Live Music in the Taproom, 9/11 to 10/21

Joey Basch, one of our taproom managers and our talent buyer (a.k.a. the dude who books all of the bands that play here), writes a “column” for Huey Lewis and the Newsletter‚Äîthe newsletter put together by taproom staffer Francesca Jasinski and stuffed in with our paychecks once a month. We thought y’all might be interested in getting the inside scoop on what goes into booking the bands that play here every Thursday and Saturday, so we decided to post it here. Read it if you want. Don’t read it if you don’t want. You can also find all of the live music listings here.

From September to October…Autumn Ambience, Renewal, Colour and Clarity: an informative introspective into approaching musical offerings

First of all, I hope this finds you all at a pleasant place in the world, either reclined in your living room’s laziest chair or encapsulated in a state of mind that embodies that comfort, as we approach the time of year when the air crispens, leaves rust and turn to tinder, the sun-drenched days grow scarce, and wooly sweaters and scarves replace bikini bottoms and Bermuda shorts.

On the brighter side of change is a devastatingly incredible autumn entertainment lineup, of which you are about to be enlightened. Enjoy the knowledge.

On Saturday, September 11, we’ve got a pretty sick lineup coming in as we help Bars of Gold celebrate the release of their newest LP being released on Friction Records. BoG features two alumni from legendary post-rock band Bear vs. Shark, who disbanded a few years back, shortly after achieving considerable critical acclaim and industry-wide recognition (the final BvS record peaked in the Billboard Top 20). The sound of Bars of Gold can be most easily described as angsty chamber-pop. Setup is pretty standard: two guitars, bass, drums, keys, but the delivery is frenetic yet catchy. Worth a listen, and certainly entertaining live. The first time I saw them was at the Victor! Fix the Sun CD release show and they totally crushed it. I’m interested to see what they have in store for the Founders crowd. Also on this bill are BoG labelmates ol’ reliable Chance Jones [a band that is chock-full of Founders employees] and newest-Friction-signees Ghost Heart. Prussia, Detroit’s hypest dreampop youngsters, last seen on the Founders stage in March will be playing second, after GH. You will NOT want to miss this.


Next up, Thursday, September 16, marks the return of Chicago organ-fueled power-pop trio Oh My God. Legendary Leslie-artist Ig, has toured with anyone and everyone, from Bootsy Collins to Van Morrison. Musically, it comes together as straight-laced pop with strong, strangely-sincere vocals. Newcomers The Press Delete, starring mug club member Joel Boyles, will be the feature act. Originally garnering notoriety from their appearances at open-mic night [every Tuesday in the taproom], these guys have totally been blowing up lately, displaying a uniquely minimalist take on shoegaze. Think My Bloody Valentine meets slow-motion Mars Volta. Traverse City’s Swiss sisters, Mue Sephei, will open the show, displaying their sincere blend of poppy folk ballads.

On Saturday, September 18, we welcome old standbys and crowd favorites Back Forty, who bring a consistently refreshing take on Midwestern bluegrass. [Check the event page for a video.]

Sunday, September 19: Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

Thursday, September 23, brings us to the front doorstep of the Prospecto Music Festival and Sonic Experience, the brainchild of Recoil magnate Ben Hunter and a team of local major players, a three-day multi-venue music festival that features over 90 acts and spans 9 venues throughout Grand Rapids, from big rooms like The Intersection to west-side dives like Kuzzin’s. Prospecto is a new idea for Grand Rapids and falls on the opening weekend of ArtPrize. Tickets are only available as wristbands, and follow typical festival formats: $60 gets you a weekend pass and single-day passes are available for $26. We will NOT be selling tickets or taking cover at the door on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Entry will ONLY be allowed with a Prospecto wristband. I know it appears like a strange idea, but there is merit in it, and it is certainly worth a try. Wristbands are available online at www.prospectogr.com (will-call at The Intersection), and passes can be purchased at: Purple East, Vertigo Records, The Intersection, and The Meanwhile.

Our Thursday Prospecto lineup is my most anticipated of the entire festival: our old friends, LA’s El Ten Eleven, return from a lengthy absence to rock the taproom with their looping, danceable, double-necked wizardry. It’s so hard to believe that it was over two years ago when they first played here! Joining them is Dosh, a dancey-electronic two-piece from Minnesota, and Baths, an electronic solo artist from San Francisco. It’ll be wicked awesome, without-doubts.

Friday, September 24, marks a rarity on the Founders entertainment calendar…a Friday show! As part of Prospecto, we’ll be hosting Houston’s experimental-shoegaze artists, Indian Jewelry (who describe their music as: “dreaming strong, getting strong, being strong, thinking strong, acting strong, no, scratch that, acting tough”), Moss Folk (featuring our very own Andrew Shelp), Seth, and local legend Ralston Bowles.

Then on Saturday, September 25, the final day of Prospecto, we host Detroit’s The Hard Lessons, a female-fronted pop trio, and definitely my sleeper hit of the fest. Julio Gomez of The Wildfire will open the show with an acoustic set and be followed by UTO, and the rumoured final performance is by Detroit funk-rock-jam legends and Founders mainstays, Bump. If you were ever a fan, you won’t want to miss their possible final Founders performance.

Final Prospecto note: There’s a lot of great artists performing at Prospecto. It’s tough to wrap your head around, because this is an entirely new concept for this city. Midwest Fest approached the idea, but unlike Prospecto, allowed for single-venue access. But coupled with the opening weekend of ArtPrize, it should have some steam behind it. For the full lineup and all the info, check out www.prospectogr.com.

Surging on with haste (more info coming in subsequent correspondence):

Sunday, September 26: Discfunktional Sunday with The Boogiman

Thursday, September 30: The swashbuckling sounds of Rootstand

Saturday, October 2: AB! and Coconut Brown, Bangups, DJ Goblin

Other upcoming performances: 10/7: Northern Skies; 10/9: Justin Stover CD Release Party; 10/14: Grupo Akaray; 10/16: Harvest Party; 10/21: Signal Path

All for now. Thank you so so much for reading and informing yourselves. Spread the word!

We’d love thoughts and feedback in the comments! If you’re interested in playing at Founders, please email booking [at] foundersbrewing [dot] com.