GTG Newsletter # 25:
It’s a New Year! And a new month… so, a newsletter from Tommy Plural aboutGTG Records bands is a sure thing!This is the paragraph that you can skip if you don’t care about my ranting. Got it? Okay, see you in a paragraph! Those of you that stuck around, can you believe those fair weather instant-gratification clowns that skipped this? I mean, come on. So, I hope we’re all still alive. I wonder if anyone that signed this mailing list is dead – I don’t personally talk to everyone that signs up at the merch table whenThe Plurals are playing somewhere in the middle of America on a weeknight at some dimly lit dive that seems to be built on a slight slant because the drinks are slowly sliding down the bar the whole time. So, it’s possible. People do die all the time after all. Uh, anyway, didn’t mean to start the year so dark. I hope everyone enjoyed 2012 and found some great music along the way, be it newly released or tucked away in the back catalogs of underrated musicians the world over. I’m trying to think of a record that definitely came out last year that I was really on board with, but I am listening to Big Star “Radio City” right now so that’s definitely not helping me maintain the mindset. But I heard lots of great music both at home and in my travels from current and hardworking bands. Rock and roll ain’t dead. Anyway, let’s move on.
Lots of music did indeed come out last year, and very near the end of the yearThe Hat Madder released an awesome slab of vinyl called Orgy Opposite, that you can order from the GTG webstore right now! Early reviews called it “A fine piece of vaguely grungy, semi-new wavey, pop-rock goodness” and “pure indie rock bliss” and you can check out a stream of the record for yourself right here, right now. There’s no other place I’d rather be! (Vomits). The band will be doing a few local shows later in the winter before hitting the road in the spring. Get them eardrums ready to be pummeled!
A tour that is happening very soon is my own! That’s right, if you’ve ever listened to The Plurals and thought “wow, I’d really like to hear these songs played slower and softer by only one of them,” then you’re in luck because Tommy Plural is touring the south and southwest, into California this month. I am very sincerely excited to do this tour and play with some great bands, including my dear friend Logan Greene for the last round of dates (as well as that wicked awesome in Tucson on 1/24 with Shark Pants and Can Of Beans). I’ll be hitting some new areas as well so if anyone has friends in any of these places let them know what’s up and tell them to come say “hey.” I’m also hoping to hit (in addition to more California shows) Albuquerque, Tulsa, and St. Louis in mid-February if anyone can help me throw a couple more shows together.Tommy Plural tour dates:
1/15/13 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie’s w/ Mad Anthony
1/16/13 Decatur, AL @ Excalibur
1/17/13 Ocean Springs, MS @ Squeaky Lizard
1/18/13 Lafayette, LA @ Artmosphere
1/21/13 Austin, TX @ The Grand
1/23/13 Las Cruces, NM @ TBA
1/24/13 Tucson, AZ @ TLMS w/ Logan Greene, Can Of Beans, Shark Pants, Ex Cowboy
1/25/13 Phoenix, AZ @ Tempe Starving Artist w/ Logan Greene
1/26/13 Temecula, CA @ The Dial w/ Logan Greene
GTG House Shows:
1/14/13 Decades Homecoming Show w/ Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts and Reconnect
Frank and Earnest – who are slowly (definitely) and steadily (not really) working on material for a new album – will also be playing at GTG House onFebruary 8th with Homelife, Little American Champ, and Cain Marko, so stay tuned for that.
Out on the east coast our chapter missionaries (shudder) Honah Lee are doing some local-to-them shows that are definitely worth checking out to anyone in the Philly/ NJ/ NYC area – including one tonight in Trenton! Ah!
1/12 – Mill Hill Basement – Trenton, NJ: HOH Help 2: A Benefit For Brooke
1/18 – BSP – Kingston, NY
1/25 – Walsh’s Tavern – Warminster, PA
1/26 – Place Bar & Lounge, – Brooklyn NY
If you want to get sweaty and hoarse shouting along to some hardcore-influenced melodic punk rock, Not the Bees! are playing a couple shows out east this month as well. Those dudes need to hit the road soon so the rest of the country can see what I’m talking about!Not the Bees shows:
1/12 Mill Hill w/ Honah Lee (see above)
1/18 Whippany, NJ VFW w/ The Moms
GTG Records Newsletter # 26: Look Lady, I Don’t Come Down To Where You Work And…
It’s February, so that means there should be some new-ish news regarding GTG Records, courtesy Tommy Plural of your favorite band that is called The Plurals. None of those other “Plurals” have got nothing on us! Anyone who tells you different is lying to themselves.
