Tag Archives: Lansing

New Stick Arounds… imminent!

Don’t let their scary demeanors intimidate you, The Stick Arounds are a nice group of Michigan powerpoppers and they’ve got a new record out 10/26. Check out their website for more info on how to get all the sweet swag and check out the video for their first single “Get U Back” below!

Advertisements

Full GTG Fest Lineup!

gtg18poster
25+ independent bands and artists converge on the capital of Michigan September 7th and 8th for the 11th annual GTG Fest. GTG Fest is curated by a group of friends and musicians to foster a safe, intimate, and creative environment to experience the passion of DIY music, make new friends, and see old ones. Music, food, a raffle featuring items from rad local businesses, and a barrage of good times fill the weekend. Please be respectful and cool to all attendees and to all of the spaces. No hate. We’re all in this together.

SEPT 7 & 8 @ THE AVENUE CAFE (Lansing, MI)
SEPT 8 @ MAC’S BAR (Lansing, MI)

ARTIST SAMPLER:

The Plurals
City Mouse
minihorse
Lipstick Jodi
Erotic Novels
The Hat Madder
Etta Unofficial
Nonbinary
Whoopi Goldblum
Crystal Drive
Extra Arms
PISSED!
Sexy Toxins
Scary Women
The Stick Arounds
Tart
The QUIRK
Drinking Mercury
The Jackpine Snag
Raymond Strife x iLL-Omega
The Hemingers
Fire It’s Sirius
Good Luck Tsunami
Sleeping Timmy
Disappointed Dad
No Skull
LOG LADY
Mistic Mountian

Thanks to Music Manor and Foods For Living for sponsoring the fest and helping make it all possible. And of course, a big thanks to the people of Lansing for 11 years and counting of GTG Fest.

GTG Fest XI and more!

gtg18postersquare

GTG Fest 2018! 25+ independent bands and artists converge on the capital of Michigan September 7th and 8th for the 11th annual GTG Fest. GTG Fest is curated by a group of friends and musicians to foster a safe, intimate, and creative environment to experience the passion of DIY music, make new friends, and see old ones. Music, food, a raffle featuring items from rad local businesses, and a barrage of good times fill the weekend. Please be respectful and cool to all attendees and to all of the spaces. No hate. We’re all in this together.

SEPT 7 & 8 @ THE AVENUE CAFE (Lansing, MI)

The Plurals
City Mouse
The Hat Madder
Erotic Novels
Raymond Strife Who Raps
Lipstick Jodi
Scary Women
Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms
Tart
Nonbinary
No Skull
The Stick Arounds
Pissed
The Quirk
Sexy Toxins
The Hemingers

…. AND MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!!

More events for the weekend will be announced shortly, check out the event page here!

But GTG Fest is over a month away, there’s plenty happening this month too. Three GTG mainstay bands are hitting the road, starting with a midwest run from The Stick Arounds – who also just released a new single ahead of their forthcoming 2nd LP.

sticks-tour-2018
The Stick Arounds Tour Dates:

8/2 – Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn
8/3 – Dayton, OH @ Blind Bob’s
8/4 – Cincinnati, OH @ Tree Bar

THEN the greatest sing-along-road-warriors City Mouse are doing a li’l midwest run of their own with San Diego’s Squarecrow.

city-mouse-squarecrow

City Mouse Tour Dates:

8/10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Quarters
8/11 – Lansing, MI @ Avenue Cafe
8/12 – Bloomington, IL @Nightshop
8/13 – Chicago, IL @ The Burlington

AND THEN this insane party is happening in Trenton, NJ on August 18 for Honah Lee’s 10 year anniversary. The Plurals are heading out for a quick jaunt to the east coast and back to be a part of it!

honah-lee-10

The Plurals Tour Dates:

8/16 – Dayton, OH @ Jimmie’s Ladder 11
8/17 – New Jersey
8/18 – Trenton, NJ @ Mill Hill w/ HONAH LEE
8/19 – New Hope, PA @ Bucks County Playhouse

There’s solid shows the rest of the month too…

8/2 – City Mouse @ GTG House (Lansing, MI)
8/2 – Hat Madder @ New Dodge Lounge (Hamtramck, MI)
8/3 – Disappointed Dad @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing)
8/4 – The Plurals @ Taste of Michigan City (Michigan City, IN)
8/5 – Wade Wilson @ The Avenue Cafe
8/18 – HONAH LEE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY @ MILL HILL (Trenton, NJ)
8/18 – Two Houses @ Hexagon (Minneapolis, MN)
8/27 – Drinking Mercury @ Pyramid Scheme (Grand Rapids, MI) w/ Jonah Matranga

