GTG Records Newsletter # 1 : Return of the Curse of the Creature’s Ghost
Tommy McCord from GTG Records here. You may know me as “the guy with the longer hair in The Plurals” or “that guy I went to high school with” or “that guy that I know for some reason but can’t remember why anymore.” If you’re getting this e-mail that means you signed up for the GTG mailing list! If you don’t like it, then, well, I don’t know what to say. Really. Well, you should expect to hear from me about once a month (I’ll try to send out an update around the 1st of the month, but you know how these things go…) regarding happenings in the GTG Records community, as well as releases available in the expanding GTG / Big Gig Productions music
store. To quickly put everyone on the same page, “GTG” stands for “Good Time Gang” although I like to change it periodically to such
delightful alternatives as “Guilt Trip Group” and “Goat Toe Grits.” Maybe we’ll have a contest for who can come up with the best “GTG”
meaning, with the winner getting a chance to be a “featured artist” on some theoretical hip-hop project. But, basically, in all reality, GTG is a record label and collective of musicians based out of Lansing, Michigan that I started up with Nich Richard, Hattie Danby, and Timmy Rodriguez a couple years ago. We’ve released or promoted or somehow been involved with some really cool music with more coming out all the time, and to help spread the word we started this mailing list! For the moment, our official website is www.thegtg.wordpress.com, so check that out for the artist roster, more in-depth news, and rambles from members of the GTG crew. We are, of course, active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegtg, and we also still have a plot in the graveyard of MySpace, for those who remember that thing.
So anyway, over the summer I met up with Scott Bozack from Big Gig Productions, a production company and online distributor based out of Connecticut, and we hatched the plan to launch a GTG / Big Gig online store. For the moment, this store is the exclusive home of the new EP “Austin Gump” by The Plurals, a digital EP thing that we rushed out just in time for the holidays (eye roll), and we’re having our official release party at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, MI on December 4th (THIS SATURDAY) with The Plurals performing alongside great bands Oh My God and Life Size Ghost. The store also currently has releases for GTG artists The Hat Madder and Narc Out the Reds available along with some great bands that Big Gig Productions has been involved with, including The Last Pop Band, Laslow, and Hawks and Snakes. All of the music in the store is worth checking out, and soon we’ll have a full selection of GTG releases up in the store, so stay tuned to www.biggigproductions.com/store.php . Soon to be available in the store is the rest of The Plurals discography, the out-of-print albums “Skulls and Stuff” and “GTG Sessions Vol. 1″ by The Break-Ups, “Old Francis” by Frank and Earnest, “Our Dusking Sound” by Small Houses, and “Homeland Insecurity” by MK Ultra Culkin.
Scott will be sending out a shorter version of this (for those of you who are already wondering why you signed up to this forum for this guy to throw drivel at you) along with some other Big Gig news, so don’t be surprised if that ends up in your inbox later today. Those of you in the Lansing area (and over 21, sorry, but we’re working on scheduling a repeat all ages performance) best be at Oade’s Hidden Camel tonight (see below)! Or, you know, it would be nice to see you 😀
Quick December GTG News Round-Up:
12/3/2010 TONIGHT – Release party for long-awaited “Explosions: Lansing
Salutes Devo” and “No More Tomorrow Baby! A Tribute to KISS” at Oade’s
Hidden Camel in Lansing, MI. This is GTG’s first foray into the world
of tribute albums, pray we make it out alive. Check out this article
for more info: http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-5186-flashy-flashback.html
12/4/2010 TOMORROW NIGHT – Release party for The Plurals “Austin Gump” EP at Mac’s
Bar in Lansing, MI.
12/8/2010 – Release party (geez, 3 in one month?) at Gone Wired Cafe
(Lansing) for the compilation “In The Orchard of Osiris,” compiled and
released by Peter Richards of GTG’s Stargrazer.
12/17/2010 – Small Houses returns to the stage of Mac’s Bar, alongside
hometown heroes Cheap Girls and Genocya. Should be an interesting
12/23/2010 – Frank and Earnest and Jason Alarm celebrate the holidays
with an all ages matinee show at Mac’s Bar.
12/31/2010 – We all try our damnedest to make it through the night and
make some cool stuff happen in 2011.
Tommy / GTG
GTG Records Newsletter #2: The Biggest Failure in Broadway History
Ahoy hoy and Happy New Year,
Tommy Plural of, you guessed it, The Plurals (and GTG and, uh) here with another installment of GTG Records happenings. If that doesn’t get you excited then I don’t know what will. I sit here in the living room of the high tech world headquarters of GTG Records, The GTG House, contemplating the future of the bands and myself while Ben Hassenger contemplates the meaning of his life if it includes three days straight of eating Subway (and there’s no “if” about this scenario). I can’t speak for Ben, but I’m feeling good on my topic of contemplation.
First off I want to direct everyone over towww.bermudamohawkproductions.com/media/ where there is a free download available of the newest GTG release, the annual free holiday compilation “Bermuda Snowhawk” that GTG and Bermuda Mohawk Productions release every year (with this one being the fifth). This whole compilation was recorded in two weeks and features new songs from “real” bands and some new “fake” bands that were formed for this project consisting largely of whoever happened to be in the room at the time of writing and/or recording. It might seem a little late to be pushing a holiday comp on people, but, eh, that’s what happened. Whoops! If people are interested in more free downloads of questionable integrity (wow, I really know how to make a sale don’t I?) check out the new digital EP from Frank and Earnest atwww.frankandearnest.bandcamp.com which has two b-sides from the F+E’s 2010 album “Old Francis” and two new modern country cover songs. No joke!
Anyway, so what’s happening in January?
The Plurals, in addition to having the new EP “Austin Gump” available atwww.biggigproductions.com/store.php are about halfway done recording a new full-length with Eric “CrookedSound” Merckling. The band will also be performing an all ages show at Jamestown Hall in Saginaw, MI on January 8th. The Plurals are scheduled to play around 5 PM so make sure to get there early. Check out www.rippedheart.com for more information.
Small Houses – GTG’s resident folk trabadour is kicking off a month-long midwest and east coast tour on January 8th. Check out the tour dates atwww.myspace.com/smallhousessing and also check out the great new tune “Country Flowers” which will most likely appear on a spring release from this folky fellow.
Re-Evolution (GTG’s own Devo tribute band) and Calliope will be promoting a new pressing of the “Explosions: Lansing Salutes Devo” compilation that we SOLD OUT of at the release show last month, with a free, all ages show atBasement 414 in Lansing on January 15th. Check out this page for some more info http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=150860271633075.
Drinking Mercury is actually for real RELASING A NEW EP at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on January 22nd. Also performing at this show is Mason’s Case (Chicago via-Lansing) and friends The Playback and Life Size Ghost. Check outwww.macsbar.com.
