Tag Archives: 2015

Happy Dickety-Sixteen

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In case you’re just blacking in, six days ago we began a 366 day (for real) cycle that shall be labelled as “2016.” In addition to celebrating the birth of Leap Day William, this year also promises plenty of exciting releases from GTG Records. Red Teeth will be making their label debut with the Light Bender 7-inch, which is at the pressing plant with an early spring release targeted. The Narc Out the Reds 10″ is mastered, the next Hat Madder record is approaching the mixing stage (and the band will be touring the east coast and midwest with When Particles Collide in March), the new Sleeping Timmy-fronted project Carm’s debut is in the tracking stage, and the Plurals just booked studio time (and a tour of the southeast) in late March for a fourth album. Honah Lee will also be hitting the studio in the spring, but first they’ll be doing some midwest tour dates. Plenty to look forward to! We also have some really cool split releases to announce and a few more things in the works so get those turntables warming up! Is that a thing? You probably don’t want to burn out the belts on those things now that I think about it. Clean your ears… yeah, that’ll do.
But before we get too future-fixated, let’s take a look back on the previous year. We released three albums in 2015:
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Honah Lee – 33 On 45 – 12″ LP of 10 catchy as hell punky rock and roll anthems. Reviews earned them comparisons to Superchunk, Lemonheads, Weezer, and more and they put in some serious road time on the east coast and in the midwest, including festival appearances at Death to False Hope Fest and GTG Fest. The LP gained enough traction that Creep Records in Philadelphia took on pressing up a CD version as well.
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The Plurals – An Onion Tied To My Belt – 12″ LP and CD of 12 Plurals-like Plurals songs that we had the pleasure to co-release with Florida’s Infintesmal Records and Arizona’s Diet Pop Records. Tommy Plural is the one writing this update and clearly I’m too close to this record to objectively judge it but we did some coast-to-coast touring with it and people at keyboards (not to assume too much of anyone else’s process) compared it to the Replacements, Husker Du, early 90s DC noise, late 80s SST, and more. And to me it’s a (non) reflection of the style of the time.
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Dreadpool Parker – self titled – CD featuring 11 tracks from New Jersey rap crew consisting of MCs Wade Wilson and Raymond Strife with Dready Mercury making the beats. We go way back with Ray (Nich Plural has potentially the best “first impression” story every involving him, and I basically quit drinking to excess after a blacked-out night with him a few years ago) so when he told us that his new group was doing some touring and putting out an album this year we had to get behind it (and book them for GTG Fest). As it stands it’s not only the first rap release on our label but also just a blast of catchy, witty, and fun music that stands tall among our catalog. Can’t wait for them to tour again!

In addition to these full-length releases we also issued an archival live recording of the Hat Madder from a 2008 tour date in France, a free label sampler (and more) nonsensically called Time to Val Kilmer, a compilation of acoustic artists and recordings, and, as always, capped off the year with the strangely-becoming-a-legacy holiday compilation Bermuda Snohawk. And in addition to these additions we also, additionally, released 10 live music video recordings in the GTG Sessions series that featured, alongside plenty of GTG usual suspects, performances by Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band, The Devils Cut, Logan & Lucille, and Croatone. What a year, and more to come.

I thought about making it a goal to have every band I’m in put out a physical release in 2016, but this is easier said than done as I don’t think a single band I’ve ever been in has actually “broken up” but… I’m hoping for Drinking Mercury, Calliope, and Frank and Earnest to all put out some solid product this year too. Calling it!



BERMUDA SNOHAWK 2015 (GTG084) is LIVE!