20180827poster

Let’s just bask in that last show for a second… Jonah Matranga is an indie rock legend from his work with Far and he’s also in many ways a pioneer for the modern DIY musician with his various solo activities. In the early 2000s your humble author saw Jonah play in a small cafe in Grand Rapids and his warmth and connection with the audience as well as his sliding-scale merch that he sold himself left a huge impression and has been a big influence for how GTG has come together. Jonah is touring on the 20th anniversary of Far’s “Water and Solutions” and it’s a wonderful full-circle moment for Drinking Mercury, the band that laid the foundation for GTG in the first place, to open up the show. Sounds like the best way to wrap up summer activities before the GTG Fest madness! Get yer tickets!

See you out there!

Late April Fake GTG Fest!

A bunch of us basically accidentally booked a bunch of shows this week in Lansing, leading to a sort of springtime GTG Fest! It’s about time this spring thing happened too, we were getting some of the most wicked Cabin Fever to date.
apr-2018

Thursday April 26th The Hat Madder – with their freshly released vinyl edition of Rotting On The Vine – will be rocking out at The Avenue Cafe alongside Connecticut piano ‘n art duo Pocket Vinyl, Grand Rapids punk people The Quirk, and treasured locals Scary Women and Blaine & His Keyboard. The next day, April 27th, Drinking Mercury – also with their freshly released vinyl split with The Sexy Murders – will be gracing the Avenue stage with our old friends The Jackpine Snag and new friends Dirty Deville. The Avenue gets another dose of fun when, Saturday April 28th, Miski from City Mouse hosts and performs a night of punk rock featuring Heart and Lung from Cleveland and Lansing rascals Stop Bobby Hatch, Foxhole, and an acoustic set from Dasterds. Finally, just down the block, The Stick Arounds will be playing at Green Door on April 28th with Moto and Cardboard Bullies (which includes, among others, Chris from Narc Out the Reds/ The Hat Madder). Madness! Great accidental work everyone!

Erotic Novels on the road!

The latest member of the GTG family, New Jersey’s Erotic Novels, are doing a quick midwest run this weekend! Lansingers, come say hi at The Avenue on Sunday and get ready for their debut full-length out later this year from GTG/Weekend Quality!

3/23 -New Brunswick, NJ @ The Court Tavern
3/24 – Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
3/25 – Lansing, MI @ The Avenue Cafe
3/26 – Hamtramck, MI @ New Dodge
(Lansing – don’t forget about the Drinking Mercury house show on Saturday night too).
EN-spring-2018
Mar-2018-handbill

March 17th 2018 Shows

March 17th! There’s shows today!
Lansing’s got a two-Plurals-Pudvay-friends cover band plus a Tommy Plural Group set alongside other weird and fun stuff:
st avvys
Trenton’s got Honah Lee and all the Honah Lee family bands!
st millies
And Grand Rapids has the Tucos!
st grappies

See ya out there for this coincidental day of many shows!

GTG Feature In City Pulse!

cp.jpeg

Big thanks to Dylan Tarr and City Pulse for this excellent piece about the 10th anniversary of GTG Records! Follow the link here or read the whole piece below!

A Decade of GTG Records

Local Lansing record label celebrates a productive anniversary year

BY DYLAN TARR

Lansing’s GTG Records put out 16 records this year. That’s over 150 songs and more than 10 hours of music. If you wanted to, you could drive all the way to Tennessee listening to nothing but GTG releases from this year alone. For a record label based out of a house that City Pulse once named “Eyesore of the Week,” that’s a lot of music. And honestly, it’s a lot of music no matter what your headquarters look like.

“This was sort of a special thing,” said GTG co-founder Tommy McCord, also known as Tommy Plural, admitting they don’t usually release a terabyte of music in 12 months. “We decided that since it was the 10th working year of the label we wanted to celebrate it.”

McCord traces the beginnings of GTG Records back to 2007, when he and his bandmates, Hattie Danby and Nicholas Richard, put out the Plural’s first EP.

“We first used it as a way to release our demos and our friends’ demos on CD-Rs,” said McCord. “In 2007 we put out an EP called ‘Professor Nanners,’ and that was the first time we had a professional company manufacture the CDs.”

