Bags of candy. Lines of pumpkins. Ryan Adams’ “Halloweenhead” on repeat.
Yes, it’s officially Halloween weekend, and there’s absolutely no shortage of opportunities to don a costume, grab a cocktail,and see a local band dressed like the Village People grind out a competent version of “Monster Mash.” Just a sprinkling of eerie options includes Duke’s Monsters Ball in Allentown. Backstage Pub’s Ozzy Osborne-focused Ozzmageddon in the Cheek and Mohawk Place’s Halloween at the Hawk, which also will honor rock’s Prince of Darkness via Black Sabbath tribute.
But playing dress-up isn’t for everybody. What if you’re frightened of fake zombies, scared of werewolves and not interested in rocking out with these creatures amid a live interpretation of “Blizzard of Ozz”? Don’t be spooked. There are plenty of treats for those who want to eschew the monster masks for the straight thrill live music, so leave the make-up in the drawer. This is the Farrell Four:
Pianos Become The Teeth, 8 p.m. Oct. 31 in Tralf Music Hall
There once was a simpler time when the genre known as “emo” gave jilted dudes the chance to deliver heart-wrenching lyrics under the hail of Fender-dealt power chords. Then “screamo” kicked it up a notch. Bands that have surfed this wave have teamed primal, unhinged wailing about love gone wrong with even heavier riffs.
Members of Baltimore post-hardcore quintet Pianos Become The Teeth are certainly beneficiaries of this movement. But on its new Epitaph release “Keep You” – and at Friday’s show – fans will find more reasonable vocal delivery from Kyle Durfey, while his backing Teeth bring sharper instrumental thunder than ever before.
Before you go, listen to: “Late Lives.”
Venue and show info: www.tralfmusichall.com
SonReal, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in Studio @ Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.)
Is it lazy to compare Vancouver rapper SonReal to Seattle hip-hop artist and thrift shop enthusiast Macklemore? Maybe. They’re both white guys with similar haircuts; originated from the Northwest region of North America; and share comparable vocal tone and cadence. But across his catalog of YouTube-ready singles like “Hometown,” the 2013 Juno nominee also awakens memories of an accessible “College Dropout”-era Kanye West, full of rhythmic vocal flourishes over infectious samples.
With new material on the way, he should have plenty to present off Delaware when his act finds Studio’s upstairs space on Saturday.
Before you go, listen to: “Everything I Am.”
Venue and show info: www.waitingroombuffalo.com
Applennium, 8 p.m Nov. 1 in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.)
The Buffalo-based trio of Dave Calos, Stacey Stoll and Chris Groves humbly bills itself as “a band that makes the best of simple, dreamy songs.” One listen to its self-titled EP will make one thing abundantly clear: the band also likes to undersell itself.
Floating efforts like “Shape Up” and “Fizzle” aren’t simply casual tunes among friends. They’re therapeutic tracks, ones reminiscent of cuts like The Beta Band’s “Dry The Rain” for their ability to infiltrate, soothe and sway all lucky enough to listen. Get yourself down to Mohawk and feel for yourself.
Before you go, listen to: “Shape Up.”
Venue and show info: www.buffalosmohawkplace.com
Professor Louie and The Crowmatix, 4 p.m. Nov. 2 in Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)
Before breaking out on his own, multi-instrumentalist Aaron “Professor Louie” Horowitz spent 15 years recording with the post-Robbie Robertson version of The Band. While producing Band albums like “Jericho” or working on solo efforts by Rick Danko, Levon Helm or Garth Hudson, the Professor joined with some fellow Woodstock-based studio musicians to form the Cromatix.
Together, they spent plenty of time absorbing the legendary quintet’s expansive catalog, so it’s safe to say they – along with special guests The Hitmen Horns – will be plenty proficient in navigating The Band’s classics on Sunday afternoon.
Before you go, listen to: Prof. Louie and Co.’s cover of The Band’s “The Weight.
Venue and show info: www.sportsmenstavern.net
Story topics: Applennium/ concert previews/ concerts/ Farrell Four/ Michael Farrell/ Mohawk Place/ Pianos Become the Teeth/ Professor Louie and the Crowmatix/ SonReal/ Sportsmen's Tavern/ Studio @ Waiting Room/ Tralf Music Hall