Narc Out the Reds and Frank and Earnest play at Mac’s Bar on January 27th. Frank and Earnest also will perform at The Loft in Lansing on January 29th for the 3rd annual “Middle of the Mitten Showcase” :http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169553316405123.
And for a little preview of February, there will be a benefit for the Greater Lansing Food Bank on Februray 3rd at Mac’s Bar. GTG has a nice presence on the bill, with The Plurals
Narc Out The Reds, Josh David and The Dream Jeans and The Playback all performing. Come on out to that show for some great music and to help out a good cause.
So basically, stuff is happening. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!
GTG Newsletter #3: Now Who Wants Ice Cream?
Well we’ve all lived through the Snowmaggedon of 2011 and lived to tell about it, some of us with the help of Ben Affleck and a soundtrack of latter-day Aerosmith, and some of us without. Those of you outside the midwest perhaps didn’t endure the horror of (gasp!) 8-12 inches of snow and didn’t have to deal with the problem of the nation’s idiots forgetting how to drive at the sight of that weird fluffy white stuff from the sky, and for that we salute you. However, meanwhile in the midwest…
Jeremy Quentin AKA Small Houses is working his way from Philadelphia back to the midwest as we speak, with a homecoming of sorts coming in the 4th annual (SCENE) Metrospace Folk Festival on Saturday February 12th at 8 PM in East Lansing, Michigan. Sharing the stage with Small Houses on this evening is a stellar lineup consisting of Doug Mains, Gifts or Creatures, and Chris Bathgate, all of whom have graced the “stage” of the GTG House or a GTG promoted show at some point. Small Houses will also be appearing in Lafeyette, IN and Chicago, IL on February 18 and 19 respectively. Small Houses also is running a fundraising campaign for the forthcoming album “The North” and its accompanying “Just Before The North EP” over athttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/smallhouses/small-houses-full-length-album-north
. Kick whatever money you can his way and get an array of special goodies, in addition to a copy of the finished records, depending on whatever amount you pledge. More information, including up-to-date tour dates, is available atwww.smallhousessing.com.
Another fundraising project worthy of promotion is the forthcoming full-length album from Trenton, NJ’s Honah Lee, a band that we lovingly refer to as “GTG Stepchildren” and responsible for the second half of last year’s Plurals/ Honah Lee “Lick-It-EP Split.” Check out http://honahleemusic.com/products-page/ for more information. The guys are really kicking out the jams lately, with spring shows including dates with The Queers and some touring across the east coast and the midwest to promote the new album. Stay tuned to them for sure.
Frank and Earnest, the punky dudes that Razorcake magazine described as “slightly rough-around-the-edges melodic punk rock with passionate, charmingly imperfect vocals, a terrific sense of melody, and well-placed, tasteful leads” are playing February 19th at Mac’s Bar in Lansing with fellow GTG boys Jason Alarm (who are about to drop their debut music video any day now – check ‘em out on Facebook) and Detroit-via-Lansing mitten music mainstays The Hard Lessons. Frank and Earnest has been getting a ton of press as of late, with their next planned release being a split 7-inch with The Plurals, due out this summer. The Plurals, in the meantime, are very close to finishing a new full-length album recorded by Eric Merckling, with a projected mid-May release date. Prior to this The Plurals will undertake a monthlong tour to California and back. Keep an eye out for those tour dates!
Narc Out the Reds and Josh David and the Dream Jeans are both slated to hit the studio within the month. Narc Out the Reds are following up their excellent 2010 “Are On the Run” EP with a 7-inch to be recorded by Detroit music legend Jim Diamond. A projected June release date is scheduled, with a spell of summer touring to follow. Meanwhile, Josh David and the Dream Jeans are finally getting ready to cut their debut full-length that will be out this spring. The band has recently played a spell of stellar gigs, with the last one garnering a graffiti review in the women’s bathroom of Mac’s Bar that simply reads “I love Josh David and the Dream Jeans.”
Perpetually in the studio acts The Hat Madder, Drinking Mercury, and Stargrazer are all chipping away at full-length records. With the first half of 2011 likely to feature new music from The Plurals, Frank and Earnest, Narc Out the Reds, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, and Small Houses and the second half slated to include Drinking Mercury, The Hat Madder, Stargrazer and more, this really is shaping up to be a great year for music. If you disagree, well, I’ve always loved hate mail. Ha! But seriously, what a great audience.
Get in the pit and try to love someone,
GTG Newsletter #4: Who Let You In?
So, you were probably thinking “It’s the middle of March, thank goodness that danged GTG Tommy Plural guy isn’t sending me e-mails anymore.” If you were thinking this, you’re wrong, DEAD WRONG. My tardiness is not due to any sort of inactivity, rather, we have been revamping our GTG website and I wanted things to be current before I sent out another newsletter, instead of being all “Aw, gee, you should check out the new website in like two weeks or something, I swear, it’ll be real neat.” I can now, confidently say, go on and check outwww.gtgrecords.net for streamlined pages about the respective GTG bands including photos, biographies, downloadable songs, and the updated catalog with the easy option to buy the in-print catalog directly from the website via paypal. We’re darn near legit.
In a lightning round of less techy news, head over to www.smallhousessing.comfor some samples of the upcoming Small Houses Just Before the North EP and the latest in show dates – including a date this Saturday, 3/19 at the AvE House.Jason Alarm has recently re-instated founding member Pat Hogan on bass guitar (set to make his re-debut at Mac’s Bar on April 9th!) and, rumor has it, completed recording another song in their ongoing “Deep Deep Pink Sessions” singles series. Peter “Stargrazer” Richards has announced an exciting new “3-way split singles” series through his It Takes A Village to Make Recordsimprint, which will feature many contributions from the GTG roster and friends, as well as other exciting music. The series launches May 1st, 2011 – check outhttp://itavrecords.blogspot.com/ for mroe info. Narc Out the Reds recently did some recording with Michigan music legend Jim Diamond in Detroit for a forthcoming 7-inch, a first for both the band and GTG. Fade to Black (with new drummer Mike Reed) are filming footage for a music video to their upcoming song “Gonna Rise Up” with a special performance at basement414 in Lansing this Sunday, March 20th – all are welcome to attend, so show up around 6:00 if interested in being in the video and getting a sneak peak into the band’s new music. Josh David and the Dream Jeans have finished recording their debut album and have a set a June release date, which will hopefully give their longhaired sound engineer enough time to gather his bearings and give it the sweet mix it deserves. The rest of the GTG roster is also chipping away at new recorded material, with some promising sounds on the horizon for the spring and summer…
So this all finally leads me to my shameless self-promotion portion of the newsletter. The Plurals have recently completed a new album, entitled The Plurals Today, The Plurals Tomorrow: A Futorospective. Eric “CrookedSound” Merckling once again twiddled the nobs for this record. The official release for the record is in May, but if anyone is interested in pre-ordering a copy of the album between now and May 1st you will receive, in addition to a copy of the album, an exclusive CD of outtakes, acoustic versions, live recordings, and a cover song or two (including old time show closer “Merchandise” by Fugazi), plus – get this – a poster. Wow! Head over towww.gtgrecords.net/theplurals, or, if you’re in the Lansing area, sprint out your door to the – yikes, TONIGHT! – St. Patrick’s Day show at Mac’s Bar, Thursday March 17th (w/ the Cartridge Family and Sleeping in the Aviary). Why this date in particular? Because it’s the last show before The Plurals month-long tour of the midwest, southwest, and west coast. I will depart this month’s newsletter with a list of The Plurals confirmed tour dates – we are still actively looking for dates in New Mexico (4/4, 4/5, 4/6) Northern California (4/17, 4/18, 4/19) and Minneapolis (4/26), so any suggestions or inquiries or whatever regarding any of these should be sent firstname.lastname@example.org.
