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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: Babel Extras: High Tea, British Night at the International Institute, on Friday September 25th. 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.

Babel Extras: High Tea
British Night @ The International Institute

Friday, September 25th

Whilst the leaves are crunching under foot and the wind begins to blow in chilly whispers, you might be thinking to yourself that now is a good time for a tea party. Well, in order to ring in the beginning of the Babel series, and to celebrate the arrival of renowned author A.S. Byatt, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Talking Leaves, and the International Institute of Buffalo are all inviting you to be their guest for evening tea on Friday (Sept. 25). The High Tea, as it’s being called, will feature free admission to wide array of Anglocentric events including the woodwind stylings of bagpiper Dan McCue, member of the Buffalo Musicians’ Association Local 92 since 1973. The Woodgate Shamrock Academy of Irish Dance and The Royal Scottish Dance Society will provide the fancy footwork for your entertainment. Traveling south through the North Channel, across the Irish sea, and into England, the evening will provide homage to Byatt, one of its national treasures, as actors Susan Drozd and Chris LaBlanca of our very own Shakespeare in the Park perform scenes from Macbeth, the Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tea and British cuisine will be available for a mere six dollars. All of this, of course, in honor of A.S Byatt, author of such books as Possession, Angels and Insects, and The Biographer’s Tale; winner of such awards as Germany’s Shakespeare Prize, Italy’s Premio Malaparte and the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction. Byatt will be the kick-off to the 2009-2010 Babel series which will feature other authors such as Azar Nafisi, who wrote Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Salman Rushdie. Visit for full series schedule. Tickets are still available for Byatt, but even if you can’t make it, there is always room for you at tea.

—ann marie awad

International Institute of Buffalo, 864 Delaware Ave. | 6:30p.m. | FREE admission, $6 includes food | 883-1900

Thursday, September 24th

Sleepy Sun

Over the course of the past year, the San Francisco sextet Sleepy Sun has garnered a rabid cult following and many accolades in the online blogs. Their debut record, Embrace, is a stunningly beautiful collection steeped in the Bay Area sound of the sixties. The album features swirling psychedelic guitars meshed with layered Beach Boys harmonies, leaving the melodies to collect in your head for days after. Weaving between intense layers of sound and quiet, stoned introspection, Sleepy Sun stands among the Grateful Dead, Akron/Family, and the Sadies as pioneers in sound and diversity. Live, there is room for extreme improvisation, which often prompts audience members to yell out “let’s get weird!!”. If there is any justice, Sleepy Sun will be the next breakthrough in underground music. They’re playing tonight this Thursday (Sept. 24). Opening is Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound and Chylde.

—eric boucher

Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. 8p.m. | $8

Friday, September 25th

The Antlers

Congratulations to Buffalo for somehow scoring a last minute stop by one of the most buzzed about bands of the year. Brooklyn-based Antlers announced just a little while ago that they’ll be passing through this area on their tour with Holly Miranda. The band is promoting their debut on French Kiss, Hospice, a concept album with a heart-wrenching storyline that is managing to entice listeners despite its themes (cancer, death, isolation, trauma, dysfunction, despair). Antlers’ founder Peter Silberman had been releasing lo-fi collections under his own name before signing to French Kiss, after commercial demand for Hospice reached an unmanageable level. Although the track “Bear” off the album was largely responsible for the original hype, Hospice as a whole went on to receive numerous Album of the Year nods, placing this shoe-gazey, dream-poppy, yet serious trio at an early high point in a promising career. Antlers and Holly Miranda play on Friday (Sept. 25) at Asbury Hall.

—k. o’day

Ninth Ward (downstairs at Babeville/Asbury Hall), 341 Delaware Ave. | 8p.m. | 852-3835 | | $11/advance or $14/day of show at box office,, Tops Markets

Friday, September 25th

Anders Parker

Another cool concert will be taking place at Susan Tanner and Marty Boratin’s house Friday (Sept. 25), in the form of a solo show by singer-songwriter Anders Parker. Well known in indie music circles for his work with the experimental group Space Needle, and among fans for his work with the band Varnaline and Jay Farrar (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt), Parker’s songs have been recorded in a variety of musical settings but always hold up well thanks to memorable melodies and lyrics. He’s frequently compared to Neil Young, if that helps you get the picture. The performance will be a great opportunity to hear songs from his brand new disc Skyscraper Crow (Bladen County Records). Fences Make Good Neighbors opens the show. Remember to BYOB and a dish to pass, along with a lawn chair and maybe a sweater if it looks like the weather is cooperating. Well-behaved dogs, children and adults are welcome.

—buck quigley

Marty & Susan’s House, 7341 Nelson Dr., Town of Eden | 6p.m. | $10 recommended donation | 716.812.4671

Monday, September 28th


This Vancouver duo works the power combo of guitar and drums, with a kind of teen-pop élan playing punk meets lo-fi noise rock that just about begs definition as much as it defies it. Maybe that’s why they named this year’s debut Post-Nothing—to head off critics who are a little too fond of that prefix when assigning genres. On the other hand (and to shamelessly quote Pitchfork yet again), ”what makes Post-Nothing such a blast is how Japandroids tend to embody the opposite sentiment of that song title.” Just goes to show some self-awareness and a sense of humor, right? Certainly those qualities are in evidence in both the band’s live shows and on the latest recording. The music is for the most part no-frills power pop, and lyrics address topics like girls, and music, and drinking, and girls. Guitarist Brian King and drummer David Prouse exhibit considerable talent simply and unpretentiously with ridiculously catchy hooks and the kind of energy a two-man band has got to bring in order to fill the room. Japandroids play on Monday (Sept. 28) along with the Seattle quintet, Mt St Helen’s Vietnam Band.

—k. o’day

Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. | 9p.m. | $8-$10 |

Wednesday, September 30th


Another last-minute announcement this week comes from NYC’s Liturgy (not to be confused with Chicago’s death metal band of the same name), a newer black metal band that approaches their music as a modern religious critique and a countercultural, artistic statement. Though the band is comfortable enough with the “black metal” label—which can seem grim even to metal fans—songs like “Ecstatic Rite” off of their recently released debut Renihilation (20 Buck Spin) have more to do with euphoric experiences and transcendentalism than destruction and anihilation. So whatever “Renihilation” means, it’s more about a positive force, albeit a conflicted one. Perhaps the album’s cover art quote says it best: “(It) is supposed to represent transcendence, which for us means an ecstatic encounter with the present; a violent, apocalyptic, cosmic joy.” Sounds good. Liturgy plays on Wednesday (Sept. 30) with local acts Lulldozer and w ((aa)) ou w.

—k. o’day

Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. | 9p.m.| FREE |

Thursday, October 1st

The Horse's Ha

Named after a short story by Dylan Thomas, the Horse’s Ha may hail from Chicago but there seems little to mark them as a Midwestern band. Led by Janet Beveridge Bean (of Freakwater) and Jim Elkington (of the Zincs), the Horse’s Ha invokes a dark, weird folk sound not unlike Fairport Convention or Pentangle. With enigmatic, literary lyrics of dark paths and netherworlds, the duo create hauntingly beatiful harmonies that keep the listener both enthralled and disturbed. Backed by a post-rock jazz trio, the rhythms grow around the vocals, recalling Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks. Their debut record, Of the Cathmawr Yards, was recently released on Hidden Agenda and has been beginning to gain notice from underground critics—many of whom have tagged the album as weird, but ultimately rewarding. The Horse’s Ha will perform a free show next Thursday (Oct. 1), with special guests TBA.

—eric boucher

Mohawk Place | 47 E. Mohawk St. | 8p.m. | FREE