GTG Newsletter # 14: Please Don’t Kill Me
Tommy Plural from The Plurals/ GTG Records/ your worst nightmare/ “hey didn’t I meet you that one time at that one place”/ etc. I am sending out the GTG Records newsletter for the month of January, and I’m making sure to do it today, because I assure you I will not remember to do it on January 1st. I read once that seminal (side note, I also read somewhere else that the word “seminal” is most often used in writings about rock music. I must read a lot of things that are tremendous wastes of time.) “grunge” band Mudhoney, known, in their early days, for their prodigious beer intake, referred to New Year’s Eve as “amateur night” and made it a point to stay in and get caught up on personal chores and errands and avoided the party scene. I think this is something worth considering, so why don’t we all avoid the crowds and not attend some stupid shitty event with too many douche bags, bad music, various people that should be shot, etc etc. (An editorial glance at this paragraph, done later in the day, raised an eyebrow at how quickly this “lighthearted rant” took a dark turn. My sincerest apologies if you are a douche bag, enjoy shitty events, or should be shot). The GTG Lansing crew is staying in and throwing a “July in Christmas” party where we will turn up the heat, dress in summer clothes, listen to (most likely shitty) summery music, and drink margaritas – in December, hahahaha!! Aren’t we hilarous!?!? So, while I consider the “amateur night” theory a viable one, I hold in higher esteem the chance to behave like a complete jackass, something that I often do while completely sober but on this occasion will do while aided by tequila. Cheers!
So anyway, after I come to in the middle of the first week of January, there’s some stuff going on. A year ago, a fellow named Sean Bradley, one of the founders and main contributors to LansingMusicTV, approached the GTG crew and others in Lansing about doing a compilation album consisting of Lansing bands covering other Lansing bands past and present. Unbeknownst to Sean, the other Plurals and I had discussed a similar idea at one point, so we jumped on the idea and GTG is proudly co-releasing “Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing” with LansingMusicTV. We’re having a release party for the CD January 6th at Mac’s Bar with live performances by Frank and Earnest, Cavalcade, American Gothic, Small Houses, and Tommy Plural (me, doing some acoustic guitar thing, to be joined at different points throughout the set by Michael Boyes to do a Drinking Mercury segment and the other Plurals to do an acoustic Plurals segment). In addition to the bands playing at the release party the compilation also features Fields of Industry, Calliope, Narc Out the Reds, The Break-Ups, and a posthumous track by Jason Alarm. The bands covered on the compilation are all over the map, ranging from deserved local legends like Small Brown Bike, The Fix, and The Ones, currently active artists like Flatfoot, Jen Sygit, and Calliope, to defunct and underrated locals like Syscrusher and A Story Told. The whole thing is a celebration of Lansing music past and present, so work your way out of your early-year haze to have a good time at Mac’s on January 6th. The compilation will be available for order at the GTG website shortly thereafter.
Narc Out the Reds are headlining a show at Mac’s Bar on January 21st with a great diverse lineup including Calliope, Little American Champ, Infernal Names and the Guest Stars. This show will serve as sendoff for NOTR bassist Terry Pearson, who is moving back to his native Upper Peninsula. Taking Terry’s place is Josh Siwek, known to Lansing scenesters as the bass player for The Playback. I believe Josh is going to play a few tunes at this show, so it should be a good night to wish Terry farewell and get a peak into the future of NOTR.
To quickly round-up other haps, The Plurals, Drinking Mercury, andTrinket will be playing at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids, MI on January 19th. It’s a free show, and Mulligan’s is a lot of fun… 10 PM, 21+.
CrookedSound emerges from the studio lair with a new track for the forthcoming January It Takes A Village to Make Records 3-Way Split single. This is the first CrookedSound material since the awesome cover of “Beth” (listen to ithere) from the 2010 KISS tribute GTG put out.
The Hat Madder are in the mixing stages of their next album. It’s sounding awesome. Their next show is in February for the CD release party by our old palsCheap Girls.
The Hunky Newcomers are set to hit the studio this winter to follow-up the acclaimed thrown together “Hard Dude Stuff” CD/ Demo thing with a proper full-length. Hopefully that slab of plastic will be out this spring.
Uh… what else is going on? The Plurals are booking a midwest/ southwest/ west coast tour starting in March. Honah Lee are on a break from live shows because Tim sustained minor injuries after taking on a group of highly organized criminals performing a heist under the guise of a terrorist attack, using hostages including his wife to keep the police at bay. But he’s okay now and they’ll be hitting the road again in February.
Okay… I need to find my cut-offs and get some margarita mix around.
Hopefully see you in 2012,
Post script: Bermuda Snowhawk 2011 is available for free download at the BMP site. This year’s crazy holiday compilation features exclusive new songs from The Plurals, The Hunky Newcomers, Drinking Mercury, Stargrazer, Sleeping Timmy, Isaac Vander Schuur, middleman, our Buffalo buddies Failures’ Union, Trenton, NJ psychedelic guitar wizard (?)Dale J. Gordon, Lansing sludgey dudes BerT, Michigan metal maniacs Dozic, as well as the recorded debut of both Frank and Earnest’s country alter egos Paul Dubya and the Oak River Bridge Boys Band and the dreamy Cavalcade off-shoot Regretters. In addition to these tracks there’s a wealth of one-off projects ranging from rap to punk to folk to blackout drunk Lady GaGa parodies, so… dig in!
