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See You There!

See you There?

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

7pm Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls. (205-8925 / $3-$100

Back in 1995, in the inner-city Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood crossed by E. 99th St. and St. Clair Ave., five young hip-hoppers known as Bone Thugs-n-Harmony followed up their hit single “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” with their massively successful LP, E. 1999 Eternal. The title paid tribute to the street corner frequented by many rappers, as well as their mentor, the late Easy-E, and produced the anthemic ‘1st of tha Month’ and groove-heavy lament “Tha Corssroads.” E. 1999 Eternal confirmed the arrival of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony as a hip-hop group entering the game on a mission to change it. “Rappers laying down tight verses, then mixing in a chorus with a melodic hook already became standard when it came to arranging a great track,” says Stanley Howse aka Flesh-n-Bone. “But we came on the scene and cut the seams out, showing everyone we could do both ourselves, and changed the sound of rap.” Now, twenty years after the group dropped their breakthrough album, the original five members will be heading to Rapids Theatre this Friday night (9/11 @7pm) to perform E. 1999 Eternal in its entirety.

> AV Staff

Hank & Cupcakes

9m Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5

Hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, the Brooklyn-based electro-pop group, Hank & Cupcakes are full of just the right amount of energy and weirdness. Screaming synths, driving bass lines, and hard-hitting beats that are just the right tempo make up this pair’s powerful music. Listen closely, and one will also hear the influences of Cuban Jazz, which they studied together in Havana in 2007. Watch their videos however, and be prepared for eclectic costumes, body paint, and the occasional hand in a blender then turned into coffee. Sagit “Cupcakes” Shir and Ariel “Hank” Scherbacovsky originally met in the Israeli Army in 1999, and have been performing as a band since 2008, having realized the wisdom and marketability of easy to pronounce band names. The husband and wife duo came up with their name as a reference to the literary alter ego of writer Charles Bukowski, “Hank Chinalski,” and one of his lovers, Pamela “Cupcakes” Wood. They have released two full albums including their latest, Cash 4 Gold. Don’t miss this chance to see Hank & Cupcakes at Nietzsche’s on Thursday night (9/10 @9m).

> Greg Mach

Tinsley Ellis

7pm Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (853-5483 / $15-$20

Nobody understands life’s cyclical, circular nature any better than Tinsley Ellis. After learning guitar at an early age and then joining The Alleycats in the late ‘70s, Ellis eventually felt the pull of a solo career when he realized he wanted to a blues songwriter, not merely a blues interpreter. According to the Atlanta-based musician, the older a blues artist gets, the more valuable he becomes. The maxim seems to be holding true for Ellis, 57, who’s currently touring to promote the release of his 17th album, Tough Love, with a stop at the Waiting Room on Friday night (9/11 @7pm). With more than 3 years under his belt as a successful blues musician, and having shared the stage with everyone from B.B. King to Otis Rush, Ellis says he’s finally reaching a point he’s been targeting his whole career. Three years ago, he left Alligator Records, which helped to launch his career in the 1980s, and started his own label, Heartfixer Music. Since then he has self-released well-received albums every year. Be sure to check out Tinsley Ellis this weekend with support from The Heavenly Chillbillies.

> Jeffrey Czum

Of Montreal

8pm Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $17.50

"For some reason, laziness is celebrated in music where it’s not really celebrated in other art forms. Most pop songs are just riddled with laziness,” says Kevin Barnes of the American rock band, Of Montreal. Some might bristle at Barnes’ reductionist assessment of pop songwriting’s verse/chorus/verse template, but at least the front man and increasingly proficient professional provocateur is backing those words u with the wildest musical ride he’s ever been a part of. They released their 13th album Aureate Gloom, earlier this year and it’s definitely in tune with everything Barnes has to say. “Bassem Sabry” opens the record with a flare of electric guitar worthy of Black Sabbath before launching into...well, disco, of course. Swerves of that sort are to be expected from of Montreal, but there’s something increasingly raw and edgy about Barnes’ changes of mind. When he sings, “Every leader is a cellophane punk / If you hear me, says ‘Yeah!,’” the only reasonable response is to sneak past the desire for that to make sense and scream along in solidarity instead. It’s sure to be a wild performance this Monday evening (9/14 @8pm) as Of Montreal is set to hit it off at Asbury Hall.

