The third annual StoopFest is taking place in Lansing this Saturday, April 21st. Located in six house venues, The Avenue Cafe, Mac’s Bar, and Allen Market Place, StoopFest features a full day of music, comedy, food, and art all over Lansing’s East Side Neighborhood. Headliners this year include Speedy Ortiz, Erica Freas from RVIVR, and Suzi Analogue, with a variety of Lansing area acts rounding out much of the bill including GTG Fest alums City Mouse, Blaine and His Keyboard, Dasterds, Birdhouse, Tidal, Half Tongue, Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts, and Rent Strike alongside many other solid area acts like V Soul, Ozay Moore, Conspicuous Bystanders, Worn Spirit, Krissy Booth, Welman and so much more. Tickets, schedule, and more info can be found at the official StoopFest website.
This year GTG Records is an official fest sponsor and your humblish writer Tommy Plural is on the fest organizing board. I won’t claim any credit in securing the lineup, I’ve mostly been a brainstorming presence and sounding board that will be completely overworked show-running the day of the festival, but I’m super proud to be involved with this festival. The Plurals played the first two years and I also stage managed/volunteered but it’s been a blast being involved from the ground up this year. I’ll be stageside at the Avenue for much of the day before high-tailing it to run sounds at Mac’s Bar for the night show there but I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to pop into a house venue or two at some point in the day. There’s too many acts to highlight but if I can catch a tune by Erica Freas and Speedy Ortiz I’ll be satisfied as a fan.
Before we know it the fest will be here and done so I want to quickly give a shout to the people that I’ve had the good fortune to work alongside. The entire group of folks that have curated the fest this year is a great collective of different Lansing music figures from different backgrounds and perspectives, not like GTG Fest’s boring old “all indie/punk musician” fest board. Dom Korzecke – whom I’ve known as a radio personality at 88.9 for many years – and James Radick – from Fusion Shows and GTGers Small Parks – are the festival founders and main movers and shakers, the ones that are there first and stay the latest, agonizing over every detail and I can only assume somehow they enjoy themselves (they do). Working alongside Cale Sauter once again has been a pleasure, he and I go too far back and too deep together with the Cartridge Family and Bermuda Mohawk, but having someone with Cale’s wealth of knowledge and experience (dude was already a veteran of running house shows and booking DIY bands when I met him as a wee lad in 2005) is a big plus for the fest this year. Fusion Shows fixtures Erica Marra and Claire Postelli are always a joy to work with, they’ve shared the pain with me during some of the long load-ins and soundchecks and delayed schedules at Mac’s Bar so kudos to them for wanting to continue being around all this show garbage! I’ve really enjoyed hearing their perspective on the best way to put this fest together and I hope they don’t think I’m just ripping off their ideas at GTG Fest this year. John Warmb from Rent Strike is a force of nature and his vision and passion for house shows is something we could all aspire to – along with Cale, John is hosting performances at his own house as well as organizing (and performing, sheesh!) so that’s a big tip of the hat right there. Joe Steinhardt from Don Giovanni Records is the last of the main organizers and also the latest for me that I’ve had the pleasure to make the acquaintance. Joe has many years of different experiences in the DIY community that we’ve all gained something from in the final manifestation of this fest and I look forward to seeing him stumble around the fest showing the touring bands a good time. There’s of course many other cogs in the wheel and I know graphic designers Zoshua Korzecke and Autumn Hilden, Ted Wilson from Replay, Tricia Chamberlain from Comedy Coven, Zane Vicknair from StreetKitchen, and all of the venue hosts deserve a shout-out too – basically this is a great festival highlighting Lansing. Let’s show ’em all a good time!
Lots of GTG activities this month! There’s a dozenish bands with GTG releases tearing up all kinds of spots in the midwest, northeast, and Canada. Get in there!
