Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tom Petty coming to Canandaigua on July 2

CANANDAIGUA -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will make a stop in Western New York in July as part of their 40th anniversary tour.

The July 2 show at CMAC offers lawn tickets beginning at $40, and two levels of pavilion tickets for $95 and $140. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show. If lawn tickets remain they will be sold for $45 on the day of the show.

Tickets will be available beginning Friday at Ticketmaster – online, charge by phone 800-745-3000 and ticketmaster outlets.  Tickets will also be available at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Dec. 7, 2016

ThinkSoJoE and Muller have music for you from DredNeks, The Long Cold Dark, I'm From The Government And I'm Here To Help, and Orius.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

GURNETT: Kill the Clock's latest is upbeat, energetic

Kill the Clock is a local, four-piece pop punk outfit from Buffalo. Their new EP "To All My Friends and Family" is upbeat and energetic, with complex rhythms and a professional-sounding mix (with one exception, as noted below). You can hear many influences of their genre in their music, which calls to mind Good Charlotte, Brand New, Fall Out Boy, Blink-182, Relient K, and Stiff Little Fingers.

Opening track “Fighting the Weather” features great harmonies and backing vocals and is the best mixed track on the EP -- too bad it's only 55 seconds long. It feels like as soon as it starts to grab you, it abruptly ends. I would have loved to have heard this song fleshed out some more; as it stands, it feels like an unfinished segment of a song. The second track, “Rookie with Potential,” pushes forward with cool, distorted fuzzy bass and driving drums, while “Welcome Back Weekend” inspired me to do some air-drumming in my living room. “The Red Flower” ends with some tight lead guitar hooks but isn't very catchy or memorable on the whole. The title track closes out the EP. The mix seems a little muddy for this track, as the drummer's toms sound completely lost and the vocals are too loud; otherwise it's another not-particularly-memorable track.

To All My Friends and Family is upbeat and catchy. That said, it sounds just like every other pop-punk/emo band of the last 15 to 20 years. While the lyrics can be witty from time to time, it's filled with too many of the banal cliches that mark the genre.

From their videos, Kill the Clock looks like they'd deliver a fun and energetic live performance, but to be truly memorable, you have to take the genre and add your own flair to it, not just follow in the footsteps from the last 20 years. They clearly have the chops to be a valuable contributor to the local music scene, but they need a sound that is truly their own.

Find Kill the Clock on Bandcamp at https://killtheclock.bandcamp.com/

Ryan Gurnett has a B.S. in Music Industry from The College of St Rose. He has worked as a studio engineer, live sound engineer, producer and sound editor and has been a musician for 25 years. He is currently the bassist for The Lady, or the Tiger?. Email him at never_really_been@hotmail.com or find him on Twitter @SirWilliamIdol.

Monday, December 05, 2016

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Dec. 5 - 11

This week's feature event is Turn Up For Toys: 9 p.m. Friday at Surrender.

There are many less fortunate families in the area and Buffalo's Rinse 716 hopes to make a difference by collecting as many toys as they can to help provide underprivileged children with a wonderful holiday season! Come celebrate the holidays with their annual Turn Up For Toys event and give back to the community! Featuring a variety of local DJs & Producers including Beretta, Stacks, Keeter b2b Special Blend, Nsmbl, Bando, DJ Kai, Scafetta, Hal b2b Neko, Martian, & more in 2 rooms full of sound. The night will include a variety of EDM & Bass Music and the cost to get in is only any Unopened Toy Donation ($10 value or more). So get to Surrender on Main St in Buffalo this Friday starting at 10:00pm and join this party for a great cause!

/// other shows ///
Greg Burt is a Concert Promoter/Sound Guy/Music Supporter/Keyboardist/etc. He can be reached at Greg@FTMPEvents.com. For the full FTMP show calendar, visit www.FTMPEvents.com.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

GURNETT: Weepies at the Tralf an intimate experience

Thursday night, indie darlings The Weepies brought their “Alone and Acoustic” tour to the Tralf. The result was an intimate, personal concert full of old and new songs from the band's vault and plenty of road stories. After years of touring with a full band, the husband-and-wife team of Steve Tannen and Deb Talan decided to make this one about small, intimate shows. So they packed up their family in their SUV and left for this two-person tour.

