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Artvoice Summer Concert Picks


The best (of the best) cheap summer shows


(June 9th / 5pm / Gratwick Park / free)

It’s not everyday one gets the opportunity to see a musician who has revolutionized the way people play his instrument. Considered one of the best bassists of all time, Les Claypool of Primus has done just that, and he’ll be bringing his band to North Tonawanda this week for a free outdoor concert.

- cory perla

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

(June 11th / 6:30pm / Artpark / $5)

She’s still got it! Years of touring have not calmed Joan Jett’s brash and defiant attitude. The androgynous queen of rock is now in her 50s, and showing no signs of slowing down. Famous for her powerful pipes, mean guitar playing, and punk style, Jett always rocks. Still owning her edgy hairstyle and leather threads, she looks every bit the part of a punk pioneer with over eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles.

- maddy tiede

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

(June 13 / 5pm / Thursday at Canalside / free)

When Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes formed in 2007, frontman Alex Ebert was kind of a “zero” himself. He had just broken up with his girlfriend, kicked an addiction, and moved onto a friend’s couch. That is when he created the messiah-like character that is Edward Sharpe and his crew of disciples, the Magnetic Zeroes. Now Ebert and his band of 10 musicians travel the world playing far-out folk music and releasing records like their 2009 debut Up From Below, and their 2012 record Here. Look for a new record from the group in July and expect a taste of it when Ed Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros perform for free at Canalside.

- cory perla

John and Mary and The Valkyries

(June 19 / 5pm / Live at Larkin Square / free)

Oh, how sweet free feels. But quality is not sacrificed, only given as a gift, when local veterans of 1990s alternative rock, John and Mary and the Valkyries, are plopped on a stage in front of fellow Western New Yorkers. John and Mary, also members of the acclaimed Jamestown-based 10,000 Maniacs, play with the Valkyries regularly about Buffalo.

- jaz frazier

G. Love & Special Sauce

(July 11 / 5pm / Thursday at Canalside / free)

G. Love and the Special Sauce have a funky, badass flair that makes them impossible to categorize. The band formed in Philadelphia when Garrett Dutton, or G. Love, fatefully met drummer Jeffrey Clemens. The duo’s musical chemistry led to a nearly gold debut album with the MTV hit single “Cold Beverage.” G. Love & Special Sauce has been fleshed out to a full band on stage; a band that shares a passion for live performance that other artists should envy.

- maddy tiede

The Flaming Lips

(July 17 / 6:30pm / Artpark / $5 advance)

Psychedelic rock band the Flaming Lips have morphed and transformed several times over their 30-year-long career. Their latest record, The Terror, has the band, fronted by the wild-eyed, bushy-haired Wayne Coyne, abandoning their hedonistic love-in philosophy for a dystopic vision of a Bladerunner-like world without love. “If we have love, give love, and know love,” Coyne says, “we are truly alive, and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror, we know now, that even without love, life goes on, we just go on. There is no mercy killing.” Heavy words from the 52-year-old vocalist from Norman, Oklahoma, but I think he would agree that experiencing the lows only make the highs feel that much higher.

- cory perla

The Andrew J. Reimers Country-Punk Extravaganza

(August 14 / 5pm / Live at Larkin Square / free)

Country meets punk, ever so naturally, thanks to Andrew J. Reimers’ Country-Punk Extravaganza! Woes of classic country songs are coupled with recognizable punk riffs and beats for an all-over shake you can’t control.

- jaz frazier

Adam Ant and the Good, the Mad, and the Lovely Posse

(August 22 / 5pm / Thursday at Canalside / free)

“Don’t drink, don’t smoke—what do you do?” goes the Adam Ant pop hit of 1982, “Goody Two Shoes.” Once voted World’s Sexiest Man by American MTV viewers, the rocker is mounting a comeback with a new band, the Good, the Mad, and the Lovely Posse. Post-punk has come in generations, and Adam Ant is an original post-punk star.

- jaz frazier

Rusted Root

(August 25 / 5pm / Gatwick Park / free)

Revered for their mix of rock, jazz, and world influences, Rusted Root has been steadily rocking since they emerged from Pittsburgh in the early 1990s. With millions of records sold, Rusted Root appeals to casual and hardcore music fans alike.

- cory perla


(August 29 / 5pm / Thursday at Canalside / free)

“Jamtronica,” a fusion of electronica and jam band elements, is one way to describe Philadelphia’s Lotus. Lotus thrives on a jazz and funk basis, making use of electronic beats. Their musical improv has been compared to the Grateful Dead, Phish, and the Allman Brothers Band, though they cannot be contained within a single genre. Their love for dance music and rock and roll has fluted their music down a lone tube of un-categorical sound.

- jaz frazier

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