See You There!
Artvoice's weekly round-up of events to watch out for the week, including our editor's pick: Wilco, who plays Artpark on Sunday the 19th. As always, check our on-line events calendar for a constantly updated and comprehensive listing of what's going on!
Sunday, July 19th
The “Jeff Tweedy Building” seems to have a revolving door, and since Wilco’s conception, the band has seen many line-up changes under the reserved front man. This shaky foundation has caused the band to slip into different niches over the years, and during their 15 year career Wilco has had a variety of labels—such as alt-county royalty, indie-rock trailblazers, and adult-alternative darlings—which has created different camps of Wilco fans. But besides contention as to the best incarnation of the band, it’s hard to deny that Tweedy’s sense of melancholy, perseverance, and hope has always been the backbone of Wilco, and, more importantly to this summer’s concert goers, a vital part of the band’s live performances.
What a show this should be, seeing Wilco is responsible for some stellar albums in country tinged indie-rock, including greats such as the lush Summer Teeth, the eclectic Being There, and the wonderfully frazzled Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Their new album, literally titled Wilco (the album), doesn’t hit the peaks of the pre-mentioned classics, but still shows off Tweedy’s innate pop skills and is filled with well crafted, if not terribly adventurous, songs. Long standing fans have little to fret about, as the band has been consistently playing many of their standards, and catching “Misunderstood” or “I’m Trying to Break Your Heart” is definitely in the cards. Anyone interested should seek out tickets quickly, seeing as this is one of the biggest shows hitting Artpark this season, especially considering the opening act is Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band.
8pm. Artpark, 450 South 4th St., Lewiston (754-4375 / www.artpark.net). $36/inside; $32/lawn. Call 888-223-6000 to charge by phone
Friday, July 17th
Bill Fox first gained notoriety as singer/songwriter in acclaimed indie pioneers the Mice in the 1980s. Combining late 70s power pop with original DIY punk ethos, Cleveleland’s the Mice were extremely influential in the Northeast, giving inspiration to later Ohio outfits such as Guided By Voices and Cobra Verde. After the breakup of the Mice in 1988, Fox recorded two records for the indie SpinArt label during the 90s. Although neither sold very well, his Dylan-esque folk of sadness, longing, regret, and redemption won him a devoted cult following that has grown to this day. At the turn of this decade, Fox retreated from the music business and nothing has been heard from him since. He has maintained he has no desire for success or acclaim and has no yearning for a life in the public eye. Still, upon hearing that Bill Fox had begun performing a few low key shows in Cleveland, local musician and ardent Fox fan Peter Williams contacted him for Friday’s (July 17) show at Mohawk Place. Suprisingly, he agreed. Although he shuns the spotlight, Bill Fox’s songs deserve to be heard. Also on the bill are the Winter Coats and the Grim Repair.
9p. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (855-3931 / www.mohawkplace.com). $5
Saturday, July 18th
Here’s a husband/wife duo that’s not too cute for its own good, which is surprising considering they a). hail from Montreal; b). are signed to Sub Pop Records; and c). are a handsome couple indeed whose male half is Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade and whose female half is a writer whose short story, Handsome Furs, inspired this venture. Despite Boeckner’s more visible and viable work, this side project is not just a lark—as the band’s sophomore release Face Control has proven to fans and critics alike. Energetic, groovy, ecclectic, ultra hip, and, yes, sometimes cute, this duo is as likeable as it is danceable with just the right amount of cold contemporary electronica mixed in with the moody and atmospheric funk. They come to Soundlab on Saturday (July 18) with another power duo, Virginia’s the Cinnamon Band.
9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (www.bigorbitgallery.org/soundlab). $10-$12
Saturday, July 18th
Photos of Wagons
A flamboyant group of dude-friends making their own playful, psychedelic folk-pop is local Buffalo buzz band Photos of Wagons. At the core of every song is the tension-driven ambiguity of the sweet, angelic yet sinister and provocative voice and words of lead singer and acoustic guitarist Brad Gower. Influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Wilco, and Paul Simon, Photos of Wagons has taken Buffalo fans on a few memorable magical musical voyages and has built a following quickly in the last six months. Recently, the five friends and band mates left Buffalo to play shows on the festival circuit. Saturday (July 18) marks their return and also the release of their self-titled debut recording. “We’ve kinda been dilly-dallying for a while, but now we are a bit more together,” explained drummer Joshua “Jams” Marotta. The name, Photos of Wagons came about after an unsuccessful quest to find a great band name. The group took a different approach; instead of looking for the best band name, they gave up and tried looking for the worst band name, and Photos of Wagons it was. They’ll be joined by special guests the WAKOS, Baby Blue Bird, and Andrew Moore for a night of original, not-to-be-missed music,rotating between two stages for only five bucks.
