legend Jim Diamond in Detroit for a forthcoming 7-inch, a first for both the band and GTG. Fade to Black (with new drummer Mike Reed) are filming footage for a music video to their upcoming song “Gonna Rise Up” with a special performance at basement414 in Lansing this Sunday, March 20th – all are welcome to attend, so show up around 6:00 if interested in being in the video and getting a sneak peak into the band’s new music. Josh David and the Dream Jeans have finished recording their debut album and have a set a June release date, which will hopefully give their longhaired sound engineer enough time to gather his bearings and give it the sweet mix it deserves. The rest of the GTG roster is also chipping away at new recorded material, with some promising sounds on the horizon for the spring and summer…
So this all finally leads me to my shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter. The Plurals have recently completed a new album, entitled The Plurals Today, The Plurals Tomorrow: A Futorospective. Eric “CrookedSound” Merckling once again twiddled the nobs for this record. The official release for the record is in May, but if anyone is interested in pre-ordering a copy of the album between now and May 1st you will receive, in addition to a copy of the album, an exclusive CD of outtakes, acoustic versions, live recordings, and a cover song or two (including old time show closer “Merchandise” by Fugazi), plus – get this – a poster. Wow! Head over to www.gtgrecords.net/theplurals, or, if you’re in the Lansing area, sprint out your door to the – yikes, TONIGHT! – St. Patrick’s Day show at Mac’s Bar, Thursday March 17th (w/ the Cartridge Family and Sleeping in the Aviary). Why this date in particular? Because it’s the last show before The Plurals month-long tour of the midwest, southwest, and west coast. I will depart this month’s newsletter with a list of The Plurals confirmed tour dates – we are still actively looking for dates in New Mexico (4/4, 4/5, 4/6) Northern California (4/17, 4/18, 4/19) and Minneapolis (4/26), so any suggestions or inquiries or whatever regarding any of these should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3/17/2011 – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar w/ the Cartridge Famiy and Sleeping in the Aviary
3/24/2011 – Normal, IL- Firehouse Pizza w/ Off With Their Heads
3/25/2011 – Kansas City, KS – The Sports Complex (house show)
3/26/2011 – Omaha, NE – The Slowdown
3/28/2011 – St Louis, MO – Firebird Lounge
3/29/2011 – Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge
3/30/2011 – Colorado Springs, CO – Triple Nickel Tavern
4/3/2011 – Denver, CO – Lion’s Lair
4/8-4/10/2011 – Tucson, AZ – Way Out West Fest
4/11/2011 – Phoenix, AZ – Rogue Bar
4/13/2011 – San Pedro, CA – House Show
4/14/2011 – Chino, CA – The Warehouse at 12th + G
4/16/2011 – San Jose, CA – House Show w/ The Pillowfights
4/20/2011 – Portland, OR – The Know
4/22/2011 – Seattle, WA – House Show
4/23/2011 – Missoula, MT- Zacc Gallery w/ City O City, The Anchor, and Vera
4/25/2011 – Rapid City, SD – Skullet’s w/ The Anchor
4/27/2011 – Chicago, IL – the Elbo Room
GTG Newsletter #5: Goin’ on a Holiday
I write this month’s newsletter from a friend’s living room in Denver, CO. I have spent the last two weeks on tour with The Plurals, as I will spend the next three. The tour has been great thus far, and hello to all of the new members of the GTG Records newsletter that I have met on this tour. We have spent almost a week in Colorado, playing a show every night up and down the I-25 corridor, meeting all sorts of cool people and playing with a variety of cool bands. Today is our first off day after 8 shows, and we will be heading down to Albuquerque, New Mexico tomorrow. If you’re into this sort of travelogue crap I’ll definitely be posting a comprehensive tour journal when all is said and done, but for now I’m doing periodic tour highlight posts at http://gtgrecords.net. Have you seen the new website? It sure is neat. If you haven’t pre-ordered the new Plurals album, check out http://gtgrecords.net/theplurals. There’s also tons of other CDs for sale on the site, so… if anyone has that wonderful combination of a little spare money and curiousity, I suggest GTG Records as a fine outlet!
Anyway, enough plugging that money crap. Today marks the official release of a new digital compilation entitled “The Metaphorical Steven.” There’s a little Steven in all of us, and this compilation is intended to bring it out. Thanks to Dave Dunn, guru of Steven and cover art contributor. It’s been over three years since the last GTG and friends sampler/ compilation, and we’re excited to show both how we’ve grown in that time and just to show off how friggin’ sweet the GTG family is in 2011. There’s 15 songs on this compilation, all of which are either brand new (5 of which being currently unavailable anywhere else) or were released in the last 12 months. It’s a great ride of a listen, and the sequencing and mastering of it has given The Plurals something to do during downtime on the road. Who knows what sort of stupid crap we’ll conjure up next. Give “The Metaphorical Steven” a listen, and download or donate something if you want, at http://gtgrecords.bandcamp.com
We are also pleased to announce that Honah Lee, our good friends from Trenton, NJ and folks that we’re always talkin’ up anyway, will be releasing their forthcoming full-length album on GTG in June. We love these guys and when it transpired that they’d need a little help putting out their record we jumped on it like wight on lice, and we can’t wait to hear the results. I’ll be putting together a GTG page for them soon enough, but for now stay tuned to www.honahleemusic.com for more news.
Our beloved “Jer Bear” Jeremy Quentin AKA Small Houses has some cool things going on, including hosting a Tom Waits tribute night at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti, MI on April 6. His EP “Just Before the North” is slated for a mid-May release, giving GTG a great spring and early summer of releases. In addition to his constant gigging, Jeremy is also in the studio working on the Small Houses full-length album “The North.”
The studio seems to be the name of the game at the moment, with 7-inches from Narc Out the Reds and Frank and Earnest/ The Plurals in development, the Josh David and the Dream Jeans album being in the mixing stages, and Fade to Black, Drinking Mercury, and The Hat Madder working away on their respective full-lengths. Following all of this studio work will be a spell of touring from pretty much everyone, with The Hat Madder already posting some tour dates for May on their facebook page. As far as April goes:
Plurals on tour through April 27 – check http://gtgrecords.net/theplurals for updated dates
4/8/2011 – Small Houses at Globe Theater (Kalamazoo, MI)
4/9/2011 – Jason Alarm at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
4/15/2011 – Frank and Earnest at Rodney’s Loft w/ Smoking Popes (Flint, MI)
4/29/2011 – Narc Out the Reds at Oade’s Hidden Camel (Lansing, MI)
4/30/2011 – Small Houses at Woodruff’s (Ypsilanti, MI)
That’s probably my final thought,
GTG Newsletter #6: The Cry of A Hungry Baby
Well it looks like I’m on a mid-month schedule for the newsletter now. It’s amazing what a west coast tour can do to you. Oh, hey, what’s up, this is TommyPlural from The Plurals and GTG Records and I send out this mailing list thing once a month. As (just) mentioned, The Plurals completed a west coast tour a couple weeks ago, and I’ve since been working a lot of hours at a job and stuff, as well as doing a lot of recording and music stuff and junk. The tour was awesome! Thanks to all of our friends, new and old, in the midwest, southwest, and west coast, all places we had pretty much never been to before, for showing us a good time. I started posting some stuff at gtgrecords.net, and I will post a long, lengthy, piece about this tour at some point. The Plurals are officially releasing our new album “Futurospective” this Saturday, May 21st, at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, Michigan. We’ve already gotten a few advance reviews of the new record and reception has been great:
“The music comes at you with a mess of energy almost like it’s trying to kick you into consciousness and force you to join in a punk-infused dance party. And you can’t say no.” – Sarah @ Music She Blogged
“The Plurals do everything well, but above anything else, they do a great job of taking a bunch of my favorite traditional sounds and blending them together into this ridiculously strange sound all of their own. Five stars. Buy it when it comes out.” – Bear @ Idle and the Bear
“They simply play rock music, styles and conventions and trends be damned. Futurospective is the record I’ve been waiting for them to make, and it’s been a long time coming. It’s their Zen Arcade, their Double Nickels. The record where they truly put to disc what we’ve always seen them do live. Futurospective is the past and the future all in one place, with a voice that is undeniably their own. No hype, no bandwagon-jumping, no bullshit. Album of the year, hands down.” – Ryan @ Lexington Music Press
Every one of us, Plurals and GTGers alike, are excited to get this record out, and to promote it The Plurals are doing a string of shows with Honah Lee this weekend: Thursday 5/19 at Frankie’s (Toledo, OH), Friday 5/20 at Mulligan’s (Grand Rapids, MI), and the official release party at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) on 5/21 (with GTG dudes The Hat Madder rounding out the show with their first local appearance with their new lineup). If you can come to any or all of these shows they’ll be a great time, guaranteed. And let’s not forget that Honah Lee is our favorite party machine from the east coast and they must be dealt with, midwest-style.
Of course, The Plurals aren’t the only members of the gang getting some buzz. Punknews.org had this to say about Narc Out the Reds’ “…Are on the Run” EP recently:
“The songs essentially bear slightly grungy, occasionally heavier parts as each proceeds, and despite the band’s possible influences they seem to largely abandon verse/chorus structure, with a handful of unpredictable stop-starts along the way. The guitars are dynamic, and rock well. Raspy, smeared vocals drag emphatically across the pauses; the band do away with any sort of wistfulness, instead choosing a noisier pop slant to otherwise riffy rock fare. An almost reckless approach to an older, familiar style, mixing it all up well.” Brian @ punknews.org
To follow-up this great debut EP the NOTR boys are in the mixing stages of a 7″, due out this summer. Nice! Frank and Earnest and The Plurals are also entering the vinyl game, with a split 7″ from these jokers due out in late June. The excitement is getting to the point where I think I need to go do something else, or I will literally explode, Mick Shrimpton-style. But, before I go:
Check Small Houses tour dates in support of the excellent “Just Before the North EP.” He’s once again all over the place.
5/19/2011 – The Plurals + Honah Lee @ Frankie’s (Toledo, OH)
5/20/2011 – The Plurals + Honah Lee @ Mulligan’s (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21/2011 – The Plurals CD Release! w/ Honah Lee + The Hat Madder @ Mac’s (Lansing, MI)
5/30/2011 – Josh David & the Dream Jeans @ Mac’s (Lansing) w/ The Fucking Hotlights
6/2/2011 – Frank and Earnest @ Woobie’s (Flint, MI)
6/2/2011 – Benefit for the Son of A Fallen Soldier @ Mac’s (Lansing) w/ The Plurals, MK Ultra Culkin (REUNION), Narc Out the Reds, Funender, and Gaytar (reunion!)
