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.
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!
It’s really been a long time coming.
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.
Posted in Frank and Earnest, Live, Narc Out the Reds, The Plurals
Tagged Awesome, DIY, Lansing, party, Punk, Rad, stoopfest, The Avenue Cafe
Sorry I used the word “fortnight.” GTG bands and friends are playing in (mostly) Michigan and New Jersey in the next couple weeks. Mark ’em down!
7/23/16 – The Stick Arounds & the Devils Cut @ The Green Door (Lansing, MI)
7/23/16 – Bong Mountain, Undesirable People, Typesetter, Cardboard Swords @ The Sanctuary (Detroit, MI)
7/24/16 – Honah Lee @ Roxy and Dukes (Dunellen, NJ)
8/1/16 – Some Plurals, The Arrangement, Poet Radio, & Deacon Earl @ The Green Door
8/3/16 – Some Plurals & Red Teeth @ Curly’s (Buffalo, NY)
8/4/16 – Narc Out the Reds, Stocksmile, Lucy, & Larson and Killin @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing)
8/4/16 – Some Plurals, Red Teeth, Idiot Boy & Husky Bundles @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
8/6/16 – Some Plurals & Red Teeth @ Punk Rock Picnic (Bethlehem, PA)
8/7/16 – Some Plurals & Red Teeth @ Blind Bob’s (Dayton, OH)
8/10/16 – Carm @ TBA (Pittsburgh, PA)
8/11/16 – Carm @ Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA)
8/12/16 – Carm, Dreadpool Parker, Alpha Rabbit & Meko Brando @ Mill Hill Basement
8/13/16 – Carm @ Buzzbin (Canton, OH)
THEN… there’s City Mouse and (real) The Plurals shows in the midwest, more local shows, news about GTG Fest… the rest of the summer is, to quote Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty “a hot one.”
Posted in Bong Mountain, Carm, Dreadpool Parker, Honah Lee, Live, Narc Out the Reds, Red Teeth, The Devil's Cut, The Plurals, Tour
Tagged A Hot One, GTG Records, summer 2016
GTG Fest may still be four months away, but a summer fest in the same spirt called Fledge Fest is this weekend in Grand Ledge, MI! Music from noon to midnight on Saturday June 18th featuring The Plurals, the Hunky Newcomers, Frank and Earnest, Carm, Cavalcade, Jason Alarm, Blaine and His Keyboard, Devils Cut and many more! Check out the schedule below, as well as a free sampler of some of the bands playing. More info can be found here! Thanks to Andy Fox, Jerry Norris, and everyone at The Fledge for making this happen!
BRIDGE STREET PLAZA STAGE LINEUP (213 S Bridge St, Grand Ledge, MI 48837)
Off The Ledge
Stop Bobby Hatch!
Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts
Frank and Earnest
THE FLEDGE STAGE LINEUP (325 S Clinton St, Grand Ledge, MI 48837)
Blaine and His Keyboard
The Meat Flowers
The Hunky Newcomers
COMEDY @ THE FLEDGE
Taylor De La Ossa!
AFTER PARTY @ THE FLEDGE
The Devil’s Cut
Posted in Frank and Earnest, GTG Fest, Jason Alarm, Live, The Devil's Cut, The Hunky Newcomers, The Plurals
Tagged Fest, Fledge Fest, Grand Ledge, Lansing, summer 2016
Jeremy Porter & The Tucos brought their Detroit-made powerpop n’ roll to GTG House when they were touring with the Plurals earlier this spring and we’re happy to kick off the summer-ish time by releasing the latest episode of GTG Sessions, featuring four tunes by this power trio. Check out more of their music and tour dates here.
Current events for the GTG family in Lansing, MI this May. Thanks as always to Corey Marie for the sweet flyer-age.
Posted in Frank and Earnest, GTG Records, Live, Narc Out the Reds, The Fiction Junkies, The Hunky Newcomers, The Plurals
Tagged 2016, Frank and Earnest, GTG Records, Lansing, narc out the reds, The Fiction Junkies, The Hunky Newcomers, The Plurals
This Saturday, April 23, in Lansing there’s a fantastic all day show called Stoopfest happening at six house venues on the lovely Eastside. A few years ago we at GTG tossed around the idea of trying to have a multi-venue house show weekend fest thing in Lansing but we never seriously pursued it, so it’s been really cool seeing a similar idea come to fruition completely independently of us – and it’ll also be cool to mostly just be spectators and get to take it all in! The Plurals close out things at Lamp House at 10 PM but throughout the day at all of the houses there’s tons of great music, comedy, and more happening. My biggest bummer of the day is that I won’t be able to get to see Lucy because I’ll be busy setting up and then playing at a different house during their set! The schedule is below and they also have a bandcamp page where people can sample the lineup. Can’t wait!