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Clearly departed

When Reggie and the Full Effect first emerged in 1998, calling its first album "Greatest Hits 1984-1987" and cavorting beneath a healthy list of pseudonyms, no one was really sure who, what or why the band was. Like the cartoon supergroup Gorillaz, Reggie could've been anyone, and the group's desire to play everything from synth-pop to serious, Slayer-like heavy metal made them as tough to categorize as they were to name. Finally, with the release of "Songs Not to Get Married To," Reggie and the Full Effect creator James Dewees has come clean. Beneath the various stage names, costumes and adopted personas, it has been him all along.

Dewees, who has been part of both the Get Up Kids and Coalesce, recently went through what appears to have been a rather hellish divorce. It gave him plenty of material to work with, though; "Songs" is certainly Reggie and the Full Effect's most serious effort, though much of its pain is couched in humor. Dewees has pinpointed the album's genesis to the realization that his divorce was going to cost him everything he had. Songs like "What the Hell Is Contempt?" -- and others whose titles we can't print here -- came fast and furious, and were eventually balanced by more humorous bits like "Guess Who's Back" and "Laura's Australian Dance Party."

Touring commenced last month, and reports from the road suggest this will be the show Dewees has been working toward for his whole career. Dewees will still don a few aliases -- synth-popper Fluxation and death metaller Common Denominator among them -- but for the most part, the show is said to be a celebration of Reggie's genre-bending best.

Reggie and the Full Effect play the Buffalo Icon, 391 Ellicott St., beginning at 7 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $8 in advance at the Icon box office; they'll be $10 on the night of the show.


The fuse is burning...

50 Amp Fuse, the vibrant power-pop ensemble featuring former members of Girlpope and Grand National, celebrates the release of its debut CD, "Dirty Sock Girl," beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. The Fuse boys will share the bill with ViewMasterVacation; $5 at the door grants you admission and a copy of the 50 Amp Fuse disc. Call the club at 855-3931 with questions.

Stop back at the Mohawk on Sunday for an extremely rare area appearance by co-founder of the Swell Maps and Secretly Canadian recording artist Nikki Sudden. Tracy Morrow and the Magi Chippie will guest. The show starts at 9 p.m., and admission will be $7 at the door.

Rounding out a packed week at the Mohawk, legendary Dream Syndicate founder and brilliant solo artist Steve Wynn will perform with his Miracle Three at 9 p.m. Thursday. Our own Mark Norris and the Backpeddlers will open the show; $8 gets you in the door.


Gig picks

The Ultimate Music Showcase takes place inside the Buffalo Icon, 391 Ellicott St., at 10 p.m Saturday. Universal Records executives will watch performances from some of Western New York's hottest hip-hop acts, including Buffalo's 2 Of A Kind, Rochester's rapper Pounds and reggae/dancehall MC LB, and Skoz Crew. Tickets are $15 in advance, and available at, the Icon box office and Doris Records, 284 E. Ferry St. Those age 19 and over will be admitted.

Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime hits the Town Ballroom on Thursday. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this all-ages gig. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, through or the Town box office. Admission at the door on the night of the show will be $15.

Former Klear vocalist Fred Shafer headlines a bill also featuring Attractive, Speakerfire and Vault, inside the Buffalo Icon, 391 Ellicott St., at 7 tonight. Tickets are $10. On Thursday, our own Stemm plays the same venue, opening a bill headlined by Chimaira, and also including Through the Eyes of the Dead and Thoughts Lost. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8. Tickets are available now through and the Icon box office for $15. Admission at the door on the evening of the show will be $18.

On Saturday, Madball tops a heavy bill inside the Showplace Theatre, 1063 Grant St. Remembering Never, Scarlet, the Banner, Zao and Original Sinners will also perform. Tickets are $10 and can be found at the Showplace box office or through


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