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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: The Entrance Band, who plays Soundlab on Monday, February 1st.

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.

The Entrance Band

Monday, February 1

Note to all those groups enjoying noble obscurity but who secretly aspire to arena-rock grandeur: never put out an album as bleakly, terrifyingly existential as Entrance’s 2007 effort Prayer of Death. The indie underground, which cherishes lo-fi idiosyncrasies, will be largely unforgiving when eventually you do reach for the brass ring. As evidence, witness reaction to the evolution of Entrance from the Chicago-based solo freak-folk and blues project of Guy Blakeslee to the Entrance Band, an LA power trio which also features superstar bassist Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan, Queens of the Stone Age) and drummer Derek W. James. Signed to Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace! label—and running with the likes of Devendra Banhart—the solo artist Entrance played raw, morbid outsider blues, and Prayer of Death’s hippie meditations on mortality matched the mood of a freaked out country during the Bush era. On the trio’s self-titled debut a decidedly more polished concept emerges—big and sweeping, recalling ‘80s U2 or ‘90s alternative rock—especially on “M.L.K.,” a song whose sincere political rhapsody is moving and naive but also kind of old news, with lyrics like: “Hey there’s a reason I sing / because I want to hear freedom ring / I’ll remind you all of one more thing / remember Martin Luther King.” The album’s crisp production and grander scale was met by fans and critics with a mix of confusion and begrudging acceptance, but mostly because an underground hero dared to clean up (I should mention it fared much better with mainstream critics perhaps hearing Entrance for the first time). Live, the Entrance Band’s menace returns with crashing stoner-rock grooves and psychedelic blues wails, and reports from the road suggest that this new rhythm section just might be the best thing to happen to Blakeslee’s blues after all. Brooklyn’s mystical trio Lights (Drag City) opens the show.

—greg gannon

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (bigorbitgallery.org/soundlab). $10.

Saturday, January 30

This Place is Haunted

When did music take such a sharp left turn into doucheville? Where every band photo is super serious, every song self-important and every review contains buzzwords to describe the absolute inability to categorize a band. To even give the band This Place is Haunted a hometown for cataloging purposes poses quite a quandary, let alone assigning them a genre. A four-piece hailing from NYC with three quarters of its members’ roots originally in the Buffalo area, TPiH features eight-bit keyboards, trash can lid drums, virtuoso guitar, and eight-string bass. The music is from classic and current generation video games, Saturday morning cartoons, and various movie scores. And while the subject matter may appear familiar and gimmicky, it’s best if you quit being all judgey and show up for a good time. Buffalo’s own Armcannon also performs, paying a metal-tinged homage to 80s and 90s nostalgia. Check them out at Nietzsche’s on Saturday (Jan. 30), or at www.thisplaceishaunted.com and www.armcannon.com, respectively.

—alan victor

9pm (doors). Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. (886-8539/nietzsches.com).

Saturday, January 30

Electric Improv Company Hits the 400 Mark

For some people, public speaking is bad enough. Now add the fact that you have nothing planned to say—or to do, for that matter. Finally, imagine yourself doing this upwards of 400 times. Welcome to the Eclectic Improv Company. This Saturday (January 30) the Shea’s Smith Theater will house the Eclectic Improv’s 400th show, every single one of which was different from the last. Members of the audience pitch in ideas for the comedians to perform on the spot—no scripts, no practicing. The company, whose cast includes Peter Cumbo, Don Gervasi, John Kreuzer, Todd Benzin, and Michael Hake, is guaranteed to entertain and impress with its sheer wit and brilliance. You dont have to worry about the provocative and, let’s face it, rather uncomfortable topics usually covered at stand-up and other comedic events. The Eclectic Company’s performances are good clean fun that is suitable for all ages. And for those afraid of being picked on by the comedians, fear not! The Eclectic Improv Company will never pick on or tease the members of the audience. The only thing you have to fear while watching these guys is being able to hold in that Double Gulp you drank an hour ago. —jeremy lee

8pm. Shea's Smith Theatre, 658 Main St. (847-1410/sheas.org). $15.

