Category Archives: City Mouse

Late April Fake GTG Fest!

A bunch of us basically accidentally booked a bunch of shows this week in Lansing, leading to a sort of springtime GTG Fest! It’s about time this spring thing happened too, we were getting some of the most wicked Cabin Fever to date.
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Thursday April 26th The Hat Madder – with their freshly released vinyl edition of Rotting On The Vine – will be rocking out at The Avenue Cafe alongside Connecticut piano ‘n art duo Pocket Vinyl, Grand Rapids punk people The Quirk, and treasured locals Scary Women and Blaine & His Keyboard. The next day, April 27th, Drinking Mercury – also with their freshly released vinyl split with The Sexy Murders – will be gracing the Avenue stage with our old friends The Jackpine Snag and new friends Dirty Deville. The Avenue gets another dose of fun when, Saturday April 28th, Miski from City Mouse hosts and performs a night of punk rock featuring Heart and Lung from Cleveland and Lansing rascals Stop Bobby Hatch, Foxhole, and an acoustic set from Dasterds. Finally, just down the block, The Stick Arounds will be playing at Green Door on April 28th with Moto and Cardboard Bullies (which includes, among others, Chris from Narc Out the Reds/ The Hat Madder). Madness! Great accidental work everyone!

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StoopFest 2018

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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.

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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!

April Stuff Makes May Less Rough (ugh)

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)

PluralMouse2018 – Thanks!

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.



City Mouse / The Plurals Tour Feb 2018!

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We’re very excited to announce that The Plurals and City Mouse will be touring together this February to San Diego’s beautiful Awesome Fest and back! We’ve got a couple quick jags through the midwest, a week in California, a dip into Mexico, and a world of shenanigans in store for this tour. Both bands have very fresh new releases on GTG (City Mouse’s Get Right and The Plurals’ Swish) so we’re stoked that they’re hitting the road together this winter. Big thanks to Raeghan the Savage for the tour poster! Check out all of the dates below:

2/9 – Lansing, MI @ Avenue Cafe
2/10 – Bloomington, IL @ Nightshop
2/11 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
2/12 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Blue Note
2/13 – Albuquerque, NM @ Fly Honey Warehouse
2/14 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Trunk Space
2/15 – Tijuana, BC @ Moustache Bar
2/16 AWESOME FEST (set times TBA!)
2/17 AWESOME FEST
2/18 AWESOME FEST
2/19 – Pomona, CA @ Characters
2/20 – Riverside, CA @ Mission Tobacco Lounge
2/21 – Long Beach, CA @ 4th Street Vine
2/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Cafe Nela
2/23 – Anaheim, CA @ Doll Hut
2/24 – San Diego, CA @ Rosie O’Grady’s
2/25 – Santa Fe, NM @ VFW 2951
2/26 – Denton, TX @ J & J’s Pizza
2/27 – Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern
2/28 – St. Louis, MO @ Foam

GTG Feature In City Pulse!

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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.”

City Mouse “Get Right” cassette out NOW!


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.