In their 10 plus years as a band, Lansing Michigan’s The Stick Arounds have never shied away from the music that inspired them. Three full-length LPs and a dozen singles later, the influence of the songcraft of bands like Sloan, Teenage Fanclub, Big Star, and other power pop luminaries is as evident as ever on their new EP Waiting For The Click.
“We’re Not Even Close” is the painfully familiar tale of failed relationships, told in the most midwest way possible: through rock bombast akin to bands like Cheap Trick and The Replacements.
“Redtail Hawks” couples that same energy with a bit of straight vintage swagger reminiscent of T. Rex, and handclaps directly inspired by Motown records.
The vocal harmonies that have become part of the Stick Arounds signature sound are immediately apparent on “Easy To Take”, as is the Byrdsian guitar approach that harkens back to some of the band’s favorite classic country records and early country rock. Gram Parsons would have loved this.
Simultaneously a call for help and call to arms, “Ode To Kid Marine” is an open love letter to drowning your sorrows in a few beers and a favorite record. Named for a terrific solo Bob Pollard record, this track epitomizes the glory and inherent regret in blasting an album and drinking to make it through the night.
Four tight and taut songs make up this ten minute trip rooted deeply in harmony, threadbare honesty, and the enduring power of rock and roll.
We’re very excited to be hosting This Must Be The Place: Quality Hits From Lansing, a new 24 track compilation of Lansing-area artists performing some of their favorite covers, a project that was spearheaded by acclaimed music writer Rich Tupica (of the definitive Big Star book There Was A Light fame). Lots of old friends here! It’s a little glimpse into what us creative types have been up to with a year of no shows. From the GTG family we’ve got The Plurals, Cavalcade, The Wild Honey Collective, RK Andrews (No Skull/Red Teeth), Counterpunchers (members of Narc Out The Reds), The Stick Arounds, Isaac Richmond Vander Schuur (The Hat Madder), Jennifer Toms (Scary Women), and Disappointed Dad, plus lots of old friends throughout like Crystal Drive, Frontier Ruckus, Dylan Rogers, Rodeo Boys, Nonbinary, La La Delivery and plenty more! 24 tracks! Free download!
Here’s what Rich had to say about the project:
“This Must Be the Place: Quality Hits from Lansing is a totally free download of Lansing, Michigan bands performing select songs by artists they love. This is meant to serve as a fun stop-gap between now and the (eventual) return of live shows. So, please: Listen. Download. Repeat. There’s a wide range of covers here because each band/artist chose whichever song they wanted for this collection. The reason? Every band has a good cover in them—perhaps one they’ve always wanted to tackle, but never had a proper reason to. So, the “art of the cover” was fully realized here. With no limitations, it left the tracklist up to them and it made for a bizarre, yet somehow cohesive blend of genres.
Aside from a long roster of area fixtures Like Frontier Ruckus, Cavalcade, Rodeo Boys, The Plurals, Wally Pleasant (and many more!), there’s also new solo tracks and fresh side projects featured here from Lansing vets: RK Andrews (of No Skull, Red Teeth), Jennifer Toms (of Scary Women), Counterpunchers (members of Narc Out the Reds), Dylan Rogers (L.U.V.S), Isaac Richmond Vander Schuur (The Hat Madder), Seth + Modern Sadness (features Seth Rentfrow of Way to Fall, Kyle Daniel), Myron James (Edible Intention), and The Wild Honey Collective (a new GTG super group). Scroll through the selection, and you’ll see plenty of familiar names. Enjoy!”
Holy smokes, has it been a year?!?? Just over a year ago as the stay-at-home order was issued in Michigan we started doing daily videos of GTG family and friends in quarantine. Weird times, but the solidarity experienced was a pretty awesome thing to take in, though we’re not quite ready to start getting pandemic nostalgia. Here’s a playlist of Staying Home With GTG Records from spring 2020, and there are a few more on the GTG facebook that never got uploaded to youtube. Glad we’re all still here!
The pandemic delayed the vinyl, cancelled the release show, and put our first printing option out of business, but at last, Drinking Mercury vinyl is shipping! Those who pre-ordered, thank you so much for your patience! And everyone else… you can get it now! This 12 song album is one of the most critically acclaimed GTG releases – Razorcake said “they do a good job of tugging at a wide range of emotions and memories, which made for an introspective listen,” Local Spins said listening to it was “like finding some hidden classic from decades past,” City Pulse declared it “superb, genre-bending, well-crafted pop with psychedelic meltdowns” and Stratton Setlist called it “soothing waves of vibrant folk-influenced dream pop” – plus it spent a few months in the Top 5 at WYCE in GR earlier this year (and it’s still getting play). So, needless to say, we’re happy to get it on to people’s turntables at last. One minor win for 2020!
Drinking Mercury’s self-titled second album is now available digitally. Check it out above from GTG or stream/download at any of these other soulless places where the streaming and the downloading tends to happen: Spotify iTunes Amazon YouTube
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!