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See You There!
Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Rebelution, performing on Saturday the 27th at the Town Ballroom.
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.
Saturday, April 27
The first signs of summer show up as you roll your car windows down for the first time, hear the ice cream truck, and smell the first hot dogs being thrown on the grill. Music helps that transition, and if there’s one band that defines the summer attitude, it’s Rebelution. The reggae band from Santa Barbara, California feels like the perfect soundtrack to any summer day. The group has only three major releases to date, but has built a strong following in a very short span. While their sound is a big reason for their success, it’s Rebelution’s live show that really ropes fans in. This Saturday (April 27), the band will bring their good vibes to the Town Ballroom. Opening the show are J-Boog and Hot Rain, whom the band hand picked for this tour. I had a chance to sit down with Marley Williams, bassist for Rebelution, this past week to talk about the tour, summer plans, and some new opportunities.
Artvoice: The Winter Greens tour just ended and you guys are heading back out for the Spring Greens leg. What keeps you coming back to Western New York?
Marley Williams: We always have a great time whenever we’re in the Western New York area. I think for one of the recent shows there, we opened for O.A.R. and the other time was a free show that we headlined at a park. We try to play everywhere pretty equally though, and have a great booking agent who spreads us out appropriately.
AV: How did you guys choose J-Boog and Hot Rain as openers for the tour?
MW: Hot Rain is J-Boog’s backing band, so it was kind of a package deal and no-brainer for us. We’ve all liked his music for a while now, but haven’t had the chance to tour with him yet. We always want to try and keep it fresh, and since our schedules lined up, we reached out to J-Boog and were happy he was able to jump on the tour.
AV: What kind of plans do you guys have for the summer?
MW: We’re playing the California Roots festival, Wakarusa, and a few festivals in Europe. In the next week or two though, we will be announcing a summer tour. I’d like to just let the announcement speak for itself, but I will say that it’s going to be amphitheater-level and the bill is amazing.
AV: Peace of Mind was released in January of last year and was your third major release. Being that it has been a little over a year since the release, are you guys in the process of planning a new album?
MW: We have this run of Spring Greens and then we’re planning on taking some time off to write and record. We released the song “Counterfeit Love” for the time being as a free download on our website and are also playing another new one, called “Destress.” There are always new songs in the mix, but we tend to go with the flow and let the material come together naturally.
AV: What has been your favorite experience throughout your journey with the band?
MW: Oh man! Someday I’ll write a book because every time I think something is the top for me, something else comes along. Everything is so special in its own way, so I really can’t say. There have been so many amazing people who we’ve met along the way, so many great shows, and so many great bands. I couldn’t say that one is better than another; I’m just living the dream.
- jeremiah shea
7:30pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / townballroom.com) $17.50 advance, $20 day of show
Friday, April 26
When you’re a buzzworthy band, the best way to take it to the next level is to diss another buzzed about thing. “Hi Austin. Fuck SXSW. There...I said it,” said DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith as his band prepared to take the stage at the indie rock festival. Smith, who formed DIIV in 2011 after leaving fellow Brooklyn dream pop band Beach Fossils, probably didn’t make that statement purely for the controversial buzz-factor it would create. I think he really meant what he said, but the by-product of tweeting what many of the bands at that festival were probably already thinking was an inevitable echo chamber of attention, positive and negative. The DIIV guitarist lambasted the popular indie rock festival for its endless corporate sponsorships, indifference to the bands’ sound and comfort, and the “industry vampires,” that roam the city. It was a very Kurt Cobain thing to say from a guy who named his band after a Nirvana song (originally spelled Dive but quickly changed to DIIV). DIIV’s music is pretty straightforward dream pop inspired by early grunge, Arthur Russell, and drugs. Their latest record, Oshin, is full of the type of driving indie rock people have come to know Brooklyn for, but fused with a crunchy psychedelia and an underground vibe, DIIV moves quickly past their contemporaries. I guess to frame DIIV’s music in terms of attitude will turn some on and others off—Smith would tell you that the name of the band and what he says off the stage are completely irrelevant to the music—but I think the reason Smith’s words echoed so widely is because there are plenty of fans (and bands) out there who yearn for a voice with a hint of Cobain’s spirit to rile people up. DIIV truly do rock out on stage so to miss the band when they come to the Tralf would be a shame. Check them out this Friday (April 26) with support from Starred and Valleys.
- cory perla
7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / tralfmusichall.com) $15
Saturday, April 27
If you’re a local music fanatic chances are you’ve heard of the Whiskey Reverb. Edward Jamey Kern, Scotty Harrington, Tony Bales, Jim Candytree and AJ Amherst make up this quirky quintet of musical vagabonds hailing from Buffalo. Their genre defying tunes incorporate blues, reggae, jazz, and hip-hop into a soulful stew. The band released a full length album called “SoulFire Volume I” in 2012, and have recently released a new EP aptly titled “FutureSight.” The boys play Tudor Lounge every Thursday night and draw a regular crowd of “Rags,” the name given to faithful Verb followers. “We started calling our people “rags” because it seemed that we started developing a kind of rag-tag following that was not of any particular demographic, “ says Kern. “We had young and old coming to see us, black and white, guys and girls. As it has developed, we have used it in a positive way—rags help clean up the world.” This time the band is looking to broaden their horizons by competing once again in Hard Rock Rising, The Hard Rock Café’s global battle of the bands for a chance to win $10,000 dollars and open for Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band in London. But there is a catch – these guys need your votes. “There is a lot at stake here,” says Kern, “exposure, a record contract, world tour, a chance to help launch a local band into the global spotlight... we have always tried to represent our city with the best of intentions.” Coming up this Saturday (April 27) is The Great American Smokeout featuring Whiskey Reverb and other local bands at the Evening Star in Niagara Falls. Details of how to vote in the contest can be found at hardrock.com.
