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Our pop culture experts tell us what’s on their radar

BT DC Broadway Theater & Dance Company

Greater Lansing Broadway Theater & Dance Company

We offer classes for all ages and levels Fall classes include:

B O O KS Jazz

Point

Tap

Acting

Hip Hop

Musical Theater

Voice

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Ballet

Now on Thursdays SEPT. 23 – SEPT. 29

Down Time

FR I DAYy I NDI E R O C K MUS I C

3500 S. Cedar Ste 106 • Lansing • 517.763.9949 lansingdance.com Mike Mains & The Branches

Anne Erickson | NOISE

Indie rock band Mike Mains & The Branches spent the past four months touring in support of its debut full-length, “Home,” and if you ask Mains for a favorite memory from the road, he rattles it off quickly and definitively. “The best moment was in the end of July, when Matt Baird [lead singer in posthardcore band Spoken] at the end of our tour walked up to me and gave me a real nice mic, because he noticed I had a crummy mic,” says the Owosso-based lead singer and guitarist. “He said someone really special gave him that mic, and he wanted me to have it. That was his way of saying, ‘I believe in you. I believe you’re going to make it.’ “That experience shaped the enthusiasm with which I approach this career. When someone like him, who’s been touring for 14 years, says they believe in what we’re doing, that means a lot.” Mains, Shannon Bolanowski (vocals, keys), David Denison (drums) and Jacob Burkhart (bass guitar) definitely have enthusiasm for

their music. No one can deny the path they’ve taken — giving up their jobs and spending months on the road — hasn’t been easy. But it was the only way to go. “We figured we had to go for it, and we go out in faith, believing we’re going to make ends meet,” Mains says. “It’s been awesome so far. On nights where we don’t get a solid guarantee through the venue, we usually do well enough in merchandise sales to pay for the tour.” For Mains, the sacrifice is worth it. “It’s the dream of all of our lives to be touring, and it’s something we’ve been longing to do since any of us can remember,” he says. “It’s a blast. You meet so many new people and it’s such a learning experience. You learn a lot about who you are, the people around you.” Musically, Mike Mains & The Branches brings the best of its influences together — Mewithoutyou, The Killers, Modest Mouse — and mix in its own ideas, packing rambling, shambling guitar exercises into straightforward indie rock. As for songwriting, “Home”

• Mike Mains & The Branches, Empty Orchestra, Good Weather For Airstrikes, The Plug Ugly • 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24 • $7 in advance at www.fusionshows.com, $10 day-of.

is a conceptual work of sorts about youth and longing for understanding and meaning in the sense of self-fulfillment. The album, recorded at First Street Studio in Cleveland, Tenn., shows Mains as a mature lyricist . “I think overall the theme of ‘Home’ is communicated well, as far as the human spirit’s desire to connect with its surroundings and make sense of this life,” Mains says. At the core of the group, which plays Mac’s Bar on Friday, Sept. 24, is an unwavering desire to make a positive difference with their music. “We play music with a goal to allow the faith we have affect people through our music,” Mains says. “We’re all Christians and Christianity definitely plays a role in the music we write, but my goal is to share my views and the love I have for Christ with the world without coming off offensively.”

BY S T E PHEN H AW K I N G & LEONARD M L O DI N O W

Expires 10/31/10. LJ-0100039691

(BANTAM)

Hawking says that when he wrote “A Brief History of Time” (over 20 years ago!), it left some crucial questions unanswered, including why there’s even a universe in the first place. It’s the big WHY that shapes this volume, presented in a beautiful package, with color illustrations throughout. It’s definitely heady stuff, but Hawking does his best to make it intelligible, starting from the very nature of scientific thought and its evolution through human history, before diving into the notion of reality as a whole, merging scientific fields with philosophical thought to lay the groundwork for the overarching theme of the book, M-Theory. (Don’t even think I’m going to try to summarize in a paragraph what he develops through an entire book — suffice it to say that it stands for a view he calls modeldependent realism, which he says is “the only viable candidate for a complete ‘theory of everything.’”)

N E W R E S TA U R A N T

Copper is a place hip enough to sip martinis with friends; relaxed

enough to bring your kids; refined enough to entertain the most import of business clients.

Real food. Real atmosphere.

For real people.

L o c a t e d a t Wa l n u t H i l l s 2874 Lake Lansing Rd. East Lansing, MI 48823

WHI T NE Y SPOT TS whitneyspotts@gmail.com

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Owosso indie rock band exudes positivity DETAILS{

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‘The Grand Design’

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