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See You There!

See you There?

Buffalo Porchfest: Fall 2015

1pm-6pm Various Locations in the Elmwood Village ( Free

On Saturday (10/3), Buffalo Porchfest will return to the Elmwood Village for a full day of local music. For those who missed out on Spring Porchfest back in May, let’s bring you up to speed - Porchfest is the ultimate community event, where homeowners and neighbors offer up their up their porches and lawns to musicians who play live music from 1pm-6pm. It’s a day that showcases the spirit and atmosphere of one of Buffalo’s most adored neighborhoods while enjoying music and the historic homes throughout the village. Organized by the Elmwood Village Association and modeled after similar events in Cleveland, Ontario and the original Porchfest, which began in 2007 in Ithaca, Buffalo Porchfest is the perfect opportunity for residents to get outside to welcome fall into the neighborhood. The ELA encourages neighbors to walk or bike around the area and explore the music and beauty of the Elmwood Village. So put on your favorite hoodie and you’re your way ourside. With over 50 performing at 26 locations, Porchfest will be a perfect way to spend your chilly Saturday afternoon.

> AV Staff

Lower Dens

7pm Mohawk Place, 47 E Mohawk St. (312-9279 / $12

Back on the 2012 album, Nootropics, Lower Dens built its sound around the robotic touchstones of artists like Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, while lyrically, frontwoman Jana Hunter attempted to unpack the implications of trans-humanism. On a conceptual level, Nootropics was a heady beast, anchored by the band’s strong, dark, and tension-filled songwriting. On their latest album that came out earlier this year, Escape from Evil, that beguiling sense of menace is still very present, aided and abetted by Hunter’s minimal guitar work and deep, slick vocals. The time around, however, the subject matter is less esoteric, hitting closer to home. According to Hunter, Escape from Evil’s lyrical content is more spontaneous, making for words that stick with listeners long after the songs’ endings. When Hunter croons – and later bellows ¬– the line “I will treat you better” on the single “Ondine,” her story feels both deeply personal and also immediately relatable. Check out Lower Dens as they head to Mohawk Place this Thursday (10/1 @8pm).

> Jeffrey Czum

Todd Glass

Thursday: 8:00pm / Friday & Saturday: 7:30pm & 10pm / Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $15-$31

Well respected in the stand-up community, Todd Glass has been supplying sharp, witty, and passion-fueled observational humor for over thirty years now and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, he’ll be making you laugh like hell at Helium Comedy Club. In some ways, Glass is the most represented comedian in America. The Philadelphia native has seen his industry rise and fall over the decades, starting his career during the 1980s stand-up boom (and subsequent bust) before carving a spot on the national touring circuit during the ‘90s. Like dozens of others, he’s had his own special on Comedy Central, and spent time on NBC’s pervasive “Last Comic Standing” as well as almost every late-night talk show you can name. He was an early adopter of podcasting, which has been a boom for comics everywhere, and he continues to open for the boldface names of the current stand-up renaissance, from Louis C.K. to Daniel Tosh. Don’t miss out on three nights of hilarious jokes told by a guy who’s been in the industry longer than most of us knew how to drive.

> Jeffrey Czum


7pm Town Ballroom, 681 S. Main St. (852-3900 / $25-$30

New York’s Timeflies definitely have the right idea. They take everything from pop, dance, electronica, and hip-hop and shake it up into an undeniable and hook driven hybrid. There’s no doubt that the duo are talented, but talent can go to waste if you don’t have the right attitude or passion. These guys have it all. The secret to the bands lighting-fast rise to popularity was actually a kick-ass earned media strategy backed by irresistible content. Long before Timeflies released their debut album, The Scotch Tape in 2011, the guys were already basking in the buzz generated by their unique marketing approach. Since their inception, the band has released a new video nearly every Tuesday with their YouTube series Timeflies Tuesdays. Whether a brand new hit, remix, freestyle, exclusive interview, documentary or general shout out to fans, you can count on them to produce something worth watching when Tuesday comes around. The best part? It’s free. Their three-step strategy is simple: Make great content. Give it away for free. Promote it with social media. The group makes music to entertain their fans, not to make money. Instead of selling their music videos, they give them away for free and that’s exactly what people love about them. Unfortunately their show at Town Ballroom this Friday night (10/2 @7pm) is not free, but it will definitely be worth your money.

