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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Twin Shadow, who performs at Mohawk Place on Sunday, May 1.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our new and improved events calendar on-line for complete event listings, a location guide to find your way about the city, restaurant reviews, and more.

Twin Shadow

Sunday, May 1

Brooklyn’s Twin Shadow, a.k.a. George Lewis Jr. must have fallen through a wormhole in time. The Dominican born singer and guitarist’s debut record, Forget­—produced last year by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor—seems like it would fit snuggly on the shelf next to 1980’s new wave records like Depeche Mode’s Violator or the Talking Heads Speaking In Tongues with its haunting reverberated vocals and attention to detail. Unfortunately for Lewis he was born in the same decade that new wave music hit the mainstream, so instead he has produced his nostalgic sound alongside new new wave bands like the Pains of Being Pure At Heart and neo-soul acts like Jamie Liddel. But Twin Shadow doesn’t just revisit this often-revisited genre, he re-imagines it with lyrics about his lonely upbringing, sung in his soulfully deep voice. “Bitterness is a good way to stay in your past and I have no interest in that,” Lewis said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “My past was pretty rotten!” Fortunately for him, a rotten past makes for great album material, and writing a hit record is a great way to let go. Twin Shadow will appear at Mohawk Place this Sunday (May 1) for an intimate performance. Hailing from Fredonia, up and coming female synthgazers Chromakid will open the show with a mix of electronic ambience and pop melodies alongside pastel tinted new wave musician Vincent Brunetto a.k.a. Catamaran. —cory perla

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $12.

Thursday, April 28

Doug Benson

Doug Benson loves movies…and pot…and making fun of celebrities. Luckily for him, it’s his job to love these things. Benson is a comedian, star of the movie Super High Me—the 2007 documentary that had him smoking marijuana on an hourly basis for 30 days straight—and creator of the popular podcast Doug Loves Movies where he pokes fun at his favorite actors and movies. This Thursday (tonight!) he will perform his stand-up routine, featured on Comedy Central Presents and Best Week Ever, for the crowd at Babeville’s Asbury Hall. AV caught up with Benson this week to talk about the aftermath of Super High Me and some of his current projects, like Comedy Central’s the Benson Interruption.

AV: What kind of reaction do you receive from most people about Super High Me?

Doug Benson: People like it because it shows that someone can use medical marijuana, still be a productive member of society, and not feel ashamed. I like weed and I make jokes about it, and if people think I’m a “stoner comic,” I can’t really argue with that.

@DougBenson I’m flying to Buffalo tomorrow. I hope the plane doesn’t have wild wings. #WorstTweetEver

AV: How is social networking important to you?

DB: I like to think it’s a good way to let people know about my shows and meet interesting people. And tell some jokes.

AV: Where did the idea for the Benson Interruption come from?

DB: I decided to say the kinds of things I say in the back of the room during comedy shows to other comedians, but into a microphone of my own. Rude, but in a fun way. I love improvising, and not knowing what the other person is going to say. Just showing up without having to write or memorize a script is also a glorious thing.

AV: Why do you love movies Doug?

DB: What’s not to love about movies? I just figured out that talking about them is a fun thing for people to listen to. Check out my weekly podcast at —cory perla

7pm. Babeville’s Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $15 advance, $20 day of show.

Friday, April 29

Ember Schrag

From all the way out in Nebraska, folk musician Ember Schrag comes to the Vault on Friday (April 29) to soothe your tired souls and expose that sentimental character in you. Myseriously unsettling, soaked in charcater, yet raw Schrag serenades us with her smoky voice inspired by images of rolling hills, deserts, the Midwest, Anne Carson, Allen Ginsberg, and her long lost childhood—which are all distinct and expressive. Schrag has multiple albums out: 2009’s A Cruel, Cruel Woman, and her latest, 2010’s Jepthah’s Daughter EP, as well as 11 self-released projects on cassette and CD. She has since completed a 63-date tour of the continental US, as well as collaborating with artists such as Amy Denio, Philip Gayle, and Kath Bloom. Carolyn Ryder Cooley, an inter-disciplinary artist, performer, and musician will be performing that night along with Maile Colbert, an experimental, ambient, visual sound artist, and Buffalo’s very own Lara Buckley. Come see these wonderful talents all gathered under one roof and be enveloped in the dreamy vocals and the entertaining lyrical stories of their life. —michael koh

9:30pm. The Vault, 702 Main St. (884-7172) $5.

