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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Justin Townes Earle, performing at the Town Ballroom on Sunday, May 13.

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.

Justin Townes Earle

Sunday, May 13

One of the most powerful experiences I’ve had at a live show was Justin Townes Earle’s performance last year at Mohawk Place of the Bruce Springsteen classic “Racing in the Street” from Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was a sad and sweet rendition that hung heavy as smoke in the air. Earle’s positioning in the long lineage of great American songwriters was further cemented with an Americana Music Award for “Song of the Year” for the title track of 2010’s Harlem River Blues. Each year seems to bring bigger and better things for the son of legendary singer-songwriter Steve Earle. 2012 has brought the younger Earle a performance on The Late Show with David Letterman and a recently kick-started tour in support of his new album Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now. The album was recorded in North Carolina over four days without any overdubs, yielding an especially honest and immediate sound to Earle’s impeccable Southern country-meets-Southern soul songwriting. Earle is a no-bullshit kind of songwriter and there is no place for it on Nothing’s Gonna Change. Tracks like “Baby’s Got a Bad Idea” and “Memphis in the Rain” boogie along with a classic soulful sound, replete with horns and whirling organ. The mood becomes more somber and slow on songs like “Won’t Be the Last Time” and “Lower East Side,” the latter being a late-night, down-on-your-luck stroll through New York. Earle has long stepped out of his father’s shadow and Nothing’s Gonna Change is further proof. Justin Townes Earle will perform this Sunday (May 13) at the Town Ballroom. Complementing Earle’s rich American sound will be fellow songwriter Tristen, a Nashville girl with a lovely voice and an ear for hooks. As Neil Young once sang: “Are you ready for the country?” —peter vullo

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $19 advance, $22 day of show. 16+.

Friday, May 11

William Beckett

If you don’t like the popular music on the radio and are sick of hearing those same songs on loop wherever you go, do as William Beckett did and make your own! The 27-year-old, who is most recognized for his work with Chicago’s The Academy Is, started playing guitar 10 years ago because he needed to hear something other than the songs he heard day in and day out on the radio. (We can’t blame him). It didn’t take long for his jam sessions in the basement in front of an audience of one (his sister) to grow into live acoustic and punk rock performances in front of an audience of a thousand screaming young teenagers. Since his debut with his first band, Remember Maine, he has been invited to sing on many tracks for other bands, including Cobra Starship, Fall Out Boy, and Western New York’s Gym Class Heroes and Cute is What We Aim For. But after the split of his longest project, the Academy Is, Beckett has decided to go back to his roots, and plans to release a solo EP in the near future. On Friday (May 11), he’ll be stopping by Mohawk Place to perform some of the new solo material he’s been working on. Crush, the Everlasting and Cara Salimando will open the show, presented by After Dark Entertainment. —emilie hagen

6:30pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $12 advance, $14 day of show.

Saturday, May 12


Time can stretch and shrink. When you’re doing something you hate time seems to last forever, but when you’re doing something you like it can fly by. With the right amount of concentration though, you can slow down any moment and savor what your senses bring in. New York City based band 1032K can help you to slow down time with their improvisational jazz musings. 1032K actually refers to the Planck temperature, the temperature at which matter ceases to exist and time and space begin to warp. When the three members of 1032K—trombonist Frank Lacy, Kevin Ray on contrabass, and drummer Andrew Drury—sync together in rhythm on songs like “Feather,” with it’s meandering trombone solo and mixed-up drums, they can actually create the illusion of warped time through tempo and structure variations. Before forming the band, Ray and Lacy spent time touring with greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Abdullah Threadgill, and Oliver Lake, while Drury shared playing experiences with artists ranging from Wadada Leo Smith and Wayne Horvitz to the Basie-era trombonist Dickie Wells and a teenage Brad Mehldau. Don’t miss this tight jazz trio when they come to the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center on Saturday (May 12). Just close your eyes and let the music decide when and where you are. —cory perla

8pm. Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 341 Delaware Ave. (854-1694 / $15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 members.