6/24/2011 – Josh David and The Dream Jeans CD Release @ Mac’s (Lansing, MI) w/ Frank and Earnest, Destroy Nate Allen, Infernal Names, and The Hat Madder
6/25/2011 – Skate Park Benefit w/ Jason Alarm, Frank and Earnest, the Cartridge Family and many more @ Myja’s Gray Wolf Inn (Grand Ledge, MI)
Time for me to fly,
GTG Newsletter # 7: Operation Hell on Earth
Thomas J. Plural of The Plurals and GTG writing you once again to ramble and attempt to inform. This is an exciting time for GTG Records, with the recently released Futurospective album by The Plurals continuing to get rave reviews (“Roaring out of your speakers with a positively infectious burst of pure intoxicating joy and boundless go-for-it vitality, this incredibly snappy 9 song album just makes you wanna get up and bounce all over your room with a huge giddy grin on your face.” – Jersey Beat), the new album Life Won’t Let Me by Honah Lee officially dropping on June 17th, the debut album from Josh David and the Dream Jeans following on June 24th along with the first slab of vinyl released on GTG in the form of a 7″ split by Frank and Earnest and The Plurals. I am personally involved in all of these projects and really excited to get them out into the world. Having been present for pretty much the whole existence up to this point of Josh David and the Dream Jeans, it’s been exciting for me to watch them grow as a band and to have the opportunity to record their full-length album. The album that resulted – entitled Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon? – is a crazy ride of wild, experimental, punk-influenced noisy rock, and I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out. As far as the Honah Lee release goes, I rarely have a better time than I do at a Honah Lee show, and Life Won’t Let Me perfectly captures their energy. It transpired, at the last minute, that The Plurals could hop on the release party in Asbury Park, NJ on June 17th and we jumped at the chance, meaning that I and the other Plurals will be skipping to the east coast in a week’s time for a weekend of shows in New Jersey, something that I’m always extremely happy to do. And lastly, the Frank and Earnest / Plurals 7″ is the first time that any member of either bands has appeared on a vinyl release, and the whole GTG gang is extremely excited to be entering the field of vinyl.
The best thing is, these 3 great releases are just what’s happening in June, with the rest of the summer full of other releases that we’re really stoked about, including Narc Out the Red’s 7″ single being released on July 21, a posthumous album by defunct Lansing noise rockers Edible Intention (a split release with our friends at Silver Maple Kill Records) dropping in mid-summer, and the too-many-years in the making Drinking Mercury album slated for a late summer release (tracking for this album was finally completed just last night). On top of all of this The Plurals, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, Frank and Earnest, and Honah Lee will all be touring circles around each other on the east coast and in the midwest throughout the summer. I really hope everyone checks out the new releases from these bands and stays tuned to http://gtgrecords.net for music and news and stuff. If you don’t, we’ll find out… don’t say I didn’t warn you. When that real rapture comes on October 21 and you’re not able to sing along to JDDJ’s “Capital City 2-Step” or Honah Lee’s “Sex N Cigarettes” you may just find yourself being ripped apart by the forces of the apocalypse. I’m just sayin’.
Save these dates!
6/17/2011 – Honah Lee CD release party w/ The Plurals @ Asbury Lanes (Asbury Park, NJ)
6/18/2011 – The Plurals, Tim Hoh, Glocca Morra, The Great Explainer, Chris Pinto @ Mill Hill Basement/ Big Dave’s Birthday Bash (Trenton, NJ)
6/24/2011 – Josh David and the Dream Jeans CD release + Frank and Earnest/ Plurals 7″ release party wsg/ The Hat Madder, Infernal Names, Destroy Nate Allen @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
6/25/2011 – Skate Park Benefit featuring Frank and Earnest, Jason Alarm, the Cartridge Family, and many more @ Myja’s Grey Wolf Inn (Grand Ledge, MI)
7/9/2011 – “Early July Fest” w/ The Plurals, Local Demise, Ray Strife, Drinking Mercury and more @ basement414 (Lansing, MI)
7/15/2011 – “Mid July Fest” w/ Johnny Unicorn, Cavalcade, and more @ GTG House (Lansing, MI)
7/21/2011 – Narc Out the Reds 7″ release party w/ The Hat Madder, Frank and Earnest, The Fencemen @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
GTG Newsletter #8: Flat-Top Tony and the Purple Canoes
Greetings and welcome from Tommy Plural of GTG Records and The Plurals, etc. once again reporting on GTG news and such. I’m going to take it easy on the newsletter update this month, as, if you’re anything like me, you may still be recovering from getting shot at by fireworks and too-many cookouts over the weekend. But that’s freedom for you. Well, basically, July is a time of celebration, and we are holding a few different parties in Lansing, Michigan to celebrate all of the great music that we have encountered over the years in our travels and stumbles. Saturday July 9th at basement414 in Lansing we are having a free, all ages, shindig featuring local Michigan acts including The Plurals, Lightning Bugs, Drinking Mercury, The Guest Stars, Little American Champ, and The Hunky Newcomers, as well as touring bands including Local Demise, Idiot Boy (ex-Karma Bat), and MC Raymond Strife. We are following this event up with a bash on Friday July 15 at GTG House in Lansing featuring Seattle-based music legend Johnny Unicorn and local faves Cavalcade and Josh David and the Dream Jeans. This is all taking place in a summer where we have the best crop of GTG releases yet, with The Plurals “Futorospective,” Honah Lee “Life Won’t Let Me,” Josh David and the Dream Jeans “Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon?,” and Frank and Earnest / The Plurals “Funemployment” split 7-inch all super fresh, soon to be joined by a 7-inch single by Narc Out the Reds on July 20th. I don’t want all of you non-Michigan readers to feel left out of the celebration, so we’re offering a summer sale to everyone out there. All of the in-print GTG releases are available at our store here , and there’s a lot of great releases there in addition to our summer harvest (personally, if you’ve yet to hear the CDs by Narc Out the Reds, Hat Madder, Too Much Too Fast Too Soon, or Frank and Earnest, you need to hop on that train ASAP, and those older Plurals releases are always good for a laugh), and we are offering a 2 for 1 deal on anything in the store. All you need to do is order 1 of the releases and in the ordering process you will have the option to “add special instructions to seller” – when you get to this option just specify which other item in the store you would like. Bam! No strings attached, extra music. Everything in the store is less than $10, so really, we’re borderline practicing bad business here (eh, not the first time… did I say that out loud?). All righty… go enjoy your summer day… and if you want some sizzling summer song selections, just drop a line.
7/9/2011 – “GTG Fest Part 1″ @ b414 in Lansing w/ The Plurals, Local Demise, Idiot Boy, Ray Strife, Lightning Bugs, The Guest Star, Little American Champ, Drinking Mercury, Sterratic, NQD, and The Hunky Newcomers
7/15/2011 – “GTG Fest Part 2″ @ GTG House in Lansing w/ Johnny Unicorn, Cavalcade, and Josh David & the Dream Jeans
7/15/2011 – (earlier) Matt Waterman Birthday Bash @ The Loft in Lansing w/ Jason Alarm and Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts
7/20/2011 – Narc Out the Reds 7-inch Release @ Mac’s Bar in Lansing w/ NOTR, Hat Madder, Frank and Earnest, and The Fencemen
GTG Newsletter # 9: Peanut Butter, Eggs, and Dice
Oh hey, it’s TommyPlural from GTG Records, and excuse me while I pull myself from the wreckage of the wickedness that was July 2011. We had three big “GTG Fest” celebrations in Lansing throughout July that saw the vast majority of the GTG roster and friends playing some fierce sets, Narc Out the Reds dropped a sweet slab of vinyl in the form of the “Pawnmower/ Leak in the Disease” 7″ single (to be available on our website rrrrrrreeeaaaalll soon), Hat Madder, Narc Out the Reds, and Jason Alarm (more on them in a bit) all did a spell of east coast touring, and we all reveled in the sweet sounds of our last few releases (check ‘em out here.) Somehow a lot of us still found time to dive into Lake Michigan for what was a truly sweltering July, and the members of Drinking Mercury were able to line up their schedules long enough to join up and burn five couches.
The thing is, I have my fears that this may be my last newsletter, as July was so awesome that I almost didn’t make it out intact, and August looks dangerously sweeter. First up, tomorrow (August Fourth of the year Two Thousand and Eleven) begins a spell of dates for Frank and Earnest and The Plurals, both of whom, barring a couple local shows and some studio time, laid kind of low throughout July.
8/4/2011 – Mulligan’s Pub, Grand Rapids, MI w/ Facing Winter
8/5/2011 – Park Rock (Festival), Wisconsin Rapids, WI (Plurals at 9:00 PM)
8/6/2011 – Disastr House – Artists For Artistry Fundraiser, Rockford, IL
8/12/2011 – Cairo Bar, West Chicago, IL w/ Facing Winter
8/19/2011 – House Show, Kalamazoo, IL
Frank and Earnest Tour dates!
8/4/2011 – Castle Anthrax, Toledo OH w/ Lance Murdock, more
8/5/2011 – Annabell’s, Akron OH w/ We Know Karate, Worship This!, Shepler Church
8/6/2011 – Badlands, Syracuse NY w/ Those Ghostfuckers, Leylines
8/7/2011 – O’Briens Pub, Allston MA w/ Direct Hit!, Masked Intruder, Ridgemont, the Handsomes, Yale Massachusetts
8/8/2011 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia PA w/ Invincible, Robots and Racecars
8/10/2011 – Mill Hill Basement, Trenton NJ w/ The Divided, Jon Harkel, more
8/11/2011 – 15th House, Columbus OH w/ Stymie, more
8/12/2011 – Mac’s Bar, Lansing MI (Razorcake Magazine Benefit Show!)
8/13/2011 – Ant Hill, Kalamazoo MI w/ Seized Up, Ackley Kid, Protected Left
This is the first time Frank and Earnest has made it out to the east coast, so we have our fingers crossed that those of you residing closer to the Atlantic will show them a good time when they roll into town in Ben’s-hopefully-intact van, asking “where do bands play here?” before staggering onto (hopefully the correct) stage and somehow pulling off a blistering set of rough ‘n melodic punk stuff.
Of course, our resident east coast chapter missionaries (my, what an inappropriate title for them) Honah Lee are no slouches either. Their stellar sophomore disc Life Won’t Let Me is beginning to earn some well deserved praise from the media giants:
“These nine songs are back-to-back-to-back hits. Urgent and rough-edged punk rock, their execution is first-rate. Many bands have been described as a wall of punk rock sound, but few have deserved it as much as Honan Lee. Innovative, intoxicating, and above all ear-catching, this is a band I wanna see and experience first hand.” – Phil @ Jersey Beat
“The melodies on this record are fucking infectious and will do anything to prevent you from evicting them from your head. Trust me, you’re stuck with these. If you’re looking for a new pop punk band to become obsessed with, I think we have you covered with Honah Lee.” – Idle @ Idle and the Bear
“Great party anthems. I can only imagine a room full of sweaty punks screaming along.” – Sean @ LansingMusicTV
“This album bounces between guitar-full rock n roll to almost NOFX like hyper punk rock, and even losing itself to more crunchy 90′s style rock… And magically (where’s Puff?) I LOVE EVERY ITTY BIT OF IT!” – Sarah @ Music She Blogged
Naturally, they’re hitting up and down the east coast to spread this gospel (seriously, a terrible metaphor for them) further.
Honah Lee dates!
8/5/2011 – Dub V Pub, Martinsburg, WV
8/6/2011 -Duncan’s, Frostburg, MD
8/11/2011 – John and Peter’s, New Hope, PA
8/13/2011 -Tavern on the Lake, Hightstown, NJ
8/19/2011 – Troc Balcony, Philadelphia, PA
Yep, GTG has the whole rust belt covered for the first two weeks of August, and a good chunk of the lower peninsula of Michigan afterwards. If a more subdued atmosphere is what you’re craving, on August 13th we’ve got Drinking Mercury, Stargrazer, Calliope, and Gnome Village @ (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing, MI (8:00 PM, all ages). This show is also Hattie Plural (who has been whacking the skins for Calliope as of late)‘s birthday party of sorts, so dig some music and check out some art and wish Ms. Plural a happy one. One week later, on August 20th, Narc Out the Reds will be opening for the flipping MEAT PUPPETS at “Crispy Fest” at White’s Bar in Saginaw, MI. Tickets for this all day bash are only $15 and a hell of an opportunity to see some bonafide legends up close whilst gettin’ yr GTG on.