I would be a liar if I said I was really in touch with what’s going on back in my lovely home of Lansing, MI. I did a two week solo tour last month (which, I’m sure you know, because you read the newsletter intently and put in your personal planner where I’m going and what I’m up to) out to southern California, where I have spent the last two weeks working on some new music and playing some solo shows. I’ll be doing my last solo show in the area tomorrow, 2/9, at Kim’s Bar in Riverside, CA alongside the great City Mouse and Black Sparrow Press. Come one, come all, SoCal pals. In the midst of this very stressful excursion I have become well adjusted to Pacific Standard Time and have spent more than one day in a T-Shirt, sometimes at the beach. Everyone on this mailing list that’s in the midwest/ northeast (which… is probably like 2/3 of you) hates me! But, please, keep reading! GTG bands are doing cool stuff, and I’ll be back to Michigan in a week, and watching my bronzed ass try to figure out what snow is with vacant eyes and my mouth hanging half open should make up for all. Anyway, this is the scoop on what’s happening this month, starting tonight!
More shows for Frank and Earnest, The Plurals, and the Hat Madder (whose amazing album Orgy Opposite is still available) are to follow in March, so spring fever should be well poised to seize everyone as we begin to re-discover the idea of drinking on patios. As far as indoor activities go, The Plurals and Hunky Newcomers continue to chip away at new recordings, and our dear friendStargrazer has resumed work on the couple years in the making debut full-length album of that project. No word yet on whether we expect to crash the servers of the GTG and It Takes a Village websites when we announce the release of this much anticipated collection of music.
Okay, we’ve only got a few weeks of February! We can do this! I’m uber ready, yeah.
GTG Records Newsletter # 27: Blowing Up The Moon
3/2/13 – The Plurals and The Rape Babies (Reunion show) @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
3/12/13 – Narc Out the Reds @ GTG House w/ The Need You Nowsand Warm Needles
3/15 @ Clancy’s (Keyser, WV)
3/16 @ Blind Bob’s (Dayton, OH)
3/18 @ House Show (Chicago, IL) w/ Truman & His Trophy
3/19 @ the Courthouse (Kalamazoo, MI) w/ the Plurals
3/20 @ the Avenue (Lansing, MI) w/ the Plurals
3/21 @ the P.A.N. Shop (Detroit MI) w/ the Hunky Newcomers
3/22 @ Aldo’s (Altoona, PA)
3/23 TIM’S BIRTHDAY PARTY @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
w/ Molly Rhythm
The spring and summer of 2013 promise more activity. The Hunky Newcomers album will most likely be the next release in the GTG Records catalog, as it is in the final mixing and mastering stages. Narc Out the Reds are nearing completion on a new EP, and The Plurals and Stargrazer continue to work on new albums. The mere thought of these things gives Tommy a jolt of excitement, but it is ultimately fleeting, leaving him alone at the keyboard, hair tousled in such a manner that could make even the handsomest of men look like a complete jackass, thereby doing a number on this more homely specimen.
Oh yeah, there’s a podcast now too, hosted by Josh David and Tommy.
Well sali zämme homeys, it’s early-ish April so you’ve got the singular Plural named Tommy yappin’ (from Lansing, MI) about the happenins of the GTG Records crew. I realized that some people signed up a little while ago and I never added them to the list, so hopefully you sort of remember having a passing interest in some DIY band you may or may not have heard somewhere. Aloha to all!
So April’s starting off kind of slow (though not to knock the early month haps, no sir), as it is wont to do, but the whole last week of the month is rather insane looking with a show almost every night ranging from some sure-to-be sweaty house shows to a celebration of cheese at the Lansing City Market to Black Flag founder Greg Ginn spacing out with some Lansing-ites at a dive bar. I’m gonna jump off that last point and mention that this month is sort of shaping up to be a celebration of my heroes as The Plurals are playing this aforementioned show by Mr. Ginn and his new band Good For You (whose sound largely jumps off that of latter day Black Flag), featuring skateboarding legend Mike V on vocals, at Mac’s Bar on April 21st. I’m pretty damn curious to meet the man and see him play in person – to say that Mr. Ginn is a polarizing figure is an understatement, but doggone it he’s responsible for a lot of great music. Anyone nearby should stop out – $10 to see Ginn and the boys up close is worth it, and I promise The Plurals won’t stink up the joint beforehand. On a different but related note, on the 13th of this month we Plurals are playing at a tribute show for The Replacements in Ypsilanti at Woodruff’s. We’ve got a set of 6 tunes from across the ‘Mats career worked up and we’re excited to play them and shout along to to the other bands all night. MI country rock band 40 Stitches Later is curating the event and they have more info at their website.
