GTG110 – the debut LP from New Brunswick, NJ’s Erotic Novels – is out now! Shannon and Chris are two of our collective all time best band pals and we’re honored/stoked/hoked/etc to be partnering up with them for their debut full-length. Equal parts pop-punk and indie-rock, we do not exaggerate in any way when we say this record is… really, really good! The record (which we co-released with Weekend Quality) was recorded earlier this year at Volume IV with Chris Pierce and you can get it on vinyl and digital right here. The band has some killer shows coming up, including an NJ date October 6th with Weston, so stay tuned to their page for more updates. Let’s welcome them into the family!
Category Archives: Album
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!
Big thanks to Dylan Tarr and City Pulse for this excellent piece about the 10th anniversary of GTG Records! Follow the link here or read the whole piece below!
A Decade of GTG Records
Local Lansing record label celebrates a productive anniversary year
BY DYLAN TARR
Lansing’s GTG Records put out 16 records this year. That’s over 150 songs and more than 10 hours of music. If you wanted to, you could drive all the way to Tennessee listening to nothing but GTG releases from this year alone. For a record label based out of a house that City Pulse once named “Eyesore of the Week,” that’s a lot of music. And honestly, it’s a lot of music no matter what your headquarters look like.
“This was sort of a special thing,” said GTG co-founder Tommy McCord, also known as Tommy Plural, admitting they don’t usually release a terabyte of music in 12 months. “We decided that since it was the 10th working year of the label we wanted to celebrate it.”
McCord traces the beginnings of GTG Records back to 2007, when he and his bandmates, Hattie Danby and Nicholas Richard, put out the Plural’s first EP.
“We first used it as a way to release our demos and our friends’ demos on CD-Rs,” said McCord. “In 2007 we put out an EP called ‘Professor Nanners,’ and that was the first time we had a professional company manufacture the CDs.”
Since then, with 10 years on the record and over 100 releases, the label has taken on a life of its own, McCord said, describing it as more of a collective of local musicians than a business.
“I knew bands would be putting things out this year and I thought if I reached out to a few more people I could figure out one release a month,” said McCord. “We ended up doubling up in some of those months because there was so much happening.”
If you still have some reservations about a record label run out of a dilapidated house on the east side of Lansing, you shouldn’t. This is exactly where the music you eventually love comes from.
Def Jam started in Rick Rubin’s dorm room while he was a student at NYU. Bruce Pavitt dubbed together compilation tapes for an obscure fanzine that later turned into Sup Pop. It doesn’t matter if bands are recording in a sound proofed studio in L.A. or in a Michigan basement between noon and 11 p.m. to comply with noise regulations; great music is great music.
City Mouse’s “Get Right,” released in November on GTG, sounds like the band Sleater Kinney could have been if they didn’t lose their razor-sharp teeth immediately after their first album. GTG’s first release of 2017, The Hunky Newcomers live album, “Harder Stuff Dude,” sounds like Black Flag in an alternate universe where Greg Ginn actually possesses a sense of humor.
And the Hat Madder’s fourth release on GTG, “Rotting On the Vine,” is a proggy, Mars Volta-like record without any of the step-dad connotations that prog-rock often comes with.
I could go on comparing GTG bands to other famous bands you’ve heard of to convince you that Lansing’s music scene is undeniably important, but I won’t because that’s a job McCord happens to be very good at.
“I’ll be honest, I tour the country for large parts of the year and I see cool bands everywhere,” McCord said. “But I feel like the concentration of cool bands in Lansing is higher than anywhere else, and I really don’t think it’s because I’m a hometown pride person. There are just a lot of cool weird things here.”
And with a surplus of cool, weird things to foster in Lansing, McCord said that GTG as an organization simply becomes whatever it needs to be to do its job.
“It’s like what do you want to do as a band,” McCord said. “If the band’s not going to play shows very much we’ll have a mostly digital release and a small run of CDs to have at the release party.”
Similarly, if a band intends on touring and playing out constantly, GTG puts out vinyl releases too.
“With the Plurals, we noticed on tour that bands who had a 7 inch or a 12 inch seemed like they were always selling them,” McCord said. “I was like, we can get in on this, right?” he laughed.
But pressing vinyl is expensive. While this might dissuade other independent labels, McCord only laughed and said, “no one gets rich off this stuff.” And besides, he said, “Records just look sweet. It’s cool to look at it and just to know your music is on it.”
GTG has evolved with the scene, picking up the slack where Lansing’s shortcomings wear even thinner.