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Here it is! The perfect distillation of all of our mixed feelings regarding these winter holidays, the – get this, tenth annual edition! – 2015 Bermuda Snohawk. Available for free download from our friends at Bermuda Mohawk Productions as well as a limited-run of physical CDs available in Lansing/ for the first few (un?)lucky folks that ask us for a copy. GTG acts Stargrazer, Sleeping Timmy, The Plurals, Hunky Newcomers, and CrookedSound all appear as well as friends old and new like the Cartridge Family (still alive, who knew??!?), Cavalcade, Geistlos, Bluffing the Ghosts, Ben Pierogi (of Toledo’s Infernal Names), Jonathan Coody (from the great Ninja Gun), Protected Left (BMP all-star MI transplants tearing it up in the Bay Area), Blaine & His Keyboard, Scary Women, and those terrible crusties in Smashing Blumkins, plus the longtime Snohawk-only projects like Neon Tuesday, Cabin Fever, Iron Christmas, and Bruno Fox with some new terrifying additions to Snohawk canon tying it together.

Cale posted some fine thoughts at the download page for the comp, including some insights into why the Snohawk started in the first place (for many of us it’s now just part of the holiday landscape so the “why,” whether the reasons are real or not, isn’t even really part of the conversation at this point) that are definitely worth reading, but here’s an excerpt:


Ten years, and this stupid comp is probably just about the most (if only) constant thing in the lives many of the friends family that keep it going. I know it’s been just about the only in mine.

Well anyway, this is a lot of rambling, I’m aware, but this is the 10th edition, so bear with me. If you take nothing elfs (ha!) from this, here’s the tl;dr points:
1) If you’re a grown up, you should go listen to (semi-defunct Detroit DIY label Suburban Sprawl Music) those SSM comps…they were the (much better executed) inspiration for these all along.
2) The perseverance and momentum built by Bermuda Snohawk owes a great debt to Tommy Plural & GTG…but at this point, supersedes probably anything either of us could control. It’s kind of scary and kind of inspiring, and wholly hilarious.
3) Everyone that’s been involved with these is as much of a family as I’ve ever known. Thank you for coming together all of these years giving us something to grasp onto to keep us all from flinging into some sort of cold and distant orbit. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.


Right back at ya Cale! Happy winter and shit – Tommy Plural & GTG

Jason Alarm Reunion Show 12/5/2015…. and Tommy Looks in the Mirror and Asks “What Happened?”

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That’s the Jason Alarm photo that I had saved on the website from several years ago. Ha! But it kinda ties into my overall thoughts as we approach their reunion show THIS SATURDAY DECEMBER 5TH AT MAC’S BAR WITH SPECIAL GUESTS THE PLURALS, MR. FOX AND THE HOUNDS, AND DEAD HOUR NOISE of time passing without realizing and how it’s totally okay.

My relationship with Jason Alarm began in early 2008 when my old-but-still-together-sometimes band The Break-Ups played an all ages show at Mac’s Bar that was also the first show by a band from the Grand Ledge high school called Jason Alarm. This show was actually supposed to be at Replay Entertainment Exchange but had to be moved to Mac’s after Replay dropped their show calendar – I forget if it was because they were moving or some other reason. Replay moving to different store locations was kind of a running joke for awhile as in their first two years or so of business they were in four different locations. They’ve been at the same one in East Lansing now for over five years, so that’s another thing that’s changed over time and isn’t really a thing anymore.

Anyway, Jason Alarm were surprisingly good at that show, definitely talented and full of potential, and they made the members of The Break-Ups – old, wizened veterans at the age of 20/21 – feel like rock stars with their youthful enthusiasm for what we were doing. I kind of hate the fact that every time Jason Alarm or any of their members come up I automatically jump into this “those kids” conversation as I’m only five years older than them and I have tons of friendships of equal or greater age difference where that’s not even a thing, but it’s all about context I guess. They don’t deserve to have that vaguely condescending language about them as they totally proved themselves to be an original, hardworking band that did things that bands twice their age never do. And I respect the hell out of them, which I need to state before I go into the self-centered, caffeine-fueled, thought-exorcism that this supposed website update about another band is turning into.

