See You There!
Artvoice's weekly round-up of events to watch out for the week, including our editor's pick: instrumental post-rockers Tortoise, playing at the Tralf on Friday the 29th. As always, check our on-line events calendar for a constantly updated and comprehensive listing of what's going on!
Friday, May 29
Post-rock? I never got that whole sub-genre tag that was a supposed catch-all for the cadre of indie acts making textured, rhythmic music via rock constraints and instrumentation but creating something closer to jazz and experimental composition. All the bands that were supposedly “post-rock” were too disparate. There was nothing that really tied them together.
Still, there have been plenty of highlights among that which has been dubbed “post-rock,” particularly Chicago trailblazers like Jim O’Rourke and the malleable instrumental outfit Tortoise. Started in the early 1990s and centered around drummer/producer John McEntire, bassist Doug McCombs, and multi-instrumentalist John Herndon, Tortoise has earned something of a brand name status in post-rock, leaving a countless number of bands inspired or cheaply imitating in their wake. The band’s twin high water marks—1996’s Millions Now Living Will Never Die and 1998’s TNT—proved to be a pair of groundbreaking records that continue to mesmerize a decade plus on.
Tortoise’s appearance this Friday (May 29) at the Tralf is one of just a couple shows on the eve of the release of Beacons of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey), which marks Tortoise’s first album of all new material in five years. Ancestorship is a rich record that beautifully manages an incongruent stew of krautrock, John Barry-esque widescreen gallant, avant jazz, lo-fi slop rock, fragmented dub, abstract funk, and analog synth-laden breakbeat cool.
To call this weekend’s show in Buffalo a “rare” opportunity to see them might just be an understatement.
Thursday, May 28
The Ritz @ BUA (new space!)
Buffalo United Artists will officially open its new theater space at 119 Chippewa St. with a staged reading of Terrence McNally’s comedy classic, The Ritz, on Thursday, (May 28). The play—about a straight man trying to avoid a mob hit arranged by his brother-in-law by hiding out in a gay bathhouse—will feature some of BUA’s most popular performers, including Eric Rawski, Kevin Kennedy, Jimmy Janowski, Chris Kelly, Caitlin Coleman, Joe Demerly, and Ray Ganoe. Nicole Cimato will join the group as Googie Gomez, a Puerto Rican performer with boundless aspirations but limited talent. After BUA lost its intimate theater upstairs from Roxy’s in 2003, it moved in with Alleyway Theatre. When the opportunity came for its own space, BUA leapt at the chance. The new theater is a former comedy club, and the space is shared with AIDS Community Services of WNY, which uses it for meetings and workshops by day. By night, however, it’s a world of theatrical wonder. BUA warmed up the place earlier this season with a successful production of Salvatore Antonio’s family drama In Gabriel’s Kitchen. For the grand opening they will return with McNally, who has served the company well with such plays as Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Lisbon Traviata, and Some Men.
9pm. Buffalo United Artists, 119 Chippewa St. $30.
For details call 886-9239 (868-6847 / www.alttheatre.com). $10/general admisssion or $7/students
Friday, May 29
Battle of the Hip Hop Bands 3
This Friday (May29th), Artvoice BOOM (Battle Of Original Music) champions Type Relevant will host their bi-annual Battle of the Hip-Hop Bands, and release their new LP the very same night. This battle will feature two of Buffalo’s most promising live acts, two time returning champs Kinda Like Dreamin’ vs. Purgatory Kings. The winner will receive a studio recording package from the Audio Media Company and a cash prize. After the winner is announced, Type Relevant will perform an action-packed set of their trademark jazz infused hip-hop, with special guest appearances from Livematic Vibes, Edreys (aka Billy Drease Williiams), and Definition. If you appreciate live music with a positive message and witty wordplay, this is the show for you.
