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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: The Weekend Off Festival, taking place Thursday through Saturday in Warsaw, NY. If you haven't already, be sure to check out our new and improved events calendar on-line for complete event listings, a location guide to find your way about the city, restaurant reviews, and more.

The Weekend Off Music Festival

Thursday August 13 - Saturday August 15

The Weekend Off Festival......three days of music under two covered stages with artists, vendors, wooded camping, and much more. Located in the countryside at North Fork Music Park in Warsaw, NY, the festivities will start on Thursday and continue through Saturday. The headliners are dynamic, scene-setting electronica youngsters the Pnuma Trio (pictured), who have been known for their forward-thinking compositions and moving, powerful improvisations since their explosion onto the scene in 2004. Not quite so young anymore, Pnuma members Ben Hazelgrove, Alex Botwin, and Lane Shaw are proud to call STS9’s very hot 1320 Records their new home as they release their debut studio album, Character. This new album represents a significantly evolved version of Pnuma’s futuristic sound: Tighter, more focused, and higher resolution. The band will be hitting the ground running to support the new album with high-profile summer performancesincluding this one. Also on the bill are Sub Swara, Motion Potion, KiloWatts, Lazlo Hollyfeld, Sonic Garden, Family Funktion and the Sitar Jams, Rhubarb, Peanut Brittle Satellite , Dali’s Ghost, Shapes of States, Pia Mater, the Macrotones, Little Mountain Band, Rogue Science, Anal Pudding, Chylde, Beam and Deem vs. Sonic Spank, Us Marshall, Big Basha, Mc Nasty, Loony Tunes, DJ Universal, Vinnie DeRosa Jams, Deja Fuze, Universe Shark, and Qualia.

Thursday-Saturday at the North Fork Music Park, 4952 Quarry Rd. Warsaw NY.

$50/advance or $75/at gate at Ticketmaster or Terrapin Station (1172 Hertel Ave., 874-6677). Visit for details and directions.

Thursday, August 13th

The Decemberists

The current challenge to bands of a certain stature seems to be producing a so-called “rock opera.” Count the Decemberists among those bands with their latest concept album, The Hazards of Love (Capitol), released in March of this year. The emotive prog-rock quintet unleashed the entire 17 songs on an unsuspecting audience at last spring’s SXSW Music Festival, and this year’s Lollapalooza (on August 7) will be make it the second time the band performs all of Hazards live. When they stop in Buffalo tonight (Thursday, August 13), the audience will be treated to a mixed set list of old favorites and new yarns, featuring mythical characters like queens of the forest, shape-shifting monsters, and the like. Though the new album features cameo roles from Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond), don’t expect those guest stars to make the show in Buffalo. The audience should be content with the presences of enigmatic singer Colin Meloy and dynamic keyboardist Jenny Conlee (who really rocks that Hammond organ). Opening the show are Cincinnati’s Heartless Bastards.

—alan victor

8pm. UB Center for the Arts, Amherst Campus (645-ARTS / $38 at Ticketmaster

Thursday, August 13th

Dungen, Woods

No, it’s not a typo, and the misspelling isn’t to be cute or anything, they’re just Swedish. And even though they’re called Dungen, they have nothing to do with Scandinavian death metal, so metal heads can stop salivating now. Instead of leather and black make up, Dungen (which is actually Swedish for ‘the Grove’) are more concerned with prog ambition and psychedelic freak-outs. They strike a good mix between the two genres, and offer a mix of lush instrumental compositions with bursts of wacked out guitar sounding straight from San Francisco circa 1966. Though obscure, these Swedes are hardly strangers to the states, and have even played on “Late Night with Conan Obrien.” Brooklyn based Woods will be accompanying Dungen for the show. Woods is an alt-folk outfit—which is all the rave with kids these days—and will provide simple, laid back arrangements with tinges of psychedelia to compliment the out-there Dungen. Buffalo’s spacey rockers the Stay Lows will be opening on what’s looking to be a wicked show TONIGHT (August 13).

