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Instrumental illness

Chicago's Pelican returns to Buffalo this week for a show inside the Tralf (622 Main St.) at 8 p.m. Thursday. The show comes at a time when the quartet is badly in need of support, following an early October robbery that cost the Pelican guys a fair bit of money and, perhaps even more devastatingly, journals and digital recorders stuffed with hours of songs, fragments of music and arrangement ideas for the band's next album.

This theft has put the band severely in the hole since there is a small market for what Pelican is so adept at creating: complex, dense and grandiose instrumental music that takes as its starting point another significant Chicago band, Tortoise. (What is it with animal names and Chicago, anyway?)

Pelican is still touring the material that comprised the recent "City of Echoes" release, and it feels safe to assume that these songs have grown as the band has taken them around the world. Few in the annals of rock have successfully created instrumental pieces that can tell a story with the same clarity as a piece of music boasting accompanying lyrics. "City of Echoes" manages to do this. It's indeed a rich vein of creativity the Pelican lads have managed to tap.

Kayo Dot and Stephen Bronsky will kick off the evening's ceremonies at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $12 and available now through Ticketmaster; admission at the door will be $14.


Gig picks

Unbelievably and appropriately, goth-alternative pioneers the Sisters of Mercy will be in town this Halloween week. The legendary band will play the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) at 7 Monday evening. Later in the week at the Town Ballroom is Henry Rollins, who arrives with a suitcase full of vitriol, humor and insight for a spoken-word performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday. is handling all of these Town Ballroom shows.

Next Friday is Halloween, and there will be more than enough scare-related action in the clubs that night. The Tralf will host a Halloween bill featuring Lazlo Hollyfeld, Handsome Jack, Chylde, Nick Gordon, the Found, the Mom and Dad Parade and the Thermidors, beginning at 8 p.m. Check for ticket information.

Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.) kicks off its annual Nightmare on Allen Street party at 9:30 p.m. next Friday. Get the deal on the costume party and band lineup at

Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) is presenting a very cool show, with the Irving Klaws assembling for their annual Halloween shindig, and bringing along guests the QC5 -- an MC5 tribute featuring former members of Girlpope! -- and Queen City Station. The jams will be kicked out from 10 p.m. onward next Friday.


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