Middle of the Mitten is an event celebrating the anniversary of The Record Lounge and its commitment to local and independent music and businesses. Preparations are underway for the fifth annual showcase, which will be January 24-26, 2013 in Lansing and East Lansing. Click here for the latest info on the lineup and locations.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer, get involved, or ask questions
Not sure how to get to our killer venues? Look no further, here is your guide to your music road trip:
The Record Lounge
111 Division Street
Downtown East Lansing
Between the State News building on Grand River and the Hamster Cage parking ramp. US-127 take Grand River Ave, I-69 take Saginaw Hwy, I-96 take Okemos Rd
Students can take CATA bus 1, 24, 26, and 34 to get to this location.
110 Charles Street
Downtown East Lansing
Next to Georgio’s Pizza, under the Hamster Cage parking ramp. US-127 take Grand River Ave, I-69 take Saginaw Hwy, I-96 take Okemos Rd
Students can take CATA bus 1, 24, 26, and 34 to get to this location.
414 E. Michigan Avenue
Above Harem Urban Lounge near the state capitol. US-127 take Michigan Ave, I-496 take Grand Ave or Cedar/Larch St
Students can take CATA bus 1 and 41 to get to this location.
If you’ve got a trusty smart phone, plug these directions into your map, and you are on your way. Can’t wait to see you all there!
p.s. Reblog this post by 10pm for a chance to win tickets
Interview by Andre Iadipaolo, a man; a plan; a canal: panama
1. You guys play a lot of shows around the state and country. Where has been your favorite place to play in the great state of Michigan?
Our two favorite places are the Flint Local 432 (which is home) and the Hamilton Street Pub in Saginaw (which is like home away from home). We’re looking to get out to a whole bunch of new places this year, so keep an eye out for that!
2. How has Midwest been involved in the Livingston Underground revival? Why does having that sense of community so important?
We all attended and played at LU shows in high school when Nate and Ron were just getting it started. Looking back, I feel spoiled for having both the Flint Local and the Livingston Underground going strong when we were in school. For a few years (2007-2011 ish), local music had lost a lot of support and participation in our area. These were sad times. We were happy to see the Livingston Underground progress into Fusion shows. We’re even happier now that they are in a position to really push music at the local, high school level. Without the community and friends we had growing up, Midwest would probably still be playing Pokémon Red on Gameboy Colors in our mom’s basements. We definitely wouldn’t be where we are today.
Oh boy, I can tell Middle of the Mitten is getting close, because I am running on way more caffeine than sleep. Woo! Anyway, here’s the interview with MOTM5 Kick-off Party rockers East Harvest. Catch them this Friday at Mac’s with fantastic MOTM alums Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers.
Interview by Chris Traviglia, who owns The Chiefs
1. How has being based in Michigan influenced your music?
Jordan (Drums): Being in Michigan has influenced my music by giving me opportunities to learn and perform (PUBLICLY) whatever types of music I am interested in. I have also been able to hang and play with all different types of musicians that are either from Michigan or come through Michigan with touring acts. The diverse musical history of this state, or maybe even just the city of Detroit, has made it easy for musicians from all walks of life to find their way.
2. What projects have you been working on recently?
Adrian (Vocals/Guitar): We’re heading to the studio the first week of January to begin the recording of our first EP. Our first album played around with all sorts of genres but with this EP, we’re going to focus more on the indie/folk end of the spectrum. These songs just felt like they needed to be something completely separate from what we’re going to record for our second full length album later this year which will be more of an alternative soul sound.
As it approaches the half-decade mark, Middle of the Mitten has established itself as a staple showcase of the Lansing and Michigan local music scenes.
Each year the festival boasts a lineup of both established and blossoming talent from around the state. This, the fifth incarnation of the annual event, features 21 artists performing over the span of three nights in East Lansing and Lansing. Notable acts include Gifts or Creatures, The Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle, Life Size Ghost, and Elliot Street Lunatic.
