Ray Parker Jr. is not playing Buffalo this weekend. Or is he?
Well, no and yes. The versatile singer, songwriter and guitarist will not be bringing his band Raydio to the Queen City, but his career’s biggest hit – the Huey Lewis-ish theme from 1984’s “Ghostbusters” – will rise again when the North Park Theater hosts a special Halloween season screening of the Bill Murray classic at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. With concession stand-supplied Ecto Cooler in hand, movie fans can find the Keymaster, fear Zuul and embrace the enduring truth that, yes: ‘busting makes Ray Parker Jr. feel good.
But if you would rather trade Ernie Hudson’s proton pack for a parade of live performers, never fear. Blues guitarists, introspective songwriters, local jam mayhem and masked musicians all are in the neighborhood. This is the Farrell Four:
Ori Naftaly Band, 10 p.m. Oct. 24 in Dinosaur BBQ (301 Franklin St.)
Twentysomething Israeli blues guitarists are not exactly a dime a dozen. That makes Ori Naftaly’s existence an anomaly, but his Fender skills or leadership on recent albums like “Happy for Good” make him exceptional. On the road for the better part of two years and with a new album on the way in 2015, Naftaly and soulful singer Eleanor Tsaig will lead their touring Memphis-based quintet into Dino and introduce attendees to their award-winning amalgamation of rock, funk and blues.
Before you go, listen to: “Devil Red Blues.”
Venue and show info: www.dinosaurbarbque.com
Laura Stevenson, 7 p.m. Oct. 24 in Studio @ Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.)
In adding the upstairs Studio to its main downstairs concert venue, Buffalo’s Waiting Room now has a more intimate space for performers not looking to stack sweaty teens elbow-to-elbow while thirsty for power chords. This should be ideal for Long Island-born singer/songwriter Stevenson, whose newest and stellar effort “Wheel” is noted by her website as “an album brimming with life and death in the desperate search for what keeps us turning in the face of doubt, an exercise in coming to terms with the overwhelming beauty that can be found in the lack of an answer.” If this exploration seems frightening, then bring someone to hold you.
Before you go, listen to: “Triangle.”
Venue and show information: www.waitingroombuffalo.com
Aqueous, 7 p.m .Oct. 25 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.)
Over three studio albums and one “Live Nugs” spectacular, Buffalo’s resident groove maestro has proved itself worthy descendants of such Nickel City jam luminaries as moe. This weekend, the quartet of Mike Gantzer, Dave Loss, Evan McPhaden and Ryan Nogle reemerge with new album “Cycles” and Saturday’s hometown CD release event in the Cobblestone District. Get ready to add new vibes via tracks like “Skyway” and “Staring Into The Sun” to your usual Aqueous experience.
Before you go, listen to: “King For A Day.”
Venue and show information: www.buffaloironworks.com
Los Straitjackets (featuring Deke Dickerson), 7 p.m. Oct. 26 in Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)
Deke Dickerson is an interesting dude. Not only is he a touring rockabilly vocalist and guitarist with decades of records to boast, but he’s also a collector of such items as oddball album art, double-neck guitars – and pictures of armless musicians. (See his website’s “Deke’s Wonderful World of Weird” tab.) This may sound strange until you see Dickerson play with genre brethren Los Straitjackets, who perform jangling instrumentals while wearing Mexican wrestling masks. Together, they make perfect sense, and will form the weekend’s wildest sextet when they find the Sportsmen’s stage.
Before you go, listen to: “Wild Weekend.”
Venue and show info: www.sportsmenstavern.net
Story topics: Aqueous/ Buffalo Iron Works/ concert previews/ concerts/ Deke Dickerson/ Dinosaur BBQ/ Farrell Four/ Laura Stevenson/ Los Straitjackets/ Michael Farrell/ Ori Naftaly Band/ Sportsmen's Tavern/ Studio @ Waiting Room