Local Lansing folk will probably be hip to this now, but GTG is more-or-less booking and promoting the majority of the music at The Avenue Cafe these days. Here’s what we’ve got for the whole month of August:
That’s a good run there, eh? We’ve got the first full-length show by The Wild Honey Collective, the first public Lansing shows from Cavalcade and The Plurals in at least 18 months, a record release by the Cartridge Family(?!?!??), GTG Fest familiars like The Ryne Experience, LVRS, and Marsha, Mike Reed from Small Brown Bike… great stuff all around!
Shows are getting to be a little more commonplace – on top of the above listed we’ve got The Plurals playing Taste of Michigan City (Michigan City, IN) the afternoon of August 7, The Wild Honey Collective play from 5-9 at the Beer Garden at Horrocks Farm Market in Lansing on August 21 as well as an afternoon slot at Sundried Music Fest in Mason on August 28, and then The Stick Arounds take the Horrocks stage themselves on August 28 too. All of these events are free and promise great times. We need ’em! Stay safe out there everyone, masks are still a good thing!
Saturday July 10 will see Cavalcade play the first show at Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids since early 2020. Way to go, boys! Somehow, GTG-affiliated acts are weirdly ushering in the return of live music to the, er, weirdos of the Midwest. Case in point….
Saturday July 10 is also the let’s-not-overstate-it-too-much return of shows to the Avenue Cafe in Lansing, featuring The Hunky Newcomers, Foxgrave, and Jeremy Porter. Geez! That feels good to say. No cover, 21+, 9 PM, just… come and watch! Wow! There’s shows every Saturday in July at the Avenue, and they’ve all got a GTG flavor to them: Saturday July 17 RK Andrews from No Skull opens up for our friends Bloody Butterflies and Bubak, Saturday July 24 Nicholas Weltschmerz opens up for the debut show of the latest Josh David fronted band Frowntown, and on July 31 the Wild Honey Duo will open up for a night of music featuring Michigan mainstay Jen Sygit. Something for everyone, you’re welcome!
But first! The Stick Arounds are celebrating ten years as a band and they’re having a big ol’ shinding at The Avenue Cafe on Friday November 15! Joining the Sticks are GTG Family The Plurals, Jeremy Porter and the Tucos plus Detroit’s Popular Creeps!
SAT OCTOBER 12 @ THE AVENUE CAFE / Doors 7 PM / $8 / 21+
8:00 The Ryne Experience
8:30 Ortho Roi
9:30 Lazy Genius
10:00 Erotic Novels
10:30 Narc Out The Reds (10 year anniversary set)
11:00 Matthew Milia (Frontier Ruckus / full band)
11:45 The Soods (split/CD release)
12:15 Drinking Mercury (split/CD release)
SUN OCTOBER 13 @ MAC’S BAR / Doors 5 PM / $8 / ALL AGES
5:30 Sleeping Timmy
6:15 The Stick Arounds
7:00 Mistic Mountian
7:45 Rodeo Boys (tour kickoff)
8:30 The Plurals
9:30 The Lippies
All this plus lights by Britt Paul!
AND…. it’s GTG Fest so there’ll definitely still be some surprises in store. Get ready!
Harborcoat, the latest project from Matthew Carlson (The Stick Arounds, Pantones, et al) will be releasing their debut album this fall and are having a CD release party at The Avenue Cafe on August 24! The debut album, Brutal Gravity, is a 12 song “exploration [of] the quiet desperation, darkness, and inertia that can lie underneath the veneer of the oft-romanticized life in small-town/rural America” and features contributions from, among others, Carlson’s Stick Arounds bandmates and The Hat Madder’s Isaac Vander Schuur. Isaac’s mitts are actually all over this record as he engineered and produced it and you can feel a little bit of that Hat Madder grime throughout, which is welcome to the ears while the Hat Madder are on hiatus. In addition to scratching all kinds of GTG friend itches, the record basks nicely in the tradition of REM, Big Star, Guided By Voices, et al. Basically, it’s another Midwest-weirdo-pop classic from GTG! Check out the video for lead track “Missing On The 4th of July” below:
Get your CDs early at the album release show and stay tuned to the band’s socials for info on both the wider release AND a limited edition vinyl release. GTG124!
Stoopfest is back! The 4th annual edition of Lansing’s celebration of the eastside and alternative art and music is happening on April 19 and 20 with headliners Open Mike Eagle, Jeffery Lewis, Sammus, Lavender Country, and Mourning a BLKStar along with great locals including Grey Matter, Dogleg, Rodeo Boys, Sareem Poems, and a stacked roster of GTG acts at the Avenue all day on 4/20 with Cat Midway, Small Parks, Extra Arms, and The Plurals all doing their thing. Get tickets HERE and start getting ready for another killer fest! Full schedule below!
2019 is starting to shape up! We’ll have announcements on new releases very soon as well!
