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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week, Artvoice B.O.O.M! Round 3 Live Show, this Friday, April 11th at Nietzsche's.

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.

Artvoice B.O.O.M! Round 3 Live Show

Friday, April 11

We’re pleased to welcome our new partners in the Artvoice Battle of Original Music (B.O.O.M.)—Alternative Buffalo 107.7 on your FM radio dial. Like us, they want to help boost our local original music scene. That’s why we’re proud to announce that this year’s Artvoice B.O.O.M. Grand Champion will not only win bragging rights and $5,000, but also a spot on the station’s Sunday night local music show AND a spot on the bill at the big summer show they are planning for Canalside. Already two bands—Folkfaces and Pine Fever—have qualified to compete in our Grand Finale coming up on June 6 at the Tralf Music Hall. Friday night we’ll find out whether Orius, Tired Iron, Child of Folly, or the Naturalists will be the next band on that bill. The winning band will have to receive the most votes from our audience members. That’s how it works. Each person through the door will receive one ballot to mark for the band he or she prefers. When those ballots are counted, we will arrive at our winner and they will proceed to the B.O.O.M. Grand Finale. Meanwhile, there are still four weeks of competition left if you’re an area musician interested in joining the contest. It’s free to enter. Visit for more info. Come on out and see the kind of talent our city has to offer in our live showdown—and may the best band win.

- buck quigley

10pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5, 21+

Thursday - Saturday, April 10th - 12th

Al Madrigal

The correspondents on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart are journalists as much as they are comedians. Al Madrigal’s most recent work on the show was a powerful piece that shed light on the lives of real people affected by the rejection of Medicaid expansion. The segment went viral and caused more dialogue about Medicaid expansion than almost any other coverage on the issue. The combination of satirical hilarity and heartfelt social commentary is what has made Madrigal such a successful part of the show. He recently took time off from The Daily Show to film the first season of About a Boy (currently airing Tuesdays at 9pm), which is NBC’s top-rated comedy. “It’s incredible because I have the ability to ... improvise on set,” Madrigal says. “I actually get to create and write a lot of my own jokes which is awesome.” Last year, he brought his act to the stage in his first stand-up special, Al Madrigal: Why Is the Rabbit Crying?, on Comedy Central. He’ll perform at Helium Comedy Club this Thursday through Saturday, and he may be visiting more of Western New York than just Buffalo. “We actually have a little bit of a local connection. My wife’s family is from Dunkirk and her uncle John owns a bar called Bart’s Cove,” Madrigal says, “so I’m going to try to make it down.”

- jonny moran

Thursday: 8pm, Friday & Saturday: 7:30pm and 10pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $15-$29

Friday, April 11

James Cotton

As far as world-renowned blues harp players go, there are few. Of the few, James Cotton, with only his 10-hole harmonica, a microphone and his lips, has been at the top since his days in 1950s blues band Howlin’ Wolf. In between collaborations with artists as diverse as Muddy Waters, Santana, Todd Rundgren, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, and Janis Joplin, Cotton has found time to write his own solo material—over two dozen albums worth of studio and live recordings—over the course of his 60-year-long career. Born in Tunica Mississippi in 1935, the Grammy-award winning harmonica player and vocalist known for his Ben Hogan hat and teethy smile still feverishly blows through a raucous mix of country blues, Chicago shuffles, and rocking boogies with the passion of a young man. James Cotton comes to Kleinhans Music Hall this Friday (April 11) with the James Cotton Blues Band as part of the WBFO Blues Bash. Buffalo-based funk band Dive House Union opens the show.

- cory perla

8pm Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle (883-3560 / $35

Saturday, April 12

St. Vincent

There’s a fine line between avant-garde and mania. St. Vincent flawlessly merges the two, while sidestepping any inkling of sloppiness and kitsch. A wide array of instrumentation and (singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) Annie Clark’s clean vintage vocals are thematically layered with a good vs. evil juxtaposition. These complex arrangements are always tidy, modular and architecturally compact. Her music is sonically and aesthetically mature, revealing an unconventional depth of artistic imagination and purpose in songwriting and conceptualization. In February 2014, she released her fourth studio album. The fittingly self-titled album is sui generis, like the artist herself. Each track snaps the yardstick of traditional and even modern musical construction without sacrificing a harmonic-filled style. Clark’s expansive musical range bleeds profusely from her studio albums. But it’s her live performances where her guitar-playing prowess is truly epitomized. She spastically surges with each note; picking her guitar strings with such raw inventiveness that you’d think her guitar was anatomically connected to her body. Her staggering guitar solos are in the same vein of awesome as that of guitar legends like Tom Morello, Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew. St. Vincent will perform at Asbury Hall at Babeville on Saturday (April 12).