4/11 – The Hat Madder @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ the Pinkerton Raid
4/12 – The Hat Madder @ Mullligan’s Pub (Grand Rapids, MI) w/ the Pinkerton Raid
4/13 – The Plurals (Replacements cover set) @ Woodruff’s (Ypsilanti, MI) – ‘Mats Fest
4/21 – The Plurals @ Mac’s Bar w/ Good For You, Greg Ginn and the Royal We, and BerT
4/22 – Hunky Newcomers @ GTG House w/ Luther
4/28 – Honah Lee @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
And, a final shout out to all of our buddies at Way Out West Fest. The Plurals missed you and we hope it was a good one this year!
Looking forward to May!
Well, I think I could almost set my watch to this, that is if I had a watch. And if watches were used to tell days instead of minutes. So, not really. I, Tommy Plural, write this here newsletter thing about the activities of GTG Records bands once a month and every single May I always get several weeks behind because every single May I do this thing called “work” at a “job,” a job consisting of taking care of and selling plants at the grocery store owned by my father in Ionia, MI. To those of you not in the northern states, we have this situation where plants die every fall and then in the spring we plant new ones and this just goes on perpetually year after year… and it allows my dad’s business to increase sales every spring and it gives me a job that I can count on having for a few months every year and dig myself out of the endless hole that is touring and putting out records. Love of the game, man! So, I get all swamped up in work and shit and get distracted from the newsletter writing, always losing sight of my most important obligations. Someone needs to kick my ass into gear! I’m accepting applications right now.
But today is one of my day’s off! As I write this newsletter I’m sitting on my porch enjoying the lovely springtime weather, listening to Toys That Kill, and sipping on Evan Williams and Vernors (whiskey and ginger ale to you non-Michiganders/ dirtbags). In the past with some of these newsletters I have received responses of concern for the sometimes confusingly bad alcoholic beverages I consume, but I assure you dear reader that this concoction is tasty and I firmly believe in keeping my vices in check. But thanks for the concern! I’ll return the favor by telling you about stuff. At this very second I’m trying to talk Timmy Rodriguez into doing a reunion-show-of-sorts for our “not active but not broken up” pop-rock band The Break-Ups, but I don’t think I’m succeeding. It’s okay, he’ll read this and text me later saying “dude, I’d love to do that show but I just don’t think I have time” and I’ll respond with “no, it’s fine, but it won’t take that much time and will be a lot of fun if you can” and this will just sort of continue aimlessly until one of us gives in. So maybe we’ll play a show soon. I can tell you who is definitely playing shows soon though!
5/18/13 – Not the Bees @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
5/23/13 – Ray Strife, Stillborn Identity, Izzhe’, and “In Bloomers” (drunk Nirvana covers set) @ GTG House (Lansing, MI) – 7 PM SHOW, GET IN EARLY
5/24/13 – The Hat Madder, Little American Champ, Lawnmower, and Between Brains @ GTG House
5/25/13 – Honah Lee, Not the Bees, Mad Anthony, more @ Punk Rock BBQ (Rockaway, NJ)
5/26/13 – Honah Lee and Mad Anthony @ Punk Rock Flea Market (Trenton, NJ)
5/31/13 – Stargrazer w/ The Stick Arounds @ The Avenue (Michigan Assocation for Suicide Prevention fundraiser)
And June will bring even more goodies. If you didn’t notice, Honah Lee is doing a little east coast run from 5/22-5/26 with most excellent northern Kentucky dudes Mad Anthony, so anyone in the Philly/ NYC/ NJ area better do their best to shake some hineys at those shows.
So, everyone’s been in the studio lately but nothing’s coming out for a month or two so we’ll be releasing a new sampler thing very soon that features new unreleased music from the full GTG roster as well as other bands that we’ll be working with in the very near future (like Black Sparrow Press from San Pedro, who will be releasing a split 7-inch with The Plurals in July and are also always playing often in SoCal and beyond). This will most likely be posted online before the next newsletter, but I’ll post about that then too… so, if you remember, cool, if not, I’ll yammer again. There’s lots of stuff on that GTG website, it gets tinkered with all the time, so you might as well check that often. Just sayin’.
Gnarly times guys!
Why it’s the middle of June and Tommy Plural is finally getting around to sending out a GTG Records newsletter! Usually I open these things with a ranting paragraph about whatever I’m doing… but, what I’m doing right now is sitting at my dining room table at the GTG House, drinking coffee, and writing the newsletter. Standard fare really. None of the other house-mates are home, and the cats aren’t even immediately in my line of sight. I’m shirtless, though… does that do anything for anyone?