GTG Records Newsletter # 15: It’s Perfectly Understandishable
Hey, how’s it going, my name is Tommy Plural and I play in a band called The Plurals (among others) and help run this label thing called GTG Records with my friends (among others, guess who) in Lansing, Michigan. I have a problem with liking music a lot, and not just “good” (whatever that means) music. For some reason I picked up a guitar yesterday and figured out how to play “The Stroke” by Billy Squier. Why? Because I could, I guess. Don’t even try and tell me that’s a good song, I don’t even think Billy Squier would argue that point with you. I suppose I just like the sound of music (note the lack of capital letters in that statement, not that I’m hatin’ on Julie Andrews or anything, I just need to think about it a little longer and can’t really go there right now) and prefer to have it around no matter what it is. When I was a freshman in college I asked a guy I kind of knew, while waiting in line in the dormitory cafeteria, if he was interested in checking out a show I was playing that night, and he responded, suspiciously quickly, “oh, I don’t like music.” I think that was the last time we talked. We didn’t have the understanding that people like me and all of you guys have. So hey, are you interested in checking out these shows that my friends and I are playing this month?
In easy-to-follow chronological order, since I know you’re probably glancing at this on your iPhone and waiting for me to get to the damn point, Stargrazer is hitting the stage at Mac’s Bar this coming Wednesday, February 8th, along with Delightfuls, Ugly Broads, and Malls. That’s a really nicely named lineup, as it almost says “delightful ugly mall broads.” Uh, this show will be Stargrazer’s first at the beloved Lansing shit-hole that is Mac’s Bar (back off, it’s our shit-hole) in quite some time, so try not to talk too loudly over his set while you discuss grindcore with your friends. In all seriousness, Stargrazer live performances are unique and engaging, and the last few that I’ve caught have been the best yet. Check it out.
Over on the east coast our whacky Jersey boys Honah Lee are revving up the touring engine after taking the last couple months off (for the most part) due to, uh, medical reasons. They’re playing a couple local dates at John and Peter’s in New Hope, PA on February 11th as well as their beloved shit-hole theMill Hill Basement in Trenton, NJ on February 18th, before hitting the road on February 23rd on a jaunt that will take them to Wilmington, Richmond, Cleveland, Hamilton (OH), Chicago, Grand Rapids (MI),and Lansing. Check out their deceptively nice website for more details on these shows.
Back in the midwest, Drinking Mercury will be returning to the stage of the great, not really, a shit-hole but still cool, Mulligan’s Pub in Grand Rapids, MI on February 11th along with Lucky Shoreline and Trinket (1O PM, 21+ and FREEEEEEEEEEEE).
The Hat Madder is playing at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) on February 17th as part of the release party for the new Cheap Girls album “Giant Orange.” In addition to The Hat Madder and Cheap Girls, the dashing and heartfelt local band Little American Champ will be opening up the show. It’s all ages, starting at 7 PM on a Friday, so darn near everyone in the area should be able to check it out. The evening is basically guaranteed to be a good time – Cheap Girls have been playing all over the US, with a couple of European jaunts mixed in, pretty much non-stop for the last few years, spreading the gospel of Lansing bred rock ‘n roll far and wide. The Hat Madder are in the mixing stages of their own album, due out in late spring or early summer, which promises to be pretty friggin’ awesome, compounding that whole “sweet Lansing music” thing that I’m always blathering on about.
A week later our very own Frank and Earnest (after a stop at Frankie’s in Toledo, OH on February 16th, whoa, time warp!) will be hitting the stage ofMac’s Bar, supporting the February 24th stop of the infectious-as-all-get-out tour by The Queers and The Ataris. Again, it’s all ages, doors at 6:30, on a Friday, and will be boasting high energy shout-alongs for the whole night, so check it out. This same evening of the 24th of February, over the treacherous 1-27 city line into the badlands of East Lansing, Drinking Mercury will be taking the stage at (SCENE) Metrospace for those looking for a, perhaps more reserved, but maybe not, all ages show starting around 9 PM. Also playing will be Sabertooth Fiancee and Basement Shark Attack, a pair of newer locals with an affinity for intimidating animal names crossed with seeming non-sequitors. Drinking Mercury will be debuting a few new tunes at this show before disappearing from the live show stage for the spring, so everyone should do their best to randomly jump back and forth from (SCENE) to Mac’s in hopes of catching everything awesome.
The Plurals are taking it relatively easy this month, with a barn show (at 850 N State) in our erstwhile hometown of Ionia, MI on February 4th (yeah, I know, not chronological, fuck me, you can figure it out) and a beach-themedhouse show in Ann Arbor, MI slated for February 25th. Apparently we don’t play “normal” shows in February. Yes! We’re kicking it into high gear in March with a March 1st show with Honah Lee (see above) at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids, followed by a six week midwest, northwest, and west coast tour starting on March 15th (announced dates listed here). I’ll ramble about that a lot next month, get ready. Since I don’t always get these things out on the 1st of the month, I should also mention that Josh David and the Dream Jeans will be playing their farewell show before going on indefinite hiatus, alsowith Honah Lee, at GTG House in Lansing on March 2nd. Needless to say, the show will be awesome.
I leave you with this link to a brand new CrookedSound song, released on January 31st. Groovy, man.
GTG Records Newsletter # 16: A Talking Junkie
Tommy Plural from The Plurals/ GTG Records/ non-unionized burrito enthusiasts of Lansing/ Gramercy Riffs/ etc here with another dose of information and fun regarding a kooky li’l collective of musicians and overall friendly folks based in Lansing, Michigan (and one group of goofs from New Jersey). This is the introductory paragraph where I make observations about my life often with some sort of commentary. So, uh, I filed my taxes last night… that was pretty cool. I also just put on two shows for the band Honah Lee (aforementioned NJ goofs) for their midwestern tour. That actually was pretty cool, it pleases me tremendously that so many people are responding to great bands that I believe in. I also have been listening to the Beach Boys a lot, what with their reunion tour of surviving members happening this summer. That might be pretty cool, I dunno, as long as Mike Love keeps his whole “I do a lot of stupid things that alienate people and compromise my band’s artistic integrity” thing in check. But yep, that’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Well, that and the fact that my Plural bandmates and I have been working on booking a tour that starts in two weeks.