Lastly, but not leastly, I must direct your attention to Jason Alarm’s Farewell Show @ Mac’s Bar in Lansing, MI on August 19th (5:00 PM, all ages). Jason Alarm are a talented and infectious band with something like four years as a band under their belts despite all members being between the ages of 19 and 21. Their farewell show will be a good time, and my disappointment in the band calling it quits is compounded by the fact that I will be unable to attend with Plurals business taking me out of town for the night, so I really hope everyone who can make it gets there. Jason Alarm is one of the casualties of the GTG roster that never was able to make the classic record they were capable of – their 2009 EP Engage is a solid listen, and the three standalone songs they’ve put out since then are even more impressive (all of these, by the way, are available at their bandcamp page), but, as anyone who’s had a band can tell you, scheduling can be a bitch and sadly a full-length from these boys just wasn’t in the cards. However, a band with so much talent and promise parting ways just means that we’ll have a few more kick ass bands around Lansing in the future, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we’ll all be hearing some great new music from their camp. Fare thee well, beloved hoodrats.
So, I don’t blame you if you haven’t read this far, as this is easily the longest newsletter I’ve written. Must be all that “July” still leaking out of my system. Ew. Well I’m gonna get out of here. Much respect and keep on keepin’ on.
Oh yeah, and as a post script, since I usually don’t get these things sent out until a few days into the month, the space rocking GTG forefathers Drinking Mercury are at long last releasing their first proper album in September, and are doing a short run to promote this baby:
Drinking Mercury dates!
9/1/2011 – Frankie’s, Toledo, OH
9/2/2011 – Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapid, MI
9/3/2011 – Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI <- this is the CD RELEASE party
You’ve been warned!
GTG Newsletter # 10: It’s a No-Brainer
Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records, here with a monthly dose of news and ranting. Defying the odds, I’m getting this newsletter out a few days early, in hopes that my attentiveness will inspire the rest of the world to meet deadlines and create a more productive society. I’m hoping the butterfly trickle down effect of this will end the recession by Thursday. Speaking of Thursday, that’s the first day of September, a month, that, just like every other month, will feature some awesome stuff from the GTG Records crew and friends. The first thing happening, and my personal main project of the month, is the release of the full-length album Orcades by the band Drinking Mercury. Drinking Mercury is a cool band that has existed in various forms for over 11 years, but has yet to release a proper album, so we’re excited to finally get it to the people. Drinking Mercury is doing a quick regional run of shows to release the record, starting on September 1st with a show at Frankie’s in Toledo, Ohio, followed by a performance September 2nd at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, MI, and concluding with the official release party at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on September 3rd. We are taking pre-orders for the album all week at the GTG Website (<- click on that there link to order it). Pre-orders ship free and you’ll also get a free, exclusive download of Drinking Mercury performing the song “Five Stop Mother Superior Rain” by the Flaming Lips. We all definitely recommend everyone who can to come out to these shows, as Drinking Mercury is a band that doesn’t play very often and all of the members are busy people, so the next show from the band won’t be for awhile. The album will be available though, so make sure to check it out.
Our pal Peter of the GTG project Stargrazer has his own label called It Takes A Village to Make Records, and they’ve been doing a pretty nifty thing called the 3-way split singles series, with a download available every month on their website with an exclusive new song from three different bands. The July edition featured Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder and The Playback, and the belated late August edition (set to go live tomorrow, August 30th) features The Plurals, Cavalcade, and Terminal Girls. Stay tuned to the ITAV Website to stream and download the songs.
Frank and Earnest will be playing on September 25th at Mac’s Bar with ska-punk legends Mustard Plug. This show is also the debut of the new project Call It Quits, featuring Alex and Dave from the recently departed Jason Alarm. Mustard Plug shows are always a great time, Frank and Earnest shows are sometimes a great time, and first shows from new bands are up in the air. Strange, I thought I had somewhere more positive to go with that. Uh… check out the show.
Digging themselves out of the wreckage of The Day After Tomorrow style events that plagued the east coast in the last week, Honah Lee will endure several hours of intense physical therapy (for their livers) and pull it together in time to play September 17th at Club Squared in Philipsburg, PA. Those of us holed up in the midwest and elsewhere are really missing those fuckers, so show ‘em some support if you can. You should really check out their new record Life Won’t Let Me, if you haven’t already. It’s available (still as part of our 2 for 1 deal) at the GTG store.
So yeah, aside from all that, the GTG gang is, I dunno, drinking Bloody Mary’s or something to recuperate from a kick-ass summer. There’s a lot set to happen in the fall, with some fairly extensive touring from The Plurals, hopefully something new from The Hat Madder (that’s right, I’m calling you boys out!), the release of Small Houses’ album The North in October, and a slew of sweet compilations from the GTG and various friends.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,
GTG Records Newsletter # 11: Sad Songs Are Nature’s Onions
Holy geez I’m (Tommy Plural) writing this (GTG Records) newsletter while sitting outside, and it’s a wonderful atmosphere for inspiration. The neighborhood children have just been dropped off by the school bus and they’re congregating in my yard like they always do for some reason, their shrill shrieks of delight with the end of another school day heightened with the Indian Summer weather that is treating Michigan. I’m fairly sure the kids don’t know that on our upper level porch we can hear and see everything that goes on outside, which, coupled with the fact that I’m even more sure that they can’t see or hear us on the porch, makes me feel, at times, like I shouldn’t be sitting on my own porch and that I’m spying on children. Seriously, I’m just trying to write my newsletter. Which I probably should actually get going on…
So, October 2011 is notable for being the 10th anniversary of the 1 month anniversary of 9/11 as well as the release of the new Small Houses album “North.” Pre-release reviews have said the record has songs that are “hair-raisingly beautifully, some of the vocal interplay is incredible, and the musicianship is wonderful” (Metro Times) with the overall vibe described as “ethereal, quiet and beautiful” (LansingMusicTV). For this record, mastermind Jeremy Quentin collaborated with a great roster of musicians including Chris Bathgate, Samantha Crain, and members of Frontier Ruckus among many others. A run of dates starting tomorrow, October 6, at the Strutt in Kalamazoo, MI and October 7 at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing, MI kick off a CD release tour that will see Small Houses (fleshed out for the live dates with a full band including GTG pal John Davey on bass guitar) hit the Great Lakes states, the east coast, the tip of the south, and the midwest over the course of the rest of October and the beginning of November. A complete list of shows, as well as samples from the new album, can be found over at the official Small Houses website.
Some more press has been creeping in for some of the great GTG releases of the summer, which makes me ponder and reflect on what was indeed a a bunch of great GTG releases of the summer. Drinking Mercury‘s super-fresh album “Orcades” (did you order one yet? Don’t lie, I know. Seriously, I do) was called by super hip entertainment blog Idle and the Bear “an amazing combination of different sounds and harmonies. This entire album was great.” This same fine site also reviewed Josh David and the Dream Jeans‘ “Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon?” describing it as “very raw and powerful. It’s rough, it’s experimental… It’s kickass.” Finally, Revue magazine did a write-up on the Narc Out the Reds 7-inch single (despite being labelled a “CD review”), declaring it “catchy rock-and-roll tunes with a lot of twists and turns” and complimenting the band for laying “down a nice, tight bed for the songs to sit on.” Wow, can you believe that so many critically acclaimed acts can be a part of the same label? Do you believe I’m biased towards saying good things? Can you believe we landed on the moon?
You better believe the music is still coming – check out the latest It Takes A Village to Make Records single for the newest tune from Frank and Earnest, the imaginatively titled “Paul 4.” The Hat Madder and Stargrazer are also both nearing completion on full-length albums – a sample of some of the new material from the former can be found in the new 3D (oh man!) video for new Hat Madder song Mayflies, which you can view here. Honah Lee in the meantime has revamped their website, and it’s pretty nifty. Check it out for all of your Honah Lee needs, including their many show dates throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, both Virginias, and Massachusetts. Preliminary reports have the boys coming to the midwest in January, so… stay tuned.
Finally, just today we got the new pressing of “The Plurals Today, The Plurals Tomorrow: A Futurospective” in the mail, which means we can take orders of that again. You know you want to. It also will soon be available all over the internet on itunes, Amazon, and all of those things (and it’s already on bandcamp) so there’s no excuses. The new pressing is just like the old pressing, except that we didn’t rush the order through a crappy company that pumps out defective CDs and doesn’t believe in customer service (*cough*KUNAKI*cough*) and we can still confidently say it is the best Plurals music out there. To further flog the dying horse The Plurals are heading on tour again at the end of October (starting on October 20th at Mac’s Bar in Lansing with Japanese noise legends Melt Banana) through the midwest, dipping into Colorado, and then jogging over to the east coast. Dates are still being posted, but the confirmed shows are listed here.
So yeah. That’s it for now. I guess I’ll go.
GTG Newsletter #12: Oh, You Men
GTG Records presents another fine dose of news and activity, hazily assembled by Tommy Plural:
2:45 PM, Mountain Standard Time Zone, I have, finally, just gotten my first cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee of this tour. Don’t think for a second that it’s been four days since my last cup of coffee, I have been subsisting on warming up cold coffee and the occasional cup of instant espresso (Medaglia D’orro, one of the few I can stand). Technically I had hot, “fresh” coffee from a rest area in Iowa, but no self-respecting coffee drinker would call that a real cup of coffee. These are the simple pleasures of life on the road – my two priorities in a day are generally coffee and playing a show. Whatever happens in between is fine and good – today it includes writing this newsletter and then playing a show at the Lion’s Lair in Denver, Colorado.
Man, this coffee is just Folger’s, which often tastes like sub-Starbucks (don’t even get me started on that crap, ugh) mud to me but I feel like my mind is starting up in real time as I write this. Or maybe it’s the mountain air. Anyway, The Plurals have been on tour for a few days now and aside from some kid trying to steal our band money in Rockford, IL (you’ll have to ask Nich Plural for all the details… I was there but he was the one who forced the kid to empty out his pockets) the shows have been fun and the people have all been good to us. I write from the apartment of our buddies Dave and Mark in Denver, two fine gentleman who have put us up before and, for some reason, seem to enjoy Plurals running (or rather, sleeping) around their house for days at a time. We’ve got the Lion’s Lair tonight, another show in Denver at the Rockaway Tavern on November 2nd, Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs on November 3rd, and a house show in Fort Collins on November 4th before the tour takes us back eastward for Kansas City, Toledo, Akron, and east coast dates – Trenton, NJ better start getting ready for us now (see http://gtgrecords.net/theplurals for the rest of the info).
The GTG crew is active all over the place this month, getting in our kicks before bundling up and writing a bunch of dreary dirges about snowfall and icy hearts and stuff (gross). In addition to The Plurals midwest and east coast dates mentioned above, GTG live shows this month include:
Narc Out the Reds:
11/11/11 Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s w/ The Plurals and Dashburns
11/17/11 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s w/ Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts (LP release)
“North” tour continuing from Knoxville to Chicago, Madison, Omaha, Kansas City and back home to MI (see http://www.smallhousessing.com/shows)
11/05/11 Warren, NJ @ Warren American Legion (Punk Rock Flea Market)
11/05/11 Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
11/16/11 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes w/ The Plurals
11/17/11 Bristol, PA @ Freddie’s Tavern w/ The Plurals
11/26/11 New Hope, PA @ Triumph Brewery
Frank and Earnest:
11/19/2011 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar (Punks VS Pokes VII)
Josh David and the Dream Jeans have a new song called “Michael and the Wrecking Ball” to be released on this month’s ITAV Singles Club along with new jams from Funender and Cat Midway. Also check out the October ITAV single for a lovely tune from Sleeping Timmy. Also on the studio front, I heard a few new songs from the forthcoming album from The Hat Madder a couple weeks ago (while contributing some backing vocals on a few songs, which was cool) and I have to say that Isaac and friends have outdone themselves once again and this album will be an extremely exciting addition to the GTG catalog. Extreme!
