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Wednesday, October 2,2013

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica

Johnny Mathis at Wharton - Thu. Oct 17

Legendary vocalist John Royce, better known as Johnny Mathis, has performed jazz and pop standards since his 1957 debut LP, “Wonderful, Wonderful.” At 77, Mathis is still touring and recording. His new album, “Sending You a Little Christmas,” hits stores Oct. 29. The Texas native has sold over 350 million records, many of those going either gold or platinum. Like The Beatles, Mathis scored international fame after appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in the late ‘50s. Since then, he’s had at least one Top 40 hit in each of the succeeding four decades. His “Greatest Hits” album spent an unprecedented 490 continuous weeks on the Billboard Top Albums chart.

Wharton Center, 750 W. Shaw Lane, East Lansing, all ages, 7:30 p.m. $30, $60, $70.


Reno Divorce - Thu. Oct 3

Reno Divorce brings its Social Distortionbrand of punk rock Thursday to Uli’s Haus of Rock. Openers are Inflatable Best Friend (Kalamazoo-based punks) and Purple Nightmare, an Ithaca, Mich.-based progressive-punk outfit. Reno Divorce has been churning out skateboard punk since 1997. The band comprises Brent Loveday (vocals/lead guitar), Tye Battistella (guitar/backing vocals), Johnny Crow (bass) and Ruben Patino (drums). Reno Divorce has a dedicated fanbase — the band has been voted Denver’s Best Punk Band by The Westword Magazine every year since 2011. The band’s reach goes far beyond the states, aside from multiple U.S. tours, Reno Divorce has been on seven European tours.

Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., Lansing. 18 , $5, 8 p.m.


Keelaghan & Lowe at The Fiddle - Fri. Oct 4

James Keelaghan and Jez Lowe, two acclaimed songwriters, play Friday at the Ten Pound Fiddle. Lowe, 58, was born to a coal mining family in County Durham in North East England. The nostalgic songwriter performs as a solo artist, but also with his band, The Bad Pennies. He emerged onto the folk scene in his trademark striped shirt in 1980; since then his songs have been covered by the Tannahill Weavers, Fairport Convention and Cherish the Ladies. Lowe was nominated by the BBC for the 2008 Folk Singer of the Year award. Keelaghan, 53, is a Juno award-winning Canadian folk singer-songwriter known for his baritone voice and his signature blend of folk and Celtic music.

Unitarian Universalist Church, 855 Grove St. East Lansing. $15, $12 members, $5 students. 8 p.m.


Mitten Jam III - Oct 4-5

Now in its third year, the Mitten Jam is a two-day psychedelic festival showcasing five of the country’s busiest independent jam bands each night. Friday night features That Freak Quincy, Digeometric, Pleasant Drive, Desmond Jones and Kastanza. Saturday features The Coop, Spankalicious, Dead Larry, Fried Egg Nebula and Kicking Sticks. Kalamazoo-based musician Matt DiMambro (bassist in That Freak Quincy) founded the event. “I started it three years ago as a way to keep the summer festival feeling going throughout fall and winter,” DiMambro said. “It’s a mixture of both Michigan and Midwest talent with bands coming from Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio. We will also be featuring live artists and vendors as well.”

Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 7:30 p.m. 18 , Friday $8, Saturday $12, weekend pass $15.


Barnyard Stompers - Wed. Oct 9

Casey Miller and Megan Wise are a backwoods twang duo known as Barnyard Stompers. Wednesday, the Texas-based pair headlines Mac’s Bar; openers include The Devil’s Cut and Leper Colony. Barnyard Stompers features former members of The Hillbilly Hellcats and The Bop Kings. Together they perform a mix of outlaw country, Texas stomp, blues and rockabilly. This year the duo released a 17-track debut CD, “The Way-Gone, Wild and Rockinī Sounds of Barnyard Stompers,” and the followup, “Outlaws with Chainsaws.” In that time the Stompers have played over 200 shows in over 30 states. Later this month they tour Europe. Fans of Scott H. Biram, Kitty Wells and Waylon Jennings might want to check out this show.

Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. 18 , $7, 9 p.m.

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