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Farrell Four: Orations, Gang of Thieves, more

The Ice at Canalside. Rinks at Riverworks. Frozen expanses at Martin Luther King Jr. Park and pop-up sheets across the suburbs. After centuries of frozen winters across the region, ice is finally trending. And like any Buffalo trend, it’s about time it had its own festival.

Enter Larkinville’s inaugural Ice Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. January 31 at four different locations—Flying Bison Brewery, Hydraulic Hearth, The Filling Station and Larkin Square - along the city’s Seneca Street corridor. Those looking to celebrate the region’s frozen temperatures can enjoy outdoor activities like snowman-making, winter pickleball and Kan Jam across the Square. Those interested in thawing from Frisbee throws can either enter the nearby Filling Station for festival-themed food and drink; retreat to Flying Bison for a few Blizzard Bocks; or enjoy the accordion and sax stylings of Nietzsche’s regulars John and Bill inside the warmth of Hydraulic Hearth. The duo will wind through old-timey classics in honor of the late singer/actress Sweet Peggy O’Neil, a Hydraulics neighborhood icon who not only has an Irish ballad named in her honor, but also was the first person to be interviewed on television (in Southampton, England, 1930).

But what if you’re interested in sandwiching a few live shows around the aforementioned four-hour celebration of Buffalo’s annual Hoth-like state? Some Allentown post-punk and funk, Amherst Street jazz fusion and an inventive audio amalgamation with the Buffalo Philharmonic off Symphony Circle are all available to wrap around your ice time—and they’re all part of this week’s Farrell Four.

Orations, 8 p.m. Jan. 30 in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.)

Listen to the five-song EP by Buffalo’s Orations and you’ll hear lots of things. Bits of old Cure and R.E.M. in some corners; the Los Angeles punk pace of X in others. You’ll tap along with Steve Sojka’s rapid-fire drumbeat on “Early Spring”; float along with Paul Morin’s chords on “Deviation”; and bop along with Jason Draper’s echoes-of-“Rock Lobster” intro on “The Lady Vanishes.” But delivering the beautiful emotions of every track to you and others is Jess Collins, her vocals exhaled with angelic snarl as she carries each tune from end to end. Watch her do it in person when her quartet joins Soul Butchers and Alpha Hopper as part of a nice triple bill to start your weekend.

Before you go, listen to: “The Lady Vanishes.”

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Venue and show info:


Alan Parsons and the BPO, 8 p.m. Jan. 30 in Kleinhans Music Hall (3 Symphony Circle)

When an engineer’s brilliance helps facilitate the production of work like The Beatles’ “Let It Be” and “Abbey Road”—as well as Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”—most would say that man has found his calling. For Alan Parsons, that early soundboard direction was merely a prelude to the moment he’d lead his own work out of the studio, over the airwaves, and onto a string of critically acclaimed albums through the late-seventies and early eighties. On Friday, he’ll join his Alan Parsons Live Project with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to tour though his affinity for the work of Edgar Allan Poe; recall when his APP synth hit “Sirius” was the intro music for the 1990s Chicago Bulls; or maybe even dip into his past electronica collaboration with The Crystal Method. (But probably not.)

Before you go, listen to: “Eye In The Sky.”

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Venue and show info:


David Kane’s Them Jazzbeards, 9:30 p.m. Jan. 31 in Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.)

Bandleader and composer David Kane’s musical highlights are as interesting as they are diverse. Opening slots for Los Lobos and the Goo Goo Dolls; soundtrack work on Nickel City-set films as “Shadow Creatures” and “Buffalo Bushido”; and his own personal fan club in Germany. Also on the list: freewheeling work on six albums with his Them Jazzbeards, who’ll join Kane inside Sportsmen’s for a night of weaving, sax-backed instrumental compositions. Led by Kane on piano, the seven-piece colored the early nineties with such jazz-infused albums as “Pardon My French” and “Dirty White Loafers,” and has continued to deliver their diversified originals on both local and international stages.

Before you go, listen to: “Pie-Eyed Piper.”

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Venue and show info:


 Gang of Thieves, 9 p.m. Jan. 31 in Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.)

Buffalo experienced the meteorological magic known as thundersnow during our recent November to remember. On Saturday, those interested in venturing into the depths of Allentown can get a taste of thunderfunk, served up by Vermont-based sextet Gang of Thieves. After notching Rock Act of the Year honors at the 2013 New England Music Awards, the Red Hot Chili Peppers-influenced outfit is now touring off 2014’s aptly named “Thunderfunk.” The album teams the band’s frat house dreads with the Grammy-winning engineering of Michael Rosen, whose resume includes such frenetic offerings as Less Than Jake’s “Losing Streak” and Rancid’s “Let’s Go.” The results? See how they’re replicated inside the depths of Nietzsche’s.

Before you go, listen to: “Cocoa Mocha” (unfortunately, Gang of Thieves' SoundCloud tracks are not embeddable. Please click the link below to listen.

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