—baron von schtupin
7pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St (886-8539 / www.nietzsches.com)
Tuesday, July 21st
The doom and gloom is coming out of sunny Miami, FLA, this week when stoner/sludge metal outfit Torche arrives in Buffalo on Tuesday (July 21). Headed by former members of early 90s genre pioneers Floor, Torche has the pedigree and connections to have hit the floor with bands such as Mogwai, Isis, Pelican, Jesu, the Sword, Stinking Lizaveta, and Boris, building a large international following in the process. While this kind of music tends to enjoy popularity more often outside the States—perhaps due to Europe’s druid-like aesthetic—Torche is one band that stimulates a wider audience than many of its kind through a meshing of different sounds and influences. Torche is now on tour with a reunited Harvey Milk—a band from Athens, Georgia, who named itself well before Sean Penn got the nod—who will open the show.
Wednesday, July 22nd
The Women @ BUA
BUA will present a staged reading of Clare Booth Luce’s 1936 play The Women on Wednesday (July 22). The reading features an all-star cast and will be preceded by a wine tasting provided by Freedom Run Winery at 7pm. The Women is a cult favorite that has ascended to the status of a classic. A notable hit in its first Broadway outing, the play ran from 1936 to 1938—an impressive run in those days—and was made into a film directed by George Cukor in 1939. On Broadway, Mary—a woman oblivious to the fact that her marriage is “a fool’s paradise”—was played by Margalo Gillmore, a frequent member of Katharine Cornell’s company best remembered today as Mrs. Darling in Mary Martin’s Peter Pan. Her friend and nemesis, Sylvia, was played by Broadway granddame Ilka Chase. For the film, MGM pulled out all the stops for an unforgettable bitch-fest headed by Norma Shearer as Mary, with Joan Crawford as the other woman and Rosalind Russell her sharp-tongued “friend” Sylvia. Other cast members included Joan Fontaine, Paulette Goddard, Hedda Hopper, and Marjorie Main (who recreated her Broadway performance). Anita Loos added to Clare Booth Luce’s script for the screenplay. (For highlights, see the original trailer at http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1962279193). For BUA, this writer directs a cast featuring Kerrykate Abel, Kathleen Betsko-Yale, Kelli Bocock-Natale, Jeanne Cairns, Nicole Cimato, Caitlin Coleman, Zoe Diana, Kelly Ferguson, Wendy Hall, Lisa Ludwig, Constance McEwen, Mary Moebius, and Michele Roberts. Wednesday evening, the claws will be out—and they’re jungle red!
7:30pm. Buffalo United Artists, 119 Chippewa St. $25. Call 886-9239 for reservations
Thursday, July 23rd
Neko Case is a fierce folk-singer whose historic influences of gospel and bluegrass are fused with a contemporary indie edge, perhaps picked up from her early days in punk bands or her escapades with the New Pornographers. She is on the road now to promote her latest record, Middle Cyclone (Anti-Records, 2009), and will grace Buffalo’s own Thursday at the Square next week (July 23). With her classic affinity for dark tales rooted in ironic realism, Neko sums up her own life story with “I was born on an Air Force base in Virginia to some teenage children” who “very much wanted me to become a crack-whore, but I gravely disappointed them by graduating from college.” At the age of 19, a little known spiritual album changed everything for her. She once told an interviewer, “I was heavily into punk rock, and punk rock was really dogmatic and macho. But this record made me feel like...these ladies aren’t kidding...they sing about religion with more passion than anybody sings about anything.” Neko’s own voice seems to radiate from somewhere and its rawness and power can only be compared to the gospel singers that inspired her. It is further elevated by her poetic ability to create images as mystical as her own gypsy wanderings. Jason Lytle opens the show.
5pm. Lafayette Square (856-3150 / www.buffaloplace.com/thursday-at-the-square). Free.
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