I would also like to quickly note that our friend and drummer extraordinaire Christian Urrabazo (The Hat Madder, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, The Guest Stars as well as filling in for Cavalcade and The Playback among others) has been rocking the drum kit for the Buffalo, NY super melodic alternative rock band Failures’ Union on tour these last two weeks, including a slot on the annual Fest in Gainesville, FL and a surprise appearance at getting pistol whipped in Atlanta. Check out the band at http://www.failuresunion.com. We’re all proud of Christian and can’t wait to see where he’ll wind up next (after coming safely home to us, o’course).
Okay, this coffee is starting to get cold, and I’ll be doggoned if I don’t keep it hot.
GTG Newsletter # 13: What to Think
Welcome to the December 2011 GTG Records news/ Tommy Plural spouts stuff/ The Plurals get mentioned a lot/ etc newsletter. It’s just occurring to me that I’ve been doing this newsletter for a year now. That would make sense, given the fact that I number all of them and I’m comfortable admitting that I am at least of the level of intelligence to know how many months are in a year, but it took me looking through the past messages to realize this. Wow, what a journey we’ve all had, those of you who’ve been with me from the start. We should have a contest where I ask a trivia question about something I posted in a previous newsletter and the winner gets a signed, glossy, 8×10 head shot. I’ll think about it. It’s also just occurring to me that this whole first paragraph is probably not very interesting, particularly to the new people that just signed up for the mailing list that I met on the Plurals tour. Hi people I met on the Plurals tour! Remember how fun that show was and how those awesome, unique to your particular city, things happened? Oh man, if I could live it all again. But seriously folks, that tour was a good time and I’m glad to have met all of the good people that we did and the opportunity to play with so many good bands (even Honah Lee). We will do it again.
So yeah, 2011 is wrapping up. It was a good year: The Plurals toured a lot, released the album Futurospective and the Funemployment split 7-inch with Frank and Earnest (which was also the first vinyl release on GTG Records); Honah Lee released their album Life Won’t Let Me and saturated the east coast and midwest with boozey good times (and also played some shows); Narc Out the Reds dropped the excellent “Pawnmower/ Leak in the Disease” 7-inch single and did an east coast tour with The Hat Madder; the road was basically the 2011 home for Small Houses, who also released the album North in October; Drinking Mercury finally released their first full-length album, Orcades, which I’ve been promising for years (but the end result was worth it); Josh David and the Dream Jeans also released a debut effort, the (feeling) strangely fine Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon; Stargrazer, in the meantime, built up the It Takes a Village to Make Records label with the excellent “3-Way Split Singles” series (to which Stargrazer, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, The Plurals, Frank and Earnest, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, and The Hunky Newcomers all contributed exclusive songs to this year); and finally, The Hunky Newcomers stumbled out of somewhere and became everyone’s favorite band in Lansing, as heard on their debut Hard Dude Stuff – grab one if you can find a copy being used as a coaster at one of their parties.
To expand on that last little chunk of text, if you go to this link you can download the exclusive new songs from Josh David and the Dream Jeans (“Michael and the Wrecking Ball”) and The Hunky Newcomers (“Bitchin’ Summer”), as well as the unsettlingly infectious song “Scarred Man” by Cat Midway. This is the latest in the ongoing 3-Way Split series from It Takes A Village to Make Records, a project that the GTG roster has contributed to heavily (as mentioned above), so everyone is definitely encouraged to check out all of the singles on the site. The latest single is available as a free download, but only until tomorrow! So get on it! I’m pretty mean for sending this newsletter out at 7 o’clock at night when most people won’t see it! You can always stream the singles, and the money is going to the non-profit “Independent Musicians Fund, an aid account established by ITAV to help independent musicians from being nickled-and-dimed by broken audio cables, missing guitar stands, etc” so if you do buy the singles you’re supporting a good cause.
As far as the live show front goes, December is a fairly quiet month for the GTG crew. I’m sure we’ll all be kicking it up a notch after we wake up and realize it’s 2012 and we only have one more year to live (oh man, I’m so excited for how many times we’re going to hear about that next year. We should have another contest to see who can get in the first 2012-armageddon joke of the year), but in the meantime there’s still a handful of good shows happening in Michigan and, uh, Honah Lee land:
12/02/11 @ The Charleston (Brooklyn, NY) w/ Not the Bees (a very fine band that The Plurals had the pleasure to share the stage with at Asbury Lanes recently)
12/17/11 @ O’Brien’s (Allston, MA)
12/08/11 @ The Strutt (Kalamazoo, MI)
12/31/11 @ Short’s Brewery (Bellaire, MI)
Frank and Earnest:
12/15/11 @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ Chinese Telephones (all ages)
12/17/11 @ Ripped Heart Show/ Olde Jamestown Hall (Saginaw, MI) (all ages)
Aside from these shows, many of us will be spending the month of December working on the annual Bermuda Snowhawk holiday release that GTG does with our buddies in Bermuda Mohawk Productions. This year will mark the sixth annual Snowhawk comp, and the results are always a completely nonsensical grab bag of musical collaborations. We usually do a limited run physical release that we hand out at shows in Lansing in the later part of December, and the whole thing gets posted online as a free download at the BMP website. Check out some previous comps here (my personal favorite is the 2009 edition), and stay tuned for the new one to be posted a few days before Christmas (roughly).
All right then. I supposed we’ll talk again in a month. Have a good December. How do I get out of here?
GTG Newsletter # 14: Please Don’t Kill Me
Tommy Plural from The Plurals/ GTG Records/ your worst nightmare/ “hey didn’t I meet you that one time at that one place”/ etc. I am sending out the GTG Records newsletter for the month of January, and I’m making sure to do it today, because I assure you I will not remember to do it on January 1st. I read once that seminal (side note, I also read somewhere else that the word “seminal” is most often used in writings about rock music. I must read a lot of things that are tremendous wastes of time.) “grunge” band Mudhoney, known, in their early days, for their prodigious beer intake, referred to New Year’s Eve as “amateur night” and made it a point to stay in and get caught up on personal chores and errands and avoided the party scene. I think this is something worth considering, so why don’t we all avoid the crowds and not attend some stupid shitty event with too many douche bags, bad music, various people that should be shot, etc etc. (An editorial glance at this paragraph, done later in the day, raised an eyebrow at how quickly this “lighthearted rant” took a dark turn. My sincerest apologies if you are a douche bag, enjoy shitty events, or should be shot). The GTG Lansing crew is staying in and throwing a “July in Christmas” party where we will turn up the heat, dress in summer clothes, listen to (most likely shitty) summery music, and drink margaritas – in December, hahahaha!! Aren’t we hilarous!?!? So, while I consider the “amateur night” theory a viable one, I hold in higher esteem the chance to behave like a complete jackass, something that I often do while completely sober but on this occasion will do while aided by tequila. Cheers!
So anyway, after I come to in the middle of the first week of January, there’s some stuff going on. A year ago, a fellow named Sean Bradley, one of the founders and main contributors to LansingMusicTV, approached the GTG crew and others in Lansing about doing a compilation album consisting of Lansing bands covering other Lansing bands past and present. Unbeknownst to Sean, the other Plurals and I had discussed a similar idea at one point, so we jumped on the idea and GTG is proudly co-releasing “Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing” with LansingMusicTV. We’re having a release party for the CD January 6th at Mac’s Bar with live performances by Frank and Earnest, Cavalcade, American Gothic, Small Houses, and Tommy Plural (me, doing some acoustic guitar thing, to be joined at different points throughout the set by Michael Boyes to do a Drinking Mercury segment and the other Plurals to do an acoustic Plurals segment). In addition to the bands playing at the release party the compilation also features Fields of Industry, Calliope, Narc Out the Reds, The Break-Ups, and a posthumous track by Jason Alarm. The bands covered on the compilation are all over the map, ranging from deserved local legends like Small Brown Bike, The Fix, and The Ones, currently active artists like Flatfoot, Jen Sygit, and Calliope, to defunct and underrated locals like Syscrusher and A Story Told. The whole thing is a celebration of Lansing music past and present, so work your way out of your early-year haze to have a good time at Mac’s on January 6th. The compilation will be available for order at the GTG website shortly thereafter.
Narc Out the Reds are headlining a show at Mac’s Bar on January 21st with a great diverse lineup including Calliope, Little American Champ, Infernal Names and the Guest Stars. This show will serve as sendoff for NOTR bassist Terry Pearson, who is moving back to his native Upper Peninsula. Taking Terry’s place is Josh Siwek, known to Lansing scenesters as the bass player for The Playback. I believe Josh is going to play a few tunes at this show, so it should be a good night to wish Terry farewell and get a peak into the future of NOTR.
To quickly round-up other haps, The Plurals, Drinking Mercury, and Trinket will be playing at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids, MI on January 19th. It’s a free show, and Mulligan’s is a lot of fun… 10 PM, 21+.
CrookedSound emerges from the studio lair with a new track for the forthcoming January It Takes A Village to Make Records 3-Way Split single. This is the first CrookedSound material since the awesome cover of “Beth” (listen to it here) from the 2010 KISS tribute GTG put out.
The Hat Madder are in the mixing stages of their next album. It’s sounding awesome. Their next show is in February for the CD release party by our old pals Cheap Girls.
The Hunky Newcomers are set to hit the studio this winter to follow-up the acclaimed thrown together “Hard Dude Stuff” CD/ Demo thing with a proper full-length. Hopefully that slab of plastic will be out this spring.
Uh… what else is going on? The Plurals are booking a midwest/ southwest/ west coast tour starting in March. Honah Lee are on a break from live shows because Tim sustained minor injuries after taking on a group of highly organized criminals performing a heist under the guise of a terrorist attack, using hostages including his wife to keep the police at bay. But he’s okay now and they’ll be hitting the road again in February.
Okay… I need to find my cut-offs and get some margarita mix around.
Hopefully see you in 2012,
Post script: Bermuda Snowhawk 2011 is available for free download at the BMP site. This year’s crazy holiday compilation features exclusive new songs from The Plurals, The Hunky Newcomers, Drinking Mercury, Stargrazer, Sleeping Timmy, Isaac Vander Schuur, middleman, our Buffalo buddies Failures’ Union, Trenton, NJ psychedelic guitar wizard (?) Dale J. Gordon, Lansing sludgey dudes BerT, Michigan metal maniacs Dozic, as well as the recorded debut of both Frank and Earnest’s country alter egos Paul Dubya and the Oak River Bridge Boys Band and the dreamy Cavalcade off-shoot Regretters. In addition to these tracks there’s a wealth of one-off projects ranging from rap to punk to folk to blackout drunk Lady GaGa parodies, so… dig in!
