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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: Rockin' At The Knox, featuring The National and Rufus Wainwright this Friday the 18th.

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.

Rockin' At the Knox: The National, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Atlas Sound

Friday, June 18

It’s the kind of artistic trajectory that is remarkable to see, but generally only happens with top tier of bands. Toiling for the last ten years, the Brooklyn via Cincinnati quintet the National (pictured) has worked continually from earnest, underground beginnings, crafting sepia-hued rock records one after another and successively bettering the one before. While those in the wings thought topping 2005’s Alligator and 2007’s The Boxer would be unlikely, the National have done it with their newly released High Violet (4AD). It is a pop masterwork of lyrically poetic panache balanced by prosaic arrangements and an ever-unshakable rhythmic heartbeat. It’s like a grand marriage of Joy Division and Leonard Cohen. Instead of Cohen’s Songs Of Love And Hate, High Violet would be more aptly titled “Songs of Longing and Haste,” as singer/lyricist Matt Berninger’s songs plumb emotional middles, lows, and the in-betweens and investigate the hurried nature of the human psyche with an existential grace. The band’s two sets of brothers Bryan and Scott Devendorf and Aaron and Bryce Dessner are at the musical core dividing the album’s tracks between lushly complex orchestral journeying and deftly sparse beauty. Joining the National for this Friday’s (June 18) mostly mainstream-eschewing bill for Rockin’ At The Knox is cabaret pop auteur Rufus Wainwright, who is finishing up a much-anticipated new album/song cycle tentatively titled All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu. Wainwright’s equally distinctive singer/songwriter sister Martha Wainwright rounds out the bill along with indie darling Bradford (Deerhunter) Cox’s new project, Atlas Sound. It’s not necessarily the kind of lineup that will pack the makeshift concert venue parking lot at the annual fundraiser for WNY’s finest modern art gallery, but it certainly makes the case for good musical art. Local support comes from Acme Nipple, Caitlin & the Jamie Moses Band, Linda McRae & Jim Whitford, and Djck —donny kutzbach

5pm. Albright Knox Art Gallery (parking lot), 1285 Elmwood Ave. (882-1958 / $40/advance or $45/at gate available at, 866-466-2638, and at the Gallery admissions desk.

Friday, June 18

Labatt Blue BBQ & Blues Bash

Labatt Blue and a bevy of other businesses are holding a benifit for Gateway-Longview, a not-for-profit child and family service agency that has been providing care, counseling and support for disadvantaged children and their families for more than 120 years. The 2nd annual Labat Blue BBQ & Blues Bash will take place on Friday (June 18) from 5-9pm on and along Mississippi St. in Buffalo’s historic Cobblestone District. Buffalo blues legends Billy McEwen & the Soul Invaders will provide entertainment. The event will be tented and closed to traffic, ensuring it will go on, rain or shine, and free and secure parking will be available in the HSBC arena parking lot the day of the party, courtesy of the Buffalo Sabres. Come, have a blast, and help support some kids. —brendan karet

5-9pm. W.J. Morrissey’s Irish Pub and Benchwarers Sports Bar & Grill, 30 Mississippi St. (783-3356). $20 presale at; $30 day of event.

Friday, June 18

Man Forever

Man Forever is essentially the thumping brainchild of Kid Millions, largely known as the drummer for the Brooklyn based psych-prog band Oneida. The project was originally inspired by a classical rendition of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music (?!), so in effect, Man Forever was born of the idea that the most traditional of instruments can tackle the most industrial of concepts. Carefully tuned and prepared drums add another dimension to the all-rhythm assault of his two-part self titled monster of a record (limited to 300 copies, all individually hand screened and available at the show), so there is incredible attention to detail, not just blind noise. While consisting of all-acoustic drums, the music is undoubtedly inspired by the noise of electronic instruments. The end result could best be described as a cosmic explosion of percussion that will haunt you long after first listen. This touring incarnation of Man Forever will be an all-star quintet consisting of Kid Millions, Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Shahin Motia of Oneida and Knyfe Hyts, Allison Busch of Awesome Color and Richard Hoffman of Sightings. A performance of this magnitude is a perfect fit for Gateway Gallery, one of Buffalo’s most exciting art and performance spaces. Things kick off Friday (June 18) at 8pm with All of Them Witches, Mutus Liber and Noveller opening the show. —eric kendall

8pm. Gateway Gallery, 141 Elmwood Ave.(886-6888 / $5.

Friday, June 18

Sleepy Sun

Like the Beach Boys and Black Flag before them, Sleepy Sun is a quintessential California band, evoking the true spirit of a time and place that may only exist in some people’s heads. A fluctuating band that can often go up to eight members, Sleepy Sun is a collective of sound architects, pulling apart Black Sabbath riffs while floating beautiful male and female harmonies throughout. Their recordings meld so much together that it’s difficult to lump them in with any particular genre, which makes it even better. The sound of modern psychedelia at it’s best without the pretension, Sleepy Sun’s live performances are quite the spectacle and can fill an audience with beauty and joy. Sleepy Sun performs at Mohawk Place on Friday (June 18) at 10pm Opening are Spirit Chief and TMMC. (Please note the late start for this show). —eric boucher

10pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (855-3931 / $10.

Saturday, June 19

Rediscover Amherst St.

