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Wednesday, February 9,2011

Turn it Down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica

4th Annual Folk Fest at (SCENE) In celebration of the thriving Michigan folk music community, Earthwork Music and Fox on a Hill will host the 4th Annual (SCENE) Metrospace Folk Festival, a two-day event, Friday and Saturday.


Friday’s performers include The Photographers, Steve Leaf and Ryan Anderson, Nervous But Excited and Jen Sygit & Sam Corbin. Saturday features Doug Mains, Gifts or Creatures, Small Houses, and Chris Bathgate.


Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12 @ (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing, all ages. Doors open at 7 p.m.; music at 8 p.m. $10 each night.


Experimental noise rock slams Lansing Fans of Throbbing Gristle, Sonic Youth and Earth may want to check out Hordes, a Lansing-based experimental/ industrial three-piece. The band, which is playing Mac’s this Friday, has released a pile of demented cassettes and CD-Rs. Word is a new full-length is almost complete. Also performing is Forget the Times, an avant-garde, noiserock band with obnoxious guitars and jazzy beats. Star Case will also perform.


Listen to Hordes at www.myspace.com/hordes


Friday Feb. 11 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 and over. $5, 9 p.m.


Songs of the Great Lakes at Ten Pound Fiddle The Ten Pound Fiddle concert series has been a staple in the East Lansing folk community since the mid-‘70s. This Friday, it hosts nationally known shanty veterans Debra Cowan and Lee Murdock. Both singers will perform maritime songs about the Great Lakes. Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar in the great tradition of folk singers like Joan Baez and Judy Collins. Murdock’s songs find drama and inspiration in the lives of sailors and fishermen, lighthouse keepers, ghosts, shipwrecks, outlaws and everyday heroes.


Friday, Feb. 11 @ Ten Pound Fiddle — Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St., East Lansing, all ages. Gate opens at 7 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m. show. $12 general admission; $10 for Fiddle members; $5 for students. www.tenpoundfiddle.org


Hard Lessons returns to Mac’s Bar After forming in a Michigan State University dorm room in 2003, The Hard Lessons quickly released a 7-inch single and began touring. Since then, the band has opened for The Stooges, released a pile of vinyl and has become known for their high-energy rock shows. The band has steadily toured, making a name for itself across America and Europe.


Local folks can catch them at Mac’s Bar Saturday, Feb. 19. Led by the husband and wife duo of Augie and Korin Visocchi, The Hard Lessons can sound like a Detroit garage band one moment and then deliver a poppy ballad the next. Opening the show is a roster of locals, including Frank and Earnest, Jason Alarm and Hot Goss.


Saturday, Feb. 19 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 and over. $8 in advance, $10 at door, 9 p.m.


Jam rock at The Loft Each Thursday night, The Loft presents the best and brightest musicians in the Midwest, with an emphasis on jam, reggae and bluegrass. On Thursday, Feb. 17, the venue will feature The Coop, a live electronics/dub-fusion band from Chicago.


The band has an electronic, organic sound. Taking cues from accomplished artists such as Frank Zappa, STS9, Weather Report and Thievery Corporation, The Coop constructs original works by balancing improvisation and composition.


Also taking the stage is Tree Hut Kings, which plays The Loft on the third Thursday of every month. The jam-band is improvisational, blending blues, jazz, rock and funk. Courtesy Photo Sharing the bill is Doctor Dwyer, a jam band from Ann Arbor that mirrors Sublime.


Thursday, Feb. 17 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave.,$5 advance, 18 and over, $6 for 21 and over, Doors 8 p.m.


Songwriter Bell brings Nashville to Pump House Nathan Bell, who plays the Pump House this Sunday, has been a respected singer/songwriter since the ‘80s, when he gained acclaim in Nashville in the folk duo Bell & Shore. His honest, blue-collar country style reflects Merle Haggard, one of his influences. After a hiatus from music, Bell returned with a couple of well-received albums. Fans of Steve Earle may want to give Bell a shot.


The venue, The Pump House, is a neighborhood-run listening room located in the heart of the Bailey Neighborhood in East Lansing. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/pumphouseconcerts Sunday, Feb. 13 @ Pump House, 368 Orchard St., East Lansing, all ages, $10 suggested donation; all money goes to performer, 7 p.m.


If your band has an upcoming show, post it at www.facebook.com/turnitdown

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