Since then, with 10 years on the record and over 100 releases, the label has taken on a life of its own, McCord said, describing it as more of a collective of local musicians than a business.

“I knew bands would be putting things out this year and I thought if I reached out to a few more people I could figure out one release a month,” said McCord. “We ended up doubling up in some of those months because there was so much happening.”

If you still have some reservations about a record label run out of a dilapidated house on the east side of Lansing, you shouldn’t. This is exactly where the music you eventually love comes from.

Def Jam started in Rick Rubin’s dorm room while he was a student at NYU. Bruce Pavitt dubbed together compilation tapes for an obscure fanzine that later turned into Sup Pop. It doesn’t matter if bands are recording in a sound proofed studio in L.A. or in a Michigan basement between noon and 11 p.m. to comply with noise regulations; great music is great music.

City Mouse’s “Get Right,” released in November on GTG, sounds like the band Sleater Kinney could have been if they didn’t lose their razor-sharp teeth immediately after their first album. GTG’s first release of 2017, The Hunky Newcomers live album, “Harder Stuff Dude,” sounds like Black Flag in an alternate universe where Greg Ginn actually possesses a sense of humor.

And the Hat Madder’s fourth release on GTG, “Rotting On the Vine,” is a proggy, Mars Volta-like record without any of the step-dad connotations that prog-rock often comes with.

I could go on comparing GTG bands to other famous bands you’ve heard of to convince you that Lansing’s music scene is undeniably important, but I won’t because that’s a job McCord happens to be very good at.

“I’ll be honest, I tour the country for large parts of the year and I see cool bands everywhere,” McCord said. “But I feel like the concentration of cool bands in Lansing is higher than anywhere else, and I really don’t think it’s because I’m a hometown pride person. There are just a lot of cool weird things here.”

And with a surplus of cool, weird things to foster in Lansing, McCord said that GTG as an organization simply becomes whatever it needs to be to do its job.

“It’s like what do you want to do as a band,” McCord said. “If the band’s not going to play shows very much we’ll have a mostly digital release and a small run of CDs to have at the release party.”

Similarly, if a band intends on touring and playing out constantly, GTG puts out vinyl releases too.

“With the Plurals, we noticed on tour that bands who had a 7 inch or a 12 inch seemed like they were always selling them,” McCord said. “I was like, we can get in on this, right?” he laughed.

But pressing vinyl is expensive. While this might dissuade other independent labels, McCord only laughed and said, “no one gets rich off this stuff.” And besides, he said, “Records just look sweet. It’s cool to look at it and just to know your music is on it.”

GTG has evolved with the scene, picking up the slack where Lansing’s shortcomings wear even thinner.

“Around 2009, a lot of local venues closed so we started to do more house shows. All ages spaces and intimate venues for touring bands who might not get a lot of people out at Mac’s Bar are important,” said McCord, referring to the GTG House, the label’s headquarters and inclusive local venue.

GTG does the dirty work, too. That’s right, they book tours, a nightmarish process few bands attempt and even fewer succeed at.

“It’s really hard to make people give a shit about you if they don’t know who you are,” said Isaac Vander Schuur, front man in the Hat Madder and GTG engineer. “There’s definitely a lot that the label can provide as far as making sure your tours get booked and you’re not thrown to the wolves out on the road.”

GTG helped book the Hat Madder’s recent west coast tour, insuring Vander Shuur and his bandmates weren’t driving 2,000 miles just to play to a different empty room each night.

Sure, GTG Records can pack out a venue, make sure you not only survive on tour but thrive, all while manufacturing and distributing your record, but what about all the hopeless losers like me and you who aren’t in a band? What’s GTG doing for us besides eating up all the space on our Zunes?

“My goal is to show people there’s a lot of great music being made out there and that it’s still possible to have fun in America in the Trump Administration,” McCord said.

“It’s really important in times of discontent to have an outlet for expressing your frustrations and opening up communication with more people,” said McCord. “Shows with a positive energy are great ways to meet people and find more allies for your cause.”

And whatever your stance on safe spaces is, I’m sure we can all agree seeing a show without getting punched out or molested by some creep is preferable if not important.

“You get all these people in a room together and everybody just enjoys each other’s company, you can really tell,” said Vander Schuur. “When you play a show in front of a GTG audience you get an inspiring vibe back from them, even if you’re not having your best night. They still have your back front and center, waiting to see what you’re going to do next. That’s why I started playing music in the first place and that’s why I’m still doing it, because I’m a part of this label.”