Modest Mouse will perform in Buffalo on Friday, April 17th, inside Asbury Hall @ Babeville. The group began life as humbly as its name suggests, but after a couple of trial-and-error years, members Isaac Brock (guitar/vocals), Eric Judy (bass), and Jeremiah Green (drums) hit on the strange and compelling racket that buoyed them toward the top of the underground rock scene. On their first two albums, 1996’s This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About and the 1997 breakthrough The Lonesome Crowded West, Brock’s smart, cynical lyrics sharpened fine new points on God, booze, and loneliness; fans obsessed over his words and the group’s raggedly passionate music. Fans can expect a new LP, Stranger to Ourselves to be released later this month.
Tickets for this show are available Friday at noon, March 6th and can be purchased here.
The ska-punk-reggae scene is living on through Badfish, Sublime’s most acclaimed tribute band, who will perform on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m at Town Ballroom in Buffalo.
Taking their name after a song on Sublime’s 40oz to Freedom album, original Badfish members were inspired after Sublime’s lead singer died in 1996, leaving behind a huge fan-base, many whom never got to see them perform live.
Badfish has spent the past 14 years replicating Sublime’s music, and has cultivated a huge fan base from around the nation.
Bass player Joel Hanks has been with the band since day one.
AV: Can you talk about the evolution of Badfish as a tribute band over the past fourteen years?
Hanks: “I guess it’s evolving as a business more than a tribute band. It started out as kind of a giant party, and now it’s very professional in terms of touring, and the life-on-the-road aspect.”
Badfish is on tour this time for two months, with an eight-day break in the middle. The band members are at their respective homes in Rhode Island now, leaving on Friday to finish the tour around St. Patty’s day.
AV: What’s it like playing at Town Ballroom?
Hanks: “The venue’s great, the staff’s great- we like going there. There are a lot of places we look forward to, and plenty that we don’t look forward to playing at. Some of these venues are really well run and professional. And some are just not, you know?”
AV: Anything Badfish is working on right now?
Hanks: “Last month, we played the 40 oz. album for first time… for the first time in long time we had to practice and learn a few songs we had never played before.”
AV: Can you talk about life in a tribute band, as opposed to creating original music?
Hanks: “Well, there’s less stuff to fight about. It’s much harder dynamics when there’s creation involved, and it’s a whole diff thing. It’s definitely easier on that end. I mean, look, when we started the band, it was just like, wow, there’s so many sublime fans, and most of them never got to hear sublime play. Let’s just play some sublime songs, and see what happens. We like this music, so it’ll be fun either way.”
From there, Badfish started growing a fan-base and gaining credit for their Sublime replication.
AV: How’d the band form?
Hanks: “I started playing when I was 16 or 17, and the decision to play bass was a classic case of too many guitar players. The band started in college; the original lead singer and I went to high school together, and in college I met the drummer in class. We were kind of all in different bands that weren’t really doing anything, and had this idea a long time ago and started revisiting it.
AV: What’s the hardest part of being part of a band?
Hanks: “The interpersonal dynamics are very difficult. Communication is such a big aspect of any relationship. When you start touring, it really changes things when you have to live with these people seven days a week and really get to know them. It’s not always so fun when you’re on the road. It’s mentally tiring. It’s difficult. I think overall, we have it really good. We get along really well, and that’s why we’ve been able to continue to do it for as long as we have.”
AV: So what’s Buffalo like for you?
Hanks: “I hope its not cold. I hope it doesn’t snow. It just makes me wonder what people
AV: What’s your favorite song to play?
Hanks: “Songs that groove really well with the drummer, and are really fun to play: Badfish, Don’t Push, and Garden Grove are a few.”
AV: Any personal goals as a musician right now?
Hanks: “You’re always trying to get a little better. Its great now that there’s a lot of Youtube stuff out there if you want to learn a different technique. We didn’t have that twenty years ago when I started playing bass, so people have a lot more tools out there to get better and improve. Even some of these apps they have, it’s pretty cool stuff.”
