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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 Sam Roberts band. As always, check our on-line events calendar for a constantly updated and comprehensive listing of what's going on!

Editor's Pick: Sam Roberts Band

Thursday & Friday, February 26 & 27

On “Them Kids” from his new album, Love At The End Of the World, it’s a fair guess that Sam Roberts says it because he means it when he sings: “I just don’t understand/Why the kids don’t know how to dance to rock and roll.” It’s almost like a call to arms from the Quebec-born and based singer/songwriter. At times it seems like the spirit, the fire, and the live power of rock and roll music is going to get lost—but not if he can help it. While thematically Roberts’ music covers themes from love, brotherhood, history, and its hard roads, there’s an ongoing, dogged drive in his work. Through four full lengths, several EPs, and particularly with a consistently fiery live show, Roberts and his band—including guitarist Dave Nugent, keybaordist Eric Fares, bassist James Hall and drummer Josh Trager—have been like rock and roll apostles serving and spreading the word. In less than a decade, Roberts has become something of a Canadian icon andone of the “True North”’s leading figures in popular music. At home in Canada, Love At The End Of the World debuted #1 upon it’s May 2008 release, has remained entrenched at radio stations, and was key in earning Roberts a 2009 Juno nomination for Artist of the Year. Love is just out Stateside, and Roberts and the band are embarking on US tour. Proving that they’ve made WNY a land of believers—a land of kids who do know how to dance and rock and roll— the Sam Roberts Band returns to Buffalo for a two night sold out stand at Town Ballroom tonight and tomorrow.

—donny kutzbach

Thursday, February 26 and Friday, February 27, Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900). SOLD OUT

Friday, February 27

The Wake

Let us all observe a moment of silence in memory of Aidan Doogood, the entrepreneur and actor who was done in, according to published reports, by a bout of narcolepsy while rock climbing. And when that moment of silence ends, let us gather to remember Doogood and to raise money for the Irish Classical Theatre at his wake. The ICTC’s annual fundraiser, “the Wake,” features a signature oatmeal stout (called “Irish Tears”) brewed by Flying Bison, an unrelenting stream of musical and theatrical entertainments, and an auction of Doogood’s estate. All proceeds benefit the ICTC. For tickets and more information, phone 853-ICTC or visit A fine time will be had by all but the deceased. And maybe by him, too.

—geoff kelly

7pm. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 453 Porter Avenue, Buffalo. $35 for ICTC subscribers, $40 general admission. Food, beer, and wine included.

Friday, February 27

Gaelic Storm

Start off this St. Pat’s Day season right by going to see the world-renowned Celtic music group Gaelic Storm when they perform this Friday at the Riviera Theatre. The band was formed in 1996 when they first played at an Irish pub in Santa Monica, California, where band member Patrick Murphy was managing at the time. Shortly after they had formed, Gaelic Storm caught a break, being cast as the steerage band in the blockbuster film Titanic. They began touring shortly thereafter and haven’t looked back. Gaelic Storm is known for their aggressive touring schedule, turning out over 125 performances a year. This band comes with all the elements of a classic Celtic band including bagpipes, tin whistles, and bodhrans. Grab your shillelaghs, turf, and whiskey and get to the Riviera this Friday (Feb. 27) for some fine Celtic sounds.

—justin sondel

8pm. Riviera Theater, 67 Webster St. N. Tonawanda (692-2413 / $25/advance or $30/day of show

Monday, March 2

Capillary Action

Featuring asymmetrical math-rock parts shuffled at breakneck speed, Philadelphia’s Capillary Action approaches modern composition as pop song and pop song as modern composition. The entirely original, super-technical results incorporate such disparate elements as jazz architecture, hardcore punk velocity, smooth vocals, crunching heavy metal riffs, and modern classical sonorities—perfect for fans of groups like Kayo Dot, Zs, Ecstatic Sunshine, and An Albatross, all of which Capillary Action has performed alongside recently. Joining them on this night’s bill of experimental and avant-rock music at Soundlab is Buffalo drums/guitar duo Novelist (Chase Middaugh and Ryan McMullen), who have recently drifted from the glacial drone soundscapes they were best known for toward a more angular, fragmented form of free improv. Also appearing is ambient electro-acoustic composer and performer Fred Brown, who writes works for traditional and non-traditional instruments, and creates “unperformable” pieces consisting entirely of found sound manipulations.

