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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of events to watch out for the week, including our editor's pick: American Music Club's frontman, Mark Eitzel, performing on Friday the 24th. As always, check our on-line events calendar for a constantly updated and comprehensive listing of what's going on!

Mark Eitzel

Friday, July 24th

Marty Boratin and Susan Tanner have been filling a void in the local music scene by hosting a bunch of house concerts at their place in Eden the past couple years. They’ve consistently hosted important artists flying under the radar of mainstream radio and concert venues, and this Friday (July 24), they’re featuring a unique live music experience by bringing in American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel. Formed in San Francisco in 1983, AMC became well-respected in underground circles for its eclectic mix of musical styles, including country, folk, rock, punk, and kitschy lounge. This Northeast tour finds Eitzel performing selections from the band’s impressive catalog, accompanied by AMC pianist Marc Capelle. Eitzel humorously describes the stripped-down act this way: “It’s like a Tony Bennett show if he was fat and balding and couldn’t really sing and the songs were toxic and depressing.” But the self-effacing description shouldn’t distract us from the fact that he was named songwriter of the year in 1991 by no less a mainstream mag than Rolling Stone. If you’ve never been to a house concert—a phenomenon that began catching on last decade when important cult acts found themselves getting squeezed out of conventional venues due to myriad forces in a changing music business landscape—this would be a memorable one to attend. The show starts with funnyman Bill Nehill at 8pm sharp, preceeded by cookout/potluck around 6pm if you’d like to bring something to throw on the grill. Well-behaved kids and dogs welcome. BYOB and BYOFC (beverage and folding chair). RSVP appreciated.

—buck quigley

8pm. Marty & Susan’s House, 7341 Nelson Drive, Hamburg. (812-4671) $10 suggested donation.

Thursday, July 23rd

Neko Case

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.

—lindsay berman

5pm. Lafayette Square (856-3150 / Free.

Friday, July 24th

Average White Band

This one is coming out of left field; they’re a R & B/funk group from Scotland, contrary to their name they aren’t entirely white, and they’ve had the enormous distinction of playing their first gig to open for Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Theatre Comeback. What’s even stranger though, is while most people would scratch their heads when asked about the Average White Band, whether aware of it or not, everyone knows AWB’s 1974 classic “Pick Up the Pieces.” It has one of the most recognizable riffs in funk/soul history, and if you’re feeling a bit hazy on the tune, check it out on youtube, you’ll be just as surprised as people were in the 70’s that that lick is coming from the Average White Band. These days, the guys have added some Nu Jazz to their sound, which may deter the funk hungry, but for the most part, the smooth sounds of Nu Jazz stay out of their energetic classics, which is to say, they still cut it up. 70’s soul purists should check this out on Friday (July 24). Tinted Image opens the show.

—geoff anstey

8pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860). $22 presale/$24 day of show at Ticketmaster. Ages 21+

Saturday, July 25th

Outdoor Animation Festival

Come spend your Saturday night (July 25th) with a riveting mix of animated shorts from around the world. Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo’s very own artist-run non-profit that supports the local media arts, will host its 6th annual Animation Festival featuring both low and high-tech presentations from local and international artists. Highlights at this family-friendly outdoor screening will feature globally recognized works by filmmakers hailing from such far corners of earth as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom all for your entertainment. The event will showcase methods utilizing everything from the vintage to the cutting edge tricks you thought only existed in your dreams. Viewers can expect creative pixilation, animated cats, a dancing Godzilla (see below), and the award winning short “I Met the Walrus,” featuring and inspired by original audio from an infamous John Lennon interview. Bringing your own picnic equipment is strongly encouraged to maximize viewing pleasure and stargazing opportunities.

—lindsey berman

8:30pm (dusk). Days Park at Wadsworth & Allen. Contact or 884-7172. FREE

Saturday, July 25th

Space Alien Love Fest

Dress up like an alien! It’s all about loving our extraterrestrial brethren for a change. Just don’t dress up like Elian Gonzales. Keep it sexy, keep it sci-fi. The music comes from our favorite aliens to good taste, Anal Pudding (pictured below), with Fred’s Slacks Orchestra, Shapes of States, Dudley Ghost, Lazy Ass Destroyer, Blue Lazer, Slapstick, Superego, and who knows what else. This event (on Saturday, July 25), is only one of the costume parties scheduled during the infringement festival. Others include Wizard’s Delight (Merlin’s, 7/24); Zombie Fest (The Yard 7/26); Nobody’s Masquerade Ball (7/31); War Party (Burnwood 7/31); Merlin’s Masquerade Ball (7/31); Pirate Gathering (Nobody’s 8/1); Rock Harbor Toga Party (The Yard 8/1). And make an effort, if you’re creative; don’t wear the same costume to each one, unless you’re hitting three in one night.

—alan victor

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $3 with costume $5 without

Sunday, July 26th

Swimming With Lesbians

It has been said that “Gays have a past but not a history.” Gays and lesbians don’t grow up immersed in gay history. It is something they must search for. For those coming of age in the 1950s, much of significant American gay history is their story — the Mattachine Society, Stonewall, the gay rights movement, psychiatric redefinition of homosexuality, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Romer v. Evans, AIDS, civil unions, marriage—it’s all in the last 50 years. Swimming with Lesbians is a film that explores an upstate New York community’s efforts to create a LGBT historic Archive, and celebrate its own unique history. The Buffalo premiere takes place on Sunday (July 26), at BUA Theatre. This event will benefit Madeline Davis GLBT Archives of WNY and Blue Sky productions. Advance ticket sales only. To purchase tickets call 983-9212 or 525-3962 or mail payment to embraceWNY, P.O. Box 454, Buffalo NY, 14205.

7pm. Buffalo United Artists, 119 Chippewa St. $25

Thursday, July 30th

Killswitch Engage, Rise Against w/Rancid, Billy Talent, All That Remains & White Chapel

It’s so great when bands hang out together. Like, the only way I can figure the collaboration involved in Tinted Windows is that all those guys were all drunk at the same bar one night. It’s the only explanation. But less incongruous is the line up at the Fairgrounds next Thursday (July 30), which boasts headliners Killswitch Engage and Rise Against, whose members apparently got to talking, realized they were both scheduled to play Buffalo on the same day, and decided to make it easy on a largely shared fanbase and combine their efforts. And—this is almost too much—they’re bringing Rise Against tour-mates Rancid and Billy Talent, and Killswitch’s support groups All That Remains and Whitechapel. Metalcore fans in Western New York couldn’t ask for better news.

—k. o’day

6pm. Agri-Center @ the Fairgrounds. 820 South Park Ave., Hamburg. $32/advance at and Tops Markets. All ages