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Wednesday, April 3,2013

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Kevin Saunderson at The Loft

Known as the “Belleville Three,” Detroit producers Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson are heralded as the innovators of techno. Saturday, Saunderson performs at The Loft. Opening are Marcutio, Jay Arthur, Roque Ybarra and Andy Lynch. While he’s often associated with “the D,” Saunderson was actually born in 1964 in Brooklyn. At age 9 ,he moved to Belleville, Mich. where he met Atkins and May. By 1985, Saunderson had released his debut record, and hasn’t stopped since. He’s scored Top 40 hits in the U.K. and two Top 20 albums, selling millions of records. Spin Magazine named his 1998 E-Dancer album, “Heavenly,” as “one of the 10 best albums you’ve never heard.” The Loft show will also include DJ sets from Angel Beats, Craig Doepker, Pat Bosman, McRain and DJXaos.

Sat., April 6, The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 , $15, $10 advance, 9 p.m.


Noxon Wenzel debut at Mac´s

Noxon Wenzel is a duo made up of two local one-person bands: Berry Noxon (Cat Midway) and Patrick Wenzel (Ghoulie). After they played a couple shows together, they decided to pair up and formed a duo specializing in eccentric singer/songwriter-esque material, taking influences from the likes of Phillip Glass, Devo, Stan Getz and Sonic Youth. While the band sometimes mirrors Astrud Gilberto and The Carpenters, the pair mixes in dissonant sounds and dance-able beats. Since forming in September, the two songwriters have written over 20 songs, including some oddball tunes like the Halloween-inspired, “Passin´ Out Candy.” The band plays Thursday at Mac’s Bar along with The Mind Guards and Six Acre Lake, a New York-based duo.

Thu., April 4, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18, $5, 9 p.m. 


Jake Simmons release show

Jake Simmons, one of two songwriting talents behind the now-defunct West Michigan indie band Dead Scene Radio, has been keeping busy with his current band, Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts. The band releases its new album, "Them and Them and Us," Saturday at an early all-ages Mac’s Bar show. With the Little Ghosts behind him, Simmons’ live show swings wildly from soulful acoustic ballads to catchy doo-wop sounds. Simmons blends punk, rock ’n’ roll, and country into his own distinct brand of pop music. For those who prefer brash and honest tunes, Simmons may be worth a listen. Also performing are Little American Champ (punk) and Racket Ghost, a rock ‘n’ roll trio featuring former members of Deadstream Corners and The Nachos. 

Sat., April 6, Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18, $5, 5 p.m.


Joy Formidable at The Loft

Drawing influence from shoegaze and noisy rock bands, the Joy Formidable has been gaining momentum since it formed in North Wales in 2007. The Guardian praised the band’s brand of “darkly joyous soft-loud racket.” Monday, the band plays an all-ages show at The Loft; opening are Kitten and RIBS. The Joy Formidable’s 2013 album, “Wolf’s Law,” has been applauded by Rolling Stone, which commended the album’s “pensive pianos, silken synths and thunderous guitars.” After releasing its debut “mini album” in 2009, the band toured with The Editors and Passion Pit. Soon afterward, the Joy Formidable released “First You Have to Get Mad,” a live album. In 2011, the band released its debut full length, “The Big Roar,” which scored the band an opening slot on a Muse tour. 

Mon, April 8, The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $19, $16.50 advance, 7 p.m.


Mr. Harrison & Cee Cee Collins

Local blues guitarist Harry Oman has a new band called Mr. Harrison. The blues troupe is gigging each Wednesday at Michael’s Bar & Grille (former location of J’s Pub and Brannigan Brothers). All shows are free. Mr. Harrison also includes local music veteran Steve “Doc” Yankee on keyboards. As for the band name? “That´s my old nickname from when I was in the Harmonica Shah band,” Oman said. “The Wednesday night show is fast becoming a meeting place for all the local blues musicians — the turnouts have been pretty amazing.” Over the years, Oman has performed with Detroit artists Alberta Adams, Harmonica Shah and the late Eddie Kirkland. He’s also shared stages with Chicago’s Eddie C. Campbell and James Harman.

Wed., April 10, Michael’s, 210 S Washington Sq., Lansing, FREE, 18 , 8 p.m. to midnight.

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