Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Sept. 28, 2016

Wednesday's all new ThinkSoJoE Show on All WNY Radio, with your hosts, ThinkSoJoE and Muller featured music from Beneath Hell's Sky, So Far So Good, Stalking Neptune, and Nerds in Denial.

Download the podcast and listen again and again and again.

Monday, September 26, 2016

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Sept. 26 - Oct. 2

This week's features show is the Trust Me, They're Dead & Now In Stores Reunion Show at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mohawk Place.

Ryan, Matthew, Tom, David, Angelo, & Tony are getting back together one more time to play songs from their previous music projects! Don't miss your only time to hear some of your favorite metal jams from these Buffalo veterans again! It's about to get rowdy at Mohawk Place on Thurs, Sept 29th when they join Prepare For The Mindscan, One Way Terror, Crooked Gener8ion, & Inertia on stage. Get your Owen Wilson references ready, your jack in your hand, and ears ready to hear those sweet sweet tracks way back from The Team Records days & before!

/// other shows ///

Knockout Kid : 5 p.m. Wednesday at Mohawk Place
Forever Grey : 6 p.m. Wednesday at Sugar City
The Observers : 9 p.m. Thursday at Nietzsche's
Virus X "Punk Rock Reunion Show" : 9 p.m. Friday at Evening Star Concert Hall
Taboo Masquerade & Fetish Ball : 11 p.m. Friday at Mohawk Place
MAPS : 8 p.m. Saturday at Stamps
Motorizer : 6 p.m. Sunday at Evening Star Concert Hall

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.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

PROJECT/OBJECT to play show at Tralf

BUFFALO -- Frank Zappa concept band PROJECT/OBJECT will play an Oct. 9 show at the Tralf.

Formed in the early '90s as an offshoot from an annual Frank Zappa birthday celebration that took place in guitarist Andre Cholmondeley's basement in New Jersey., PROJECT/OBJECT has continually grown, leaving the basement and touring the world with a growing set list from every era of Zappa's 30-year recording career. The band strives to stay true to Frank's vision of constantly challenging the musicians and the audiences.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $18 -- on sale now at the Tralf Box Office, by phone at 716-852-2860, tralf.com and all ticketmaster.com outlets.

Friday, September 23, 2016

GURNETT: Lettuce 'blew the doors off' the Tralf

Lettuce blew the doors off the Tralf last night with an exciting, entertaining and high-energy set in front of a packed crowd -- no less than you’d expect from one of the hottest funk acts in the world. Inspired by Herbie Hancock, Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power, the band, which has been performing since 1992, is more popular now than ever thanks to their most recent release, 2015’s “Crush,” which hit #1 on the U.S. Jazz Albums chart.

The opening act was Portland-based band Jaw Gems. The four-piece group consisting of two keyboardists, a bassist and a drummer mixes funk with hip-hop and electronic influences. Their set was groovy and danceable but, unfortunately, mostly forgettable. While the rhythm section (bassist Andrew Scherzer and drummer DJ Moore) was tight and focused, it felt like the two keyboards spent the entire set meandering. With each song lacking a distinct hook, it was hard to discern each from the previous one.

Then Lettuce took the stage. Bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes began pumping up the crowd from the start, jumping around and getting people dancing the moment the music began. The hour and 45 minute set managed the difficult trick of feeling loose yet focused, with a groove that sounded both organic and as though every note had been thought out and perfected.

The group performed as one cohesive unit with guitarist Adam Smirnoff, keyboardist Nigel Hall and saxophonist Ryan Soldis delivering slick solos and Coomes laying down some of the tastiest bass licks I’ve heard in a while serving as ringmaster/hype man for the group. Drummer Adam Deitch provided a solid foundation accompanied by understated rhythm guitar courtesy of Smirnoff. With little to no break between songs, the set flowed seamlessly and the funk kept flowing.

From the light show to the enthusiastic crowd, you could feel the electricity in the room. The group played a combination of old favorites and some new material from their upcoming album, and The Tralf was grooving. The high point came about an hour into the set as Lettuce introduced Nigel Hall in the part of vocalist and he performed crowd favorite “Express Yourself,” a 20-minute jam featuring the motif from “Mr. Big Stuff” that nearly brought down the house. Hall’s soulful vocals were spot on and it was a shame they weren’t utilized more often (he sang on only three tunes). Other highlights included “Sounds Like a Party to Me” and “Do It Yourself,” where Hall alternated from singing behind the keyboards to front-and-center on stage.