The set opened with “Nobody Knows Me at All.” Deb's beautiful warbly, smokey alto is even more striking live. It's a voice that oozes the insight behind their songs and bleeds American folk music. Both she and Steve played acoustic guitars, finger-picking their way through their short and sweet songs, sometimes using open tuning. Without a backing band, the songs truly played like the brief, beautiful vignettes of happiness, sadness, love and life that they are.

In between songs, the band—Steve, especially—spent a generous amount of time bantering with the crowd. Steve's stories, which alone would have made for an entertaining evening, covered topics from the stories behind specific songs to their children on the drive in pensively asking where the buffaloes are in Buffalo. At many times it felt like a real conversation with the audience; Steve even bought drinks for the night for a fan who could tell him the origin of the name “Buffalo.” They talked about their writing processes, their reason for touring without a band (“I just get bored. Can we play some other tracks?” -Steve), and Deb went especially personal by talking about her recovery from stage II breast cancer. There was also plenty of charming banter and joking (Steve to the audience: “Buy more drinks. We get better. That's our secret.”).

The wide-ranging set included a bluegrass tune called “Rocks and Water,” as well as songs like “I Was Made for Sunny Days,” the title track of their most recent album Sirens, “Please Speak Well of Me,” “Be My Thrill,” Riga Girls,” “The World Spins Madly On,” and “I Gotta Have You”.

While Deb's alto defines The Weepies' sound, Steve is an excellent singer as well, with a very folksy vintage voice that calls to mind a hybrid of Paul Simon and James Taylor. Steve also provided some excellent guitar licks. He didn't solo often, but when he did, it was precise and spot-on.

The show felt spontaneous, easygoing, and the set list flowed as the whim (and occasional audience requests) took the band. There were times when both Deb and Steve moved over to accompany the other on piano. Other times, one member left the stage momentarily allow the other to highlight some of their own material—notably, songs “Butterfly” and the Beatles-esque “Stained Glass” from Deb's upcoming solo album (which Deb described as similar to “bringing a new child to school; you know you love them, but how will other people react to them?”). For the encore, they did the Christmas-themed “All That I Want.”

The Weepies accomplished everything they wanted for with this show. It was an intimate evening with a relaxed, casual vibe that felt like the kind of acoustic concert you might experience in a friend's living room. The crowd's attention was rapt during each song (and even, contrary to Steve and Deb's jokes to “talk among yourself” during turnings) remained perfectly quiet in order to hear every note played and every word sung. It was so quiet that, at times, I could hear the hand dryers from the restrooms as The Weepies played. This was the band's first trip to Buffalo, and they definitely left their mark on a crowd that was clearly enamored by the whole evening.

-- Ryan Gurnett has a B.S. in Music Industry from The College of St Rose. He has worked as a studio engineer, live sound engineer, producer and sound editor and has been a musician for 25 years. He is currently the bassist for The Lady, or the Tiger?. Email him at never_really_been@hotmail.com or find him on Twitter @SirWilliamIdol.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Nov. 30, 2016

Music from Lily Among Thorns, The Second String, Sara Elizabeth, and American Acid. Plus your standard antics from ThinkSoJoe and Muller.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

St. Joe's grad tops Billboard charts

A graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore finds himself on top of the world this week -- or at least at the top of the Billboard Classical Album chart.

Dynamic Catholic's new Advent and Christmas CD, "O Emmanuel," sold 2,600 copies in its first week. Dynamic Catholic partnered with GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, conductor, and composer, J.J. Wright to bring O Emmanuel to life. Wright says the Billboard recognition is an incredible honor.

"I can't remember the last time a newly composed piece of sacred music made it to the top of the Billboard charts," says Wright, the St. Joseph's grad.

The 10-track album by Wright features the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble and the Notre Dame Children's Choir. O Emmanuel takes listeners to the heart of the holiday season through the harmonious blend of angelic children's voices, a jazz piano trio, adult vocal soloists and talented instrumentalists.

Using ancient traditions paired with a modern twist, the CD moves listeners directly into the drama of salvation history and the birth of Jesus by fusing the ancient texts of the "O Antiphons" with chant ("Hodie Christus natus est"), hymnody ("Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"), and jazz improvisation.

