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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: singer/songwriter, Frank Turner, who performs at Mohawk Place on Friday the 6th.

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.

Frank Turner

Friday, August 6

While still a teen, English singer/songwriter Frank Turner joined hardcore group Million Dead and began touring Europe. Ten years later—a solo artist—his success has transcended his underground roots. Turner has since traded in his hardcore pass for an acoustic one and tours internationally as punk-gone-acoustic. “Some people are like ‘Aw, you’re making softer music now,’ but I think the bottom line is, if I went straight along and formed another hardcore band, I could have signed a big fucking major deal in a month,” said Turner. A lot of people called his switch from punk to folk career suicide— even himself—but as the fan-base expands and Turner lands spots opening in stadiums for Green Day, maybe he was on to something by going with his gut, after all. “The most overwhelming comment I got when I announced what I was doing was ‘are you fucking insane?’ Everyone was like, ‘I’ll see you in six months when you’re back in a hardcore band.’ But it made sense at the time,” says Turner. Since 2007, Turner has released three full-length studio albums, his most recent, Poetry Of the Deed, dubbed the ‘Hottest Record in the World Today’ by BBC Radio 1. Some cry “sell-out”, but Turner refuses to accept the sneers directed his way. “I think that if you care about the fans, then you are a sell-out. To me, the definition of selling out is writing music for anybody else but yourself—and if you’re writing music for the fans, you’re selling out.” So can you take the boy out of the punk scene without taking the punk scene out of the boy? Turner still stands by his roots, even if he’s unplugged. “I think the least punk thing anybody can do is define punk. It’s kind of a Lewis Carrol thing. It’s kind of deliberately contrarian and whenever I’m surrounded by punk people I want to just tear into the concept and whenever I’m around non punk people I want to defend it like it’s my religion.” Turner plays Mohawk Place this Friday (August 6) with southern Iowa bluesman William Elliott Whitmore and Buffalo’s own the Failures Union.

—andrew blake

Turner was interviewed and photographed by Andrew Blake at this year’s Bonnaroo. Read the full interview here, on Artvoice Daily.

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

Thursday, August 5

Mucca Pazza

If the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra all dressed in Sgt. Pepper costumes, substituted the cello’s for electric guitars and smoked a bunch of pot you would end up with something like Mucca Pazza. The 30 piece orchestra from Chicago likes to label themselves as a “circus punk marching band.” With some odd ball instruments like mandolins, accordions and a glockenspiel, and a couple of cheerleaders in homemade, uncoordinated outfits and out of control pom poms, the band lives up to their title. Their latest album, Plays Well Together, ranges from gypsy style dance tunes with woodwind melodys like “Agushev Cocek” to menacing and chaotic tunes like “Bump.” Their single “Borino Oro” sounds like a high school marching band on a rampage through the streets of Pampalona during the running of the bulls, snares rolling at full speed. But don’t mistake these guys for your typical high school marching band. Their setlist is as tight as a drum, and it has to be with around 1o members on brass instruments and eight drummers. Each clique of performers dances in unison, the trumpet players bobbing their heads together while the saxophonists sway back and forth. They’re not afraid to jump down into the crowd either so if those pesky trombone players end up near you, just be prepared to shield your nose from wandering trombone slides. Mucca Pazza takes the stage at The Tralf tonight, Thursday (Aug 5).

—cory perla

8pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860). $12 at Tralf box office and Ticketmaster.

Thursday, August 5

Green Day with AFI

California punk trio Green Day return to Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Thursday (tonight! Aug 5) with dark alternative punk band AFI. This stop will be the second date on the North American leg of their world tour. After their stop in Western New York the band heads straight for Lollapalooza in Chicago where they will headline the three day festival with Lady Gaga and Soundgarden. Sounds like a wild week but the last 365 days have been just as wild for Green Day. In the course of a year the band has released a platinum album, 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown, a hit video game, Green Day Rock Band, and a Broadway musical based on their last album, American Idiot, which has sold over 15 million copies to date, second only to Dookie in Green Day’s discography of mega-hits. Their latest album is not devoid of hits either, despite the fact that the gap between American Idiot and Breakdown was the longest gap between albums in the band’s history. They performed their pop single “21 Guns” at the Emmy’s this year and showed that they can still rock like they did on Dookie with “Do You Know Your Enemy.” The rest of Breakdown fits in well with their previous albums and includes a combination of fast paced pop-punk and some slow piano ballads. “Viva La Gloria!” combines both though, beginning with a piano riff that Elton John would be fit to play before bursting into a full on punk rock anthem. Their live show is still as energizing as ever too. Front man Billie Joe has the enthusiasm of a dictator when he’s on stage, leading the crowd in stripped down sing-a-longs to songs like “East Jesus Nowhere” before blasting them with distorted three chord power choruses. It’s not every day when one of the biggest bands of a generation comes to our city.

