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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Mastodon, this Monday, May 12th 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.


Monday, May 12

Considered high priests of hard rock, sludge-metal band Mastodon has been delivering bone crushing riffs since their formation in the early 2000s. They’ve achieved this priestly status by releasing some of the most conceptually sharp and technically sound albums in mainstream metal today. As far as Mastodon albums go, the variance in their songs comes in their approach to the conceptual content. On their last album, 2011’s The Hunter, the four-piece band tackled far out concepts on songs like “Stargasm”—which drummer Brann Dailor says is about having sex in space—and the more sugary “Blasteroid,” an homage to cheesy video games. At the same time the band from Atlanta, Georgia has shown their ability to bring it back down to earth with tracks like “The Sparrow,” which guitarist and singer Brent Hinds says was inspired by a friend who passed away from stomach cancer. On their upcoming album, Once More Round’ The Sun, the band says they’ll continue the trend of shorter, more concise songs that they established on The Hunter, as opposed to the lengthy epics like “The Czar” and “The Last Baron” found on the band’s 2009 record Crack the Skye. Case in point: Mastodon’s first single from Once More Round’ The Sun, a metallic, chugging track called “The High Road” that combines the band’s progressive heavy-metal stylings with the pop sensibilities of producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, the Hold Steady). In support of their upcoming album, which the band announced would be released via Reprise Records on June 24, Mastodon has hit the road with French thrashers Gojira and Norwegian metal band Kvelertak on a tour that will stop at Buffalo’s Town Ballroom on Monday (May 12), presented by 103.3 The Edge.

- cory perla

6:30pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $29 advance, $34 day of show

Thursday, May 8


Comedians who don’t curse often get the label “clean” thrown at them. While he isn’t profane, Sinbad pulls no punches in his stand-up act. The 57-year-old comedian first came to the public’s attention in 1983 when he beat out Dennis Miller on Star Search, becoming one of the show’s finalists. He consistently put out HBO specials throughout the 1990s, beginning with Brain Damaged in 1991. In 2004, Comedy Central called him the one of the top 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time. And who could forget his legendary role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Christmas smash-hit Jingle All the Way or his part as Mr. Wheat in Goodburger? More recently, Sinbad has been seen on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Celebrity Apprentice. You can see him perform Thursday (tonight!) at Kleinhans Music Hall.

- jonny moran

8pm Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle (883-3560 / $35-$75

Friday, May 9


Rubblebucket’s genre-bending brand of indie-pop/Afro-funk produces a sound that echoes influences as broad as Fela Kuti, Broken Social Scene and Björk. The Brooklyn by way of Boston and Vermont seven-piece redefines the term, “game-changer,” and has undeniably raised the bar for melodic indie-dance music. They infuse the perfect smidge of tribal rhythms and R&B horn lines into their own polyrhythmic instrumentation, filtered through indie-rock vibes. Despite erratic construction, each composition as a whole is totally tight, clean and original. Their capacity to deliver such a propulsive sound is largely attributed to their all-consuming brass section, which includes Adam Dotson on trombone and Alex Toth on trumpet. However, it’s the peppy, yet somehow melodramatic voice of lead singer, Annakalmia Traver that immediately captivates the listener. Straddling the line between soulful, almost choir-like, and brazen, yet collected, she perfectly harmonizes with the band’s richly layered instrumentation. Rubblebucket has been known to get down at their live shows and naturally, their fiery, upbeat energy spreads through the audience like a contagion, preying on anyone who dares stand still. Rubblebucket will play at the Town Ballroom on Friday (May 9).

- kellie powell

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $14 advance, $16 day of show

Friday May 9

Joe Bonamassa

Deemed “the new king of blues” by Guitarist Magazine, Joe Bonamassa is widely regarded one of the best guitarists alive. While you won’t typically hear his blues rock stylings on the radio, Bonamassa’s more recent albums have been produced by music giant Kevin Shirley, who has worked as a producer for Journey, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and Rush. The 36-year-old musician is heavily influenced by Irish and British blues artists such as Cream, Humble Pie, Rory Gallagher and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He has put out 10 studio albums including his latest—2012’s Driving Towards the Daylight, which features blues legend Robert Johnson and rocker Tom Waits—and seven lives albums since he began his career in 2000. He tours worldwide and performs about 200 shows annually. You can witness the music legend Friday (May 9) at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. A limited number of tickets are still available.

- jonny moran

8pm Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (847-1410 / $72-$128

Tuesday, May 13

Matt Pryor with Blue of Colors

Here are some names that might seem like a blast from the past for those interested in the pop-punk scene of the late 1990s and early 2000s: the Get Up Kids, Punchline, Spitalfield, Braid, and Texas is the Reason. Just reading those names might conjure up flashbacks of the Showplace Theatre, Mohawk Place, and the Buffalo Icon, Fueled by Ramen, Vagrant, and Victory Records. These Midwestern emo bands helped define the alternative rock scene of the early 21st century for many kids in Buffalo. Unfortunately most of these bands failed to make it into the second decade of this century (though Punchline and the Get Up Kids are technically still together, they haven’t released music or toured in several years) rest assured, their souls live on in the new music of former members. Singer/songwriter Matt Pryor, known as frontman of the Get Up Kids, along with Punchline frontman Steve Soboslai (now known as Blue of Colors), Mark Rose of Spitalfield, Bob Nanna of Braid, and Garrett Klahn of Texas is the Reason have hit the road together for a unique tour that will not only have audiences recalling those popular pop-punk bands of yesteryear, but rocking along to new tunes as well. Catch them at the Waiting Room on Tuesday (May 13).

- cory perla

7pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $12

Tuesday, May 13

Of Montreal

It all started with a romance “of Montreal.” Kevin Barnes turned his come-to-be failed romance into inspiration for artistic expression in the form of a rock band. For almost 20 years, Barnes and his slew of bandmates dubbed Of Montreal have been delivering their brand of American rock to the world, with a flamboyant flare. Their sound wouldn’t be out of place coming from the stages of Woodstock back in the day, which is what makes their hippy aura so nostalgic. Influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Prince, and David Bowie, they produce an eclectic cocktail of electoronica, funk, glam rock, and psychedelia. Their latest album, Lousy With Sylvianbriar, especially allowed them to express their affinity for sounds past. “I knew I wanted the process to be more in line with the way people used to make albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s,” Barnes said of the record. Of all the things they can be and are, don’t get fooled into thinking you see the full scope; once you think you have figured out who they are, they tend to turn that notion on its head. Start to understand Of Montreal this Tuesday (May 13) at the Town Ballroom.

- samantha wulff

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $17 advance, $19 day of show

Wednesday & Thursday, May 14 & 15

IXpress Film Festival

There’s no better medium than film to express the breadth and texture of our dreams. Aspire of WNY, an organization that works with developmentally disabled children and adults to help them to realize their full potential, is presenting the first edition of the iXpress Film Festival, this Wednesday and Thursday (May 14 & 15) at the Screening Room in the Northtown Plaza Business Center, showcasing 18 short films created by participants in the iXpress arts program. Collectively titled “Behind the Scenes,” the films vary in style and content, including narrative shorts, documentary and experimental films, a comedic vignette, character chronicles, and a late night talk show. The program will be the same for both evenings, and DVDs will be available to purchase.

- m. faust

6pm to 8pm The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza Business Center, 3131 Sheridan Drive (716-505-5502) $5