3/17/2011 – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar w/ the Cartridge Famiy and Sleeping in the Aviary
3/24/2011 – Normal, IL- Firehouse Pizza w/ Off With Their Heads
3/25/2011 – Kansas City, KS – The Sports Complex (house show)
3/26/2011 – Omaha, NE – The Slowdown
3/28/2011 – St Louis, MO – Firebird Lounge
3/29/2011 – Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge
3/30/2011 – Colorado Springs, CO – Triple Nickel Tavern
4/3/2011 – Denver, CO – Lion’s Lair
4/8-4/10/2011 – Tucson, AZ – Way Out West Fest
4/11/2011 – Phoenix, AZ – Rogue Bar
4/13/2011 – San Pedro, CA – House Show
4/14/2011 – Chino, CA – The Warehouse at 12th + G
4/16/2011 – San Jose, CA – House Show w/ The Pillowfights
4/20/2011 – Portland, OR – The Know
4/22/2011 – Seattle, WA – House Show
4/23/2011 – Missoula, MT- Zacc Gallery w/ City O City, The Anchor, and Vera
4/25/2011 – Rapid City, SD – Skullet’s w/ The Anchor
4/27/2011 – Chicago, IL – the Elbo Room
GTG Newsletter #5: Goin’ on a Holiday
I write this month’s newsletter from a friend’s living room in Denver, CO. I have spent the last two weeks on tour with The Plurals, as I will spend the next three. The tour has been great thus far, and hello to all of the new members of the GTG Records newsletter that I have met on this tour. We have spent almost a week in Colorado, playing a show every night up and down the I-25 corridor, meeting all sorts of cool people and playing with a variety of cool bands. Today is our first off day after 8 shows, and we will be heading down to Albuquerque, New Mexico tomorrow. If you’re into this sort of travelogue crap I’ll definitely be posting a comprehensive tour journal when all is said and done, but for now I’m doing periodic tour highlight posts at http://gtgrecords.net. Have you seen the new website? It sure is neat. If you haven’t pre-ordered the new Plurals album, check out https://gtgrecords.net/theplurals. There’s also tons of other CDs for sale on the site, so… if anyone has that wonderful combination of a little spare money and curiousity, I suggest GTG Records as a fine outlet!
Anyway, enough plugging that money crap. Today marks the official release of a new digital compilation entitled “The Metaphorical Steven.” There’s a little Steven in all of us, and this compilation is intended to bring it out. Thanks to Dave Dunn, guru of Steven and cover art contributor. It’s been over three years since the last GTG and friends sampler/ compilation, and we’re excited to show both how we’ve grown in that time and just to show off how friggin’ sweet the GTG family is in 2011. There’s 15 songs on this compilation, all of which are either brand new (5 of which being currently unavailable anywhere else) or were released in the last 12 months. It’s a great ride of a listen, and the sequencing and mastering of it has given The Plurals something to do during downtime on the road. Who knows what sort of stupid crap we’ll conjure up next. Give “The Metaphorical Steven” a listen, and download or donate something if you want, athttp://gtgrecords.bandcamp.com
We are also pleased to announce that Honah Lee, our good friends from Trenton, NJ and folks that we’re always talkin’ up anyway, will be releasing their forthcoming full-length album on GTG in June. We love these guys and when it transpired that they’d need a little help putting out their record we jumped on it like wight on lice, and we can’t wait to hear the results. I’ll be putting together a GTG page for them soon enough, but for now stay tuned towww.honahleemusic.com for more news.
Our beloved “Jer Bear” Jeremy Quentin AKA Small Houses has some cool things going on, including hosting a Tom Waits tribute night at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti, MI on April 6. His EP “Just Before the North” is slated for a mid-May release, giving GTG a great spring and early summer of releases. In addition to his constant gigging, Jeremy is also in the studio working on the Small Houses full-length album “The North.”
The studio seems to be the name of the game at the moment, with 7-inches fromNarc Out the Reds and Frank and Earnest/ The Plurals in development, the Josh David and the Dream Jeans album being in the mixing stages, andFade to Black, Drinking Mercury, and The Hat Madder working away on their respective full-lengths. Following all of this studio work will be a spell of touring from pretty much everyone, with The Hat Madder already posting some tour dates for May on their facebook page. As far as April goes:
Plurals on tour through April 27 – check https://gtgrecords.net/theplurals for updated dates
4/8/2011 – Small Houses at Globe Theater (Kalamazoo, MI)
4/9/2011 – Jason Alarm at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
4/15/2011 – Frank and Earnest at Rodney’s Loft w/ Smoking Popes (Flint, MI)
4/29/2011 – Narc Out the Reds at Oade’s Hidden Camel (Lansing, MI)
4/30/2011 – Small Houses at Woodruff’s (Ypsilanti, MI)
That’s probably my final thought,
GTG Newsletter #6: The Cry of A Hungry Baby
Well it looks like I’m on a mid-month schedule for the newsletter now. It’s amazing what a west coast tour can do to you. Oh, hey, what’s up, this is TommyPlural from The Plurals and GTG Records and I send out this mailing list thing once a month. As (just) mentioned, The Plurals completed a west coast tour a couple weeks ago, and I’ve since been working a lot of hours at a job and stuff, as well as doing a lot of recording and music stuff and junk. The tour was awesome! Thanks to all of our friends, new and old, in the midwest, southwest, and west coast, all places we had pretty much never been to before, for showing us a good time. I started posting some stuff at gtgrecords.net, and I will post a long, lengthy, piece about this tour at some point. The Plurals are officially releasing our new album “Futurospective” this Saturday, May 21st, at Mac’s Bar in Lansing, Michigan. We’ve already gotten a few advance reviews of the new record and reception has been great:
“The music comes at you with a mess of energy almost like it’s trying to kick you into consciousness and force you to join in a punk-infused dance party. And you can’t say no.” – Sarah @ Music She Blogged
“The Plurals do everything well, but above anything else, they do a great job of taking a bunch of my favorite traditional sounds and blending them together into this ridiculously strange sound all of their own. Five stars. Buy it when it comes out.” – Bear @ Idle and the Bear
“They simply play rock music, styles and conventions and trends be damned.Futurospective is the record I’ve been waiting for them to make, and it’s been a long time coming. It’s their Zen Arcade, their Double Nickels. The record where they truly put to disc what we’ve always seen them do live. Futurospective is the past and the future all in one place, with a voice that is undeniably their own. No hype, no bandwagon-jumping, no bullshit. Album of the year, hands down.” – Ryan @ Lexington Music Press
Every one of us, Plurals and GTGers alike, are excited to get this record out, and to promote it The Plurals are doing a string of shows with Honah Lee this weekend: Thursday 5/19 at Frankie’s (Toledo, OH), Friday 5/20 at Mulligan’s (Grand Rapids, MI), and the official release party at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) on 5/21 (with GTG dudes The Hat Madder rounding out the show with their first local appearance with their new lineup). If you can come to any or all of these shows they’ll be a great time, guaranteed. And let’s not forget that Honah Lee is our favorite party machine from the east coast and they must be dealt with, midwest-style.