—cory perla

7pm. Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. $20/lawn; $35-$85/seating at

Thursday, August 5

Los Lobos w/JJ Grey & Mofro

In 1984, the last song on their first major-label release posed the musical question: “Will the Wolf Survive?” Now, looking back at a history that’s spanned three decades, it’s impossible to overlook the staying power of East Los Angeles Chicano rockers Los Lobos (The Wolves). Very few bands can effortlessly blend elements of rock and roll, country, R&B, blues and Tex-Mex with traditional Spanish and Mexican music. Fewer still can claim to be putting out some of their best work this far along the career path—but that’s just what Los Lobos has done with their brand-new release Tin Can Trust (Shout! Factory). David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas and company will be ripping it up at Thursday at the Square, with help from Jacksonville, Florida-based southern soul/funk R&B blues rock openers JJGrey & Mofro. One band on the rise, one at a musical peak, you won’t find a better show anywhere this summer, at any price. Plus, this one’s free.

—buck quigley

5-9PM. Lafayette Square (

Friday, August 6

The Gifted Children: 15th Anniversary / Boxed Set Release Show

It’s a CD release! It’s a reunion! It’s an anniversary! It is, in any case, a special occasion: prolific Western New York band the Gifted Children are celebrating the release of a 113-song, five-CD boxed set called Building Your Lo-Fi Shelter, a compilation of songs recorded duing the band’s early years, between 1995 and 1998. These limited, cassette-only albums and EPs have been remixed and remastered to create this epic boxed set with original artwork, lyrics, and photographs. This is a big cause for celebration for fans, most of whom have tracked the Gifted Children’s progression from straight up folk group through all kinds of indie genres, and even into electronica in recent years. Fifteen band members from over the past 15 years are expected at the CD release party at Nietzsche’s this Friday (August 6), coming from near and far. The band (will it be all 15 of them...?) will play a good-length show—3 sets and over 60 songs—to span all the tinhorn planet recordings, and maybe then some. Pam Swarts and Alexander Strung open the show. Building Your Lo-Fi Shelter is $30 at the label’s website,

—alan victor

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886.8539 /

Friday, August 6

Kirtan w/David Newman & Mira

As Yoga continues to stretch across American culture, the new wave of spiritual music called Kirtan is expected to captivate the audience at Shakti Yoga on Friday (August 6). Performed by David Newman—aka “Durga Das”—and his wife Mira, Kirtan is a group gathering in which sacred mantras are sung together in a call and response style and are treated as meditation. “Chant artists” such as Newman blend songwriting with Kirtan chants to create music that embodies devotional mysticism, distinctive musicality, and poetic intimacy while still maintaining a deep respect for India’s ancient chant traditions. Along with Newman’s artful skills, Mira, a singer and percussionist, delivers her unique mystic groove and delicate angelic vocal style to Newman’s latest record, To Be Home. Audiences can expect a beautiful fusion of sacred songs and chant in an acoustic musical style weaving elements of past, present, east, and west into a magical elixir dedicated to the heart. As a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of love, it is no wonder that Newman’s live chants have been known to be joyous, ecstatic, uplifting, and more importantly, exploding with energy. Visit

—jeffrey heras

8pm. Shakti Yoga 133 Grant St. (884-YOGA). $20.

Monday, August 9

Dragonette w/Dan Black

New Wave/Synth Pop bands from this decade often have nothing “new” going for them. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, there are tons of bands out there digging up the ghosts of New Order, Blondie, and others and parading them around Brooklyn like they own the place. But not every revisionist group out there has as much going for them as Toronto’s Dragonette. For one, the band has “livetronica” veteran Dan Kurtz from the New Deal in their ranks holding down the ever-important low end. They also possess a firebrand front woman in the form of Martina Sobara, whose extracurricular activities include writing a song on Cyndi Lauper’s latest. Add being nominated for a Juno Award to the list, and you have a Canadian export whose bright lights and laser-strobe strut are bursting the dam at the Peace Bridge and about to flood our fair city when they perform at Big Orbit’s Soundlab on Monday (August 9). UK rising star Dan Black, who recently worked on a track with Kid Cudi, will also perform, along with local electronic geniuses Catamaran, who open the show. Doors are at 8pm.

—john curley

8pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. ( $10/12.