The Western New York psychedelic-funk-improv scene has been flourishing over the past several years, with bands from sister cities Buffalo and Rochester getting to know each other, swapping gigs and sharing fans, all in service of helping both scenes grow and prosper.
I love this idea, and have greatly enjoyed watching these mostly young bands build followings in our area through repeated appearances, while simultaneously being offered the chance to do the same in other cities. It’s a winning situation for the musicians and the fans alike.
A double-bill pairing Buffalo’s AjamajA with Rochester’s Haewa takes place at 9 p.m. Friday in Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, and is a useful case-in-point. Both bands are young, and have spent the last several years honing their skills on the regional club circuit. Both favor a thoroughly modern amalgamation of jam-based stylings, and organically incorporating electronic elements into the equation. And both bands have displayed the benefits of the “gig-swapping” methodology, which is premised on the idea that a rising tide saves all ships.
Visit www.ajamaja.com or www.haewamusic.com to sample some sounds. Admission at the door will be $5.
“Our mission from Day One has been to bring the artist and their sound to the forefront, placing emphasis on creativity, innovation and cutting edge, out-of-the box thinking, rather than the prevalent business-as-usual, cookie cutter mold mentality prevalent in today’s industry.”
So goes the mission statement on the home page for Buffalo indie label DTR45, aka Deep Thinka Records, a company that has been around since 1997 acting as a hub for a positive, forward-looking movement in regional hip-hop. Deep Think brought us rappers like Edreys (aka Billy Drease Williams), Mad Dukez and Blueprint, as well as DJs Fresh Kils and genre-bursting collectives like Pseudo Intellectuals, all of whom have helped to define the sound of Buffalo hip-hop over the past decade.
Now, DTR45 is launching a new series. “Sauced: A Beat Lounge in Buffalo” hosts its inaugural party at 10 p.m. Saturday, in Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar. The idea is to host both local and touring hip-hop emcees and DJs. For the first installment, Buffalo’s Tone At and ShutEyes will be joined by West Coast visitors Ben Durazzo and AF the Naysayer. Additional info is available through DTR45.com.
‘Fountains’ of youth
The Fountains emerged from the vibrant indie-folk-punk scene in Athens, Ga., in the early part of the ’90s. The band earned considerable critical kudos and built a sizable cult following before calling it a day more than a decade after forming.
The band’s music – a smart blend of folk, alternative and Southern alt-rock that should appeal to fans of the Drive-By Truckers, has aged incredibly well. All five Fountains albums suggest that this band was poised to break through in a major way.
The Fountains will reunite for a show celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album in an intimate gig starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Alt Theatre (255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor). The band will perform material from all five albums. Tickets are through www.brownpapertickets.com.
Debut for LaDi NaFi
Yvette Hicks – aka LaDi NaFi – will celebrate the release of her debut effort, “So Special,” with a show at 6 p.m. Saturday in Buffalo East (1412 Main St.). Blending a reggae influence with strong R&B chops, LaDi NaFi’s sound incorporates her primary influences – Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Patrice Rushen, Lauryn Hill and Chaka Kahn, according to her Facebook page – into a contemporary world beat and soul blend. Tickets are $20, which includes a copy of “So Special” and food and drink. Special VIP tickets, priced $35, will guarantee reserved seating at the event. Tickets are available through expressedentartainment.com, or by calling 464-8913.