> Jeffrey Czum

Jim Breuer

Tuesday 9/15: 7:15pm / Wednesday 9/16: 7:15pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $30-$38

It’s not hard to get caught up in the infectious energy of Jim Breuer. The 47-year-old stand-up comic and actor has the kind of personality that you can’t help but be inspired and excited by. That’s the case if he’s doing a short online video to talk about the fate of his beloved New York Mets or if he’s onstage telling a strangely poignant story about having to hose his elderly father down after an unfortunate bathroom accident. He always crackles with enthusiasm and positivity. “You know what I am?” Breuer says. “I’m that scene [in Animal House] where Belushi comes in and gives that crazy speech even though he’s getting the facts wrong. I’ve been that guy my whole life. That guy who, when someone dies is, like, ‘let’s find the good out of this and lift each other up.’ Life is too short for dark and misery. That type of thinking runs counter to almost every other comic working today. Just pull up any random episode of a comedy podcast and wait for the moment where the interview dives deep into the tortured psyche of a famous or not-yet-famous stand-up. But listen to Breuer’s episode of WTF and you’ll hear a distinctly different take on the life of a comedian. Sure, he talks about hard times like his stretch on Saturday Night Live, where he clashed with writers, other cast members, and his own ego, but Breuer doesn’t bear any scars from any of his past experiences. He’ll be performing for two nights at Helium Comedy Club next week. You don't want to miss out.

> Samsung Simpson

Murder by Death

7pm Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (853-5483 / $15-$17

If the name Murder by Death sounds a little intense, don’t be frightened away. The Indiana-based Americana group liked to play with minor keys and haunting cello melodies, but that’s about as spooky as things get. In fact, on “Natural Pearl” from their recent album Big Dark Love, the band lets their love light shine. Singer Adam Turla channels a father’s unsoiled devotion to his one and only little girl. “I think the idea is that the way a aren’t sees a child is so positive and full of love, like they couldn’t see anything false in their child,” Turla stated in a press release. “The songs is about the wonderful blindness of parental love, in all its overbearing glory.” A quick, unrelenting rhythm evokes the frantic pace of raising a child and watching her grow, while playful steel guitar and prickly cello lines lay off each other in waves. Because the pride in his voice seems so genuine as he offers u fatherly wisdom, it’s pretty hard to believe Turla doesn’t have kids of his own. Catch Murder By Death when they perform at the Waiting Room this Wednesday (9/16 @7pm) with Sonny Baker and The Leones.

> Jeffrey Czum

Drake White and The Big Fire

8pm Iron Works, 49 Illinios St. (200-1893 / $15

Fame and fortune might be what some are after, but what fulfills Drake White is seeing a fan connect to something he’s created. The 31-year-old country/bluegrass musician, who decided to quit a job in construction a few years ago to pursue his music full time, has had some experience with that – whether seeing 150 people coming to hear his music in a dingy bar or rocking out to bigger crowds while he’s on tour. One instance gives him chills, though. White said a military veteran came to see him open for Eric Church a few years back. “He wanted to meet me and wrote this long email to my booking agent,” says White. They arranged for the former serviceman to meet White backstage before the show. “He starts talking about music helps him keep going...and that’s pretty damn magical on any level. That’s what I do it for. I just want to share that with people.” Hailing from Hokes Bluff, Alabama, Drake White is just about as authentic as it gets. Be sure to make it out to Iron Works on Monday night (9/16 @8pm) to see White in action with his band, The Big Fire.

> Jeffrey Czum