—geoff anstey

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. ( $13-$15

Saturday, August 15th

Gene Ween

His parents named him Aaron Freeman. Some in the know refer to him as “Gener”. To the music world at large he is Gene Ween, who, along with Dean (Mickey Melchiondo) Ween, is one of half of the genre-defiant duo Ween. Though it seems they are an ever moving force of nature, it turns out the band is not spending every moment adding to their stylistic catalog or crossing the globe. Sometimes Gene just gets to be Gene. Sort of. In the last year Gene Ween has decided to break away and take it solo. For this Saturday’s (August 15) show at Mohawk Place, with little more than a guitar and a lot of songs, “Gener” might be a little out of the usual Ween comfort zone. Expect a night of stripped down songs including Ween favorites matched with some non-Ween Gene originals and anything from Prince covers to who knows what. Then mix in a room full of the sign-a-long Ween diehards and gently stir. That’s quite a recipe for a memorable Saturday night. Finally —just to get it straight—it’s important to note that Ween is still going strong and has a pair of shows on Labor Day weekend at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheater. 2009 finds Ween celebrating a mammoth 25th anniversary as a band. In rock years, that’s like 150!

—donny kutzbach

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (855-3931 /, $16

Saturday, August 15th

Square Circle CD Release Party

While the famed cereal Frosted Flakes claims to “bring out the inner tiger in you,” Buffalo native band the

Square Circle say they’ll bring out the “inner rocker in everyone.” The cereal does indeed bring something out, but if a jittery sugar high that inevitably ends in a crash is the so-called “inner tiger,” maybe its best that it doesn’t get released. The “inner rocker,” however, is a different story. The three piece band plays original music aimed to rouse the soul. The talented members rock the piano, guitar, and drums, hitting it home with powerful vocals by Vik Bhargava. This Saturday (August 15), the Square Circle will celebrate their first studio-recorded album. What’s great about a CD Release party is that the “inner rocker,” once aroused, can be sustained—the post-show crash is avoidable with purchase of the new album. The Square Circle’s influences range from Brit-pop to ragtime which produces an eclectic sound. Not only does this show promisea sampling of music from the band’s new record, but you may also hear some brilliant covers ranging from the Beatles to Coldplay.

—maggie barrett

10pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886.8539 /

Sunday, August 16th

Queen City Roller Girls: Booty Block Party

You’re probably familiar with the classic brand of throw-down that our very own Queen City Roller Girls are capable of serving up. However, you may not be familiar with what the Montreal Roller Derby League is capable of taking and breaking. Come out to see the Alley Kats, Devil Dollies, Nickel City Knockouts, and Suicidal Saucies—Team QCRG—compete against Montreal’s Contrabanditas, Les Filles du Roi, LaRacalle, New Skids on the Block, and the Sexpos. Buffalo horror-pops rock band the Rabies will also be performing, no doubt providing the savage soundtrack necessary for the only sport to keep you warm outside of hockey season. Prepare for a night of bloody noses, ripped stockings, falsetto French curse-words, and grunting. A good way for us to settle that age-old question of Canada vs. America? With heels, wheels and punk rock. Be there Sunday (August 16) to see it all go down.

—ann marie awad

Doors: 5:30pm; Bout: 6pm. Rainbow Roller Rink, 101 Oliver St., N. Tonawanda (693-1100). $10/presale or $15/at door. Visit for ticket info.

Wednesday, August 19th

Suburban Home Tour

There was an old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ad campaign from the 1970s. Donny “Ralph Malph” Most and Robbie “’70s teen dreamboat” Benson bump into each other while ogling the same girl. They get their respective snacks in a collision and voila: the two great tastes that taste great together. Instead of peanut butter and choclate, think punk rock and country music. Suburban Home Records is kinda like Reese’s perfect combo. Virgil Dickerson—the man behind Suburban Home—has been passionately operating his thoroughly indie imprint from Denver, Colorado for the past 12 years. Among the label’s highpoints have been many well-known and respected punk rockers forging a different path. There’s Tim Barry’s records, which showed the Avail frontman veer from hardcore to more rootsy territory. The same can be said of All singer Chad Price and his cohort Jon Snodgrass for their infectiously twangy outfit Drag the River, as well as Lagwagon’s Joey Cape stripping down his pop/punk stylings for acoustic singer/songwriter fare. This current tour sees the banding together of members of the Suburban Home family for a raucous roadshow. The bill this Wednesday (August 19) includes the aforementioned Jon Snodgrass, folk-punk-bluegrass upstart Austin Lucas, and Columbus, Ohio’s Two Cow Garage (pictured), an unparalled live quartet no doubt already familiar to most Queen City’s barroom rock lovers.

—donny kutzbach

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47. E. Mohawk St.