In honor of Record Store Day, Michigander wrote us a piece on how great the Michigan music scene is as the last part of his Artist of the Week feature.
Read his blog post below.
Believe it or not there are 50 states in this (already) great country we call America. Who knew?
But out of all those states one stands out,Michigan, and that state is the one I call home.
There are so many reasons to love this place. We have the big cities, the beach, the mountains, the forests, and great food. We also have a very diverse and thriving music scene. Possibly one of the most underrated and overlooked scenes in North America. The scene here isn’t just sectioned off to one city or one genre. I think it’s because here in Michigan we have so many bigger metropolitan areas. We have Detroit (and metro detroit), Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Flint, Traverse City, and the tri-cities (Saginaw, Midland and Bay City). You can be very successful in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids but have no one show up to your shows in Detroit. Its very different than most part of the country.
In Detroit you have bands that are top-notch world class performers like Flint Eastwood, Mike Main and the Branches, and Rival Summers. At the same time you have bands that are working hard and pouring everything they have into their craft like Ellis, The Beautiful Gorgeous, Signature Mistakes, and Fifth and Main.
While in Lansing you have low-fi honest bedroom rock like Stefanie Haapala as well as having jazz influenced bands that will make you dance like Kim Vi and the Siblings.
In Kalamazoo you have a diy basement show scene that’s full of raw rock and roll bands like The Class Acts as well as Shoegaze bands like Cardboard Highway
Up in Grand Rapids you probably have the most exciting scene around. The city is built for artists. It is full of venues, some well known and some tucked away in the coolest little neighborhoods. In GR you have songwriters like Jonny Carrol and Bennett. But at the same time have bands like Heaters and the Soil and the Sun.
If you travel two and a half hours east of Grand Rapids you’ll land in the tri-cities. For years this scene has been dead. But thanks to people like Curtis Dalton and places like Counter Culture there is a slow rebirth happening in this area.
(I would give a shout out to Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers but Im not sure where they call home)
Now that you kind of have a picture of what you think the scene here in The Mitten looks like, I bet you would think that there is a lot of competition amongst the bands. Well, thats not the case.Everyone here is extremely competitive but not with each other. They’re competitive with themselves and with their prior work. The artists in Michigan are constantly pushing the limits, weather it be creating complete DIY shows that attract 800+ people, or going to broke to drive out to California to make a record they believe in.
Everyone here, at least the ones actually making stuff happen, are all caring people. They work together, they support each other, they go to each others’ shows. They are the scene they want to see. Which make this group even better. The best pop artist in the state has no problem hanging out with a small no name folk artist at a coffee shop. Everyone helps everyone out and it’s fantastic.
Man, I am a horrible writer, but I just really want to show some love for the scene that has made me who I am today. Michigan is the greatest state of all time, and if you’re a touring band, please stop by our beautiful communities. Cool things are happening here.