Yeah! Plurals tour! Starting March 15th in Dekalb, IL (sorry Chicago folks, we’ll get there soon), heading through the midwest, into Colorado, up to the northwest, meeting up with the awesome City Mouse for a west coast run, down the coast and over to Tucson for Way Out West Fest, and then back through the midwest to arrive home on April 20th. Holy @!#$%#@!! We’ve played most of these towns before so it should be a nice return swing and we’ll hopefully have a whole lot of adventures. Our full tour dates are listed hereand if you’re in or near any of these towns we’ll rock your face off and then sew it back on, and probably even give you a ride to the emergency room after our amateurish surgery efforts go horribly awry. I’ve been looking forward to this tour since, well, the end of the last one, and I can’t wait to get out there and share all of the new music we’ve been working on. But, y’know, these things don’t pay for themselves, so if you have yet to get a copy of our CD, now would be a fantastic time to purchase one. You can buy it on iTunes, but if you want the $$$ to go more directly to us and not through the estate of Steve Jobs you can order a physical copy from the GTG store (alongside many other great releases) and/ or download it from bandcamp.
Elsewhere in GTG land…
Narc Out the Reds and The Hat Madder are playing in Lansing at Mac’s Bar on March 28 (a whacky Wednesday!) along with fine new local boys The Dolphins and fine, fine boys Prima Donna. Narc Out the Reds are stopping into the studio every few weeks with a release of sorts hopefully coming out in the fall. The Hat Madder are in the mixing stages of their new album, with touring to follow in May.
Our good friends from Silver Maple Kill Records have released a new compilation called “No F@#%ing Egos 2: Electric Boogaloo” that features a bunch of exclusive new songs, including cuts from our own Frank and Earnest, Josh David and the Dream Jeans, Drinking Mercury, The Break-Ups, Stargrazer, and The Hat Madder, as well as other cool bands like Jackpine Snag, Elliot Street Lunatic, Fade to Black, and The Rival to name but a few. The compilation is currently available at local record stores in Lansing (Flat Black and Circular, Schuler Books etc) and people can stay tuned to theSilver Maple Kill Facebook page for more info.
Honah Lee, after a wet (actually, probably not… well, maybe the occasional shower, but I don’t think they took many of those) and wild (certainly!) run through the midwest, will be doing a quick spell of east coast dates starting withan appearance in the Trenton, NJ St. Patrick’s Day Parade on, you guessed it, St. Patrick’s Day (psst, March 17th). After this they’re doing aweekend jaunt on March 22nd (Mill Hill Basement in Trenton – Tim Hoh’s backbreakingbirthdaybash), March 23rd (Snug Harbor in New Paltz, NY), andMarch 24th (Pat’s Bar in Mt. Arlington, NJ) with more dates to follow in April. Having personally witnessed them twice on this last tour I can confidently say that their live shows are more of a blast all the time, with their “hits” flowing in rapid succession (I felt like someone was going to have scrape me off the back of the wall with a spatula, or something) and their new songs among their best yet. So, go!
Okey dokey. I’ll write again in a month… I think I’ll probably be in Oregon or California when I do. Stay cool.
GTG Records Newsletter # 17: Hooray For America!
Good day world,
Tommy Plural here. I send out this newsletter about The Plurals and GTG Records and thinly veiled reactionary propaganda once a month, and you are on the list of people that I send it to. We’ve got a super double issue for April and May 2012 here – because I’ve been on tour with The Plurals and never once wrote an April letter! Now that’s professional! I know many people reading this are first time readers from all over the country, fresh from this Plurals tour. I hope we have a long and fruitful friendship. Tour was great – Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois… all sufficiently conquered (or, at least, briefly inhabited) by The Plurals. Thanks to all of the great people that made the tour happen, particularly our west coast tour mates City Mouse, an insanely great melodic punk outfit from Riverside, CA that everyone should know and we can’t wait to see again.
But the world keeps turning, and there’s great stuff coming up in this last week of April and the month of May. Our lovely home here in Lansing, Michigan, known to hip locals as house venue GTG House, will be hosting a few great shows in the next few weeks. First off super wicked New Jersey punk rapper Ray Strife will be rocking the house “stage” along with dumb-punk faves Hunky Newcomers, power poppers The Guest Stars, and Ribcage (rap feat. Roy from the Guest Stars) on Thursday April 26th. The following evening, April 27th, a benefit for the Mitten Mavens roller derby team will be happening at our beloved mid-Michigan shithole Mac’s Bar featuring our resident post-punk heroes Narc Out the Reds as well as The Playback, The Dolphins, Charlie Slick and Inflatable Best Friend. The GTG crew will be closing out the weekend, transcontinentally, starting with The Plurals and The Hat Madder sharing the stage with the Claudettes (feat. members of Oh My God) at a warehouse party on 310 E. North St in Lansing’s old town on April 28th. This will be a great, rowdy, time – and our first Plurals show back in town, so don’t miss it. Over on the East Coast, our favorite party punkers Honah Lee will be rocking the stage of the Trash Bar in Brooklyn, NY, shortly before undertaking their own tour…
Which looks like this:
Honah Lee Tour
5/5 – Mickey Finn’s – Toledo OH
5/6 – GTG House – Lansing MI – this is my 25th birthday party! We’ll be cooking out and partying. Come painted silver and get a prize!
