Seasaw, Canceled Plans, Young Ritual Local Show at Mac’s Bar

If you’re having summer concert withdrawals and are looking for the perfect fall show, look no further! As soon as I heard the news that Seasaw, Canceled Plans (solo set), and Young Ritual would hit the stage at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on October 3rd I’ve been buzzing with excitement! I spoke with Michaela Stock of Canceled Plans and Dylan Grantham of Young Ritual to get the scoop on the upcoming show.

Both Stock and Grantham are excited about the gig and are eager to share the stage with some new faces. “I’ve never shared the stage with seasaw or Young Ritual, but I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been gigging since April of 2017, and I’ve never gotten to share the stage with another girl who runs the show. I’m a big fan of seasaw and their work, so it’s an honor to have this first and this show alongside two talented and beautiful women.” Stock writes. It’s remarkable to see such genuine support for other female artists in a male-driven industry. One of the things I love most about supporting my local music scene is seeing the interactions and friendships forming between artists that share the stage whether it’s for a single gig or for a tour.

IMG_3108Not only are Stock and Grantham ready to play with some new faces, but they are also thrilled to get back to Mac’s Bar. For Grantham, this is his first time in performing in Michigan’s capital. “This will actually be my first show in Lansing, so I can’t wait for that part. I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve to make a good first impression.” I’m eager to see what kind of tricks he has to make this show a memorable one. Grantham has been working on finishing up his first EP, and released the first single “Prime” last month! He’ll definitely be playing some new music at the upcoming show along with old favorites.

Stock, on the other hand, is a Lansing native and she’s pumped to get back to her hometown and play at one of her favorite venues. “The last time I played at Mac’s was in September of 2017. It was my first full-band show, and I was opening for Michigander, a band I had followed as a fan since high school. That was for sure a night I’ll never forget. Every time I walk through the doors at Mac’s I’m hit with gratitude and nostalgia for the space. I have so much more to say, but I’m going to leave some stories for the show!” I’ve never seen

IMG_7791While remembering Mac’s Bar and what the venue means to her, Michaela lights up and goes into every detail of the venue and how much she loves it. “I spent the latter half of my teenage years studying the scribbled walls in Mac’s Bar at shows. It was my first “dream venue” to play a show in because I had some of my first experiences with live music in that space. I even met my best friend at Mac’s at a concert. We screamed all the words to the headlining band’s set, and it’s been history ever since. Mac’s Bar did, in fact, end up being the first place I’d ever played a billed gig with tickets, a sound-check, and other artists back in April of 2017. I remember wearing a black dress, carrying my guitar case and pushing open the big wooden door thinking, “What the HECK has my life come to?” (For the record, I’m still figuring that question out.) It was so special.”

Do not sleep on this concert! Each of the acts has a different energy to bring to the stage and it’s sure to be a good night. Get tickets to the show here!

-Swaggie Maggie

Album Excitement 2018

We are less than a month into the new year and we already have new music to be excited about! 2017 was a great year for music, but I’m betting 2018 can top it. As of now, there are already a few albums that have piqued my interest and I can’t wait to hear them in full when they are released! Here are a few albums I’m most excited to listen to in 2018.

  • IMG_6684Dashboard Confessional – Crooked Shadows February 9

    • I’ve been a casual fan of Dashboard Confessional for years, but once I saw them live this past summer I became obsessed! As soon asI got home I decided to listen to their entire discography and began wishing for new music. They have released two singles from the album, “We Fight” and “Heart Beat Here” and fans are more than ready for the album todrop tomorrow!
  • MGMT – Little Dark Age – February 9

    • Again, as a casual fan, I learned about MGMT’s new album in one of my classes this semester. I was a huge fan of their song “Kids” and when I heard about their upcoming album I got excited! Catch MGMT performing at a slew of festivals this summer.
  • Moose Blood – I Don’t Think I Can do This Anymore – March 9

    • I love Moose Blood and listen to them anytime I feel like I need a good cry. Their emotional expertise comes through in their lyrics, and their instrumental ability is amazing. I can’t wait for this album to come out!!
  • Jack White – Boarding House Ranch – March 23

