Now this a truly cool idea.
Area musician Charles Quagliana says he came up with the concept of "showcasing Buffalo's unique and talented musicians" through the creation of a "Finger-Tapping Festival" some two years back.
The idea was to gather together some of the area's more experimental musicians in the progressive and alternative music worlds, the common thread being that the musicians indulge in "finger-tapping" -- meaning, the use of one's picking hand to sound notes by "tapping" their fingers directly on their instrument's fingerboard. (See Eddie Van Halen, Chapman Stick players like Tony Levin and Trey Gunn, and hosts of others.)
More than a mere parlor trick, finger-tapping has made the jump from 1980s metal flash (this was a low-point in the world of post-Van Halen guitar playing) to the much more musically astute world of progressive music, where players downplayed the "show off" element and approached finger-tapping as an offshoot of the creamy, mind-bending solo flights of players like Alan Holdsworth.
Holdsworth, it should be noted, achieved his sublime feats without ever tapping the neck, though the legato effect he is renowned for was similar to the two-handed approach.
The debut of the Buffalo Finger-Tapping Festival takes place at 8:30 tonight in Club Diablo (517 Washington St.).
This guaranteed-to-mess-with-your-head extravaganza will find Brian Herlihy and John Hunter of Type Relevant, founder Quagliana and Gamalon drummer Ted Reinhardt of the Left Hand of Darkness, Phillip Freedenberg and Cameron Rodgers of All Them Witches, and Pam Swarts gathering to let their fingers do the talking.
A busy Friday
The Dan Harper Blues Band continues its weekly happy hour residency at Club Diablo (prior to tonight's Finger-Tapping Festival at the same club) beginning at 5 p.m. today.
Rapidly rising jam band Aqueous peforms at 8 tonight inside the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery (76 Pearl St.).
The Holka, Kertzie & Wynne Trio plays "jazz with a jam-band flavor" during an early show starting at 7 tonight in Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.).
Pearl Jam tribute band Mookie Blaylock plays at 9 tonight in the Bakery Lounge (3004 Niagara St., Niagara Falls).
A very cool show takes place at 8 tonight inside Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave.). Berlin-based pianist and sonic experimenter Magda Mayas will be joined by Australian avant-garde mainstay Tony Buck. Tickets for the Magda Mayas/Tony Buck Duo are $15. See www.hallwalls.org.