> 'Wish' you were here
Since parting ways with Mercury Rev back in 1998 -- after drumming on that band's career-defining "Deserter's Songs" album and contributing as a songwriter to "Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp," a hit in Britain -- Jimy Chambers has immersed himself in Odiorne. He traded in the tubs for duties as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter and surrounded himself with a crack band, including former Girlpope drummer Brandon Delmont, bassist/Moog-player Mike Bouquard and electric pianist Jared Rumsey.
The band's first effort, the EP "Want Them Leaving More," was tracked with Mercury Rev bassist and producer du jour Dave Fridmann and led to a tour opening for Rev in Spain. But all of that seems like a warm-up for the group's first full-length, the mighty and mystical "Heavy Wish," which will be receiving its area release with a celebration inside Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St., at 9 p.m. Saturday.
"Wish" was written by Chambers and recorded with producer Bill Racine at Fridmann's Tarbox Studios in Fredonia. Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue contributed some arranging and performing skills, as did Longwave's Jason Molina. The end result is an album rich in imagery, both musical and lyrical.
On Saturday, Odiorne will be joined by Adam Snyder, another Rev alum, whose debut, "Across the Pond," was recorded in Britain, where the keyboardist and composer inked a deal with David Gray's HTI label. Snyder charted in Britain with that record and has since begun trackingfor its follow-up. Snyder was a member of Rev for five years, and played keys and theremin with the band during its jaw-dropping show at the Showplace Theater a few years ago, during the "Deserter's Songs' tour. The gig with Odiorne marks Snyder's Western New York debut as a solo artist.
Attractive and the Larkin Administration will follow the Snyder and Odiorne sets. CDs, with the band's first-ever video included, will go gratis to the first 50 people who locate the Odiorne merchandise booth on the evening of the show. Call Mohawk Place at 855-3931 for details.
> A new day yesterday
Tribute bands have become an accepted segment of the music industry, primarily because so many of these bands have become adept at performing note-for-note replications of classic material from revered artists. Who can deny the power and persistence of vision of tribute acts like the Musical Box, the Australian Pink Floyd or the Dark Star Orchestra? For many, catching one of these bands in concert is the next best thing to seeing the real McCoy.
Ray Roehner is a Western New York musician now living in Colorado, who has chosen the follow the path less trod upon, turning his longtime love of Jethro Tull into what legendary Buffalo artist Mark Freeland enthuses is one of the most mazing tribute acts going. Living in the Past is the moniker Roehner's group has chosen to drape itself in, and it's a fitting one. Even as far back as the late '60s, Tull leader and unequivocal genius Ian Anderson knew the benefit of keeping tongue firmly planted in cheek, and his song, in addition to giving Roehner a name for his group, bespoke the power of the pastoral during a time when the old ways were being quickly swept asunder. Roehner has long realized the power, magic and timelessness of Anderson and Tull's unique mix of blues, folk, Celtic, classical and progressive rock -- a few years ago, he released an album under the nom de plume Ray. Titled "Somewhere in the Universe," it was dedicated lovingly to Anderson and Tull -- and according to Freeland, who caught the band last time it played Nietzsche's a few months ago, he sings and plays flute very much in the Anderson vein.
Word has it that Living in the Past pulls from various points throughout Tull's nearly 40-year career and replicates the music with technique and conviction, from the capoed acoustic guitar arpeggios to the snarling but sweet Les Paul/Marshall tone of guitarist Martin Barre. This should be a real (and rare) treat for Tull fans. The band plays Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. -- along with another astounding tribute act, Buffalo's Relics, playing the music of Pink Floyd -- at 9 p.m. Saturday. Call the club at 886-8539 for more information.
> Gig picks
Plenty to do this week, so no grumbling allowed. A pair of Hurricane Katrina relief effort fund-raisers in town: blues outfit Dirty Murphy raises money for the Red Cross at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St.; and Mumbo Gumbo, with guests LeeRon Zydeco, the All Hank Band and others, party inside Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St., at 6 tonight. Food will accompany the soulful sounds of the South, courtesy of a chef dubbed "Cajun Man" from New Orleans.
The Black Dahlia Murder and Between the Buried and Me hit the Buffalo Icon, 391 Ellicott St., at 7 tonight. . . . The Spill Canvas, Mashlin and This Day and Age hit the same venue at 7 p.m. Saturday. . . . Polysics and the Talk file into Mohawk Place at 6 p.m. Sunday. . . . Acoustic Alchemy plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. . . . '80s hard-rockers Krokus play at 8 p.m. Monday in Rock 'N' Roll Heaven, 101 French Road, Cheektowaga. . . . And blues legend Tinsley Ellis hits Nietzsche's at 9 and 11:30 p.m. next Friday.