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Wednesday, December 4,2013

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Way to Fall at Mac´s Bar - Thu. Dec 12

Way to Fall, a local polished punk band, headlines Dec. 12 at Mac’s Bar. Opening the all-ages show are Hometeam, Midwest Skies and Maybe Next Time. Way to Fall formed in 2008 when the band members were still in high school. Band members Seth Rentfrow (vocals/guitar), Kevin Vermillion (vocals/guitar), Alex Chelf (drums) and bassist Jayson Bechtol have musical influences such as Blink-182, early Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory, but are open to experimentation. “We’re a pop/punk band at our core,” Rentfrow said. “But I’ve gone back to the roots of pop music and find motivation from groups like The Mamas & The Papas, The Zombies (and) The Beach Boys.”

Thursday, Dec. 12 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $10, $8 adv., 7 p.m.


The Midnight Ghost Train at The Avenue Cafe - Wed. Dec 4th

The Midnight Ghost Train, a Topeka-based heavy-blues band, headlines an evening of sludgy hard rock tonight at The Avenue Café. The band’s sound echoes old-school bluesman like Blind Willie Johnson as well as ZZ Top and Blue Cheer. The band includes Steve Moss (guitar/ vocals), Brandon Burghart (drums) and bassist Mike Boyne. Known for its intense live shows, Midnight Ghost Train spends 10 months a year touring, playing over 300 shows per year since it formed in 2007. Karate Body Records released its second album, “Buffalo,” in 2012. Heavy Planet, a “stoner rock blog,” named it the Greatest Stoner Rock Record of 2012. Opening is the Lansing-based hard-blues outfit Jackpine Snag and the experimental local sounds of Hordes.

The Avenue Café, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing $5, 9 p.m.


Whiskey Pickers at Mac´s Bar - Fri. Dec 6th

The Whiskey Pickers, a local four-man acoustic band, headlines a rustic night of Americana Friday at Mac’s Bar. Opening the show are Dragon Wagon (bluegrass/folk rock from Ann Arbor), The Oarsmen (pop/folk from Beaver Island) and The Bard Owls (East Lansing-based folk). The Whiskey Pickers are recording an album at Elm Street Recordings; the band’s lineup consists of Roger Tijerina (guitar, vocals, harp), Harp Brian Bienkowski (mandolin), Brian VanAntwerp (fiddle) and Sam Winternheimer (bass).“We’ve been adding a lot of new songs to our set lists, mostly traditional bluegrass songs,” Tijerina said. “We’ve been working on our live sound and starting to incorporate a more jam-band approach, to bring more dynamics to our live performances.”

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


LUVS Christmas Show at ´The Fiddle´ - Fri. Dec 6th

The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle, a local 15-piece musical theatrical folk ensemble, performs a special Christmas-themed concert Friday at the Creole Gallery in Old Town. The show, hosted by the Ten Pound Fiddle, will feature “our own take on classic Christmas tunes,” said LUVS front man and chief songwriter Dylan Rogers (vocals, ukulele, kazoo). “It’s nothing too bawdy. It’s family friendly with new costumes, a puppet show, new props and the audience is invited to sing along,” The Ten Pound Fiddle website also promises that “songs, skits and stunts await.” LUVS sold out its fall 2012 Creole Gallery show, so this time there are two back-to-back shows, one at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Creole Gallery, 1218 Turner St., Lansing. All ages, $10, $5 students. 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.


Decembersongs ´13 at The Pumphouse - Wed. Dec 11

The holiday-folk group Decembersongs returns Monday to the Pump House. Decembersongs is a touring group made up of four singer/songwriters performing seasonal tunes. The fourth annual East Lansing show features a different lineup of critically acclaimed performers from last year: Amy Speace, Rod Picott and Doug & Telisha Williams (of Wild Ponies). The group will play in the round, accompanying each other on classic holiday pieces (such as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”) and original works (“I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”). One of Speace’s followers is songwriting legend Judy Collins, who said, “Amy Speace is a remarkable artist, writer, singer and performer ... I am a total fan.”

Pump House, 368 Orchard St., East Lansing. All ages, $20 suggested donation, 7 p.m.

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