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Michigan Bands Invade South by Southwest with ‘Michigan Tastes & Tunes’

The Ragbirds

South by Southwest (SXSW) is just around the corner, and when it comes to this massive festival, rest assured that some Michiganders will be there to represent the Mitten! The first-ever Michigan Tastes & Tunes, powered by Showclix, will hit SXSW on Thursday with a gig at the Palm Door. 

The showcase, which is a partnership between Grand Circus Media and Spencer Management Group, is set to offer a diverse showcase highlighting Michigan’s dynamic collective of artists, flavors and specialties. We’re talking Michigan bands and brands rocking SXSW!

“Year after year, we attend SXSW and our state is under represented down in Austin,” said Joe Choma of Grand Circus Media. “Michigan bands are making some serious noise each year, but we’ve never had a unified presence. We are aiming to change all of that and this event cooperatively promotes the amazing talent coming out of our great state on a national and international level.”

Check out the Michigan Tastes & Tunes lineup, courtesy of Spencer Management Group:

Greensky Bluegrass (Kalamazoo, MI) – Having performed at a cadre of the nation’s top festivals in the wake of the summer including Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, The Hangout Festival, All Good Festival, Northwest String Summit, Greensky Bluegrass is redefining bluegrass music and taking the genre to the masses.

Stepdad (Grand Rapids, MI) – Stepdad was formed in a sweltering Chicago apartment in the summer of 2009 when songwriters-turned-roommates, Ultramark and Ryan McCarthy began writing songs together. The duo then relocated to Detroit to write & record their first EP, Ordinaire. 

Prior to the EP re-release, the band began a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record their forthcoming full length, Wildlife Pop.  Through Kickstarter they raised enough money to go to New York to record with producer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, The Walkmen, Suckers, Les Savy Fav).  Now that production is wrapped, the band is excited to announce that they have signed to NYC label Black Bell Records to release their debut. Wildlife Pop slated to be released June 12, 2012.

The Ragbirds (Ann Arbor, MI - above) – The Ragbirds are a fusion of folk rock and pop hooks over danceable world rhythms stirred with a Celtic fiddler’s bow.  Led by dynamic, energetic front woman and multi-instrumentalist Erin Zindle, The Ragbirds albums have received national praise, hailed “Highly impressive!” by USA Today and touted “astounding international eclecticism” by Reveal Arts.

Flashclash (Detroit, MI) – Pulsating and organic electronic anthems arrive with an array of lighting spectacles and theatre concepts.  Drawing comparisons to modern bands like passion Pit and Empire of the Sun, Flashclash’s Born of Astronauts is equally reminiscent of 80’s new wave titans Brian Eno and Talking Heads.

Garrett Borns (Grand Rapids, MI) - Just twenty years old, indie-pop singer/songwriter Garrett Borns is already carving himself a place in the industry with his own poppy, light-hearted genre-- a nod to something new. It’s his youthful hubris and impossible talent that lend a heady magic to his performances, consistently wowing crowds of all ages with a mastery and charm that defy his years.

For more information, please visit Michigan Tastes & Tunes' official site. Michigan on! (Photo of the Ragbirds via Facebook.)


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