GTG was officially one of the labels that put out Jason Alarm’s EP Engage in 2009 but we didn’t do a single thing to enable the release of that record! Ha! Maybe we encouraged them somehow, I dunno. Back in 2008 this guy Jeremy was a part of GTG and he wanted to produce a Jason Alarm record so he brought them over to the GTG studio and recorded demos but then moved to Boston fairly unceremoniously, so I was left in this awkward position of trying to salvage the friendship with these younger musicians who kind of had the rug pulled under them for their “debut” recording project. Plans were made to record with me but I was busy whenever they wanted to record – what I was doing back then I have no idea… going to school… what else? This was before The Plurals were a touring band and with the way I operate now the only way I wouldn’t make time to work on a recording project, especially one for the label, is if I were on the road and physically unable to be around. Hattie and I were talking at Plurals practice the other day about how we don’t even really remember what being in The Plurals was like before we really dove into touring, and that’s weird because there were several years and songs, shows, and bands we played with that in some weird way don’t even “count” in my mind when it comes to what I’ve done with the band and the label. This doesn’t mean that these things don’t actually matter or are in any way inferior, but my perspective on things has changed so much in the last five years (because everybody remains the same throughout their twenties right? What a terrible fucking world that would be…) that the things I did prior to 2011 when I really went all-in on this music stuff is that all of that was part of some vague “set-up” to what I do now and it’s like a series of blacked out passages with footnotes. And Jason Alarm is squarely in the middle of that bizarrely blacked out part of my mind so the reunion show this Saturday is like my 20-year old self is checking in with my present-day 28 years young person to see what’s up.

And that’s how the show Saturday is going to go in ways: people from previous scenes are going to appear out of thin air with slightly-differently shaped faces, different colored hair, beards, tattoos, glasses… ex-straight edge kids are going to buy me a shot, reformed party animals are going to show me pictures of their healthy, happy children, and I’m going to say that everything is cool, I’m just working on the same stuff. And in my mind I’ve just been stepping on and off stage for five years, jumping back and forth between the same few part-time jobs, seeing the country a few times a year, and thinking about songs, while everyone else will be reminding me that, oh yeah, almost a decade’s worth of things have happened since I met these people. And it’s gonna be a great time! Unlike any so-called “real world” reunion that I mostly succeed at avoiding (sorry 10 year high school reunion).

I’ve always felt bad that GTG Records didn’t really partner up with Jason Alarm in the way that I wanted to. The agreement early on was that I would donate my time to record it,  Cale from Bermuda Mohawk Productions would press the EP, and it would come out as a BMP/GTG co-release. Everyone involved still put the GTG logo and stuff on the release when it did ultimately come out (at the Sun Theater in Grand Ledge with an all ages show featuring Jason Alarm, The Plurals, and Cheap Girls… that’s a show I want to go to now!) without me or anyone else in GTG doing anything, which was cool, but… it was probably one of those watershed moments that made me think “hey, we need to be better at this label thing.” And it took us many more mis-steps before we finally settled into this present day thing that I’m so proud of, so I guess I can thank them for that. But it was also really cool that they excelled on their own, and I got to watch from the sidelines as they broke up once in 2009, reformed a few months later, became more ambitious musicians, had members come and go, toured and put out some singles, and then called it a day a couple years later to move onto other things. And it was awesome to witness the whole evolution of someone else’s adventure, which is something that I really enjoy doing as part of the label and general music community. So while in ways I want to slap twenty-year old me and tell him to just get over himself and make time to record this cool young band, I can appreciate what happened in the non-idealized Tommy-does-whatever-he-should-do reality that we all occupy.

Maybe it’s the arbitrary “year-end” self analysis that I tend to go through every December, but I have a lot of appreciation for everything that happened in the patchwork representation of events that I’ve written about above, and I’m glad that I still get to be a part of it. Enjoy your own adventure, don’t get bogged down by the past, and, seriously, I promise you there’s no reason to shoot anybody. That’s a 2015 timestamp for future readings of this entry if there ever was one. Now, here’s another random photo that I found on the website media archive while looking for that old Jason Alarm photo:

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And I’m also partial to this photo that I used for Josh David & the Dream Jeans for awhile, solely to spite Josh David for harassing me about not updating the page about them enough:

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Thanks for reading if you made it this far! And if you just skipped down here for some reason that’s cool too! – Tommy Plural

The Plurals – Rock N Roll Music Video!

