Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Film Now Playing
Next story: John Kane: Radio Host, Native Activist

See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: The Artvoice Battle of Original Music Round 1 Live Show, this Saturday the 26th and Nietzsche's.

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.

Artvoice B.O.O.M! Live Show

Saturday, November 26

It’s time once again for four local original music acts to step into the ring and face-off in the Artvoice live battle of the bands. Since 2006, over 150 bands have participated in our Battle of Original Music—or BOOM for short. Artists enter by simply visiting our website, answering a few questions about their act, and submitting a digital photo and song. It’s that easy. Each week, from the submissions we receive we choose two acts to feature in the print edition of the paper. Then, local music fans visit to listen to the music and vote for the act they like best. At the end of each week, the band with the most votes wins a slot in the next live show. Over the past month, four recording artists—Chester Copperpot, Jae-Skeese, Patrons of Sweet, and the Steakouts have won the right to compete live. This Saturday (Nov 26), each audience member paying through the door will be issued one ballot. They then place a mark indicating their favorite act, and turn it back in at the door to be counted. It’s a big deal, because the winning artist on Saturday secures a spot on the bill at the BOOM Grand Finale, which is comprised of the winners of four such live shows. The band that wins the most votes at the grand finale walks off with $5,000 and perpetual bragging rights as Artvoice BOOM Grand Champion. Past winners include bands like Dali’s Ghost, TypeRelevant, Photos of Wagons, and the Etchings. Come see, hear, and support some of the best original music our area has to offer. And may the best band win. —buck quigley

10pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / / $5.

Wednesday, November 23

Turkey Jam

Twas the night before Thanksgiving when all through the streets, drunken strangers and friends devoured alcoholic treats. “Where’s the music?” A young hipster would sneer, in hopes that a jam band would soon appear. When out in Allentown there arose such a sound, of guitars and drums, at Nietzsche’s abound! Of course Wednesday (Nov 23), the night before Thanksgiving, is an infamous drinking night, but if you’re looking for more than just booze, local jam bands Rhubarb, Shapes of States, Type Relevant, On the Sly, Will Folk for Food, Ramfornikus, and Universe Shark will be rocking Nietzsche’s all night for long for Turkey Jam. It might sound like something you’d spread on a slice of toast as the Thanksgiving leftovers wither away three days after the holiday, but Turkey Jam is in fact a showcase of the cream of Buffalo’s jam band crop. Now is the time to pack in all of the good music you can, because just as the tryptophan starts to kick in on Thanksgiving day, Nickleback should be taking the stage during the Lions halftime show to insult the city of Detroit and nauseate stuffed families across the country. Happy Thanksgiving! —cory perla

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5.

Friday, November 25

Black Umbrella CD Release Show

Remember when pop music had a sense of earnest heart to it? A point in time when an artist wasn’t trying to get by on a catchy hook alone? Enter Black Umbrella. It’s a rarity to find yourself tuning in to something so ear-grabbing without feeling the guilt of being ultimately duped by lack of true substance and depth. Drawing on influences spanning from REM and Kate Bush to New Order, Black Umbrella’s latest album Tussie Mussie is a refreshing reminder of how satisfying simple pop music can be (without having to even turn on the radio). Jangly and danceable while humble and heartfelt, these songs get stuck in your head not only because they are catchy, but because they are good. Keep an eye out for a full review of Tussie Mussie in the coming weeks. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and head down to Soundlab this Friday (Nov 25) for a healthy dose of what makes you feel good. The folk n’ roll musings of Nick Gordon and Rochester’s Big Brain & The Drug Cartel open the show. —eric kendall

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $3.

Saturday, November 26


There is something really interesting about seeing a man with facial tattoos and his longhaired friends partying with Barney the Dinosaur. But then again, Mastodon isn’t really your typical metal band. In a time when many metal bands were focusing on creating albums based around easily consumable singles, Mastodon was making complex concept albums, like Leviathan, focused around classic literature. Themes like astral projection and supernatural creatures also popped up along the way for Mastodon. Following Leviathan, the four piece heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia released the equally high concept albums Blood Mountain in 2006 and Crack the Skye 2009. This year the band has let loose The Hunter, their fifth studio album and possibly most ambitious. “We’ve always had this umbrella or a theme that we’ve written everything under,” said bassist and vocalist Troy Sanders. “This time, we freed ourselves up to try something new. It was really the next step for us, and I’m glad we took it.” Beyond the thematic content, Mastodon is easily one of the most musically talented metal acts around, intertwining twisted guitar riffs, guttural vocals, and spastic percussion. Catch Mastodon this Saturday (Nov 26) with mathcore legends the Dillinger Escape Plan and heavy rockers Red Fang. —cory perla

