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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros at Thursday in the Square.

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.

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Thursday, June 2

Edward Sharpe is the messiah and the magnetic zeros are his disciples. Contrary to what some might believe though, Sharpe is not a real person, he only exists as an idea, says Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros leader Alex Ebert. This is not a character he plays or an alter ego; it is the concept behind the entire band. The tight nit group—ranging from nine to 13 members, depending on the performance—formed in 2007 after Ebert went through a massive lifestyle change: he sought help for a drug problem, broke up with his long time girlfriend, and ended his former band, Ima Robot. Sleeping on the floor of a friend’s apartment for months, Ebert conceived of the idea of Edward Sharpe, a messiah who wanders down the wrong path. The large group of musicians—Ebert as lead vocalist, guitarist Nico Aglietti, Stewart Cole on trumpet, pianist Aaron Embry, bassist Airin Older, Josh Collazo on drums, accordion player Nora Kirkpatrick, auxiliary percussionist Orpheno McCord, and additional vocalist Jade Castrinos—quickly started recording material in what they call a “communal writing and recording process,” a drastically different process than Ebert’s prior, isolated, bedroom recording sessions. What resulted from these group recording and bonding sessions were 15 sprawling, indie-pop tracks that would make up their 2009 album Up From Below. Songs like “40 Day Dream” and “Home” reveal desert settings and western themes that play throughout the album and into the band’s music videos, which coincide to visually tell their story. Catch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros when they open up this season’s Thursday at the Square concert series with a free concert in Lafayette Square on Thursday (June 2). —cory perla

5-9pm. Lafayette Square ( Free.

Friday, May 27

Sphongle Presents: The Sphongletron Experience

British psychedelic trance pioneer Simon Posford brings “goa trance” to Buffalo on Friday (May 27) at the Town Ballroom. Synonymous with the defining factor in the psychedelic trance genre, Posford, now 40 years-old, is determined to bring an exciting performance for the crowd on his highly anticipated tour, “Shpongle Presents: The Shpongle Experience.” Shpongle, not yet recognized in dictionaries, is said to be a generic term for feeling positive. The show is set to reveal a variety of multi-media performances, described by Posford himself as a “maelstrom of beauty and surprise.” The Shpongletron, an 18-foot tall phenomenon built exclusively for this tour, will be showcased and used to cascade the audience with mind-bending, euphoria inducing tracks put forth by Posford. 16 years has passed since his first album, Twisted (1995), widely regarded as the most influential album in psychedelic trance; soon followed by his equally impressive sophomore album, the Lone Stranger (1997), which cemented Posford’s reputation and sound in goa trance forever. He has also collaborated with Raja Ram (1200 Micrograms), Benji Vaughan and Ruu Campbell, Marc Brownstein (Disco Biscuits), Tom Hamilton (Brothers Past), and Joe Russo (Furthur). Described to be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience, Posford’s tour looks like something too good to pass up. —michael koh

9pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $25 day of show. 16+.

Friday, May 27

Take Action Tour

The Take Action Tour featuring co-headliners Silverstein and Bayside, and presented by Hot Topic, is devoted to raising funds for Sex, Etc., a nonprofit program that provides accurate and important sexual health information for teenagers. Alternative rock acts Silverstein, fresh off the release of their latest album Rescue, and Bayside, who released their fifth studio album, Killing Time, in February, will hold record signings at the FYE in Amherst on Friday (May 27), followed later in the evening with a performance on the stage of Club Infinity in Williamsville. Joining these two popular heavy rock bands are metalcore monsters Texas in July, melodic punks the Swellers, and up-and-coming Syracuse indie rockers Polar Bear Club. Come support an active and relevant charity while experiencing the catchy hooks of the Take Action Tour’s diverse. Take action and hit up five terrific bands for an impressively low price as they put on a concert that is certain to have an impact far beyond one night’s worth of entertainment. —ryan wolf

5:30pm. Club Infinity. 8166 Main St., Williamsville (565-0110 / $18.

Friday & Saturday, May 27 & 28

Indiesound Festival

Whether Allentown is your daily stomping ground or you only stumble there on Saturday nights, perhaps there are a few cafés, shops, and art galleries you haven’t visited yet and local musicians you haven’t heard. Kill two birds with one stone this Friday (May 27) and Saturday (May 28) when Buffalo First! and the Good Neighborhood present IndieSound in Allentown. IndieSound is meant to showcase the vast amount of talent in Buffalo’s independent, local music scene while introducing, or re-introducing, Western New Yorkers to all that Allentown has to offer. Expect to hear everything from jazz to house music, view art galleries and clothing stores, and let your ears lead the way around the various storefronts from Wadsworth to Main Street. The kick-up party starts Friday at 9pm in the Back Room in Allen Street Hardware Café (245 Allen St. $3) featuring Megan Callahan & Friends, groove trio FudgyChewy, and DJ collective Queen City Cartel. The weekend will wrap up with a finale jam Saturday at 6pm at the Eights Bistro (888 Main St. $5) with Free Henry!, DJ Cutler, the Albrights, and Andrew J. Reimers. “Everyone is very supportive of each other, it’s a very neighborly approach,” said Derek Presti of Free Henry!, of this brand new event. Also performing throughout the weekend will be DJ LoPro at El Museo, Jon Herr at Café Taza, Grace Stumberg at Sweet Tooth, Skiffle Minstrels at Café 59, Stuart Fuchs at the College Street Gallery, Blood Thirsty Vegans at Rick’s Cycle Shop, and many more. View the full schedule at —jill greenberg

May 27, 9pm. The Back Room in Hardware, 245 Allen St. Kick Up Party $3. May 28, 6pm. The Eights Bistro, 888 Main St. Finale Bash $5 (All other events are free).