Sunday, May 13

Star Slinger with The Hood Internet

Rising electronic producer Star Slinger has a sound much more similar to the sounds coming out of Detroit than of his hometown of Manchester, England. Soul vocal melodies, the occasional reverberated electric guitar sample, and hand clapping hip hop beats all combine to form his bouncing, fun Detroit-influenced sound. “Just gimmie the cue, just gimmie the cue” a soul diva exclaims on the 24-year-old’s track “Gimmie.” Star Slinger, real name Darren Williams didn’t miss his cue. He’s made a name for himself in electronic music in a startingly short amount of time after releasing his debut mixtape Star Slinger Volume 1, nailing a remix of Gold Panda’s “Marriage,” and releasing the kaleidoscopic, sort-of-3D music video for his hit song “Mornin’.” Star Slinger will make a stop at Soundlab on Sunday (May 13) with laptop dueling duo The Hood Internet. The Hood Internet is Chicago’s ABX and STV SLV (pronounced Steve Sleeve), mix masters who reassemble indie, pop, rap, and R&B tunes to create body-moving dancefloor sets. Opening the show will be Planet Mu artist Chrissy Murderbot, who XLR8R magazine called “a virtual walking encyclopedia of the last 30 years of dance music.” Come prepared to dance, because Star Slinger and company rely on the crowd’s energy. “It’s more of a club thing than a music venue thing” Williams says in an interview on his website. Keep that in mind when you check out Star Slinger this weekend. —cory perla

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 /, $17 advance. 18+.

Wednesday, May 16


“Everyone tries to make things fancy, and it’s really pretentious...” I can’t think of a better way to sum up the hipster (de)generation than that. Musician Santi White, or Santigold to her fans, said this in an interview with PopJustice regarding the meaning behind her 2008 single “L.E.S. Artistes.” She grew weary—much like anyone else who’s removed his or her ultra-thick wide framed lens-less glasses and actually peered at the clique in which they consider themselves a part—of the “New York scene and the scenesters and hipsters, who are not artists and just pretending to be.” The track, which mocked the very essence of the “hipster” movement, found itself atop the universal hub for pretension, landing #4 on Pitchfork Media’s “100 Best Tracks of 2008.” How ironic. Since then, Santigold has enjoyed a wealth of success. Her career is as eclectic as her fashion sense: from collaborating with Jay and Kanye, to touring with M.I.A. and Bjork to ghostwriting for Ashlee Simpson…and we’re only two albums deep. Master of My Make-Believe, the singer’s sophomore stab, just dropped this month, adding TV on the Radio guitarist and producer Dave Sitek to her list of references. Santi will perform the breadth of her hits when she rocks Buffalo’s Town Ballroom next Wednesday (May 16) with support from Rye Rye. —brett perla

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

Wednesday, May 16

Medicine Man Cigar Box Guitars

Who needs to buy an overpriced guitar when you can build one yourself out of stuff laying around your garage? It takes a lot of resourcefulness to turn a cigar box, motor oil can or hubcap into a functioning instrument, but that’s just what Medicine Man Cigar Box Guitars, owned and operated by Buffalonian Mikel Doktor, specializes in. The age-old pastime of crafting homemade instruments out of recycled materials stems as far back as the 1840’s, and today, there is an entire subculture of musicians, builders, and amateurs dedicated to keeping the DIY spirit of cigar box guitar making alive. Cigar box guitars come in all shapes and sizes, each one with its own sound and personality, using an empty cigar box as the guitar’s resonator. What you get are small, one to four string guitars that are often played fretless or with a slide, resulting in a sitar-like twang that is ideal for playing the delta blues. On Wednesday (May 16), Mikel Doktor will showcase his own handmade cigar box guitars at Nietzsche’s, with performances by The Medicine Men (featuring Mikel Doktor and Andy Pfieffer) and David Abbatoy (Busted Stuff). This “hands on” art show invites the audience to pick up and try out instruments ranging from three and four string tenor guitars, ukuleles, diddly bows and other unique creations. —jon wheelock

7pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / 21+.

Tuesday, May 17

Mike Doughty: The Book of Drugs

“I don’t do E anymore. I will hang out with you when you’re on E, but if you start rubbing your face and telling me how amazing your face feels, I will make fun of you,” said author Mike Doughty while reading a passage from his memoir The Book of Drugs at a café in Austin, Texas in February. The line comes from an anecdote in the book where Doughty is trying to decide if he should substitute cocaine for Ecstasy when he’s having trouble finding any of the latter in a town in England, where he ended up after chasing a woman there whom he believes disliked him intensely. These are the types of misadventures that the former frontman of alternative rock band Soul Coughing, and former drug addict has dealt with since he broke into music in the early 1990s. Though he tends to deliver lines like these on stage in a humorous manner, and mixed in with songs that he plays on his acoustic guitar in between reading passages, don’t be mistaken: there are some serious lessons to be learned from this bold look at drug addiction and the damage it can cause. Doughty will read passages from The Book of Drugs as well as sing a few songs and answer some questions next Thursday (May 17) at Babeville’s Asbury Hall. —cory perla

7pm. Babeville’s Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $21 advance, $23 day of show.