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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: Les Claypool at Artpark on Wednesday, June 2nd.

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.

Les Claypool

Wednesday, June 2

If you are at all a serious bassist, you know who Les Claypool is. His screwball antics may captivate or alienate you, but one thing’s for certain – he’s damn good. Leading alt-rock champions Primus, Claypool developed one of the most unique styles in all of music, and, what makes it all the more impressive, he did so with rock’s most marginalized instrument. To be fair, rock does have its fair share of bass gods, but throughout the whole genre (and sub-genres and sub-genres), you never hear a bass played like Claypool’s. It’s never there to just keep the pace; it always takes control of the song, and does so no matter how derange and twisted it is. His base lines rumble, crack, spin in circles, and lay down the funk, and always with the precision of a true prodigy. It’s funny to think that Claypool, a childhood friend of Kirk Hammett, almost made his way into Metallica, but luckily for the sake of bassists everywhere was too much of a “freak,” or as James Hetfield politely put it, he “...was too good.” Primus has been on indefinite hiatus for ten years now, but Claypool has kept himself busy, producing music for television (Les wrote the theme to South Park) and touring constantly. On Wednesday, June 2nd, his freak majesty will be gracing us with his presence at Artpark, and for anyone who wants their head ripped off by a bass; this is the show to make. Tickets go for $33.50 reserved seated and $27.50 general admission lawn, and the show is opened by North Carolina alt-country band, the Avett Brothers.

—geoff anstey

6pm (gates). Artpark, 450 S. 4th St., Lewiston (754-4375 / $27.50/lawn; $33.50/seating at Artpark box office,

Thursday, May 27

Django Reinhart Centennial Celebration feat. Stephanie Wrembel, Babik

It was just 100 years ago that Django Reinhardt—one of the 20th century’s most diabolically gifted musicians, a pioneer of guitar music, and a truly strange agent in his personal and professional lives—was born in a Gypsy caravan in Belgium. To mark the centennial of the man who changed jazz forever with just two good fingers on his fretting hand, the Tralf Music Hall is hosting a show next Thursday (May 27) that features two modern Reinhardt acolytes. Babik, the Buffalo-based quartet named for Django’s son, needs no introduction to local audiences: Their interpretation of Django’s relentlessly rhythmic style has been a crowd pleaser since they formed in 2005. Frenchman Stephane Wrembel (pictured), meantime, is one of the most celebrated talents in contemporary jazz guitar. He and his band, the Django Experiment, shared five soldout shows with Babik at Joe’s Pub in New York City in January. The reprise at the Tralf promises to be one of the highlights of the musical year. —geoff kelly

8pm. Tralf Music Hall, 822 Main St. (852-2860 / $20 presale/$23 day of show at box office and Ticketmaster locations.

Thursday, May 27

Rosie Flores

Just when you thought our little heat wave couldn’t get any hotter, who comes rolling into town but Rosie Flores? She’s a household name in cool households, but if you’re strictly L7 this is a great opportunity to get hip to this boppin’ chick who has a day named in her honor (August 31) by the Austin (TX) City Council. Born in San Antonio, she made a name for herself in Southern California before making a splash in Nashville and Austin. Thanks to a consistent string of releases and live appearances, the raven-haired Latina siren is loved for her singing, songwriting, and flashy guitar-slinging—however this tour finds her nursing a badly broken arm. Even so, she’s out in support of a great record called Girl of the Century (Bloodshot), produced by Mekons/Waco Brothers wildman Jon Langford, and the buzz on the street promises a sweaty evening of energetic rockabilly and poignant country music. Despite her success, Flores, like most musicians, is a trouper healing slowly without the benefit of health insurance. What better medicine can the City of Good Neighbors provide her than a packed house in Black Rock? This show tonight (Thursday, May 27) kicks off a week of Austin music at the Sportsmen’s, including guitar god Monte Montgomery on Tuesday and a two-night stand by hardcore honky tonk Heybale on Wednesday and Thursday. Better shine up the boots. —buck quigley

8pm. Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $15.