Saturday, January 30

Mustaches 4 Kids

Dig up some bell bottoms for a stylistic return to the seventies: the mustache is making a comeback! The Buffalo chapter of Mustaches for Kids, a nationwide organization that encourages its members to grow mustaches for charity, is participating in a month long growing competition. Eighteen members of the local chapter have vowed to grow ‘staches for the Make-A-Wish Foundation between January 1-January 31. For the past month they’ve met for a weekly “weigh-in,” where competitors shave their faces only to leave the mustache and take pictures of the week’s progress. Last year the event raised $858 and had just four volunteers (or “growers”) taking pledges. This year the organization was hoping to raise at least $2000, but it has surpassed that goal by raising close to $5,000 already. The “Stache Bash,” the group’s final “weigh-in,” will be held on Saturday (Jan. 30) at Volker’s bowling alley. Prizes will be awarded to competitors for “sweetest,” “porn-iest,” “most dastardly,” and “most cop-like” mustaches, as well as for “most valiant effort.” Pictured: Volunteers John Borden, Mike O’Hara, and Adam Weekly sport some handsome bristles. To donate to the cause or find out more information, please visit http://bm4k.shasti.com. —samantha mcconnell

7pm. Voelker's Bowling Center, 686 Amherst St. (876-6020).

Saturday, January 30

Big Gigantic

What you have to ask yourself this weekend is whether you want to rock out or dance. A hard question, but for those opting to “bust a move,” Big Gigantic would be a solid choice. The latest project of composer/saxophonist Dominic Lalli (the Motet, Juno What?) and drummer Jeremy Salken, Big Gigantic falls into the burgeoning genre of live electronica. Alongside intricately made beats Lalli and Salken display their instrumental skills, resulting in a show with the complexity of DJ-based electronica and the vibrancy of a full band. Also unlike much dance music, melody plays a large role in Big Gigantic’s sound. Drum and bass loops are still the crux of it, but keyboard arrangements and sax solos are given room to play around, making for a gig that’s atmospheric and funky while intelligently jazzy. But the focus on melodic composition shouldn’t dismay the rave-hungry: Big Gigantic hasn’t been receiving buzz for tame beats, and their instrumental longings bring a welcomed human touch to the genre. The gig starts at 10 pm on Saturday (Jan. 30) at Soundlab with special guests Big Basha and AreHouse *Live* PA.

—geoff anstey

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (bigorbitgallery.org/soundlab).

Sunday, January 31

Economy Sucks, Let's Party Tour

“Economy Sucks, Let’s Party!” Not a particularly surprising political sentiment coming from this group of punk bands: Anti Flag, Aiden, Cancer Bats, and the Star Fucking Hipsters. The four-band bill kicked-off in Detroit this month for an east coast tour that ends in Anti-Flag’s hometown of Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania punkers recently released 2009’s The People or the Gun (SideOne Dummy), which sees them back on an indie label after fulfilling a contract with RCA, and back to basics with the hard, fast, and angry tracks fans have sometimes missed. While the music might be angry, Anti-Flag’s brand of political activism isn’t. The band’s longtime affiliates Greenpeace, Peta2, and Amnesty International are involved with the tour and have a table at each show, and Innes Clothing will be donating to local homeless and kids shelters. With this tour Anti-Flag continues its long legacy of not just talking about what’s wrong with things but actually doing something about it. So head to the Town Ballroom on Sunday night (Jan. 31) and, definitely, “let’s party,” but pay some attention, too, to what Greenpeace, PETA, and Amnesty International have to offer. —frances boots

6pm (doors). Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-5900/townballroom.com. $15/advance, $17/day of show at TB box office or Tickets.com (888-223-6000). All Ages.

