Four jazz students with a shared love of ‘60s pop united in 2004, making a name for themselves playing dive bars in Boston and Cambridge. Ten years later, the members of Lake Street Dive are National Public Radio darlings and late-night television veterans who released their third studio album, Bad Self Portraits, earlier this year.
A fresh face in the punk scene, local rockers Bike Tuff produce authentic indie/emo/punk music that’s a little more thoughtfully crafted than is usually the case. Their latest effort, Into Shore, displays a songwriting craft and general musical ability that can be elusive for the genre.
The Red Handed's album combines the lofty aspirations and knotty compositions of prog with the earnestness and accessibility of indie rock: the playing is competent yet not overblown, the vocals are clean and simple (think Between the Buried and Me, not Dream Theater), and the songs are concise and compact, yet packed with enough detours to keep all the music nerds happy.
For the past three years, LadyfestGR organizers Jes Kramer and Steffanie Rosalez have scoured West Michigan communities to find some of the best females to include in their lineup.
In 2009, two pairs of siblings and a street busker at the University of Arizona got together and formed a string band. Two years later, they found themselves winning the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest in Colorado, joining the ranks of past winners like Nickel Creek, Dixie Chicks and even Kalamazoo's own Greensky Bluegrass.
It was only a matter of time before hip hop consumed Rick Chyme's life. The rapper, (real name: Patrick Cleland) got into the genre through basketball, which he played from first grade through college at Western Michigan University.
West Michigan is known as a weekenders’ haven, an avenue for the arts and an artists’ retreat. Summer brings music festivals and an upswing in nightlife events from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids and the lakeshore. Venues such as The Pyramid Scheme and The Intersection attract national caliber rock and pop acts.
When Grand Rapids-based musician Jake Stilson decided to turn to crowdfunding as a means of recording his 2013 release, Stilson Shmilson, he found himself as one of many artists -- locally and nationally -- trying out the relatively new method.
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