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3 can't-miss shows: Conor Oberst, Beach Slang, PAWS

Conor Oberst, 8 p.m. Sept. 14, Asbury Hall at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.), $30-$35.

Better known as Bright Eyes to some, longtime heart-on-his sleeve singer/songwriter Conor Oberst will be ditching his alias this time around as he makes his much-awaited return to Buffalo.

The Omaha musician has had a busy couple of years. In addition to resurrecting his emo-punk outfit Desaparecidos in 2015 to release its first album in 13 years, he recently followed up his rather raw 2016 solo record "Ruminations" with the full band companion album "Salutations," which was shared this past March.

Opening for Oberst will be Phoebe Bridgers. Already named one of 2017's best new artists by NPR, the breakthrough folk musician has become an artist to watch during a very busy year in new music. Her debut album, the languid "Strangers in the Alps," will be released Sept. 22.

Beach Slang, 7 p.m. Sept. 15, Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.), $15-$17.

With the abrupt closing of Waiting Room and its upstairs Studio space, there have been a number of already scheduled shows forced to relocate across the city. While the venue shutting its doors certainly is a shame, one show that may benefit from its new location at Mohawk Place is Beach Slang. No offense to Waiting Room's newer facilities, but the gritty, worn-in Mohawk Place feels like a much better spot for the band.

Combining all of the right pieces of bar bands like the Replacements, the Hold Steady and Japandroids, the Philly act will be making its second Buffalo appearance this year after opening for Minus the Bear in March.

Frontman James Alex recently announced a new EP "We Were Babies & We Were Dirtbags," released under his solo moniker of Quiet Slang. The four-track will include two reworked versions of previously shared songs, including the great angsty single "Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas,” as well as covers by Big Star, and fittingly, the Replacements.

Opening the show will be the post-punk locals of Orations.

PAWS, 8 p.m. Sept. 17, Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.), $7-$10.

Taking a quick detour from a string of dates with Brit rockers the Cribs, Glasgow trio PAWS will make its Buffalo debut with a headlining gig at the downtown music hotspot.

Heavily influenced by '90s alt-rock heavyweights like Dinosaur Jr., Weezer and Sonic Youth, the three-piece enlisted Blink-182's Mark Hoppus to produce its 2016 album "No Grace." The new record sheds a bit of the band's fuzz for a more polished, pop-punk sound full of hook-heavy melodies.

On hand for local support will be Sonny Baker Band and emo-punk act Passed Out, which shared a new track this summer from the band's forthcoming EP. Sonny Baker Band, now nicely settled in as a quartet, also has been busy recording new music which should be released later this winter.


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