Saturday, May 28


Mix Foo Fighters rock riffs with Mastadon’s heavy atmosphere and you come up with something like Savannah, Georgia’s Kylesa. The quintet’s sound is a strange one. Their hooky guitar riffs and memorable choruses on tracks like “Don’t Look Back,” from their 2010 album Spiral Shadow, bring with them just such a sinister shadow of guttural vocals and pounding drums, creating an intriguing mix of heavy metal and alternative rock. That is not to say that this harmony between the light and darkness is present on every track, sometimes the band gets downright punishing. 2009’s “Insomnia For Months,” off of their album Static Tensions, combines polyrhythmic drumming from the group’s pair of percussionists , Carl McGinley and Tyler Newberry, and droning guitar riffs from songwriter/guitarist Laura Pleasants. Since the release of their debut, self-titled album in 2002, the band has gone on to release four additional albums, each progressing their aggressive, yet stoner-rock influenced brand of sludge metal. This month the five-piece group returns to the road for a string of headlining tour dates as well as performances at venerable summer festivals including Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Music Festival and Maryland Death Fest. On Saturday (May 28) Kylesa bring their rapture-inducing blend of psychedelia and hard rock to Soundlab with North Carolina based metal group Hour of 13. —cory perla

8pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $12.

Sunday, May 29

Runner Runner, with Sunderland, Chasing Static and Saints of 7 Avenues

While formed in, and hailing from surf mecca Huntington Beach, CA, members of the rock quintet Runner Runner are from all over but while their geography varies, they can all claim one shared background: pop punk bands. Singer Ryan Ogren fronted New Jersey’s Don’t Look Down, bassist Jon Berry played in SoCal’s Rufio, and guitarists Nick Bailey, Peter Munters and drummer James Ulrich were the core Virginia band Over It. Doing time in tour vans, frequently crossing touring paths, and sharing stages on events like the Vans Warped Tour, the members reconnected when their respective bands slowed down. As Runner Runner, they’ve taken the youthful spirit and hooks of their roots, but focused more determinedly on songwriting, with Ogren and Bailey leading the way and all members adding to it. With the release of their self-titled debut in February on Capitol Records, the band offers a slickly produced and polished set of songs with honesty and pop savvy at the heart. Runner Runner will be joined this Sunday (May 29) at Mohawk Place by Portland pop rockers Sunderland, and local upstarts Chasing Static and Saints of 7 Avenues, two bands worthy of keeping an eye in the Buffalo scene. —billy gold

7pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $7.50.

Sunday, May 29

Capsized Boat Cruise

This isn’t your mother’s three-hour boat tour. MNM Presents is kicking off the summer right with the Capsized Boat Cruise, their Sunset Sunday’s Launch Party. Capsized launches their floating dance floor aboard the Miss Buffalo II, a two story, 90 foot long cruise boat, from the Erie Basin Marina on Sunday (May 29) for three hours of summer fun and bangin’ beats from 6pm to 9pm. Canadian electro-house DJ Jelo will be onboard to keep the crowd moving along with local veteran DJs 3PO and Ryan Liddell. Guests will receive a free download of 3PO & Ryan Liddell’s set from this year’s MNM Presents Christmas Party with the purchase of a ticket for the cruise. The fun doesn’t end when the boat docks though. At 9pm the party starts again on the patio at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery for the seventh year of Sunset Sundays with local DJs Jesse Aaron, McNasty, Bacon!, Arehouse, and DJ Medison. The cruise boards at 5:30pm on Sunday so don’t miss the boat! —cory perla

5:30pm. Erie Basin Marina, 79 Marine Dr. $25. (Tickets may be available on site on the day of the cruise.) 21+.

Tuesday May 31 & Wednesday, June 1

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

What does the East Coast know about reggae? What does a band based in Rochester know about a socially-conscious art form that goes back years to Kingston slums? If you asked Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, they would most likely answer with one of their raw, roots reggae-inspired vibes to show you that a new generation of modern reggae has unfolded, one that is alive and well in upstate New York. Reggae now comes from all corners of the world, and it just so happens that Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad hails from Rochester, and if you need any more validation, the quintet hits Nietzsche’s this Tuesday (May 31) and Wednesday (June 1) for two nights of eclectic, feel-good grooves and jams. GPGDS’s self-described “relentless roots reggae” takes the slow, heavy roots structure and piles on dub, soul, and psychedelia, creating a sound that pays homage to reggae’s forefathers while simultaneously pushing the genre into new, more experimental territory. The Hammond B3 the band uses is downright intense, complementing their steady jams with a hard-driving dose of soul and funk. Lyrically, GPGDS keeps with the roots reggae tradition by sending a positive, uplifting message. “The reality of this band is that we’re always evolving—musically, spiritually, and within our own circle,” says GPGDS bassist James Searl. If that isn’t the aim of every band out there, it should be, and it doesn’t take long to realize how much this holds true when you see GPGDS perform in the live setting. Their relentless on the touring front as well, playing 500 shows over the last 3 years, and capping off a 6-week US tour in April. They’ve shared the stage with such luminaries as Toots and the Maytals, the Wailers, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Steel Pulse, Israel Vibration, Yellowman and the Meditations. That’s good company for a band forging their own path in the modern reggae movement. The future of reggae is in good hands. —jon wheelock

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $15 or $25 for both nights.