—baron von schtupin
10pm. Nietszche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / www.myspace.com/typerelevant). $7. Ages 21+
Friday & Saturday, May 29 & 30
IUDCC: The Future of Journalism
This weekend an army of radical media theorists and activists converge on Buffalo State College for the annual International Union for Democratic Communications Conference IUDCC) If that name seems opaque, think alternative news and media criticism or, better yet, look at the roster of speakers and presenters: Peter Phillips, director of Project Censored, which each year highlights the most important and underreported stories of the year; Geoff Millard, chair of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Danny Schechter, the documentarian and author whose films include Counting on Democracy and WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception; and Buffalo’s own Steve Kurtz, whose federal prosecution became a cause célèbre. They join more than 100 alternative media scholars and activists in arguing over the current and future state of media.
Programs begin at 9am both days. Only selected events are open to the public. Visit www.buffalostate.edu or Buffalo State’s Bulger Communication Center (1300 Elmood Ave) for a conference schedule.
Tuesday, June 2
Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band
Kevin Devine is one of those guys who wrings his heart out onto all of his songs. The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter pours his loves and hates about personal and social politics onto the canvas, aiming to exorcize it all in a musical expunging... and he really gets it done! Three years after his relative breakthough—2006’s charming confessional blast of rock-pop Put Your Ghost To Rest —Devine has released Blood Brothers (Favorite Gentlemen Records) which proves his most fully-formed musical statement to date. Following several years of incessant touring, Devine took a clutch of demos to his band —comprised of Brian Bonz on keys and percussion, Chris Bracco on bass, Mike Skinner on drums, and Russell Smith and Mike Strandberg on guitar. Devine ceded more creative control and song arrangement to his Goddamn Band, turning backing players into true collaborators. Devine’s tourmates Phoenix-native, L.A.-based Miniature Tigers have put together an interesting musical mix with the semi-precious, humorously-skewered tales delivered by singer/guitarist Charlie Brand’s earnest vocals across a backdrop of sunshiney and baroque pop flair. Elmwood Drive and brian Bonz round out the bill
7pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (855-3931 / www.mohawkplace.com)
Wednesday, June 3
Buffalo Select Chorus
On Wednesday (June 3) the Buffalo Select Chorus, a group of talented Buffalo Public School Students assembled by director Linda Appleby, will give a performance at Asbury Hall (at Babeville, at the Church). The Chorus was formed in 2005 and consists of students from a variety of musical backgrounds including gospel, jazz, classical, blues, baroque, chamber music, and contemporary. This will be the Chorus’ fourth annual concert where they will be joined by Joseph Wooten (who is known as “ The Hands of Soul.”) Wooten and his three brothers play in the Nashville-based band the Wooten Brothers, who have opened for the likes of Curtis Mayfield and War. Joseph and his brother Victor currently tour with the Steve Miller Band, and Joseph is also the bassist for Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. As to the Buffalo Select Chorus, they have performed all over the region and at their most recent performance, the chorus brought down the house with a standing ovation.
7:30pm at Asbury Hall at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / www.babevillebuffalo.com). FREE..
Tuesday, Thursday - Saturday June 2, 4, 5, 6
The Tragically Hip
The rest of the States may not have as good an idea who the Tragically Hip are, but anyone in the range of Canadian radio—for example, us—knows at least three of their songs, is familiar with frontman Gordon Downie’s strange dancing, and has a friend who swears by them. The band has quietly released a new album this month, a more subdued offering titled We Are the Same, and are now on the proverbial warpath touring Canada and a big chunk of the States. On Tuesday (June 2) they will be arriving at Lewiston to play at the renowned Artpark, which has just opened its lawn seats in preparation for the Canuck juggernauts. Tuesday marks the beginning of the Hip’s “Four Night Stand” in our area, of which all dates are sold out except for Saturday (June 6), and even the there are only lawn seats available. It should be noted that a large part of the Hip’s success has hinged on their stupendous live shows, so even if classics like “Ahead by a Century” and “50 Mission Cap” haven’t quite made it onto your Ipod, you may be surprised how much they kick it live. Without exaggeration, this is probably going to be one of the best acts to hit the region this year, and another reason to thank Canada besides Labatt Blue.
7pm. Artpark, 450 S. 4th St., Lewiston
(754-4375 / www.artpark.net). $39.50 at box office, Tickets.com, Tops Markets.
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