When Lindsey Buckingham – who comes to the Riviera Theatre with his band at 8 p.m. on Nov. 27 - was rather unceremoniously dismissed from Fleetwood Mac in January, like many of the man’s fans, I felt a sense of ethical outrage.
After all, Fleetwood Mac had just announced a massive (and high-priced) tour, and undoubtedly, the band would be stuffing its set lists with songs that Buckingham largely composed, arranged and produced.
Fleetwood Mac has been many things in the 50 years it has existed – killer blues-fusion band, esoteric post-blues rock ensemble, trippy purveyor of early '70s psychedelic soft-rock – but it was clearly the Buckingham-led version of the band that made the Mac a mega-million-selling household name. It is inconceivable that “Rumors,” an album that has sold in excess of 20 million copies, could have been made without Buckingham’s considerable guidance. That would be like suggesting that the Beach Boys could have made “Pet Sounds” without Brian Wilson. I don’t care what Mike Love might say. Wilson was the genius in that band. End of discussion.
My initial outrage subsided, however, when I pondered the fact that Buckingham’s solo work has been consistently inventive and compelling since the release of his 1984 solo nod “Go Insane.” (Buckingham’s “Out of the Cradle” is one of my favorite albums of the '90s.) Yes, “Rumors”-era Fleetwood Mac benefited greatly from the interesting mix of musical personalities that comprised it. But solo Buckingham boasted the gorgeous melodies, the creative production values, the virtuosic guitar playing, and the unexpected left-turns that made that era of the band great. Though I never questioned Buckingham’s emotional commitment to Fleetwood Mac during the many times I caught the band live, in truth, it has seemed more like a dutiful commitment than an organic commingling of like-minded artists for at least a decade now. Perhaps we should view this undignified firing as an act of emancipation.
Regardless, this Riviera gig represents the first-ever Buckingham solo appearance in our town. Tickets are $55-$85 (rivieratheatre.org) and each ticket purchased online comes with a a physical or digital copy of Buckingham’s freshly released solo compendium, “Anthology,” a collection that underscores my claim for the supremacy of Buckingham’s work sans Mac.
If you go, please send me your review. As much as it kills me to miss Buckingham, I must attend Steven Wilson’s show at the Town Ballroom, which occurs simultaneously. Sigh.
Night Slaves enlist Buffalo royalty for album No. 2
Night Slaves, the duo formed by Buffalo electronic music legend David Kane (Celibates, Them Jazzbeards) and singer/keyboardist John Toohill, will celebrate the release of their sophomore album at 8 p.m. Nov. 23 in Mohawk Place (47 East Mohawk St.). Admission is $10 at the door.
For this album, Kane and Toohill, along with producer/engineer Shaun Mullins, recruited cameos from some musicians with deep pedigrees in the Buffalo original music scene, including singers Terry Sullivan and Lucy Bell and drummer Greg Gizzi. The dark, atmospheric electronic music the duo makes is as striking as ever. Check it out at nightslaves.bandcamp.com/.