It was clear the members of Lettuce were having just as much fun as the crowd, and the energy as well as the groove was contagious. Their performance proved why they’re so popular, and if anyone came to this show not really knowing much about the band (like my guest, who couldn’t stop moving the entire evening), they likely came out fans. I look forward to Lettuce’s return to the Buffalo area.

For more on Lettuce, check them out at lettucefunk.com for music, live video and more.

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.

The Weepies to headline the Tralf

BUFFALO -- American indie pop-folk duo Deb Talan and Steve Tannen -- AKA The Weepies -- will headline a show at the Tralf on at 8 p.m. Dec. 1.

The married couple began writing together the night they met, and soon formed The Weepies. On the strength of their simple yet insightful songwriting and distinctive harmonies, they quietly sold more than a million records, with over 17 million streams on Spotify, and 20 million views on YouTube.

In 2014, Deb beat cancer, and The Weepies recorded the best album of their career. Coming back from the edge sharpened their skills and focus. At 16 songs and almost an hour long, SIRENS shows a band at the height of its powers.

Tickets for the show are $23. They go on sale at 10 a.m. They're available at the Tralf Box Office, by phone at 716-852-2860, tralf.com and all ticketmaster.com outlets.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Metric concert converted to Town Ballroom

BUFFALO -- A concert that had been slated for Friday at Artpark will now take place at Town Ballroom, according to a release by Artpark.

The release, offered on the venue's Facebook page, does not explain the reason for the relocation, but states that the show will still begin at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. -- just as it was to have been at Artpark. It also states that tickets bought through Artpark will be honored.

The full release follows:
Funtime Presents announces that the Metric concert scheduled for this Friday, September 23 at Artpark’s Mainstage Theater and managed by Funtime Presents has been relocated to the Town Ballroom (681 S. Main Street, Buffalo) in what will be a rare club appearance for the band. The concert, featuring opener Humble Braggers, will keep the same start time of 8pm with doors opening at 7pm.

All tickets purchased through Artpark will be honored at the Town Ballroom and those ticket buyers will be given an early entry opportunity. Will call tickets can be picked up at the Town Ballroom on the day of the concert. Limited tickets are still available for $48.00 and can be purchased online at www.townballroom.com or by phone at 716-852-3900.

Patrons with relocation or ticket issues may call the Town Ballroom at 716-852-3900.
Some Facebook comments expressed displeasure with the relocation for one reason or another -- largely the change from ticketed seats to a general admission venue. Artpark replied to all with a suggestion to contact Town Ballroom.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Sept. 21, 2016

Musical selections by The Taken, October Wolf, Rustic Radio, and Sara Elizabeth.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Chili Peppers to heat up KeyBank Center

BUFFALO -- The Red Hot Chili Peppers will play a concert on Feb. 10 at KeyBank Center, which was until this morning, the First Niagara Center.

Tickets for the show, which features opening acts Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday. Pre-sale tickets are available to RHCP fan club members on Wednesday.

Each attendee will receive their choice of a physical or digital copy of "The Getaway."

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Sept. 19 - 25

This week's featured event is Saturday's Benefit For Dale Hinz.

A tireless promoter of local Buffalo bands for many years until, a few years ago Dale’s life totally changed. He was a 31-year-old vibrant and healthy young male with the whole world in front of him. End of 2012 , a reckless driver in a car failed to yield and struck him on his motorcycle and caused him to be thrown. Dale suffered multiple injuries including a severe brain-stem injury Dale is alive but not living the life he should be at his age. Dale went through seven weeks of life support, two months in the trauma unit, and nine months in the hospital. Doctors recommended he be placed in a nursing home due to his need for total care.

Dale’s mom provides him with love and care and is unable to work due to the amount of care and time needed. Dale’s father is often called back home from jobs to assist Dale, and thus loses money. Dale has an older brother who works full time and also helps with Dale’s daily needs. Nursing care has been declined in the home and this role is mainly carried out by his mom. Dale spends his time in either a wheelchair or bed and needs to be fed, cleaned, dressed, and transported to his therapies and doctors daily.