For all you neon-fanny-pack-wearing, Legends of the Hidden Temple watching, Topanga-crushing, Beanie Babies-collecting ’90s kids who witnessed the rise of angry/feministic/rock first hand, I’m sure the song, “Ironic” holds a very special place in your hearts.
When I was in 10th grade, my English teacher was somewhat obsessed with teaching the class a list of “literary devices.” As you know (at least you should), one of these devices is irony.
I can’t remember the exact definition she used with the term, but I’m pretty sure that it was close to how I would define sarcasm: the act of someone meaning the opposite of what they say.
To give our class a prime example of the concept, my teacher gleefully handed out copies of the lyrics to Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.”
We read through the song, line by line, tasked with identifying which lines, if any were “truly” ironic. What a totally “cool” and “hip” teacher we had.
Now I’ll admit, I struggle with identifying anything as “truly” anything, so the experience was a little traumatizing. I still can’t listen to that song without picturing my teacher slowly shaking her head with disappointment while saying “try again, Mr. Czum.”
Before we start picking apart Morissette like most of her ex-boyfriends did in the 90s, let’s take a look at the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the word:
A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what was or might be expected; an outcome cruelly, humorously, or strangely at odds with assumptions or expectations.
This accurately and uncontroversially describes almost all of the song’s situations. For everyone I know, rain on one’s wedding day would indeed be cruelly, humorously, and strangely at odds with expectations.
This sort of irony is usually called “situational irony” and while I’m somewhat opposed to breaking irony apart into discrete kinds, the phrase works pretty well here to describe the many ironic examples that Alanis describes.
Both that 98-year-old-man and Mr. Play-it-Safe possess fates that are truly ironic; they struggle to create a meaningful narrative in the face of a world that thwarts their intentions.
The only moment in the song that doesn’t easily fit into this definition of irony is one of the last, with the “man of my dreams” and “his beautiful wife.” There is certainly a contrast there, but it doesn’t seem to be one of expectations. In general, though, the song evokes the disparity of meaning that comes from the difference of expectation and actuality.
Just because no one is being sarcastic doesn’t mean the song isn’t ironic.
Maybe I’m looking way too far into this, or maybe (just maybe) Alanis has a much deeper, more radical, and philosophical concept of irony.
It seems to me that Ms. Morissette is remarkably well versed in the theories of irony from Erasmus to Paul de Man; if she hasn’t read their works herself, then she has certainly internalized much of the theory of irony not only as a trope but as a question of philosophy.
For example: “It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take.” This is the vaguest line in the song, and it seems to pose a challenge to the ironist. Actually the situational irony here is that the listener didn’t expect the advice to apple, whereas it did after all. But why didn’t ‘you” take that advice?
It’s possible that you thought the advice-giver was being ironic, and didn’t intende for you to heed the advice. Or you simple thought that the advice wasn’t “good” when it was; either way you don’t take it “seriously”.
The Irony here is one of misinterpretation.
Paul de Man addresses this difficulty of interpretation in his essay “The Concept of Irony.” He states: “what is at stake is irony is the possibility of deciding on A meaning or an a multiple set of meaning or on a controlled polysemy of meaning.”
Doesn’t Alanis provide the perfect example of living in a world where we’re unsure of what to take seriously, and what not to? And who, if anyone, would have though it figures?
So, what is “Ironic” really about, anyway? Let’s take a look at the bridge/outro: “Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you/ Life has a funny, funny, way of helping you out.” How is life helping you out?
It seems that this songs, like many of the other songs on Jagged Little Pill, is describing the wistful emotional reflection that a Gen-Xer feels when distanced from their own experience.
Take a look at the music video. It features three Alanises taking a road trip: Alanis sees herself from the outside. That 90’s attitude can be labeled as “the meaningfulness of meaninglessness.” Similar to every T.S. Eliot poem you’ve ever read.
