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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Rock the Barn, taking place Friday and Saturday the 20th and 21st at the Big Yellow Barn in Clarence.

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.

Rock The Barn

Friday, July 20 & Saturday, July 21

There is a big yellow barn on Main Street in Clarence that probably goes unnoticed by the majority of people who pass by it, but for one weekend a year that big yellow barn explodes with music, food, and good times. Rock the Barn is back this weekend—which should be bright and sunny—for two days of blues and country music. Now, in its 8th year, Rock the Barn has been a meeting point for music lovers from Buffalo to Clarence and beyond. Friday night (July 20) is Country Night with country rock headliner Ricky Lee, Not Quite Right, Blood Money, and Erin Sydney Walsh. Gates open at 4pm Friday. Then Saturday (July 21) is Blues Night headlined by Juno award winner Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Gretchen Shulz, the Hurricanes, Joe Mahfound, Patti Parks Band, and U People. Gates open at 2pm on Saturday. Expect tons of food like barbeque pulled pork, smoked sausage, chicken wing mac & cheese, fried dough, and much more. Rock the Barn is not only a music festival, but also a fundraiser for the Clarence Newstead Meals on Wheels Task Force. To date, the festival has raised nearly $200,000 to help fund the organization. The sun will be smiling over the Barn this weekend so don’t miss out on the fun. —cory perla

4pm Friday, 2pm Saturday Big Yellow Barn, 9015 Main St., Clarence ( $15 advance, $20 at the gate, kids under 10 free

Saturday, July 21

The Pimps of Joytime

With a name like the Pimps of Joytime, it’s not surprising that when the Brooklyn based band struggled to find a genre to describe their sound, they opted to create a new phrase. Janxta Funk triples as the band’s self-proclaimed genre, title of their latest album, and title track. “It is a style that is part gangsta, part janky,” Brian J, the band’s leader explains. It rides a spectrum of Latin inspired rhythms, deep funky grooves, hot dance beats, and soulful harmonies, according to Brian J, who formed the band in 2005. The tunes are funk at their core. The pumping bass lines will have you dancing, and the songs have clear roots in the funky tunes that were popular in the 1970s. The Pimps have a summer packed with touring, recently taking their afrobeats melded with rock and hop-pop to Bannaroo. The band’s groove machine is making its stop in Buffalo as part of the “Live All the Way Tour,” promoting their latest album that dropped in late June. Come out to Nietzsche’s on Saturday night (July 21), to see a band that promises to deliver a good time (judging by their name, at least). Special guests Logo City and DJ Cutler will also perform. —sara dinatale

9pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $10, 21+

Saturday, July 21


Though it’s been 20 years now since the Halifax band, Sloan debuted their EP, Peppermint, they’re still as fresh as ever. While a little older than their gangly, shaggy haired Between the Bridges selves, the band has remained very much the same. Even Chris Murphy, on vocals and guitar, still sports his signature wide, 1970s coke bottle glasses that were hipster before you were born. More importantly, this laid-back Canadian foursome has continued making solid tunes with the release of their new album, The Double Cross, the roman numeric reference to their age. Sloan has put out 1990s hits like “The Good in Everyone” whose catchy hooks are dangerously close to poppy, but have never blown up in the mainstream. Still, songs like “If It Feels Good Do It” show their harmonizing skill and ability to shred a guitar. Sloan will be playing at the Hard Rock Cafe as part of the Falls Summer Series on Saturday (July 21). Judging from recent set lists, Sloan may not play their top hits, but you won’t be disappointed with their new stuff. Expect vocal acrobatics from Murphy and drummer, Andrew Scott, who also gets his own set. The concert is free, concessions and parking proceeds support the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, which houses 75 artists, two galleries and two theatres. Junction and Topanga open the show. —leigh giangreco

6pm Old Falls St., adjacent to the Hard Rock Cafe, 333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls. (282-0007 / Free.

Tuesday, July 24


For the past four decades, the female-fronted Vancouver/Seattle-based rock band Heart has proven that women can rock and then some. The straight-ahead rock and rich vocals of Ann and Nancy Wilson have garnered them lasting success. Heart has landed Top 10 albums on the Billboard Album Chart in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, making them one of the most commercially enduring rock bands in history. For those who have become immune to cutesy pop love tunes and are looking for the harder stuff, Heart’s ballads are infused with sticky hot desire or melancholic folk-influenced laments. One of their memorable hits, “Magic Man,” tells a story of a young girl falling for an irresistible older man with deliciously trembling guitar licks, vocals that moan for more, and notable Minimoog synthesizer usage that creates trance-like sounds. The song contains autobiographical lyrics about the beginning of Ann Wilson’s relationship with band manager Michael Fisher. The slow burn of this song perfectly describes the hypnotizing force of lust and attraction. Throughout Heart’s decade-spanning career they have maintained their bold, layered sound as they have experimented with electric and acoustic instruments and toed the line of musical genres such as hard rock, folk, easy listening, and heavy metal. Experience this classic rock band live this Tuesday (July 24) in Artpark’s amphitheater as part of their Tuesday in the Park concert series presented by First Niagara. —jill greenberg

6:30pm Artpark, 450 4th Street in the Park, Lewiston (754-4375, 1-888-223-6000 /, All ages $50 VIP/$25/$15/$10

