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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Freakwater, who performs on Friday the 11th at Babeville's Ninth Ward.

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.


Friday, January 11

Freakwater were alt-country before the term alt-country even existed. Formed in 1989 by singer/songwriters and guitarists Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin, the band has helped define the alt-country genre with albums like their self-titled debut and their seminal Thrill Jockey releases including 1993’s Feels Like The Thrid Time, and 1998’s Springtime. With their low-key, drawling style, Freakwater ease on through heartbreaking and breathtaking tunes that would have one surprised that they hail from Chicago and not Nashville. The band has yet to put out a weak album, gaining positive reviews across the board for their last release, 2005’s Thinking of You... a slightly louder and experimental version of the classic alt-country sound that they patented on their quintessential record, Springtime, which gleams brightest with reverberating guitars and drawling vocals on songs like “Right Brothers” and “Double Clutch.” Feels Like the Third Time truly captures their sound as well with a mix of originals and covers of songs by the likes of Conway Twitty, Woody Guthrie, and Nick Lowe. Freakwater have just embarked on their first tour in four years and their second date on the docket is a stop at Babeville’s Ninth Ward on Friday (Jan 11) so don’t miss out.

- cory perla

7pm Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $10 advance, $12 day of show

Thursday, January 10

Honor Thy Country Concert Series

Honor Flight Buffalo is a local NPO whose mission is to fly America’s veterans, at no charge, to Washington D.C. where they can stand before the memorials built in their honor. Starting with veterans of World War II, Honor Flight Buffalo has already escorted 187 veterans to D.C., and looks to give more vets this opportunity during their 2013 flying season. There are hundreds of WWII vets in Western New York who deserve to see the memorial dedicated to their sacrifices, which is why Buffalo’s esteemed and veteran-owned bastion of local music, The Sportsmens Tavern, has teamed up with The Good Neighborhood and Genesee Beer to bring you the Honor Thy Country concert series. The monthly concert series kicked off with Sportsmens house band Twang Gang last month, and continues this Thursday (Jan 10) with roots rockers Leroy Townes and the Lone Stars. With their unique blend of Americana, country and rock, Leroy Townes embodies the sounds of the backcountry like no one else. There’s no shortage of good neighbors here in Buffalo, but there isn’t anyone more deserving of that title than the men and women who defend our freedoms. Half of the cover charge and proceeds from a raffle benefit Honor Flight Buffalo, so raise a glass of Genny to WNY’s veterans and help make sure they can have the experience of a lifetime.

- jon wheelock

7pm Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $5

Saturday, January 12

B-Side Dubs CD Release Show

With the release of their debut full-length album the B-Side Dubs have fully cemented their psychedelic, reggae-dub style. Influenced by the likes of Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid, and Sublime, their follow-up to last winter’s Buffa-dub EP is a calculated mix of guitar, synthesizer, keys, and bass, which is perfect for a slow motion ride through the city as smoke pours out of your car windows. “Hazy Days” and the records title track, “Worlds Apart” highlight an album that the band—vocalist and guitarist Nicholas Bruckman, guitarist and keyboardist Jordan Strychalski, bassist Chris Stresing, and drummer Jack Giangrosso—obviously poured their soul and the extent of their musical abilities into. To hear this album through headphones is one thing, but this band is built for the stage and know how to extend those jams to their fullest, so seeing them live is a completely different experience. “If reggae and electronic music had a baby on mushrooms, this is what would come out,” are the words the band uses to describes their own music. I’m not sure that anyone could ever verify that scenario, but the point is, be prepared for a psychedelic jam-fest when the band hits the stage of Nietzsche’s with Cleveland’s Tropidelic, and Buffalo’s own Blue Rootz. So roll up that spliff and head down to the B-Side Dubs Cd Release show this Saturday (Jan 12).

- cory perla

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

Saturday, January 12

The Wailers

The Wailers are quite possibly the most important reggae group of all-time. The albums they recorded with Bob Marley in the 1970s and early 1980s are some of the best-selling, most critically acclaimed reggae LPs of all-time and were hugely important in intoducing the genre to American audiences. They’re 1973 debut Catch A Fire immediately established them as one of the best reggae groups, with their mix of incendiary political lyrics and memorable rhythms. 1977’s Exodus was probably the most beloved album the group ever made, with classics like “Waiting In Vain,” and “One Love” becoming some of the most well-known, beloved reggae songs ever. While Marley was the most famous member of the Wailers, he was not the only one to have a significant impact outside of the group. Peter Tosh, who wrote two of the songs on Catch A Fire, also went on to have a distinguished solo career, with such immortal albums as 1976’s Legalize It, and 1977’s Equal Rights. Even after Marley’s death in 1981, the Wailers were still a very prominent act, performing with legendary acts such as Sting, Stevie Wonder, and Carlos Santana. The group will be heading to the Seneca Niagara Casino Bear’s Den this Saturday (Jan 12). Anyone with even a casual interest in reggae would be wise to check out this show. You won’t see it performed at higher level than this.

