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Home Arts and Culture  Turn it down: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape
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Wednesday, March 9,2011

Turn it down: A survey of Lansing’s musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Brooklyn bands, locals rock Mac’s

Two Brooklyn-based bands, Rex Complex and Railbird, joined forces and independently booked a United States tour, which stops at Mac’s Bar Friday. Opening the show are local rockers Narc Out the Reds and Life Size Ghost.


Rex Complex is a self-dubbed “roots ruckus” band with a focus on hip-hop-tinged beats, joyous screaming, rock guitar, distorted accordion and the odd crashing metal bucket or beer keg. Front man/ accordionist Rex Hussmann and drummer Jeremy Gustin founded the group in 2006. With influences ranging from Aphex Twin and Mr. Bungle to the Police and Cab Calloway the band’s sound is hard to nail down. Since 2007 the band has played several hundred shows, released two albums, and moved from Boston to Brooklyn.


Co-headliner Railbird mixes psychedelic sounds with indie pop. The band formed in 2009 and is led by songwriter Sarah Pedinotti. Railbird has released a four-song EP and plans to release a full-length in 2011.


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




Metro Bowl is back with ‘Friday Night Blues’


From the 1960s through the 1980s, Metro Bowl was a Lansing hotspot, not only for bowling and drinks but also for live music.


In the past three years the complex, which is under new management, has hosted “Tejano Saturday” and recently launched “Friday Night Blues,” a weekly live blues show inside The Metro (the club portion of the complex). The night will consistently feature various area blues artists,. This Friday Lansing favorites Frog and the Beeftones take the stage. March 18 will feature a performance from Stan Budzynski & Third Degree.


Aside from live music, the complex is newly remodeled and has 40 new full synthetic bowling lanes.


Friday, March 11 and Friday, March 18 @ Metro Bowl – The Metro, 5141 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Lansing, 18 and over, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., $5



Jeff Shoup and Tamara Mayers get jazzed up


On Saturday, Leroy’s switches gears with a performance by jazz drummer Jeff Shoup and vocalist Tamara Mayers, both Michigan State University graduates.


The pair will be backed by Hammond organ virtuoso Jim Alfredson.


Shoup has performed with some of Lansing’s most popular groups, including Root Doctor, Organissimo and the Old Town Blues Band. Mayers is a jazz vocalist, composer, and arranger originally from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. She combines jazz, classical and blues, even reggae, funk and Afrobeat.


Saturday, March 12 @ Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill, 1526 S. Cedar St., Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m., $5




Kim and Reggie Harris return to Fiddle


Consummate musicians and storytellers Kim and Reggie Harris combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a solid background in classical, rock, jazz and pop music. The duo returns to the Ten Pound Fiddle on Friday.


Born and raised in Philadelphia, the Harrises are known for captivating performances and unique harmonies, which have earned them a following in the U.S., Canada and Europe for over 30 years.


Friday, March 11 @ Ten Pound Fiddle — Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St., East Lansing, all ages.8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. $15 general admission; $12 for Fiddle members; $5 for students. www.tenpoundfiddle.org




Harp master brings blues to Leroy’s


Grand Rapids harmonica player Hank Mowery throws down some serious blues Friday at Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill. Mowery, one of the top players in the state, has performed with blues heavyweights like Pinetop Perkins and William Clarke. Lansing blues guitarist Harry Oman will back him up.


Friday, March 11 @ Leroy’s Classic Bar & Grill, 1526 S. Cedar St., Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m., $5




Free hardcore vegan potluck at B414


Basement 414 hosts a free vegan potluck and hardcore show Monday. The potluck starts at 6 p.m., followed by live and loud bands at 7 p.m.


The event features White Guilt (noise/hardcore from Syracuse, N.Y.), 2194 (Ann Arbor), xShallow Breathx (Grand Rapids straight-edge) and The Oily Menace (grindcore). The entrance to B414 is located at the end of the Jay Street alley, behind the Nuthouse Sports Grill.


Monday, March 14 @ Basement 414, 414 E. Michigan Ave., FREE and all ages, 6 p.m.




Heads up headbangers: OgreFest 2011


While OgreFest 2011 at Mac’s Bar is still just over a month away, Lansing metal heads will need to plan early and set aside ample time because this is an all-day fest.


The vast roster of local and national heavy hitters includes Wastelander, Genocya Acid Witch, High Spirits, Satyrasis, Araphat, Heavy Lies the Crown, Dagon, Homme Alone, The Devastator, Ultrathrash, Sworn Secrecy, Dozic, Bullpig, Teratoma, Infinite Design, Burn The Hearse, Flood the Desert, Fable of Deceit, Virally Enthroned.


Saturday, April 16 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing. All ages until 10 p.m., 18 and over after 10 p.m. Event runs from noon to 2 a.m., $12, no reentry.




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

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