Wednesday, July 25

Duke's 2nd Anniversary Bash

In the past two years, Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar has established itself as a bustling music venue with an always stocked bar and tasty food options. Not only is the music schedule at Duke’s packed with great bands and DJs, but it hosts many different genres from trendy dub step to classic jazz and hard rock. Always in the mood to party, Duke’s has hosted holiday events such as their Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Dyngus Day Party, Fattest Tuesday Mardi Gras Party, Independence Day Bash, and St. Patty’s Party. They have been home to music residents such as hip-hop Off the Grid Crew, jazz group Paradigm Shift, and DJ collective Queen City Cartel. For their second anniversary pm Wednesday (July 25), Duke’s is launching their new resident DJ crew, the Night Owls. This crew will feature Bearskinrug, Medison, The Owski, Drop D, Dante Velour, and Sunglasses Mike. Don’t miss this chance to meet these well established DJs as they form their new crew, enjoy a complimentary grand buffet, and toast to this diverse music venue, bar, and eatery that will remain dedicated to showing Allentown a good time. —jill greenberg

6pm Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359 /

Wednesday, July 25

Bill Fox with Thomas Comerford, Sonny Baker & Lara Buckley

Armed with their acoustic guitars, and the skills that come with being a solo singer/song writer, four acts will charm The Vault’s stage this Wednesday (July 25). The solid lineup contains artists with rich folk influence and memorizing lyrics—it will definitely be a night of easy listening from four talented musicians. Bill Fox may have started as a power pop artist with his band The Mice, but toward the end of the 1980’s Fox made the transition into a folk sound. The music veteran came out with two albums in the late 1990’s, and after a little hiatus from the music scene until he started performing again in 2009. The Cleveland based artist produces some mellow sounds that provide an endearing Bob Dylan vibe. Thomas Comerford does a little bit of everything; when he isn’t making documentary films, the Chicago artist is producing some sweet jams. Comerford released his first solo record Archive + Spiral in 2011. His folk sounds stand out with their accent of a gritty country twang. If you follow the Buffalo music scene, you may have seen Sonny Baker in his multitude of other acts (Wooden Waves, Lazlo Hollyfeld, Hotel Nourishing). But this night at The Vault is your chance to see this busy guy working solo. Baker’s most recent EP, See From the Trees (Your Elevator Knees), dropped in February. The Buffalo artists will continue to round out the night with Lara Buckley. Describing her work as “a strange delight” and with songs like “Bastard Child” and “Fuckishima” Buckley’s soft tunes have a distinct edge. As this event’s Facebook page proclaims; all of these artists are bad asses. —sara dinatale

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

Thursday, July 26

Infringement Festival Kick Off

The Infringement Festival does not discriminate. To perform at this monument to art and music in Buffalo one must only have a performance in mind and submit an application on time. That is exciting because it means that the audience can never quite know what they’re in for when an artist takes the stage. If you don’t know by now, the Infringement Festival is an 11 day long festival that happens during the heart of summer in Buffalo. Local musicians, poets, digital artists, dance companies, media artists, comics, and people of all artistic backgrounds come together to make art on the street or in the club that pushes boundaries and explores uncharted territory. On Thursday (July 26) the 2012 Infringement Festival kicks off at Nietzsche’s in Allentown with a line up that reflects the variety of artistic expression typical for this one-of-a-kind festival. The show will begin with the Wham Bam Poetry Troupe, followed by visual artist VJ Deliria, electro rock group Quest for Friends, experimental musician Eppo, the Buffalo Burlesque Collective, Mike Dwan, Noah Gokey & The Skulls, world musicians Clandestina y La Raza Cosmica, indie rockers In Your Hand, Chris Real, and Cincinnati based crunk-punk group Lazy Ass Destroyer. Put these “under-the-radar” artists on your radar. Look for more coverage of the festival, which runs from July 26 through August 5, in next week’s paper. For more info go to —cory perla

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

Thursday, July 26

Matisyahu & The Dirty Heads

Ten years ago, a surprising thing happened in the reggae world: a hairy, Hasidic star burst onto the scene. His beard and yarmulke are undeniable—devoted fans and even just fair-weather fans know the “King Without a Crown” by just one glance. But those days are over. Matisyahu walked into a Supercuts (because he doesn’t own a razor) with a head—and face—full of hair and left clean-shaven, ready for a new start. Now working on his fourth studio album, Spark Seeker, without a management team, Matisyahu plans to self-release his music that’s grown with his hair. “It’s more groovy,” he said of his new sound. On Thursday (July 26), Matisyahu will make a stop at the Town Ballroom with Southern California reggae/hip hop/rock band, the Dirty Heads—a group that has tried to contain the feeling of summer in an album. And Cabin by the Sea has done just that. “It starts with the title. No matter where you are or what’s going on, when you hear this record, we want to transport you to this place, this ‘Cabin by the Sea,’” said frontman Jared “Dirty J” Watson of the album. The record even included one of the decade’s biggest rock singles, “Lay Me Down,” which spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Alternative chart, beating out bands like The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and 30 Seconds to Mars. For a sun-soaked and chill night, head to Town Ballroom on Thursday. —rebecca bratek

7:30pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $28 advance, $32 day of show