A busy week at Mohawk Place, beginning tonight, with the return of "Norman Rockwell's worst nightmare," beer, bullets and belligerence merchants Angry Johnny & the Killbillies. Expect a deliciously bleak murder ballad or two, with twang galore and tales of woe in equal measure. Buffalo's own punk-country outfit Flatbed opens the show, which kicks off at 11 p.m. Bring $5.
On Saturday, two bands at the forefront of the modern Buffalo indie-rock scene share the bill. Sleeping Kings of Iona, fresh back from a tour that included a triumphant gig in New York City, share musical headspace with Lazlo Hollyfeld, conjurers of a magical, mystical, groove-centered brew that goes down smooth and easy but packs a serious wallop. This mind-expanding gig commences at 10 p.m. It will cost you $5 to go down the rabbit hole. The rest is up to you.
On Sunday, the annual Mohawk Place Christmas Party starts at 7 p.m. and will feature sets from some of my favorite local musicians, including the gang in the Old Sweethearts, those brash young bucks in the Roadhouse Gypsies, guitarist-supreme Justin Guerin, and Magic La Freek. Admission to this hoedown is free, if you bring one canned good, earmarked for the Food Bank of Western New York.
Xmas marks the spot
A few blocks away, right in the heart of Allentown, McCarthyizm brings its annual Christmas show to Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St., beginning at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. This year, Joe McCarthy and the gang have enlisted a bunch of their talented friends to help them party, including Mini Motor Punch, the resplendently outfitted Ifs, Nancy's Candy and the Feast, for an incredibly well-rounded holiday rock 'n' roll meal.
Proceeds from the show benefit Friends of the Night People. Bring nonperishable foodstuffs and get a break at the door. Call Nietzsche's at 886-8539 with questions.
Hands down, this week's hottest gig finds Buffalo hard-core ambassadors Every Time I Die coming home for what's sure to be a ferocious show, capping what's been an extraordinary year for the band.
And 2006 is looking even better, as the band's gospel of heaviness, complexity, rage and social/political commentary continues to spread. Catch the band inside the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St., beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available now at the Town Ballroom box office and through all Tickets.com outlets.