Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Fall Classics
Next story: Dropping Like Leaves

Live! This Fall

Mutemath, who will play Mohawk Place on September 22.

A guide to the season's dozen best shows

Fall is concert season. The hoodies come out, the weather gets colder here in Buffalo and most people take this opportunity to venture out to their favorite music venues to catch the coolest bands passing through. From indie rock to electronic and punk, this list of 12 of the most anticipated shows of the season.

September 10


Ukranian American Freedom Foundation, 562 Genesee Street

Most people know that all DJs are from outer space. Usually from some far-off orb called Nannou or Planet Telex or something like that—just refugees looking for a spot to set up their strange-sounding vinyl spaceships. Well, they’ve finally found a spot, and of all the places on Earth, it happens to be at the Ukranian American Freedom Foundation on Genesee Street. Over 30 of Buffalo’s coolest DJs, spinning everything from techno, to drum ’n’ bass, house, disco, and dubstep will converge on the Orioles building for an all-night party called DJs From Outer Space. 3PO, Big Basha, Medison, Mario B, Sunglasses Mike, Projex, Stuntman, Mark Kloud, DJ Soma, Arehouse, and many more will fill three floors and an outside tent with intergalactic sounds as well as video images and digital art, 6pm-4am.

This is an event that has more than quadrupled in size since the first DJs From Outer Space event was held at the Cosmopolitan Gallery in April. “It all started with a short story that Will Seamans from the Cosmopolitan Gallery wrote about DJs who had travelled through space and lost their ability to make music,” said Christina Laing, media director for DJs From Outer Space. Hopefully those DJs find the means to make some fun sounds on September 10 at the Ukranian Center. Don’t forget to wear your sci-fi B-movie themed costumes. Obviously Mork is taken. > CP

September 16

Xiu Xiu

Mohawk Place

Jamie Stewart might be one of the most perplexing figures in all of music. The mastermind behind Xiu Xiu walks, or rather jumps back and forth, between that fine line of brillance and being seriously screwed up, singing with a devastating emotional resonance that is undeniably powerful, and at times, disturbing. Perhaps the title of their newest album, Dear God, I Hate Myself, would suggest a thing or two about Xiu Xiu’s ethos, and just how honest Stewart is willing to be. Yet in all of that tortured chaos is a great band that makes great music, with Stewart continuing to be the one constant amidst a rotating cast of bandmates. He shook up the lineup once again, bidding farewell to longtime member Caralee McElroy and welcoming keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Angela Seo for the release of Dear God, which seems to have pushed the band into new, unchartered territory. There’s a certain element of danceability in Xiu Xiu’s songs that cuts through the despair, with synth tones and electronic showcasing just enough of a pop influence to keep things accessible. For Dear God, Stewart utilized a Nintendo DS, experimenting with video-game programming to compose the tracks. Xiu Xiu plays at the Mohawk Place on September 16, a fitting venue for a band who engages audiences on such an intimate level. If you’re worried about Jamie Stewart, don’t be—he’ll be okay. > JW

September 15

Cut Copy

Town Ballroom

When you think of Australia, you don’t necessarily think of electronica music, but the country down under happens to have a thriving scene. Cut Copy is just one of several electronica acts, like Empire of the Sun, Pendulum, and Pnau, who have broken out of Australian over the last decade. Formed in 2001 in Melbourne by guitarist and vocalist Dan Whitford, the band has released three LPs including their latest, Zonoscope, which ranges from disco influenced dance tracks like “Take Me Over” to indie rock on “Where I’m Going.” Don’t miss Cut Copy when they hit the Town Ballroom on September 15 with chillwave mastermind Washed Out. > CP

September 17

Music Is Art Festival

Delaware Park

More than 90 musical acts, dozens of artists, and a whole festival of dancers will pack Delaware Park on September 17 for the Music Is Art Festival, a totally free and outrageously fun all-day event. This is the epitome of local music festivals, representing virtually every genre of music with Western New York-based bands and DJs. Held for the first time in 2003, Music Is Art is a completely different beast from year to year. Though some favorites from years past will return, 60 percent of the bands playing this year did not play the festival last year, and 30 percent have never played it before. If you feel like you’ve experienced all that MIA has to offer, think again. > CP