    • Jack White is a Michigan Native, so I’ve been listening to his music since I was a kid. He recently announced his upcoming album and accompanying tour, which always brings excitement to residents of our state. I always feel a sort of pride for all Michigan Made musicians. There is some conversation surrounding his tour, seeing as he’s pushing for fans to check their phones at the door and go technology free.
  • The Vaccines – Combat Sports – March 30

    • The Vaccines have made their way into every single one of my playlists since I was a senior in high school, so I was obviously excited when they announced new music. So excited that I actually chose to study the release of Combat Sports for my music production course!
  • The 1975 – Music for Cars – 2018img_3403

    • While we don’t have a confirmed date for the album, The 1975 have been teasing Music for Cars on their social media accounts for the past year. The third, and final installment of The 1975 era is sure to be their greatest yet! While I’m definitely sad that this final album marks the end of one of my favorite bands of all time, I’m happy that I’ll at least have one more record to play on repeat.
  • Kanye West – Turbo Grafx16 – TBA

    • Okay, so nobody actually knows when Kanye’s newest album will drop, and it may not even come out in 2018, but I’m still excited about it!

So there are the albums I’m most excited for this year! Are there any that I should check out before these drop? Let me know in the comments!

-Swaggie Maggie

Top 10 Swaggiest Albums of 2017

It’s undeniable. Parts of 2017 were definitely messy, but, when you think about it, it was an amazing year for music. Every time I heard something new this year I’d think “Okay, they’ve done it. It can’t get better than this.” and then somehow it got better and better each time an artist released something new! Trying to pick the best albums of 2017 is a difficult task, but I’ve ranked the top ten so you can start the new year by remembering the best tunes.

10. Wonderful Wonderful – The KillersWonderful Wonderful

This highly anticipated rock album was released in late September and is The Killer’s 5th studio album. Fans had to wait 5 long years for Wonderful Wonderful and it didn’t disappoint. The album is mostly upbeat with synth-pop influences and fast tracks, but the lyrics are littered with edgy motifs. Catch the Killers on tour this winter!

9. Near To The Wild Heart Of Life – Japandroids

Near to the Wild Heart of LifeI’ve been a fan of the Japandroids for a few years now, and I absolutely love their sound! Their edginess and angsty vibes are perfect for when you want to scream sing in your car, and they are so unique. Their latest album was released last January, and it is really beautiful. My favorite track is I’m Sorry (For Not Finding You Sooner), so make sure to go check it out!

 

8. Last Young Renegade – All Time Low

Last Young Renegade

All Time Low built the hype for Last Young Renegade last spring and its release in June was huge! The album is kind of haunting, but still has the energy that makes All Time Low so appealing to fans. The songs and themes are a lot more mature than their previous albums, and I love that you can see that growth!

7. Flower Boy – Tyler, The Creator

Flower Boy

The first time I ever heard anything by Tyler, The Creator was this summer when I saw him live at Mo Pop Music Festival in Detroit. I had heard of him, but I’d never heard any of his music. As soon as he took the stage I was instantly hooked, and began listening to Flower Boy constantly! The album seems like Tyler, The Creator’s diary where he navigates his emotions in a brutally honest fashion as he takes turns from angsty to soulful. I recommend seeing Tyler, The Creator live to get the full effect of his music.

6. Heaven – The Band CAMINO

Heaven

I stumbled upon this band through one of my Spotify Discover Weekly playlists and I am obsessed! The Band CAMINO is definitely one to watch in 2018, and they have potential to take over the music scene. Their sound falls perfectly between The 1975 and LANY, and their EP Heaven is exceptionally executed. The songs are upbeat and energetic with lyrics that cut you to the core. Catch The Band CAMINO on tour this winter with The Dangerous Summer!

5. Harry Styles – Harry Styles

Harry Styles

If you weren’t excited for Harry Styles to finally release a solo album you’re lying to yourself. Former One Direction singer took notes from his bandmates and tried his hand at a solo career. His self-titled album was the perfect way to transition from boy band heartthrob to emotional young man and I’m here for it. Every song on the album is unique and shows a different layer of Harry’s vocal, lyrical ability as well as vulnerability. If you can score tickets to his tour this summer, you’re in for a treat.