GTG Records Newsletter # 15: It’s Perfectly Understandishable
Hey, how’s it going, my name is Tommy Plural and I play in a band called The Plurals (among others) and help run this label thing called GTG Records with my friends (among others, guess who) in Lansing, Michigan. I have a problem with liking music a lot, and not just “good” (whatever that means) music. For some reason I picked up a guitar yesterday and figured out how to play “The Stroke” by Billy Squier. Why? Because I could, I guess. Don’t even try and tell me that’s a good song, I don’t even think Billy Squier would argue that point with you. I suppose I just like the sound of music (note the lack of capital letters in that statement, not that I’m hatin’ on Julie Andrews or anything, I just need to think about it a little longer and can’t really go there right now) and prefer to have it around no matter what it is. When I was a freshman in college I asked a guy I kind of knew, while waiting in line in the dormitory cafeteria, if he was interested in checking out a show I was playing that night, and he responded, suspiciously quickly, “oh, I don’t like music.” I think that was the last time we talked. We didn’t have the understanding that people like me and all of you guys have. So hey, are you interested in checking out these shows that my friends and I are playing this month?
In easy-to-follow chronological order, since I know you’re probably glancing at this on your iPhone and waiting for me to get to the damn point, Stargrazer is hitting the stage at Mac’s Bar this coming Wednesday, February 8th, along with Delightfuls, Ugly Broads, and Malls. That’s a really nicely named lineup, as it almost says “delightful ugly mall broads.” Uh, this show will be Stargrazer’s first at the beloved Lansing shit-hole that is Mac’s Bar (back off, it’s our shit-hole) in quite some time, so try not to talk too loudly over his set while you discuss grindcore with your friends. In all seriousness, Stargrazer live performances are unique and engaging, and the last few that I’ve caught have been the best yet. Check it out.
Over on the east coast our whacky Jersey boys Honah Lee are revving up the touring engine after taking the last couple months off (for the most part) due to, uh, medical reasons. They’re playing a couple local dates at John and Peter’s in New Hope, PA on February 11th as well as their beloved shit-hole the Mill Hill Basement in Trenton, NJ on February 18th, before hitting the road on February 23rd on a jaunt that will take them to Wilmington, Richmond, Cleveland, Hamilton (OH), Chicago, Grand Rapids (MI), and Lansing. Check out their deceptively nice website for more details on these shows.
Back in the midwest, Drinking Mercury will be returning to the stage of the great, not really, a shit-hole but still cool, Mulligan’s Pub in Grand Rapids, MI on February 11th along with Lucky Shoreline and Trinket (1O PM, 21+ and FREEEEEEEEEEEE).
The Hat Madder is playing at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) on February 17th as part of the release party for the new Cheap Girls album “Giant Orange.” In addition to The Hat Madder and Cheap Girls, the dashing and heartfelt local band Little American Champ will be opening up the show. It’s all ages, starting at 7 PM on a Friday, so darn near everyone in the area should be able to check it out. The evening is basically guaranteed to be a good time – Cheap Girls have been playing all over the US, with a couple of European jaunts mixed in, pretty much non-stop for the last few years, spreading the gospel of Lansing bred rock ‘n roll far and wide. The Hat Madder are in the mixing stages of their own album, due out in late spring or early summer, which promises to be pretty friggin’ awesome, compounding that whole “sweet Lansing music” thing that I’m always blathering on about.
A week later our very own Frank and Earnest (after a stop at Frankie’s in Toledo, OH on February 16th, whoa, time warp!) will be hitting the stage of Mac’s Bar, supporting the February 24th stop of the infectious-as-all-get-out tour by The Queers and The Ataris. Again, it’s all ages, doors at 6:30, on a Friday, and will be boasting high energy shout-alongs for the whole night, so check it out. This same evening of the 24th of February, over the treacherous 1-27 city line into the badlands of East Lansing, Drinking Mercury will be taking the stage at (SCENE) Metrospace for those looking for a, perhaps more reserved, but maybe not, all ages show starting around 9 PM. Also playing will be Sabertooth Fiancee and Basement Shark Attack, a pair of newer locals with an affinity for intimidating animal names crossed with seeming non-sequitors. Drinking Mercury will be debuting a few new tunes at this show before disappearing from the live show stage for the spring, so everyone should do their best to randomly jump back and forth from (SCENE) to Mac’s in hopes of catching everything awesome.
The Plurals are taking it relatively easy this month, with a barn show (at 850 N State) in our erstwhile hometown of Ionia, MI on February 4th (yeah, I know, not chronological, fuck me, you can figure it out) and a beach-themed house show in Ann Arbor, MI slated for February 25th. Apparently we don’t play “normal” shows in February. Yes! We’re kicking it into high gear in March with a March 1st show with Honah Lee (see above) at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids, followed by a six week midwest, northwest, and west coast tour starting on March 15th (announced dates listed here). I’ll ramble about that a lot next month, get ready. Since I don’t always get these things out on the 1st of the month, I should also mention that Josh David and the Dream Jeans will be playing their farewell show before going on indefinite hiatus, also with Honah Lee, at GTG House in Lansing on March 2nd. Needless to say, the show will be awesome.
I leave you with this link to a brand new CrookedSound song, released on January 31st. Groovy, man.
GTG Records Newsletter # 16: A Talking Junkie
Tommy Plural from The Plurals/ GTG Records/ non-unionized burrito enthusiasts of Lansing/ Gramercy Riffs/ etc here with another dose of information and fun regarding a kooky li’l collective of musicians and overall friendly folks based in Lansing, Michigan (and one group of goofs from New Jersey). This is the introductory paragraph where I make observations about my life often with some sort of commentary. So, uh, I filed my taxes last night… that was pretty cool. I also just put on two shows for the band Honah Lee (aforementioned NJ goofs) for their midwestern tour. That actually was pretty cool, it pleases me tremendously that so many people are responding to great bands that I believe in. I also have been listening to the Beach Boys a lot, what with their reunion tour of surviving members happening this summer. That might be pretty cool, I dunno, as long as Mike Love keeps his whole “I do a lot of stupid things that alienate people and compromise my band’s artistic integrity” thing in check. But yep, that’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Well, that and the fact that my Plural bandmates and I have been working on booking a tour that starts in two weeks.
Yeah! Plurals tour! Starting March 15th in Dekalb, IL (sorry Chicago folks, we’ll get there soon), heading through the midwest, into Colorado, up to the northwest, meeting up with the awesome City Mouse for a west coast run, down the coast and over to Tucson for Way Out West Fest, and then back through the midwest to arrive home on April 20th. Holy @!#$%#@!! We’ve played most of these towns before so it should be a nice return swing and we’ll hopefully have a whole lot of adventures. Our full tour dates are listed here and if you’re in or near any of these towns we’ll rock your face off and then sew it back on, and probably even give you a ride to the emergency room after our amateurish surgery efforts go horribly awry. I’ve been looking forward to this tour since, well, the end of the last one, and I can’t wait to get out there and share all of the new music we’ve been working on. But, y’know, these things don’t pay for themselves, so if you have yet to get a copy of our CD, now would be a fantastic time to purchase one. You can buy it on iTunes, but if you want the $$$ to go more directly to us and not through the estate of Steve Jobs you can order a physical copy from the GTG store (alongside many other great releases) and/ or download it from bandcamp.
Elsewhere in GTG land…
Narc Out the Reds and The Hat Madder are playing in Lansing at Mac’s Bar on March 28 (a whacky Wednesday!) along with fine new local boys The Dolphins and fine, fine boys Prima Donna. Narc Out the Reds are stopping into the studio every few weeks with a release of sorts hopefully coming out in the fall. The Hat Madder are in the mixing stages of their new album, with touring to follow in May.
Our good friends from Silver Maple Kill Records have released a new compilation called “No F@#%ing Egos 2: Electric Boogaloo” that features a bunch of exclusive new songs, including cuts from our own Frank and Earnest, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, Drinking Mercury, The Break-Ups, Stargrazer, and The Hat Madder, as well as other cool bands like Jackpine Snag, Elliot Street Lunatic, Fade to Black, and The Rival to name but a few. The compilation is currently available at local record stores in Lansing (Flat Black and Circular, Schuler Books etc) and people can stay tuned to the Silver Maple Kill Facebook page for more info.
Honah Lee, after a wet (actually, probably not… well, maybe the occasional shower, but I don’t think they took many of those) and wild (certainly!) run through the midwest, will be doing a quick spell of east coast dates starting with an appearance in the Trenton, NJ St. Patrick’s Day Parade on, you guessed it, St. Patrick’s Day (psst, March 17th). After this they’re doing a weekend jaunt on March 22nd (Mill Hill Basement in Trenton – Tim Hoh’s backbreakingbirthdaybash), March 23rd (Snug Harbor in New Paltz, NY), and March 24th (Pat’s Bar in Mt. Arlington, NJ) with more dates to follow in April. Having personally witnessed them twice on this last tour I can confidently say that their live shows are more of a blast all the time, with their “hits” flowing in rapid succession (I felt like someone was going to have scrape me off the back of the wall with a spatula, or something) and their new songs among their best yet. So, go!
Okey dokey. I’ll write again in a month… I think I’ll probably be in Oregon or California when I do. Stay cool.
GTG Records Newsletter # 17: Hooray For America!
Good day world,
Tommy Plural here. I send out this newsletter about The Plurals and GTG Records and thinly veiled reactionary propaganda once a month, and you are on the list of people that I send it to. We’ve got a super double issue for April and May 2012 here – because I’ve been on tour with The Plurals and never once wrote an April letter! Now that’s professional! I know many people reading this are first time readers from all over the country, fresh from this Plurals tour. I hope we have a long and fruitful friendship. Tour was great – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois… all sufficiently conquered (or, at least, briefly inhabited) by The Plurals. Thanks to all of the great people that made the tour happen, particularly our west coast tour mates City Mouse, an insanely great melodic punk outfit from Riverside, CA that everyone should know and we can’t wait to see again.
But the world keeps turning, and there’s great stuff coming up in this last week of April and the month of May. Our lovely home here in Lansing, Michigan, known to hip locals as house venue GTG House, will be hosting a few great shows in the next few weeks. First off super wicked New Jersey punk rapper Ray Strife will be rocking the house “stage” along with dumb-punk faves Hunky Newcomers, power poppers The Guest Stars, and Ribcage (rap feat. Roy from the Guest Stars) on Thursday April 26th. The following evening, April 27th, a benefit for the Mitten Mavens roller derby team will be happening at our beloved mid-Michigan shithole Mac’s Bar featuring our resident post-punk heroes Narc Out the Reds as well as The Playback, The Dolphins, Charlie Slick and Inflatable Best Friend. The GTG crew will be closing out the weekend, transcontinentally, starting with The Plurals and The Hat Madder sharing the stage with the Claudettes (feat. members of Oh My God) at a warehouse party on 310 E. North St in Lansing’s old town on April 28th. This will be a great, rowdy, time – and our first Plurals show back in town, so don’t miss it. Over on the East Coast, our favorite party punkers Honah Lee will be rocking the stage of the Trash Bar in Brooklyn, NY, shortly before undertaking their own tour…
Which looks like this:
Honah Lee Tour
5/5 – Mickey Finn’s – Toledo OH
5/6 – GTG House – Lansing MI – this is my 25th birthday party! We’ll be cooking out and partying. Come painted silver and get a prize!
5/8 – Galaxy CD’s – Hamilton OH
5/9 – The Late Bar – Chicago IL
5/10 – Mulligan’s – Grand Rapids MI w/ Hunky Newcomers
5/11 – Toepfer House – Warren MI
5/12 – Melody Inn – Indianapolis IN
The live show front is also really gearing up around Lansing for all you folks in the capital city area. Spring is springing, beer is plentiful, and stages will be rocked throughout town all month.
