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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Merle Haggard, who performs at Kleinhans Music Hall on Friday, November 1st.

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.

Merle Haggard

Friday, November 1

When it comes to the legends from the golden age of country and western music, there are unfortunately a lot of good ones gone and 2013 marks a tough year with the passing of the great George Jones. On the positive side, ol’ Willie Nelson turned 80, released two albums this year and is still gigging at a frenzied pace. And of course the mighty Merle Haggard is still going strong. With his staggering 38 number one singles on the country charts Hag—as friends and fans admiringly refer to him—is the stuff of country music legend but that string of hits just scratches the surface of what makes him such a great. Born near Bakersfield, CA in 1937 his tumultuous young life included the death of his father, teen years of riding the rails, hitchhiking and committing petty crimes, ultimately landing in San Quentin prison by the age of 20. All of it informed, enriched and authenticated Haggard’s craft putting him ahead of Nashville’s parade of artists feigning the blues or crafting an outlaw posture. He lived it and could legitimately sing and write about it. Along with the geographically and musically simpatico Buck Owens, Haggard and his band the Strangers came to be known for “The Bakersfield Sound” a trebly, guitar and backbeat-heavy brand of country more raucous than the smoothed-out direction country was heading in the mid-1960s. Always a maverick Haggard has dauntlessly gone against the grain in terms of prevailing tastes, politics and climates in country music and been an influence not only to country artists charting a different path but also to some of rock’s most significant acts like Gram Parsons, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead. Back to his songs, which represent some of the absolute greatest in the country songbook—the bittersweet twang of “Mama Tried,” lonely bar room blues of “Swinging Door,” the family travails of “Hungry Eyes” or the nod and wink to small town values found in the anthem “Okie From Muskogee”—all delivered with his rich baritone and steady hands on either a Telecaster or Martin guitar. A string of ex-wives, booze, drugs and cancer: Hag has survived battles with them all. He shows no signs of slowing down. In the past few years he’s released a pair of acclaimed albums on Vanguard (I Am What I Am and Working In Tennessee) showcasing some of his best songs in decades. He handles his own account (@merlehaggard) on Twitter. Just last week, Hag was on stage playing with his pal the like-minded, good-timing old timer Willie Nelson. It’s good to have the greats around and still going strong. Merle Haggard comes to Kleinhans Music Hall on Friday (Nov 1).

- Donny Kutzbach

8pm Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle (883-3560 / $40-$75

Friday, November 1


Born as a side project of Dave Brandwein and Taylor Shell, Turkuaz was formed in Boston 2008. Unbeknownst to them, a demo of theirs had been submitted to Berklee College of Music’s Heavy Rotation Records by a friend. Heavy Rotation immediately added Turkuaz to their annual showcase at the Berklee Performance Center, and the spark was lit. Comprised of 10 spirited musicians, Turkuaz’s ensemble includes a rich brass section, which may be responsible for the band’s distinctive sound that can’t be pinned to one particular era. The band draws on a wide spectrum of influences, including James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Talking Heads, and John Brown’s Body. You may hear classic funk and soul, but what really makes Turkuaz glow is their ability to take that old school sound and contemporize it. They’ve got a consistent style with impeccable technical proficiency. From the bold and sultry back-up female vocalists to the authentic brass section, Shell’s tight bass line ties the sound together while Brandwein’s rapid-fire lyrical delivery and exhilarated guitar playing composes an incredibly thick, textured piece. Each member’s stellar musicianship is what makes Turkuaz such a bone-chillingly good band to see live. Turkuaz will play at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar on Friday (Nov 1). It’s guaranteed to be an explosive auditory and visual circus; a full-frontal assault on the senses.

- Kellie Powell

8pm Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359 / $8 advance, $10 day of show

Saturday, November 2


True fans of local music know the name Haiku. The boundary blurring jazz-influenced progressive rock band features some high profile local musicians including Jim Wayne, Hugh Arthur, Spencer Bolden, and George Puleo, who has not only been crowned Best Guitarist in Artvoice’s Best of Buffalo survey in the past, but is also a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. This year the band, which formed in 2005, released Haiku, a six-song journey into the heart of jam-rock that bounces between bluesy jamming on “Unvibe” to mellow jazz-fusion on “Diamond Butterfly,” and frantic rock shredding on their appropriately titled track “Chasing Jeff Beck Down A Dark Alley With A Loaded Guitar.” But this band is meant to be heard live, as Puleo struts around the stage effortlessly shredding while Wayne stands with his bass strapped to his chest switching between his five stringed instrument and the keyboard in front of him, locked in groove with percussionists Arthur and Bolden. Haiku will perform live at the Central Park Grill this Saturday (Nov 2).