Friday, April 29

Just Beat It: A Benefit for Damon Bodine

When Buffalo has a chance to support someone, especially someone who has made his living supporting the talent in this city, we jump at the chance. This Friday (April 29) some of this city’s most remembered local acts will come together for Just Beat It – A Benefit for Damon Bodine at the Town Ballroom. Bodine, a local concert promoter—known by the scene as a man willing to give up-and-coming bands a shot to play with some of their favorite bands—was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In response, our community will come together to help him fight. The line-up will be an eclectic assortment of bands, past and present, which Bodine helped put on Buffalo’s map. Bands like pop punkers Mandy K are reuniting for one last show in support of the cause. Indie-metal group Inferis, who have in recent years morphed into electro-rock band This Is An Empire, will return for one night only with Buffalo thrash metal legends Sons of Azrael, and rapper EECMCEE. DJs Brotherbear, Mario Bee, DJ Drapes, and Sandpaper will also be on hand to keep the crowd moving all night. Expect a 50/50 raffle, giveaways, and free food provided by Encore, Pano’s, Papa Jake’s and Anderson’s Custard. There is a $10 minimum donation and proceeds will benefit Damon’s fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. If you can’t make the event but still want to contribute you can make a donation by purchasing as many $10 tickets as you want at, search Damon Bodine. Let’s take this chance to give back to someone who has already given more than his fair share to our city. —cory perla

6pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $10 minimum donation.

Friday, April 29

Jin Hi Kim's Digital Buddha

Who would have ever thought of incorporating traditional Korean music with computer induced electronica? Experimental musician, Jin Hi Kim, the critically acclaimed komungo (a Korean 4th century fretted board zither) virtuoso, comes to Asbury Hall at Babeville this Friday (April 29) to show us that it is indeed possible in her solo recital, Digital Buddha. Kim’s work, ranging from orchestral accompaniment to avant-garde, free improvisations, divulge a world that has never been explored here in the Western realm. When asked about her decision to fuse Eastern and Western music, she replied: “Western culture has so much importance [on my work]. It is so awake...if I bring Korean instruments into the West and make them the equal of Western ones, I think it’s more meaningful than if I try this inside Korea.” She has collaborated with talented musicians such as William Parker, Henry Kaiser, Elliott Sharp, and has worked with John Cage in a one-week residency program in Colorado. With many awards and honors under her belt, Kim can shred some mean licks on the komungo. Her talent has reached and influenced many Western and Eastern avant-garde artists and musicians. Maybe you’ll be the next one. —michael koh

8pm. Babeville’s Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $20 general, $15 members/students/seniors.

Sunday, May 1

Luna Negra

A product of the guitarist’s culturally rich background and a tasty fusion of flamenco, jazz, and pop flavors, the musical styling’s of Luna Negra have been satisfying hungry audiences around the world since 1990. Ottmar Liebert, the band’s guitarist and founder, has been strumming on his six-string since age 11 and has used his extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia as a means of enhancing his already-exotic musical sound. Beginning in Cologne, Germany, where he was born to a Chinese-German father and a Hungarian mother, Liebert made his way first to Boston and finally to Santa Fe, New Mexico—where Luna Negra, which translates to “Black Moon”—began mystifying audiences with its jazz-like rhythms and spirited melodies cascading from Liebert’s guitar. Since 1990, Liebert’s skillful artistry has earned him five Grammy nominations and 38 gold and platinum certifications. This Sunday (May 1), the enchanting melodies of Liebert and Luna Negra will be filling the Tralf Music Hall for those who wish to bask in the band’s culturally rich acoustics. —amber gerrity, photo credit: myriam santos-kayda

7pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $25 advance, $28 day of show.

Monday, May 2


Alternately poignant and humorous, Guster create relaxed rock music featuring irresistible harmonies from co-lead vocalists Adam Gardner and Ryan Miller. The band have obtained a cult following for their quirky live performances where a variety of instruments, from bongos to banjos and keytars, keep shows lively and unpredictable. The Boston-based group began their musical career in 1991 and have toured with Ben Folds, John Mayer, Nickel Creek, Rufus Wainwright, and Nada Surf. Guster’s songs have been included in films like Wedding Crashers, Disturbia, and Life as a House, and on the television program the O.C.. Their latest album, Easy Wonderful, was released in 2010. On Monday (May 2), the Town Ballroom will host one of the band’s beloved appearances. Those who purchase tickets are encouraged by the performers to share rides to the event as Guster strives to be an eco-friendly band. Gardner and his wife have founded the organization Reverb to support “green touring” and education, advocating environmental sustainability in the music industry. —ryan wolf

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $25 advance, $28 day of show.

Wednesday, May 4

Third Eye Blind

Do you want something else to get you through this semi-charmed kinda life? Try Third Eye Blind at Town Ballroom on Wednesday (May 4). One of the 1990’s most recognizable acts, the band continues to produce some of the most memorable hooks in modern alternative rock. Fronted by the relentless Stephan Jenkins, the San Franciscan pop-rockers are behind such towering hits as “Jumper,” “How’s It Going to Be,” and, of course, “Semi-Charmed Life.” With music as earnest and youthful as you remember, Third Eye Blind will perform both chart-topping songs from their stellar 6x platinum self-titled debut and newer material that reveals how relevant the band’s songwriting remains. Jenkins’ personal and, more recently, political lyrics resonate with a large fan base and inject incisive wit into Third Eye Blind’s shamelessly catchy snapshots of fractured American life. Though perfectly capable of playing arenas, Third Eye Blind can be experienced up close this week at Town Ballroom in a welcome return to the Buffalo area. —ryan wolf

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $30 in advance, $34 day of show.