5/3/12 – Hunky Newcomers @ Mac’s w/ Thrall, Chaz Brackz and the Tight Teens
5/4/12 – Frank and Earnest @ ZEPPELIN’S MUSIC HALL (new venue at 2010 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI) w/ To Fear the Wolf and Aadia
(next to Emil’s, across from The Green Door)
5/9/12 – The Hat Madder @ Mac’s w/ The Features
5/11/12 – Narc Out the Red’s @ Zeppelin’s w/ Cavalcade and Homelife (this show should be super killer)
5/12/12 – The Plurals @ Mac’s Bar w/ Good Luck, Kind of Like Spitting, Fencemen, and Little American Champ (this show will also be super killer)
Following all of this The Hat Madder (who will have a new record out this summer! yeah!) will be taking on a tour themselves… that looks like this!
5/25/12 – Mohawk Place – Bufffalo, NY w/ Failures’ Union
5/27/12 – Tree Bar – Columbus, OH
5/28/12 – Be Here Now – Muncie, IN
5/29/12 – Rachael’s Cafe – Bloomington, IN
There should be a couple other dates added, so stay tuned.
All in all, it’s good to be home. The tour was phenomenal and I can’t wait to do it again. The Plurals are eying some east coast dates in the summer and hoping to party with all of you Pacific Coast Time folk in the early fall. Keep it coming!
GTG Records Newsletter # 18: We Regret to Inform You
This is Lansing, Michigan resident Tommy Plural (some names have been changed to protect those involved), known (yeah, right) for being a member of a band called The Plurals and working with a record label called GTG Records. It would seem that we all have made it through the spring intact. I mean, if you’re reading this that means you have to be intact, right? Can ghosts read e-mail? I suppose they could, I’ll admit I’m not too hip to ghost rules. I’ll have to ask Dan Aykroyd next time he cuts in front of me in the line at Urban Outfitters. So what else is new? I have a notification on the left side of my screen that “touchycakes31″ wants to chat with me. Should I go for it? We’ll see how this pans out…
So, music, apparently, is probably what you want me to talk about. Preferably music news, related to the musicians on the roster of GTG Records. Well, I’ll get to that. I bold the key points for a reason, so you quick skimming readers that pretend that you’re just SO busy that you don’t have the 5 minutes in your life to actually read every word that I took the time to write can gather my main ideas and get back to whatever it is that you do. Not that you owe me anything. But by Gob, you signed that mailing list and I’m going to mail you things! So, they’re not on GTG Records, but two recent records that I’m really rocking out to at the moment are “Times are Alright” by The Fencemen (Lansing, MI – this record just came out and I love it) and “Napalm Dreams” by TENEMENT (Appleton, WI – they have lots of records and this isn’t even the most recent, but it’s barely a year old). You should give these records a listen, and then show them to your friends to quiet any complaints about no good “new music” existing these days. End non-shameless non-self promotion.
So, GTG! The Hat Madder is wrapping up a tour as we speak, with a homecoming show happening at the illustrious GTG House this Saturday June 2nd, w/ Frank and Earnest, Lawnmower, and Lazy Genius. This eastern-midwest (huh?) jaunt that these guys just went on was a sort of pre-promotional tour for their forthcoming record, which is, at long last, done, and the results are totally worth waiting for. It’s a full-length album of blissful melodies caked in layers of distortion and sweet, sweet rock and roll. We’ll hopefully have a release date for late summer sorted out really soon here.
But the summer’s just getting started, and we’ve got a good handful of shows in the midwest and on the east coast for you fine people. The Plurals will also be returning to the west coast in August, so everyone will get some sort of shot of GTG music while the sun’s a shinin.’ Here’s what’s happening the rest of this month:
June 8th – Honah Lee w/ Not the Bees, Mad Anthony at Legion Hall (Warren, NJ)
June 16th – Honah Lee at Art All Night w/ Cryptkeeper Five, more (Trenton, NJ)
June 22nd – The Plurals w/ Oh My God (“classic” trio lineup) at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
June 23rd – The Plurals – somewhere in Ohio or PA?!?!?!? Get at me if you have leads on somewhere we can play.
June 24th – The Plurals w/ Honah Lee and City Mouse at The Carpenter Workshop (Morrisville, PA)
June 25th – The Plurals w/ Honah Lee, City Mouse, and Scarier Area at Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA)
June 28th – The Hat Madder w/ City Mouse, Lazy Genius, Invisible Mansion at Mulligan’s (Grand Rapids, MI)
June 29th – The Plurals w/ City Mouse, Lipstick, The Fur Coats at Township (Chicago, IL)
June 30th – Hunky Newcomers w/ City Mouse at Firehouse Pizza (Normal, IL) (side note, I will be at a concert by the real, reunited Beach Boys in “Detroit” on this evening. I’m kind of excited)
There are several shows with City Mouse, as you may or may not have noticed. They’re a super awesome band from Riverside, CA that The Plurals recently did some west coast shows with (and will once again in the future as well). Their full national tour dates are listed here. They are highly recommended.
Things to look for after this (in addition to that upcoming Hat Madder record that we’re going to drill into your skull to the point that you’ll buy it just to shut me up. I’m not above going through every single name on this mailing list and asking you, individually, questions about the record to prove if you listened to it or not): Stargrazer recordings are forthcoming, with two different full-lengths being made concurrently and in varying degrees of completion. Frank and Earnest and Hunky Newcomers will both be recording full-length albums this summer. And… Honah Lee will be releasing a split 7-inch hopefully probably around the beginning of the fall.
Uh oh, shouldn’t have added “touchycakes31″ to my chat list. Looks like this might be the end of me… but if not, I’ll talk to you in a month.
Peace, love, death metal,
GTG Records Newsletter # 19: The Chip On Your Shoulder Club
Hi, I’m Tommy. I play in a band called The Plurals, and work with a swell group of folks (mostly in Lansing, Michigan, but elsewhere as well) in a label called GTG Records. Everyone in this label has a pretty bad music problem. Er, not “bad music,” but “bad problem” pertaining to music. Well, maybe it’s bad music. (Probably in Ben’s case). It’s all subjective really. But we’re all trying pretty sincerely to do this in earnest and follow inspiration and stuff, so I didn’t think any of it’s “bad” per se. This really is a debate that I don’t want to get into right now. Anyway, we all have a problem here, but I’m augmented with another problem in that I have NO problem with writing and talking about these passions of ours, which led to me writing a monthly newsletter update thing about all of this. Which is where you come in. You signed up, now we all deal with this problem.
Well it’s July. I always have mixed feeling about July. Sure, “summer” activities really kick into high gear, but the fresh, energetic summer days are often confined to June. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’ve been living my life to less-than-full potential for 25 years now. Boy, that’d be a (summer) bummer!
But, I think I kind of have a point. We did so much awesome stuff in June here in GTG land! The Plurals did a handful of shows on the east coast and midwest with our dear, dear Californian friends in City Mouse – joined on various dates as well by (other sweet, sweet GTG bands) Honah Lee, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, and the Hunky Newcomers. It was a brilliant love-fest that was known to make at least one person nod in basic enjoyment. There was also a very beautiful (eye roll) moment in that the notebook that I use to collect names and addresses for this very mailing list was finished off and filled out at the Plurals/ City Mouse show in Chicago. A new chapter is dawning, a new book even. Wow. Well, then City Mouse left the midwest to return to California and we’ve all gotten bored, I guess. Wait, what am I doing? I’m supposed to be selling you on the label and our activities, and I’m making it sound like the stuff this month sucks! It doesn’t, I’m just… just, hungry. Hungry for action! Starving. Well, these select activities in Michigan and New Jersey are tasty.
July 12th – Narc Out the Reds, Hat Madder, Calliope, Cost For Living @ The Garage (Lansing, MI)
July 13th - The Plurals @ Augustine’s (Lansing, MI – House Show) w/ MindGuards, Leper Colony, and Racket Ghost! (Michigan Rock N Brew Fundraiser)
July 13th – (also, slightly later!) The Hat Madder acoustic set @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI / Wallflowers after party)
July 14th – Stargazer @ (SCENE) Metrospace (East Lansing, MI) w/ Cold Mountain Child, Nate Z
July 20th – Frank and Earnest (Bruce Springsteen Cover Set) @ The Loft (Lansing, MI)
July 21st – Honah Lee @ Champ’s (Trenton, NJ) w/ Local Demise and Idiot Boy (so many GTG friends on this bill!)
July 29th – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ) w/ Decades (ex-Jason Alarm, more GTG friends!)
August 3rd – The Plurals/ Frank and Earnest @ GTG House (Lansing, MI) (GTG Records fundraiser! We’ve got a lot of great releases coming up and if you want them to come out sooner rather than later come out to this show and partake in the fun!)
So yeah, we’re all pretty much staying close to home this month. What that means, in reality, is that all of the bands on the label are working on new material, some are in the studio, some are prepping new releases…. oh, the future is golden. In addition to the activity of these bands that we’ve all been knowing and loving for some time…
We will be working very soon with a great band from Jersey City, NJ called Not the Bees! They have a new EP coming out later this summer (that features artwork from Tony G of Honah Lee “fame”) consisting of 5 tracks of melodic punk goodness in the vein of Face to Face/ Jawbreaker/ Hot Water Music etc but with their own joyfully-in-your-face spin. The Plurals have played with these guys a couple times so I can personally vouch that they’re a bunch of nice young men that I’m sure we’ll all welcome with loving arms. Click here to check out the song “Backpacks” from the upcoming release. And then get prepared for me to rant about them even more next time.
Okay, so I guess this month isn’t so dire after all. The rest of the summer looks to consist of some more local dates from the bands, with the rush of new releases and more touring starting in the fall. All right! We did it! Another one down! Til next time…
GTG Records Newsletter # 20: Take it From Me, I Love You!
8/9/12 – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ). Dim and Goggles are both turning 16, so come celebrate their birthday. It’ll be their last show until September.
8/11/12 – 4th Annual Grand Ledge Skate Park Benefit @ Myja’s Grey Wolf Inn (Grand Ledge, MI). All Ages, schedule posted here. Frank and Earnest at 6:00, The Plurals at 7:30, many more throughout the day.
8/17/12 – Not the Bees! Record Release Party @ River Grille (Catham, NJ) w/ the Dead and Gone and Maya’s Ruin
8/18/12 – The Plurals @ Dogg Show (Crystal, MI) Scheduled for 9:00.
8/25/12 – Narc Out the Reds @ Crispy Music Fest (Saginaw, MI) Scheduled for 7:15.
8/30/12 – Hunky Newcomers @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ Lord Vapid and Mind Guards.
Not a super crazy month, but there’s some stuff going on. The Plurals were planning on doing some touring this month, but it got pushed back to October/ November. We’re working on setting that up right now, so we’ll have news in the next month or two about that. I am actually still playing some of the original projected dates on the west coast as a solo acoustic “Tommy Plural” thing… but I don’t have all of the dates figured out yet! Ha! So… sometime around the end of this month I’ll be doing some solo shows in southern California. Wow, that’s a whole lot of non-information! Stay tuned to The Plurals pages (GTG, Facebook, I think Nich runs a Twitter..) and we’ll announce those when they’re figured out. Yep, that’s all I got.So, if you looked at that list above, which, I’m assuming you did if you’re reading this paragraph now, you’ll see that Not the Bees! are hosting a record release party on August 17th at River Grille in Catham, NJ. I’m really hoping that all of you fine east coast friends of ours can make it out to the show (if I hear their wasn’t a riot I’m sending Josh David after you!), and everyone should check out the record on their bandcamp page right now! It’s 5 infectious songs of Face to Face/ Hot Water Music/ etc style gruff’n melodic punk rock. This is GTG’s first release with these fine boys and I’m really excited to see what else comes up. We’ll have the record up in the GTG store in a few weeks, and we should be getting some glorious press reviews in soon enough. You ain’t heard the last about this record.
