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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: The Artvoice B.O.O.M! Grand Finale, the culmination of our 6-month long battle of original music for a $5000 prize; featuring Patrons of Sweet, The Tins, '92 Bills, and Sleepless City, this Friday the 20th at The Tralf.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our full 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! Grand Finale

Friday, April 20

Since 2006, Artvoice has been proud to feature the best original music acts our area has to offer in what we call the Battle of Original Music, or BOOM, for short. It’s based on a simple idea: give local bands a platform to get their name out there, and give local music fans a way to hear their stuff. Each week we feature two bands in the print edition of the paper, and invite people to visit—where they can listen to both acts and vote for the one they like the best. Each week, the band that collects the most online votes wins a spot at a live showdown where we feature four bands that have won the right to play before a packed audience. There, each member of the audience receives one ballot to cast for his or her favorite act, and by the end of the night the band with the most votes wins a spot in the Grand Finale. This time around, our Grand Finale features Patrons of Sweet, the Tins, ’92 Bills, and Sleepless City. Like the preliminary live shows, this one will be decided by a ballot count. The band that brings in the most votes will be crowned Artvoice BOOM Grand Champions—joining past winners like Dali’s Ghost, TypeRelevant, Photos of Wagons, and the Etchings. In addition, the winner gets $5,000—which is a very nice payday for a local act, trust me. Yes, local music fans, this one is for all the marbles. Come out and be surprised at what our local scene has to offer. And, as always, may the best band win. —buck quigley

Pictured, clockwise from top left: Round 1 winners - Patrons of Sweet, Round 2 winners - The Tins, Round 3 winners - '92 Bills, Round 4 winners - Sleepless City

7pm. The Tralf Music Hall. 622 Main St. (852-2860 / / $7. 18+.

Thursday, April 19

Seashell Radio

For those who experienced the Buffalo music scene around the turn of the 2000s, Mexican Cession is a name that is likely to illicit a smile. That long gone band’s irrepressible mix of full-tilt rock and roll, ska, and wit made them more than just a party band. At the front of center of Mexican Cession was singer Fen Ikner, who has left Buffalo but certainly not left music. Upon moving to Tuscon, AZ, Ikner began working as an audio engineer, playing drums and falling in with acclaimed desert rock majestics Calexico. He then hooked up with cellist Esmé Schwall, guitarist Courtney Robbins, and keyboardist Cassie Van Gelder as Seashell Radio—a heady mix of alt.pop, chamber music, and touches of experimental rock and soundtrack tableaus—who on paper seem a million miles away from Ikner’s old Buffalo band but actually have a few things in common: impeccable musicianship, a fearlessness for mixing and twisting genres and a sense of humor. Welcome Ikner back for a brief stopover as Seashell Radio plays Nietzsche’s on Thursday (tonight!) with Unwelcome Guests and Vox Humana. —donny kutzbach

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

Thursday, April 19

Zarjaz (Tronics)

Often enough, the word “obscurity” has a way of finding great company with the word “legendary.” If the chops are right, and the times call for it, then recognition will come....this is one of those times. Appreciation can often come after a lengthy waiting period, such is the case with Zarjaz, the new moniker for the musical endeavors of London native Ziro Baby, best known for the cult status-worthy Tronics project whose sole 1981 album Love Backed By Force was recently re-released by Indie-pop buzz label, What’s Yr Rupture. DIY, Lo-fi and heartfelt in every way, Tronics bring to mind the The Vaselines, but with a more clean-cut feel. Combine that with the charm of Beat Happening...only from the future, and you’ll begin to understand where Zarjaz is coming from; outsider folk-rock bred with a post-punk aesthetic. Or better yet...come to The Vault this Thursday (tonight!) for the long overdue stateside debut. That’s right, this visit is over 20 years in the making and Buffalo is stop number one thanks to DIY local promoters/merrymakers, Little Red Booking. I’d like to say that shows like this don’t happen often but thanks to Little Red Booking, we as a city are continuously given special opportunities like this to appreciate the underappreciated. Buffalo/Rochester trash rockers Raunchy Sex open the show along with the Surf-punk onslaught of Mayday! —eric kendall

8pm. The Vault, 702 Main St. (884-7172). $7.

Sunday, April 22

Doctors for the Arts

The Give season is in full swing. There have been a handful of fun events but there are still more to come, and that means more opportunities to give to the valuable arts institutions of Buffalo. This week there will be a celebration of fine art, live music, dance, and other forms of artistic expression at Doctors for the Arts, on Sunday (April 22) at the Buffalo Erie County Historical Society. The event will include performances by LehrerDance, Buffalo Contact Improvisation Group, Bonnie-Jean Taylor, Nancy Huhges, and Mirage. The afternoon will include a raffle boutique, hors d’oeuvres catered by Oliver’s restaurant, a cash bar and complimentary docent tours of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society will be offered from 2-5pm. All are welcome to attend. The Give For Greatness season will climax at Fiesta for the Arts on May 5th but there are still a bunch of great events coming up, like Yard Sale for the Arts on April 28th, A Broadway Spectacular on April 29th, and Lawyers for the Arts on May 1st. For more information please visit —a.v.

