Jeff Martin, lead singer for Tea Party, has been compared to the late Jim Morrison of the Doors. Martin, like Morrison, exudes a sexual tension and passion for music. He also has a touch of poetry in his musical philosophy. "The idea was to be able to have a vehicle in which we could express ourselves in any way we wanted to," Martin said of the band's mission with its music. Tea Party performs tonight at 9 in the Ogden Street Concert Hall, 652 S. Ogden St. Tea Party will also play an in-store acoustic performance at 5:30 p.m. in New World Record, 512 Elmwood Ave.
SCENE'S BIG FIVE
1. Grand Funk Railroad: Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Shea's Performing Arts Center. Classic rock in all its '70s glory with Mark Farner and company. Grand Funk performs such hits as "We're an American Band," "Some Kind of Wonderful" and "The Loco-Motion."
2. Bill Bellamy: Saturday at 8 p.m. in Alumni Arena on the University at Buffalo North Campus. Bellamy, an MTV personality and movie actor, does his stand-up routine for a homecoming weekend crowd at UB.
3. Asleep at the Wheel: Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Tralf, 100 Theater Place. Texas swing band with a down-home country sound brings party time to the Tralf.
4. Tom Stahl: Saturday at 9:30 p.m. in Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. Stahl, a rising star on the local scene, brings his band to Nietzsche's for a release party for his new CD, "Hang On."
5. Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang: Saturday at 10 p.m. in the Lafayette Tap Room, 391 Washington St. Sax man Shaw and his band play the blues.
BIG BEAT STORY OF THE WEEK
What's with George Harrison? The "quiet" Beatle has been ripping modern-rock acts and stating his opinion on just about everything of late. Harrison recently fired some verbal shots at U2 and Oasis. He called their music "rubbish," adding, "It's all right if you're 14 years old, but I prefer to listen to Bob Dylan." Harrison on the Spice Girls: "The advantage they have is, you can look at them and cut off the sound." More on U2 and lead singer Bono: "Bono and his band are so egocentric, it's horrible." Bono responded to George this way: "He should get back to his Sunshine Home for the Bewildered."
AROUND AND ABOUT
Alt-rockers Seven Mary Three play Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Showplace Theater, 1063 Grant St. The Honeyrods and Jellybricks are also on the bill. . . . U2 plays two dates in Toronto's SkyDome: Sunday at 8 p.m. and Monday at 8 p.m. Third Eye Blind opens both of them. . . . Wayne Hancock brings his self-described neo-traditionalist country sounds Thursday at 9 p.m. to Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. . . . VCR alert: Wyclef Jean of the Fugees will perform live on MTV tonight at 10. . . . Local bassist Paul Cullen and guitarist Michael Hund have teamed to form the Cullen Hund Band. The duo is recording a new CD that will feature Buffalo native Gary Mallaber on drums. . . . Billboard No. 1, Oct. 24, 1987: "Bad" by Michael Jackson.
Switch is coming back after a year's layoff. The popular local band is set to return with a new keyboard player in late January. . . . "I would demand that radio be taken over," Ed Kowalczyk, lead singer for Live, recently told the Indianapolis Star and News. "First, we'd clone all the greatest college radio stations in the country. We'd have to clone their program directors and their formats and make that the dominant radio scene for music in general -- free-for-all madness, so every station you turned on was completely unique and always blew your mind because it played things you never heard before and you found out about new bands all the time." Never happen. . . . Scene quiz: Who said, "I feel spooky"? Was it Marilyn Manson, Al Gore or Bob Dylan? Answer: Old Bob. . . . The Morvells play the Lafayette Tap Room tonight at 10. . . . Cotton Mouth is about to change its name, but will play tonight at 11 in Nietzsche's. . . . Billboard No. 1, Oct. 24, 1978: "Hot Child in the City," by Nick Gilder.
Animal Planet plays original music tonight at 11 in the Calumet Arts Cafe, 56 W. Chippewa St. McCarthyizm opens. . . . Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" tribute to Princess Diana made the Guinness Book of World Records for selling 31.8 million copies, the biggest-selling single in history. . . . Weathervane performs original music Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for the WWSE-FM 93 radio station's 50th anniversary celebration tribute at Jamestown Community College. . . . Mobius rocks the Showplace tonight at 10. . . . Billboard No. 1, Oct. 24, 1969: "I Can't Get Next to You," by the Temptations. . . . A concertina jamboree will be held Saturday starting at 5 p.m. in the Knights of St. John Hall, 2379 Union Road. A workshop will start at 11 a.m. . . . This week's words to live by, courtesy Steve Earle: "I'd hate to see you going where I've already been."