There will definitely be more records in the GTG catalog this fall, as we’ve been doing some fundraising efforts for this very cause, and lots of folks are either in the studio right now (Hat Madder – well, mastering, but, yeah – Narc Out the Reds, Stargrazer) or will be soon (Hunky Newcomers, Frank and Earnest, Honah Lee, The Plurals). It kinda fell under the newsletter radar last month, but The Break-Ups released a new track on the July It Takes a Village to Make Records single (along with a new track by our old pal Luke Schmidt’s Firebrand of the Revolution project, and ex-Sunset Club-er Jory Stultz). The Break-Ups haven’t been show-active for the better part of a year, but studio work still happens intermittently, and the Lansing dream-poppers managed to finish up an old track called “Rainy Day Sound” (or “Songs” depending on who you ask…). Check it out here. The forthcoming August single will feature a new track from Michael “Drinking Mercury/ Hunky Newcomers/ sometime/ former member of Josh David and the Dream Jeans, The Guest Stars, blah blah blah, etc” Boyes’ solo project middleman, so stay tuned for that as well.
GTG Records Newsletter # 21: Y’all Are Brutalizing Me
Tommy Plural here. As the protagonist in my mind of the loose narrative known as “life,” my character attributes include playing guitar in a band called The Plurals and running GTG Records with my pals in Lansing, Michigan. I have struggled to communicate my knowledge and passion for music in a manner that most people wouldn’t find “douchey” or “dickish” or “beef-witted apple john-esque” and this newsletter, and, you, my friend, are witness to my progress. Character development is tricky business and unfolds gradually; hopefully I’m not too contrived and make a believable protagonist. Or begrudging anti-hero, whatever.
Recent plot points include the fact that I have spent the last couple weeks crashing in Long Beach, California at the house of this girl named Sabina that hosts a cool radio show called Demo Schmemo that airs from every Tuesday at Kbeach.org. This particular sub-plot has included myself experiencing Los Angeles in such a manner that I understand why this is funny now. Time to leave? Well, no, but, I will soon, though not before doing a couple more solo acoustic shows. I actually had one last Saturday night in Riverside, CA at Kim’s Bar. Good work getting that info out on time, Tommy. Yep, I’m a work in progress. I played a set of acoustic arrangements of Plurals songs and a Husker Du cover, and had the pleasure of sharing the stage with my dear friend Miski Dee from the band City Mouse. She sang lead on a Plurals song that Hattie Plural usually sings. Hattie’s in Missoula, Montana right now, hanging out with the Minor Bird Records crew after filling in on drums with Origami Ghosts from Seattle, WA. Again, good work getting that info out. Still, it’s kind of interesting, right? Right? ….
So I’m writing this in a studio at the CBS radio building in downtown Los Angeles, drinking a fairly awful Diet Snapple mixed with tequila. I heard that Rodney Bingenheimer and Steve Jones (of the Sex Pistols) are both down the hall from me right now. Huh. I’m just killing time here before getting a ride back to Long Beach, since the public transit out here is pretty lame. This information will hopefully explain the lack of coherence in the subject and tone of this newsletter.
Well, hopefully all of you wonderful people are recovered from your holiday weekend and ready to read some stuff about bands and such. So, this month, this is what’s happening in GTG land:
Today! As in, September 4th, 2012, IN ONE HOUR!! I’m going to be on the aforementioned Demo Schmemo show. I’m going to play some solo acoustic songs and talk about The Plurals and GTG and stuff. Check it out live from 6-8 EST (3-5 PST) at Kbeach.org, and/or it will be posted for streaming listen at the Demo Schmemo website in a few days. Then, this Saturday, September 8th, I will be playing a solo show at the Black Sparrow Press House in San Pedro, CA.
Across the whole fucking country, this Friday September 7th Honah Lee will be playing at the Troc in Philadelphia with the legendary Jello Biafra. Awesome! Honah Lee and The Plurals will be doing a midwest/ east coast tour in October. I’ll be posting about that next time! Honah Lee and our very own Not the Bees (check out Another Hour to Burn, or burn!) will be playing at the Mill Hill Basement in Trenton, NJ on September 23rd as well.
Lansing’s favorite drunk punks the Hunky Newcomers are playing at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on Monday September 17th with Teenage Bottlerocket. Between the drinks and the catchy tunes we’ll all have some raging headaches the next day.
Finally, the sometimes dormant, sometimes not, Drinking Mercury is doing a small run of Michigan dates at the end of the month. It’s been awhile since I bugged people about this, but Drinking Mercury put out a really good album a year ago called Orcades. Listen to it, buy it, don’t die.
Drinking Mercury shows:
September 21st – House Show, Grand Rapids, MI w/ Pistolbrides
September 22nd – Midwest Fest Kickoff @ Rubble’s, Mt. Pleasant, MI w/ Empty Orchestra, Benthos
September 28th – Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI w/ Claudettes, Flatfoot
Next month we’ll be hosting our annual GTG Fest in Lansing. Stay tuned for more info on that. We’ve also set a November release date for The Hat Madder’s next album. Get stoked.
Anyway, I’ve gotta get on the 10 to the 110 to the 405 and go south for awhile. Yeeeeeeeeah.
Til next time,
GTG Newsletter #22: There’s a New Daddy in Town
Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records here. If anyone ever tells you the life of a musician is glamorous… they’re right! In between tours and projects, I scrape by doing a variety of odd and temp jobs, and I’m writing this very update whilst substitute teaching at Pewamo-Westphalia High School in Westphalia, MI. Teaching, always looked upon as a lucrative job that commands respect from all people, is particularly rewarding as a substitute, with the students always interested in your background and experiences that qualify you to teach them, leading to dutiful learning from all parties. You will not find a substitute teacher checking the clock every two minutes waiting for their planning period so they can write a newsletter about a DIY record label based out of Lansing, MI. I have to dodge the paparazzi on my way to the bathroom that I can never fucking find, hoping that no one makes eye contact with me so I can get by quickly before anyone shows up in the classroom. Right. So, anyway, what’s happening in reality this month?First things first, GTG Fest is coming back! This Saturday, October 6th, 2012 (TOMORROW) in Old Town in Lansing we will be conducting our annual celebration of music and friends and stuff. Bands, beers, people (both awesome and, eh) will abound and the proceeds go to help GTG Records get some of these sweet records out that we have in our queue. We’re holding this year’s edition at the Garage (310 North St) that we’ve been doing the occasional show at this year. $3 cover for a full day of music; admission also includes a cup for delicious craft beer provided by our friends at Mash Pit Brewing (21+, don’t be stupid). Doors open at 4 PM. Burgers – meat and veggie – will also be available from 7:00-8:00.
5:30-6:00 PM – Jessi Spreitzer
6:00-6:30 PM – The Jackpine Snag
6:30-7:00 PM – Cat Midway
7:00-7:30 PM – The Need You Nows
7:30-8:00 PM – Stargrazer
8:00-8:30 PM – Terror Terror Oh My!
8:30-9:00 PM – Isaac Vander Schuur
9:00-9:30 PM – Little American Champ
9:45-10:15 PM – Cavalcade
10:30 PM-??? – The Hunky Newcomers
There’s a full post on the GTG website regarding GTG Fest with more info on the lineup and parking here.
Immediately after this, Frank and Earnest are playing at Mac’s Bar on October 7th with Michigan ska-punk legends Mustard Plug. The saga of Lansing fun continues on October 10th when The Plurals and Honah Lee co-headline Mac’s Bar with Decades and Racket Ghost. This is just one part of a full itinerary for these two….
Honah Lee tour dates
10/5 – Lexington, KY – The Green Lantern
10/6 – Indianapolis IN – Melody Inn “Punk Rock Night” Awards Night
10/7 – Cincinnati OH – The Drinkery
Plurals / Honah Lee dates:
10/9 – Chicago, IL – Township
10/10 – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar w/ Racket Ghost, Decades
10/11 – Grand Rapids, MI – Mulligan’s Otherside (Honah Lee only, no Plurals)
10/12 – Detroit, MI – The PAN Shop
10/13 – Frostburg, MD – Duncan’s
10/14- Wilmington, DE – El Paso Cafe
10/15 – Brooklyn, NY – The Place Bar and Lounge
10/17 – Trenton, NJ – Mill Hill Basement w/ Local Demise
10/18 – Jersey City, NJ – The Lamp Post w/ Not the Bees (Plurals only, no Honah Lee)
10/20 – Morrisville, PA – Carpenter’s Workshop
10/21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fire
Then, after this odyssey, the Plurals embark by our lonesome into the rest of the country. Ahh, Plurals tour… the activity that I work and wait for the rest of the time. To say I can’t wait to get on the road is a dramatic understatement. Still announcing some of these dates, but so far it looks like this:
10/24/12 – Bloomington, IN @ Rachael’s Cafe
10/25/12 – Rockford, IL @ Disastr House
10/26/12 – Omaha, NE @ Louie’s Bar
10/27/12 – Denver/ Fort Collins, CO @ TBA
10/28/12 – Boulder, CO @ Illegal Pete’s
10/29/12 – Denver, CO @ 3 Kings Tavern
10/30/12 – Rapid City, SD @ TBA
10/31/12 – Helena, MT @ Jester’s Bar
11/1/12 – Missoula, MT @ VFW
11/2/12 – Seattle, WA @ TBA W/ Tacocat
East coast fun continues with our pals Not the Bees playing, in addition to the above mentioned show with The Plurals on 10/18, an acoustic show on October 7th at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC, and hitting the stage of the Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on October 12th. I’m definitely excited to share the stage with them and see them live again, especially with how great Another Hour to Burn turned out… which you can now order from the GTG webstore. I’m the master of segues.
The Hat Madder album Orgy Opposite is slated for a release in mid-November. Razorcake has called it (in a 90s nostalgia invoking review) “a fine piece of vaguely grungy, semi-new wavey, pop-rock goodness.” Get ready! This thing’s gonna be available on fine slab of vinyl, the first GTG LP in fact. The Hunky Newcomers are nearing completion for tracking their proper debut album as well… so, there’s a lot to get ready for. November looks to have, in addition to the aforementioned Plurals touring and the Hat Matter release party, the next edition of Punks Vs Pokes, a Thanksgiving Eve bash with The Plurals and Cavalcade, and lots of good stuff crammed in our bellies. Keep cramming!
You’ll next hear from me… somewhere in the USA. Time to return to… “teaching”…
GTG Records Newsletter # 23: Unlike Other Record Labels, Ours Is Not Constantly On Fire
11/2/12 – Seattle, WA @ Hollow Earth show w/ Tacocat
11/3/12 – Tacoma, WA @ Dwell Hole House
11/4/12 – Olympia, WA @ Palace Flophouse Punk Brunch (early show)
11/4/12 – Portland, OR @ Red and Black Cafe w/ Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra, Shitty Weekend, and Erica Freas (RVIVR)
11/5/12 – Stockton, CA @ Plea For Peace Center
11/6/12 – Pomona, CA @ VLHS w/ American Lies, Black Sparrow Press
11/7/12 – San Pedro, CA @ Harold’s Place
11/8/12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rogue Bar
11/9/12 – Tucson, AZ @ TLMS (all ages!)