September 22


Mohawk Place

“Can you believe this world’s just a television blaring/A million devils at once?” Mutemath’s Paul Meany really has his finger on something in the song “The Nerve” off their newest album Armistice, and you should take notice, because not only are these guys highly intelligent, their synth-driven art-rock sound and digital layers put them on the cusp of something the indie world has never seen. Since their 2006 self-titled, self-released debut album, which consequently began a legal battle with Warner Brothers, Mutemath has managed to gain a sizeable following and touring exposure, playing for thousands at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Warped Tour, and CMJ Music Marathon. Their 2007 music video for the song “Typical” had 100,000 views in less than four days. Former Earthsuit member Paul Meany can wield a keytar with the best of them, while the rest of the band falls in place with intricate melodies and harmonies, mixing everything from prog rock to jazz, funk and electronica. Mutemath promises to be one of the most sought-after shows this fall, so you’d better get to Mohawk Place on September 22 if you want a dose of knowledge from one of indie’s smartest outfits. > JW

September 27


Babeville’s Ninth Ward

Yuck is a four-piece indie rock band from London in the guise of an American alternative rock band from the 1990s. Which alt-rock giant they are disguised as is still up for debate: It could be Sonic Youth, or Dinosaur Jr. or even Pavement. All comparisons aside, Yuck has some catchy tunes. For instance, take the feedback fueled, shoegazing anthems “Operation” and “Rubber” from their self-titled debut album. These fuzzed-out, guitar-driven songs are almost meticulously influenced by those aforementioned kings of 1990s grunge, but Yuck gives this genre a refreshing reboot for the new millennium. Catch the English rockers up close and personal when they perform at Babeville’s Ninth Ward on September 27. > CP

October 13

Minus the Bear

Town Ballroom

It’s hard to believe Minus the Bear is turning 10 years old, like some distant nephew or cousin that you lost track of before realizing that, wow, they’re all grown up. If there’s any indication that an indie band from Seattle has now reached veteran status, with four albums under their belt, it’s in the number of bands out there that look to Minus the Bear as their inspiration. While it’s easy to see MTB’s influence on their contemporaries, it’s quite a bit harder to figure out where to peg them in the indie realm, as they’ve had knack for tweaking their sound over the years, sounding at times like an entirely different band from album to album. Early albums like Menos el Oso and Planet of Ice exemplify MTB’s experimental nature, with atmospheric tones, percussive melodies and a dazzling technical display helping them gain the reputation as a band that is constantly reinventing itself. Their latest release, Omni, delivers a more refined indie-pop feel that still has all of the unexpected nuances that MTB loves to include, fluctuating time signature, electronic doodads, and winding instrumental solos. Minus the Bear comes to Buffalo on October 13 at the Town Ballroom, and if you’ve missed them grow up, now’s the time to make up for it. > JW

October 15

Junior Boys

The Tralf

For a band from Hamilton, Ontario, a mere one hour and 20 minute drive from the City of Buffalo, the Junior Boys don’t make it here very often. The last time the electropop duo found themselves in the Queen City it was a dark night in November two years ago, in front of a moderate yet transfixed crowd at Soundlab who stood in anticipation of the cathartic and mood altering music of the band’s then newly released album Begone Dull Care. As the pair took the stage with a live drummer in tow the lights lowered and the first whispering tones of “Parellel Lines” began playing through the house speakers. The crowd started slowly swaying, like any crowd does, but when vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Greenspan—dressed in modest, anti-rockstar apparel—approached the microphone and began quietly to sing the first phrase of the song—“If you found the words, would you really say them?”—the crowd stopped swaying, because at that moment the singer’s mesmerizing voice consumed the entire room. When the band makes their return to Buffalo to perform at the Tralf on October 15, it will be under slightly different circumstances, having recently released their fourth full-length album, the more upbeat It’s All True, which could spark an all-out dance party with songs like “Itchy Fingers” and “Banana Ripple.” Toronto based celestial dubstep producer Egyptrixx opens the show. > CP