Recorded at the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, O Emmanuel was produced and edited by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Thomas Moore and engineered by GRAMMY Award-winning engineer Robert Friedrich of Five/Four Productions, Ltd.

Monday, November 28, 2016

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Nov. 28 - Dec. 4

This week's featured event is: Stamps Stands With Standing Rock: 8 p.m. Friday

In January 2016, the Dakota Access Pipeline was unanimously approved for construction, with the aim of creating a direct route to transport crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. The controversial pipeline could destroy ancestral burial grounds and poison the water supply for a sovereign nation -- as well as millions of Americans downstream who rely on the Missouri River. In recent months, thousands from across the globe have joined in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. The protest has also brought together 200 or so tribes that have not united for more than 150 years. This is historic.

Our local venue Stamps The Bar has joined the cause with a benefit to help support the water protectors at Standing Rock. Any money donated will go to the main camp through Burning Books on Connecticut street. There are several people locally who go there and have friends and relatives at Standing Rock. Stamps The Bar is looking for donations of clothing and hygiene items like fishing hip waders, men's and women's boots, winter coats, and blankets. Local bands Cardboard Homestead, Radical Operations, Onpoint, Rap and Destroy, Don Roth, Bagel Jesus, & Jessica Helen Brant will be performing starting at 8:00 p.m. Entry fee for this event is any amount of cash or item donation. Even if you can't make it, just contact Chuck Rose or Damon Rose for more information about how to donate towards this great cause.

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Greg Burt is a Concert Promoter/Sound Guy/Music Supporter/Keyboardist/etc. He can be reached at Greg@FTMPEvents.com. For the full FTMP show calendar, visit www.FTMPEvents.com.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

GURNETT: An exchange with Weepies' Steve Tannen

Indie darlings The Weepies are coming to the Tralf on Thursday, Dec. 1.  For this tour, they are leaving their backing band at home and performing with only core members, husband-and-wife duo Steve Tannen and Deb Talan.  The show should be an intimate performance of the band's melodic, pretty and insightful music. I exchanged some emails with Steve to dive deeper. Here's what we talked about:

RYAN GURNETT: What do the Weepies listen to? What musicians inspire you?

STEVE TANNEN: We tend to binge on one writer or artist at a time. Right now it’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s "Hamilton." Recently we went through an Ana Tijou phase, an Amy Winehouse month, and an M.I.A. year. “Row Row Row Your Boat” is still the song to beat.

RG: When Deb was diagnosed with cancer, an-all star band stepped in as your backing band. What was it like getting that outpouring of support?

ST: It was profoundly moving, not because of the loftiness of everyone, but because everyone was so human about it all -- friends, strangers, fans, business people, everyone. Our takeaway was that people are good and want to help. It’s uplifting to be reminded of that any time, and having it come in such a dark moment was very humbling.

RG: Has Deb's diagnosis (and defeating) of cancer done anything to change your perspective creatively?

ST: We’re more forgiving of ourselves as writers. We take it a little less hard. We still fret over getting things right, but we can see it’s okay to let our own work go, too.

RG: How was the recording process different on this last album, being done not only remotely but also with people you hadn't recorded with before?

ST: Everything was a workaround. But the solutions we had to come up with -- the remote recording, the early morning sessions, arranging horn parts over email, and the basic exhaustion and very focused time in the studio -- gave the record its particular flavor. We wouldn’t want to do it again, but we’re glad it went how it did. The high degree of difficulty was freeing, because the actual performance of the music was so easy compared to everything around it. We didn’t have time for many takes.

RG: This tour, you're going solo with smaller, more intimate shows. What inspired you to do this?

ST: We want to keep connecting. We’ve been doing big bus tours with a band and crew, and it’s incredible, but we numbed out as the tours rolled on -- everyone was so awesome that we would sit back a lot. We wanted to open ourselves back up to the audience and to the danger of doing everything ourselves again.

RG: I have to ask... I've been trying to get my wife to start a band with me for 8 years. What is it like having your wife as your other primary band member? Does it create any differences in the way you write and record? What would you say are the benefits (and drawbacks, if any)?

ST: A band IS a marriage, and if you’re in both at the same time, there’s really nowhere to hide. Things come blazing out into the open. On the other hand, when it works, it just feels easy and there’s nowhere else you want to be. Right now, Deb’s making a solo record; we’re both thrilled about it. It’s critical to maintain a separate sense of ourselves, and that’s probably the biggest challenge.

