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See You There!

See you There?


6:30 Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St. (205-8925 / $25-$30

When Ratatat were writing new music at a Long Island beach house, the Brooklyn-based instrumental duo decided something needed to be done about the kitchen. "The house had a really hideous kitchen," says guitarist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Mike Stroud. Using their visual-art skills, the duo sketched an assortment of people's faces and plastered them all over the walls. Their drawings-mostly fictional, with occasional representations of actual icons like Roy Orbison, Al Pacino, and skateboarder Lance Mountain - eventually because the Revolver-meets-Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album cover of their newest LP, Magnifique. Though the artwork is as engrossing as the album itself, it's almost an anti-metaphor for the back-to-basics take on their signature sound, which for the past decade has seamlessly straddled the increasingly thinning line between rock and electronica. Following their breakout sophomore album, Classics, Ratatat deviated slightly from their mercurial but melodic six-string wails, somewhere between a high pitched Mike Jones freak-out and Hawaiian steel guitar music. They recorded 2008's LP3 and 2010's LP4 in the Catskill's Old Soul Studios, which was also the first time the group had access to "a million different instruments." As might be expected of musicians with a bunch of shiny new toys to play with, those records seethe with grumbling, gurgling synthesizers and vibrate with beat-boxing percussive vocal samples. On Magnifique, listeners can expect to hear the classic formula of catchy instrumental riffs and lazy beats. Don't miss Ratatat when they perform at Rapids Theater this Thursday night (9/3 @ 6:30pm).

> AV Staff


Thursday 9/3: 8pm / Friday 9/4: 7:30pm & 10pm / Saturday 9/5: 7:30pm & 10pm / Sunday 9/6: 7:30pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $24-$38

It’s safe to say that professional wild man Steve-O created his own breed of celebrity. The kind that comes from sticking crazy things up his ass, stapling his nuts to his leg, and for being completely fearless while doing outrageous stunts that seem impossible to live through while on MTV’s “Jackass.” But Steve-O the comic? That’s another story all together. This weekend at Helium Comedy Club, you’ll be able to check out Steve-O first hand to see his evolution into the world of stand-up comedy and chances are, you’ll be surprised at how great he can be. Following the commercial success of “Jackass” and its subsequent movies, Steve-O appeared on a variety of television and entertainment shows, including MTV’s “Wildboyz.” In 2012, he began hosting “Killer Karaoke” on TruTV, and a year later started a YouTube channel in which he documents his bizarre life. On Camera, he has developed a persona of a happy yet overwhelmingly ambivalent character towards pain, disturbingly so for the outrageous and often cringe-worthy stunts he performs. Don’t miss out as he’s set to perform on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

> Jeffrey Czum

Professor Louie & The Crowmatix

Sat. 8/15 & Sun 8/16

3pm Sportsman’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $25

This Saturday afternoon (9/5 @3pm), Professor Louie & The Crowmatix will perform at Sportsmen’s Tavern for a rock n’ roll packed with raunchy guitars, big drums and...the accordion. Aaron Hurwitz aka Professor Louis is a virtuoso on the squeezebox. Adapting it to everything from blues and soul to rock and country. He first picked up the instrument as a teenager but put it aside in favor of the Hammond organ and keyboards. His appreciation began to grow in the ‘80s, though, when he began working with the members of the legendary hippie-era group The Band. Keyboard player Garth Hudson sometimes played accordion, one of the few popular musicians of that time to promote the instrument. The Professor was a frequent collaborator of The Band when they reformed in the ‘80s and produced their last three albums. He also worked on solo projects with members Hudson, Rick Danko and Levon Helm, and has worked in the studio or on stage with a long list of legendary performers, from Commander Cody to Guy David to Debbie Harry. Professor Louie & The Crowmatix play good ol’ American music. Blues, rock n’ roll, gospel, country, and soul are all genres they have within their catalog and they’ll be showcasing everything this weekend.

