We’ve been buds with Chicago’s Two Houses for over 5 years now and we couldn’t be happier to finally be working on a release with them! Their album I Feel So Good I Can’t Stand Myself got a vinyl release via Rad Girlfriend Records – who described the record as “transcend[ing] the boundaries of punk rock while never abandoning it” – last fall and we’ve put it out on cassette just in time for their spring tour. This is a limited run so make sure to get ’em while you can. The album shows off their instrumental chops while never letting a hooky chorus pass by, crafting the type of listening experience that’s just as rewarding on your home stereo as it is in a sweaty, beer-soaked room. Here’s hoping this is the first of many releases we get to partner up with some of our favorite Windy City pals. Tour dates below!
5/19 – Showroom Studios (Indianapolis, IN)
5/20 – Blind Bob’s Bar (Dayton, OH)
5/21 – Northside Yacht Club (Cincinnati, OH)
5/22 – TreeBar (Columbus, OH)
5/23 – The Burl (Lexington, KY)
5/24 – JJ’s Bohemia (Chattanooga, TN)
5/25 – The Clermont Lounge (Atlanta, GA)
5/26 – TBA (Birmingham, AL)
5/27 – Eric’s Skatopia (Memphis, TN)
5/28 – Evergreen Park (Carbondale, IL)
Posted in Album, Tour, Two Houses
Tagged Awesome, cassette, Chicago, Fuck Yeah, I Feel So Good I Can't Stand Myself, Indie Rock, Punk, Rad Girlfriend Records, Two Houses
Today, May 11 2017, The Plurals play at Mac’s Bar in Lansing with Local H. Local H is a band that tours hard and has played pretty much everywhere and I’ve had several friends share the stage with them but this is the first time that The Plurals are in this position. In many ways it’s just another show, I’ve been playing for long enough to know that opening for a “national act,” even if it’s one of your favorite bands, rarely “changes” anything, but since this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was 17 I’m just happy to achieve a personal goal.
Local H are in a strange position as they had a moment of strong radio presence at the mid-90s height of “grunge” radio, but they never became top of the bill “stars” and have been in the trenches of independent touring basically since the end of the 90s and the collapse of the music industry as a relentless money vacuum. People that are just aware of their big hit or their minor hit sometimes, in my opinion, unfairly shove them aside with less interesting bands like Candlebox or Collective Soul or even Creed but while the lineage of flannel clad angst is indeed present in their music, a closer listen reveals that they have far more in common with the Replacements than Bush. I myself am not sure if their big hit “Bound For the Floor” really registered with me as a little Plural, but I do remember the now doubly defunct Lansing area alternative station 92.1 the Edge playing “All the Kids Are Right” a lot in the fall of 1998 as I was starting middle school and have always had a strong affinity for that particular tune. A definite lost classic of the 90s if there ever was one.
My love for Local H wasn’t cemented until I saw them live for the first time in 2005. By that point on the recommendation of some of my older friends I had their album As Good As Dead in my CD collection and I had impulsively picked up their 2004 album Whatever Happened to PJ Soles (sidenote – this album is a fucking masterpiece and I won’t hear a word against it; it’s a definite all-time favorite for me) when I unexpectedly came across it in the Ionia pawn shop but I (along with the other nascent Plurals and our friends that formed the original core of GTG Records) went to see them live largely because local heroes XU were opening the show. XU is another essay unto itself, but the main dude from the band runs the label Hot Capicola Records now. Anyway, this first Local H show was a revelation. They hauled their own gear, ran their own merch, had no crew, and played their asses off. Scott Lucas ended the show by crowd surfing to the merch table where he promptly began selling t-shirts. It didn’t seem like they were “has-beens” in any way, more that they had forged their own way after a stint of fleeting major label success. Can you imagine how huge this was to us, as teenagers just beginning to understand the idea of DIY music? These guys didn’t need anyone, and they still don’t. They largely self-release their music and while some of their albums have been licensed to larger labels, they certainly aren’t pandering to anyone else’s commercial interests. It’s no exaggeration to say that The Plurals and GTG would probably not be the same if we hadn’t gone to see Local H when we were in high school.
It didn’t stop in high school though. Hattie and I scrounged together our non-existent “savings” multiple times in our late teens and early 20s to go see Local H live whenever they were within 100-200 miles of us. We gave Scott Lucas so many Plurals CDs, not thinking about the fact that he was just getting burdened with more shit at his shows, but he always was polite and acted interested. So many Plurals “bits” are from the Local H playbook – at one show the fans voted on the setlist via a lottery system before the show, at another show they pulled one of their album titles out of a hat and then played the whole thing (they did PJ Soles that night and it’s still my favorite show of theirs in my personal history), at other shows they would have a “guest singer” come out and do pointless backing vocals but treat it like a serious and integral part of the performance, and, (all right) oh yeah, the Mr. Show references in song titles – but the performance itself from the band has never once been phoned in or jokey. As a teenager their music resonated with me with their early album themes about being a misfit in a nowhere town – in my forever dorky ways I relished the parallel that my nowhere town “Ionia” wasn’t too far off in name from their nowhere town of “Zion” – and I still get a kick out of this wry observance of the darkness in small town aimlessness, but their relentless work ethic and fearlessness in expanding their sonic palette has kept me a fan as I enter my third decade on this earth. We once covered their song “High Fiving MF” at a backyard redneck party at one of our first “shows” ever, an act that surely should have gotten our asses kicked, and now all these years later we finally get to be part of the show. And now they’ll know we’re lame!
