Tuesday, 02 June 2015 16:21

Local Band Cardboard Swords Launch Tour

Written by  Nolan Krebs
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The Midwest has been a cradle for some of emo music’s most influential and hardworking bands. Even as some of the emo/math rock/hardcore-centric venues in the area came and went (i.e. The DAAC, Skeletones), the sound has undeniably stuck.

One of the bands still carrying its torch is the Cardboard Swords.

“Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and the surrounding areas are sort of the heartland for our kind of music,” said the band’s frontman Tyler DeCoeur. “West Michigan is a particular hot spot for the Midwest punk and emo bands. Both in the past and recently, with acts like Small Brown Bike, Bear vs. Shark, Cain Marko, Running Shoes, Oliver Houston, Bong Mountain and a slew of new bands in the DIY/DIT community.”

The Grand Rapids-based group is releasing both a full-length vinyl LP and a split 7-inch record with Count Your Lucky Stars Records, a label DeCoeur said he’s hoped to work with since he started playing music.

“I’ve been following the label and crossing my fingers to work with them since I was 16 and first booked the owner’s band,” he said. “They’ve put out records from a lot of notable acts in our genre, including Empire! Empire! (I was a Lonely Estate), Foxing, Into It. Over It, Dowsing, Brave Bird, Joie De Vivre and Annabel.”

Made up of DeCoeur, Jeremy Dye, Sam Padalino and Luke Noland, the Cardboard Swords are supporting a pair of vinyl releases with an 18-stop tour to the East Coast and back. Being able to tour more regularly has always been a goal, DeCoeur said, and the dudes are looking forward to getting back on the road.

“[Touring] is a nomadic type of anything-goes environment where you have one night in a city to make the most of it,” he said. “Being in a city for one night only conjures up a dead poet-esque carpe diem mindset which is hard to maintain when you’re caught up in the mundane schedule of school and work.”

The foursome will hit some new cities this summer, including Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Minneapolis. Regardless of the place, DeCoeur said being able to connect with an audience in any city is what makes playing music worthwhile.

“Sometimes you show up to a random city where a group of friends or sect of the scene in that city has actually delved into your music and appreciate it. That’s the best feeling I’ve received as a musician,” DeCoeur said.

For tour dates and information on The Cardboard Swords’ new releases, visit thecardboardswords.bandcamp.com or facebook.com/thecardboardswords.



The 11th Annual Bell’s Beer Garden Opener happens June 4-6 in Kalamazoo. It features three nights of Greensky Bluegrass, plus three different, but equally amazing supporting acts: The Appleseed Collective, Billy Strings & Don Julin and the Joshua Davis Trio.

Buttermilk Jamboree is back for its fifth year on June 12-14 at the Circle Pines Center in Delton. The festival has camping, food vendors and workshops, and music from Breathe Owl Breathe, The Accidentals, Alexis, The Muteflutes, Rick Chyme, Red Tail Ring, Jessie Ray & the Carolina Catfish and Seth & May, among others.

Local First of West Michigan throws its 12th Annual Street Party on June 6 in downtown Grand Rapids. Presented by Founders, the event features performances from The Accidentals, The Concussions, Heaters, Seth & May, The Lippies, Hannah Rose Graves, Molly Bouwsma-Schultz and Friends, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

Ghost Bunnies, Human Skull, Camp Dad and Choke Chains play June 5 at Louie’s Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo. Choke Chains features Thomas J. Potter of the notable Lansing/Detroit garage-punk duo Bantam Rooster. The following night No Bails, Day Creeper, MVP and Legendary Wings invade Louie’s.

The legendary block party that is Founders Fest takes place June 20. Besides drinking gallons of delicious beer, festival-goers will get a chance to see sets from Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Elephant Revival, Gringo Star, Billy Strings & Don Julin, Devin & the Dead Frets, Organissimo and FBC All-Stars.

SP3, also known as The Scott Pellegrom Trio, releases its new album Supernaturalbang June 13 at Founder’s with support from fellow Grand Rapids-based Psychedelic Elephant Machine Gun and Plain Jane Glory.

Up-and-coming indie rockers Hi-ker, outta Grand Rapids, open June 2 for UK-psych kings Temples at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids.

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