> Jeffrey Czum


9pm Iron Works, 49 Illinios St. (200-1893 / $15

Despite being grounded in images of green hills and dirt roads, bluegrass has always been a sound of the city–a way for showmen and innovators to incorporate jazz and other new sounds into the songs their country fathers and mothers had taught them. Grangstagrass, the Brooklyn ensemble led by the producer/guitarist Rench, takes the modern sound of bluegrass to heart with its bled of traditional music and hip-hop. There have been various attempts to mash together hip-hop and some species of country music, from Bubba Sparxx to Bug & Rich to Ridley Bent to the current “hick-hop” vogue. But Gangstagrass does it right. The group gained a loyal following with their song “Long Hard Times To Come,” the theme from the FX television show, “Justified,” and continue to gain popularity the more they perform. Gangstagrass continues to mix urban rhymes with high ridge riffs on its just-released new album, American Music, and prove that rap and country don’t always have to clash. You can catch these guys in action as they’ll make you get low n’ dirty down at Iron Works this Saturday (9/5 @9pm) night.

> Jeffrey Czum

Greg Brown

8pm 189 Public House, 189 Main St. East Aurora (652-8189 / $28-$35

Greg Brown, who performs at 189 Public House in East Aurora this Sunday (9/6 @8pm) evening is a folk poet and storyteller to the fullest: sometimes moody, sometimes vibrant, and always down to earth. The Iowa-born singer-songwriter was introduced to folk music through jam sessions hosted at his family’s house as a child. He’s made a career of capturing life’s paradoxes, joys and inconveniences, showcasing the beauty and complexity of simple things. Nature and family play a central role in his narrative-rich songs. Since his career began in 1974, Brown has weaved deceptively simple verses that combine natural imagery, self-reflection and keen human observation. In a style both gruff and graceful, his compositions are infused with layers of subtle emotion, literary allusion, poignant humor and a healthy done of self-deprecation. “I just become aware of sounds and rhythms,” Brown says about his songwriting process. “I perk up for a while and become very receptive. And then it fades out, and I go back to puttering around. I feel like my job is to hear them blow in. I write them and kind of let them go, like a bird, and wish them well. Don’t miss your chance to see Brown give an intimate performance this Labor Day weekend.

> Jeffrey Czum

The J. Geils Band

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $23-$25

For the final concert of a summer season that filled Tuesday nights at Artpark with some of classic rock’s biggest artists, the legendary J. Geils Band comes to town on Tuesday (9/8 @6:30pm). Although most people can only name two of their songs, Love Stinks, released in 1980, and their only #1 hit, Centerfold, from the 1981 album, Freeze Frame, this band’s story runs much deeper. They first got together as a blues trio in the mid-60’s as “Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels,” but changed focus after joining with drummer Stephen Bladd and singer Peter Wolf, whose vocals were the cornerstone of the band’s commercial successes. However, soon after the release of their next album, Showtime!, Wolf left the band citing creative differences. They only had one minor hit afterwards, and after recording the title song for the horror film Fright Night in 1985, the group disbanded. In their current incarnation, founding member and guitarist J. Geils doesn’t actually play with the band, but they still retain that 80’s party band energy they are known for. Don’t miss to catch these rock legends this Tuesday night at Artpark.

> Greg Mach


7pm Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (853-5483 / $17-$20

The genre known as ‘Shoegaze,’ was an inside joke within the industry. A joke that made Swervedriver’s career a little abnormal. Cut by the hardy brambles of their peers, the belated Creation Records outsiders had to combat against the bias monopolization of the early 90s UK press. Performing in the shadows of Oxford’s recently reformed Ride, the band was vehemently paralleled to their era’s contemporaries. Yet their international success was prompt and brash. Their commerciality appealed instantly to the US; soused in the waves of Seattle grunge. Unlike the bands and artists they were often compared to (who subverted themselves in isolating blankets of sound) front man Adam Franklin clearly liked to rock. He could play as prettily and atmospherically as his peers, as evidenced by the band’s 1993 album, Mezcal Head. When it came down to it, though, he seemed like the kind of guy who’d rather flip his hair and rock out rather than study his footwear on stage. Their first album in 17 years, I Wasn’t Born to Lose You, shows they still have that rock-out flare and they’ll be making an proper appearance at the Waiting Room this Tuesday (9/8 @7pm) evening for an unforgettable performance you won’t want to miss.

> Jeffrey Czum