Now that I’ve lost everyone, the main focus of “The Now,” and, truthfully why it’s taken me longer than usual to get this out, is that there is a brand new GTG Records compilationavailable for streaming and download RIGHT HERE. <–That means click on that. If you are connected with me or really any GTG bands on social mediocrity then you probably already know about it, but I’m still going to hammer the nail into the coffin on this. It’s called It’s Fine and it features 14 brand new songs (most of which are exclusive to this compilation) by bands and solo artists with upcoming releases on GTG Records. These bands, in alphabetical order are Black Sparrow Press, Cat Midway, CrookedSound, Drinking Mercury, Frank and Earnest, the Hat Madder, Honah Lee, the Hunky Newcomers, middleman, Molly Rhythm, Narc Out the Reds, Not the Bees!, the Plurals, andStargrazer. There’s a couple of new faces in there, with Cat Midway being an excellent Lansing, MI based minimalist singer-songwriter, Black Sparrow Press being some fine melodi-punk Plurals friends from San Pedro, CA, and Molly Rhythm being a Philadelphia/NJ based eclectic heavy-alt-pop band (ex-members of Karma Bat). Welcome them aboard! They all have new releases coming out with us very soon. It’s a damn good comp, I swear by this. DOWNLOAD IT HERE. You can get it for free or pay something if you want – the proceeds go to help get these records out faster.
So in my distractedness I didn’t get this out in time to mention that Honah Lee played some amazing shows on the east coast recently (one of which with Molly Rhythm, one of which with the very beloved to me Face to Face). But they’ve got more coming up!
Honah Lee shows:
6/22 – Punk Island, Underground Riot Stage @ Pier 1 – Staten Island, NYC
6/24 – w/ Jetty Boys, Direct Hit!, & DeeCracks @ Mill Hill Basement – Trenton, NJ
The lovely boys of Not the Bees! are also playing that 6/22 Punk Island show.
Back midwesterly, the Hunky Newcomers might be doing some MI and IL dates the last weekend of June… but they’re too hungover most of the time to clearly get that information out there so keep tuned to their Facebook, or something, to find out if they are. Most definitely the last weekend of June we are hosting Cat Midway’s record release party at GTG House on June 29th, with special guests Veloura Caywood and middleman. There’s an event thingy here. This show is going to be amazing and we’re so excited to work with Cat Midway on this record, and yes it is a real LP “record” record.
The following day, June 30th, we’ve got two GTG bands duking it out for your attention and approval in Lansing, with The Hat Madder playing at The Loft with the Stationary Setand The Plurals playing at Mac’s Bar with Lemuria. Spacey alt-pop at the Loft vs fuzzy punk-pop at Mac’s, your call! Both shows will be awesome so you can’t really go wrong.
On July 1st The Hat Madder will be playing at the Heritage Landing Stage at 6 PM at the Muskegon, MI Coast West Music Fest. Very nice. You can still order their great LPOrgy Opposite at the GTG Records store. I’m not fucking around, you can seriously order the record.
The Plurals start a long tour on July 9th! Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio… we’ll be all over all over these states! Check out the dates here.
Okay, that’s all for now. More coffee, and maybe a shirt to follow.
This is Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records. My wild exclamations of surprise and wonder are due to the fact that I just returned from an amazing 5 week tour with The Plurals where we played some great shows, met some amazing new people (many of whom have signed this here list – hey guys!), saw a lot of old friends, and in general experienced the sort of time-warp bubble-reality thing that only exists when touring. One day it’s early July and I’m chipping away at the daily grind in Michigan, then the next thing I know it’s mid-August and I’m back in Michigan, wondering if those blurry nights and sights along I-5, I-90, and I-80 were just a dream and that I feel far too well for someone who just went on a 5 week bender. But no, this really happened, and thank you so much to everyone who made it happen either by helping set up a show or playing a show or giving us somewhere to sleep or buying us food or just being decent (or interesting) people along the way. We’ll do it again!
But GTG Records is more than just The Plurals’ show, nor is it any single band’s show- it’s a collective of musicians and artists that make records and play shows together and individually and there’s a lot of cool stuff happening. Before The Plurals left for tour we held a release party for the new LP by Cat Midway, which is finally available for purchase inthe GTG Records webstore, as well as from the Cat Midway bandcamp site. I have a pretty bad problem with staying on top of things while I’m on tour so to make up for the fact that it took me forever to get this thing in the store, from now until October 1st I am going to offer a free copy of any in-print CD in the GTG catalog if someone orders the Cat Midway LP. And if there’s an out-of-print CD that someone really wants I’ll see what I can do about making up a couple copies of those. Anyway, I’m more than willing to do this because the Cat Midway record is totally great, with great songs, performances, and overall sound quality. It’s vaguely folky night music to enjoy on a night in (or a trippy night out) and it deserves a fully engaged listen.
