GTG097: Two Houses “I Feel So Good I Can’t Stand Myself” cassette out now!

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We’ve been buds with Chicago’s Two Houses for over 5 years now and we couldn’t be happier to finally be working on a release with them! Their album I Feel So Good I Can’t Stand Myself got a vinyl release via Rad Girlfriend Records – who described the record as “transcend[ing] the boundaries of punk rock while never abandoning it” – last fall and we’ve put it out on cassette just in time for their spring tour. This is a limited run so make sure to get ’em while you can. The album shows off their instrumental chops while never letting a hooky chorus pass by, crafting the type of listening experience that’s just as rewarding on your home stereo as it is in a sweaty, beer-soaked room. Here’s hoping this is the first of many releases we get to partner up with some of our favorite Windy City pals. Tour dates below!

5/19 – Showroom Studios (Indianapolis, IN)
5/20 – Blind Bob’s Bar (Dayton, OH)
5/21 – Northside Yacht Club (Cincinnati, OH)
5/22 – TreeBar (Columbus, OH)
5/23 – The Burl (Lexington, KY)
5/24 – JJ’s Bohemia (Chattanooga, TN)
5/25 – The Clermont Lounge (Atlanta, GA)
5/26 – TBA (Birmingham, AL)
5/27 – Eric’s Skatopia (Memphis, TN)
5/28 – Evergreen Park (Carbondale, IL)

two-houses

You Heard That We Were Great…

Today, May 11 2017, The Plurals play at Mac’s Bar in Lansing with Local H. Local H is a band that tours hard and has played pretty much everywhere and I’ve had several friends share the stage with them but this is the first time that The Plurals are in this position. In many ways it’s just another show, I’ve been playing for long enough to know that opening for a “national act,” even if it’s one of your favorite bands, rarely “changes” anything, but since this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 17 I’m just happy to achieve a personal goal.

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Local H are in a strange position as they had a moment of strong radio presence at the mid-90s height of “grunge” radio, but they never became top of the bill “stars” and have been in the trenches of independent touring basically since the end of the 90s and the collapse of the music industry as a relentless money vacuum. People that are just aware of their big hit or their minor hit sometimes, in my opinion, unfairly shove them aside with less interesting bands like Candlebox or Collective Soul or even Creed but while the lineage of flannel clad angst is indeed present in their music, a closer listen reveals that they have far more in common with the Replacements than Bush. I myself am not sure if their big hit “Bound For the Floor” really registered with me as a little Plural, but I do remember the now doubly defunct Lansing area alternative station 92.1 the Edge playing “All the Kids Are Right” a lot in the fall of 1998 as I was starting middle school and have always had a strong affinity for that particular tune. A definite lost classic of the 90s if there ever was one.

My love for Local H wasn’t cemented until I saw them live for the first time in 2005. By that point on the recommendation of some of my older friends I had their album As Good As Dead in my CD collection and I had impulsively picked up their 2004 album Whatever Happened to PJ Soles (sidenote – this album is a fucking masterpiece and I won’t hear a word against it; it’s a definite all-time favorite for me) when I unexpectedly came across it in the Ionia pawn shop but I (along with the other nascent Plurals and our friends that formed the original core of GTG Records) went to see them live largely because local heroes XU were opening the show. XU is another essay unto itself, but the main dude from the band runs the label Hot Capicola Records now. Anyway, this first Local H show was a revelation. They hauled their own gear, ran their own merch, had no crew, and played their asses off. Scott Lucas ended the show by crowd surfing to the merch table where he promptly began selling t-shirts. It didn’t seem like they were “has-beens” in any way, more that they had forged their own way after a stint of fleeting major label success. Can you imagine how huge this was to us, as teenagers just beginning to understand the idea of DIY music? These guys didn’t need anyone, and they still don’t. They largely self-release their music and while some of their albums have been licensed to larger labels, they certainly aren’t pandering to anyone else’s commercial interests. It’s no exaggeration to say that The Plurals and GTG would probably not be the same if we hadn’t gone to see Local H when we were in high school.

