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Wednesday, July 17,2013

TURN IT DOWN

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
The Used at The Loft

Post-hardcore/screamo veterans The Used headline Sunday at The Loft. Opening the show is Life Remaining and Hidden Hospitals. The Used released their latest full length last year on its Hopeless imprint. This month, the band dropped “The Ocean of the Sky,” a five-song EP. Utah-native Bert McCracken (vocalist) formed the band in 2001; a year later he inked a deal with Reprise Records and released a self-titled debut. The band’s follow-up, “In Love and Death,” arrived in 2004. The album’s title and much of the lyrics reference McCracken’s troubled life, including poverty, drug addiction and the death of his pregnant girlfriend. The band has sold millions of records and went gold or platinum in six countries.

Sunday, July 21 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages , $30, $27 advance, 7 p.m.


WOJCIK at The Avenue Café

Lansing-area native Hailey Wojcik, chief songwriter in the three-piece band WOJCIK, plays a free hometown gig Sunday at The Avenue Café. The DeWitt native, now living in Brooklyn, fronts the all-girl gothic/garage-band unit. She played many of the instruments on the new “Wise Blood” LP, the follow up to the self-titled 2011 EP. “Wise Blood” was inspired by Wojcik´s love of Flannery O’Connor and her childhood in Michigan. The album cover, which features a coyote, paid homage to her zookeeper parents. Also performing at The Avenue is Missouri-based band Honky Suckle, who play harmonica-driven bluegrass/folk and The Leper Colony, a local “dark folk” band. Fans of The Misfits/Danzig or Hank Williams might want to check it.

Sunday, July 21 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, FREE, 18 and over, 8 p.m.


Fastball at The Loft

Mega-selling alt-rock veterans Fastball headline Monday at The Loft. Opening the show are Life Size Ghost and The Last Pop Band. Fastball, originally named Magneto U.S.A., formed in Austin in 1994. Around 1996, the band updated its name and signed to Hollywood Records. Their debut disc, “Make Your Mama Proud,” didn’t make an impact on the charts, but their 1998 sophomore LP, “All the Pain Money Can Buy,” went platinum in six months. The band’s catchy hit singles, “The Way” and “Out of My Head,” kept the record on the charts for a year. The Grammy nominated band has released a string of acclaimed records, the latest being 2009’s “Little White Lies.” 

Monday, July 22 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $17, $15 adv., 8 p.m.


Evening of smooth jazz

BMRW Promotions, a Lansing-based events and promotions company, hosts “An Evening of Smooth Jazz” on July 26 at Holt High School’s Margaret Livensparger Theater. Headlining the annual event is saxophonist Jackiem Joyner. Also performing is local jazz group 496 West. Joyner, a chart-topping contemporary jazz artist, has toured the world. In 2007, after releasing his debut “Babysoul,” the composer and producer was named “Debut Artist of the Year” by Smooth Jazz News. The Virginia native lives in California and records his distinct blend of jazz, gospel and instrumental pop/R&B on Mack Avenue Records and the Artistry Music label. His latest album “Church Boy” was released last October.

Friday, July 26 @ Margaret Livensparger Theater, 5885 W. Holt Road, Holt, all ages, 7:30 p.m. For tickets call 517-372-7246 or visit bmrwpromotions.com.


Sycamore Smith at The Avenue Café

Sycamore Smith is the stage name for Marc Smith, who was a member of the defunct band The Muldoons and a fixture in the Upper Peninsula punk scene throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Smith headlines Monday at The Avenue Café, performing his kazoo-blowing solo act. Smith’s folk songs are old-fashioned and vaudevillian, his lyrics infused with heroes and swindlers. A few of his lyrical characters include Wolfskin Rosie, Legless Paul and Bobo, who have triumphant, melancholic adventures. Smith, an agnostic, also writes lampoon tunes, such as his song “Hokum All Ye Faithful,” a satire of Christian beliefs. Fans of Elvis Costello or Jonathan Richman might want to check out his rustic set. The opener is Stephen Marcus Cowles.

Monday, July 29 @ The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, donations, 18 and over, 8 p.m.

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