Hey! So GTG still has a blog! 2010 has been a hell of a year, what with these records having been released:
The Hat Madder – Rogue Notes and Phones (a hell of a ride of a record from one of the greatest bands in Michigan. It’s a personal point of pride for me as it marks the beginning of Isaac Vander Schuur working with the GTG).
Small Houses – Our Dusking Sound (GTG mainstay Jeremy Quentin’s most ambitious and fully-realized record to date. Of course, in typical Jeremy fashion he’s already out there performing another set of even better tunes, leading me, to once again, say that the best is yet to come).
Narc Out the Reds – Are on the Run (It’s an honor to host the debut of a great band. This is a wicked EP and we’re aching for new stuff, especially since every live show they do is more intense and memorable than the one before).
The Plurals / Honah Lee – Lick-It-EP Split (Another honor in that we got to introduce the midwest to the greatness of Trenton, NJ’s Honah Lee, an awesome band full of good friends. This record also has the best Plurals recordings to date).
Fade to Black – Black Is Back (Newly reunited early 90s alt-rockers drop their 3rd album with some GTG support. These guys are just getting on a roll and their next record will definitely be something cool).
The Guest Stars – The High Life (We just handled the first pressing of this to get it out on time for their release show, but this band is all dudes from Lansing that we’ve known for awhile and their new stuff promises to be really cool – particularly as they’re set to record with the Hat Madder’s Isaac Vander Schuur for their next set!).
MK Ultra Culkin – Homeland Insecurity (A bit of a labor of love as I wanted to record this band for a long time, one of my favorite groups of people that I’ve gotten to know in the last few years. This EP was and is a lot of fun and I always look forward to more projects with these fine freaky folk).
Frank and Earnest – Old Francis (Another record that I had the pleasure to record/ “produce”/ whatever, and is to date probably my favorite record that I’ve had a hand in. Seriously, I love all of the guys in this band and this record fucking rules).
Which brings us up to speed on GTGs 031-38! A hell of a year! And it’s not quite over as we have 5 more records slated for release before the end of 2010.
Stargrazer – Trieste (GTG039). This isn’t the long-awaited debut of our favorite baritone crooner impressionist, but it’s a pretty cool stopgap release. Peter Richards (the man behind Stargrazer) has put together an abstract interpretation of the January 23, 1960 visit to the ocean floor by the submarine Trieste. Instrumental, ambient, and fascinating in terms of subject matter, this is probably the most unique addition to the GTG catalog. Slated for an online release on November 20th, check it out here. Also check out In the Orchard of Osiris, a forthcoming compilation due on Peter’s own It Takes A Village To Make Records imprint.
Fade to Black – Live (GTG040). Capping off a very productive year for the reunited quintet, Fade to Black are releasing a live album compiled from shows in 2010, which is due up on their website soon.
And, returning to the physical release format comes the “big two” that have been occupying a lot of GTG time the last few months:
No More Tomorrow Baby! A Tribute to Kiss (GTG041). This compilation features all new, all exclusive covers of songs by the fire breathing, guitar exploding, space traveling (or whatever) legendary Rock and Roll quartet Kiss. GTG co-mastermind/ head Break-Up/ art student Timmy Rodriguez has been gathering tracks for this since the middle of 2009, and the end result features The Hat Madder, The Break-Ups, The Cartridge Family, Narc Out the Reds, Cavalcade, Frank and Earnst, MK Ultra Culkin, The Guest Stars, Crooked Sound, Stargrazer, Gates of Steel, Lightning Bugs, Middleman and more in a wild trip through the Kiss song book. The compilation as a whole is a great listen, with really cool versions of Kiss songs that should appeal to even those who wouldn’t count themselves as members of the Kiss Army (myself included!). It’s always a treat to host anything by great bands like Cavalcade, Crooked Sound, and pretty much everyone included, but of special note is the first new Break-Ups recording since 2009’s summer split with Head and Toe, and a great posthumous appearance by Gates of Steel, who broke up before their mostly complete debut album for GTG could be released. Maybe these comps will generate some interest and we’ll get that thing out! Wait, did I say “these comps”? Well, read on…
Explosions: Lansing Salutes Devo (GTG042). In early 2009 Rich Tupica started gathering tracks for an all Lansing tribute to conceptual artists and creators of some of the most original pop music, Devo. Several false starts later, the final version is being released through GTG and Tupica’s own The Wind Records. The result is a fantastic record showcasing great talent from Lansing, including many of the same artists as the Kiss comp (The Hat Madder, Narc Out the Reds, the Cartridge Family, Gates of Steel, Cavalcade, Frank and Earnest, MK Ultra Culkin), GTG-ers The Plurals and Drinking Mercury, longtime friends Calliope and Johnny Unicorn, and excellent groups that we’ve known of for awhile but haven’t had the chance to work with until now like Lord Vapid, BerT, Dr. Device, Public Pubes and more. It’s a great representation of the variety of talent lurking throughout our fair capital city, and all contributions have a unique perspective. Personally, I always love to work with Johnny Unicorn (his 2010 album Sweet Edith Manton should be mandatory for anyone interested in music, period), it’s great to get a new Drinking Mercury track out into the world, the first since 2007 (and I do seriously promise that the forever in the making full-length album by Drinking Mercury is coming soon), and it’s a true honor to release the first new music in six years from one of my favorite bands of all time with Calliope’s take on “Through Being Cool.”
So what are we doing to commemorate these long in the making labors of love? Why, a ridiculous release show! On December 3rd, 2010 at Oade’s Hidden Camel we will be hosting a Devo/ Kiss Tribute Night with live performances of music by both bands, with complementary copies of the tribute albums available with the $5 cover charge. Performing the music of Devo is “Re-Evolution”, consisting of Isaac Vander Schuur (The Hat Madder), Christian Urrabazzo (The Guest Stars), Nick Merz (MK Ultra Culkin), Ben Hassenger (Frank and Earnest) and myself (er… do I really have to go into this?). The band taking a stab at the Kiss catalog is “The Struttin’ Deuces,” comprised of Chris Baratono (Narc Out the Reds), Timmy Rodriguez (The Break-Ups/ Drinking Mercury), Ryan Horky (Frank and Earnest/ tCF), and Brad Van Staveran (Cavalcade/ Genocya). Both bands will perform in full costume, and we’ve been working on this for months. It’ll be a night to remember, we promise.
Finally, The Plurals will be releasing one more EP (GTG043) on December 4th at Mac’s Bar. This EP of all new recordings will be available in a limited cassette run and as a digital download. More information on that one will be coming soon!
Well, this post ended up being pretty long. I still have a Plurals tour journal thing from our summer 2010 tours to post as well, so, fans of long writings of mine (eye roll) stay tuned!