On other recorded fronts, this fall we’ll be releasing a split 7-inch by The Plurals and Black Sparrow Press (who recently dropped a killer EP on Recess Records) as well as an LP (co-released with Bermuda Mohawk Productions) by the Hunky Newcomers. Everyone else on the roster is in the studio in some capacity, meaning that the end of 2013 and 2014 is going to be chock full of GTG goodness. In the meantime, tide yourself over with the teaser compilation that is GTG Records: It’s Fine, which is still available for a pay-what-you-want download at bandcamp..
We’re holding our first ever GTG Fest East on September 14th this year in Trenton, NJ, so there will be plenty of GTG activity on the east coast really soon here, as well as many shows both eastward and midwestern in the meantime. The Plurals and Hunky Newcomers are doing a co-“headlining” tour to the east coast and back, and The Hat Madder is doing their own jaunt to Jersey and back. Check it out!
8/16 – Honah Lee @ Warren Legion Hall (Warren, NJ)
8/24 – Honah Lee @ Philly Piazza “Restoration Fest” (Philadelphia, PA)
8/30 – The Plurals @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ Jake Simmons
8/31 – Hunky Newcomers @ GTG House (Lansing, MI) w/ Burn Burn Burn
8/31 – The Hat Madder @ Big Wood Fest (Cross Village, MI)
9/6 – Drinking Mercury @ MBC (Lansing, MI)
9/7 – Not the Bees @ Ma and Pa’s (Port Jervis, NY) w/ the Casualties
9/12 – The Hat Madder @ Tree Bar (Columbus, OH)
9/13 – The Hat Madder @ TBA (Philadelphia, PA)
9/14 – GTG Fest East @ Mill Hill Saloon (Trenton, NJ) featuring The Plurals, Honah Lee, the Hat Madder, Hunky Newcomers, Molly Rhythm, Not the Bees, Ray Strife, andTimid Roosevelts
9/15 – The Hat Madder @ Garfield Artworks (Pittsburgh, PA)
9/15 – The Plurals & Hunky Newcomers @ O’Brien’s (Allston, MA)
9/16 – The Plurals & Hunky Newcomers @ TBA (Syracuse, NY)
9/17 – The Plurals & Hunky Newcomers @ Broadway Joe’s (Buffalo, NY)
So, lots to do! I should probably go do some stuff to prepare for this…
All the best,
Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records here, writin’ away at a monthly newsletter update about the GTG scene. I’m writing from my parents’ house right now, because even at 26 sometimes you just need to eat food provided by your parents. And do laundry. Even though you have a washer and dryer at your house but because it’s a weird old building the hookups are different and you never figured out how to get them working. So, if anyone wants to come over to my house and help us get our washer and dryer hooked up so that my parents can think that their son has achieved some level of adulthood, by all means go right ahead. I might toss in some free GTG “swag” or at the very least there should be some beer or whacky memorabilia of sorts lying around because the GTG House is a house full of Lost Boys. Not the vampire kind with that guy from “24,” more the ones that are waiting for Robin Williams to come back and lead us to victory.
9/12 – The Hat Madder @ Tree Bar (Columbus, OH)
9/13 – The Hat Madder @ Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia, PA)
9/14 – GTG Fest East @ Mill Hill Saloon (Trenton, NJ) featuring The Plurals, Honah Lee, the Hat Madder, Hunky Newcomers, Molly Rhythm, Not the Bees, Ray Strife, DEMO and Timid Roosevelts
9/15 – The Hat Madder @ Garfield Artworks (Pittsburgh, PA)
9/15 – The Plurals & Hunky Newcomers @ O’Brien’s (Allston, MA)
9/16 – The Plurals & Hunky Newcomers @ ROTA Gallery (Plattsburgh, NY)
9/17 – The Plurals & Hunky Newcomers @ Broadway Joe’s (Buffalo, NY)
9/21 – Hunky Newcomers @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI)
9/22 – The Plurals @ GTG House (Lansing, MI)
9/25 – The Hat Madder @ Mystery Garage (Lansing, MI) w/ Jackpine Snag
9/30 – The Plurals @ Flint Local 432 (Flint, MI) w/ RVIVR
10/2 – The Hat Madder @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ The Meat Puppets
…. and then, October will bring the Lansing GTG Fest at The Avenue on October 11 and The Mystery Garage on October 12. Lots of good bands on that one, and The Plurals should finally have that split 7-inch with Black Sparrow Press available for that show. So, basically I’m about to blow my gourd; I will do my very best to contain the mess.