- john hugar

8pm Bear’s Den Showroom, Seneca Niagara Casino, 310 3th St Niagara Falls (299-1100 / $40

Saturday, January 12

A Classy Excuse for a Blissed Out Youth featuring Joywave, Love Scenes, and All Blondes Go to Heaven

When you hear a band’s name, whether you’re aware of it or not, you make a judgement of what said band sounds like. When you hear a name like Leftover Crack you can safely assume they play some sort of grating punk music or if you hear a name like Another Sunny Day you can probably guess that they’re a twee pop band from the 1980s. I think this means one of two things, either the band inadvertently chooses a name that becomes attached to a certain culture because of the sound of their music after the fact, or the band has a good grip on what their vision for their music is. I think Buffalo’s Joywave falls into the latter category. The words bring to mind floating synth lines, sheening veils of fuzzy guitar, and subtle vocals, and that is just what is packaged inside of the band’s 2012 record, Koda Vista. Joywave will perform this Saturday (Jan 12) at Duke’s for a show dubbed Classy Excuse for a Blissed Out Youth, with Buffalo’s Love Scenes who’s records Classy Excuse for a Trashy Experience and Blissed Out Youth are the show’s namesakes. Love Scenes have been steadily gaining momentum since forming in 2010, sharing the stage with bands like Purity Ring, Girl Talk, and Memoryhouse, who’s sounds line up perfectly with the duo’s electronic indie-rock style. Buffalo newcomers All Blondes Go To Heaven round out the show with their combination of rock and indie-pop while DJ Bearskinrug will spin some tunes inbetween sets. This is a solid line-up not worth missing, so get down to Allentown this weekend.

- cory perla

10pm Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359 / $5

Saturday, January 12

G. Love & Special Sauce

Any musician that records at Echo Mountain Studio in North Carolina is bound to come out with a solid record, and it’s likely to be some combination of country, blues, soul, and rock. Like the Avett Brothers before him, G. Love aka Garret Dutton of G. Love & Special Sauce created just that, a pure country/blues record in the form of Fixin’ To Die, the 40-year-old’s fourth solo studio album. G. Love didn’t simply follow in the Avett Brothers’ footsteps in recording at Echo Mountain though, he worked directly with them, as the brothers Scott and Seth Avett produced the record, playing a variety of instruments from drums to bass and banjo. “For me, at a time when I was really into heavy music and leaning that way further and further, G. Love really opened a door that let me see another side of music that was really clever, good vibe, great melodically, great lyrically, and not always about the fight of typical hard core stuff,” Scott Avett remarks. G. Love has been at this since the early 1990s, but the frontman has boldly reinvented his style and sound several times. When he began making music, Dutton was concentrating on old school hip-hop along the lines of the Beastie Boys, but before long he turned to alternative rock with the 1994 release of G. Love and Special Sauce. Alt-rock morphed again into “blues hip-hop” and then slowly but surely into a more purely roots-rock sound. G. Love and Special Sauce come to the Town Ballroom on Saturday (Jan 12) with support from Swear & Shake. Whether he’ll give the crowd some rock, hip hop, soul, or blues is entirely up to Dutton, but don’t be surprised by anything thrown your way.

- cory perla

8pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $25 day of show

Monday, January 14

Hooray For Earth

If you too, could use a break from the bleak, redundancy of Buffalo winter, stop by the Ninth Ward on Tuesday (Jan 14) to be soothed by the dreamy, anthem-like, sounds of Hooray for Earth. The synth heavy Brooklyn three-piece makes music that shifts from bold and haunting to soft and surreal. The band was created with the home recordings of Noel Heroux, who spent six weeks writing, performing, engineering, and producing their newest album True Loves, with the instrumental contributions of Joseph Ciampini and Christopher Principe. True Loves was mixed by Chris Coady who has worked with artist such as the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, TV on the Radio, and Grizzly Bear. “I’ll finish a song and wonder, when did that happen? I don’t spend a lot of time stressing about what instruments to use or what’s missing, I just kind of let it be,” Heroux said in response to his songwriting. Hooray for Earth’s music acts to bridge the gap between his brain and the listeners ears by any means necessary. Steel Keys & Brass and All Blondes Go To Heaven open the show.

- sarah barry

7pm Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $8 advance, $10 day of show

Wednesday, January 16

Umphrey's McGee

Notre Dame may have lost the National Championship this past Monday, but there’s another group of talented guys from South Bend that are making their way to the Queen City for a visit. The progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee will be appearing at the Town Ballroom next Wednesday (Jan 16) and will display their Phish-meets-Frank Zappa sound. The band, which originally formed in college at Notre Dame, is well known for their improvisational live shows, cover songs, and varying set lists, but is a little different than your typical jam band. Umphrey’s is influenced more in progressive rock than their contemporaries are, while still incorporating funk, jazz, and blues into their sound. They have a deep catalog of live performances available online and trying to narrow down their sound to one genre can be difficult. Their songs have such an incredible and talented range that it makes for great listening for anyone that’s a fan of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Buffalo’s moe., or seemingly anyone in-between. The tightness of the jam scene is also paying dividends for fans as Rochester-natives Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad are making a special appearance and opening the show in Buffalo and Syracuse. Giant Panda has only been around since 2004, but already has a strong following, and like Umphrey’s, encourage the taping and distribution of their live shows. The combination of these two talented acts is sure to be a good time, so dust off your dancing shoes and grab a ticket.

- jeremiah shea

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