Of course, The Plurals aren’t the only members of the gang getting some buzz. Punknews.org had this to say about Narc Out the Reds’ “…Are on the Run” EP recently:
“The songs essentially bear slightly grungy, occasionally heavier parts as each proceeds, and despite the band’s possible influences they seem to largely abandon verse/chorus structure, with a handful of unpredictable stop-starts along the way. The guitars are dynamic, and rock well. Raspy, smeared vocals drag emphatically across the pauses; the band do away with any sort of wistfulness, instead choosing a noisier pop slant to otherwise riffy rock fare. An almost reckless approach to an older, familiar style, mixing it all up well.” Brian @ punknews.org
To follow-up this great debut EP the NOTR boys are in the mixing stages of a 7″, due out this summer. Nice! Frank and Earnest and The Plurals are also entering the vinyl game, with a split 7″ from these jokers due out in late June. The excitement is getting to the point where I think I need to go do something else, or I will literally explode, Mick Shrimpton-style. But, before I go:
Check Small Houses tour dates in support of the excellent “Just Before the North EP.” He’s once again all over the place.
5/19/2011 – The Plurals + Honah Lee @ Frankie’s (Toledo, OH)
5/20/2011 – The Plurals + Honah Lee @ Mulligan’s (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21/2011 – The Plurals CD Release! w/ Honah Lee + The Hat Madder @ Mac’s (Lansing, MI)
5/30/2011 – Josh David & the Dream Jeans @ Mac’s (Lansing) w/ The Fucking Hotlights
6/2/2011 – Frank and Earnest @ Woobie’s (Flint, MI)
6/2/2011 – Benefit for the Son of A Fallen Soldier @ Mac’s (Lansing) w/ The Plurals, MK Ultra Culkin (REUNION), Narc Out the Reds, Funender, and Gaytar (reunion!)
6/24/2011 – Josh David and The Dream Jeans CD Release @ Mac’s (Lansing, MI) w/ Frank and Earnest, Destroy Nate Allen, Infernal Names, and The Hat Madder
6/25/2011 – Skate Park Benefit w/ Jason Alarm, Frank and Earnest, the Cartridge Family and many more @ Myja’s Gray Wolf Inn (Grand Ledge, MI)
Time for me to fly,
GTG Newsletter # 7: Operation Hell on Earth
Thomas J. Plural of The Plurals and GTG writing you once again to ramble and attempt to inform. This is an exciting time for GTG Records, with the recently released Futurospective album by The Plurals continuing to get rave reviews (“Roaring out of your speakers with a positively infectious burst of pure intoxicating joy and boundless go-for-it vitality, this incredibly snappy 9 song album just makes you wanna get up and bounce all over your room with a huge giddy grin on your face.” – Jersey Beat), the new album Life Won’t Let Me by Honah Lee officially dropping on June 17th, the debut album from Josh David and the Dream Jeans following on June 24th along with the first slab of vinyl released on GTG in the form of a 7″ split by Frank and Earnest and The Plurals. I am personally involved in all of these projects and really excited to get them out into the world. Having been present for pretty much the whole existence up to this point of Josh David and the Dream Jeans, it’s been exciting for me to watch them grow as a band and to have the opportunity to record their full-length album. The album that resulted – entitled Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon? – is a crazy ride of wild, experimental, punk-influenced noisy rock, and I hope everyone gets a chance to check it out. As far as the Honah Lee release goes, I rarely have a better time than I do at a Honah Lee show, and Life Won’t Let Meperfectly captures their energy. It transpired, at the last minute, that The Plurals could hop on the release party in Asbury Park, NJ on June 17th and we jumped at the chance, meaning that I and the other Plurals will be skipping to the east coast in a week’s time for a weekend of shows in New Jersey, something that I’m always extremely happy to do. And lastly, the Frank and Earnest / Plurals 7″ is the first time that any member of either bands has appeared on a vinyl release, and the whole GTG gang is extremely excited to be entering the field of vinyl.
The best thing is, these 3 great releases are just what’s happening in June, with the rest of the summer full of other releases that we’re really stoked about, including Narc Out the Red’s 7″ single being released on July 21, a posthumous album by defunct Lansing noise rockers Edible Intention (a split release with our friends at Silver Maple Kill Records) dropping in mid-summer, and the too-many-years in the making Drinking Mercury album slated for a late summer release (tracking for this album was finally completed just last night). On top of all of this The Plurals, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, Frank and Earnest, and Honah Lee will all be touring circles around each other on the east coast and in the midwest throughout the summer. I really hope everyone checks out the new releases from these bands and stays tuned to http://gtgrecords.net for music and news and stuff. If you don’t, we’ll find out… don’t say I didn’t warn you. When that real rapture comes on October 21 and you’re not able to sing along to JDDJ’s “Capital City 2-Step” or Honah Lee’s “Sex N Cigarettes” you may just find yourself being ripped apart by the forces of the apocalypse. I’m just sayin’.
Save these dates!
