Category Archives: The Hat Madder

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)

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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.”

GTG104: The Hat Madder “Rotting On The Vine” Out Now!

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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.


GTG Fest X – Wow!

GTG-THANKS-2017TOMMY PLURALS SAYS:
GTG FEST! That was one of the best weekends of my life. First and foremost my partners in the endeavor – Nicholas Miski Dee Hattie Mae Loren Isaac Michael and Timmy – are the best friends and collaborators I could hope to have. The Avenue Cafe and all of its staff have done a bang up job hosting our fest and this year was no exception. So much love! Weather conspired against The Record Lounge but the little bit of show that we did get to do there was awesome and we’ll figure out a way to make up for it. Thanks to Ryan and Andy for having the gear on call to do the outdoor show that didn’t happen, and Josh and Jeffery for lending some muscle and being down to do whatever random thing we threw out there. Rachel made a great poster and I’m going to miss seeing it all over everything I do. All of our sponsors – Pabst Blue Ribbon, Scene Witch, Schuler Books & Music, Foods For Living, Rubie’s Paradise Salon, McCord’s Farm Market, Bloom Coffee Roasters, Streetkitchen, harrison roadhouse, Grand Traverse Pie Company, Alyson Rose Studio, and MI Blue Owl Coffee – made the weekend that much more special and we’re happy to work with all of you. Mike, Eric, and Isaac are basically the trinity of GTG sound techs so thanks for hanging with all of the bands all weekend. Thanks to Crith, Paul, and Kevin for providing the backline along with Nich and Hattie; this made the ambitious time table possible. Brian was running around recording the whole weekend and I can’t wait to hear what he captured. Shoot… I think that’s everyone but the fest is still a fresh blur so sincerest apologies if I spaced anywhere. But… EVERYONE THAT ATTENDED!! YOU make this all possible and we’re all so humbled by your support. 10 MORE YEARS! 10 MORE YEARS!! #gtgfestx
GTG FEST 2017 LINEUP (by day, headliners in the caps)

CITY MOUSE
Mad Moon
Daisys
Narc Out The Reds
Drinking Mercury
Cavalcade
Bet On Rats
Man Mountain
James Radick

THE HAT MADDER
Lucy
Alpha Rabbit
No Skull
The Knights Without
The Mongrels
Calliope
The Free Life
Disappointed Dad
Drake Butterscotch

MEAT WAVE
THE PLURALS
Scary Women
Half Tongue
Rent Strike
The Hunky Newcomers
Cat Midway
Nick Merz
middleman

ARTIST SAMPLER: https://gtgrecords.bandcamp.com/album/gtg-fest-2017
SO MANY PICTURES:
https://www.instagram.com/gtgrecords/

GTG Fest 2017 – 10/13-15

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The TENTH annual GTG Fest is next weekend in Lansing, MI. It’s wild to think that we’ve been at it this long but, hey, here we are and things are better all the time. There’s two new releases, a band reunion, a farewell show, some great touring bands, and we’ve finally added an open-to-the-public all ages venue. Check out the schedule:

Friday 10/13 @ The Avenue Cafe / Doors at 7 PM/ 21+/ $5

8:00-8:30 James Radick (Small Parks)
8:30-9:00 Man Mountain
9:00-9:30 Bet On Rats
9:30- 10:00 Cavalcade
10:00-10:30 Drinking Mercury
10:30-11:00 ???
11:00-11:30 Narc Out the Reds
11:30-12:00 Daisys
12:00-12:30 City Mouse (LP Release!)
12:30-? Mad Moon

Saturday 10/14 @ The Avenue Cafe / Doors at 7 PM/ 21+/ $5

8:00-8:30 Drake Butterscotch (The Stick Arounds)
8:30-9:00 Disappointed Dad
9:00-9:30 The Free Life (farewell show)
9:30-10:00 Calliope
10:00-10:30 The Mongrels
10:30-11:00 The Knights Without (reunion set)
11:00-11:30 No Skull
11:30-12:00 Alpha Rabbit
12:00-12:30 Lucy
12:30-? The Hat Madder (CD release!)

Sunday 10/15 @ Record Lounge/ Doors at 2 PM/ All Ages/ No Cover

3:00-3:30 Geistlos
3:30-4:00 Cat Midway
4:00-4:30 Rent Strike
4:45-5:15 Scary Women
5:30-6:00 Half Tongue
6:15-6:45 The Hunky Newcomers
7:00-7:45 The Plurals
8:00-9:00 Meat Wave

That’s a lot to take in! We’ll be doing the alternating stages at The Avenue again and, weather permitting, The Record Lounge show will be the best and probably last outdoor party of 2017. Get familiar with most of the lineup via the sampler below and stay tuned to the fest facebook event for more updates!

The Hat Madder – Timmy Taylor’s Head


Check out the video for the first single from The Hat Madder’s 4th album Rotting On The Vine. The album will be released at GTG Fest on October 14th!

GTG100 Out Now!


Surprise and thank you, here’s the 100th release from GTG Records. 21 new songs, most of them exclusive and brand new. The Plurals, City Mouse, Honah Lee, Drinking Mercury, Small Parks, Wade from Dreadpool Parker, The Hunky Newcomers, Calliope, Jeremy Porter And The Tucos, Alpha Rabbit, The Stick Arounds, Half Tongue, Stargrazer, Sleeping Timmy, Frank and Earnest, Jason Paul, The Hat Madder, CrookedSound, Tommy Plural, No Skull, AND the debut of Disappointed Dad. Sheesh!! Most of these bands have current or upcoming releases on GTG – and they’re all friends and part of our wider community – and they cover both a wide range of styles and, geographically, most of the US. It’s wild for us to think about how much has happened since 10 years ago when we were just getting into the CD release game with The Plurals and The Break-Ups, something that we celebrated in late 2007 with a mostly-Lansing area compilation CD release called Situations At Hand. It’s amazing that a lot of the people involved in that comp are still present 85(!) releases later on GTG100 but the fact that the family has grown so much is even more amazing. 2007 really was the launch year for GTG Records so as we gear up for the fall releases of 2017 we’re going to be periodically looking back at some highlights of the first 10 years of the label. And you better believe GTG Fest (Oct 12-15!) is going to be the most nuts it’s ever been this year. Good times!