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Tuned In: Mohawk Place, Intrepid Travelers, Baby Beast

Many in the local music scene have expressed some ambivalence about it, but now that Mohawk Place is officially reopening, only a cynic could deny the tingling of excitement.

Yes, it’s really happening. Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.) will reopen in September under new management, but with some hopeful signifiers that the club’s original ethic will be adhered to.

First, there’s the initial bookings, which together comprise a kickoff weekend of primal rock ’n’ roll and indie rock that suggests “business as usual” for the ’Hawk.

On Sept. 11, the CPX, Second Trip and ’Ol Chili will share the bill. On Sept. 12, the Irving Klaws, one of the bands that formed the foundation of Mohawk’s ascent as the rock club of choice for area connoisseurs, will be joined by the iconic Kevin K and the exceptional indie-rock of Johnny Nobody.

On Sept. 13, a reminder of the vibrant punk/indie rock scene of the mid-to-late ’90s comes courtesy of a bill featuring Monkey Wrench, Scary Chicken and Tom Deitzel.

This is only conjecture, but could the announcement of three nights of music by bands with such strong ties to Mohawk Place be indicative of the new management’s desire to avoid attempting to fix what was never really broken?

The fact that Marty Boratin, who had such a major impact on the brilliantly diverse booking policies of Mohawk’s glory days, will be involved in the club’s booking and talent buying moving forward strengthens such a proposition.

With the recent passing of owner Pete Perrone, the Mohawk Place we knew and loved for more than 20 years officially became a memory. However, Perrone’s spirit already has shown signs of outliving him. I suspect he would be happy to see his club reopening.

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Student jam

Hot on the heels of the release of its debut EP, “Have You Seen My Rainbow Monkey?,” Intrepid Travelers will host a “Back to School Party” at 10 p.m. Friday in Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Ave.).

The group is, nominally at least, a jam band, but most of us realize that such a descriptive provides an incredibly wide stylistic umbrella. Improvisation does indeed play a role in the Intrepid Travelers’ sound, but so too does strong, sturdy and well-conceived songwriting, something in ample evidence on the “Rainbow Monkey” EP.

The band’s Facebook page claims that the four Travelers “pride themselves on focused, collective improvisational performances that showcase musicianship and heartfelt, soulful songwriting,” and this is borne out by the music itself.

The group will be joined by Brown Sugar for the Goodbar show, which will serve to welcome University at Buffalo and SUNY Buffalo State students back to town.

Brown Sugar will take the stage at 10:30 p.m., and Intrepid Travelers cue the downbeat at midnight. Admission will be $3 at the door. Check out

Have You Seen My Rainbow Monkey? EP by Intrepid Travelers

Birth of Baby Beast

On Thursday, a new band with some familiar faces debuts in the Ninth Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.). Baby Beast, a jam-based collective featuring drummer Steve Rao, guitarist Jon LoRusso, bassist Lawrence Gallick, singer/percussionist Michael Arden Sulzbach and singer Dainia Jabaji, will open for one of its own members – Sulzbach.

Sulzbach has a penchant for highly inventive chord progressions, and when these are coupled with his resonant, emotive tenor, the results are striking. (You can hear evidence on Sulzbach’s self-titled release, produced by Dave Friedmann of Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev fame.)

The double bill kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, and can be found through, or at the Babeville box office.


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