Maybe Amherst Street is booming, or maybe it’s always been this lively. Consider just a few of the business corridor’s up-and-coming elements: 464 Gallery is winner of Best Under-the-radar Art Space in AV’s Best of Buffalo poll this year; Artsphere Gallery is currently exhibiting a moving exhibition of work by Milton M. Weiser; down the street from both, restaurateur Mark Goldman is renovating a Hardware Store, an echo of his successful venture on Allen Street; and on the other end of Grant Street, Duane Hall is joining forces with Earl Ketry of Pearl Street Grill to dramatically renovate and expand the Sportsmen’s Tavern, one of Buffalo’s great live music joints. Scattered among these bright spots are numerous bustling businesses, some old mainstays and some new neighbors. Hardly a storefront sits empty. The story unfolding on Amherst Street (and on neighboring Grant Street) is encouraging: bootstrap entrepreneurs and artists investing in their community. Check it out this Saturday (June 19) at the 13th Annual Rediscover Amherst Street Festival. There’s a parade at noon, the Best Pie in Black Rock contest, the Spar’s wiener eating contest, a strawberry festival at St. John’s, food, music, an art market, and much more. —frances boots

10am-6pm. Grant/Amherst/Black Rock area.

Sunday, June 20

Beach House

Born in 2004 from Baltimore’s art-rock ghetto, Beach House, the “dream pop” duo of Alex Scally on keyboards and guitar and Victoria Legrand on organ and vocals, quickly ascended into the harmonic indie rock pantheon populated by the likes of Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes. Over the course of three records—Beach House, Devotion, and 2010’s Teen Dream—the group perfected and managed to expand upon its signature sound (hypnotic vocals, haunting waves of simple organ, and atmospheric slide guitar riding glacially paced casophonic beats), prompting hopeless romantics everywhere to do the indie rock swoon. Intimate but epic, ethereal and yet decidedly sumptuous, Beach House’s simple enchantments are characterized by a simmering melancholia, the aural equivalent of fainting slowly when that boy or girl you hoped would come to the party (but who you never had the guts to say one word to) appears in the living room doorway. Mostly this has to do with the spare quality of the songs, which bristle with compact intensity and a total indifference to “rocking out.” The subtle, exposed architecture of the music, recalling bedroom-produced demos (little more than cheapo beats, vintage keys, woozy romantic slide guitar, and restrained but operatic vocals as opposed to full-on rock-n-roll bells and whistles), suggests a depth that lesser artists try for but never fully achieve. Check out Beach House with openers Moss of Aura this Sunday (June 20) at the Town Ballroom. —greg gannon

7pm (doors). Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $15/advance or $18/day of show at TB box office,, (888) 223-6000, and Tops Markets.

Monday, June 21

Friction Brothers

They aren’t actually brothers, but they can’t be denied on the whole “friction” thing. The Chicago-based Friction Brothers are taking the always evolving, ever unclassifiable and unendingly fascinating world of improvised music into further frontiers. Julliard-trained Friction Brothers’ cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm doesn’t play his instrument the way most cellists do. The same must be said of percussionist Michael Zerang’s use of what he chooses for rhythmic instrumentation and inspiration. Accepting those facts still doesn’t quite prepare one for what Michael Colligan does in Friction Brothers. Using mostly dry ice and a variety of metal objects, Colligan crafts what results in noises that no instrument known to man could possibly make. The trio issued a self-titled 2008 album on Sort Of Records/Abstract On Black, and as that label’s website points out, it is a “endlessly interesting record full of harmonic resonances, grinding objects, manipulated dry ice, and, of course, heavy friction.” As fascinating a listen as the album is, the live setting seems to be the way to catch the Frictions. As a Chicago Reader profile on the ensemble noted, “Since so many of the sounds are hard to identify by ear, watching the group play live has a special appeal.” The Friction Brothers make their Buffalo debut this Monday (June 21) at Hallwalls at 8pm. And don’t worry: they will provide their own dry ice, you can leave yours at home... —donny kutzbach

8pm. Hallwalls, 341 Delaware Ave. (854-1694 / $15 general, $10 members/students/seniors.

Tuesday, June 22


The rock scene in early 2000’s New York city was focused on reflection—the new idea was to play like the old bands, and break the current trends by reviving the retro ones. This irked the hell out of forward thinkers, but it’s undeniable that some great bands came out of it, and one of the best was Interpol. While the Strokes were versed in the ways of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground, Interpol was the first of the New York revivalists to make it big by continuing the beloved genre of post-punk. Bands such as the Chameleons (UK), the Wire, and Joy Division were constant inspiration for Interpol, which was used as fodder for post-punk purists to shun the band. Yes, vocalist Paul Banks sounds an awful lot like the iconic Ian Curtis, but harping on that is ignoring Interpol’s real rise to fame, fantastic song writing. Turn on the Bright Lights is a classic; being angular and brooding while catchy and exciting, it turned the indie scene on its ear, and ever since has become a vital LP to many of today’s bands. Their next efforts would lose some of the cohesiveness of their debut, but songs such as “Evil,” “The Heinrich Maneuver,” and “Slow Hands” have just as much life and substance as any Bright Lights standouts. The band has an album set for this year, and their tour is, surprisingly, bringing them to our neck of the woods. Check them out at the Town Ballroom on Tuesday (June 22). This is a pretty big band to play in one of our mid-sized venues, and if we don’t sell out this show, something is seriously wrong. —geoff anstey

7pm (doors). Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $30/advance or $35/day of show at TB box office,, (888) 223-6000, and Tops Markets.