RG: What's the most bizarre thing that's ever happened to you on stage?

ST: We played a heavy metal festival in Germany, and it was one of the most connective experiences of our lives. That was truly bizarre. Someone booked us by mistake -- The Weepies opening for Tool. We went out in front of thousands of heavily tattooed shirtless young German men all ready to mosh. And we started with the softest song we could, “Nobody Knows Me At All” -- Steve gently on guitar, Deb alone singing -- and the audience started swaying, and clapping, and completely said yes. They simply decided they were into it and it worked. It was overwhelming. No idea how it happened, but it was a magic.

RG: What's your favorite on-tour snack?

ST: Is Jack Daniels a snack? No? Then French fries.

RG: Is there another Weepies album in the works, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?

ST: Absolutely. However, it’s very Steve-heavy at the moment, since Deb has been pouring heart and soul into her solo record, which is really almost done. We have a busy winter lined up to get another Weepies record in the can.

RG: Is this the Weepies first trip to Buffalo? If so, what are you looking forward to?

ST: First time since Deb was BORN there. We don’t know a soul! Please come say "hello" and tell us where the best French fries are.

RG: Are there any songs that you just HAVE to included in every set, or do you prefer to mix things up?

ST: Luckily we have no hits! Kidding, sort of. We are doing this whole tour to mix it up, and there are songs we have never played out before that we’re playing. With that said, we know which songs have gotten tens of millions of streams, and as music fans we appreciate that when you go see Gnarls Barkley, at some point they should play “Crazy” or you’re going to feel a little cheated. It is a different show each night, but we’re still excited to play the ones people really know.

RG: What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you on the road -- any good nightmare stories?

ST: Knock wood, we’ve been pretty lucky so far. We got thrown out of our own show once. The venue owner just took a serious dislike to us, and started screaming and threatening, and we were like, Whoops! Time to go! Everyone is fighting a great battle, and we had come into a hard moment for the venue owner. It was early on in our career, the audience was very small, so the audience helped us throw our equipment in the car, and we bought everyone a drink at another bar down the block.

RG: Your songwriting is very insightful. What advice would you give to fellow songwriters?

ST: That’s kind. Writing for us is both a compulsion and a discipline. We rewrite constantly. We work every day; even if we only have time to write a sentence on our phones while waiting in line somewhere, we’ll do that. We write on scraps of paper through the day and then defend blocks of empty time to write (and we often waste that time from a lack of discipline). That model works for us because it’s how we deal with in the world in a way that keeps us going. We’re still trying to fix the process.

RG: What do you two like to do in your down-time on tour?

ST: We like to try to find secret places. Or nap. We wander.

RG: Do you have any other projects that you'd like people to know about?

ST: Deb’s solo record!! It’s coming out soon. It’s really good. Look for it; we’ll be really loud about it when it comes out.

RG: Imagine you're watching a concert. One of the band members spontaneously combusts and you get called onstage to replace that band member. Which band is it?

ST: What a karmically dangerous question! Please, no more of our heroes falling this year. Too many! We politely refuse and hope all musicians live forever, which they sort of do.
Ryan Gurnett is a local musician with an appreciation for other local music. Email him at never_really_been@hotmail.com or find him on Twitter @SirWilliamIdol.

Photos courtesy of The Weepies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Nov. 22, 2016

This week's special edition of the ThinkSoJoe Show includes music from I Was Myself For HalloweenKill The ClockLost Elysium and more! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Nov. 21 - 27

This week's featured event: Live Music is Back at Showplace: 8 p.m. Saturday

How many things have you heard "I miss [insert venue name here]"? How many times has someone come along and made that dream come true? Personally, this is the first time I've seen a wonderful new owner bring every single thing to the table to make an old venue that so many people have great memories at into a perfect & beautiful new place for music! If you've been under a rock, Showplace Theater has officially been declared as reopen and celebrated with their first event on Halloween which went over beautifully. Now it's time to take things back to their roots with some good ol fashioned Local Rock Bands who are poised to take the new stage at this iconic Buffalo location! But don't forget, this isn't the Showplace Theater you may remember. Joe Roxbury has gutted everything and replaced it with modern furnishings. Yes, that means the floor is no longer slanted, the seats are gone, there's no random pipes, or sketchy looking anything. This is Showplace for a new generation, and we're all really excited to see someone spending this much time and money on our local music scene! Doors open back up at Showplace at 8 p.m. this Saturday, November 26th and there's only a $5.00 cover! Show you support towards this great new/old venue and its hard working new owner who is quickly filling the calendar with much more awesome events to come!

