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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Japanese pop-punk band Shonen Knife, performing at Mohawk Place on Saturday the 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.

Shonen Knife

Saturday, October 2

“Konnichiwa!” “Giant Kitty Flying Jelly Attack” coming your way! “Explosion!” This article is brought to you by “Monkey Brand Oblong Tea.” These are the song titles of the all female, giant-robot-battling, pop-punk band Shonen Knife. The band, born in Osaka, Japan, first consisted of sisters Naoko and Atsuko Yamano on guitar and drums and bassist Michie Nakatani. That was back in 1981. Now the only founding member left is singer-guitarist Naoko Yamano, who recently signed a record deal with the Buffalo-based, Robby Takac-operated record label Good Charamel. Their open-power-chord, Ramones-influenced, pop-punk sound is as cute and fun as the members themselves, and seems to have come from years of watching Josie and the Pussycats In Outer Space re-runs. The band likes to dress in matching, colorful, modern-art-printed dresses while they sing their songs about sweets and sea animals, like “Rock N Roll Cake,” “I Wanna Eat Chocobars,” and “Monster Jellyfish.” They may seem like a fad that died in the 1970s, but their kitschy and adorable punk-rock has survived and thrived for 17 albums. This year the band released Free Time, their second album on Good Charamel Records, as well as a live DVD, shot in Buffalo, titled Shonen Knife Live at Mohawk Place. Never has Mohawk Place seemed so glamorous. Yamano begins the show by singing “Are you ready to rock? Are you ready to rock?” as they launch into their set of half-English, half-Japanese songs, transferring their onstage energy to the ecstatic crowd. In between their bouncy, food-based jam “Banana Chips” and their more serious rock single “Super Group,” Yamano, with her thick Japanese accent and sparkling pink guitar, exclaims, “We are very happy to come back to Buffalo, Rock City!” Shonen Knife returns to Mohawk Place on Saturday (Oct. 2) with local rockers the Thermidors opening the show. —cory perla

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 /

Thursday, September 30

Consider The Source

Load up on psychedelics and Consider the Source, New York City’s deep space, Middle Eastern-influenced funk jam band. The three-piece (Gabriel Marin, John Ferrara, Justin Ahiyon) got their chops from studying rhythm and scales from North and South Indian musical theory. One band trip to India, combined with influences such as Tool and King Crimson, helped to create the swirling, spacey sound Consider the Source has come to perfect. Whether it’s sampling Luke Skywalker lines from Star Wars in “Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong” or providing heavy bass and guitar freakouts on the tribal-tinged “Tihai for the Straight Guy,” the band knows how to keep their grooves strong and weird. Their latest album Are You Watching Closely? received praise from many publications, including Relix magazine, which called the trio a “Band on the Verge.” The band has played with national acts like Wyclef Jean, members of Umphrey’s McGee, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and Victor Wooten. They were given the award for Best Independent/Unsigned Band by Fox 5’s Fearless Music TV show, which showcased the band’s tunes nationally. Consider the Source plays Nietzsche’s next Thursday (September 30) at 9pm with support from Family Funktion & the Sitar Jamz, and the Left Hand of Darkness. When pondering a three-hour jam session, consider the force…of funk. It happens. —peter vullo

9pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 /

Friday, October 1

Happy Birthday, College Street Gallery

On Friday (Oct. 1), photographer-about-town Michael Mulley is throwing a birthday party for his little storefront art gallery. It’s lucky 13 for the College Street Gallery, which Mulley opened in 1998 and has kept open through thick and thin, changing shows every month. “That’s at least 156 shows,” Mulley says, which suggests just how many local artists have reason to celebrate the place’s existence: College Street gallery has long been a jumping-off point for young artists, as well as a haven for experienced artists who need an outlet to show and sell their work. On exhibit at Friday’s party will be work by the College Street gallery Co-op, a group that includes Mulley, Tim Raymond, Sarafina Brunetto, John Farallo, Candace Keegan, and many more. This event is part of Allentown First Fridays Gallery Walk, a monthly open studio event. Visit —geoff kelly

6-10pm. 244 Allen Street (856-2839).