Friday, May 28

Polar Bear Club

Aggressive and driving pop-punk music might not be as popular as it was in the middle of the last decade but the Rochester based punks in the Polar Bear Club are sticking to their guns. The band is currently in the midst of a cross country tour that will bring them to Mohawk Place on Friday (May 28), and eventually collide with the annual Vans Warped Tour, where the band will be absorbed into the lineup along side approximately 200 other punk rockers. Last September the band released their third full length album, Chasing Hamburg (Bridge 9 records). The record, full of fast and distorted power-pop tracks, is guided by the angst-y and gritty vocals of singer Jimmy Stadt. Their songs, mostly about growing up with your friends by your side, pay tribute to classic punks like the Descendants for that feeling of suburban rebellion, while their catchy palm muted guitar riffs channel newer power-punk acts like New Found Glory. Local punks Rust Belt Lights open the show. —cory perla

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

Friday, May 28 - Monday, May 31

Unite Music Festival

A Memorial Day electronic music celebration starts this Friday (May 28) and lasts though Monday (May 31), spanning waterfront locations from downtown Buffalo to the Sunset Bay Beach Club. Friday night the festival kicks off with pre-parties featuring two of the world’s finest DJ’s, Christopher Lawrence and DJ Craze. The festivities continue Saturday night with DJ Nick Catchdubs. Sunday, the “Main Event,” brings the internationally renowned talents of Serge Devant, Menno de Jong, Eddie Halliwell (pictured), Donald Glaude, and Dieselboy, who will be spinning and playing at bars across the Chippewa strip. Finally, one of the top ten DJs in the world, Gareth Emery, will close the Festival on Memorial Day with a beachside show at the Sunset Bay Beach Club. There will be guest appearances throughout the weekend by local and national celebrities from KISS 98.5’s Shy Guy Shawn, Kev Diddy, and Tony Mamaluke to MTV and VH1 reality stars. Local outfits Factory Nightlife, Pure Trance Productions, the Communist Party, and may other area DJ crews have joined forces to create this original event. Hopefully it’s the first annual of its kind, and will spawn many more years of Memorial Day electronic bliss to come. —alan victor

May 28-May 31. Various times and locations. Chippewa district/Sunset Bay Beach. $30 all access weekend passes available at

Friday, May 28

Family Funktion & Sitar Jams CD Release Party

A family function it certainly is, each time this group of brothers unite on stage to perform their blend of rock, funk, Indian classical, and folk styles. This Friday (May 28) marks the occasion of the CD release of Karma Print, the newest from Family FunKtion & the Sitar Jams. Made up of Aneal Padmanabha on bass, Naryan Padmanabha on sitar, and Ravi Padmanabha working drums and percussion, the group started while all three brothers were in their teens, integrating modern music with the sounds of the classical roots music of their heritage. All started on western instruments, and later Ravi and Naryan bagan experimanting with incorporating dulcimer/santoor and tabla. They created a group called Omkara with their brother Aneal, got their feet wet on the yoga scene, and soon itched to move on to club venues. Hence the creation of Family FunKtion & the Sitar Jams, who now play regular gigs at live music venues and special events. The 12/8 Path Band opens Friday’s (May 28) show at Nietzsche’s, starting at 10pm. A happy hour show by the Fibs starts earlier in the day at 6pm. —frances boots

10 pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $7

Saturday, May 29

Lazlo Holyfeld

On Saturday (May 29) Lazlo Hollyfeld will take the stage of Mohawk Place to unleash their newest post-rock-opera, titled Desert. The 11 song album, recorded at their own studio, dubbed Lazlo Studiofeld, might be their most ambitious to date. Earlier in the year the band set out on an 11 day tour filled with inspiring events and experiences. At the end of the tour they meticulously organized their memories and feelings to create the patterns and structures that make up the soaring and rhythmic instrumental pieces on Desert. Lazlo was formed in 2003 and since then they have released three full length albums and an EP, as well as involving themselves in other diverse local musical projects. Guitarist Jeff Mcleod regularly jams with the classic rock inspired musicians in The Jamie Moses Band, while drummer Matt Felski frequently performs original jazz sets as the leader of the Matt Felski Quartet. Recently the band has even begun playing cover sets of Talking Heads songs. Lazlo’s sound is just as broad as their musical talents, ranging from electronic rock epics like their newest single “The Minister,” to atmospheric guitar based jams, reminiscent of Do Make Say Think, like “How Many More Must Die,” off of their last album, Elimination. Local indie-folk rockers Drivers To Warsaw open what should be a night of diverse musical flavors—cory perla

9pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. $10