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Greg Burt is a Concert Promoter/Sound Guy/Music Supporter/Keyboardist/etc. He can be reached at Greg@FTMPEvents.com. For the full FTMP show calendar, visit www.FTMPEvents.com.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Billy Draws 2 draws a crowd for CD release show

BD2-1 by All WNY Photos on 500px.com

NIAGARA FALLS -- After an extended hiatus, Billy Draws 2 returned to the stage Friday night, playing before a crowd at Evening Star Concert Hall for the release of their new CD, "Now With KungFu Grip."

The band, which had taken time off while drummer Mike Miller "beat fucking cancer," as lead singer Billy Horn so eloquently put it, returned with energy and their signature humor. Guitarist Doug Life and bassist Rosie Lorenti helped to get the already-excited crowd even more into the show.

Opening for BD2 were Mystic Ape and Exham Priory.

More photos of the show are available here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Nov. 16, 2016

It's an all new ThinkSoJoe Show with music from Mystic ApeBilly Draws TwoBruce Wojick, and Dream Spectrum!

Monday, November 14, 2016

All WNY Radio looking for Christmas tunes

The stockings are hung in stores with care, the commercials have begun to take over television broadcasts and at least one radio station in Western New York has begun playing Christmas music. Yes, the holiday season is upon us.

Here at All WNY Radio, we're going to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start playing Christmas music. But before we can do that, we need Christmas music from local bands. So we're putting out a call to arms -- and legs if need be -- for Christmas tunes from WNY artists.

While All WNY Radio does not typically play cover songs, we understand that there just isn't much original Christmas music written by local bands. Plus, people want to hear the classics. That said, music licensing is tricky and we're allergic to lawsuits. So we're asking for only songs that are in the public domain. A list follows of some of the more popular ones.
  • Adeste Fideles
  • Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • Away In a Manger
  • Deck the Halls
  • First Noel
  • God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • Hark ! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Here We Come A-Caroling
  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  • It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
  • Jingle Bells
  • Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  • Joy to the World
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • O Come, O Come, Emanuel
  • O Holy Night
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Silent Night
  • Toyland
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Up on the Housetop
  • Wassail Song
  • We Three Kings
  • What Child is This?
Some songs might seem like they'd be public domain, but they are not. They include:
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas
  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Frosty The Snowman
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas
  • It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  • Jinglebell Rock
  • Let It Snow
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
  • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  • Silver Bells
  • Sleigh Ride
  • The Christmas Song
  • White Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland
Of course, we'd love to have original Christmas music as well. We'd also be happy to play Hanukkah music, Kwanzaa music, Festivus music, or any other recognized holiday of the season.

Our hope is that we can have enough music from enough artists to offer an hour a day of Christmas music beginning Nov. 25.

So bands, send in our tracks! Just go to http://www.allwnyradio.com/p/submit.html to submit your tunes. Be sure to fill out the pertinent information in the form.

-- Scott Leffler
-- All WNY Radio

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Nov. 14 - 20

This week's featured show is Jen's Student Recital at Hard Rock Cafe from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Jen Vanduzer is a wonderful lady who has devoted herself to her students at Boulevard Music Lessons and Performing Arts, and has just taken on the role as Owner of Performing Arts as well! Her smile, charm, and hard work are what has created a following for her teachings and she has all of her students coming together this upcoming Sunday at the beautiful Hard Rock Cafe for a wonderful recital!

Weather you're a family friend of one of her students, or just want to see the next generation of local musicians, reserve yourself a table before they are all taken. I promise you, these kids are going to blow you away!

Also, be on the lookout for some more awesome things under Jen's new lead at one of the best places for Music Lessons around at Facebook.com/PerformingArtsMusic.

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Greg Burt is a Concert Promoter/Sound Guy/Music Supporter/Keyboardist/etc. He can be reached at Greg@FTMPEvents.com. For the full FTMP show calendar, visit www.FTMPEvents.com.