Saturday, January 30 & Sunday, January 31

Henry's Future

You would never mistake Henry’s Future for a movie made anywhere but in Buffalo. Set in the period between New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, this romantic drama wears our snowfalls on its sleeve, accessorized with plenty of local restaurants and sporting events. Jason Gelsomino (pictured) heads an (almost) entirely local cast as Henry, a 31-year-old bachelor who puts his unwavering faith in the words of a psychic who tells him that he is about to meet the woman of his dreams. His task is to look around him and decide who fills the clues provided by the crystal ball. A joint venture of Buffalo Nickel Productions and Challenge Films, Henry’s Future was written and directed by DonnaMarie Vaughan with cinematography and general production assistance by local movie maven (and occasional AV contributor) Emil J. Novak. The film will have its premiere screenings at the Market Arcade this weekend, (Jan. 30-31) with some screenings including a chance to meet some of the cast and crew. For more details and a look at the movie’s trailer, go to henrysfuture.com. —m. faust

Saturday (1/30) 2pm and 7pm showings: meet some of the cast and crew, $15. 9:30 showing, $10. Sunday (1/31) 12:30pm and 3pm showings. Market Arcade Theater, 639 Main St. $10 (5:30 showing, $5)

Sunday, January 31

Mostly Other People Do The Killing

As the late, great trumpeter Don Cherry once quipped, “When people believe in boundaries, they become part of them.” Cherry—ever an explorer and experimenter—experienced first hand that in the jazz world, there can be a lot of boundaries. There are the purists, the traditionalists, the scholars, the players who think there’s only way that things should be done, and on and on. Luckily—several generations after him—it appears that the NYC-based quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing have taken Cherry’s words to heart and put them into practice. The acclaimed and award-winning ensemble led by bassist Moppa Elliot and featuring trumpeter Peter Evans, saxophonist Jon Irabagon, and drummer Kevin Shea are delivering what many of fans of the rich, kaleidoscopic spectrum of jazz and improvised music have wanted for too long: they are embracing all eras and many styles and disciplines and spinning it into their own unique and invigorating sound. As Troy Collins said of MOPDtK in a recent All About Jazz review, they are ”historically aware and virtuosic.” Their just released album Forty Fort (Hot Cup) is a potent document of that pushing of all the aforementioned boundaries for a mélange that proves a classically modern jazz masterstroke. The quartet’s live appearance this Sunday (Jan. 31) is another high water mark of the Hunt Real Estate and David Kennedy Art of Jazz Series at the Albright-Knox

—donny kutzbach

3pm. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave. (882-8700/albrightknox.org). $30.

Monday, February 1

Dr. Dog

On Monday (Feb. 1), Dr. Dog will bring their sixties-influenced pop-rock to the Mohawk Place. The Philadelphia-based quintet mixes lush vocal harmonies and jangling guitar chords like some bygone AM radio station, spelling out summertime with hopeful songs about the breeze, sunny days, and dreams. The band formed in 2002 with lead vocal duties shared by Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken, who also play bass and lead guitar, respectively. Other band members include Frank McElroy (rhythm guitar), Zach Miller (keyboard), and Eric Slick (drums). Dr. Dog found their first major success with the release of 2007’s We All Belong, which made its way onto Rolling Stone’s Best Album and Best Song lists that year. Their song “My Friend” was featured in the trailer for Judd Apatow’s Funny People, taken from 2008’s Fate, released on Park the Van records. The band has since found a new home at ANTI- records, and 2010 will see the release of the new album Shame, Shame, out April 6. The first single, “Shadow People,” will be released only when the band’s Facebook page reaches 20,000 friends (so go to http://www.facebook.com/Drdog and become a fan.) Monday’s (Feb. 1) show at Mohawk Place will likely be a showcase for the new album’s songs fresh from the studio. Special guests will be Long Beach, CA’s the Growlers, supporting their album Are You In Or Out

peter vullo

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (myspace.com/mohawkplace). $13.