6/17/2011 – Honah Lee CD release party w/ The Plurals @ Asbury Lanes (Asbury Park, NJ)
6/18/2011 – The Plurals, Tim Hoh, Glocca Morra, The Great Explainer, Chris Pinto @ Mill Hill Basement/ Big Dave’s Birthday Bash (Trenton, NJ)
6/24/2011 – Josh David and the Dream Jeans CD release + Frank and Earnest/ Plurals 7″ release party wsg/ The Hat Madder, Infernal Names, Destroy Nate Allen @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
6/25/2011 – Skate Park Benefit featuring Frank and Earnest, Jason Alarm, the Cartridge Family, and many more @ Myja’s Grey Wolf Inn (Grand Ledge, MI)
7/9/2011 – “Early July Fest” w/ The Plurals, Local Demise, Ray Strife, Drinking Mercury and more @ basement414 (Lansing, MI)
7/15/2011 – “Mid July Fest” w/ Johnny Unicorn, Cavalcade, and more @ GTG House (Lansing, MI)
7/21/2011 – Narc Out the Reds 7″ release party w/ The Hat Madder, Frank and Earnest, The Fencemen @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
GTG Newsletter #8: Flat-Top Tony and the Purple Canoes
Greetings and welcome from Tommy Plural of GTG Records and The Plurals, etc. once again reporting on GTG news and such. I’m going to take it easy on the newsletter update this month, as, if you’re anything like me, you may still be recovering from getting shot at by fireworks and too-many cookouts over the weekend. But that’s freedom for you. Well, basically, July is a time of celebration, and we are holding a few different parties in Lansing, Michigan to celebrate all of the great music that we have encountered over the years in our travels and stumbles. Saturday July 9th at basement414 in Lansing we are having a free, all ages, shindig featuring local Michigan acts including The Plurals, Lightning Bugs, Drinking Mercury, The Guest Stars, Little American Champ, and The Hunky Newcomers, as well as touring bands including Local Demise, Idiot Boy (ex-Karma Bat), and MC Raymond Strife. We are following this event up with a bash on Friday July 15 at GTG House in Lansing featuring Seattle-based music legend Johnny Unicorn and local faves Cavalcade and Josh David and the Dream Jeans. This is all taking place in a summer where we have the best crop of GTG releases yet, with The Plurals “Futorospective,” Honah Lee “Life Won’t Let Me,” Josh David and the Dream Jeans “Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon?,” and Frank and Earnest / The Plurals “Funemployment” split 7-inch all super fresh, soon to be joined by a 7-inch single by Narc Out the Reds on July 20th. I don’t want all of you non-Michigan readers to feel left out of the celebration, so we’re offering a summer sale to everyone out there. All of the in-print GTG releases are available at our store here , and there’s a lot of great releases there in addition to our summer harvest (personally, if you’ve yet to hear the CDs by Narc Out the Reds, Hat Madder, Too Much Too Fast Too Soon, or Frank and Earnest, you need to hop on that train ASAP, and those older Plurals releases are always good for a laugh), and we are offering a 2 for 1 deal on anything in the store. All you need to do is order 1 of the releases and in the ordering process you will have the option to “add special instructions to seller” – when you get to this option just specify which other item in the store you would like. Bam! No strings attached, extra music. Everything in the store is less than $10, so really, we’re borderline practicing bad business here (eh, not the first time… did I say that out loud?). All righty… go enjoy your summer day… and if you want some sizzling summer song selections, just drop a line.
7/9/2011 – “GTG Fest Part 1″ @ b414 in Lansing w/ The Plurals, Local Demise, Idiot Boy, Ray Strife, Lightning Bugs, The Guest Star, Little American Champ, Drinking Mercury, Sterratic, NQD, and The Hunky Newcomers
7/15/2011 – “GTG Fest Part 2″ @ GTG House in Lansing w/ Johnny Unicorn, Cavalcade, and Josh David & the Dream Jeans
7/15/2011 – (earlier) Matt Waterman Birthday Bash @ The Loft in Lansing w/ Jason Alarm and Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts
7/20/2011 – Narc Out the Reds 7-inch Release @ Mac’s Bar in Lansing w/ NOTR, Hat Madder, Frank and Earnest, and The Fencemen
GTG Newsletter # 9: Peanut Butter, Eggs, and Dice
Oh hey, it’s TommyPlural from GTG Records, and excuse me while I pull myself from the wreckage of the wickedness that was July 2011. We had three big “GTG Fest” celebrations in Lansing throughout July that saw the vast majority of the GTG roster and friends playing some fierce sets, Narc Out the Reds dropped asweet slab of vinyl in the form of the “Pawnmower/ Leak in the Disease” 7″ single (to be available on our website rrrrrrreeeaaaalll soon), Hat Madder, Narc Out the Reds, and Jason Alarm (more on them in a bit) all did a spell of east coast touring, and we all reveled in the sweet sounds of our last few releases (check ‘em out here.) Somehow a lot of us still found time to dive into Lake Michigan for what was a truly sweltering July, and the members ofDrinking Mercury were able to line up their schedules long enough to join up and burn five couches.
The thing is, I have my fears that this may be my last newsletter, as July was so awesome that I almost didn’t make it out intact, and August looks dangerously sweeter. First up, tomorrow (August Fourth of the year Two Thousand and Eleven) begins a spell of dates for Frank and Earnest and The Plurals, both of whom, barring a couple local shows and some studio time, laid kind of low throughout July.
8/4/2011 – Mulligan’s Pub, Grand Rapids, MI w/ Facing Winter
8/5/2011 – Park Rock (Festival), Wisconsin Rapids, WI (Plurals at 9:00 PM)
8/6/2011 – Disastr House – Artists For Artistry Fundraiser, Rockford, IL
8/12/2011 – Cairo Bar, West Chicago, IL w/ Facing Winter
8/19/2011 – House Show, Kalamazoo, IL
Frank and Earnest Tour dates!
8/4/2011 – Castle Anthrax, Toledo OH w/ Lance Murdock, more
8/5/2011 – Annabell’s, Akron OH w/ We Know Karate, Worship This!, Shepler Church
8/6/2011 – Badlands, Syracuse NY w/ Those Ghostfuckers, Leylines
8/7/2011 – O’Briens Pub, Allston MA w/ Direct Hit!, Masked Intruder, Ridgemont, the Handsomes, Yale Massachusetts
8/8/2011 – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia PA w/ Invincible, Robots and Racecars
8/10/2011 – Mill Hill Basement, Trenton NJ w/ The Divided, Jon Harkel, more
8/11/2011 – 15th House, Columbus OH w/ Stymie, more
8/12/2011 – Mac’s Bar, Lansing MI (Razorcake Magazine Benefit Show!)
8/13/2011 – Ant Hill, Kalamazoo MI w/ Seized Up, Ackley Kid, Protected Left
This is the first time Frank and Earnest has made it out to the east coast, so we have our fingers crossed that those of you residing closer to the Atlantic will show them a good time when they roll into town in Ben’s-hopefully-intact van, asking “where do bands play here?” before staggering onto (hopefully the correct) stage and somehow pulling off a blistering set of rough ‘n melodic punk stuff.