It’s really been a long time coming.
This week will see the release of the first official solo album from Tommy Plural entitled “Idiot Cousin.” The person that updates this website is said Tommy Plural so I’m going to cut the third person crap and get to the point! I played all the instruments on this album and while I’ve done a couple shorter, more experimental releases as a solo studio project this is the first time I made a focused effort to create a collection of songs that are meant to hang together. And in general I spent more time on this, to the point where I worried briefly that I had fucked up my hand from trying to play beyond my meager drumming abilities. Dangerous! Here’s a song from the album called “Düdes” that tackles earth-shattering topics like hating to go to work and loving the music of Hüsker Dü.
Anyway, the project is still very much supplemental to my band work but I will be using this album as the starting point for a catalog of songs to do with various musician friends, hopefully with a tour down the line. This Saturday I’ll be performing songs from the album with a much-more-talented-than-me-solo lineup of Dave and James from Small Parks and longtime friend but first time collaborator Adam Aymor, so head over to GTG House THIS SATURDAY (April 8th) to check that out. This house show is the release party for the record and also the debut of Ryan Andrews (Red Teeth) new band No Skull, the first Lansing area show by New Jersey indie-punks Alpha Rabbit, and the return of Tim and Dim from Honah Lee! It’s GTG wild card night baby!
Posted in Album, Tommy Plural
Tagged 2017, 2017 Record Subscription, Alpha Rabbit, Banana, Cheap Girls, Fuck Yeah, GTG House, Honah Lee, idiot cousin, No Skull, party, Red Teeth, Small Parks
The 2017 release series continues and the family expands on Saturday March 11th with the release of Beach Noir, the debut EP of Lansing garage rockers Hut Two Hike. Recorded in a couple sweaty live sessions at GTG House late last summer, the EP is a rush of chaotic energy, with a three guitar attack bouncing around in a jangly swirl, complementing the wry vocal delivery and the careening rhythm section to deliver a timeless sounding rock and roll performance. An advance review from City Pulse states “the record moves from moody, haunting ballads [to] feisty, organ-driven ‘60s garage-rock” and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. The release party Saturday night, at the Avenue Cafe, also will feature performances from ex-Crucifucks member Lee Gus Varner, and fellow locals Conspicuous Bystanders, Half Tongue, and The Plurettes. Check out more info for the show here and give “Hinterland Hop” a listen below!
Starting today we’re launching a campaign to put out a new release every month in 2017
, which will begin on January 27th
with the release of a new live recording by The Hunky Newcomers entitled Harder Dude Stuff.
This will be available digitally on the 27th and we’ll be having a release party at GTG House
that night as well where CDs will be available too. 12 (minimum, there will likely be more) releases can add up so we’re offering up a 2017 album subscription plan via our bandcamp
for anyone that wants to get in early and help generate some more fundage for the releases this year. We broke it down into three price models, one payment of $35 for the year will give immediate digital downloads of everything we put out this year
, Lansing area people (that we can either hand-deliver or coordinate meetups with) can pay $60 to get physical product
(it looks to be 4 vinyl releases and 8 CDs, possibly a cassette or two) along with the downloads, and everyone else can pay $75 to get the downloads and have the physical product shipped to them
. Subscribers will also receive immediate free downloads of four of our back catalog items – Honah Lee “Life Won’t Let Me,” The Hat Madder “Orgy Opposite,” The Hunky Newcomers “Secret of the Booze,” and The Plurals “An Onion Tied To My Belt” – so if you’ve been sitting on getting any of those that’s part of it too. Bandcamp also insists on including an “exclusive fan community” thing with subscriptions, so that comes with it but I don’t have the faintest idea what we’ll do there. There also will be some bonus subscriber-only releases that will have some fun stuff (the plan is to put those out every 3 months to serve as companion releases to each quarter’s releases) – basically, you’ll get somewhere around 16 new releases for your collection this year, and we have a lot of cool stuff in the works.
We all have our goals and dreams and resolutions and such whenever the calendar rolls over, and while we’re doing our best to reassure friends and family that the world isn’t ending (yet anyway), we’ve been thinking about what the point of this label is in the first place. Sure, we all have our own self-involved reasons for playing music, but the whole point of building a community around independent, weirder, and/or less-commercial music is to give a voice to people and ideas that may not be heard otherwise and to inject some sort of positivity into our surrounding community. Let it be heard that we’re committed to doing our part to contribute positive and creative energy to help make the navigation through this life a little bit more bearable. And we’re doubling down to bring more of it out this year! It’s gonna be a fun! Scary! Wild! Inspiring! All kinds of good stuff. Happy New Year!
Posted in Album, GTG Records, The Hunky Newcomers
Tagged 2017, 2017 Record Subscription, Fuck Yeah, Fucking Awesome, GTG Records, Happy New Year, Lansing, Punk, rant, The Hunky Newcomers