Former Headstones frontman-extraordinaire Hugh Dillon is a busy guy these days. He's landed a few high-profile movie roles, the latest in a film starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne. And, more importantly for the Headstones faithful, he's back on the rock block, with a new band -- the Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir -- and a new record, produced by Tragically Hip guitarist Paul Langlois.
"The High Cost of Low Living" takes off where the Headstones left off; punk at heart, the record finds Dillon branching out a bit, adding elements of torch 'n' twang, gritty barroom rock and even a dash of new wave. It finds him surrounded by a band -- Chris Osti, Derek Downham, Ben Kobayashi and JP Polsini -- simpatico with his bourbon-soaked bad-boy persona and throaty, swaggering presence.
The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir makes its U.S. debut at 8 tonight in Club Infinity, 8166 Main St., Clarence.
On the astral plane
With the recent addition of former Girlpope/Dai Atlas guitarist Tommy Stanford in the bass role, the Missing Planes have become a trio.
Drummer Matt Barber and guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Michelle Buono have been perfecting their left-of-center indie-rock as a duo since forming in 2002. With Stanford now firmly ensconced in the project, and a brand new EP in the hopper ("In Honor of Your Departure"), the Planes are poised to tackle bigger and better things.
Drummer Barber certainly fulfilled a long-coveted dream of his when he and Buono traveled to Brooklyn last summer to track the album under the auspices of producer James Baluyut, who has worked with /- and Barber's heroes, indie-rock cult icons Versus. The result is an albumthat pays heed to the band's admitted influences -- Fugazi, Jawbox, the Spinanes and, ofcourse, Versus -- while continuing the band's now consistent trend of finding the beautiful complexities within the primal and cacophanous.
The Missing Planes celebrate the release of ". . . Your Departure" with a gig Saturday in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. Buono, Barber and Stanford have invited along a few friends to help them celebrate,including folker Tracy Morrow -- "There is no better songwriter in all of Buffalo," according to Barber -- and the Raven Society, featuring guitarist/vocalist Justin Guerin, formerly of the Hook Generation, Blood of Jupiter and Dai Atlas.
The show kicks off at 10 p.m. Saturday. Call Mohawk Place at 855-3931 with questions.
Bertolt Brecht playing punk-rock-Gypsy music that sounds like a cross between the Pogues and some sort of surreal cabaret act from a David Lynch film. Talk about creating your own genre.
Gogol Bordello is essentially a Russian wedding music band, if you ran that wedding band through a blender and added plenty of the hard stuff over a handful of crushed ice. The group's new "East Infection" (Rubric Records) is an over-the-top throwdown that is impossible to conveniently pigeonhole, but all the more enjoyable for that fact. And the band's live show has been likened to a ceremonial earth-dance -- what Alternative Press described as "the United Nations assembled into a mosh pit."
Gogol Bordello hits the Sphere, 681 Main St., at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $8 in advance, at New World Record, Home of the Hits or Ticketmaster at 852-5000. They'll be $10 at the door on the night of the show. Scope out Gogol happening in advance by visiting www.gogolbordello.com.
Also recommended: Melissa Ferrick at the Sphere at 7 Saturday evening. Call 852-5000 for tickets; "Bold As Love: A Jimi Tribute to Jimi Hendrix," a sound-and-lights extravaganza at 8 p.m. Saturday in Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. Call the club at 886-8539 with questions; and the mighty Reverend Horton Heat, with guests the Supersuckers and Murphy's Law at 8 p.m Wednesday in the Tralf, 622 Main St. Reverend Horton Heat tickets are still available through the Tralf box office or by calling Ticketmaster at 852-5000.