Don’t forget to peruse the GTG store! We’re still offering a sweet deal if you order the Cat Midway LP between now and October 1st.
Words of greeting, Tommy Plural from The Plurals and GTG Records here. It’s a beautiful autumn day here in Lansing, Michigan: blue skies, light breeze, sunny yet crisp. I’m drinking coffee. I’m almost always drinking coffee. This coffee is a “Father’s Day Nicaraguan Blend” that was being pulled off the shelves at Foods For Living; the package features a Scottish looking tartan and a clip-art-looking super white guy holding up a mug. I always think I have marketing ideas and could do stuff like that better than a lot of people, and then I remember that I largely promote a record label through an e-mail mailing list. GTG Records: accepting applications for people that want to promote stuff on social media. I don’t have any self-righteous reason to not be involved in that stuff, I just can’t for the life of me get interested in it. I like writing e-mails and running the website though. Oh yeah, speaking of which there’s a brand new section on the GTG Records website featuring free downloads of back catalog items. I’ve been very, very slowly getting this put together for a long time now… it wasn’t really a priority but I’m just kind of an archiving type, and when we have old releases that aren’t in-print but still cool I want people to have a chance to hear them. Currently available are some old Plurals stuff, the original Hunky Newcomers demo, an old Drinking Mercury EP, the long out-of-print Knights Without (featuring Pudvay from Hunky Newcomers, Timmy from the Break-Ups/ Drinking Mercury, etc) album, and the mostly unreleased studio recordings of Gates of Steel (great Lansing hardcore featuring cool dudes from lots of bands). This is all stuff that I think holds up well and is worth a listen. It’s free, so, whatever. I’ll keep adding stuff to it as time goes on.
Anyway, I wanted to get that stuff posted this week because this weekend is GTG Fest 2013 in Lansing. The most wonderful time of the year. Two days, 20+ bands, beers, grub, lots of hanging out. Here’s an event thing. Night one is this Friday October 11, 2013 at The Avenue Cafe. Doors at 7 PM, $5 cover, all ages welcome. Performing are: The Hat Madder, Calliope, Frank and Earnest, Narc Out the Reds, The Jackpine Snag, Terror Terror Oh My,The Chirps, Drinking Mercury, Noxon Wenzel, and Hit Society. This is a really solid bill, and if anyone hasn’t been to the Avenue or hasn’t been lately they’re constantly adding new things and now have pool tables and arcade games along with great food (lots of veggie options) and Michigan beers. Good times for sure.
Night two is Saturday October 12, 2013 at The Mystery Garage (warehouse space at 310. E North St). Doors at 4 PM, $3-5 suggested cover donation. Performing are: The Plurals, BerT, Devil’s Cut, Hunky Newcomers, Spit For Athena, City Mouse, Jake Simmons, Elliot Street Lunatic, Geistlos, Jonny Janis (Little American Champ) and the Need You Nows. While both nights are stacked with greatness, night two somehow ended up consisting of lots of special performances. Top of the list for me is the first live performance by Spit For Athena in a few years – this band has been a huge influence for me and they were probably the first local/ regional/ whatever independent touring band I was “into” about ten years ago. BerT is shaking up their lineup, so this is their last show, at least, for awhile, and will certainly be crushingly awesome. The wonderful Miski Dee from City Mouse (Riverside, CA) will be backed by some yokels for a special one-off Michigan date as the band proper won’t be hitting the mitten on their fall tour, so make sure to catch that. Jonny from Little American Champ solo? Cool! Anyway, lots of great stuff throughout the day, so seriously, get there early.
It’s also the last Plurals show of the year! Jesus!! We’ll have our new 7-inch available for the first time at this show, so get that too. It’s our last show for awhile because Nich Plural is joining the aforementioned City Mouse for their fall tour that starts October 26 and will take them all over the country. Dates for that are posted here. We’re scrambling to wrap up some recording sessions before he leaves so that we can get the next Plurals LP out early next year… we’ll see! But there are some GTG releases coming out soon for sure –Narc Out the Reds will be releasing a new CD/EP in November, Hunky Newcomers will have an LP out in January, and Frank and Earnest, Honah Lee, and Hat Madder also have new releases that are nearing the end of the recording phase.
That pretty much wraps up the midwest haps of the GTG. Out East, aside from finishing up their sure-to-be-killer new record, Honah Lee are still trying to get on the Weezer Cruise. Go to youtube and “like” this video to help them out. Seriously, they deserve it more than the other bands. I assume at least. If you think Honah Lee don’t deserve it, tell them in person at Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ) on October 20 where they’re playing with the Moms, Great Explainer and Not the Bees! Not the Bees are also playing theCourt Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ on October 11. They’re always awesome (they killed it so hard at GTG Fest East a few weeks back) and they will be this night too. Check out their new digital EP too! Pop down to Philly on October 12 to catch Molly Rhythm open for Peelander-Z at North Star Bar to cap off your weekend out east.
