Tag Archives: Lansing

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.

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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!

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It’s really been a long time coming.

Stoopfest 2017!

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Stoopfest 2017 is this Saturday April 22nd! The second annual edition of this Lansing DIY fest takes place at 6 house venues as well as The Avenue Cafe. The Plurals, Narc Out the Reds, and Frank and Earnest are all playing this year as well as many other local and national independent musicians. Great stuff! Check out the schedule below and the event page for updates as things get closer to the fest.
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April 2017!! Lansing shows! Mini-Honah Lee Mini-Tour! Stoopfest!! More!!

Lots of great shows in Lansing this month!

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Here’s a list of every GTG related show happening around the US this month, got some tour dates from a duo lineup of Honah Lee, plus the first road dates from Dim’s new band Alpha Rabbit. One of those dates is the Tommy Plural CD release!

4/6 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ Mill Hill Basement (Trenton, NJ)
4/7 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ 123 Pleasant St (Morgantown, WV)
4/7 – Small Parks @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing, MI)
4/8 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ GTG House – TOMMY PLURAL CD RELEASE PARTY!
4/8 – The Stick Arounds @ New Dodge Lounge (Hamtramck, MI)
4/9 – Tim & Dim (Honah Lee) w/ Alpha Rabbit @ Northside Yacht Club (Cincinnati, OH)
4/11 – The Hat Madder @ Trumbellplex (Detroit, MI)
4/12 – The Plurals @ The Workshop (Grand Rapids, MI)
4/13 – The Plurals @ The Sanctuary (Detroit, MI)
4/14 – The Plurals @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing, MI)
4/20 – Narc Out the Reds @ Mulligan’s Pub (Grand Rapids, MI)
4/21 – Narc Out the Reds @ Quality Beet (Michigan City, IN)
4/22 – STOOPFEST 2017 (Lansing)
4/23 – The Hat Madder @ The Green Door (Lansing, MI)
4/25 – GTG House Show w/ Disappointed Dad, Fever Hands, Blaine
4/26 – The Hat Madder @ The Fledge (Grand Ledge, MI)
hl-ar
Stoopfest is gonna be sick too!
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Whoo!!

Hut Two Hike – Beach Noir OUT NOW!

Check it out! Streaming and available for download at bandcamp, CDs for sale too! 2017 releases are stacking up!

Hut Two Hike – Beach Noir (GTG095) Out 3/11/2017!

Hut Two Hike Front Cover

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!

Small Parks Tour!

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Last fall we had the pleasure of releasing Small Parks‘ debut LP Honest Light and starting this week they’ll be touring the midwest in support of it. Hope some of our friends in well-worn GTG territories like Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Chicago can make it out to give the “new guys” some welcome slaps on the back (not too hard) and also looking forward to the new friends sure to follow in the other towns. Honest Light truly is the sum of its parts – it sounds like what happens when a group of people from experimental music backgrounds come together to play melodic post-punk and let their instincts take over. It’s catchy without being overly formulaic, and progressive without a hint of pretension. Furthermore, their live show is simply top-notch, energetic, passionate, and real. If it sounds like we’re happy to have them in our ranks, it’s because we are! Check out the dates below, and we hope to see all our hometown family at the Lansing show on March 12.

3/3 – Detroit, MI @ Matkin House
3/4 – Elyria, OH @ Blank Slate Elyria
3/5 – Oxford, OH @ Grixxly’s Crib
3/7 – Peoria, IL @ Rail II
3/8 – Moline IL, @ The Record Mill
3/9 – Minneapolis, MN @ The 331
3/10 – Milwaukee, WI @ Frank’s Power Plant
3/11 – Chicago, IL @ Township
3/12 – Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar

He Just Wrote Them Like That – A Tribute To George Harrison

After a year and a half of planning, He Just Wrote Them Like That – A Tribute To George Harrison is now out. It’s available from our bandcamp for a donation-based download, with all proceeds going to benefit Planned Parenthood. We’re honored and humbled to say that the release party we had at The Avenue Cafe on 2/25 (George’s birthday!) was able to raise over $1000 to Planned Parenthood. This is truly a highlight of our work as a label and we can’t thank the attendees and supporters enough. So check out the compilation, featuring brand new recordings of George Harrison songs by Jason Alarm, Carm, The Plurals, Calliope, The Hunky Newcomers, Johnny Unicorn, The Stick Arounds, Drinking Mercury, Scary Women, Mad Moon, Dim, and more! 21 different artists!

Check out the playlist below for some highlights from the release party. Thanks so much to the Avenue Cafe for being such great supporters of GTG Records and all that we do.