5/8 – Galaxy CD’s – Hamilton OH
5/9 – The Late Bar – Chicago IL
5/10 – Mulligan’s – Grand Rapids MI w/ Hunky Newcomers
5/11 – Toepfer House – Warren MI
5/12 – Melody Inn – Indianapolis IN
The live show front is also really gearing up around Lansing for all you folks in the capital city area. Spring is springing, beer is plentiful, and stages will be rocked throughout town all month.
5/3/12 – Hunky Newcomers @ Mac’s w/ Thrall, Chaz Brackz and the Tight Teens
5/4/12 – Frank and Earnest @ ZEPPELIN’S MUSIC HALL (new venue at 2010 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI) w/ To Fear the Wolf and Aadia
(next to Emil’s, across from The Green Door)
5/9/12 – The Hat Madder @ Mac’s w/ The Features
5/11/12 – Narc Out the Red’s @ Zeppelin’s w/ Cavalcade and Homelife (this show should be super killer)
5/12/12 – The Plurals @ Mac’s Bar w/ Good Luck, Kind of Like Spitting, Fencemen, and Little American Champ (this show will also be super killer)
Following all of this The Hat Madder (who will have a new record out this summer! yeah!) will be taking on a tour themselves… that looks like this!
5/25/12 – Mohawk Place – Bufffalo, NY w/ Failures’ Union
5/27/12 – Tree Bar – Columbus, OH
5/28/12 – Be Here Now – Muncie, IN
5/29/12 – Rachael’s Cafe – Bloomington, IN
There should be a couple other dates added, so stay tuned.
All in all, it’s good to be home. The tour was phenomenal and I can’t wait to do it again. The Plurals are eying some east coast dates in the summer and hoping to party with all of you Pacific Coast Time folk in the early fall. Keep it coming!
GTG Records Newsletter # 18: We Regret to Inform You
This is Lansing, Michigan resident Tommy Plural (some names have been changed to protect those involved), known (yeah, right) for being a member of a band called The Plurals and working with a record label called GTG Records. It would seem that we all have made it through the spring intact. I mean, if you’re reading this that means you have to be intact, right? Can ghosts read e-mail? I suppose they could, I’ll admit I’m not too hip to ghost rules. I’ll have to ask Dan Aykroyd next time he cuts in front of me in the line at Urban Outfitters. So what else is new? I have a notification on the left side of my screen that “touchycakes31″ wants to chat with me. Should I go for it? We’ll see how this pans out…
So, music, apparently, is probably what you want me to talk about. Preferably music news, related to the musicians on the roster of GTG Records. Well, I’ll get to that. I bold the key points for a reason, so you quick skimming readers that pretend that you’re just SO busy that you don’t have the 5 minutes in your life to actually read every word that I took the time to write can gather my main ideas and get back to whatever it is that you do. Not that you owe me anything. But by Gob, you signed that mailing list and I’m going to mail you things! So, they’re not on GTG Records, but two recent records that I’m really rocking out to at the moment are “Times are Alright” by The Fencemen (Lansing, MI – this record just came out and I love it) and “Napalm Dreams” by TENEMENT (Appleton, WI – they have lots of records and this isn’t even the most recent, but it’s barely a year old). You should give these records a listen, and then show them to your friends to quiet any complaints about no good “new music” existing these days. End non-shameless non-self promotion.
So, GTG! The Hat Madder is wrapping up a tour as we speak, with ahomecoming show happening at the illustrious GTG House this Saturday June 2nd, w/ Frank and Earnest, Lawnmower, and Lazy Genius. This eastern-midwest (huh?) jaunt that these guys just went on was a sort of pre-promotional tour for their forthcoming record, which is, at long last, done, and the results are totally worth waiting for. It’s a full-length album of blissful melodies caked in layers of distortion and sweet, sweet rock and roll. We’ll hopefully have a release date for late summer sorted out really soon here.
But the summer’s just getting started, and we’ve got a good handful of shows in the midwest and on the east coast for you fine people. The Plurals will also be returning to the west coast in August, so everyone will get some sort of shot of GTG music while the sun’s a shinin.’ Here’s what’s happening the rest of this month:
June 8th – Honah Lee w/ Not the Bees, Mad Anthony at Legion Hall (Warren, NJ)
June 16th – Honah Lee at Art All Night w/ Cryptkeeper Five, more (Trenton, NJ)
June 22nd – The Plurals w/ Oh My God (“classic” trio lineup) at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
June 23rd – The Plurals – somewhere in Ohio or PA?!?!?!? Get at me if you have leads on somewhere we can play.
June 24th – The Plurals w/ Honah Lee and City Mouse at The Carpenter Workshop (Morrisville, PA)
June 25th – The Plurals w/ Honah Lee, City Mouse, and Scarier Area at Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA)
June 28th – The Hat Madder w/ City Mouse, Lazy Genius, Invisible Mansion at Mulligan’s (Grand Rapids, MI)
June 29th – The Plurals w/ City Mouse, Lipstick, The Fur Coats at Township (Chicago, IL)
June 30th – Hunky Newcomers w/ City Mouse at Firehouse Pizza (Normal, IL) (side note, I will be at a concert by the real, reunited Beach Boys in “Detroit” on this evening. I’m kind of excited)
There are several shows with City Mouse, as you may or may not have noticed. They’re a super awesome band from Riverside, CA that The Plurals recently did some west coast shows with (and will once again in the future as well). Their full national tour dates are listed here. They are highly recommended.
