Breathe Owl Breathe announce Michigan tour

2011 November 20th

One of our favorite Michigan groups has announced their Michigan tour with Little Wings, and a tour west with Laura Gibson. We’re pretty excited about this – especially to see the two Upper Peninsula dates in there! We’ve got our fingers crossed to schedule a video session when they’re hear in Kalamazoo, so possibly look forward to that. In the meantime, you should check out the new Children’s Book they made.

They made all of it! The book itself, the story, and even songs to go with it. Listen to The Listeners below, download it if you like, then head over and grab a copy of “The Listeners/These Train Tracks” here.

BREATHE OWL BREATHE TOUR DATES:
Fri. Nov. 25 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DAAC *
Sat. Nov. 26 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Wealthy Theater – 3pm
Sat. Nov. 26 – Grand Rapids, MI @ DAAC – 8pm *
Tue. Nov. 29 – Evanston, IL @ SPACE *
Wed. Nov. 30 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Arbor Vitae *
Thu. Dec. 1 – Kalamazoo, MI @ The Strutt *
Fri. Dec. 2 – Ypsilanti, MI @ Dreamland Theater *
Sat. Dec. 3 – Detroit, MI @ ‘Noel Night’ at The Scarab Club *
Sun. Dec. 4 – Brethren, MI @ Spirit Of The Woods Conservation Clubhouse *
Tue. Dec. 6 – Marquette, MI @ Up Front & Co. *
Wed. Dec. 7 – Hancock, MI @ Orpheum Theater *
Fri. Dec. 9 – Traverse City, MI @ Higher Grounds Roasting Room*
Sat. Dec. 10 – Petoskey, MI @ North Woods Studio *
Sun. Dec. 11 – Bellaire, MI @ Shorts Brewing Co. *
Fri. Feb. 3 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios #
Mon. Feb. 6 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill #
Wed. Feb. 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo #
Thu. Feb. 9 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriets #
Fri. Feb. 10 – Tucson, AZ @ Plush #
Tue. Feb. 14 – Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf #
Wed. Feb. 15 – Norman, OK @ Opolis #
Thu. Feb. 16 – Albuquerque, NM @ Low Spirits #
Fri. Feb. 17 – Denver, CO @ High Dive #
Sat. Feb. 18 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court #
Sun. Feb. 19 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux #

* w/ Little Wings
# w/ Laura Gibson

Matt Jones, Front Seat Films

2011 November 13th

Matt Jones was the first “local” musician I ever listened to. Somewhere back in high school getting a burned CD of his E.P. “Right to Arms” from one of my friends introduced me to the beautiful folk scene the midwest had hidden in it’s sleeves. Since then I’ve never turned back, as I’m sure you can all tell. With more Matt Jones shows under my belt than any other performer (often driving to Marquette and back to Houghton to catch him twice in one weekend), his music continues to grow on me. Watch him play two of my favorites, “Dawnland” and “The Games We Used To Play”.

The Juliets’ “Perfect Season”

2011 November 13th

By August Smith


I first discovered The Juliets while boredly browsing releases tagged “Detroit” on bandcamp. It was one of those instances where first an album cover caught my eye, then the album’s opening song snared me, and soon I was continually selecting ‘repeat’  on the whole album. The five-piece (consisting of Jeremy Freer, Sarah Myers, Kaylan Mitchell, Ashton Hopkins, and Jax Phillips) aptly describes their sound as “baroque with backbone”. Fittingly, their self-titled first album was full of hooky indie-pop, ornamented with cello, violin, and the occasional horn section, with Jeremy Freer’s soft voice and nostalgic lyrics bounding back and forth with some very tight backing vocals.

The band just put out their second album, Perfect Season, and it’s a great progression for them- a bit more rock-oriented than their first album, but still maintaining what made the self-titled release so good. Songs like “Loon” exhibit their indelible ear for catchy melody, while songs like “Fashion” or “G.W.N.L.” reveal a heavier side- the side with backbone- that juxtaposes well with all of the elegant string-laden sections on Perfect Season. The band can make some really beautiful pieces, too, like on closer “You Found Me Out”, which pairs a simple bouncing piano with long pulls of a cello’s bow and Freer’s tightly-controlled falsetto.

If you’re looking for some catchy, well-crafted pop-rock, you can pick up Perfect Season for pay-what-you-want on their bandcamp. And below, stream the opening track “Loon” for a taste of what The Juliets do so well.

Chris Bathgate, Front Seat Films

2011 November 10th

A week ago we gave you a rundown of Chris Bathgate’s current West Coast tour, and now we want to show you part of it.

It’s no secret that Mostly Midwest loves Chris Bathgate, but why? Well, we told you about how great all of the members of his band were in our last article. Now, take a moment to watch all of them. They’ve got one thing on their mind when on stage – music. Each one of them is immersed song by song in the sounds that they are making. As the band is taking these new songs on the road I can’t wait to see them again at The Strutt on December 9th. With a show almost every night between now and then, these tunes are going to get better and better from already being some of the best songs I’ve heard this year.

