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LOCAL MUSIC /// The monthly Grand Rapids MAJ IC Concert Series has made something extraor- dinary with honored guest singer/songwriter and Michigan native Ralston Bowles. The talented musician and granddaddy of the Grand Rapids music scene will perform older and newer songs along with tunes from his new CD Rally at The Texas Hotel. MAJIC, an acronym for Musical Arts for Justice In the Community, operates as an outlet for artists and musicians to extend their works to the Heartside community while nurturing education and support to the less fortunate. MAJIC is one of Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s ministries. Bowles’ music has captured the nation and earned him deep relationships with artistic communities from New York to Nashville

Ralston Bowles

and he has opened for or performed with the likes of Willie Nelson, Shawn Colvin, and Bob Dylan. Bowles’ set will showcase his polished brand of folk-rock music on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but do- nations are appreciated. Go to for further information … For solid music from the great state of Michigan, look no further than the ensemble from Marquette; Chanteymen. This folk band is made up of Christopher Lander Moore and friends playing a mix of indie-folk on varying instru- ments. Purchase the band’s EP No Straight Lines and see it live Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. at The Strutt in Kalamazoo for $5 and 18+.

TOURING /// Juggalos and Juggalettes, here’s some fresh news: Insane Clown Posse (ICP) is on tour and stopping in its home state on Jan. 15 the

final date of the duo’s 14-city run. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have been traveling on the Old Shit Tour since early December and are bringing the dark car- nival to fans. Long-time ninjas will appreciate the show since only classics will be performed. On board are openers ABK (Anybody Killah) and AMB (Axe Murder Boyz). The show starts at 6:30 p.m. at The Orbit Room in Grand Rapids and tickets are $25 in advance, or $28 day of show. Bring your Faygo two-liter and get psychopathic … Martin Sexton has rocked his way into fans’ hearts with originality and grace, selling out venues and maintain- ing popular stride since the early ‘90s. Even John Mayer deems him the best live performer he has seen. Sexton will perform old classics and his newer sen- sations at the Intersection on Jan. 26. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $23 day of show… Bad-ass genre- hopper Kid Rock will perform his twangy-country-rock songs on his Born Free Tour, which is stopping at Van Andel Arena. The Kid made it big in the scene with his album Devil Without a Cause in 1998. Still rough-around-the edges yet a bona fide country crooner, catch him on Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $49.50-$89.50 … Pennsylvania band Snowing will play its sweet sort-of emo and sort-of hardcore music with heart and aggression at The DAAC on Jan. 7. Opening

Iron & Wine Not Zach Galifianakis

Billy’s Lounge in Grand Rapids. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. $15 will get you in if you’re 21 or older.

NATIONAL CD They’re back.

for the band is The Reptilian, 1994, and Radiator Hospital. The show starts at 7 p.m. and is $6 … After 16 years in the biz, Los Straitjackets are at it again with a new 13-track record indicative of the mem- bers’ love for rock ‘n’ roll. This four-piece instrumental band garners inspiration from punk sounds, and even Led Zeppelin, as seen on the new CD, The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets. Its jams in- voke hand clapping and foot stomping throughout the array of boisterous numbers. Expect a fun party at the show with mind-bending guitar, group choreography and the famed wrestler masks that each member dons onstage. See the Straitjackets on Jan. 1 at

Social Distortion

RELEASES /// If there’s a god in the sky, his name is Sam Beam. Iron & Wine will release his latest col- lection of earthy-indie-southern folk, Kiss Each Other Clean, on Jan. 25. Fans have patiently or not-so patiently awaited Beam’s latest solo album since 2005. The 10-track album is reminiscent of mid ‘70s FM radio tunes heard in your parent’s car with horns and synth … Legendary punk band Social Distortion will have a brand-new CD available in the New Year as well. Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes embodies the band’s long-time personality with a fresh touch akin to Hank Williams. Formed in 1979, this foursome has enjoyed success while maintaining root ties. The current lineup consists of original member and front- man Mike Ness, Jonny Wickersham, who joined in 2000, Brent Harding, who joined in 2005, and new drummer Atom Willard. The single “Ma chine Gun Blues” hit iTunes on Nov. 16 while the

11-track CD will be in stores on Jan. 18 … The Decemberists’ latest LP, The King is Dead, will also be ready for purchase on Jan. 18. This five-member indie-prof-folk group makes wonderful use of eclectic instruments such as the accordion, an upright bass, and a couple nifty organs. This most recent musical assemblage should satisfy fans; old and new alike. Check out the band’s

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