September 19, 2020

Børns Returns to Michigan for Lansing Fest

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | May 12, 2018

The lineup for this year’s Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing (July 5–8) just keeps expanding with a diverse lineup of pop, rock, country, and hip-hop artists, including Judah and the Lion, T-Pain, Gucci Mane, Kip Moore, Logic, DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Aces, and Hunter Hayes. One of the additionally announced headliners is actually a Michigan native — Los Angeles pop singer Børns (aka Garrett Borns), who got his start in Grand Haven and later achieved national success with his hit “Electric Love” in 2015. Børns is touring this year in support of his new album, Blue Madonna. Check out Common Ground 2018 (and snag tickets) at

The 2018 Buses by the Beach benefit concert event is returning to Camp Blodgett in West Olive, Michigan (between Grand Haven and Holland), with a long slate of regional folk, bluegrass, and Americana performers set to help raise funds for charity. Running May 25–28 this year, the event will feature live sets from Mark Lavengood, The Rupple Brothers and Co., The Mainstays, Roosevelt Diggs, Nicholas James and The Bandwagon, and northern Michigan regulars Fauxgrass. The event will also include crafting activities and disc golf. Get more information and tickets at

Want to learn about rap, hip-hop, and jazz from one of the very best? Head on over to New York University for a seven-class course set to start in Fall 2018 at NYU’s Clive David Institute of Recorded Music in the Tisch School of the Arts. Music historian Ashley Kahn is teaming up with none other than A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip to teach a class that will dig into the many connections between hip-hop and jazz and the parallel developments of both styles of music. Now that’s literally too cool for school …

Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr took a unique approach to recording his latest album, which he tracked in a studio above an old factory in Manchester, England. During the recording sessions, Marr hooked up a stack of old projectors and colorful lights to keep an endless series of video footage and kaleidoscopic images projected onto the walls. He said it included everything from BBC or French news footage to “screensaver” type images of animals or the cosmos. The lyrical storylines of the resulting album, Call the Comet, takes place in a virtual futuristic alternative society, and includes the set’s first single, “The Tracers.” Call the Comet will be in stores June 15 …

Canadian band Arcade Fire performed in Dublin, Ireland, last Friday. In honor of late singer Dolores O’Riordan, of the Irish pop group The Cranberries, AF performed a chorus of The Cranberries’ “Linger” in the middle of one of AF’s own songs; check out the affecting, emotional performance at

Detroit rockers and national touring act Sponge reunited last week for the first time in 24 years to play a tune at the 2018 Detroit Music Awards at the Fillmore …
Michigan State University grad-turned-electro-pop singer Quinn XCII (aka Mikael Temrowski) has just released a deluxe edition of his debut album, The Story of Us …
Detroit rapper Payroll Giovanni, now signed to Def Jam records, just released a duo album, Big Bossin Vol. 2, with his production partner Cardo
Detroit club regular Jody Raffoul will open for Needtobreathe on Aug. 14 at Meadow Brook Amphitheater … and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ’em to Kristi at



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