Of course, our resident east coast chapter missionaries (my, what an inappropriate title for them) Honah Lee are no slouches either. Their stellar sophomore disc Life Won’t Let Me is beginning to earn some well deserved praise from the media giants:
“These nine songs are back-to-back-to-back hits. Urgent and rough-edged punk rock, their execution is first-rate. Many bands have been described as a wall of punk rock sound, but few have deserved it as much as Honan Lee. Innovative, intoxicating, and above all ear-catching, this is a band I wanna see and experience first hand.” – Phil @ Jersey Beat
“The melodies on this record are fucking infectious and will do anything to prevent you from evicting them from your head. Trust me, you’re stuck with these. If you’re looking for a new pop punk band to become obsessed with, I think we have you covered with Honah Lee.” – Idle @ Idle and the Bear
“Great party anthems. I can only imagine a room full of sweaty punks screaming along.” – Sean @ LansingMusicTV
“This album bounces between guitar-full rock n roll to almost NOFX like hyper punk rock, and even losing itself to more crunchy 90’s style rock… And magically (where’s Puff?) I LOVE EVERY ITTY BIT OF IT!” – Sarah @ Music She Blogged
Naturally, they’re hitting up and down the east coast to spread this gospel (seriously, a terrible metaphor for them) further.
Honah Lee dates!
8/5/2011 – Dub V Pub, Martinsburg, WV
8/6/2011 -Duncan’s, Frostburg, MD
8/11/2011 – John and Peter’s, New Hope, PA
8/13/2011 -Tavern on the Lake, Hightstown, NJ
8/19/2011 – Troc Balcony, Philadelphia, PA
Yep, GTG has the whole rust belt covered for the first two weeks of August, and a good chunk of the lower peninsula of Michigan afterwards. If a more subdued atmosphere is what you’re craving, on August 13th we’ve got Drinking Mercury, Stargrazer, Calliope, and Gnome Village @ (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing, MI (8:00 PM, all ages). This show is alsoHattie Plural (who has been whacking the skins for Calliope as of late)‘s birthday party of sorts, so dig some music and check out some art and wish Ms. Plural a happy one. One week later, on August 20th, Narc Out the Reds will be opening for the flipping MEAT PUPPETS at “Crispy Fest” at White’s Bar in Saginaw, MI. Tickets for this all day bash are only $15 and a hell of an opportunity to see some bonafide legends up close whilst gettin’ yr GTG on.
Lastly, but not leastly, I must direct your attention to Jason Alarm’s Farewell Show @ Mac’s Bar in Lansing, MI on August 19th (5:00 PM, all ages). Jason Alarm are a talented and infectious band with something like four years as a band under their belts despite all members being between the ages of 19 and 21. Their farewell show will be a good time, and my disappointment in the band calling it quits is compounded by the fact that I will be unable to attend with Plurals business taking me out of town for the night, so I really hope everyone who can make it gets there. Jason Alarm is one of the casualties of the GTG roster that never was able to make the classic record they were capable of – their 2009 EP Engage is a solid listen, and the three standalone songs they’ve put out since then are even more impressive (all of these, by the way, are available at theirbandcamp page), but, as anyone who’s had a band can tell you, scheduling can be a bitch and sadly a full-length from these boys just wasn’t in the cards. However, a band with so much talent and promise parting ways just means that we’ll have a few more kick ass bands around Lansing in the future, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we’ll all be hearing some great new music from their camp. Fare thee well, beloved hoodrats.
So, I don’t blame you if you haven’t read this far, as this is easily the longest newsletter I’ve written. Must be all that “July” still leaking out of my system. Ew. Well I’m gonna get out of here. Much respect and keep on keepin’ on.
Oh yeah, and as a post script, since I usually don’t get these things sent out until a few days into the month, the space rocking GTG forefathers Drinking Mercuryare at long last releasing their first proper album in September, and are doing a short run to promote this baby:
Drinking Mercury dates!
9/1/2011 – Frankie’s, Toledo, OH
9/2/2011 – Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapid, MI
9/3/2011 – Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI <- this is the CD RELEASE party
You’ve been warned!
GTG Newsletter # 10: It’s a No-Brainer
Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records, here with a monthly dose of news and ranting. Defying the odds, I’m getting this newsletter out a few days early, in hopes that my attentiveness will inspire the rest of the world to meet deadlines and create a more productive society. I’m hoping the butterfly trickle down effect of this will end the recession by Thursday. Speaking of Thursday, that’s the first day of September, a month, that, just like every other month, will feature some awesome stuff from the GTG Records crew and friends. The first thing happening, and my personal main project of the month, is the release of the full-length album Orcades by the band Drinking Mercury. Drinking Mercury is a cool band that has existed in various forms for over 11 years, but has yet to release a proper album, so we’re excited to finally get it to the people. Drinking Mercury is doing a quick regional run of shows to release the record, starting onSeptember 1st with a show at Frankie’s in Toledo, Ohio, followed by a performance September 2nd at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, MI, and concluding with the official release party at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on September 3rd. We are taking pre-orders for the album all week at theGTG Website (<- click on that there link to order it). Pre-orders ship free and you’ll also get a free, exclusive download of Drinking Mercury performing the song “Five Stop Mother Superior Rain” by the Flaming Lips. We all definitely recommend everyone who can to come out to these shows, as Drinking Mercury is a band that doesn’t play very often and all of the members are busy people, so the next show from the band won’t be for awhile. The album will be available though, so make sure to check it out.
Our pal Peter of the GTG project Stargrazer has his own label called It Takes A Village to Make Records, and they’ve been doing a pretty nifty thing called the 3-way split singles series, with a download available every month on theirwebsite with an exclusive new song from three different bands. The July edition featured Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder and The Playback, and the belated late August edition (set to go live tomorrow, August 30th) featuresThe Plurals, Cavalcade, and Terminal Girls. Stay tuned to the ITAV Website to stream and download the songs.
Frank and Earnest will be playing on September 25th at Mac’s Bar with ska-punk legends Mustard Plug. This show is also the debut of the new projectCall It Quits, featuring Alex and Dave from the recently departed Jason Alarm. Mustard Plug shows are always a great time, Frank and Earnest shows are sometimes a great time, and first shows from new bands are up in the air. Strange, I thought I had somewhere more positive to go with that. Uh… check out the show.
Digging themselves out of the wreckage of The Day After Tomorrow style events that plagued the east coast in the last week, Honah Lee will endure several hours of intense physical therapy (for their livers) and pull it together in time to play September 17th at Club Squared in Philipsburg, PA. Those of us holed up in the midwest and elsewhere are really missing those fuckers, so show ‘em some support if you can. You should really check out their new record Life Won’t Let Me, if you haven’t already. It’s available (still as part of our 2 for 1 deal) at the GTG store.