It didn’t stop in high school though. Hattie and I scrounged together our non-existent “savings” multiple times in our late teens and early 20s to go see Local H live whenever they were within 100-200 miles of us. We gave Scott Lucas so many Plurals CDs, not thinking about the fact that he was just getting burdened with more shit at his shows, but he always was polite and acted interested. So many Plurals “bits” are from the Local H playbook – at one show the fans voted on the setlist via a lottery system before the show, at another show they pulled one of their album titles out of a hat and then played the whole thing (they did PJ Soles that night and it’s still my favorite show of theirs in my personal history), at other shows they would have a “guest singer” come out and do pointless backing vocals but treat it like a serious and integral part of the performance, and, (all right) oh yeah, the Mr. Show references in song titles – but the performance itself from the band has never once been phoned in or jokey. As a teenager their music resonated with me with their early album themes about being a misfit in a nowhere town – in my forever dorky ways I relished the parallel that my nowhere town “Ionia” wasn’t too far off in name from their nowhere town of “Zion” – and I still get a kick out of this wry observance of the darkness in small town aimlessness, but their relentless work ethic and fearlessness in expanding their sonic palette has kept me a fan as I enter my third decade on this earth. We once covered their song “High Fiving MF” at a backyard redneck party at one of our first “shows” ever, an act that surely should have gotten our asses kicked, and now all these years later we finally get to be part of the show. And now they’ll know we’re lame!

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It’s really been a long time coming.

Stoopfest 2017!

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Stoopfest 2017 is this Saturday April 22nd! The second annual edition of this Lansing DIY fest takes place at 6 house venues as well as The Avenue Cafe. The Plurals, Narc Out the Reds, and Frank and Earnest are all playing this year as well as many other local and national independent musicians. Great stuff! Check out the schedule below and the event page for updates as things get closer to the fest.
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April 2017!! Lansing shows! Mini-Honah Lee Mini-Tour! Stoopfest!! More!!

Lots of great shows in Lansing this month!

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Here’s a list of every GTG related show happening around the US this month, got some tour dates from a duo lineup of Honah Lee, plus the first road dates from Dim’s new band Alpha Rabbit. One of those dates is the Tommy Plural CD release!

4/6 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
4/7 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ 123 Pleasant St (Morgantown, WV)
4/7 – Small Parks @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing, MI)
4/8 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ GTG House – TOMMY PLURAL CD RELEASE PARTY!
4/8 – The Stick Arounds @ New Dodge Lounge (Hamtramck, MI)
4/9 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ Northside Yacht Club (Cincinnati, OH)
4/11 – The Hat Madder @ Trumbellplex (Detroit, MI)
4/12 – The Plurals @ The Workshop (Grand Rapids, MI)
4/13 – The Plurals @ The Sanctuary (Detroit, MI)
4/14 – The Plurals @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing, MI)
4/20 – Narc Out the Reds @ Mulligan’s Pub (Grand Rapids, MI)
4/21 – Narc Out the Reds @ Quality Beet (Michigan City, IN)
4/22 – STOOPFEST 2017 (Lansing)
4/23 – The Hat Madder @ The Green Door (Lansing, MI)
4/25 – GTG House Show w/ Disappointed Dad, Fever Hands, Blaine
4/26 – The Hat Madder @ The Fledge (Grand Ledge, MI)
hl-ar
Stoopfest is gonna be sick too!
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Whoo!!

Tommy Plural Solo Album Out This Week

Tommy Plural Front Cover
This week will see the release of the first official solo album from Tommy Plural entitled “Idiot Cousin.” The person that updates this website is said Tommy Plural so I’m going to cut the third person crap and get to the point! I played all the instruments on this album and while I’ve done a couple shorter, more experimental releases as a solo studio project this is the first time I made a focused effort to create a collection of songs that are meant to hang together. And in general I spent more time on this, to the point where I worried briefly that I had fucked up my hand from trying to play beyond my meager drumming abilities. Dangerous! Here’s a song from the album called “Düdes” that tackles earth-shattering topics like hating to go to work and loving the music of Hüsker Dü.

Anyway, the project is still very much supplemental to my band work but I will be using this album as the starting point for a catalog of songs to do with various musician friends, hopefully with a tour down the line. This Saturday I’ll be performing songs from the album with a much-more-talented-than-me-solo lineup of Dave and James from Small Parks and longtime friend but first time collaborator Adam Aymor, so head over to GTG House THIS SATURDAY (April 8th) to check that out. This house show is the release party for the record and also the debut of Ryan Andrews (Red Teeth) new band No Skull, the first Lansing area show by New Jersey indie-punks Alpha Rabbit, and the return of Tim and Dim from Honah Lee! It’s GTG wild card night baby!
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Let’s Get Some Color In Here!

Tommy Plural BANNER
More info next week! Release party event here!

Hut Two Hike – Beach Noir OUT NOW!

Check it out! Streaming and available for download at bandcamp, CDs for sale too! 2017 releases are stacking up!