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Wednesday, July 24,2013

TURN IT DOWN

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica

Nora Jane Struthers at Pump House

Nora Jane Struthers is a Nashville-based Americana songwriter. Thursday she headlines a show at the Pump House concert series. Backing her are vocalist/guitarist P. J. George (bass), Joe Overton (clawhammer banjo), Drew Lawhorn (drums) and Aaron Jonah Lewis (fiddle). Virginia-born Struthers earned a degree from New York University’s Steinhart School of Education and taught at a charter school in Brooklyn while gigging at gritty New York clubs like CBGBs and the Cutting Room. Her 2010 solo debut album received positive reviews. Bluegrass publications have praised the album as “mesmerizing,” “haunting” and “a marvel that combines brilliant song craft, a sultry yet honey-hued voice, and an inspired sense of personal musical style.”

Thursday, July 25 @ Pump House, 368 Orchard St., East Lansing, all ages, $15 donation, kids are free, 7 p.m.


Spork at Uli’s

Spork (formerly known as Silverspork) has been gigging and recording original music since 1999. The band has been featured on FUSE TV and opened shows for the likes of Godsmack, Anthrax and Alice Cooper. Friday, the band headlines at Uli’s Haus of Rock. Opening the heavy show are Serving the Need and Purgatory Grove. Spork lost its original lead singer almost two years ago, but the Saginaw-based band has kept busy with its current front man Patrick Brennan. The band also includes drummer Mario Sacedo, guitarist Carl Abila and bassist Jay Burk. Fans of ‘90s alt-metal like Tool, Faith No More, System of a Down or Helmet might want to check
out this show.

Friday, July 26 @ Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., Lansing, $5, 18 and over, $15, 8 p.m
.


Big Willy at Green Door

Michigan blues-rocker band Big Willy plays Thursday at the Green Door Blues Bar & Grill. Big Willy plays a high-energy blend of growling vocals, lightning-fast guitar licks and saxophone. The band, led by songwriter and vocalist Will Rideoutt, has opened for the likes of Tab Benoit, Smokin’ Joe Kubek and B’nois King, the Deadstring Brothers and Larry McCray. Big Willy has performed at festivals around the state, as well as at local events like Festival on the Grand and the Old Town Blues Festival. The band’s 2009 debut album, “King Without a Crown,” was recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Glenn Brown. In September 2012, Big Willy released its second full-length album, “Out for Trouble.”

Friday, July 26 @ Green Door, 2005 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, 21 and over, 9:30 p.m.


Chavis Chandler at Mac’s Bar

Verbal Vomit recording artist Chavis Chandler is a 22-year-old rap artist known for his soulful hip-hop singing style, hard grinding lyrics and energetic performances. The Motor City emcee performs an all-ages show Saturday at Mac’s Bar. Backing Chandler is the Verbal Vomit Enterprise. Hailing from Conant Gardens on Detroit’s east side, Chavis was raised on old-school soul and began performing by age 8. Chandler was featured on MTV’s “Get in the Game” in March 2012, where he debuted the video for his single “OFTLOA (Only For The Love of Art),” from the “Breath of Fresh Air II” mix tape. Opening the Mac’s Show are Cesic, Phourthelove & CyRus, Tay Rhodes and Showtyme.

Saturday, July 27 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, all ages, $8, $6 advance, 6:30 p.m.


Twin Cats at The Loft

The Indianapolis-based funk and jazz band Twin Cats is touring in support of its latest album, “Thick,” released via the Owl Studios record label. The progressive-rock unit is known for its experimental synth-driven trance tunes that are often mixed with traditional funk roots. The five-piece outfit, which includes Seth Catron (guitar/vocals), Adam Catron (drums), Cameron Reel (bass), Phil Geyer (keys) and Nick Gerlach (saxophone), has kept busy steadily touring the eastern half of the country since it formed in 2004. Warming up the stage are Goat Machine and The Fried Egg Nebula, a high-energy Lansing-based “jam/psychedelic/southern rock/rockabilly” band.

Thursday, Aug. 1 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, 18 , $8, $5 advance, 9 p.m.

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