Sounds of the City
Best concert bets for July 2018
Jenny Lewis performs at Asbury Hall on July 25
Sunday afternoons in July (through August 5)
Summer Jazz Series @ the Albright-Knox (Delaware Stairs): It's not summer in Buffalo without the beloved tradition of free concerts on the back steps of the museum. This month's lineup: Singer Carla Valenti (July 8), Wendell Rivera's Latin Jazz Ensemble (July 15), the J. D. Allen Trio (July 22), and sax player Don Rice (July 29).
Sunday afternoons in July and August
Null Point Sound Garden events @ Artpark: The folks in the "experimental sound initiative" Null Point have cooked up a summer's worth of potentially fascinating free site-specific, often participatory collaborations with other artists and audience members that may remind some of us of the park's glory days in the 1970s and 80s. This month's offerings are Arrow Fitzgibbon's provocatively named "Dirt Wave" (July 15), examining the grey areas between deafness and hearing; Lena Nietfeld's combination hands-on workshop and performance (July 22), and a tribute to the late, great Pauline Oliveros (July 29).
Friday, July 6
Kinky Friedman @ Buffalo IronWorks: Yessiree, the one and only Texas Jewboy is back at it again, with his first new studio album consisting entirely of original compositions since the mid-70s. See what the smartass once dubbed "the Leonard Cohen of Texas" and "the Frank Zappa of Country Music" is up to these days, besides writing mystery novels, running for office, and posing nude in a Dixie Chicks spoof.
Thursday, July 12
Julian Montague @ Artpark: Catch an artist's talk and exhibition by one of Buffalo's most cherished designers and visual/conceptual artists.
Monday, July 16
Beck @ the Albright-Knox: The bad news is, general admission tickets for this year's Rockin' at the Knox have been sold out for a couple of months now. But! If you happen to have contributed to the museum's "Summer of AK" campaign, you don't have to feel like a loser, baby.
Sunday, July 22
Kesha and Macklemore @ Darien Lake: Two one-named contemporary hitmakers, one stage.
Monday, July 23- Saturday, July 28
CMC JAZZ FESTIVAL@ multiple locations throughout Buffalo: Last year's centennial celebration of the Historic Colored Musicians Club was only the beginning. It's time again for six days and nights of great jazz, in locations throughout town. This year's festivities span far beyond conventional concerts (though there are plenty of those, including a tribute to the recently departed Cecil Taylor), making room for projections on the outside of the building, a "dark room DJ listening set," and a Slow Roll bike tour. Best way to find out about everything is via the club's Facebook page.
Wednesday, July 25
Jenny Lewis @ Asbury Hall: The indie favorite has earned devoted fans from her days with both Rilo Kiley and the Postal Service, as well as her much-loved solo albums. Opening the show is acoustic singer/songwriter Cut Worms, a.k.a. Max Clarke.
Thursday, July 26
Father John Misty @ Canalside: Pay no heed to the current backlash against The Artist Also Known as Josh Tillman; the cool kids are just jealous that he's one of the funniest, most achingly poignant, and eloquently political performers of the last ten years. He also puts on one hell of an entertaining live show, so don't miss this one. (Kooky koincidence: The band he left to go solo plays Lewiston the very next night, making for a potentially awkward hotel parking lot scenario.)
Sturgill Simpson @ the CMAC, Canandaigua, N.Y.: Here's another chance to catch the genre-expanding master of country psychedelia; be sure to arrive early enough to catch fellow pioneer Margo Price.
Thursday, July 26-Sunday, August 5
BUFFALO INFRINGEMENT FESTIVAL @ multiple locations throughout Buffalo: You surely know the routine by now: Eleven days, dozens of venues, hundreds of acts—heavy on up-and-coming bands, and nothing costs more than ten bucks.
Friday, July 27
Fleet Foxes @ Artpark: Don't miss what is bound to be one of the summer's most talked-about live shows, when the increasingly eccentric folk rockers bring their always-gorgeous CSNY-steeped harmonies to the Niagara Escarpment.
Friday & Saturday, July 27-28
COBBLESTONE LIVE in the Cobblestone District, Downtown Buffalo: This homegrown two-day festival of music and art wisely makes a point of getting bigger and better at its own organic pace. Now in its second year, it currently spreads over five stages in the Cobblestone District with a modest but appealing mix of thirty local and touring acts. Headliners this time out include Broken Social Scene, the Sheepdogs, Chicano Batman, and Buffalo's own Aqueous, among others—but be sure to check out the afternoon sets by the likes of the First Ward, Humble Braggers, and other WNY favorites. Note, too, the Thursday night pre-party at IronWorks featuring Funktional Flow and LITZ.
Tuesday, July 31
Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters @ Buffalo IronWorks: The full-time actor and part-time drummer and vocalist brings the latest incarnation of his trio to town for a heaping helping of the decades-spanning mix of country rock, power pop, rockabilly, and British Invasion nostalgia they once dubbed "modbilly."
Ron Ehmke is a writer, performer, and media artist you can learn more about at everythingrondoes.com.