Things to look for after this (in addition to that upcoming Hat Madder record that we’re going to drill into your skull to the point that you’ll buy it just to shut me up. I’m not above going through every single name on this mailing list and asking you, individually, questions about the record to prove if you listened to it or not): Stargrazer recordings are forthcoming, with two different full-lengths being made concurrently and in varying degrees of completion. Frank and Earnest and Hunky Newcomers will both be recording full-length albums this summer. And… Honah Lee will be releasing a split 7-inchhopefully probably around the beginning of the fall.
Uh oh, shouldn’t have added “touchycakes31″ to my chat list. Looks like this might be the end of me… but if not, I’ll talk to you in a month.
Peace, love, death metal,
GTG Records Newsletter # 19: The Chip On Your Shoulder Club
Hi, I’m Tommy. I play in a band called The Plurals, and work with a swell group of folks (mostly in Lansing, Michigan, but elsewhere as well) in a label calledGTG Records. Everyone in this label has a pretty bad music problem. Er, not “bad music,” but “bad problem” pertaining to music. Well, maybe it’s bad music. (Probably in Ben’s case). It’s all subjective really. But we’re all trying pretty sincerely to do this in earnest and follow inspiration and stuff, so I didn’t think any of it’s “bad” per se. This really is a debate that I don’t want to get into right now. Anyway, we all have a problem here, but I’m augmented with another problem in that I have NO problem with writing and talking about these passions of ours, which led to me writing a monthly newsletter update thing about all of this. Which is where you come in. You signed up, now we all deal with this problem.
Well it’s July. I always have mixed feeling about July. Sure, “summer” activities really kick into high gear, but the fresh, energetic summer days are often confined to June. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’ve been living my life to less-than-full potential for 25 years now. Boy, that’d be a (summer) bummer!
But, I think I kind of have a point. We did so much awesome stuff in June here in GTG land! The Plurals did a handful of shows on the east coast and midwest with our dear, dear Californian friends in City Mouse – joined on various dates as well by (other sweet, sweet GTG bands) Honah Lee, Narc Out the Reds, The Hat Madder, and the Hunky Newcomers. It was a brilliant love-fest that was known to make at least one person nod in basic enjoyment. There was also a very beautiful (eye roll) moment in that the notebook that I use to collect names and addresses for this very mailing list was finished off and filled out at the Plurals/ City Mouse show in Chicago. A new chapter is dawning, a new book even. Wow. Well, then City Mouse left the midwest to return to California and we’ve all gotten bored, I guess. Wait, what am I doing? I’m supposed to be selling you on the label and our activities, and I’m making it sound like the stuff this month sucks! It doesn’t, I’m just… just, hungry. Hungry for action! Starving. Well, these select activities in Michigan and New Jersey are tasty.
July 12th – Narc Out the Reds, Hat Madder, Calliope, Cost For Living @ The Garage (Lansing, MI)
July 13th – The Plurals @ Augustine’s (Lansing, MI – House Show) w/ MindGuards, Leper Colony, and Racket Ghost! (Michigan Rock N BrewFundraiser)
July 13th – (also, slightly later!) The Hat Madder acoustic set @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI / Wallflowers after party)
July 14th – Stargazer @ (SCENE) Metrospace (East Lansing, MI) w/ Cold Mountain Child, Nate Z
July 20th – Frank and Earnest (Bruce Springsteen Cover Set) @ The Loft (Lansing, MI)
July 21st – Honah Lee @ Champ’s (Trenton, NJ) w/ Local Demise and Idiot Boy (so many GTG friends on this bill!)
July 29th – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ) w/ Decades (ex-Jason Alarm, more GTG friends!)
August 3rd – The Plurals/ Frank and Earnest @ GTG House (Lansing, MI) (GTG Records fundraiser! We’ve got a lot of great releases coming up and if you want them to come out sooner rather than later come out to this show and partake in the fun!)
So yeah, we’re all pretty much staying close to home this month. What that means, in reality, is that all of the bands on the label are working on new material, some are in the studio, some are prepping new releases…. oh, the future is golden. In addition to the activity of these bands that we’ve all been knowing and loving for some time…
We will be working very soon with a great band from Jersey City, NJ calledNot the Bees! They have a new EP coming out later this summer (that features artwork from Tony G of Honah Lee “fame”) consisting of 5 tracks of melodic punk goodness in the vein of Face to Face/ Jawbreaker/ Hot Water Music etc but with their own joyfully-in-your-face spin. The Plurals have played with these guys a couple times so I can personally vouch that they’re a bunch of nice young men that I’m sure we’ll all welcome with loving arms. Click here to check out the song “Backpacks” from the upcoming release. And then get prepared for me to rant about them even more next time.
Okay, so I guess this month isn’t so dire after all. The rest of the summer looks to consist of some more local dates from the bands, with the rush of new releases and more touring starting in the fall. All right! We did it! Another one down! Til next time…
GTG Records Newsletter # 20: Take it From Me, I Love You!
8/9/12 – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ). Dim and Goggles are both turning 16, so come celebrate their birthday. It’ll be their last show until September.
8/11/12 – 4th Annual Grand Ledge Skate Park Benefit @ Myja’s Grey Wolf Inn (Grand Ledge, MI). All Ages, schedule posted here. Frank and Earnest at 6:00, The Plurals at 7:30, many more throughout the day.
8/17/12 – Not the Bees! Record Release Party @ River Grille (Catham, NJ) w/ the Dead and Gone and Maya’s Ruin
8/18/12 – The Plurals @ Dogg Show (Crystal, MI) Scheduled for 9:00.