3/6 – The Plurals @ Mac’s Bar (Lansing, MI) w/ Messthetics (ex-FUGAZI), Helen Money
3/8 – The Stick Arounds @ New Way (Ferndale, MI)
3/9 – The Stick Arounds @ Maidstone (Ypsilanti, MI)
3/9 – GTG Presents: When Particles Collide @ The Avenue Cafe (Lansing) w/ Dasterds, Bike Tuff, The Quirk
3/12 – Drinking Mercury, Blaine and His Keyboard @ Mac’s Bar w/ Pocket Vinyl
3/14 – Tommy Plural @ The Avenue Cafe w/ Orc, Towner, Blue Pines
3/15 – Two Houses @ Reed’s (Chicago, IL)
3/17 – The Plurals (covers n such set) @ Claddagh (Lansing, MI)
3/23 – The Stick Arounds @ Ghost Light (Hamtramck, MI)
3/26 – Mistic Mountian @ The Avenue w/ DEZ, Michael Strike
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)
The Hat Madder
The Stick Arounds
The Jackpine Snag
Raymond Strife x iLL-Omega
Fire It’s Sirius
Good Luck Tsunami
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.
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.
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!
The third annual StoopFest is taking place in Lansing this Saturday, April 21st. Located in six house venues, The Avenue Cafe, Mac’s Bar, and Allen Market Place, StoopFest features a full day of music, comedy, food, and art all over Lansing’s East Side Neighborhood. Headliners this year include Speedy Ortiz, Erica Freas from RVIVR, and Suzi Analogue, with a variety of Lansing area acts rounding out much of the bill including GTG Fest alums City Mouse, Blaine and His Keyboard, Dasterds, Birdhouse, Tidal, Half Tongue, Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts, and Rent Strike alongside many other solid area acts like V Soul, Ozay Moore, Conspicuous Bystanders, Worn Spirit, Krissy Booth, Welman and so much more. Tickets, schedule, and more info can be found at the official StoopFest website.
This year GTG Records is an official fest sponsor and your humblish writer Tommy Plural is on the fest organizing board. I won’t claim any credit in securing the lineup, I’ve mostly been a brainstorming presence and sounding board that will be completely overworked show-running the day of the festival, but I’m super proud to be involved with this festival. The Plurals played the first two years and I also stage managed/volunteered but it’s been a blast being involved from the ground up this year. I’ll be stageside at the Avenue for much of the day before high-tailing it to run sounds at Mac’s Bar for the night show there but I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to pop into a house venue or two at some point in the day. There’s too many acts to highlight but if I can catch a tune by Erica Freas and Speedy Ortiz I’ll be satisfied as a fan.
Before we know it the fest will be here and done so I want to quickly give a shout to the people that I’ve had the good fortune to work alongside. The entire group of folks that have curated the fest this year is a great collective of different Lansing music figures from different backgrounds and perspectives, not like GTG Fest’s boring old “all indie/punk musician” fest board. Dom Korzecke – whom I’ve known as a radio personality at 88.9 for many years – and James Radick – from Fusion Shows and GTGers Small Parks – are the festival founders and main movers and shakers, the ones that are there first and stay the latest, agonizing over every detail and I can only assume somehow they enjoy themselves (they do). Working alongside Cale Sauter once again has been a pleasure, he and I go too far back and too deep together with the Cartridge Family and Bermuda Mohawk, but having someone with Cale’s wealth of knowledge and experience (dude was already a veteran of running house shows and booking DIY bands when I met him as a wee lad in 2005) is a big plus for the fest this year. Fusion Shows fixtures Erica Marra and Claire Postelli are always a joy to work with, they’ve shared the pain with me during some of the long load-ins and soundchecks and delayed schedules at Mac’s Bar so kudos to them for wanting to continue being around all this show garbage! I’ve really enjoyed hearing their perspective on the best way to put this fest together and I hope they don’t think I’m just ripping off their ideas at GTG Fest this year. John Warmb from Rent Strike is a force of nature and his vision and passion for house shows is something we could all aspire to – along with Cale, John is hosting performances at his own house as well as organizing (and performing, sheesh!) so that’s a big tip of the hat right there. Joe Steinhardt from Don Giovanni Records is the last of the main organizers and also the latest for me that I’ve had the pleasure to make the acquaintance. Joe has many years of different experiences in the DIY community that we’ve all gained something from in the final manifestation of this fest and I look forward to seeing him stumble around the fest showing the touring bands a good time. There’s of course many other cogs in the wheel and I know graphic designers Zoshua Korzecke and Autumn Hilden, Ted Wilson from Replay, Tricia Chamberlain from Comedy Coven, Zane Vicknair from StreetKitchen, and all of the venue hosts deserve a shout-out too – basically this is a great festival highlighting Lansing. Let’s show ’em all a good time!