Fri., Jan. 4, The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $7, 7:30 p.m.
Ann Arbor folkies Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys perform at The Avenue Café Friday, along with local Americana gypsy-jazz band Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle (L.U.V.S.). Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys give a nod to American roots music while creating a distinct sound through inventive arrangements. The band plays both original tunes and bluegrass standards, mixing it up with Beatles covers every once in awhile. As for the original songs, topics range from “bank-robbing aunties and moonshining grandpas” to love, life and nature. L.U.V.S. also brings a throwback sound, taking inspiration from Cab Calloway and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The band recently completed an album that was recorded at the abandoned Zoobie´s Bar in Old Town.
Almost Free, Ben Keeler at Loft
Sat., Jan. 5, The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, $5 for 21 , $7 18 , doors 6 p.m.
Four indie-rock bands play The Loft on Saturday, including Almost Free, a Detroit-based alternative band. Almost Free mixes grungy guitars with progressive hooks and buoyant drumming that the band’s website describes as a cross between The Smiths and Bloc Party. Another band from the D, The Handgrenades, will take the stage — fans of The Walkmen and French Kicks may dig their sound. Rounding out the roster are Dogs In Winter and Ben Keeler and the 500 Club. Lansing native Keeler lives in Chicago but he cut his teeth in the local scene playing in The Van Ermans, which featured future members of Cheap Girls. Keeler’s last release, “Water, Water,” is a shining example of his soul/rock ’n’ roll style of songwriting, which often includes some extravagant strings and production.
Thrash at Mac´s
Sat., Jan. 5, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $6, bands at 10 p.m.
Wulfhook is a five-piece heavy metal band from Detroit. The band formed in 2009 but really started to gig hard in 2011. Since then, these headbangers have played a handful of shows regionally, including some with notable metal acts like Warbringer, Diamond Plate and Accept. The guys have self-released three demos of “real Detroit metal” including a self-titled CD in 2011, “Smell The Gauntlet” in March 2012 and “Sacrifice,” which dropped a couple months later. While the band has been heavy on the demos, a proper 2013 release is in the works. On Saturday, Wulfhook plays Mac’s along with a roster of other heavy bands, including Legion (Indiana) and Demon Bitch (Detroit). The bill also includes Lansing band Infectonator, which features members of Sauron, Dark Psychosis and Borrowed Time.
(SCENE) Metrospace Benefit
Thu., Jan. 10, (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles, East Lansing, all ages, $50 per person, $75 per couple, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The 5th Annual (SCENE) Metrospace Benefit Party happens Jan. 10 at the East Lansing alternative art gallery and performance space. The party includes desserts, drinks, contemporary art and live music. The benefit will also include a sneak peek at the first art exhibition of 2013. Teag and PK, a local duo consisting of Michael Teager (sax/flute) and guitarist/vocalist Matt (PK) Borghi, will supply the live music. The duo cites Brian Eno, Dave Liebman and Phish as a few of their primary influences. The cost of entry is tax-deductible. People pay at the door with cash or checks made out to City of East Lansing. RSVP by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (SCENE) is often host to a variety of all-ages live music events. The venue has also become a fixture in the growing indie-folk community.
Zapp headed to Funk Fest
Fri., Jan. 11, Best Western Plus Hotel Ballroom, 6820 S. Cedar St., Lansing, all ages, $25 advance, $25 at door, 7:30 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show.
Enthusiasts of old-school funk may want to check out Zapp, a Dayton, Ohio-based band who headlines the Winter Funk Fest at Best Western Plus Ballroom on Jan. 11. Opening the show is Summer of Sol, a veteran local soul-funk outfit. Zapp has been gigging since its genesis in 1978. The group scored hits with "More Bounce to the Ounce," "Dance Floor" and "Computer Love." The band’s innovative use of handclap-driven beats and talk-box vocals helped influence the ‘90s West Coast G-funk sound. In 1980, Zapp dropped its seminal, self-titled platinum-selling debut album, which reached the Top 20 in the Billboard 200, and "More Bounce to the Ounce" reached no. 2 on the Hot Soul Singles chart. Advance tickets are available at My Sistas Boutique, Michael’s Southern Style BBQ and Metro Music.