Mostly Midwest Exclusives -

Need more Chris Bathgate? (Yes, you do)

Watch our Bridgehouse Session with him from last winter here.

Go to his website here.

Get his music here.

Catch them at these shows -

November 11, 2011
Madison, WI, US
The Project Lodge, 7 pm

November 12, 2011
Minneapolis, MN, US
Cause Spirits & Soundbar, 11 pm

November 14, 2011
Missoula, MT, US
Um Flat, 8 pm

November 15, 2011
Seattle, WA, US
The Tractor Tavern, 8 pm

November 18, 2011
Palouse, WA, US
Look Around

November 19, 2011
Portland, OR, US
House Show

November 20, 2011
Eugene, OR, US
Sam Bond’s Garage

November 22, 2011
Kings Beach, CA, US
The Grid

November 23, 2011
Oakland, CA, US
Starline Social Club

November 26, 2011
San Francisco, CA, US
Amnesia

November 27, 2011
Santa Barbara, CA, US
Soho Restaurant & Music Club

November 28, 2011
Los Angeles, CA, US
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub

November 29, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, US
Habanero Collective

December 01, 2011
Denton, TX, US
House Concert

December 02, 2011
Oklahoma City, OK, US
The Blue Door

December 03, 2011
Norman, OK, US
The Deli

December 05, 2011
Omaha, NE, US
Slowdown

December 08, 2011
Dekalb, IL, US
House Cafe

December 09, 2011
Kalamazoo, MI, US
The Strutt

December 10, 2011
Toledo, OH, US
The Ottawa Tavern

December 11, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI, US
Old Town Tavern

Matt Maverick, Front Seat Films

2011 November 8th

Matt Maverick played at the Strutt for this years Barking Tuna festival, then named USSA, and filled the sparsely populated room with a few guitar notes, minimal drumming, short songs, and simple vocals. Did you catch that I said “filled” the room? Despite the minimalist nature of the tunes, I found myself drawn in and wanting to dance to the fun, catchy punk sound.

Matt Maverick will be releasing their debut tape “Outsideness” with Already Dead Tapes at The Strutt on November 10th. Check it.

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers “On Being” Review

2011 November 8th

By August Smith


Joe Hertler is a singer-songwriter from East Lansing who has been quickly gaining momentum in the Midwest scene, and it’s easy to see why; the songs on his debut album On Being are charming, listenable, and melodious. Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are mining an area of poppy country-tinged folk rock that has both a very broad appeal and allows a lot of room for creative growth.

On Being has a particular emphasis on a really upbeat, hopeful sound: the guitars are bright, the drums relent, and the banjo rollicks right alongside harmonicas and handclaps. It’s mostly centered around Joe Hertler’s voice, which can be both soulful and precious within any one song- it’s when On Being relies on this preciousness that it can falter slightly and border on insular, sometimes reaching a bit too hard for delicate sentimentality. Still, the dynamic shifts between energetic and atmospheric (“Carbon C14”) and the strong percussion (“We Are Everything”) offer ample variety, and there are some delightfully unexpected creative flourishes at work here, like when the group nods towards an electro-pop influence on “What it Feels Like to Drown”.

On Being is an enjoyable record, aurally tuned to the Midwest’s fall-winter transition and showcasing a bourgeoning Michigan talent bound to be on everyone’s radar soon. You can stream the album and pick it up on bandcamp here. Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are playing shows around Michigan pretty consistently, and I’ve been told they put on a damn fine show. Keep an eye out for tour dates on their Facebook.

Dog & Panther, 2012 album

2011 November 6th

Despite never formally reviewing their first album (let’s change that soon, eh?) we’ve made it known via our facebook page that we love Dog & Panther. Emerging on the scene out of nowhere last summer, Dog & Panther’s debut album “What Happened?” received good blog attention and exploded, regionally at least, in various social networks. Their characteristic beautiful visual aesthetically pleasing videos and general presence has carried through in their newest video, a teaser for their upcoming release given no more of a name than “2012″. Check it out.

Their last video was a ten minute insight into the making-of a free single they released, “Giant Hands”. The video shows D&P using interesting and unique found sounds that they sample into their complex dreamy soundwaves, with vocals that sound surprisingly like Ben Gibbard on top of it all. All ten minutes are worth it.

Front Seat Session, Sacred Strays

2011 November 6th

Last month’s Boogie Records Revival (hosted by Graham Parsons and Michael Beauchamp) at The Strutt was a blast. With those hosts, members of the Soil & the Sun Just Married (watch their Front Seat Session here), and Frank Fuzz how could it get any better? With Sacred Strays – that’s how.

Having never seen Sacred Strays perform before I wasn’t sure what to expect. Typically performing with a full band, Brian Barnes took the stage solo with his Halloween sweater, guitar, and haunting vocals and songwriting. I was captivated. Barnes, having performed with Frontier Ruckus for some time, allows a tinge of their remnants in Sacred Strays’ songs, while crafting entirely unique compositions and sounds.