8/25/12 – Narc Out the Reds @ Crispy Music Fest (Saginaw, MI) Scheduled for 7:15.
8/30/12 – Hunky Newcomers @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ Lord Vapid and Mind Guards.
Not a super crazy month, but there’s some stuff going on. The Plurals were planning on doing some touring this month, but it got pushed back to October/ November. We’re working on setting that up right now, so we’ll have news in the next month or two about that. I am actually still playing some of the original projected dates on the west coast as a solo acoustic “Tommy Plural” thing… but I don’t have all of the dates figured out yet! Ha! So… sometime around the end of this month I’ll be doing some solo shows in southern California. Wow, that’s a whole lot of non-information! Stay tuned to The Plurals pages (GTG, Facebook, I think Nich runs a Twitter..) and we’ll announce those when they’re figured out. Yep, that’s all I got.So, if you looked at that list above, which, I’m assuming you did if you’re reading this paragraph now, you’ll see that Not the Bees! are hosting a record release party on August 17th at River Grille in Catham, NJ. I’m really hoping that all of you fine east coast friends of ours can make it out to the show (if I hear their wasn’t a riot I’m sending Josh David after you!), and everyone should check out the record ontheir bandcamp page right now! It’s 5 infectious songs of Face to Face/ Hot Water Music/ etc style gruff’n melodic punk rock. This is GTG’s first release with these fine boys and I’m really excited to see what else comes up. We’ll have the record up in the GTG store in a few weeks, and we should be getting some glorious press reviews in soon enough. You ain’t heard the last about this record.
There will definitely be more records in the GTG catalog this fall, as we’ve been doing some fundraising efforts for this very cause, and lots of folks are either in the studio right now (Hat Madder – well, mastering, but, yeah – Narc Out the Reds, Stargrazer) or will be soon (Hunky Newcomers, Frank and Earnest, Honah Lee, The Plurals). It kinda fell under the newsletter radar last month, but The Break-Ups released a new track on the July It Takes a Village to Make Records single (along with a new track by our old pal Luke Schmidt’s Firebrand of the Revolution project, and ex-Sunset Club-er Jory Stultz). The Break-Ups haven’t been show-active for the better part of a year, but studio work still happens intermittently, and the Lansing dream-poppers managed to finish up an old track called “Rainy Day Sound” (or “Songs” depending on who you ask…). Check it out here. The forthcoming August single will feature a new track from Michael “Drinking Mercury/ Hunky Newcomers/ sometime/ former member of Josh David and the Dream Jeans, The Guest Stars, blah blah blah, etc” Boyes’ solo project middleman, so stay tuned for that as well.
GTG Records Newsletter # 21: Y’all Are Brutalizing Me
Tommy Plural here. As the protagonist in my mind of the loose narrative known as “life,” my character attributes include playing guitar in a band called The Plurals and running GTG Records with my pals in Lansing, Michigan. I have struggled to communicate my knowledge and passion for music in a manner that most people wouldn’t find “douchey” or “dickish” or “beef-witted apple john-esque” and this newsletter, and, you, my friend, are witness to my progress. Character development is tricky business and unfolds gradually; hopefully I’m not too contrived and make a believable protagonist. Or begrudging anti-hero, whatever.
Recent plot points include the fact that I have spent the last couple weeks crashing in Long Beach, California at the house of this girl named Sabina that hosts a cool radio show called Demo Schmemo that airs from every Tuesday at Kbeach.org. This particular sub-plot has included myself experiencing Los Angeles in such a manner that I understand why this is funny now. Time to leave? Well, no, but, I will soon, though not before doing a couple more solo acoustic shows. I actually had one last Saturday night in Riverside, CA at Kim’s Bar. Good work getting that info out on time, Tommy. Yep, I’m a work in progress. I played a set of acoustic arrangements of Plurals songs and a Husker Du cover, and had the pleasure of sharing the stage with my dear friend Miski Dee from the band City Mouse. She sang lead on a Plurals song that Hattie Plural usually sings. Hattie’s in Missoula, Montana right now, hanging out with the Minor Bird Records crew after filling in on drums with Origami Ghosts from Seattle, WA. Again, good work getting that info out. Still, it’s kind of interesting, right? Right? ….
So I’m writing this in a studio at the CBS radio building in downtown Los Angeles, drinking a fairly awful Diet Snapple mixed with tequila. I heard that Rodney Bingenheimer and Steve Jones (of the Sex Pistols) are both down the hall from me right now. Huh. I’m just killing time here before getting a ride back to Long Beach, since the public transit out here is pretty lame. This information will hopefully explain the lack of coherence in the subject and tone of this newsletter.
Well, hopefully all of you wonderful people are recovered from your holiday weekend and ready to read some stuff about bands and such. So, this month, this is what’s happening in GTG land:
Today! As in, September 4th, 2012, IN ONE HOUR!! I’m going to be on the aforementioned Demo Schmemo show. I’m going to play some solo acoustic songs and talk about The Plurals and GTG and stuff. Check it out live from 6-8 EST (3-5 PST) at Kbeach.org, and/or it will be posted for streaming listen at the Demo Schmemo website in a few days. Then, this Saturday, September 8th, I will be playing a solo show at the Black Sparrow Press House in San Pedro, CA.
Across the whole fucking country, this Friday September 7th Honah Leewill be playing at the Troc in Philadelphia with the legendary Jello Biafra. Awesome! Honah Lee and The Plurals will be doing a midwest/ east coast tour in October. I’ll be posting about that next time! Honah Lee and our very own Not the Bees (check out Another Hour to Burn, or burn!) will be playing at the Mill Hill Basement in Trenton, NJ on September 23rd as well.
