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GURNETT: Infringement Festival kicks off July 26

2018 is the 15th iteration of the Buffalo Infringement Festival.
The Buffalo Infringement Festival is a non-profit-driven, non-hierarchical grassroots endeavor that brings together a broad range of eclectic, independent, experimental, and controversial art of all forms. Visual, performing, and media arts are all welcome here. Anyone can apply, and anyone who does apply will get at least one performance.
Opening ceremonies for Infringement Festival are Thursday, July 26th at Nietzsche’s at 8 p.m. and features a diverse group of bands, including:

  • La Marimba, a four-piece group of — you guessed it — Marimba and percussion players. Their music is groovy, catchy and full of improvisation.
  • Local rapper Kelly Valuchi, Kerry Fey, Venus II Creature, Green Schwinn, The Transindental Karmacist, and Hooked on Casiophonics.
  • Darsombra, who describe themselves as an audio-visual, trans-apocalyptic, galaxy rock duo from Baltimore, Maryland, USA.” (They also use the phrases and “heavy psych” and “krautrock-inspired.”)Their music is progressive, psychedelic and dreamy. They’re also out-of-towners, so I’d definitely recommend seeing them if you get a chance. (They’ll  be playing at the Buffalo-Niagara Hostel the next day if you can’t catch them here.)

On Friday, July 27th at Mohawk Place, starting at 9pm, we have The Wolves of Tomorrow, Micky Mercurio, Take Two, BastardBastardBastard, and Sid the Kidd, with Cardboard Homestead headlining. If you don’t get to see Cardboard Homestead at Warped Tour a couple days earlier, this is a great chance and a cool bill to check them out on. I find Cardboard Homestead’s brand of folk-punk refreshing, and they’re definitely a band on the rise.

Also on Friday, July 27th at Nietzsche’s at 10:15 p.m., we have:

  • Mimi Loco and the Drama Queens, an old-school punk band from Washington, DC with no pretension, just rock.
  • The Good Neighbors, a local, three-piece alt-rock band that’s absolutely worth checking out.
  • THIS, a band with a lot of rock and a ton of bass. They’re one of the hottest bands in the area and they just released a new EP.
  • Ish Kabibble, a drummer/bassist duo who make beautiful, funky music.

On Saturday, July 28th at 8 p.m., Mohawk Place will host Cartoon Moon and Kurt Riley. Kurt Riley is a exciting performer from Ithaca who I’m really enthusiastic about seeing. His sound blends punk, new wave and glam rock. You can hear Queen, Bowie, Elton John, Adam Ant and Roxy Music in his music. He’ll only be in town this one night, so I recommend coming out to see him. If his YouTube videos are any indication, he’ll put on a super-entertaining show.

Sunday, July 29th, starting at noon, is Muttonfest. Muttonfest is one of the most popular events at Infringement Festival. It’s an outdoor concert with two stages in LaSalle Park, and this year it features The Pragmatic Particles (formerly Pants & the Family), Autoverse, Eraserhead’s Baby (probably the least-subtle nod to an influence I’ve ever heard), Digital Afterlife, Idiots of Idealism, The Absentee Project, The Wolves of Tomorrow, Kevin Prentice and chloroform.

Some of the big highlights of Muttonfest are:

  • The Dave Michaels Band, who donate 100% of any money they make with their music toward helping children with developmental disabilities
  • Bighorn Sheep, a versatile group of talented local musicians. They’re typically a six-piece band, and they’re usually joined by a rotating cast of friends and special guests. Members trade off instruments and vocal duties, which makes their sets lively and interesting. Their music is a mix of everything from punk to progressive, classic to grunge, jam to psychedelia, and metal to reggae.
  • The Molice, a Japanese band that combines punk, new wave, power pop and indie rock, will end the night with a set starting at 8 p.m. They’ve been doing an artist-in-residency in Buffalo with Robbie Goo’s Good Charamel Records.

The following weekend, on Friday, August 3rd at 9 p.m. is Milkie’s Hip Hop Showcase. On the bill are:

  • DIVERZE. and Kelly Valuchi
  • Flex Godd, who performed back at Shea’s in March. He’s a really young performer and still a little raw, but he’s got great energy and enthusiasm. I see a lot of promise in him.
  • Type Relevant, a live rock, hip hop, funk, and improv group. They’re willing to adapt to any crowd and are the best hip hop act featuring a live band in Buffalo.
  • Lazy Ass Destroyer is the headliner and one of the most exciting acts performing at the entire festival. Lazy and his band do a crazy mix of high-energy electro party rock fuzed with hip hop and punk. I mean this in the least insulting way possible, but his style reminds me of Kid Rock, if Kid Rock wasn’t a redneck asshole. He’s also supposed to throw a pretty wild stage show. If you’re catching The Descendents at Riverworks earlier in the evening, this would make a great nightcap.

