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Tuned In

Howlin' for you

Ethan Miller already had our attention when he was fronting psychedelic grunge outfit Comets on Fire. But with the dissolution of that band and the rather rapid rise of Miller's Howlin' Rain, the singer/guitarist has become someone only a fool would ignore. "The Russian Wilds," the San Francisco quintet's third and newest effort, was rather aptly described by the Guardian as "cosmic Creedence" -- as in Clearwater Revival.

That's really not too far off the mark. Miller, fellow guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, bassist Cyrus Comiskey and multi-instrumentalist Joel Robinow do indeed mine the rich terrain of John Fogerty's songs, at least in terms of their ability to bring soul, R&B, folk and rock in equal measure.

The band is capable of melting your face and stealing your heart within the space of a song.

Thursday, Howlin' Rain brings its "Russian Wilds" tour to Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.), on a bill with Handsome Jack, the Buffalo Killers and Broncho. Tickets are $10 advance, $12 at the door (


Have cello, will rock

Melora Creager founded goth-cello outfit Rasputina nearly two decades back. What might have seemed like a gimmick -- goth-Victorian costumery, powder-white complexion, distant stare, serious classical cello chops laboring in service of what is clearly rock music -- has turned out to be a musical estuary all its own. Creager and Rasputina, through the skilled deployment of effects pedals and various forms of sonic manipulation, are able to make their cellos sound like distorted guitars, throbbing sub-low basses, even full-throated baritone saxophones, but this is no mere parlor trick -- the music moves and breathes organically, its sonic seasonings employed to bring out the flavors lurking in Creager's compositions.

Rasputina and guest Daniel Knox play at 8 tonight in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.). Tickets are $15.


Gig picks

Detroit psychobilly trio the Koffin Kats headline a gig at 9 tonight in the American Legion Sikora Post (950 Payne Ave., North Tonawanda). Check to sample the group's new album, "Our Way and the Highway."

A benefit for the Buffalo Infringement Festival takes place at 10 p.m. Saturday in Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.). "Dukefringement" will feature electronic music and live visuals from the likes of Soma, Armageddon Party, Ay Fast, Epprepeater, Medison and DJ Deleria.

Former Redheaded Stepchild singer Kathryn Koch returns to Buffalo for a solo slot on the Songwriter Showcase at Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. It starts at 9 p.m. Monday.


New LP from OLP

If you're attending tonight's sold-out Our Lady Peace show at Club Infinity, be advised that you're likely to hear the revered Canadian quintet play some material from its new album, "Curve" poised to drop April 17. I've listened to the new record, and it is easily the band's most far-reaching and experimental collection.