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WITH QUICK WIT, hilarious banter and a pure love of music, the Incredible Venus Flytrap catches the attention of an audience and doesn't let go -- sometimes for hours.

"When we're really moving, it's hard to stop," laughs guitarist Michael Iten about the trio's trademark lengthy performances filled with jams of funk-infused rock.

"We can play for three hours and it just feels like we're warming up. I love it. I'd play for six hours," says bassist Brian Iten.

It's that boyish enthusiasm that endears IVF to listeners, who are often brought on stage to join in on the action. "I like to put on a show," Brian Iten says. "If you just want to hear music, put on a CD. Our live show is an event for us. Everything goes into it."

Drummer Dan Schieder says a show has to be a good time for everyone. "You can be a serious musician and have fun. And you want people to have fun, too. That's why we invite people from the crowd to come up and sing with us," he says.

The obvious love for entertaining was forged early for the Iten brothers. As a youngster, Brian would watch in awe as older brothers Michael and David (a drummer) performed.

"They were my heroes. I grew up looking up to them. I never thought we'd be on the stage together," Brian Iten says. The seven-year age gap between Brian and Michael did have its benefits: "I was the only kid in grade school getting into bars, because my brothers were playing in a band."

This week marks the two-year anniversary for the band and a time of change. Originally a quartet, IVF recently made the transition to a trio.

"It's great because this takes me back to my original concept for the band," Michael Iten says. "I wanted it be an event with guest musicians. I've been playing on the original club scene since I was 14, and now I'm 30. There is a huge community of musicians I know who play together well. The idea is to keep bringing up soloists and let the show always be a party."

Upcoming: 7:15 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Tralfamadore Cafe, 622 Main St.; Birthday Bash, Oct. 16 at Club KC, 2072 Kensington Ave.



Contact: IVF, P.O. Box 115, Kenmore, N.Y. 14217-0115

Local record pick

Jarvis, "Another Fake Scenerio." The debut by this young Akron quartet is a nice surprise. It's an often moody collection of introspective indie-rock, ripe with angst and tinged with the blues. There's a dark cloud hanging over the opening track, "Raining," a weary song about being left behind. The pace picks up by "In Over," but the tone's the same: "Here I stand in your beautiful life, a bit unseen, but that's the role I play," vocalist Paul Bright sings in his quietly effective manner. Dense, loud guitars open "Poor Henry" and "Put Your Lights Out" before both numbers drop into a subtle blues tone. "On the Road Again" is a gritty rocker and "Baltimore Baby" moves along with a nice pop flair.

--Toni Ruberto

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