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M897 Artist Spotlight

M897 ARTISTS UPDATE

End of the Decade Brings New Beginnings and New Identities

Story by LCC Radio Staff Reporter Katie Gleason

Whether it’s simply a local mitten musician releasing a brand-new album, or a small-town Michigan band growing and evolving their sound and brand, we here at LCC Radio are always proud to boast the successes of former M897 Artist Spotlights! With such a repertoire of big names like Greta Van Fleet and The Verve Pipe’s Donny Brown, it’s always fun to check in with our spotlights every now and then and see what they might have in store. Especially this year, with a new decade facing us, let’s see what’s been happening (and what could happen...) with some of our past M897 artist spotlight musicians and bands since the last time we spoke to them.

Jax AndersonFlint Eastwood - June 2015 M897 Artist
Jax Anderson, Lead Singer of “Detroit Spaghetti Western” band, Flint Eastwood dropped the title in July 2019, apologizing playfully on her instagram to anyone who may have gotten a Flint Eastwood tattoo. She now goes by her real name Jax Anderson. Jax’s music and her name isn’t the only thing she’s changed, however. She has been wonderfully open about her sexuality, her gender expression, and her new identity all on her new EP Heal, which she released in November 2019. Jax explains in the music video of the title song that she is much happier now, that she feels more like who she’s supposed to be, and that seems to be reflected in her music. The punk-rock western style has been replaced with an introspective bouncy-indie sound, which fits her new identity wonderfully. Jax is going on tour across the US in 2020, and you can catch her in her hometown of Detroit on February 8th at the El Club.

If Walls Could TalkIf Walls Could Talk  - September 2018 M897 Artist
The theatrical style of If Walls Could Talk captivated audiences with their energetic live shows, complete with complex choreography, special effects, and heavy crowd involvement. When we interviewed them in September of 2018, the band admitted to being AWOL for most of the year, promising: “We have a lot of exciting things coming up within the next year, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.” Well, their exciting things sure came, and we loved it! Because it’s Love, the band’s second studio release, debuted in June of 2019, along with a brand-new twist on the band’s signature fashion style. Their fitted black vests and ties were replaced with maroon pants, bowties and stark-white jackets to match the new album art! A step in the right direction for a band known for their theatrics. If you would like to witness their new love-themed theatrics for yourself, you can see them the day after Valentines Day (February 15th) playing Mac’s Bar in Lansing. They’re undoubtedly planning to give you a Valentine’s themed show.

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow SeekersJoe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers  - June 2013 M897 Artist
We here at LCC Radio hold a special place in our hearts for this quirky band from right here in Lansing. As our third EVER M897 Spotlight artist we have watched Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers grow as a band for almost seven years now. Since we last checked in with the band in the 2017 January update, they have released two more incredible and colorful albums and have only been growing bigger and brighter. They ended 2019 with an incredible 3.7 million streams on Spotify, likely thanks to their upbeat yacht-rock 2019 release, Paper Castle. Speaking of yachts, as of the writing of this article the band are performing on a cruise that departed from Miami on January 7th! But if you’re a bit of a landlubber, don’t fret, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers are going on tour across the midwest (and also Florida) this year! With a stop in Lansing at The Loft on January 31st, performing with another former M897 Artist, Conspicuous Bystanders!


EvixEvix - December 2018 M897 Artist
EDM artist, Kevin Learst, known by his stage name Evix, was making himself known in a scene that didn’t really have a huge backing in Michigan. He rounded off 2018 by playing a show at the Royal Oak Music Theater, an experience, he told us, he’d never forget. He also told us that at the end of 2018, he’d be leaving the Evix name, and completely rebranding for 2019, and he did just that. On December 31st, just before the clock turned to midnight, he posted his new Instagram handle its_withlove. Kevin now goes by the stage name With Løve, and his popularity is only growing. 2019 was an amazing year for Kevin, and he expects 2020 to be even better. While he hasn’t announced anything publicly yet, you can expect big things from Michigan’s EDM breakout star.





Jason Singer of MichiganderMichigander - July 2017 M897 Artist
2019 was a huge year for Midland native Jason Singer. He released his second EP, went on tour across the entire United States and Canada, and he met Bryan Cranston at a music festival. And you can only expect bigger and better things from him in 2020. For the first year ever, he’s scheduled to play (officially) at SXSW in March, and then in June he’s scheduled to play the Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury alongside big names like Major Lazer and Lindsey Stirling. Jason is an incredibly talented individual, and while he doesn’t have much to say for what the new year holds for him in terms of new music, he is touring a lot. His first EP Midland, titled after his hometown (and mine!), was released just under a year after LCC Radio interviewed him for the Artist Spotlight. Midland was written mostly on the road, and it blew up. If you haven’t gotten the chance to see Jason perform live yet, I highly suggest it. He makes the rounds every now and then and it’s always a treat. He’ll be at The Intersection in Grand Rapids on Valentine’s Day.


The Go RoundsThe Go Rounds - November 2016 M897 Artist
While researching to find which bands to do an update on, I visited The Go Rounds official website. There, right in the center of the page in big bold white text are the words “New Music Coming in 2020”. I had barely begun my research and the visual on the website sent excitement coursing through my veins. The psychedelic-folk-rock Kalamazoo based band started out 2019 with a bang, releasing a brand new album, brand new visuals for the band’s look, and touring all over the midwest. However, by the end of the year, things had quieted down, mostly due to the band touring around Mexico. They have only one show announced for January, at The Magic Stick with Breathe Owl Breathe on the 25th. While that sounds like not much in the way of new content, you can for sure expect huge things coming from them at any moment. I’m sure they’re Going to work Round the clock to bring new music.




Donny BrownDonny Brown  - February 2015 M897 Artist
A lot of this year’s updates include artists who’ve rebranded themselves and changed their sound. When we interviewed Donny Brown formerly of the Verve Pipe, he had already gone through that once. However, that was five years ago, and Donny has continued to grow and change with his career. From The Van Dell Tones, to the Legal Matters, to now just Donny Brown once more. Donny does some amazing things with his time, albeit more in the background now compared to his Verve Pipe days. In 2018, Donny along with business partner and former touring member of The Verve Pipe, Andy Reed, started a non-profit organization focused on bringing music to special needs school children. The program is called All Music Is Power or AMP for short. Donny and Andy also do many other projects together, Donny co-produces and plays instruments for Andy’s Bay City based recording company Reed Recording Company. The company not only boasts over 150 (and counting!) recording credits, but has been voted the best recording studio by Review magazine for the past six years. While we don’t know if Donny is going to be playing live any time soon, you can catch him on a Tom Petty Tribute album coming out in the next couple months from Reed Recording Company!




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