4. Lust For Life – Lana Del ReyLust For Life

I’ll be honest, I did not like Lana Del Rey’s last album very much, so Lust For Life was on my radar since Lana announced its release in February. I knew from the first single, Love, that the album was going to be amazing. Lana stays true to her retro image and even features some of the greats including Stevie Nicks and Sean Ono Lennon. My favorite track from the album is Coachella – Woodstock In My Mind because it perfectly displays every aspect of Lana that appeals to her fans. Her vocal ability is unmatched as she seamlessly marries old Hollywood glamour and new indie rock. Lust for Life has the type of music you just have to experience live, so catch Lana Del Rey on tour this winter!

3. Sleep Well Beast – The National

Sleep Well Beast

I’ve been a fan of The National since I was in high school and my English teacher assigned a comparative essay of the band’s Don’t Swallow The Cap and Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. The National is an alternative rock band that uses folk and punk influences to create a unique sound that can’t be replicated. The band takes a different approach to songwriting by building the lyrics onto the melody of a song that they are in the process of writing. Each song on the album floats through dreamy instrumental sequences that are elevated by cryptic lyrics. Sleep Well Beast is totally different than anything else that was released this year, and the passion that The National put into the album is obvious.

2. Lovely Little Lonely – The Maine

Lovely Little LonelyYou all know how much I love The Maine, but it’s hard not to when their music is just so good! Lovely Little Lonely is the band’s 6th studio album and it was definitely a passion project. The Maine initially began writing the album in Fall of 2016 in Brooklyn but took production to an Airbnb in the mountains in California where they were able to find inspiration and explore everything that the album had the potential of becoming. Lovely Little Lonely is a cohesive, experience album that travels through the mysteries that life throws at us. With tracks actually named LovelyLittle, and Lonely that are instrumental interludes and songs that range from vulnerable revelations to good spirited anthems. One of my favorite songs from the album is How Do You Feel?, so take a listen and find your favorite!

1. Melodrama – Lorde

Melodrama

I’m not going to lie. It took me a while to bring myself to listen to Melodrama, but I’m so glad I finally did! Lorde’s heartfelt songwriting created a masterpiece of an album that is truly beautiful. Every single second of the album gives me goosebumps. This labor of love is a journey through her life as she experiences the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Before hearing Melodrama I had never heard something that so accurately depicts being a young woman and it was liberating to hear something that is so relevant and relatable to my life. As you listen to the album, it’s obvious that everything is deliberate and meaningful. That’s how music is supposed to be. It’s supposed to mean something and it’s supposed to affect people and help them through the tough times while elevating the good ones. If you don’t have tickets to see Lorde live this spring, get on that now!

So there are my top 10 swaggiest albums of 2017! Did your favorites make the cut? I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store for music, but for now, I’ll just play these on repeat.

-Swaggie Maggie

 

One Way Trip – ALPHA

I’ll let you in on a little secret, seventeen-year-old Jai Garcha aka ALPHA is the next big thing. A year ago he embarked on a mission to create an emotionally charged, debut visual EP that chronicles the serious issues he has had to face in his youth. One Way Trip features edgy songs are backed by RnB and urban sounds with smooth vocals.

OWT Album Cover 1400

I spoke to Jai about the most important part of the creation for this EP and he gave some great insight into his process. “One Way Trip revolves around this idea of life and the time it’s made of being a continuous, unstoppable motion. I have always been interested in how this affects the lives we lead in terms of the decisions we make and the things we aspire to be.”  Take it from me, you do not want to sleep on ALPHA! He is so young and already tackling real-world issues through his love for music. He is also creating a new standard for young artists. It isn’t as simple as having the talent anymore. In today’s ever-evolving creative community you have to be talented, driven, passionate and have a unique vision. ALPHA has all that and more.

One Way Trip consists of 5 songs that were produced by Jai’s own production company, Alpha Bravo Studios, and features other upcoming artists from London, Cambridge, and Hertfordshire. Upon recalling the physical process of writing and recording the tracks, Jai realized that “through spending hours with some beautifully talented people, and spending hours alone in the studio I found that my narrative was being shaped by the process of making the EP itself.” Each of the songs has an accompanying short film and they do not disappoint. One Way Trip will be available on all major music streaming services including Apple Music and Spotify on the 18th of November, so make sure to check it out!

-Swaggie Maggie