Tag Archives: Fucking Awesome

GTG 2017 Summer Playlist

While we’re all still picking up the pieces from the epic final Frank and Earnest show and/or hanging out at 4th of July barbecues, here’s a playlist that we can all groove to today that compiles some of the highlights from the 2017 releases so far. It shows off the cool variety we’ve hit in our monthly release series – and makes it seem like we’re all fixated on George Harrison – and there’s plenty more variety and/or cool things to come. Featuring music from Mad Moon, Hut Two Hike, Two Houses, The Hunky Newcomers, Isaac Richmond Vander Schuur, Tommy Plural, Frank and Earnest, and Calliope. Turn it up!

You Heard That We Were Great…

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.

plurals-local-h

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!

little-plurals

It’s really been a long time coming.

GTG Records 2017 Record Subscription!

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!

GTG092: Bermuda Snohawk 2016 Out Now!

snohawk-2016

Let the shining rays of brilliance shine! Bermuda Snohawk 2016 has arrived, the GTG/ Bermuda Mohawk annual holiday gift (in its 11th edition!) of wintry-yuletide-seasonal joy and disaffection – a stocking stuffer of love and depravity! Up for free download via BMP, check out new and unreleased tunes from City Mouse, Cavalcade, The Plurals, Frank and Earnest, Scary Women, The Hunky Newcomers, Sleeping Timmy, middleman, Dale J Gordon, Bluffing the Ghosts, and MORE, including the various side projects featuring folks from all over the geographical map and musical (and non-musical) realm. This comp has become something of a Lansing-based DIY institution (for better or worse) and it just sort of comes together by itself at this point, with GTG and BMP just sort of lighting the path a bit. With how 2016 has been as a year, there’s a bit more darkness lurking at the edges of a lot of these tracks, but still plenty to laugh about all the way. Putting this comp together is always a highlight of the year for us, and there can be something very cathartic about just having some fun and making music with abandon. Thanks to everyone who joined in to help make it happen this year, and anyone that didn’t but wants to in the future, come on over! There’s literally no process to curating the lineup than people sending stuff to us so it’s a free-for-all, all-is-welcome party. Enjoy yourselves, and let’s hold ourselves up, together, for the last week of this gut-punching year. Much love from GTG and BMP!

Friskie Morris & Friends: GTG Fest 2016

Hey! So as the year winds down, it’s a good time to reflect on all of the cool things GTG Records was a part of this year. An annual highlight is always GTG Fest, naturally, and this year we had the good fortune to be joined by Stephen DeFalco from the Chicago-based podcast Friskie Morris & Friends who spent the weekend interviewing a handful of bands on the festival and graciously profiling the new releases from Small Parks, The Stick Arounds, and Bong Mountain that came out at or shortly prior to this year’s fest. Interview segments in addition to the three new release-rs include Handwringer , Matt Wixson’s Flying Circus, City Mouse, Jake Simmons & the Little Ghosts and a freewheeling roundtable with members of The Plurals, Drinking Mercury, and Frank and Earnest (with a brand new Plurals recording snuck into that segment!) to round it out. We had our best year ever at GTG Fest 2016 and while this is just a selection of the all-around great lineup we had this year it feels great that Stephen was able to document the event and we can’t wait to relive it and do it again!

Punksgiving 11/25/16!

More updates about 2017 plans to come but in the meantime, there’s a free show at The Avenue Cafe in Lansing on Friday 11/25 that The Plurals are playing. GTG Records isn’t really the type of operation to engage in Black Friday so, hey, come out and enjoy a free show and be around good people. Party on!

punksgiving

New Narc Out!!! Whaaa!?!?!??

narc-out-2016

Narc Out the Reds have a new release coming! The release party is TOMORROW November 5th at Mac’s Bar in Lansing. Check out this City Pulse article for media validation! The record will be available next week! Its a 10-inch! I don’t even own any 10-inches, much less have had any part in releasing them before so this is super awesome!! The show is going to be a fantastic time, check out the event page here. YEAH!!

11-5.jpg