So, was it ever plausible that she could have successfully written a song which would not have created such mockery? Could the song have ever identified truly ironic situations? Does anyone actually agree on a good definition of irony anyway?
We’ll just have to leave this one up for interpretation.
If you want to impress your SO/date/stranger or whatever you want to bring home, be prepared to be judged on the music you play. You’re going to want the perfect soundtrack for when you’re….you know….doin’ your thing. Here’s a list of the 14 best songs to get down to (and trust me, they all work):
When talking about open mics in the Buffalo area, the conversation eventually turns to one of the most popular and successful open mics in the area: the Clarence Center Open Mic, Tuesday evenings from 7:30-10:30.
The facility is a little on the small side, and the parking is sometimes at a premium. Yet I have always felt drawn to this open mic. It has a very folksy, intimate feel. As a performer, you are literally on top of the audience, but that creates a connection here rarely duplicated at other open mics. The sound system is flawless. It was a sound system built from the ground up to accommodate the unusual shape of the coffee shop. Part of the charm is the staff and the unique food and drink offerings here.
Since the start of this open mic going on ten years ago, this weekly open mic has been supported very strongly by musicians, music lovers and locals alike. This is why a large number of musicians show up to play here each week.
This open mic has, in this writer’s opinion, displays consistently the highest number of performers every week of any area open mic. Not surprisingly, more performers get on stage here per week on a regular basis than any open mic I have ever seen. This means it almost always has a 3-song limit; on some occasions, a 2-song limit. The recent record for performers in one night is 19, almost double what many “wildly successful” open mics have when they are having a good night.
They have the most diverse age groups, from families with children to high school students to senior citizens. This open mic has a very wholesome, family oriented feel to it. The hosting is in good hands with Stuart Shapiro, affectionately called “Doc” Stuart. Doc Stuart has been running this open mic for the past 8 years. Doc encourages collaboration, and, among others, has 2 very apt and capable collaborators who will often gladly accompany anyone who would like another musician to join in. These 2 musicians are Alyssa Wainwright and Lucas Honig, playing violin and bass respectively. Not surprisingly, they got their start here- honing their skills every week- and now they come to often add to other people’s music. Although sometimes changes at work or schedules get in the way, it is an added treat when the two of them are here to add to the great music.
As you would expect from an open mic like this, the talent level is from beginner to expert. It adds to the excitement, since you never know who is playing next or what or how they will play. Because of this fact there are often marvelous surprises here. The performers play a variety of different genres of music, given the wide range in ages in the performers and the crowd. The entertainment at the open mic is not limited to music. At one recent open mic here there were 6 poets who came. All of these performers were captivating, with very topical, cutting edge and exciting material.
During the summer season the open mic is held on the patio, which always seems to raise the level of play and enjoyment on everyone’s part. What is truly unique about this open mic is they have released 2 CD’s in order to raise money for charity. This has allowed more than a few local musicians to put their original songs out for all to hear to help raise several thousand dollars each time. This turned out to be a very special thing when one of the members who recorded a song for the first CD passed away. Having them immortalized on this CD made the recording of the CD all the more special.
A recent website rating of local open mics has rated this open mic – the Clarence Center Café Open Mic in a tie (with Moonshiner’s in Hamburg) for the honor of being regarded as the best open mic in Erie/Niagara Counties. This is no small feat with over 35 weekly open mics to choose from locally. If you are in the Clarence Center area on Tuesday night, or looking for good musical entertainment in the area, there is no better place to be.
Buffalo’s legendary multi-instrumentalist, Bobby Militello has played with many artists for the last 4 decades, along with leading his own groups. Since 1982 he has been playing alto & flute with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and has recorded over 20 albums, played with almost every major orchestra in the U.S., Canada and Europe, appeared in many International jazz festivals, television and radio shows. A childhood dream come true, his tenure with Dave Brubeck has proven to be one of the highlights of his life and career. Militello is one of those artists that prefers to record live, when possible, in order to truly exhibit the qualities that make jazz so interesting. On Saturday evening, Bobby Militelllo will be performing at Pizza Plant located in Williamsville(1/31 @8pm). Come on down for this spectacular concert as Militello is sure to please the crowd in an intimate setting that’s perfect for his jazz.