Friday, October 1

Gordon Lightfoot

Eight years ago, Gordon Lightfoot scared the hell out of all of us. After falling ill during a hometown performance in his native Orillia, Ontario, the singer/songwriter had to be treated for a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm that put him in a six-week coma and left him with a tracheotomy. Going through four surgeries, there was only faint hope that Lightfoot would survive the trauma, let alone ever really make any tangible recovery from it. Not only did he fully recover but the now septuagenarian songsmith is still touring dozens of dates annually. All of it stands as proof that it takes a lot more than that to keep a great Canadian down. And great he is! Need proof? The rich, reedy, baritone-voiced songsmith has ably made a career sewing together traditional folk, rock, pop, and country with uncompromised grace and originality. He is a qualified national treasure at home in the True North but he’s additionally sold way into millions worldwide. His totemic career and gift as a writer and performer should stand on its own just through his deep catalog. Still, there’s one flashy point that I always love to make: Gord was a favorite of both Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, and both of them covered his epochal ode to lonesome, hungover melancholy, “Early Morning Rain.” Neither version, however, can touch the original. Just last year, Lightfoot played to a rapturous crowd at Shea’s performed an evening through two sets where he played nearly every nugget from his storied career that you could ever want to hear. We can only expect he will deliver again when he returns this Friday night (Oct. 1). Do I even have to say it? Don’t miss the chance to see a bona fide legend. —donny kutzbach

8pm Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St (847-1410 / $67.50, $52.50, $42.50 at box office, Ticketmaster

Friday, October 1

Big Head Todd & The Monsters

Big Head Todd & the Monsters first hit it big in the early ‘90s with singles like “Bittersweet” and “Broken Hearted Savior” that made their album Sister Sweetly a million-selling platinum success. The band has been steadily releasing new recordings ever since. Their most recent record and eighth studio album, Rocksteady, was released earlier this year. The album features many new original tunes and covers of Rolling Stones and Howlin’ Wolf songs. It seems the band refuses to be pigeonholed as some ‘90s act. Their new music is fresh and vibrant, full of melody and insightful lyricism, as in “All the Love You Need” where singer/guitarist Todd Park Mohr sings “Diamonds are forever, but people are more like little flowers.” Big Head Todd’s Monsters are Brian Nevin (drums), Rob Squires (bass), and Jeremy Lawton (keyboards). Big Head Todd & the Monsters play Town Ballroom this Friday (October 1). Doors open at 6:30pm. Opening the show is Celtic-Bluegrass band Carbon Leaf. —peter vullo

7pm (doors). Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $18/$22 at box office and

Friday, October 1

JP, Chrissie & The Fairground Boys

The headlines are screaming, “Chrissie Hynde and JP Jones Are Crazy in Love!” ( And that would appear—and sound—to be the case after even a quick listen to their music. Hynde, lead singer of the Pretenders, and Jones, a 32-year-old Welsh musician, met at a party a couple of years ago, and the rest was soon history, evidenced by their album Fidelity!, the first recording Hynde has ever made outside of her long career with the Pretenders. Fidelity!, released last month, was recorded by the couple in Cuba (hence the name…get it?), and would seem to tell a love story of whirlwind romance complete with immediate laments, in lyrics like “I found my perfect lover but he’s only half my age/He was learning how to stand when I was wearing my first wedding band.” “It’s obvious what it’s about,” Jones has said. The whole album is a conversation between the two, a labor of love, and maybe a stand-in for the child they will probably never have (due to the fact that Hynde is 59). It’s highly personal, lovesick, funny, and sad, a story of a near perfect, if unconventional, match, both onstage and off. JP, Chrissie, & the Fairground Boys (comprised of members of Jones’ former band Grace) will be performing songs off their album at Casino Niagara’s Bear’s Den on Friday (Oct. 1). —k. o’day

8pm Bears Den At Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, 310 4th St, Niagara Falls (852-6239 / Ticketmaster.

Sunday, October 3

Arrington De Dionyso's "Malakat Dan Singa"

While no one should sacrifice their art for the sake of accessibility, it can be a nice surprise when the end result still runs the gamut from shaking up a dance floor to leaving you terrified and catatonic (in a good way). Malaikat Dan Singa (translated: “Angels and Lions”) comes off as the brainchild of an ethnomusicologist who has spent a little too much time with the natives. This may be considered true if Arrington surveyed the world in search of exotic sounds to regurgitate behind an apron of hip. Instead, Malaikat Dan Singa’s ever changing lineup—consisting of bass clarinet, frantic drums, and post-punk guitar—creates a beautifully cluttered and trance-like backdrop to Arrington’s guttural throat singing, done entirely in Indonesian with themes ranging from beasts of fantasy to passages from the poet William Blake. Seriously. Anyone with a faint knowledge of the live antics of Arrington De Dionyso will tell you that it’s an experience never to be forgotten. Opening the show will be cosmic jazz pioneers, Baczkowski-Padmanabha, along with sonic experimentalist KG Price. Come down to Soundlab on Sunday (Oct. 3) and get your weird on! —eric kendall

>9pm Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 /