- ariel peters
7pm The Evening Star, 8810 Niagara Falls Blvd, Niagara Falls $10
Saturday, April 27
Mary Halvorson, Peter Evans, & Weasel Walter
Jazz, as an umbrella term, can be a lot of different things: smooth, hard driving, free and sometimes chaotic. Then there’s jazz that, on the surface, doesn’t sound like jazz at all. There are certain stylistic elements in jazz that simply can’t be pigeonholed, and it takes a special kind of group to challenge what you think you know about a genre. The trio comprised of guitarist Mary Halvorson, trumpeter Peter Evans, and percussionist Weasel Walter decimates that comfort zone with an unrelenting fury of improvisational techniques that bravely ignore those preconceived notions of structure and composition. The ensemble’s frenetic, abstract approach to free jazz and art-rock results in highly complex tunes that showcase the trio’s obscure technical prowess, creating a fascinating and surprising display of musicianship and on-stage chemistry. Known for fusing free jazz with punk and death metal, Weasel Walter is capable of producing some downright ferocious rhythms on his kit, with Halvorson’s angular guitar phrasing and Evans’s plugged-in brass adding an extra dose of weird to the mix. Each musician has established themselves in a number of ensembles in the New York City scene over the years, and the current incarnation of Halvorson/Evans/Walter is a collaborative effort that demands your attention, because if you even so much as blink while watching this group, you might miss something special. The trio hits Hallwalls this Saturday (April 27).
- jon wheelock
8pm Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 341 Delaware Ave. (854-1694 / hallwalls.org) $15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 members
Sunday, April 28
Western New York Women's Expo
There’s a first time for everything—look out ladies! This Sunday (April 28) the Western New York’s Women’s Exposition is rolling into town. Kick off those heels and call up the babysitter for a day of pampering for only five dollars. After earning her Master’s in Event Planning at The State University of Brockport, Buffalo State College alumna and Women’s Exposition founder Agathi Georgio will host this one-day extravaganza in honor of women and this community. When it comes to her entrepreneurial spirit, Georgio told me, “It comes down to the fact that I have a passion for shopping locally and for the women in Buffalo, ultimately they’re the clients and I want to serve the client.” So, what can you expect for a mere five bucks? A whole lot. The newly renovated Lafayette Hotel will feature 75 booths and over 100 businesses spread throughout the entire downstairs level. Whether you’re curious about diet and fitness or beauty and fashion, the experts will be there to serve. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the help of sponsors like, Villa Maria College, The Continental School of Beauty and Total Tan (just to name a few), this event strives to educate women on how to live a happier, healthier life. Oh and don’t forget to grab your “swag bag” full of goodies (courtesy of the Galleria Mall and Fashion Outlets) to rummage through on your way out. So, this Sunday enjoy a bit of Jazz, tasty snacks, and delight in some chocolate as you indulge in all this city has to offer.
- elizabeth lewin
9am-4pm Hotel at the Lafayette, 391 Washington St. (wnywomensexpo.com) $5
Tuesday, April 30
Dessa is one of those artists that has no limits. She began her career graduating college with honors in philosophy. To her, verbal communication and language was very important to her and her family. Her spoken word, narrative, hip-hop roots genre is refreshing and lyrical. With a new album titled Parts of Speech, set to be released mid-June and her the single “Warsaw,” the expectations are high. The album has a heartbreak undertone. She has appeared on several of Doomtree’s records with a good bond between her and the band. Her style and eclectic lyrics are hard to come by in the industry and break the rules of traditional rap. Dessa is known for her ability to propel lyrics and language with beats and convey a mood and emotion like no other. Most of her records are about relationships, not only romantic ones, but family, and friends as well, which is an uncommon theme in the hip-hop industry. Dessa puts a hip-hop spin on singing and songwriting. Check her out this Tuesday, (April 30) at Babeville’s Ninth Ward.
- kendra sornberger
7pm Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / babevillebuffalo.com) $10 advance $12 day of show
Thursday, May 2 - Saturday, May 4
At the young age of 16, Todd Glass began his career path in comedy in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. After years of trying several comedy styles, Glass has polished his routine into toeing the line of mocking the standup circuit. His quick wit and crafty, sharp edge is what makes him different than other comedy acts. Glass has acquired quite the resume after many years in the industry. He began his TV appearances on ABC’s Home Improvement. He has toured with David Spade, co-produced for Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison for TBS, and performed with Jack Black and Tenacious D. His big career launcher began with his chance to be executive producer, and star of Todd’s Coma, a show about his family interviewing several guest celebrities who come to visit Todd as he lies in a coma. Such celebrities include Ben Stiller, Fred Willard, Ray Romano, and many others. His performance at the 2008 Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, and the U.S. Comedy Arts festival gave him rave reviews from the Los Angeles Times. The comedian is performing at Helium Comedy Club this Thursday (April 2) through Satuday (April 4).
- kendra sornberger
May 2-4 8pm, May 3 & 4 10pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / heliumcomedy.com) $15-$27
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