> Rex Manning

Small Houses

8pm Mohawk Place, 47 E Mohawk St. (312-9279 / $5

Philly-based musician Jeremy Quentin is one of those “guy-that’s-a-band/band-that’s-just-one-guy-types.” He performs under the name Small Houses. The album art for Small Houses’ 2013 release Exactly Where You Wanted to Be shows Quentin standing alone, suitcase in his hand, staring into the distance, mustachioed like your dad in his college years. He could be laid-over at a Greyhound station – on his way to somewhere he’s dreading. Much of the record sounds that way: lonely, lo-fi, heartbroken and introspective indie folk. “I call it alternative country,” Quentin says. That sound is summed up perfectly with the track “I Saw Santa Fe,” a literate, mournful and beautiful piano ballad that would fit nicely on Brice Springsteen’s Nebraska. On his latest 2015 release, Still Talk; Second City carries on in much the same vein, this time perhaps with more maturity and teeth. Track “Staggers and Rise” fleshes out the lo-fi sound, taking Quentin’s alt country from the bedroom to the barroom. “Seventeen in Roselore” pairs rough, acoustic guitars with his Quentin’s gravelly tenor and Samantha Crain’s ghostly soprano. Be sure to catch Small Houses at Mohawk Place this Saturday night (10/3 @8pm).

> Jeffrey Czum

Brett Denned

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $20-$23

Sometimes, achieving a dream or a goal doesn’t quite live up to the expectations around it. That’s exactly what happened to the redheaded singer/songwriter from California, Brett Dennen. In 2006, Dennen’s second album, So Much More got him airtime on radio stations around the country and a spot on John Mayer’s tour. While his career soared, the rock star fantasy bumped up against some sobering realities about fame and success. In his 2013 album, Smoke and Mirrors, Dennen gives fans a deeply personal work that explores some of those issues. “For that album, I went up into the mountains and started writing,” says Dennen. “And what came up was just the way I was feeling. I was really out of place and not sure of myself or not really knowing who I was at that point.” When the songs started to flow, Denned got the vote of confidence he needed when major label Atlantic Records approached him about signing based on the new batch of songs he had written. “They [Atlantic] came in at a time where I was feeling empty. I needed a partner. I needed some encouragement.” Smoke & Mirros, spotlights two distinct sides to Dennen’s music. While most songs are acoustic and fairly stripped back, others stand out to be more up-tempo, breezy and fun. Don’t miss Brett Dennen when he makes his way to The Tralf this Sunday night (10/4 @7pm).

> Jeffrey Czum

Mac Miller

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 S. Main St. (852-3900 / $35

Rappers spend most of their time working on rhymes, and producers spend lots of time on their beats, but you’d be surprised how often those two practices don’t neatly intersect. There’s little in hip-hop more disappointing than a great rapper with a tin ear for beats. Conversely, a sharp ear can rescue a burnout rapper, or elevate a good one to great. Mac Miller is a producer and musician in addition to being a rapper ¬– you can hear it all over “GO:OD am,” his first major-label album, and one of the most musically appealing hip-hop LPs of the year. It’s lush and crisp, and also diverse: The smooth love songs “ROS” is produced by DJ Dahi, the woozy shuffle “Time Flies” is by Christian Rich, and the post-Heatmakerz soul with a bleating sax outro titled “Brand Name” is by ID Labs. As a rapper, Mac Miller is an East Coast formalist, and good at it. He’s from Pittsburgh, and a clear inheritor of New York’s mid-90 to mid-00s golden age, with polysyllabic internal rhymes to prove it. He’s getting more established as time goes by and on Wednesday (10/7 @ 7pm), he’ll be storming his way to Town Ballroom.

> Kenny Fisher