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

Saturday, November 26

Mark Norris & The Backpeddlers Songs of Guilt and Revenge Album Release

“I was so delighted, surprised and excited in hearing the energized and magnificent pop rock of Songs Of Guilt And Revenge. Mark Norris is a fresh voice in on the local scene.” In some ways, I wish I could say this. The truth, however, is this: I’m not surprised at all, and Mark Norris is anything but new on the local scene. Closing in on two decades as Buffalo’s decided power pop king—earned while spending years fronting loved locals Girlpope and now well into a “solo” career with the Backpeddlers—Norris’ twisted, sardonic skill for writing songs bathed in self-evidenced (and self-effacing) realism, matched by a certain pop savvy have earned him rightful due in Buffalo. As a writer his honesty and cleverness make him a local rock and roll everyman. It was almost exactly two years ago that Norris—a former Artvoice music editor—and myself quite by surprise spent a magical evening with our mutual hero Alex Chilton, the leader of Big Star and a beloved cult solo artist. It was this night that I realize had a profound effect and unequivocally inspired Songs Of Guilt And Revenge. I was lucky enough to listen to the recordings of this album from the very beginning (they immediately reminded me of Chilton’s Like Flies On Sherbet) and continually listened on through the vinyl test pressings to the very end results. So, Songs Of Guilt And Revenge is obviously a record I perhaps got too close to. My judgment might be skewered. Maybe you need to take a listen to Songs Of Guilt And Revenge for yourself and decide, but I stand by the notion that if you care about and understand the spirit of rock and roll this will be a record you will love. Fitting with the times, it is available on compact disc, digital download or on magnificent long-playing vinyl record. Mark Norris and The Backpeddlers will play it in its entirety—and much more—this Saturday night (Nov 26) at Mohawk Place. —donny kutzbach

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

Sunday, November 27

The Knux with Jordy Towers

It’s hip-hop. It’s rock and roll. It’s funky. It’s a good time. It’s the Knux. Brothers Kentrell “Krispy” and Alvin “Joey” Lindsey left New Orleans, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to chase their hip-hop dreams in Los Angeles. The Knux 2008 debut Remind Me In 3 Days... (Interscope) was a willfully abstracted mix of big beats, fuzzed guitars and sly rhymes that earned the Lindseys due acclaim, pitching them toward the next act seize the mantle left by Outkast. To follow it up, the Knux have just issued Eraser (Cherry Tree/Interscope) with guests including emcee of the moment Kid Cudi and 13 tracks leaning more into territory of stylized, textured pop than their debut. One of the Knux’ strengths is their live set bolstered by a band and having the feel of a punky, hip-hop party. Supporting the Knux is up and comer Jordy Towers, whose YouTube clip for his single “Money, Money” has garnered over 1,800,000 views in under a month. —gore petersen

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $10.

Tuesday, November 29

White Rabbits

When Missouri-born, Brooklyn based six-piece White Rabbits released their debut album, Fort Nightly in 2007, a lot of the indie music world took notice. Specifically, Spoon front man Britt Daniel, who became a fan of the group, and produced the follow-up, It’s Frightening in 2009. The result was an intriguing original record that mixed the atmospheric tendencies of Radiohead, with the catchy power-pop sensibilities, of, well Spoon. The band is preparing to release their third album in early 2012, but not before stopping at Babeville’s Ninth Ward in Buffalo on Tuesday (Nov 29). The show will be the first performance by the band on their upcoming North American tour. The band has quickly won fame and critical respect from numerous outlets. Esquire named them as one of their “9 Shows A Man Should See,” while NPR praised their “intense rhythms” and “sweeping, melodic choruses.” One thing that sets White Rabbits apart from other bands is their usage of two drummers, which gives their rhythm section an added kick. Matthew Clark and Jamie Levinson both handle the band’s drumming duties, and the result is a loud, precise rhythmic attack. The band made direct reference to this approach on their single “Percussion Gun,” a driving power-pop number that sounded like just that. When White Rabbits release their third album next year, they have all the potential to reach the fame levels of their cohorts, Spoon and Radiohead. This show will be a good chance to catch a great band right before they get huge. —john hugar

7pm. Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $13.

Tuesday, November 29

Five Finger Death Punch

In a fairly drab active rock scene, Five Finger Death Punch provide one of the few bright spots. When the Los Angeles quintet released their debut album The Way of The Fist in 2007, lead single “The Bleeding” quickly became a huge hit. With their pounding rhythms, and shrieking vocals, 5FDP are certainly a departure from the typically tepid post-grunge trappings of rock radio. The band has just released their third album, American Capitalist, and they will be bringing their pounding heavy metal aggression to the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls on Tuesday (Nov 29). Their third album has already yielded another radio hit with “Under And Over It,” a pulsating mix of groove metal and intense vocals that border on violent. For this show, they will be joined by two of the metal scene most enduring acts, Hatebreed, and All That Remains. It’s been over two years since Hatebreed’s last album, a self-titled effort that reached the periphery of the mainstream by charting at #37 on the Billboard 200. Their blend of metal and hardcore punk has won them a considerable fan base, however, and they will likely draw a big crowd. The melodic death metal of All That Remains has also a found a considerable audience, as their last LP, For We Are Many peaked at #10. With three acts like this on the bill, things ought to get pretty damn loud at the Rapids this Tuesday. —john hugar

6:30pm. Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls. (205-8925 / $29 advance, $35 day of show.

Tuesday, November 29

Timber Timbre

The only time I’ve ever seen Timber Timbre was last summer, opening up for Broken Social Scene and Pavement at the excellent Toronto Island Concert. After crossing the bridge into the festival and watching thousands of bespectacled youth throw out their carefully packed sandwiches, which due to surprisingly strict security guards now counted as contraband, into large bins, I wasn’t quite yet ready for the peppiness of the later bands. Timber Timbre’s sparse, ghoulish blues played well to the sandwich-less punters sitting crossed legged on their picnic blankets. It was the perfect sound for the late June heat. On Tuesday (Nov 29), the band will be in Buffalo at the Town Ballroom to support their album Creep on Creepin’ On. The show will be seated, although I assume this time it won’t be on checkered blankets, which means a limited capacity, so get there early. Tickets are still available online or in person at the Town Ballroom Box Office. —nick torsell

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $17 advance, $20 day of show.