The Plurals longtime studio collaborator Eric “CrookedSound” Merckling (whose long performance and production credits include recording/ mixing all three Plurals albums) has been quietly toying with stop-motion animation for the last couple years and we’re all honored here at GTG that his debut feature for this skill is now out in the form of a music video for a song from the new Plurals album. “Rock N Roll” is probably the most chaotic song on the album, alternating between dreamy verses, sludgy choruses, a CCR-quoting bridge section and scattered Pixies-esque vocals, so it might as well also be the soundtrack to a sci-fi epic starring The Plurals. Our protagonist is a brave Nich Plural who must rescue Hattie and Tommy from the clutches of an evil alien band that is attempting to steal The Plurals’ thunder and maybe erase them from existence? You should watch it a few times to get all of the little story bits and Easter eggs that Eric slips in. Above all, it’s super cool to look at. Another 2015 victory for GTG!

And check out the Plurals’ album here if you haven’t already!

GTG Fest… whoa!

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Tommy Plural says –

While the weekend is still fresh in my mind:
When Hattie, Nicholas and I started this whole GTG Records thing it was just a vague high school lunch table idea to bring our musician friends together and try and make cool things happen. GTG Fest began happening a few years later to try and have some sort of annual celebration of this and I’m frankly astounded at how much things have grown since then and how much of our vision has been fulfilled. GTG Fest 2015 completely blew me away with how great the performers were, how attentive and engaged the crowds were, and the fact that on a grassroots level we – performers, organizers, and audience members, together – were able to create four consecutive nights of well-attended shows entirely featuring independent original music (and comedy too) in our little city by the river that has at times undeservedly been overlooked or written off by less interested parties. So thank you people of Lansing and those adventurous attendees that came from many miles away to be a part of this year’s fest. So many of you were there all four nights and I can’t even begin to express how much that means to me and the others that put this together. I merely got the ball rolling with the dates and venues and wouldn’t have been able to do much more than that without Ben, Corey, Isaac, Loren, Timmy and my constant fellow Plurals Nich and Hattie to get the lineup together, spread the word, and think of fun ways to make the events more interesting and unique (which is where Corey and Ben deserve another shout out). Many many other friends from the bands and venues did their part too, and Eric from Mystery Garage / LMAC, the past and present residents of GTG House and doubly the wonderful and supportive staff of The Avenue Cafe, as well as Steve King who got the ball rolling with bringing GTG Records events into the Avenue in the first place, deserve a digital round of applause. Raffle contributors and event sponsors Schuler Books & Music, Golden Harvest, The Record Lounge, Nomad Kitchen, Harrison Roadhouse, Fusion Shows, Craig Horky, Old Town General Store, Foods For Living, Papercuts handmade, Business Casual, LCC Radio 89.7, The Impact 88.9, The Avenue… we are so humbled by your support. And the performers! You all have my support. I’m going to re-post the whole lineup at the end of this manifesto, but “thank you” just barely begins to cover this to everyone that was a part of the weekend, and if I forgot anyone, I didn’t forget you, I’m just still processing things. The handful of people that were still at the Garage in the wee morning hours of Monday for “clean up” saw how much my mind came apart (in a questionably good way) when the whole thing was over and really, I don’t think we have a choice other than to say see you next year!

