In this 3 part series, I will explore some of the best of 2011. These selections are based on things I experienced in 2011, not necessarily things that came out in 2011. Please feel free to discuss my list and what you would add in the comments section.

Kelsey Rottiers and The Rising Tide

If you have been hanging around The Green Couch at all over the last year, the name Kelsey Rottiers might ring a bell. She’s a fantastic singer/songwriter that lives in Grand Rapids (she grew up in my home town of Davison, Michigan). Last March, Kelsey released her debut, self-released full length album entitled Kelsey Rottiers and The Rising Tide. As soon as my wife and I heard her latest work we knew that is was something special. A few months after that initial hearing of the record, I offered to help Kelsey by becoming her booking agent. I was convinced that she has something so special that it was worth pouring time and resources into sharing it with others. I used to handle all of the booking for my old band so it started to come back after a while. In the last half of 2011, Kelsey Rottiers and the Rising Tide has played something like 40 shows. We are playing lots more for 2012 including at least two short tours. It’s been a lot of fun to get behind such a talented musician and person of character.


Cheap Girls

This is one of my favorite new bands over the last couple of years, even though I’m pretty uncomfortable wearing their t-shirt in public, especially when I’m scooting around town with my wife and daughter. 🙂 Cheap Girls are old friends from Lansing, Michigan. My old bands used to do shows all the time with their old band. I have known a couple of the guys since they we in middle school and have continued to love them more and more with each release. Cheap Girls’ music has a way of reminding me of all the bands I loved in the early 90’s before I discovered punk rock and thought I was “above” all that “Alternative-and-Grunge-nosense”.  It’s part Replacements, part Dinosaur Jr./Buffalo Tom but a little more punk rock. Great melodies deleivered over a wall of sound. They just signed with Rise Records and their new album that was produces by Tom Gabel from Against Me! comes out in February.


The Swellers

Lots of  local music (local to me, anyway) on this list! I hope you are catching the theme that Michigan has some great music to offer! The Swellers are a Flint band that played some of their first shows with my old band South Bay Bessie. They were those kids who had some of the best chops in our little scene when they were 14-15 years old. Now, they have two albums out on Fueled By Ramen and they are the band that reminded me that I still like punk rock! Their latest album, Good For Me, was produced by the legendary (fanboy speaking here) Bill Stevenson from Descendants/ALL. For me, the album explores those people and places from the past that shape us in all the ways that make us who we are. I haven’t seen them play live in years but I don’t really have a good excuse since they have been busy trekking all over the world.


What are your favorite musical expereinces of 2011?

  1. Just discovered Cheap Girls, the new album is incredible.

    • Nice review! I have been jamming Giant Orange all week! Thanks for swinging by to read my post!

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