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Wednesday, December 18,2013

Turn it down

A survey of Lansing's musical landscape

by Rich Tupica
Big D at the Loft - Sun. Dec 22

Big D and the Kids Table, a veteran six-piece band led by David McWane, brings its classic brand of Boston-style ska-punk to Mac’s Bar; openers are the Pietasters, Lawnchair Crisis, Take a Hint and The Snails. Big D has toured for 18 years playing punk clubs and huge festivals. McWane said the members consider themselves “modern American gypsies.” Over the years the band has gigged with the Suicide Machines, Reel Big Fish and RX Bandits. Since it formed in 1995, the band has released 10 full-length albums, five split singles and six EPs. This year marked the release of its latest disc, the “Stroll” LP, released on Strictly Rude Records.

Sunday, Dec. 22 @ The Loft, 414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing.
$18, $15 adv., all ages, 7 p.m.



Twyla´s Gospel and Blues Christmas - Sat. Dec 21

“A Gospel and Blues Christmas Musicale” at The Avenue Café, hosted by local blues vocalist Twyla Birdsong, features Christmas carol classics, traditional and contemporary gospel songs and Christmas blues tunes. Aside from Birdsong, performers include Sharrie Williams (gospel/blues), Eddie “Blue” Lester, Charles Allen (former contestant on “American Idol”), Cindy McElroy (folk), James Suddeth (the “Minster of Music”) and Brian Lange (sax/vocals). The program also features the MSU Children’s Choir. Birdsong will also sing a duet with her mother, Alice Birdsong Fleming. Some of the proceeds will sponsor the family of a deployed service member. The family will also receive a Christmas tree, donated by Peacock Road Tree Farm.

The Avenue Café, 2120 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. $20, $15, $10 students, 7 p.m.


Lights and Caves Holiday Show - Sat. Dec 21

Lansing-based indie band Lights and Caves formed one year ago and has already played alongside MGMT at the 2013 Common Ground and recorded its upcoming debut disc, “In Satori.” The release features seven songs, including the single “Carry Me Home.” The website absolutepunk.net called the record “one of the best releases this year and the one that should turn their influences into peers.” This weekend the band, which includes Elliot Street Lunatic’s Jason Marr, headlines a holiday-themed rock show at Mac’s Bar. The band also features Dillon Gorden (vocals/guitar), Evan Rudman (drums/vocals) and Stefan Wiseman (bass/vocals). The all-ages gig also includes performances from Squirrel Shaped Fish, MS80, Levi & Shannon and Narco Debut.

Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. $10, $8 adv., all ages, 7 p.m.


Wayland at Uli´s Christmas Party - Sat. Dec 21

Wayland, named after the band’s Michigan hometown, returns to Uli’s Haus of Rock for the annual Christmas party. Wayland is promoting its new single, “Reno,” a hard-rocking tune released in July that’s getting airplay across the country. The single is a follow up to “Welcome to My Head,” a four-song EP. Fans of the Black Crowes, Bob Seger or Buck Cherry might dig this band. Opening the show is Blackened Earth, a Jackson-based hard-rock outfit that’s been gigging for over 15 years. Also performing is Purgatory Grove, a local death metal band with riffs reminiscent of New Wave.

Uli’s Haus of Rock, 4519 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., $10, 18 , 8 p.m.


Peter Nelson at The Avenue - Thu. Dec 26

Back in July, the Peter Nelson Jazz Quartet released its “Watercolors” LP. The 11-song record is stocked with romantic string melodies and fast-paced swing and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Nelson describes it as “music that’s danceable and grooves” with “melancholic muted brass statements.” Shortly after the record release, Nelson relocated to New York to further pursue music. Nelson returns to The Avenue Café for his “Night After Christmas” performance. He will perform his newly penned originals and some holiday classics with special guests: Marta Bagratuni (cellist/vocalist), and vocalists Zack Myers and Devin Smith. Vahag Bagratuni, a New York-based actor who has a bit role in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” will perform spoken word.

The Avenue Café, 2120 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, $5, 6:30 p.m.

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