Sounds of the City
Best concert bets for October 2017
Patti LaBelle performs the Seneca Niagara Events Center on Friday, October 20
Tuesday, October 3
Mitski @ the Tralf: While I try hard not to compare artists to each other, it's a pretty safe bet that if you like the lush, dreamy sound of acts like St. Vincent and Angel Olsen (or, for that matter, Kristen Hersh or other performers from the 4AD label's glory days in the Nineties), you should give Mitski Miyawaki a listen. That said, the unexpected shifts from sparse melancholy to full-on orchestration to outright abrasiveness in her latest album, Puberty 2, suggest she's blazing a trail all her own.
Celebrating 100 Years of Jazz with the Colored Musicians Club @ Kleinhans: The CMC's centennial celebration continues, this time with the support of the BPO.
Thursday, October 5
Tribute to Patsy Cline, Roseanne Cash, and Anne Murray @ 189 Public House: While the three women being honored are all icons of country music, it's the stellar lineup of WNY performers paying tribute to them that make this (free!) event especially worth the drive to East Aurora: vocalists Maria Sebastian and Dee Adams, pedal steel player Jim Whitford, guitarist Frank Grizanti, drummer David Wasik, and keyboardist Ron Davis.
The Birth of BeBop @ Ciminelli Recital Hall: The Buffalo Jazz Collective salutes the centennials of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Tadd Dameron with a concert on the campus of Buffalo State College. (Psst: Watch for a series of similar tributes later in the month at Pausa.)
Friday, October 6
The Art of Drink: Buffalo Brunch @ the Albright-Knox: The 8:30 p.m. start time should tip you off to the fact that this is not an actual brunch but a talk about the phenomenon and its status as "a modern consumption movement" by Step Out Buffalo blogger Adrianne Salmon, featuring drinks and food from Lait Cru Brasserie. It's the latest in the museum's relatively new, unquestionably fun series of "Art of Drink" events.
Saturday, October 7
Demetri Martin @ UB's Center for the Arts: Between his brief but memorable gig as a Daily Show regular and his own series and specials, Martin and his whiteboard were inescapable on Comedy Central not too long ago. Key to his mainstream success, I think, is his ability to combine the old-school absurdism of obvious precursors like Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, and Steven Wright with Millennial-friendly self-deprecating charm.
Yes @ the Seneca Niagara Events Center: There are (at least?) two incarnations of the massively popular, now-feuding prog rock outfit currently touring, both of which have played our area before. This is the one bringing together Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman of the classic era with Trevor Rabin of the "Owner of a Lonely Heart" phase.
Sunday, October 8
The Don Menza Quintet @ the Buffalo History Museum: The Buffalo Jazz Collective's "Second Sundays" matinee series launches a new season with a tribute to the late WNY pianist, arranger, composer, impresario, and educator, Ron Corsaro.
Tuesday, October 10
Man Forever @ Hallwalls: On record, NYC-based drummer and composer John Colpitts creates high sonic weirdness with collaborators like Laurie Anderson and the members of Yo La Tengo. There's a crisp, clean visual aesthetic in his many music videos, and his approach to driving percussion will remind krautrock fans of that genre's driving "motorik" beat—both of which bode well for a provocative live show, provided you're as adventurous a listener as Colpitts is a player.
Wednesday, October 11
Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, and Friends @ Kleinhans: Murray needs no introduction, but cellist Vogler might. After a chance meeting the two artists from very different realms decided to explore "New Worlds" together with a concert of chamber music and readings about America's core values. Good luck scoring a ticket if you haven't already.
The Eric Johnson Quintet @ the Hotel Henry: JazzBuffalo continues its popular new series with this Pittsburgh-based jazz guitarist, who has played with the likes of Ralph Turrentine and Ramsey Lewis.
Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14
JB Smoove @ Helium: The man Curb Your Enthusiasm fans know as Leon brings his standup act to the Cobblestone District for a total of four sets.
Tuesday, October 17
Steely Dan @ Shea's: Co-founder Walter Becker just died, but the show must go on. (Becker's longtime collaborator Donald Fagen has vowed to keep the "band"—which has consisted of hired hands since the mid-Seventies—going as long as he can.) The Buffalo concert was already sold out well before the sad news broke.
Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20
Melissa Etheridge @ Fallsview: The hard-rocking hitmaker plays a pair of dates in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Friday, October 20
Patti LaBelle @ the Seneca Niagara Events Center: There's now a generation out there who knows the over-the-top voice behind "Lady Marmalade" and a raft of solo hits only as a spokesperson for sweet potato pies. This is wrong, people. So, so wrong.
Saturday, October 21
Peepshow/Scary-Oke @ DNIPRO: Squeaky Wheel's annual fundraiser/art party returns with an appropriately spooky approach to karaoke with variations on the theme by area media, performance, and installation artists.
Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22
Victor Wooten and the BPO @ Kleinhans: The electric bassist, a founding member of Bela Fleck's Flecktones, performs his own composition, "The Brass Whisperer" (co-written with Conni Ellisor), on a bill fleshed out with Russian-themed works by Borodin and Prokofiev. While in town, he'll be offering a master class and a pre-concert talk.
Thursday, October 26
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill @ KeyBank Center: Tours marking a landmark anniversary of a landmark album (as, say, Brian Wilson recently did with Pet Sounds) are old news now. This one marks the tenth anniversary of … another tour—namely, the record-breaking one that these husband-and-wife country music superstars launched a decade ago. I was confused back in 2007 when they billed themselves as "Soul II Soul," and I'm still confused today, because Soul II Soul were the British R&B act who won our hearts in the Nineties with hits like "Back to Life," weren't they?
TEDx Buffalo @ Asbury Hall: Get those tickets fast, folks, because the annual TED Talks invariably sell out right away. There's another eclectic lineup of speakers addressing such diverse subjects as modern-day libraries, hip-hop, graphic design, and sex education.
Friday, October 27
Craig Finn @ Town Ballroom: The lead singer of people-pleasing indie rockers the Hold Steady brings his solo act (with backing band the Uptown Controllers) to the smallish Leopard Lounge. Opener John K. Samson is himself an alum of two acclaimed Canadian groups, the Weakerthans and Propagandhi.
Ron Ehmke is a writer, performer, and media artist you can learn more about at everythingrondoes.com.