Dale’s parents need more space to allow Dale to live comfortably in his living space. Currently Dale lives with his parents in a one-bedroom trailer which is very confined due to the amount of medical equipment needed for Dale to live. (i.e. Hospital bed, therapy table and IV pole and feeding pump, hoyer lift and wheelchair.) Dale’s father purchased a home to renovate to allow Dale to have his own bedroom and wheelchair accessible bathroom for a roll in shower. Currently Dale can only receive a sponge bath. Due to the exorbitant costs of building a house from a shell, Dale’s parents are seeking money to help with their dream for Dale to have a home where he can live comfortably. Please help make this dream come true for them and please continue to pray for Dale’s progress.

It their genuine hope this event raises a ton of money for Dale and his family. If all you can afford to do is purchase a ticket to the event, which begins at noon on SaturdayAmerican Legion Post # 527 in Hamburg. We appreciate it. His family appreciates it. They have 10 bands on board donating their time for a great cause, bit mostly because they're supporting a great friend. If you can donate a little bit more, thank you. Just know, whatever you can donate, all proceeds will benefit Dale and his family.

/// 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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Sept. 14, 2016

Tonight's ThinkSoJoE Show featured local music from Inherent Vice, Kennedy Carpool, The Long Cold Dark, and Pollock and discussion about last weekend's Music Is Art.

They also gave away a pair of tickets to see Grace Potter with special guests Muddy Magnolias at The Rapids Theatre on Sept. 20 -- to the person with the ugliest album cover in their collection, which Joe and Muller discussed at length.

The ThinkSoJoe Show is on All WNY Radio every Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Monday, September 12, 2016

HEaRD in WNY: Top shows for the week of Sept. 12 - 18

This week's top event is Buffalo Porchfest.

Coordinated twice yearly by the Elmwood Village Association, Buffalo Porchfest is all about building community and connecting with neighbors. Get to know the local music scene in Buffalo up close and personal.

Buffalo Porchfest porch hosts are volunteers who turn their own porches into stages for local musicians and bands for you to stroll (or roll) and enjoy a beautiful Buffalo fall afternoon. Visit buffaloporchfest.org for an event map with locations of participating porches as the event approaches.

/// 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.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Few tickets remain to Friday night Billy Talent show at Rapids Theatre

NIAGARA FALLS -- Tickets still remain -- though not many -- for Friday night's Billy Talent show at the Rapids Theatre. In fact, Rapids Theatre General Manager Marc Violino said this afternoon that if the show doesn't sell out, the number of tickets remaining is likely to only be in double digits.

The Canadian rock band enjoys added popularity in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls market thanks to its heavy rotation on Canadian and Buffalo alternative radio stations. Front man Benjamin Kowalewicz is a former DJ on CFNY in Toronto, which couldn't have hurt when the band was looking for airplay.

Doors open for the show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 pre-sale or $30 at the door -- if it doesn't sell out. They're available at The Rapids Theatre box office, 1711 Main St. or online at www.ticketfly.com. Los Angeles-based BadFlower will open the show.

Following the Niagara Falls show, the band heads to New York City, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Michigan and Illinois before heading to Europe on Oct. 12.

Photo courtesy of Billy Talent / Dustin Rabin.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

PODCAST: ThinkSoJoe Show for Sept. 7, 2016

All WNY Radio's ThinkSoJoe Show hosts ThinkSoJoe and Muller showcased bands who are playing at the Music is Art Festival this Saturday, including The Rifts, Poindexter, Billy Draws Two, and Kill The Clock.

The pair also discussed the controversial statements made by Cute Is What We Aim For" front man Shaant Hacikyan, who said "rape culture" in America doesn't exist, getting rather heated about the Buffalo singer's posts to social media.

NOTE: All WNY Radio does not condone punching people in the jaw ... even if they do say something dumb. We assume ThinkSoJoe was being hyperbolic.

'Cute' lead singer causes social media, radio uproar

BUFFALO -- "ThinkSoJoe Show" hosts Joe Kent and Brian Muller spent a large portion of their All WNY Radio show tonight devoted to the topic of rape culture -- and particularly the statements of "Cute Is What We Aim For" front man Shaant Hacikyan, who said it doesn't exist.