Well that about does it. We’ve gotta get the sleeves together for the new Plurals/ Black Sparrow Press 7-inch to sell them this weekend. Running a label is hard. Get at me if you want to help or buy pizza for us or something.
Tommy Plural from the Plurals and GTG Records here. It’s November. It’s cool and gets dark earlier. Short days. Shorter attention spans….November also marks one of the longest periods of time with no full band Plurals activity in our existence. This is not due to any sort of lack of interest or material (we have most of a new full-length recorded as well as a long delayed 7-inch ready for release) but because Nich Plural is on tour playing bass with City Mouse! They’ve been out for a few weeks already and are still poised to hit up the northeast, midwest, and southwest over the course of the month. Check out the full list of tour dates here. While the Plurals are able to contain our sadness over the Nich-sized void in our lives, Nich’s other other project the Hunky Newcomers couldn’t handle it (or maybe they just didn’t know he would be gone) and are playing a show with Antiseen at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on November 9th with longtime GTG confidant Ryan Horky filling in for Nich. Get those heckles figured out ahead of time for this one folks.
11/15/13 @ Johnny’s Suicide Garage (Petoskey, MI)
Another GTG crew that’s been relatively quiet on the live show front for the better part of the year is Frank and Earnest, due in large part to their time being taken up by sessions for their now-finished-tracking-currently-being-mixed new full-length, but also because band founder Otis Pierce is parting ways to go do some “life” stuff that he may or may not have told the rest of the band about. Regardless, his final show will be at the annual Punks vs Pokes show at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on November 16, 2013. For those not in the know, Punks vs Pokes (or PvP as someone calls it somewhere) is a yearly show put on by Lansing mainstays Flatfoot that features “punk” and “country” bands, with each performing band paying tribute to the respective “other” genre during their set. It’s always a great time, and it will mark the last Frank and Earnest show where I will have the luxury to refer to the band as “them” and not “us,” because…
For reasons unknown to me, I will be filling the vacant guitarist role left by Otis. Yep, for a long time there I was known (by someone, somewhere) as one of those guys that was in too many bands to name, something that I reigned in a couple years ago to pretty much just The Plurals and Drinking Mercury, but I’m diving back into that and you’ll be able to catch me onstage with Frank and Earnest, hoping I miss the same cues that the other guys miss. Just one week after Otis’ last show I will be playing my first show with Frank and Earnest on November 23rd at Mac’s Bar where we grace the stage with our old buddies Cheap Girls (playing their only show of the winter while they work on a new album), Buffalo pals Failures Union, and local boys Little American Champ. Sounds friendly. To cap all this off, Ben and I will be playing an acoustic show at Crunchy’s in East Lansing on November 27, 2013 where we’ll each be doing solo songs, stuff from our respective bands, and some stuff together. Now that’s Thanksgiving for someone! Here?
Checking in out east, Honah Lee are hosting Wednesday nights at the Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ) throughout the month of November. They had a dance party this week that I’m sure was a dank affair, and next week on November 13th they’ll be hosting the Trenton stop on the City Mouse tour, followed by a music video shoot on November 20th, capping it all off with a Thanksgiving Eve show on November 27th featuring our own Molly Rhythm. More information about these shows is available here, but basically, if you’re near Trenton just pop into the Mill Hill every Wednesday and you’ll be good. The guys are nearing completion on a new full-length and next year looks to have lots of touring, music videos, and general mayhem from New Jersey’s finest party machine.
No slouches themselves, Not the Bees also have a few shows around the northeast this month:
11/8/13 @ Roxy & Dukes (Dunnellen, NJ) w/ The Cryptkeeper Five
11/16/13 @ Ding Dong Lounge (NYC)
11/23/13 @ Warehouse Motor Club (Middlesex, NJ)
The final shriek of GTG activity this month will be on November 29th when Cat Midway plays at Flint Local 432 for Jeremy RR’s record release party. Jeremy’s a rad dude, he and I once co-produced an album by our other friend Jeremy. I haven’t seen him in years but I’m sure he’ll be amazing. Unless if something terrible happened to him in the intervening years, which I suppose is possible. But I don’t think it did. Uh…
West Coast friends, don’t fret! Early next year Hunky Newcomers, The Plurals, and The Hat Madder all have plans to hit up various parts of the land, and we won’t forget about you. In the meantime there are a bunch of videos on the GTG youtube channel, including highlights from GTG Fest East, a ridiculous Plurals “concert film” from September, and some Halloween cover sets done by various GTG people. Hope that’ll do a small part to tide everyone over.