October 22

Circa Survive

Town Ballroom

Not many singers can do what Circa Survive’s Anthony Green can do. That is, hit those powerfully high notes on songs like “Act Appalled” from the band’s debut record, Juturna, or “Your Friends Are Gone,” from their follow-up, On Letting Go. What makes his incredible vocal talents even more mesmerizing is the manner in which the 29-year-old singer drifts about the stage, through the resonating chords of the band’s ethereal, indie-hard rock, hypnotizing fans as they lose themselves in the band’s haunting melodies. After leaving like-minded, post-hardcore band Saosin to form Circa Survive, Green recruited guitarists Colin Frangicetto—who recently released a solo album under the name Psychic Babble —and Brendan Ekstrom from the depths of the Philadelphia hardcore scene, who in turn found bassist Nick Beard and drummer Steve Clifford to round out the band’s driving rhythm section. Seven years after their formation the band have announced that they have completed writing their yet-to-be-titled fourth full-length studio album, the follow-up to 2010’s critically acclaimed Blue Sky Noise. Circa Survive will play the Town Ballroom on October 22. > CP

October 25

New Found Glory

Town Ballroom

If New Found Glory says pop punk’s not dead, then pop punk’s not dead. So decares the title of their current tour with fellow pop-punkers Set Your Goals and the Wonder Years, and NFG backs up the statement with their new crunch-heavy single “Radiosurgery,” the title track from their forthcoming full-length album. “Radiosurgery” is hardly a stretch for the 14-year-old band from Coral Springs, Florida, but if you’re looking for a fun party anthem that would fit just as snuggly on Nothing Gold Can Stay as it would on Not Without a Fight, then you’ve come to the right place. “I can’t get your face out my head, it makes my brain hurt,” sings frontman Jordan Pudnick about the girl who perpetually gets away. Radiosurgery will see a release date of October 4th, allowing just enough time for hardcore fans to get properly acquainted with the album before the band’s visit. San Francisco six-piece Set Your Goals accompany NFG on their cross-country tour, playing frantic fan favorites like “Certain” and material from their latest album, Burning at Both Ends. These guys don’t stop in Buffalo too often so check them out on the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour while you have the chance at the Town Ballroom on October 25. > CP

November 16

Infected Mushroom

Town Ballroom

One thing you never want to do is consume an infected mushroom. Listening to Infected Mushroom is a much more pleasant experience. Band leaders Erez Eizen and Amit Duvdevani (a.k.a. Duvdev) have been the premier group within the global psy-trance scene for nearly a decade. Incorporating pumping, bad-ass grooves, infectious melodies, and vocals into their songs, they’ve performed live—a feat that many of their DJ peers aspire to accomplish—for millions of people around the globe. Originally hailing from Israel but currently residing in Los Angeles Eizen and Duvdev have led the genre bending electronic/industrial band through the consistent release of seven studio albums, including their most recent, Legend of the Black Shawarma, a food-based, trip-hop album of epic proportions. MNM presents Infected Mushroom at the Town Ballroom on November 16. > CP

November 22

Social Distortion

Town Ballroom

Whether you find it plastered on bathroom stalls or blazoned onto jackets like a badge of honor, the martini-drinking, cigarette-smoking skeleton will forever represent one of punk’s greatest bands. Formed during what might be the best time for rock and roll, let alone punk rock, Social Distortion has been the tattooed, flying-middle-fingered embodiment of West Coast punk for over 30 years. As you would expect from a band as brash as Social D, they’ve seen it all: drug addiction, breakups, the death of original member Dennis Danell, and a laundry list of former members who came in and out during a span of seven studio albums. Despite the mishaps and tragedies that typically follow bands who make their own rules, and live recklessly by those rules, Social Distortion wasn’t content with fizzling out as one of the greatest punk bands of all time; they wanted to keep making music. And so Social D trucked on into the 21st century with albums like Sex, Love and Rock ’n’ Roll and their most recent album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, proving that real punk rock doesn’t die, it just fades away and comes back with a dropkick to your face. Songs like “Story of My Life” and “Ball and Chain” are timeless mainstays on the punk-rock soundtrack, along with their memorable cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” Singer Mike Ness remains the only original member of the band, but that doesn’t stop him from carrying the flame of one of punk’s most enduring and legendary acts. Social Distortion plays the Town Ballroom November 22. If you still have your Social D patch, don’t forget to wear it proudly. > JW

blog comments powered by Disqus