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!
Friday February 5 – tonight! – 9 PM EST, The Wild Honey Collective streams a set at the Best Friends Club facebook group with special guest Patty PerShayla! Join the group, join the party, and party on!
The Wild Honey Collective is very much a product of the events of 2020 – without any shows to play or go to and missing the spirit of an active band, GTG originators and Drinking Mercury bandmates Tommy McCord (Plural, etc) and Timmy Rodriguez (Sleeping, etc), joined with DanielleGyger (who had contributed harmony vocals to the last few Drinking Mercury releases) in June 2020 to play some acoustic music on a back porch in Ionia, MI. Dan O’Brien (multi-instrumentalist and a former bandmate of Timmy’s) joined the group a few weeks later and very quickly we began building an extensive catalog of music ranging from folk traditionals, original songs, and songs written by friends. An appreciation for classic country music and early country rock had been rising amongst the individual musicians for the last few years, and with Danielle’s lifelong association with the legendary Wheatland Music Festival came a catalog of traditional songs (both vocal and fiddle-led) that were made for these back porch sessions. This bridging of musical styles modern and traditional dramatically helped fill the void of a concert-less summer, played outdoors for only the crickets to hear (or possibly Tommy’s dad who developed a reputation as a conspicuous eavesdropper on these practices).
As the summer ended and COVID-19 cases began rising in Michigan again – and thus, no shows anywhere in sight – we shifted our focus to making an album through a series of socially distanced recordings and file sharing to capture the spirit and friendship of a musical collective. And it is a collective! In addition to the core band members the album features contributions from acclaimed pedal steel guitarist Drew Howard, drummer Dave Shilakes (Small Parks, Gumsmack), singer Alyson Rodriguez, pianist John Gyger, Tommy and Timmy’s Drinking Mercury bandmate Michael Boyes (who took the original photo featured on the cover and the band also does a rendition of one of his songs), Crooked Sound/ Calliope/ Sexy Murders songwriter Eric Merckling, and the rhythm section of The Plurals, drummer Hattie Danby and bassist Nicholas Richard. It’s a new year, but the pandemic isn’t over, and to help get this winter over with a bit sooner we’re releasing the album right now for everyone to listen to. Thanks for being along for the ride, and bring on 2021!