So yeah, aside from all that, the GTG gang is, I dunno, drinking Bloody Mary’s or something to recuperate from a kick-ass summer. There’s a lot set to happen in the fall, with some fairly extensive touring from The Plurals, hopefully something new from The Hat Madder (that’s right, I’m calling you boys out!), the release of Small Houses’ album The North in October, and a slew of sweet compilations from the GTG and various friends.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard,
GTG Records Newsletter # 11: Sad Songs Are Nature’s Onions
Holy geez I’m (Tommy Plural) writing this (GTG Records) newsletter while sitting outside, and it’s a wonderful atmosphere for inspiration. The neighborhood children have just been dropped off by the school bus and they’re congregating in my yard like they always do for some reason, their shrill shrieks of delight with the end of another school day heightened with the Indian Summer weather that is treating Michigan. I’m fairly sure the kids don’t know that on our upper level porch we can hear and see everything that goes on outside, which, coupled with the fact that I’m even more sure that they can’t see or hear us on the porch, makes me feel, at times, like I shouldn’t be sitting on my own porch and that I’m spying on children. Seriously, I’m just trying to write my newsletter. Which I probably should actually get going on…
So, October 2011 is notable for being the 10th anniversary of the 1 month anniversary of 9/11 as well as the release of the new Small Houses album “North.” Pre-release reviews have said the record has songs that are “hair-raisingly beautifully, some of the vocal interplay is incredible, and the musicianship is wonderful” (Metro Times) with the overall vibe described as “ethereal, quiet and beautiful” (LansingMusicTV). For this record, mastermind Jeremy Quentin collaborated with a great roster of musicians including Chris Bathgate, Samantha Crain, and members of Frontier Ruckus among many others. A run of dates starting tomorrow, October 6, at the Strutt in Kalamazoo, MI and October 7 at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing, MI kick off a CD release tour that will see Small Houses (fleshed out for the live dates with a full band including GTG pal John Davey on bass guitar) hit the Great Lakes states, the east coast, the tip of the south, and the midwest over the course of the rest of October and the beginning of November. A complete list of shows, as well as samples from the new album, can be found over at the official Small Houseswebsite.
Some more press has been creeping in for some of the great GTG releases of the summer, which makes me ponder and reflect on what was indeed a a bunch of great GTG releases of the summer. Drinking Mercury‘s super-fresh album “Orcades” (did you order one yet? Don’t lie, I know. Seriously, I do) was called by super hip entertainment blog Idle and the Bear “an amazing combination of different sounds and harmonies. This entire album was great.” This same finesite also reviewed Josh David and the Dream Jeans‘ “Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon?” describing it as “very raw and powerful. It’s rough, it’s experimental… It’s kickass.” Finally, Revue magazine did a write-up on the Narc Out the Reds 7-inch single (despite being labelled a “CD review”), declaring it “catchy rock-and-roll tunes with a lot of twists and turns” and complimenting the band for laying “down a nice, tight bed for the songs to sit on.” Wow, can you believe that so many critically acclaimed acts can be a part of the same label? Do you believe I’m biased towards saying good things? Can you believe we landed on the moon?
You better believe the music is still coming – check out the latest It Takes A Village to Make Records single for the newest tune from Frank and Earnest, the imaginatively titled “Paul 4.” The Hat Madder and Stargrazer are also both nearing completion on full-length albums – a sample of some of the new material from the former can be found in the new 3D (oh man!) video for new Hat Madder song Mayflies, which you can view here. Honah Lee in the meantime has revamped their website, and it’s pretty nifty. Check it out for all of your Honah Lee needs, including their many show dates throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, both Virginias, and Massachusetts. Preliminary reports have the boys coming to the midwest in January, so… stay tuned.
Finally, just today we got the new pressing of “The Plurals Today, The Plurals Tomorrow: A Futurospective” in the mail, which means we can take orders of that again. You know you want to. It also will soon be available all over the internet on itunes, Amazon, and all of those things (and it’s already on bandcamp) so there’s no excuses. The new pressing is just like the old pressing, except that we didn’t rush the order through a crappy company that pumps out defective CDs and doesn’t believe in customer service (*cough*KUNAKI*cough*) and we can still confidently say it is the best Plurals music out there. To further flog the dying horse The Plurals are heading on tour again at the end of October (starting onOctober 20th at Mac’s Bar in Lansing with Japanese noise legends Melt Banana) through the midwest, dipping into Colorado, and then jogging over to the east coast. Dates are still being posted, but the confirmed shows are listed here.
So yeah. That’s it for now. I guess I’ll go.
GTG Newsletter #12: Oh, You Men
GTG Records presents another fine dose of news and activity, hazily assembled by Tommy Plural:
2:45 PM, Mountain Standard Time Zone, I have, finally, just gotten my first cup of hot, freshly brewed coffee of this tour. Don’t think for a second that it’s been four days since my last cup of coffee, I have been subsisting on warming up cold coffee and the occasional cup of instant espresso (Medaglia D’orro, one of the few I can stand). Technically I had hot, “fresh” coffee from a rest area in Iowa, but no self-respecting coffee drinker would call that a real cup of coffee. These are the simple pleasures of life on the road – my two priorities in a day are generally coffee and playing a show. Whatever happens in between is fine and good – today it includes writing this newsletter and then playing a show at the Lion’s Lair in Denver, Colorado.
Man, this coffee is just Folger’s, which often tastes like sub-Starbucks (don’t even get me started on that crap, ugh) mud to me but I feel like my mind is starting up in real time as I write this. Or maybe it’s the mountain air. Anyway, The Pluralshave been on tour for a few days now and aside from some kid trying to steal our band money in Rockford, IL (you’ll have to ask Nich Plural for all the details… I was there but he was the one who forced the kid to empty out his pockets) the shows have been fun and the people have all been good to us. I write from the apartment of our buddies Dave and Mark in Denver, two fine gentleman who have put us up before and, for some reason, seem to enjoy Plurals running (or rather, sleeping) around their house for days at a time. We’ve got the Lion’s Lair tonight, another show in Denver at the Rockaway Tavern on November 2nd, Triple Nickel Tavern in Colorado Springs on November 3rd, and a house show in Fort Collins on November 4th before the tour takes us back eastward for Kansas City, Toledo, Akron, and east coast dates – Trenton, NJ better start getting ready for us now (see https://gtgrecords.net/theplurals for the rest of the info).