Like Sacred Strays on Facebook

Chris Bathgate : West Coast Tour

2011 November 4th

Chris Bathgate and crew are hitting the road to spread their music outside of the midwest to the West Coast. Kickoff show tonight at Woodruff’s is the first of more than 25 shows between here and California. With a lot of Bathgate shows under my belt I still get goosebumps. Every. Damn. Time. I could give you all kinds of reasons to go see Chris Bathgate, and I already have, but some of the best reasons that we’ve never addressed are the people in his band.

Matt Jones

Well known for his solo material and well-received debut album “The Black Path”, Matt Jones and Chris have been holding down the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area together for the past few years. Playing on previous Bathgate releases it’s more than natural that he’s joining Chris on this west coast tour, and opening the night for some of the gigs. Dig on this new video of Matt Jones and the Reconstruction at Harvest Gathering 2011.

Samantha Cooper

Sam Cooper may be one of the most inspiring and open-minded freelance musicians I’ve met since starting Mostly Midwest. Playing on stage with Chris Bathgate, Fiona Dickinson, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, and at any opportunity she can get she has definitely made her face and sound known. On top of that, she frequently organizes and helps out at community learning sessions covering a wide variety of topics from music to dancing to sustainability.

Graham Parsons

Another individual known for his solo career, Graham Parsons has been making music all his life. From the Squeaky Clean Cretins to The Go Rounds to TAFT, I can’t recall a time where Graham wasn’t actively writing or supporting music.
Paired with Sam Cooper their harmonies, complimentary percussion, and other instrumentation during Bathgate’s live shows add an atmosphere and volume that changes the performance to an experience. Watch Graham’s band The Go Rounds playing “Feathername” live at The Strutt for Boiling Pot 2011 in this brand new video.

Keith Kinnear

The bassist! Why does no one ever talk about the bassist! (I’m a bassist)

Keith is everything plus “the bassist”. Going back to Graham’s time in the Keweenaw, Keith played bass with the Cretins, recorded their album, played bass with This is Deer Country, recorded their album, and has put in countless other hours between playing gigs and engineering audio. He even helped out and mixed our session with Red Tail Ring. Take a moment during a Bathgate set and focus on the bass. Imagine what it would sound and feel like without it. You might be surprised. Keith recently played bass for Pat Carroll’s upcoming album and we’ll be putting up a video of him tracking sometime in the future.

One of these shows line up with where you’re at right now? Take a night off and go check out this incredibly powerful live band put on an experience you won’t forget.

(Video will be updated on Monday, November 7th with their current live set from The Strutt this Sunday, November 6th)

November 04, 2011
Ypsilanti, MI, US
Woodruff’s, 10 am

November 05, 2011
Grand Rapids, MI, US
Founders Brewing Co., 7 pm

November 06, 2011
Kalamazoo, MI, US
The Strutt, 9 pm

November 09, 2011
Chicago, IL, US
Uncommon Ground on Devon, 8 pm

November 10, 2011
Milwaukee, WI, US
Club Garibaldi, 8 pm

November 11, 2011
Madison, WI, US
The Project Lodge, 7 pm

November 12, 2011
Minneapolis, MN, US
Cause Spirits & Soundbar, 11 pm

November 14, 2011
Missoula, MT, US
Um Flat, 8 pm

November 15, 2011
Seattle, WA, US
The Tractor Tavern, 8 pm

November 18, 2011
Palouse, WA, US
Look Around

November 19, 2011
Portland, OR, US
House Show

November 20, 2011
Eugene, OR, US
Sam Bond’s Garage

November 22, 2011
Kings Beach, CA, US
The Grid

November 23, 2011
Oakland, CA, US
Starline Social Club

November 26, 2011
San Francisco, CA, US
Amnesia

November 27, 2011
Santa Barbara, CA, US
Soho Restaurant & Music Club

November 28, 2011
Los Angeles, CA, US
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub

November 29, 2011
Phoenix, AZ, US
Habanero Collective

December 01, 2011
Denton, TX, US
House Concert

December 02, 2011
Oklahoma City, OK, US
The Blue Door

December 03, 2011
Norman, OK, US
The Deli

December 05, 2011
Omaha, NE, US
Slowdown

December 08, 2011
Dekalb, IL, US
House Cafe

December 09, 2011
Kalamazoo, MI, US
The Strutt

December 10, 2011
Toledo, OH, US
The Ottawa Tavern

December 11, 2011
Ann Arbor, MI, US
Old Town Tavern

Abigail Stauffer : Harvest Session

2011 November 3rd

My session with Abigail was a pleasure in every sense. She showed up on time, got out her guitar, and was excited and ready to go. All my coddled together gear was working perfectly and things were going smoothly. I was mostly unfamiliar with her music prior to our session, but enjoyed having the opportunity to document such an emotional, heartfelt musician from the midwest. Just watching her you can tell that if there’s one thing she loves doing, it’s playing music.

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