The radio talk show hosts, responding to an Aux.tv story forwarded them from a listener, ended up on a 30-plus minute rant about American rape culture from their unique points of view, talking at length -- and with colorful language -- about the Brock Turner case in which the Stanford student received a six-month sentence for raping a girl behind a dumpster, which was later reduced to three months for "good behavior."

Hacikyan, the only member of the Buffalo-based group who has been with the outfit since its 2005 debut, had posted about the Turner case on Facebook, stating:
Rape culture isn't a thing. For real. Playing the victim seems to fit the narrative. In my 29 years I've yet to encounter a human who is looking to rape someone. Everyone loves sex but I have never met a dude who is going out into the world to commit rape. There may be horrible humans out there who are predators but to say there is a culture of rape is short sighted & aggressive. Look into the actual statistics & get back to me.
Hacikyan later recanted, stating -- again on Facebook:
I'm sorry, I was wrong. I regret my words. I am steadfast in my appreciation to have so many people who know more than I on this topic to take the time to educate me & broaden my perspective. Truly sorry & truly thankful.
Hacikyan and Cute Is What We Aim For will play at 8:15 p.m. Saturday as part of the Music Is Art festival at Delaware Park.

Photo courtesy of Shaant Hacikyan / Facebook.

GURNETT: Conscious has strong start in hip-hop scene

With only one year as a rapper under his belt, 21-year-old Conscious is a surprisingly adept, emerging player in the local hip-hop scene. His debut mix tape, "Waking Up the Neighbors," offers interesting rhymes, honest lyrics and a smooth flow that speak to his inspiration by artists like Drake. As with most debuts, there's room for improvement, but it's definitely a promising start.

The opening track “The Come Up” is a great showpiece for Conscious's Macklemore-like lyrics:
It's like we feed of negativity to function/
I feel purified when I'm away from it all/
If wasn't for this music/
There would be holes in the wall
The lyrics feel honest, the flow is tight and the hook --
No one said it will be easy/
People stay some people leave me/
But I will never/
No I will never lose my mind
-- is all sorts of catchy. That said, the track does have some production flaws. The beat is repetitive and only changes mildly during the hook. The backing lacks a certain inspiration, like someone just pressed the 'on' button on a drum machine. And while Conscious adequately handles singing the hook (with the aid of auto-tune), it would have been more interesting to hear another voice on the track. Some pretty female vocals could have made the song stand out more.

Similarly, “Notice Me” is a decent track but not terribly memorable. Another singer would pump up the hook and really reel listeners in. It's the addition of extra embellishments like this that could take several tracks on this album to a higher level.

Tracks like “Mario Andretti” take the mood from honest to boastful, which doesn't create as strong of an impact. The keyboards are infectious and the hook (while a little cheesy) is catchy, but this brief track has its production issues as well; the backing vocals on the hook sound like a first-take attempt missing any effects that might have made it more interesting.

“Back On” featuring Jake Lilly is the standout of the mix tape. Where some tracks sound like they were rushed in the studio, this song arrives radio-ready. It'll make you bob your head, tap your feet or whatever it is you do when you get into your groove. Conscious sounds great on this track and flows well, and Jake Lilly completely owns his verse. I love the hook, I love the groove, I love the track, period.

The final track, “Latly”(sic), highlights the best of what Conscious does: upfront, personal lyrics. Another ready-to-air track, its production is slick and well thought-out. Conscious handles the hook adeptly and the lyrics ring sincere. This is a song that many people can relate to
Lately I've been searching for a purpose/
Lately I've been feeling worthless
Overall, the seven-track "Waking Up the Neighbors" is a strong start for Conscious. At just 21, if he keeps improving like he has in his debut year, he could be a standout in Buffalo and beyond. Some fixable production complaints aside, his tracks have a strong flow and sense of rhythm, and when the production hits its sweet spot, the sound is polished with hooks that'll stay in your head and beats that'll make you move. If you're into honest, slice-of-life hip-hop, you should check out this mix tape. The future looks promising for Conscious.

For more on Conscious, check out his Facebook and Twitter.

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.