—greg gannon

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. $5/pay what you can

Wednesday, March 4

These Arms Are Snakes

Formed by members of Washington state mathcore thrashers Botch and Minneapolis-based punk pals Kill Sadie, These Arms Are Snakes are just tightening their grip. Although the name sounds something like a Biblical reference, the members of this Seattle-based prog-punk band are decidedly atheistic. They rail against that pious punk stuff that’s been popping up so much lately. They are often they are described as “post-post” this or that, and they are alliteritavely self-described as “bored, bummed, and bitter” (to paraphrase slightly), but the music is not at all the bleak, tortured noise those terms usually connotate. Instead, it’s kind of fun—comparisons to the Clash and At the Drive In are pretty apt—and their newest album Tail Swallower and Dove (2008) is practically bouncing with DIY energy. Bet their show on Wednesday (March 4) bounces just like that too. Support comes from bands Clouds and All the Saints.

—k. o’day

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. $10-$12

Thursday, March 5

Ian Mclagan & The Bump Band

Among musicians, Ian McLagen is a legend. But if his name doesn’t ring any bells for you, perhaps his resume will. Since his early work with the Small Faces, and then the Faces, all the way through his work with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Taj Mahal, John Hiatt, David Lindley, Paul Westerberg, Billy Bragg, Patty Griffin—and Buffalo’s own Jim Whitford—McLagen is the sort of keyboardist who can take a good song and make it unforgettable. Think of his cascading electric piano run on “Stay With Me” by the Faces, or the warm sound of his Hammond B-3 on the Rod Stewart staple “Maggie May.” But don’t assume this is some washed-up British rock nostalgia trip. “Mac,” as friends and fans know him, has never logged much down time. Rooted in Austin for the past 15 years, he’s assembled the top-notch Bump Band featuring bassist Mark Andes, drummer Don Harvey, and guitarist “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb—and they’re out in support of Never Say Never, a rich and soulful new release featuring ten original songs by a real rock treasure. He visits Buffalo next Thursday (March 5).

—buck quigley

8pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $17/presale, $20/day of show at Ticketmaster

Thursday, March 5

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

When Drive By Truckers’ critically acclaimed Decoration Day was released earlier this decade, much of the focus was on their then newest member, guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell. Although only in his early twenties at the time, Isbell’s songs were awash with haunting storytelling and tearful sincerity. After three records with the Truckers, Isbell amicably parted ways with the band to release his first solo record, Sirens Of the Ditch. Away from the boundaries of his former band, Isbell was able to do whatever he wanted and the results were more than promising. However, with the release of his new album, Jason Isbell And the 400 Unit, he fulfills what his debut merely hinted at. Intricate tales of youth, family, and bad habits intertwine with pop hooks that bring to mind Tom Petty’s best moments. When he was with Drive By Truckers, many yearned to hear more than the one or two gems that Jason contributed to each album. With this new record, they finally get their wish. Deer Tick opens the show next Thursday (March 5)

—eric boucher

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


Babik, Buffalo’s own gypsy jazz band, will kick off an east coast tour next Thursday (March 5) with a hometown show at Nietzsche’s. The tour will take the band from Buffalo to Florida and will last the duratrion of the spring, meaning that this will be your last chance to catch the band until the summer months. Babik has become widely popular in the area over the last few years constantly packing various venues and earning themselves the honor of being invited to play with the BPO in 2008. The cd-release party of their second album, “American Gypsy”, this past October was extremely well-received. Babik has said that this Thursday’s show will include a few special guest appearances and the band has said that, should the mood strike them, they will hold an extended jam session to last well into the night. Tickets will only be sold at the door so get there early. Otherwise there is a good chance that you won’t make it in.

—justin sondel

8:30pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 /