- Cory Perla

9pm Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St. (836-9466) $5

Sunday, November 3

Buffalo Film Expo

Have you ever wanted to make a movie? Time was that would have been a ridiculous question, but nowadays with affordable digital technology everyone seems to be doing it. But while there’s a lot to be said for learning by doing, there’s no reason not to grab some good cheap advice when you can. That’s the aim of the first Buffalo Film Expo, this Sunday (Nov 3) sponsored by Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival and Stellar Shows to promote networking with local film professionals and to offer informative workshops and Q&A meetings. Among the topics to be covered are production design, cinematography, acting and casting, make-up and special effects. There will also be a panel to discuss working with local film commissions and meeting the criteria for the New York State Tax Incentive. All for $5, which is a lot cheaper than two years of film school.

- M. Faust

10am to 5pm Holiday Inn Buffalo Airport, 4600 Genesee Street, $5

Tuesday, November 5


Papadosio is part electronica, part jam band and 100% their own. It is impossible to definitively categorize this band; they sound like a cross between Pink Floyd and Yes with an innovative sound. Papadosio is comprised of Ohio natives Anthony Thogmartin, Billy Brouse, Mike Healy, and Rob McConnell. Since their formation in 2006, the band has led with an objective that’s simple, yet poignant: to produce music that will inspire people to grow. They’ve gained quite a fan base and avoided pretension while recognizing the subjectiveness of success. Their live performances transcend their studio albums. Their music conveys a sound that is genuine—nothing forced or frantic with a vibrational force that stimulates every corner of the venue. They often blend their own music with covers of other songs or a little ad libbing as they let their subconscious musical souls take an old song and run with it. Additionally, Papadosio concerts always include LED walls displaying images and videos that are artistic, inspiring, and totally fitting to the music. Scads of tunes and the musicianship to flawlessly link up their tracks makes for a gripping auditory experience, but the insane visuals transform a Papadosio show into an all-consuming affair. Papadosio will play at the Town Ballroom on Tuesday (Nov 5).

- Kellie Powell

8pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $13 advance, $17 day of show

Thursday, November 7

Chance The Rapper

On his acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap, Chance The Rapper sings about dropping LSD and losing himself in the nostalgia of his childhood: “I miss my diagonal grilled cheeses/and back when Mike Jackson was still Jesus,” he sings on “Acid Rain.” The irony is that at only 20 years-old the Chicago rapper is not so far from childhood, though his rap skills could pass for a wise veteran’s. Acid Rap is full of psychedelic, low-key rap tracks that filter hip hop, jazz, classical music, gospel, and house through a smokey, sentimental lens. With his nasally delivery the rapper, real name Chancelor Bennett, matches wits with fellow up-and-coming rappers like Ab-Soul, Childish Gambino, and Action Bronson on tracks like “Favorite Song,” and “NaNa,” which samples a funky bass line that might sound familiar to A Tribe Called Quest fans. On a brand new remix of James Blake’s “Life Round Here” the rapper some how manages to improve an already exceptional track by adding a rapid-fire verse that still leaves room for Blakes slow burning vocals. This year alone he’s appeared on tracks by artists like Hoodie Allen Joey Badass, Action Bronson, Mr. MFN eXquire, and even Lil Wayne. The Rapper will make a stop in Buffalo with DJ Rashad and Spinn who recently collaborated on Rashad’s latest album Double Cup; a jukey mix of ghetto house and footwork that breathes new life into the genres. Don’t miss Chance The Rapper with DJ Rashad and Spinn at the Waiting Room on Thursday (Nov 7).

- Cory Perla

7pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $20 advance, $25 day of show

Thursday, November 7

Plants & Animals

When Montreal indie-rock trio Plants and Animals sought out to record their latest LP, End of That (Secret City Records), in a 100-year-old converted mansion in Paris, they didn’t waste any time. Having a body of written material already fleshed out, the band focused more on fine-tuning their sound live rather than going through the in-studio writing process. In two weeks recording was wrapped up and the on-the-fly, live-off-the-floor approach the band adopted resulted in some of their freshest material yet. With the help of mixing/recording engineer Lional Darenne (Feist), the tracks on End of That display a level of maturity and ambition indicative of a band that has been playing together for over 10 years. The grown-up version of Plants and Animals are just as contagious, expanding on their rootsy indie-folk vibe and knack for songwriting on songs like “End of That,” “Song For Love,” and the piano-driven “No Idea.” The album’s riff-heavy single, “Lightshow,” shows off guitarist/vocalist Warren Spicer’s emotional, fragile delivery, and builds in intensity as the song enters epic territory. Bandmates Matthew Woodley (drums, percussion, vocals) and Nicolas Basque (guitar, bass, vocals) are capable of putting out enough sound to swallow you whole, and when they need to, laying back and letting Spicer’s poetry do the work. Plants and Animals play at the newly established Buffalo Iron Works on Thursday (Nov 7).

- Jon Wheelock

8pm Buffalo Iron Works, 49 Illinois St. (200-1893 / $12-$15