“Around 2009, a lot of local venues closed so we started to do more house shows. All ages spaces and intimate venues for touring bands who might not get a lot of people out at Mac’s Bar are important,” said McCord, referring to the GTG House, the label’s headquarters and inclusive local venue.
GTG does the dirty work, too. That’s right, they book tours, a nightmarish process few bands attempt and even fewer succeed at.
“It’s really hard to make people give a shit about you if they don’t know who you are,” said Isaac Vander Schuur, front man in the Hat Madder and GTG engineer. “There’s definitely a lot that the label can provide as far as making sure your tours get booked and you’re not thrown to the wolves out on the road.”
GTG helped book the Hat Madder’s recent west coast tour, insuring Vander Shuur and his bandmates weren’t driving 2,000 miles just to play to a different empty room each night.
Sure, GTG Records can pack out a venue, make sure you not only survive on tour but thrive, all while manufacturing and distributing your record, but what about all the hopeless losers like me and you who aren’t in a band? What’s GTG doing for us besides eating up all the space on our Zunes?
“My goal is to show people there’s a lot of great music being made out there and that it’s still possible to have fun in America in the Trump Administration,” McCord said.
“It’s really important in times of discontent to have an outlet for expressing your frustrations and opening up communication with more people,” said McCord. “Shows with a positive energy are great ways to meet people and find more allies for your cause.”
And whatever your stance on safe spaces is, I’m sure we can all agree seeing a show without getting punched out or molested by some creep is preferable if not important.
“You get all these people in a room together and everybody just enjoys each other’s company, you can really tell,” said Vander Schuur. “When you play a show in front of a GTG audience you get an inspiring vibe back from them, even if you’re not having your best night. They still have your back front and center, waiting to see what you’re going to do next. That’s why I started playing music in the first place and that’s why I’m still doing it, because I’m a part of this label.”
It’s here, the 12th annual holiday malaise soiree. Cheers!
Make sure to download for the full effect, hint hint 😉
It’s out – “Don’t Worry, It’s Not Contagious,” the third LP from Jeremy Porter and The Tucos. This album features 11 songs of Replacements-y powerpop with elements of Americana and classic Detroit garage rock. The Detroit release show is this Friday 11/17 at PJ’s Lager House, and the Lansing release show is this Saturday 11/18 at The Avenue Cafe – both shows are GTG parties since The Plurals are playing too. Jeremy Porter and The Tucos came onto the GTG scene at a Mystery Garage show in 2015 and since then we’ve been sharing stages (and crowds) with them in various configurations around the Midwest. The Tucos are true road warriors and they’ll continue to bring their infectious and energetic sounds to stages around the US, Canada and beyond. Apologies if you find this album to be contagious after all – it’s out digitally, on CD, and on 180g vinyl manufactured at Third Man Record Pressing in Detroit. Hooray for GTG’s 2017 record series!
WAIT! Sneaking out another release – the cassette version of City Mouse’s debut album “Get Right!” CD and vinyl available from It’s Alive Records, magnetic tape and clear plastic listening material from GTG, available for order RIGHT NOW! They’re on tour for another week or so too:
11/3 New Brunswick, NJ @ VIV
11/4 Wallingford, CT @ Cherry Street Station
11/5 Providence, RI @ The Parlour
11/6 Salem, MA @ Koto
11/7 Brooklyn @ Muchmore’s
11/8 Pittsburgh, PA @ Rugger’s
11/9 Lansing, MI @ Avenue Cafe
11/10 Detroit, MI @ Garden Bowl
11/11 Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn
11/12 Chicago, IL @ Liar’s Club
This is one of our favorite bands and Miski and City Mouse have been a part of the GTG Family for a long time now, but it sure feels good to have it taken care of on paper! We’re so very stoked to have some sort of hand in this great album.
Yes, GTG Fest 2017 saw the release of the fourth album by The Hat Madder. Isaac and company have been toiling over this for a couple years now and the results are well worth it. Intricate production, lush vocal harmonies, off-kilter lyrics, demented pop hooks – it’s all here in another classic from The Hat Madder. Here’s what Wax and Wane Music had to say in an advance review:
“In a day and age of singles, streaming and withering attention spans, Vander Schuur and The Hat Madder have crafted a thoughtful, honest and intricate album that is most impactful when consumed in one full sitting. “R0771N9 ON 7HE V1N3″ stands as a testament to the power of rock music, the catharsis of sound.”
Check it digitally out below. CDs are available now with vinyl and cassette scheduled to coincide with The Hat Madder’s spring tour.