Swans: The iconic post-punk band’s musical transmutation and ‘LSD carpentry’

When Swans founder and figurehead Michael Gira talks about his seemingly indefatigable touring and recording schedule, he likens it to the work of a tradesman — a baker or a carpenter — getting out there and doing the work every day.

But admittedly, crafting Swans’ dense and textured aural bombardment is a peculiar line of work.

“Maybe it’s a carpenter on LSD making a building without an architect’s plan,” Gira said, chuckling.

Read more at Local Spins

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Alice Cooper terrorizes Tulip City

Master of Rock Horror: Alice Cooper. (Photo/Hunter Desportes)

Once in a while, a concert gives off such strange electric energy that its reverberations can be felt across the ages.

Alice Cooper’s June 21, 1972 show at the Holland Civic Center is definitely one of those. I was a mere baby when it happened. But as a youth in Holland, I heard whispered tales of how that night shook the town’s churchy sensibilities to its core, leaving legions of terrified squares in its wake.

Read more at Local Spins

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Bob Seger dishes out reflective power, real joy and ‘big ol’ nostalgic rock ‘n’ roll’

Bob Seger at Van Andel Arena / Anthony Norkus

Bob Seger at Van Andel Arena / Anthony Norkus

On a tour stop at Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena, Bob Seger served up a big ol’ nostalgic rock ’n’ roll show, filled with fist-pumping sing-along choruses and renditions of songs played exactly like you remember them from the radio. But he also played songs from his most recent release, “Ride Out,” which added a fresh and feisty energy to the performance.

Read more at Local Spins

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In love with ‘the culture and energy’ of house concerts: A balm for the anxiety of a terrifying era?

My band, Voluptuous Panic, played a gig at the 2014 Lamp Light Music Festival in Grand Rapids. Here are some of my reflections as a performer and audience member. Read more at Local Spins

Posted in DIY/DIT, Feature, Grand Rapids, Hippies, House Shows, Indie, Lamp Light, Punk, rock 'n' roll | Leave a comment

House Concert Nirvana: Lamp Light Music Festival aims to hit stride with inspiring, empowering small shows

There’s a small-but-growing movement toward house shows — small, cozy concerts staged in living rooms and basements, lightly promoted and accessible mostly to people already in the know. Grand Rapids’ Lamp Light Music Festival gives a wider audience the chance to experience these small-scale shows.

Read more at Local Spins

Posted in DIY/DIT, Feature, Grand Rapids, House Shows, Indie, Lamp Light, Music | Leave a comment

Gettin’ Down with the Clowns: Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse, Faygo and the ShockFest ‘spectacle as resistance’

Detroit’s Insane Clown Posse rolled into Grand Rapids to launch its 33-date ShockFest tour at the Orbit Room. The duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope shared the stage with openers Mushroomhead, Da Mafia 6ix, Big Hoodoo and Jelly Roll. But, in true ICP form, the show unfolded like an extended family affair for ICP’s notorious fans, the Juggalos. It was a night of Faygo-flinging frenzy and an authentic expression of working-class catharsis. Read more at Local Spins…

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X gives Grand Rapids that pure punk experience

There may be no punk band that captures the true weird spirit of America better than X.

Their music evokes this nation’s vast spaces, weird politics, dark mystery and relentless energy.

Playing to a packed house at Grand Rapids’ The Pyramid Scheme Monday night, X plowed through a 24-song set drawn almost entirely from the group’s first three nearly flawless LPs — 1980’s “Los Angeles,” 1981’s “Wild Gift” and 1982’s “Under the Big Black Sun.”

Read more at Local Spins.

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