2pm. Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, 25 Nottingham Court. ( $35 per person, $60 per couple, $20 for students. Free for kids under 17.

Monday, April 23


The boy girl duo Cults has come a long way since their last visit to Buffalo, when the band with a 1960s girl group sound and an obscure background performed at Babeville’s Ninth Ward last June. The intimate underground venue was well suited for Cults at the time, when their single “Go Outside” had just begun to permeate the Internet. Nearly a year later, the buzz surrounding Cults has blossomed into a full-blown following. They were originally slated to perform at Mohawk Place but due to an increasing demand for tickets the show was moved to the larger Town Ballroom. Despite their growing popularity, Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin have maintained the air of mystery around the band and it’s origins. While it is known that they began making music as students at The New School in New York City, their official website, declines to offer any biographic information or “about” section. Letting the music speak for itself, Cults’ image remains cryptic even in the current climate of rapid overexposure. Their sentimental, charming, and well-paced rock sound is more than enough to keep fans interested. Hear it for yourself this Monday (April 23). —jill greenberg

8pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $17. All ages.

Tuesday, April 24

Portugal. The Man

Alaskan indie rock band Portugal. The Man has grown at a very steady pace since their debut album Waiter: You Vultures. That is a feat on it’s own these days, as many bands tend to explode out of the gate and disappear just as quickly after quick hits of internet or viral fame. PTM has managed to do it the old fashioned way: by writing consistent records and performing the hell out of them on stage. Their sixth studio album, 2011’s In the Mountain In The Could marks the band’s major label debut, something they’ve taken their sweet time building up to, releasing an album a year since 2006. What makes In The Mountain different from most major label debuts is Portugal. the Man have seemingly managed to maintain complete creative control over their work, from their swirling, trippy songs to their equally swirling and trippy album artwork. That’s because they’ve spent the better part of the last decade establishing their neo-classic rock sound marked by soaring guitar riffs and the mesmerizing vocals of bandleader John Gourley. Always mysteriously shrouded in a beanie and sunglasses Gourley (who grew up in a log cabin in Alaska without as much as an outgoing phone line), along with bassist Zachary Carothers, drummer Jason Sechrist and keyboardist Kyle O’Quin have cultivated a genuinely mystical vibe pushed forward only by their love of creating. Portugal. The Man will make a stop at the Town Ballroom on Tuesday (April 24) with support from The Lonely Forest. —cory perla

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $24 day of show.

Wednesday, April 25


Beavis and Butthead exposed them to the masses, but GWAR has been making music and sharing their unorthodox antics with us for over 25 years. Even with the passing of lead guitarist, Cory Smoot, this past year, the shock rock band refuses to slow down. On Wednesday (April 25) GWAR will bring their elaborate and gory act to the Town Ballroom with support from Kylesa, Ghoul, and Legacy of Disorder. To explain it to someone who’s never been to a GWAR show: it’s like the comedian Gallagher had a baby with heavy metal. A GWAR concert is an experience in and of itself. It is one of the major reasons this band has been around for as long as they have and why they continue to have success after all of these years. Their latest album, Bloody Pit of Horror, was released in 2010 and is their 12th studio album to date. It was the last album Cory Smoot (aka Flattus Maximus) recorded with the band and, as expected, it is classically offensive and over the top. Their brand of heavy metal is an act few can follow and will forever be their legacy as one of the most provoking live shows. —jeremiah shea

6:30pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $21 advance, $24 day of show.

Wednesday, April 25

Leland Sundries with Joan Hutcheson

You can tell just by listening to it that Leland Sundries’ latest release, The Foundry EP was recorded in an old creamery building. Gentle harmonica, tapping acoustic guitar riffs, and lyrics like “the smell of woodchips and heartache and pancakes” capture a creamy down-home scene on “Apparition,” that you wouldn’t guess came from Brooklyn. The indie-folk band released the emotional American album just last month to the praise of the New York Times, The Boston Phoenix, and Time Out New York. Multi-insturmentalist Nick Loss-Eaton leads the band with his prowess on the guitar, banjo, harmonium, and harmonica as the story-teller delves into dark folky tunes and even sea shanties and some rockabilly. Leland Sundries will play at Dick & Jenny’s Bake and Brew in Grand Island with singer-songwriter Joan Hutcheson on Wednesday (April 25). Hutcheson, a Midwestern artist, with hints of Aimee Mann, and Joni Mitchell living in her, explores beautiful vocal melodies with her lilting voice to the tune of sentimental, strumming acoustic guitar. —cory perla

6:30pm. Dick & Jenny’s Bake and Brew, 1270 Baseline Road, Grand Island. (775-5047 /