Anyone who has ever posted emo lyrics in an away message has heard of the Kansas City, Missouri band, The Get Up Kids. The group were viewed throughout their existence as a prototypical emo-band, having been major players in the Midwest emo (count how many times I can mention ’emo’ in 30 seconds) movement of the mid-1990s. However, like many early emo bands, The Get Up Kids sought to dissociate themselves with the term, as it was considered dismissive to be seen as an “emo band.” Years later, guitarist Jim Suptic even apologized for having the influence they did on many of the modern third-wave emo bands, commenting that “the punk scene we came out of and the punk scene now are completely different. It’s like glam rock now . . . If this is the world we helped create, then I apologize.” Internal conflicts caused the band to break up in 2005. In 2008 they announced a 2009 reunion tour in support of the tenth anniversary re-release of their most successful album, Something to Write Home About. The band will be heading to the Studio @ Waiting Room w/ PUP and Restorations on March 25th. Tickets will go on sale starting Jan 15th.
On the evening of Sunday, January 4th, Buffalo’s iconic entertainer, Lance Diamond passed away. Diamond has been a staple for the Western New York music scene for decades and has touched the hearts of everyone who had the privilege of watching him perform.
Whether it was a late night at the old Elmwood Lounge or a summer-time concert event, “The Love Doctor” himself made the people of Buffalo smile.
He treated people with respect both on and off stage and his showmanship will not be forgotten.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of dear friend Lance Diamond,” says Robby Takac and Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls. “He was a mentor as well as a friend. He would always lighten any situation with quick wit and huge heart.”
Public memorial services have been announced to honor the life of Lance Diamond. The joy he helped spread to our city will be celebrated this weekend.
Friday, January 9th – A musical tribute will be at Kleinhans Music Hall from 6-8PM.
Saturday, January 10th – A wake and funeral will be taking place at Kleinhans Music Hall. The wake begins at 11AM and the funeral begins at noon.
We asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter to share some of their most memorable moments with Mr. Diamond. Here are some of our favorites:
@KeithEberl: “I first saw him many years ago at a Goo Goo Dolls show at a small dingy club somewhere around Buffalo. This was back when the Goos were still a punk/garage band. He was dressed in a dapper grey suit with white gloves, handing out roses to the ladies before doing a cover set with the Goos. That night I got his autograph on their Hold Me Up album feating Lance covering Prince’s ‘Never Take The Place Of Your Man.’ Very sad to see him go.”
@TinaTerhune: “I was a former roadie in my teens when I roadie’d for Lance & The Hernandez Band (prior to 24k Diamond Band) at Club Utica. I carried cables, stands, keyboards, mics and drums. We all were close! Had dinner/breakfast at Denny’s. Lance would insist on paying for a table of 25.”
@MarcellaJames: “Grew up watching Lance Diamond performing all over, The three Coins, Anchor Bar, Elmwood & Utica Club and various other places. He was a great entertainer!”
@SandraMarciniak: “Buffalo’s finest. The spirit of Lance’s life will live on. We’ll all miss you. THANK YOU for the many years of entertainment, you were everywhere, and made a lot of people Happy. God bless. RIP.”
@RyanMarieReed: “He was kind every time I saw him, just a habitually kind man, always a gentleman.”
@RoseGlenn: “I am so sad. He was so much fun and he could make anyone smile. What a pleasure it was to see and hear him sing. I’m gonna miss him. RIP.”
@MarthaCarmella: “I remember it was the summer of 2011. I was eating dinner with my husband at Templeton Landing for our anniversary. He walks out on the patio and gives us a surprise performance. My husband walked over to him and asked him to play our wedding song (Sam Cooke’s You Send Me). Without skipping a beat, Mr. Diamond wished us a very happy anniversary and began to sing our song. It was the last time I got to dance with my husband. He passed away later that year. Thank you so much Lance, for that wonderful memory.