Lansing’s favorite drunk punks the Hunky Newcomers are playing at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on Monday September 17th with Teenage Bottlerocket. Between the drinks and the catchy tunes we’ll all have some raging headaches the next day.
Finally, the sometimes dormant, sometimes not, Drinking Mercury is doing a small run of Michigan dates at the end of the month. It’s been awhile since I bugged people about this, but Drinking Mercury put out a really good album a year ago called Orcades. Listen to it, buy it, don’t die.
Drinking Mercury shows:
September 21st – House Show, Grand Rapids, MI w/ Pistolbrides
September 22nd – Midwest Fest Kickoff @ Rubble’s, Mt. Pleasant, MI w/ Empty Orchestra, Benthos
September 28th – Mac’s Bar, Lansing, MI w/ Claudettes, Flatfoot
Next month we’ll be hosting our annual GTG Fest in Lansing. Stay tuned for more info on that. We’ve also set a November release date for The Hat Madder’s next album. Get stoked.
Anyway, I’ve gotta get on the 10 to the 110 to the 405 and go south for awhile. Yeeeeeeeeah.
Til next time,
GTG Newsletter #22: There’s a New Daddy in Town
Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records here. If anyone ever tells you the life of a musician is glamorous… they’re right! In between tours and projects, I scrape by doing a variety of odd and temp jobs, and I’m writing this very update whilst substitute teaching at Pewamo-Westphalia High School in Westphalia, MI. Teaching, always looked upon as a lucrative job that commands respect from all people, is particularly rewarding as a substitute, with the students always interested in your background and experiences that qualify you to teach them, leading to dutiful learning from all parties. You will not find a substitute teacher checking the clock every two minutes waiting for their planning period so they can write a newsletter about a DIY record label based out of Lansing, MI. I have to dodge the paparazzi on my way to the bathroom that I can never fucking find, hoping that no one makes eye contact with me so I can get by quickly before anyone shows up in the classroom. Right. So, anyway, what’s happening in reality this month?First things first, GTG Fest is coming back! This Saturday, October 6th, 2012 (TOMORROW) in Old Town in Lansing we will be conducting our annual celebration of music and friends and stuff. Bands, beers, people (both awesome and, eh) will abound and the proceeds go to help GTG Records get some of these sweet records out that we have in our queue. We’re holding this year’s edition at the Garage (310 North St) that we’ve been doing the occasional show at this year. $3 cover for a full day of music; admission also includes a cup for delicious craft beer provided by our friends at Mash Pit Brewing (21+, don’t be stupid). Doors open at 4 PM. Burgers – meat and veggie – will also be available from 7:00-8:00.
5:30-6:00 PM – Jessi Spreitzer
6:00-6:30 PM – The Jackpine Snag
6:30-7:00 PM – Cat Midway
7:00-7:30 PM – The Need You Nows
7:30-8:00 PM – Stargrazer
8:00-8:30 PM – Terror Terror Oh My!
8:30-9:00 PM – Isaac Vander Schuur
9:00-9:30 PM – Little American Champ
9:45-10:15 PM – Cavalcade
10:30 PM-??? – The Hunky Newcomers
There’s a full post on the GTG website regarding GTG Fest with more info on the lineup and parking here.
Immediately after this, Frank and Earnest are playing at Mac’s Bar on October 7th with Michigan ska-punk legends Mustard Plug. The saga of Lansing fun continues on October 10th when The Plurals and Honah Lee co-headline Mac’s Bar with Decades and Racket Ghost. This is just one part of a full itinerary for these two….
Honah Lee tour dates
10/5 – Lexington, KY – The Green Lantern
10/6 – Indianapolis IN – Melody Inn “Punk Rock Night” Awards Night
10/7 – Cincinnati OH – The Drinkery
Plurals / Honah Lee dates:
10/9 – Chicago, IL – Township
10/10 – Lansing, MI – Mac’s Bar w/ Racket Ghost, Decades
10/11 – Grand Rapids, MI – Mulligan’s Otherside (Honah Lee only, no Plurals)
10/12 – Detroit, MI – The PAN Shop
10/13 – Frostburg, MD – Duncan’s
10/14- Wilmington, DE – El Paso Cafe
10/15 – Brooklyn, NY – The Place Bar and Lounge
10/17 – Trenton, NJ – Mill Hill Basement w/ Local Demise
10/18 – Jersey City, NJ – The Lamp Post w/ Not the Bees (Plurals only, no Honah Lee)
10/20 – Morrisville, PA – Carpenter’s Workshop
10/21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fire
Then, after this odyssey, the Plurals embark by our lonesome into the rest of the country. Ahh, Plurals tour… the activity that I work and wait for the rest of the time. To say I can’t wait to get on the road is a dramatic understatement. Still announcing some of these dates, but so far it looks like this:
10/24/12 – Bloomington, IN @ Rachael’s Cafe
10/25/12 – Rockford, IL @ Disastr House
10/26/12 – Omaha, NE @ Louie’s Bar
10/27/12 – Denver/ Fort Collins, CO @ TBA
10/28/12 – Boulder, CO @ Illegal Pete’s
10/29/12 – Denver, CO @ 3 Kings Tavern
10/30/12 – Rapid City, SD @ TBA
10/31/12 – Helena, MT @ Jester’s Bar
11/1/12 – Missoula, MT @ VFW
11/2/12 – Seattle, WA @ TBA W/ Tacocat
East coast fun continues with our pals Not the Bees playing, in addition to the above mentioned show with The Plurals on 10/18, an acoustic show on October 7th at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC, and hitting the stage of the Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on October 12th. I’m definitely excited to share the stage with them and see them live again, especially with how great Another Hour to Burnturned out… which you can now order from the GTG webstore. I’m the master of segues.
