On Saturday, Local Spins Fest returns to downtown Grand Rapids with six Michigan bands. Today, we shed light on headliner In the Valley Below for our final band Q&A in the countdown to the big day.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Six Michigan acts will fire up the day-long Local Spins Fest on Saturday (May 20) at Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids, celebrating Local Spins’ 11th birthday. View the schedule below and get tickets, $20, themidtowngr.com. Children 6 and younger are free; the rain-or-shine event also will feature beverage concessions (including Local Spinsation Ale) and booths from nonprofits Access of West Michigan, Michigan Music Alliance and The Diatribe. Local Spins Week kicks off at 7:30 tonight (Wednesday, May 17) with Kate Hinote Trio and Loren Johnson at SpeakEZ Lounge as part of the Local Spins Wednesdays series. Admission is free and new Local Spins merch will be on sale.
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We asked all six performers at Local Spins Fest to answer the same seven questions in a Q&A format to give readers insights into what makes them tick. Today, we focus on the Grand Rapids-based In the Valley Below, featuring Jeffrey Jacob Mendel and West Michigan native Angela Gail Mattson. The indie-rock/pop band, which tours Japan next month and earned a gold record this spring from Canada for its single, “Peaches,” is wrapping up work on a new studio album and appeared this week on WOOD TV8’s “EightWest.” Scroll down to watch a video of their performance on the show, along with other videos, plus the Local Spins Fest schedule.
Local Spins Question 1: What’s one thing about you that most folks might not know?
Jeffrey Mendel: We’re training our son to be our next drummer.
Local Spins Question 2: In your wildest dream, which famous, internationally renowned artist or band would you most like to tour with or open for?
JM: Peter Gabriel
Local Spins Question 3: What’s the best record you’ve listened to in the past year?
JM: If we’re talking about new music then Sasami, “Squeeze.” (Check out Pitchfork’s review of the 2022 album.)
Local Spins Question 4: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your music career and what advice would you have to artists making their way in the business?
JM: On our first tour we got our van towed in NYC because we didn’t read the street signs properly. Read all the signs!
Local Spins Question 5: What’s the best concert you’ve ever seen (and when and where did it take place)?
JM: PJ Harvey’s solo tour. Somewhere downtown Los Angeles around 2010.
Local Spins Question 6: omplete this sentence: In the next year, In the Valley Below will …
JM: … go on tour in Japan.
Local Spins Question 7: What can fans expect from your set at Local Spins Fest?
JM: Rock and romance, xox.
VIDEO: In the Valley Below on “EightWest” (5/15/23)
VIDEO: Local Spins Fest Segment on “EightWest” (5/15/23)
VIDEO: In the Valley Below, “Candy Hearts”
LOCAL SPINS FEST 2023 @ STUDIO PARK: THE SATURDAY SCHEDULE
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