Middle of the Mitten premiered in January 2009 as a one-off show featuring an all-Michigan lineup to celebrate the first anniversary of East Lansing vinyl shop The Record Lounge. In the years since, it has grown into a multiple-day festival, community-based nonprofit, and Michigan State University student organization. Hundreds of MSU students and Michigan musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs have collaborated to make Middle of the Mitten a success in years passed, and the upcoming festival will see the organization continue to grow.
Middle of the Mitten 5 will kick off with a free show at The Record Lounge on January 24, 2013, followed by Day 1 at (SCENE) Metrospace in East Lansing on January 25 and Day 2 at The Loft in Lansing on January 26.
Welcome back, MSU! In case you’re just joining us, we’re gearing up for the 5th annual Middle of the Mitten local showcase, featuring 21 Michigan bands over 3 days. January 24-26, we’ll be in East Lansing and Lansing celebrating everything local, and right now we’re inviting Michigan-based labels, collectives, and organizations to hang out and bring swag for you, our Mitten-loving friends!
In the meantime, here’s the next “5 for 5” interview—where we ask 5 different questions of each MOTM5 artist—with the aptly-named Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle. You can preview their new album for free, and be sure to catch them January 25 at SCENE Metrospace for MOTM5 Day 1.
Interview by Michelle Perkowski, future professional traveling bum
1. The group’s shows go beyond the usual concert experience. What do you think LUVS does that makes it more than just a concert, but a ‘spectacle’?
First of all, our act borrows from performance traditions that have been used for centuries. Flashy costumes, decorative backdrops and exaggerated expressions tickle the audience’s visual sense. The size of the group, currently around thirteen members, allows us to experiment with a variety of instrumentation and combine traditional music genres. We also incorporate sideshow-esque skits into our show, which helps transform our performances into something that is not strictly a “concert”. We got our start as a street performance troupe, and a street artist has to do something unique or outlandish to capture the public’s attention- the size of the band, our energy, props and decor are all evolutions of that street performance
2. Each of the albums and EPs have had a unique mixture of artists on it. Do you hope that the group will reach a point where the lineup stays steady, or is the hope that the group will be constantly evolving and changing?
Over the last year or so we have added some new folks to the lineup, but we have reached a fairly consistent size at this point. That being said, with a group as large as ours people will inevitably move or get another job or get exhausted or have babies (not that having babies has stopped any of our musicians from sticking around), et cetera. If I worried too much about everybody’s unique life situation and how it will affect their future in the band, I would surely go mad. The focus is on the familial and collective nature of our group, and moving forward with our vision for performances in the face of personnel changes.
Today we’ve got The Boss’ sweetheart, Liz McDaniel. She’s played at our Rock for Relief shows and at in-stores at The Record Lounge, but this is our first opportunity to get her on a bigger stage. Her recent EP is full of summer sounds, but it holds up well on long drives through the snow, as well. You can catch her at MOTM5 Day 1 exactly 3 weeks from tonight. Get your tickets now!
Interview by Melanie Sweet, someone’s potential future roommate
1. When and why did you start making music?
I started making my own music in late 2008. I was beginning to teach myself guitar, learning on an acoustic that my mom had owned since she was in college, but I had only ever seen sitting in its case untouched. At the time I was pretty passionate about writing poetry as a form of self-expression, so I suppose I started taking bits and pieces of old poems and turning them into songs. The first one was called “August Sun.” I continue to make music for the same reason—as a form of self-expression, and as my own personal therapeutic outlet.
2. What is the most rewarding part of it all?
The most rewarding part of being a musician is meeting people and connecting with them. I love connecting with people over music, my own or otherwise, and with fellow musicians or fans. I have made a lot of friends through playing shows and going to open mic nights. When someone approaches you to tell you that one of your songs resonated with them, it confirms the idea that music is universal. And to the artist who created it, the idea that what they are doing is meaningful is solidified. That is definitely a rewarding feeling.