- kellie powell

7pm Babeville’s Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $23 advance, $25 day of show

Sunday, April 13

The War on Drugs

There are a few things people will always mention when indie rock band the War on Drugs comes up in conversation. Firstly, the similarity of lead singer Adam Granduciel’s singing style to that of Bob Dylan in his electrified years, and secondly, the departure of founding member and now successful solo act Kurt Vile. Where Vile has evolved—or at least tastefully devolved—into a grungier style, the War On Drugs have contrastingly honed their style further toward dreamy indie rock on their latest record Lost in the Dream, shedding some of the stylistic comparisons to classic rock greats like Dylan and Tom Petty. Led by Granduciel, who is usually seen sporting ripped jeans and long scraggly hair vaguely similar to Billy Crudup in Almost Famous, the band succeeds in combining classic-rock fundamentals with futurist guitar riffs and atmospheric keyboards. In the search for an old-fashioned rock and roll band, the War On Drugs somehow fits every model even down to 1960s imagery of, well war and drugs. At the same time the sound mixing on Lost in the Dream, which Granduciel says was written and recorded almost entirely at night, is exceedingly contemporary. Drums are often low in the mix while vocals are almost always reverberated and tend to rush by like ghosts in the dark. The rhythm guitars are nearly percussive and the new-wave piano lines and expansive lead guitar solos intertwine like lovers on songs like “Red Eyes,” channeling 1980s rock bands like Spacemen 3. Don’t miss this chance to catch the War on Drugs at the Town Ballroom on Sunday (April 13).

- cory perlak

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $17 advance, $23 day of show

Tuesday, April 15

Julie Byrne

Regarding the collection of songs on Rooms With Walls and Windows chamber pop artist Julie Byrne says,“I hope they can offer some form of solace to whoever is listening and make them feel less alone, because I write them in aloneness.” This reflection, which shared with MOJO Magazine—who named her record one of the “20 Best albums of 2014 So Far”—is all the more apparent upon watching her live performance. Despite being amongst a crowd, her elegiac voice, coupled with her lush fingerpicking, confronts you with an immediate sense of solitude. And just as her performance in the Back Room of Hardware this week will attest to, she is almost peerless in her ability to conjure a sense of complete, naked intimacy. Joining her on Tuesday (April 15) will be Suno Deko, who loops guitar and vocal harmonies to create a backdrop for vibrantly confessionary folk-rooted songs. Finally, the pristine lineup includes a rare performance from folk-americana mainstay Nick Gordon. ABCDJ will liven up the crowd in between sets. It’ll all begin with a screening of visuals by Pat Cain accompanied with a live score by his brother, Kevin Cain.

- jeanette chin

8pm Back Room Allen St. Hardware Café (882-8843 / $5

Tuesday, April 15


Chiodos has had quite the run, along with quite the number of lineup changes. When drummer Derrick Frost, and then front man Craig Owens were dropped within months of each other back in 2009, the future of the band seemed uncertain. A year later, Chiodos was recording Illuminaudio, featuring Brandon Bolmer of Yesterdays Rising as vocalist. Fast forward two years: Bolmer and drummer Tanner Wayne departed and month after that original vocalist Craig Owens returned. And less than a month after that? Frost returned. Later that year. Thomas Erak, formerly of the Fall of Troy replaced Jason Hale. Still with me? Okay good. Despite all of the past tension, Chiodos has endured and come back stronger, with original members and a new album. Devil, which was released on April 1, introduces a new version of the good old Chiodos. It’s a throwback to Bone Palace Ballet, but with the rough edges smoothed out and with a subdued conviction of mature individuals calculating their next move. They’re poised to win their old fans back and garner some new ones in the process, they just have to find a way to relay their newfound passion in a way that is relatable, which should be the easiest item on their checklist. Chiodos comes to the Waiting Room this Tuesday (April 15).

- samantha wulff

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $24 day of show