GTG FEST 2015 LINEUP (by night of performance, headliners in the caps):

THE FICTION JUNKIES
Bobby Meader Music
Little American Champ
Blaine and His Keyboard

THE HAT MADDER
Small Parks
MPV
Dreadpool Parker
Mr. Hipster
Narc Out The Reds
Frank and Earnest

THE PLURALS
Honah Lee
Red Teeth
The Lippies
The Hunky Newcomers
The Free Life
Carm

RE-EVOLUTION
The Jackpine Snag
Immanuel Can’t
Hailey Wojcik
Stargrazer
Comedy Coven
Cat Midway
Middleman

GTG FEST – THIS WEEKEND!!!

GTG Fest 2015

This week! Four (damn) days of music and shenanigans in Lansing, Michigan, featuring a lot of Michigan talent alongside cool touring bands. Let’s take a look at what’s happening!

THURSDAY 10/08 @ GTG HOUSE, LANSING MI
DOORS AT 8 PM / SHOW AT 9 PM / $5 SUGGESTED DONATION

11:15 PM – THE FICTION JUNKIES
10:30 PM – Bobby Meader Music (Las Vegas)
9:45 PM – Little American Champ
9:00 PM – Blaine and His Keyboard

Friday 10/09 @ THE AVENUE CAFE, LANSING MI
DOORS AT 7 PM / SHOW AT 8 PM / $5-10 SLIDING SCALE COVER

12:30 AM – THE HAT MADDER
11:45 PM – Small Parks
11:00 PM – MPV (Detroit)
10:15 PM – Dreadpool Parker (NJ – CD Release!)
9:30 PM – Mr. Hipster (Bloomington, IN)
8:45 PM – Narc Out The Reds
8:00 PM – Frank and Earnest

SATURDAY 10/10 @ THE AVENUE CAFE, LANSING MI
DOORS AT 7 PM / SHOW AT 8 PM / $5-10 SLIDING SCALE COVER

12:30 AM – THE PLURALS
11:45 PM – Honah Lee (Trenton, NJ)
11:00 PM – Red Teeth
10:15 PM – The Lippies (Grand Rapids)
9:30 PM – The Hunky Newcomers
8:45 PM – The Free Life (Kalamazoo)
8:00 PM – Carm (debut show!)

SUNDAY 10/11 @ MYSTERY GARAGE, LANSING MI
HANGOUT & POTLUCK AT 3 PM / SHOW AT 5 PM / $5 SUGGESTED DONATION

11:00 PM – RE-EVOLUTION (Lansing’s premiere Devo cover band)
10:15 PM – The Murderburgers (Scotland!)
9:30 PM – The Jackpine Snag
8:45 PM – Immanuel Can’t
8:00 PM – Hailey Wojcik
7:30 PM – Stargrazer
7:00 PM – Comedy Coven – live stand-up comedy!
6:30 PM – Cat Midway
6:00 PM – Middleman
5:00 PM – OPEN-MIC! (music/poetry/comedy/magic/whatever accepted! Limited spots, sign-up starts at 4:00 PM)

Read more about it at the GTG facebook page and check out a free sampler from all of the bands that are playing at our bandcamp page!

GTG Fest 2015: Oct 8-11!!

GTG Fest 2015

GTG Fest 2015 will be a four day soiree in Lansing, Michigan this year, featuring regional favorites alongside artists from across the country. More information will be available including full lineup and set times but here’s what we can say right now:

THURSDAY 10/08 @ GTG HOUSE, LANSING MI

LITTLE AMERICAN CHAMP
Bobby Meader Music
more tba

Friday 10/09 @ THE AVENUE CAFE, LANSING MI
THE HAT MADDER
Dreadpool Parker (CD RELEASE)
Frank and Earnest
MPV
Mr. Hipster
Narc Out The Reds
Small Parks

SATURDAY 10/10 @ THE AVENUE CAFE, LANSING MI

THE PLURALS
Carm (debut show!)
The Free Life
Honah Lee
The Hunky Newcomers
The Lippies
Red Teeth

SUNDAY 10/11 @ MYSTERY GARAGE, LANSING MI

RE-EVOLUTION (Lansing’s premiere Devo cover band)
Cat Midway
Hailey Wojcik
more tba

Get stoked!!!