On Friday, August 3rd at 10 p.m., Thin Man Brewery will host Brendan and the Strangest Ways with Leyda, a local woman-led indie folk band.

Saturday, August 4th, starting at noon, is Infringement’s huge Broadway Market concert. There will be music in three different areas: the front lobby, the second-floor parking garage, and the roof.  

Performers in the front lobby include Andrew Nixon Trio, Fragrance and Juan Cosmic Energy, Shannon Vanderlaan and russianhands and romanfingers.

The garage area, where many of the electronic and hip hop acts will be located, will have performances by Digital Afterlife, DeadWorry, Sonic Wranglers, The Finality Complex, Imaginary Number, DJ Bonaparte, Flex Godd, Emci Kyng, and Mal.A.Mute

Up on the roof,  there will be a small garden walk and burgers and hot dogs available for purchase. And, of course, some great music, including Stoneclad and Strange Standard, as well as:

  • Curtis Lovell, a powerful soul singer who uses her loopers to make a thick, beautiful sound.
  • Zoochie, a cool, groove-oriented band from New Jersey. They come to Buffalo somewhat often and always put on a good show. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes.
  • Curiosity’s End, a really interesting indie rock band that combines catchy choruses and melodies with instruments you might not immediately expect, including viola and 12-string guitar.
  • Cavalcade, a Rochester-based band that’s been around for almost 20 years. Their sound has evolved, and they’ve been in and out of genres like indie-rock, progressive and post-punk. Whatever they play, it’s always interesting and they’re worth checking out.

Also on Saturday, August 4th, starting at 7 p.m., Mohawk Place is hosting The Lloyd MacHardy Memorial Hootenanny, an annual event for Infringement Festival that features a giant heaping of Americana. The Hootenanny will include performances from the Heenan Brothers, Philadelphia artist Rick Denzien, Copper and Gin, Jungle Steve and the Gypsophelias, as well as:

  • Able Footing, a bluegrass Anal Pudding cover band that cleans up the lyrics.
  • Michael Faltyn, who also performs as a part of the duo Mike & Kathy. His brand of folk is very soothing and reminiscent of James Taylor.
  • Twenty Thousand Strongmen, a western-grown, now Buffalo-based “old-timey” folk band. They have a simple, beautiful sound that utilizes the banjo, ukulele, piano and fiddle alongside guitar and bass.

The final day of festivities, August 5th, starts at 12p.m. at the Holly Farms Parking Lot (near Nietzsche’s) Music will include:

  • Flex Godd, Lazy Ass Destroyer, and Venom Mob.
  • Sentinel 6, a local jam band.
  • Urban Planning, a local rock band with a strong Strokes vibe along with influences from The Pixies, Elliot Smith and others.
  • The Sofa Kingz, who describe themselves as “slop rock.” Their sound is reminiscent of  of lo-fi ’90s alt-rock with elements of punk
  • Intent to Sell, another really interesting local act that mixes alt-rock with elements of funk, soul and rap.

From the Holly Farms parking lot, you can head right across the street for Infringement Festival’s Closing Ceremonies on August 5th at Nietzsche’s at 8 p.m. Closing Ceremonies will include:

  • Zoochie, Bison Numbers, and Jules Cut Loose
  • The Joe Goretti Intergalactic Beat Station, a one-man band who makes really groovy music using just a hybrid drum set and looping equipment.
  • Laura Lonski, who will be returning to Buffalo to play some pieces from her musical 420: The Musical.
  • Connecticut’s Sarah Golley, who’s coming into town with her one-person show. She creates a beautiful, moody atmosphere with just a keyboard, looping station and her soulful voice.
  • Little Cake, who I recently heard for the first time and love. Her music is quirky, experimental and weird. If I had to compare her to someone, I’d go with the Moldy Peaches’ Kimya Dawson, but there aren’t really many comparables to her. What she does is truly unique and interesting to listen to and see.

This is just a small sliver of what Infringement Festival has to offer. There are many more events and a ton  of other venues, including The Gypsy Parlor, Hot Mama’s Canteen, Hostel Buffalo-Niagara, Daily Planet Coffee, Alley Cats, Rudeboyz Artworks, 9th Ward at Babeville and Revolution Gallery.

And this is just the music. There will also be theater and dance performances, workshops and film screenings. Buffalo Infringement Festival runs from July 26th to August 5th. You can find more at InfringeBuffalo.org.

You can also find my Best of Buffalo Infringement Spotify playlist at https://open.spotify.com/user/kellanya/playlist/6WElzPgl5UeyQtfYWqNSUi?si=5nzG9muTTGCQRR3AUKd8Hw

And check out The Struggle is Real Buffalo Music Podcast for more Infringement Festival coverage.

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 co-host of The Struggle is Real Buffalo Music Podcast and bassist for The Lady, or the Tiger?. Email him at SirWilliamIdol@gmail.com or find him on Twitter @SirWilliamIdol.

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