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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v6n19 (05/10/2007) » Section: See You There

Darfur Awareness Rally

Last weekend the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns the Buffalo News, drew more than 27,000 shareholders to Omaha, Nebraska, home to the company’s headquarters and to its chief, Warren Buffett, middle America’s favorite billionaire. This year’s meeting—traditionally a self-congratulatory affair celebrating Buffett’s folksy, no-nonsense shrewdness and thrift—was interrupted by a lengthy debate over a shareholder-sponsored resolution asking Berkshire Hathaway to withdraw its investment in PetroChina, an oil company that does business with the Sudanese government, and which therefore indirectly supports the horrific, government-sponsored genocide in Darfur. The resolution was defeated, but the fact that Buffett allowed the debate to proceed at all indicates how serious the situation remains in Darfur, even if it has fallen into the back pages of US newspapers: A campaign of systematic rape and murder has left more than 400,000 dead and forced millions more from their homes and farms, leaving them without adequate food, water and medicine. On Monday, Buffalo for Africa offers an opportunity for you to join a global movement to stop the genocide in Darfur. Come down to Niagara Square after work, listen to speakers and live music, watch dancers and a release of balloons. Stand up and say something.

!!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Most commonly pronounced “Chk Chk Chk,” !!! got the inspiration for their name from the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which the subtitles for the clicking noises made by the Bushmen are represented as “!” But really, !!! could be called any monosyllabic sound repeated three times (for example “Bam Bam Bam” or “Tsk Tsk Tsk”). What sets this band apart from most other electronic and dance-punk bands lies in the execution. !!! still manages to capture the European feel of electronica with their version of disco-funk, but supports it with heavier, floating bass lines and catchy song lyrics. The eight-member band blends those electronic and funky grooves with psychedelic guitar riffs and the occasional horn accompaniment, to forge an all-out electro-jam session. !!! are riding high off of the release of their latest album, Myth Takes (Warp Records), and they’re bringing their high-energy act on the road with a extensive world tour. The dance party will begin around 8pm with Holy Fuck and Cornelius starting things off.

Tapes 'N Tapes

Minneapolis has been a righteous, rock music mecca. In case you haven’t been keeping track, Bob Dylan left a little Minnesota town to spend time there, then came the iconic soul-rock reinventor Prince, then tuneful punks the Replacements and Soul Asylum, country rock stalwarts the Jayhawks, the fractured poetics of Lifter Puller (who begat the Hold Steady) and now one of the more notable American indie bands in recent memory, Tapes ’N Tapes. Josh Greir (singer/guitarist), Jeremy Hanson (drummer), Matt Kretzman (guitarist) and Erik Applewick (bassist) have been continually pegged as musical descendents of Pavement and the Pixies for their witty and studied brand of guitar-strewn indie. Their 2006 release The Loon (XL Recordings/Ibid Records) is a feast of literate rock set with dead perfect hooks and fit harmonies. On the heels of a lauded performance a couple weeks back at Coachella festival, Tapes ’N Tapes are bringing that sound to the Queen City. On tour with Tapes ’N Tapes is the outstanding Vancouver quartet Ladyhawk, following up last years’ eponymous LP with the vinyl-only Fight for Anarchy on May 22. Brooklyn’s the Harlem Shakes open up.

Brennen Leigh

With the right connections and a little money to burn, it seems as though just about anyone can make a record these days. But one thing that can’t be bought—as is painfully obvious on many of the latest records out there—is raw talent. If it seems like such an asset is quickly becoming a thing of the past, this is not the case with Austin singer/songwriter Brennen Leigh. A girl who’s a lot country and a little bit rock-and-roll, Leigh is currently being hailed as one of the genre’s brightest up-and-coming stars. Her third and most recent album, Devil’s on My Trail, is a true country effort filled with heartbreak, violence and straightforward God-fearing lyrics. She herself wrote ten of the 15 tracks featured on the record, a mix of Dolly Parton and Gram Parsons classic country from the 1960s and 1970s combined with her own modern touch. Although it took her and a team of about 20 people nearly a year to finish the record, it was time well spent, as this album has captured the very soul of her appeal. And if anyone doubts all the praise she’s received, take into consideration her 2004 tour with country legend Ralph Stanley, a momentous occasion she’ll probably be telling her grandkids about. Dee Adams opens the show.

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