The GTG crew is active all over the place this month, getting in our kicks before bundling up and writing a bunch of dreary dirges about snowfall and icy hearts and stuff (gross). In addition to The Plurals midwest and east coast dates mentioned above, GTG live shows this month include:
Narc Out the Reds:
11/11/11 Toledo, OH @ Frankie’s w/ The Plurals and Dashburns
11/17/11 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s w/ Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts (LP release)
“North” tour continuing from Knoxville to Chicago, Madison, Omaha, Kansas City and back home to MI (see http://www.smallhousessing.com/shows)
11/05/11 Warren, NJ @ Warren American Legion (Punk Rock Flea Market)
11/05/11 Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
11/16/11 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes w/ The Plurals
11/17/11 Bristol, PA @ Freddie’s Tavern w/ The Plurals
11/26/11 New Hope, PA @ Triumph Brewery
Frank and Earnest:
11/19/2011 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar (Punks VS Pokes VII)
Josh David and the Dream Jeans have a new song called “Michael and the Wrecking Ball” to be released on this month’s ITAV Singles Club along with new jams from Funender and Cat Midway. Also check out the October ITAV single for a lovely tune from Sleeping Timmy. Also on the studio front, I heard a few new songs from the forthcoming album from The Hat Madder a couple weeks ago (while contributing some backing vocals on a few songs, which was cool) and I have to say that Isaac and friends have outdone themselves once again and this album will be an extremely exciting addition to the GTG catalog. Extreme!
I would also like to quickly note that our friend and drummer extraordinaire Christian Urrabazo (The Hat Madder, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, The Guest Stars as well as filling in for Cavalcade and The Playback among others) has been rocking the drum kit for the Buffalo, NY super melodic alternative rock band Failures’ Union on tour these last two weeks, including a slot on the annual Fest in Gainesville, FL and a surprise appearance at getting pistol whipped in Atlanta. Check out the band at http://www.failuresunion.com. We’re all proud of Christian and can’t wait to see where he’ll wind up next (after coming safely home to us, o’course).
Okay, this coffee is starting to get cold, and I’ll be doggoned if I don’t keep it hot.
GTG Newsletter # 13: What to Think
Welcome to the December 2011 GTG Records news/ Tommy Plural spouts stuff/ The Plurals get mentioned a lot/ etc newsletter. It’s just occurring to me that I’ve been doing this newsletter for a year now. That would make sense, given the fact that I number all of them and I’m comfortable admitting that I am at least of the level of intelligence to know how many months are in a year, but it took me looking through the past messages to realize this. Wow, what a journey we’ve all had, those of you who’ve been with me from the start. We should have a contest where I ask a trivia question about something I posted in a previous newsletter and the winner gets a signed, glossy, 8×10 head shot. I’ll think about it. It’s also just occurring to me that this whole first paragraph is probably not very interesting, particularly to the new people that just signed up for the mailing list that I met on the Plurals tour. Hi people I met on the Plurals tour! Remember how fun that show was and how those awesome, unique to your particular city, things happened? Oh man, if I could live it all again. But seriously folks, that tour was a good time and I’m glad to have met all of the good people that we did and the opportunity to play with so many good bands (even Honah Lee). We will do it again.
So yeah, 2011 is wrapping up. It was a good year: The Plurals toured a lot, released the album Futurospective and the Funemployment split 7-inch withFrank and Earnest (which was also the first vinyl release on GTG Records);Honah Lee released their album Life Won’t Let Me and saturated the east coast and midwest with boozey good times (and also played some shows); Narc Out the Reds dropped the excellent “Pawnmower/ Leak in the Disease” 7-inch single and did an east coast tour with The Hat Madder; the road was basically the 2011 home for Small Houses, who also released the album North in October;Drinking Mercury finally released their first full-length album, Orcades, which I’ve been promising for years (but the end result was worth it); Josh David and the Dream Jeans also released a debut effort, the (feeling) strangely fine Can You Believe We Landed on the Moon; Stargrazer, in the meantime, built up theIt Takes a Village to Make Records label with the excellent “3-Way Split Singles” series (to which Stargrazer, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, The Plurals, Frank and Earnest, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, and The Hunky Newcomers all contributed exclusive songs to this year); and finally, The Hunky Newcomers stumbled out of somewhere and became everyone’s favorite band in Lansing, as heard on their debut Hard Dude Stuff – grab one if you can find a copy being used as a coaster at one of their parties.
To expand on that last little chunk of text, if you go to this link you can download the exclusive new songs from Josh David and the Dream Jeans (“Michael and the Wrecking Ball”) and The Hunky Newcomers (“Bitchin’ Summer”), as well as the unsettlingly infectious song “Scarred Man” by Cat Midway. This is the latest in the ongoing 3-Way Split series from It Takes A Village to Make Records, a project that the GTG roster has contributed to heavily (as mentioned above), so everyone is definitely encouraged to check out all of the singles on the site. The latest single is available as a free download, but only until tomorrow! So get on it! I’m pretty mean for sending this newsletter out at 7 o’clock at night when most people won’t see it! You can always stream the singles, and the money is going to the non-profit “Independent Musicians Fund, an aid account established by ITAV to help independent musicians from being nickled-and-dimed by broken audio cables, missing guitar stands, etc” so if you do buy the singles you’re supporting a good cause.
As far as the live show front goes, December is a fairly quiet month for the GTG crew. I’m sure we’ll all be kicking it up a notch after we wake up and realize it’s 2012 and we only have one more year to live (oh man, I’m so excited for how many times we’re going to hear about that next year. We should have another contest to see who can get in the first 2012-armageddon joke of the year), but in the meantime there’s still a handful of good shows happening in Michigan and, uh, Honah Lee land:
12/02/11 @ The Charleston (Brooklyn, NY) w/ Not the Bees (a very fine band that The Plurals had the pleasure to share the stage with at Asbury Lanes recently)
12/17/11 @ O’Brien’s (Allston, MA)
12/08/11 @ The Strutt (Kalamazoo, MI)
12/31/11 @ Short’s Brewery (Bellaire, MI)
Frank and Earnest:
12/15/11 @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ Chinese Telephones (all ages)
12/17/11 @ Ripped Heart Show/ Olde Jamestown Hall (Saginaw, MI) (all ages)
Aside from these shows, many of us will be spending the month of December working on the annual Bermuda Snowhawk holiday release that GTG does with our buddies in Bermuda Mohawk Productions. This year will mark the sixth annual Snowhawk comp, and the results are always a completely nonsensical grab bag of musical collaborations. We usually do a limited run physical release that we hand out at shows in Lansing in the later part of December, and the whole thing gets posted online as a free download at the BMP website. Check out some previous comps here (my personal favorite is the 2009 edition), and stay tuned for the new one to be posted a few days before Christmas (roughly).
All right then. I supposed we’ll talk again in a month. Have a good December. How do I get out of here?