4/5 – Disappointed Dad @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing) w/ Whoopi Goldblum, Bloody Lips
4/6 – Erotic Novels @ Court Tavern (New Brunswick, NJ)
4/6 – Bong Mountain @ Shakespeare’s (Kalamazoo, MI)
4/7 – The Stick Arounds, Narc Out the Reds @ The Avenue Cafe
4/12 – Jeremy Porter and The Tucos @ Old East 65 (London, ON)
4/12 – Erotic Novels @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
4/12 – Two Houses @ Gman Tavern (Chicago, IL)
4/13 – The Plurals @ The Avenue Cafe (Capital City Film Festival)
4/13 – Erotic Novels @ Volume IV (New Brunswick, NJ)
4/13 – Jeremy Porter and The Tucos @ Painted Lady (Toronto, ON)
4/13 – City Mouse @ Kuzzins (Grand Rapids, MI)
4/14 – Jeremy Porter and The Tucos @ Windsor Beer Exchange (Windsor, ON)
4/14 – The Stick Arounds @ International Pop Overthrow (Detroit, MI)
4/20 – GTG House Show/ Pre-Stoopfest Bash ( Lansing)
4/21 – Stoopfest 2018 (Lansing) w/ Speedy Ortiz, Suzy Analogue, Erica Freas, Typesetter, City Mouse, Rent Strike and many more
4/26 – The Hat Madder @ The Avenue Cafe w/ Pocket Vinyl
4/27 – Drinking Mercury @ The Avenue Cafe w/ Jackpine Snag
4/27 – The Hat Madder @ Old Dog Tavern (Kalamazoo, MI) w/ Pocket Vinyl
4/27 – Jeremy Porter and The Tucos @ Rubbles (Mt Pleasant, MI)
4/28 – The Stick Arounds @ Green Door (Lansing)
Posted in Bong Mountain, City Mouse, Disappointed Dad, Drinking Mercury, Erotic Novels, Jeremy Porter and The Tucos, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, The Plurals, The Stick Arounds, Two Houses
The latest member of the GTG family, New Jersey’s Erotic Novels, are doing a quick midwest run this weekend! Lansingers, come say hi at The Avenue on Sunday and get ready for their debut full-length out later this year from GTG/Weekend Quality!
3/23 -New Brunswick, NJ @ The Court Tavern
3/24 – Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
3/25 – Lansing, MI @ The Avenue Cafe
3/26 – Hamtramck, MI @ New Dodge
(Lansing – don’t forget about the Drinking Mercury house show on Saturday night too).
March 17th! There’s shows today!
Lansing’s got a two-Plurals-Pudvay-friends cover band plus a Tommy Plural Group set alongside other weird and fun stuff:
Trenton’s got Honah Lee and all the Honah Lee family bands!
And Grand Rapids has the Tucos!
See ya out there for this coincidental day of many shows!
Here’s a ponderous little number for ya – Drinking Mercury, not exactly the most regular live performing band in the first place, will be playing at Steele Street Brewing in Ionia, not exactly the most regular live performance venue, Saturday March 10th! This is release party number one for The Sexy Murders/ Drinking Mercury split LP so that’s neat. Drinking Mercury was the “first” GTG band way back in the day and the core of folks that founded GTG – and the ones that have been there the whole time, i.e. The Plurals, Pudvay, Sleeping Timmy, Tommy’s cousin Michael, etc – all met each other through Drinking Mercury playing shows in Ionia in the early 2000s, so this is a homecoming of sorts for the whole damn GTG thing. Come have some craft beer, eat some pizza, listen to a couple sets from subdued beardy indie rocker guys, pick up a vinyl, and see if Drinking Mercury can pull off their old-school shenanigans in their 30s and get the fire marshal to shut the show down. On March 24th we’ll be doing another release party at Street Kitchen in Lansing, stay tuned!
That was a great tour! Truly a pleasure to spend a few weeks in February in southern California/Mexico/AZ and back and getting to play music all along the way. Thank you Awesome Fest! Thank you everyone! Here’s a couple snapshots of the tour, more can be found on instagram with the #pluralmouse2018 thing.
Out Now! Split record featuring four new songs apiece from The Sexy Murders and Drinking Mercury. Limited run of clear vinyl will be out in March too! We’ve been tinkering with this release for a little awhile now and we’re very excited to set it out into the world. This is the first long-from release from Drinking Mercury since 2011’s Orcades and while there have been some memorable compilation appearances from this band in the interim it’s nice to have a collection of tunes from the original GTG band in 2018. This record also doubles as the debut release from The Sexy Murders, the latest project to feature Crooked Sound’s Eric Merckling, in collaboration with his old Calliope bandmate Andy Dryer and perennial GTG player Hattie Danby. Their contributions to the record do recall the first two Calliope albums , and Eric’s Crooked Sound project releases but they also have their own unique vibe, showcasing the creativity and songwriting chops of these Michigan music veterans.
At the bandcamp link you can order the vinyl version, which is a very limited edition lathe-cut clear 12-inch manufactured by Little Elephant Lathe Cuts in Toledo. The records are packaged in an origami-style fold with artwork unique to the vinyl version. Only a couple dozen of these were pressed so get on it if you want one! They’ll ship out in March and we’ll also have a couple release parties for the record then too. Stay tuned!
Posted in Album, Drinking Mercury, GTG Records
Tagged 2018, Calliope, Clear Vinyl, Crooked Sound, Drinking Mercury, split, Thanks, The Sexy Murders, Wow