With all of the creative minds currently floating around Buffalo’s music scene, you would be hard pressed to find a harder working, yet out-of-the-box one than of Lesionread.
The project of former art student Shawn Lewis has grown from a manic electro performer to a calculated, detail-oriented musician who relishes the unexpected, resulting in one of the most original and exciting acts in the city.
“Lesionread was originally a bedroom producer's project super heavy on the experimental and weird aspects of music, but as I play live to more people, I want to take that experimental ambition and apply it to pop music,” Lewis explains of the evolution of the act.
That evolution has led to the recent release of “Lesionread’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1,” a collection of some of the musician’s favorite tracks and remixes from various musical friends. Despite only being around for a few years, Lewis has created a deep catalog of genre-crossing music, something that made a greatest hits album, even this early in the game, seem viable.
“The album was all the songs I developed since switching formats to a live electronic act that I was the most proud of," Lewis said. “I have a million songs, but these 17 are really the ones that I'm the most proud of.”
This tireless work takes Lewis on the road at least a few times a year, a point the artist takes great pride in. And with strong determination, expect to see Lesionread on the road quite a bit in 2015.
“This year I'm trying to hit at least two cities each weekend,” Lewis said. “Buffalo is cool that it's in the middle of all these cities, so I'm always on Facebook setting up weekends two months from now. It's so fulfilling touring because at least I can say I'm trying. I don't feel like I'm being lazy or not reaching my potential the way I often feel just sitting at home.
“I'm really lucky to have the opportunity to live in such a small world and I can't wait to bring Lesionread to more new places.”
The next live gig in town for Lesionread is March 20 in Dreamland (387 Franklin St.). It should be noted that if you have been to one Lesionread show, you basically haven’t been to any Lesionread shows. Lewis makes a point of keeping audience members on their feet, releasing the consistently unexpected on them at every show. In the past, gigs have featured a massive silly string fight (something the staff at the Tralf is still picking off the floor) and a 15-foot robot piñata at 2013’s Melt Banana show.
As for Friday’s show, Lewis prefers to keep plans under wraps.
“There are surprises for March 20, yes. But if I told you what they would be, they wouldn't be surprised, would they?”
Lesionread celebrates the release of “Lesionread’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1” at Friday's show. Local support will be provided by Ay Fast, Planet Three and Jon Bap. Additional information can be found at the event page.
“A lot of people have been congratulating me since the album release or since they saw me in the public, and this might seem unappreciative, but it feels kinda hollow because a lot of those people have never been to one of my shows and haven't even experienced what they are congratulating me for,” admits Lewis. “So if you are reading this or if you've gotten used to seeing the word Lesionread around but you haven't seen us play live, I'm begging you to come see what we've got in store for you March 20."
Watch the music video for Lesionread’s “Art All Day” below.