The Hat Madder album Orgy Opposite is slated for a release in mid-November. Razorcake has called it (in a 90s nostalgia invoking review) “a fine piece of vaguely grungy, semi-new wavey, pop-rock goodness.” Get ready! This thing’s gonna be available on fine slab of vinyl, the first GTG LP in fact. The Hunky Newcomers are nearing completion for tracking their proper debut album as well… so, there’s a lot to get ready for. November looks to have, in addition to the aforementioned Plurals touring and the Hat Matter release party, the next edition of Punks Vs Pokes, a Thanksgiving Eve bash with The Plurals and Cavalcade, and lots of good stuff crammed in our bellies. Keep cramming!
You’ll next hear from me… somewhere in the USA. Time to return to… “teaching”…
GTG Records Newsletter # 23: Unlike Other Record Labels, Ours Is Not Constantly On Fire
11/2/12 – Seattle, WA @ Hollow Earth show w/ Tacocat
11/3/12 – Tacoma, WA @ Dwell Hole House
11/4/12 – Olympia, WA @ Palace Flophouse Punk Brunch (early show)
11/4/12 – Portland, OR @ Red and Black Cafe w/ Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra, Shitty Weekend, and Erica Freas (RVIVR)
11/5/12 – Stockton, CA @ Plea For Peace Center
11/6/12 – Pomona, CA @ VLHS w/ American Lies, Black Sparrow Press
11/7/12 – San Pedro, CA @ Harold’s Place
11/8/12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rogue Bar
11/9/12 – Tucson, AZ @ TLMS (all ages!)
11/10/12 – Las Cruces/Albuquerque, NM NEED HELP WITH THIS DATE
11/11/12 – Albuquerque, NM/ Amarillo, TX NEED HELP WITH THIS DATE
11/12/12 – Tulsa, OK @ Soundpony
11/13/12 – Wichita, KS @ Kirby’s Beer Store
11/14/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
11/15/12 – Springfield, MO @ Lindberg’s
11/16/12 – Normal, IL @ Firehouse Pub
11/17/12 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Mulligan’s
11/21/12 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s w/ Calliope and Cavalcade (FREE)
11/3/12 – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement, Trenton, NJ w/ City Mouse
GTG Records Newsletter # 24: Mustmayostardayonnaise
The Hunky Newcomers are also finishing up an album (really their first proper album, since Hard Dude Stuff was recorded as a goof before they had even played a single show) to be released in the first quarter of 2013. Preceding this album one of the songs is going to be appearing on an upcoming Silver Maple Kill Records compilation, so stay tuned to all that for your fix of uber catchy drunk punk. The boys will be doing a super badass New Year’s Eve show at Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) with Goddamn Gallows, assuring all that 2013 will just suddenly kind of be “here” without any memory of a transition. A facebook event for that show is here, for all inclined and of that persuasion.
Anyone hard up for a Chrismahanukwanzakahday gift and/or anyone interested in terrible movies starring former celebrities – in this case
Joey fat one from one of those late 90s boy bands and Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years – but want to give something with a razor thin GTG connection should consider a DVD of the (I guess it’s long enough to consider it a) feature film Mancation. Okay, it’s called “Mancation.” We’re all clear on that right? Just in case if you don’t already know what you’re in for, this is from their website: “After his plans come crashing down around him, Vince and his friends head to Atlantic City for the wildest and most spontaneous weekend of their lives.” I sawsome of this movie, and I assure you “wild” and “spontaneous” does not describe the creative process that must have gone into the creation of this particular motion picture piece. Anyway, Honah Lee have a bit of their song “Sex N Cigarettes” (from 2011’s awesome Life Won’t Let Me album, that you can, y’know, buy instead of this movie) in a montage scene after the plot has been set up by the zany situations that you just can’t believe are happening to these vaguely misogynistic stock characters. Maybe you should just watch the trailer – it has some more Honah Lee songs in it (although not that awesomely bad “Mancation song” – come on guys, were were you on that?)! I love Honah Lee!Hopefully someone heard these snippets and checked out their stuff!
Okay, I’ll wrap this up. The Hat Madder put out a new album called Orgy Opposite last month. You can check it out on Bandcamp, and our partners atBig Gig Productions are currently doing a promotion at their store where you can download all three Hat Madder records for $15. Check it out! The album will be available in our store on vinyl around the end of the month – but you can get a copy directly from Isaac when he plays a solo show at The Loft in Lansing on December 13th with Mr. Hipster, Doctor Jones, and Terror! Terror! Oh My! Oh my, indeed.
So, not a lot of shows happening this month. It’s just kinda that time of the year I guess. Not the Bees are playing at Clash Bar in Clifton, NJ on December 7th for any east coast folks looking to do something this Friday. I myself will be doing a run of solo “Tommy Plural” shows in January and February on the west coast and in the southwest, mostly so I can take pictures of myself flipping off the camera while wearing shorts next to a cactus to send to my friends in Michigan while it’s cold here. I’ll have those dates figured out and posted next time.
Lastly, I can not forget to remind everyone that this time of year really means that Bermuda Snowhawk is coming up. This is where, to the uninitiated, a bunch of us GTG folks get together with other clowns at Bermuda Mohawk Productions and friends to put together a ramshackle collection of holiday/ winter themed songs. It’ll be up for download at the BMP site later this month, but in the meantime you can check out previous volumes and start getting psyched for the nonsense to come.
All righty, assuming that whole apocalypse thing doesn’t happen, I’ll hit you up in a month.