This month’s Local Spins segment on Michigan Radio’s “Stateside” lent an ear to a rising Southwest Michigan star and two psych-rock bands from Grand Rapids. Listen to the podcast and more.
The June edition of Local Spins on Michigan Radio’s Stateside had Local Spins editor and publisher focusing on a Michigan native who made a splash in Germany before re-establishing herself in Kalamazoo (Dacia Bridges) and two Grand Rapids psych-rock bands who’ve helped create a buzz for that genre in West Michigan (Lazy Genius, Suzies).
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Listen to the podcast here, with more information about the featured artists and their music. And listen to full versions of the featured songs below.
PODCAST: West Michigan Mixtape for June (Local Spins on “Stateside”)
1) Dacia Bridges, “Hey” – So singer Dacia Bridges isn’t a new artist, but she’s new to West Michigan’s music scene, having moved to Kalamazoo last year after performing for many years in Germany, where she was a star – not only as the leader of a heavy metal band (and someone who collaborated with Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead) but also as a chart-topping dance music artist who also released an all-acoustic album. The singer, whose powerhouse voice has been compared to Tina Turner, recently assembled an all-female super-group in Kalamazoo with what she calls “a dance music approach” and what most would call a head-turning sound featuring stars from other West Michigan groups: percussionist Carolyn Koebel (of An Dro), Cori Sommers (of Red Sea Pedestrians) and Sarah Fuerst (of Corn Fed Girls and Thunderbolt & Lightfoot). Oh, and Bridges is also a dancer, model and actress. The Dacia Bridges Project performs June 30 at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo as part of the first Local Spins West Michigan Showcase, along with Hannah Rose & The GravesTones and The Legal Immigrants. Read more about Bridges in this Local Spins Artist Spotlight.
2) Suzies, “My Hands” – Some might say West Michigan’s music scene has become known for folk-rock of various stripes in recent years, but there’s another sub-genre that’s built a devoted fan base here: psych-rock. The psychedelic-hued Grand Rapids band Suzies is part of that, with a moniker inspired by Siouxsie & The Banshees. The band was formed a few years ago as a noisy and chaotic outfit which has since gotten “more melodic” and well, pretty. It helps that the group – guitarist-singer Luke Bonczyk, drummer Casey Huizenga, guitarist Shane Tripp, bassist Andrew Tamlyn and keyboard player Adam Neimara – has recorded its last two albums at the all-analog (non-digital) Goon Lagoon studio in Grand Rapids which definitely enhances its groovy, retro-sounding, psychedelic sound. Influenced by The Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3 and Cosmonauts, Suzies earlier this year released the Dizzybird Records album, “Forget Me Not,” and they’re already finishing up a follow-up recording. Read more about Suzies in this Local Spins Artist Spotlight.
3) Lazy Genius, “Love” – Lazy Genius’ psychedelic rock has a different feel than that of Suzies, but its sonic approach also has evolved over the years. Actually, so has its name: It was formed as Lazy Genius but because there was another band with that name they performed and advertised for quite some time as Real Lazy Genius. Guitarist Patrick Wieland has fronted this project for several years and it’s expanded now to include six members: Weiland, Daniel Francis, Jonny Bruha, Adam Cavanaugh, Kristi Prindle and John Harrell. They describe the music on their latest EP, “New Moon,” as “catchy but unique,” blending “melody with heavy dynamics and epic structure.” And it’s gotten attention: The band recently was chosen to open for the B-52s at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and plays Creston Brewery on July 6 with Mail Order Monsters. Check out a photo gallery from the Meijer Gardens concert by photographer Kevin Huver.
LISTEN: Dacia Bridges, “Hey” (from “That’s the Sound”)
LISTEN: Suzies, “My Hands” (from “Forget Me Not”)
LISTEN: Lazy Genius, “Love” (from “New Moon”)
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