Funny, I didn’t think there was a lot going on this month until I started writing this. Ha.
Tommy Plural from GTG Records and The Plurals (and, & etc) here. This here newsletter marks the third anniversary of the GTG Records newsletter. Wow! Three years. How many people keep something up like that? Honestly, it’s not very long for me. I’ve lived in the same bizarre rental house for going on 8 years and despite the fact that my quote-unquoterésumé (a term that I wouldn’t use, but just did, so I guess I suck) lists like 15 bands I’ve been a part of, they largely consist of different combinations of people that I’ve known for 12 years or more… even my most recent addition to the-people-I’ve-played-guitar-with list (Frank and Earnest) are people that I’ve known in some capacity for like 7 years. So I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve been doing the exact same thing for what is rapidly becoming the majority of my life, meaning that I’m set to have a mid-life crisis in my early 30s, at which point I’ll be very disappointed to learn that I probably won’t have enough money to buy a Ferrari, but I might stop writing this newsletter. Hold me up guys! We’re all in this together right? Right?
I’m stuck in Ionia, Michigan right now, and it’s snowing quite a bit. It’s nice to look at, for now at least. I’m holed up at my parent’s house because my van is getting worked on in Ionia, to make it super road-ready for next year’s touring. It’s in pretty good shape, but during The Plurals summer tour some wear-and-tear caught up with us that needed to be addressed. I’ve written about some if it in a tour journal that I might get around to finishing in the nextish years. I have so many unfinished tour journals that I start, then lose focus, and then we tour again so I never get caught up. We’ll see. But I won’t be the only one in this boat because Hunky Newcomers, The Hat Madder, and The Plurals are all touring the west coast in the first quarter of 2014. The Hunky Newcomers tour, to promote their soon-to-be-released debut LP Secret of the Booze commences on January 7th. Check out Hunky Newcomers tour dates here and here. We’ve been working on getting this LP out for awhile now so it feels good to get it out and get the boys on the road to spread the news that moronic drunk-punk is alive and well, and more tuneful and endearing than ever before. The Plurals and Hat Madder tour dates are still being finalized but they’ll be posted by next month sometime.
Aside from tour planning there’s not a lot of outward activity happening in the midwest with the GTG folks this month. Hunky Newcomers are playing with our buddies Hit Society at Hatchy’s in Utica, MI this Friday, the 13th. Spooky. In Lansing the same night there’s a Jason Alarm reunion show at Mac’s Bar. We were vaguely involved with their only physical release back in 2009 so it’s cool to see them playing again. The following night, Saturday December 14th, Narc Out the Reds (who released a killer new EP last month) are playing at the Mystery Garage in Old Town Lansing along with The Plurettes (the 2/3 Plurals 1/3 Hunky 60s girl group tribute) and The People’s Temple. That’s gonna be fun. Mmhmm.
Out east in the land of the Newest of the Jerseys, Honah Lee and Not the Bees are playing at the party for a screening of the new Descendents documentary Filmage on 12/13 at Roxy and Duke’s in Dunellen, NJ. Then, a couple days later Honah Lee are playing the Ding Dong Lounge in NYC on 12/15, followed by an amazing show at Mill Hill in Trenton on 12/28 to celebrate our dear friend Greg Kline’s birthday alongside Molly Rhythm and Mikey Erg. On 12/30 Not the Bees are playing a show with Andrew WK atStanhope House in Stanhope, NJ, officially making them the most awesome GTG band this month.
You can pre-order the new Plurals / Black Sparrow Press 7″ right now. We’ll get these shipped out around Christmas and they’ll officially be “on the street” next month. GTG put out some cool stuff this year:
Narc Out the Reds – “Have Just Enough to Cover Up” EP/CD
Gates of Steel – “Discography” (download it here)
Molly Rhythm – “It Is What It Isn’t“
Various Artists – “GTG Records: It’s Fine“
Cat Midway LP
– Honorable mention has to go to the just released Swale 7″ by our good friends in Cavalcade. Though not a GTG release (BMP for life!), I recorded a couple of the songs on it and it’s their first official release in 6 years and I just love the band and the guys in it, so… order that one too. I was hinting that you should order/ download those releases. Hint hint.
These releases will soon be joined by the Plurals/ BSP, Hunky Newcomers, Honah Lee, Frank and Earnest… and that’s just the beginning of next year! That should be enough to ward off that personality crisis… let’s keep ’em coming!