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St. Patrick’s Day came a little early this year. The Los Angeles-based Celtic punk rockers, Flogging Molly whipped up a frenzy before a boisterous crowd last night at Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls.
Performing for nearly two hours were FM’s Dave King on lead vocals and acoustic guitar (occasionally bodhrán, a framed drum), Dennis Casey on electric guitar, Matthew Hensley on accordion, Nathen Maxwell on bass, Bridget Regan on violin and tin whistle, Robert Schmidt on banjo and George Schwindt pounding on the drums. The group ran through more than 20 songs, a little bit of everything from their 5 studio albums.
For most of the night, the band barreled at full speed, King in constant motion-dancing jig, circling the stage or egging on the audience of 2,000 – and singing in a voice that wore his heart on his sleeve.
The crowd on the standing-room-only area of the theatre loved everything the band cranked out. In classic punk rock fashion, the songs were excuses to release aggression. From a second-floor balcony, the movement looked like continuous waves that crashed and ebbed in raging fury.
It was that way from the start, its 23-song, 100-minute show, which, with two supporting acts, crept up until midnight. Opening with the classic punk countdown (1! 2! 3! 4!) into a blast of “Screaming at The Wailing Wall,”
Fast and fearless, the band blazed through the chant-y, clapping “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” and “Every Dog Has Its Day,” King high-step jigging around as he shouted the words.
From its 2000 debut, Swagger, came a mid-show coupling “Devil’s Dance Floor” and an enthusiastic “The Likes of You Again” that had the crowd thrusting in arms.
Once Schmidt started his banjo lead in “Drunken Lullabies,” it was abundantly clear that crowd had no plans of settling down.
A cover of The Dubliners’ “The Rare Ould Times,” dedicated to singer Barney Mckenna, who died in 2012, showed Flogging Molly is every bit as good a Celtic band, starting the song with just King’s voice, acoustic guitar and Regan’s tin whistle before the band kicked in fast, then blasted in.
With “Swagger,” the crowd’s energy, already high, rose even more. It was frenzied as the main set closed with a very punk “Salty Dog” and a very liberating “What’s Left of the Flag.”
As the band left the stage the crowd immediately began to chant “OLE OLE OLE,” in anticipation for a well-deserved encore.
And then out with a furious “Seven Deadly Sins” and “If I Ever Leave This World Alive,” deeply felt and building to blast – the perfect intersection of Celtic and punk that no one plays better than Flogging Molly.
– Jeff Czum
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Peelander-Z. What can I even say about this band? In one word…. “Incredible.” Although they’ll tell you they’re all from the Z area on the planet Peelander, the Japanese-action comic-punk band may be one of the weirdest bands you’ll ever see (I mean that in a good way). The group was Originally formed in 1998 by Peelander-Yellow, Peelander-Red, and Peelander-Blue after meeting together in New York City. With elaborate costumes that could have come off the set of a Power Rangers movie, Peelander-Z offers an experience you shouldn’t miss. Describing the style of the band is a unique endeavor because Peelander-Z is not an ordinary punk band. Sure, they have songs like “Taco Taco Taco” that fit the DIY punk rock ethos, but when Peelander-Z performs, it is as much interactive experience as it is a concert. The band, designated by their colors, utilize the crowd to the fullest in back-and-forth chants, pulling audience members onstage, jumping out into the crowd and even rolling up and playing human bowling with the band members. While maintaining an incredibly fun rapport, their music is driving and ferocious. Fan favorite songs like “S.T.E.A.K.” and “So Many Mike,” both contain insane amounts of fast tempo-energy that you could expect from legendary punk bands such as The Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat. Peelander-Z is unique, wacky and fun. Catch them and their crazy antics Tonight (12/3 @8PM) at Mohawk Place.
Just take the time to watch this and I think you’ll understand…. See you tonight.