11/10/12 – Las Cruces/Albuquerque, NM NEED HELP WITH THIS DATE
11/11/12 – Albuquerque, NM/ Amarillo, TX NEED HELP WITH THIS DATE
11/12/12 – Tulsa, OK @ Soundpony
11/13/12 – Wichita, KS @ Kirby’s Beer Store
11/14/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
11/15/12 – Springfield, MO @ Lindberg’s
11/16/12 – Normal, IL @ Firehouse Pub
11/17/12 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Mulligan’s
11/21/12 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s w/ Calliope and Cavalcade (FREE)
Hat Madder Orgy Opposite Release Shows:
11/3/12 – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement, Trenton, NJ w/ City Mouse
GTG Records Newsletter # 24: Mustmayostardayonnaise
So, The Plurals were on tour – and thank you, thank you so much to everyone that hung out, came to see us, etc, it was a blast! – for a lot of the fall and, boy, living out of a van is one heck of a way to see the country and simultaneously get enough of a glimpse into what being homeless is like to motivate yourself to really do all you can to make sure it never happens to you. Which is why we went back into the studio almost immediately upon getting back to start work on a new album and series of singles that will ensure that we will continue to be on the road for much of the forseeable future, never getting a chance to save up much money and depending on our lovingly shambolic rental house to not fall apart. But, these songs are sounding great! It’ll be a bit before they’ll be done and out but we’re pretty excited.
The Hunky Newcomers are also finishing up an album (really their first proper album, since Hard Dude Stuff was recorded as a goof before they had even played a single show) to be released in the first quarter of 2013. Preceding this album one of the songs is going to be appearing on an upcoming Silver Maple Kill Records compilation, so stay tuned to all that for your fix of uber catchy drunk punk. The boys will be doing a super badass New Year’s Eve show at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) with Goddamn Gallows, assuring all that 2013 will just suddenly kind of be “here” without any memory of a transition. A facebook event for that show is here, for all inclined and of that persuasion.
Anyone hard up for a Chrismahanukwanzakahday gift and/or anyone interested in terrible movies starring former celebrities – in this case
Joey fat one from one of those late 90s boy bands and Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years – but want to give something with a razor thin GTG connection should consider a DVD of the (I guess it’s long enough to consider it a) feature film Mancation. Okay, it’s called “Mancation.” We’re all clear on that right? Just in case if you don’t already know what you’re in for, this is from their website: “After his plans come crashing down around him, Vince and his friends head to Atlantic City for the wildest and most spontaneous weekend of their lives.” I saw some of this movie, and I assure you “wild” and “spontaneous” does not describe the creative process that must have gone into the creation of this particular motion picture piece. Anyway, Honah Lee have a bit of their song “Sex N Cigarettes” (from 2011′s awesome Life Won’t Let Me album, that you can, y’know, buy instead of this movie) in a montage scene after the plot has been set up by the zany situations that you just can’t believe are happening to these vaguely misogynistic stock characters. Maybe you should just watch the trailer - it has some more Honah Lee songs in it (although not that awesomely bad “Mancation song” – come on guys, were were you on that?)! I love Honah Lee! Hopefully someone heard these snippets and checked out their stuff!
Okay, I’ll wrap this up. The Hat Madder put out a new album called Orgy Opposite last month. You can check it out on Bandcamp, and our partners at Big Gig Productions are currently doing a promotion at their store where you can download all three Hat Madder records for $15. Check it out! The album will be available in our store on vinyl around the end of the month – but you can get a copy directly from Isaac when he plays a solo show at The Loft in Lansing on December 13th with Mr. Hipster, Doctor Jones, and Terror! Terror! Oh My! Oh my, indeed.
So, not a lot of shows happening this month. It’s just kinda that time of the year I guess. Not the Bees are playing at Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on December 7th for any east coast folks looking to do something this Friday. I myself will be doing a run of solo “Tommy Plural” shows in January and February on the west coast and in the southwest, mostly so I can take pictures of myself flipping off the camera while wearing shorts next to a cactus to send to my friends in Michigan while it’s cold here. I’ll have those dates figured out and posted next time.
Lastly, I can not forget to remind everyone that this time of year really means that Bermuda Snowhawk is coming up. This is where, to the uninitiated, a bunch of us GTG folks get together with other clowns at Bermuda Mohawk Productions and friends to put together a ramshackle collection of holiday/ winter themed songs. It’ll be up for download at the BMP site later this month, but in the meantime you can check out previous volumes and start getting psyched for the nonsense to come.
All righty, assuming that whole apocalypse thing doesn’t happen, I’ll hit you up in a month.
GTG Newsletter # 25:
This is the paragraph that you can skip if you don’t care about my ranting. Got it? Okay, see you in a paragraph! Those of you that stuck around, can you believe those fair weather instant-gratification clowns that skipped this? I mean, come on. So, I hope we’re all still alive. I wonder if anyone that signed this mailing list is dead – I don’t personally talk to everyone that signs up at the merch table when The Plurals are playing somewhere in the middle of America on a weeknight at some dimly lit dive that seems to be built on a slight slant because the drinks are slowly sliding down the bar the whole time. So, it’s possible. People do die all the time after all. Uh, anyway, didn’t mean to start the year so dark. I hope everyone enjoyed 2012 and found some great music along the way, be it newly released or tucked away in the back catalogs of underrated musicians the world over. I’m trying to think of a record that definitely came out last year that I was really on board with, but I am listening to Big Star “Radio City” right now so that’s definitely not helping me maintain the mindset. But I heard lots of great music both at home and in my travels from current and hardworking bands. Rock and roll ain’t dead. Anyway, let’s move on.
Lots of music did indeed come out last year, and very near the end of the year The Hat Madder released an awesome slab of vinyl called Orgy Opposite, that you can order from the GTG webstore right now! Early reviews called it “A fine piece of vaguely grungy, semi-new wavey, pop-rock goodness” and “pure indie rock bliss” and you can check out a stream of the record for yourself right here, right now. There’s no other place I’d rather be! (Vomits). The band will be doing a few local shows later in the winter before hitting the road in the spring. Get them eardrums ready to be pummeled!
Tommy Plural tour dates:
1/15/13 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie’s w/ Mad Anthony
1/16/13 Decatur, AL @ Excalibur
1/17/13 Ocean Springs, MS @ Squeaky Lizard
1/18/13 Lafayette, LA @ Artmosphere
1/21/13 Austin, TX @ The Grand
1/23/13 Las Cruces, NM @ TBA
1/24/13 Tucson, AZ @ TLMS w/ Logan Greene, Can Of Beans, Shark Pants, Ex Cowboy
1/25/13 Phoenix, AZ @ Tempe Starving Artist w/ Logan Greene
1/26/13 Temecula, CA @ The Dial w/ Logan Greene
GTG House Shows:
1/14/13 Decades Homecoming Show w/ Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts and Reconnect
Frank and Earnest – who are slowly (definitely) and steadily (not really) working on material for a new album – will also be playing at GTG House on February 8th with Homelife, Little American Champ, and Cain Marko, so stay tuned for that.
Out on the east coast our chapter missionaries (shudder) Honah Lee are doing some local-to-them shows that are definitely worth checking out to anyone in the Philly/ NJ/ NYC area – including one tonight in Trenton! Ah!
1/12 – Mill Hill Basement – Trenton, NJ: HOH Help 2: A Benefit For Brooke
1/18 – BSP – Kingston, NY
1/25 – Walsh’s Tavern – Warminster, PA
1/26 – Place Bar & Lounge, – Brooklyn NY
If you want to get sweaty and hoarse shouting along to some hardcore-influenced melodic punk rock, Not the Bees! are playing a couple shows out east this month as well. Those dudes need to hit the road soon so the rest of the country can see what I’m talking about!
Not the Bees shows:
1/12 Mill Hill w/ Honah Lee (see above)
1/18 Whippany, NJ VFW w/ The Moms
GTG Records Newsletter # 26: Look Lady, I Don’t Come Down To Where You Work And…
It’s February, so that means there should be some new-ish news regarding GTG Records, courtesy Tommy Plural of your favorite band that is called The Plurals. None of those other “Plurals” have got nothing on us! Anyone who tells you different is lying to themselves.
I would be a liar if I said I was really in touch with what’s going on back in my lovely home of Lansing, MI. I did a two week solo tour last month (which, I’m sure you know, because you read the newsletter intently and put in your personal planner where I’m going and what I’m up to) out to southern California, where I have spent the last two weeks working on some new music and playing some solo shows. I’ll be doing my last solo show in the area tomorrow, 2/9, at Kim’s Bar in Riverside, CA alongside the great City Mouse and Black Sparrow Press. Come one, come all, SoCal pals. In the midst of this very stressful excursion I have become well adjusted to Pacific Standard Time and have spent more than one day in a T-Shirt, sometimes at the beach. Everyone on this mailing list that’s in the midwest/ northeast (which… is probably like 2/3 of you) hates me! But, please, keep reading! GTG bands are doing cool stuff, and I’ll be back to Michigan in a week, and watching my bronzed ass try to figure out what snow is with vacant eyes and my mouth hanging half open should make up for all. Anyway, this is the scoop on what’s happening this month, starting tonight!
More shows for Frank and Earnest, The Plurals, and the Hat Madder (whose amazing album Orgy Opposite is still available) are to follow in March, so spring fever should be well poised to seize everyone as we begin to re-discover the idea of drinking on patios. As far as indoor activities go, The Plurals and Hunky Newcomers continue to chip away at new recordings, and our dear friend Stargrazer has resumed work on the couple years in the making debut full-length album of that project. No word yet on whether we expect to crash the servers of the GTG and It Takes a Village websites when we announce the release of this much anticipated collection of music.
Okay, we’ve only got a few weeks of February! We can do this! I’m uber ready, yeah.
GTG Records Newsletter # 27: Blowing Up The Moon
3/2/13 – The Plurals and The Rape Babies (Reunion show) @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
3/12/13 – Narc Out the Reds @ GTG House w/ The Need You Nows and Warm Needles
3/15 @ Clancy’s (Keyser, WV)
3/16 @ Blind Bob’s (Dayton, OH)
3/18 @ House Show (Chicago, IL) w/ Truman & His Trophy
3/19 @ the Courthouse (Kalamazoo, MI) w/ the Plurals
3/20 @ the Avenue (Lansing, MI) w/ the Plurals
3/21 @ the P.A.N. Shop (Detroit MI) w/ the Hunky Newcomers
3/22 @ Aldo’s (Altoona, PA)
3/23 TIM’S BIRTHDAY PARTY @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
w/ Molly Rhythm
The spring and summer of 2013 promise more activity. The Hunky Newcomers album will most likely be the next release in the GTG Records catalog, as it is in the final mixing and mastering stages. Narc Out the Reds are nearing completion on a new EP, and The Plurals and Stargrazer continue to work on new albums. The mere thought of these things gives Tommy a jolt of excitement, but it is ultimately fleeting, leaving him alone at the keyboard, hair tousled in such a manner that could make even the handsomest of men look like a complete jackass, thereby doing a number on this more homely specimen.
Oh yeah, there’s a podcast now too, hosted by Josh David and Tommy.