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Soundbites: Buffalo's Danimal Cannon is a Chiptune genius

Thanks to a fascinating piece my wife discovered on WBFO.org – “Armed with Gameboys and a Guitar, Chiptune Artist Danimal Cannon Mixes Mario with Metallica,” by Nick Lippa – I spent a recent weeknight acquainting myself with Chiptune, a form of music-making that employs the programmable sound generator chips found in vintage game consoles as instruments and composition tools.

Before you scoff, realize that electronic music has always employed synthesis via waveform generators, and you can hear this in everything from prog-rock to dub step. Technology is never the problem. Rather, the lack of imagination apparent in lowest common denominator pop-art is usually the problem. So, even though I have never been a gamer, I find this music compelling, especially when it’s being manipulated by someone as deeply musical as Danimal Cannon, aka Daniel Behrens of Buffalo.

Behrens makes arpeggio-heavy, grandiose, and frankly face-melting shred-fests with just his guitar, laptop and a pair of old-school Game Boys. It’s fun stuff, and jaw-droppingly virtuosic in execution. You’ll feel like your racing along at full speed in a high-stakes game of Mario Kart, one hand on the wheel, the other proudly “throwing goat,” while hyper-speedy sweep-picking and glitchy grooves rattle your cranium.

I was already a fan of Behrens’ band Arm Cannon, the self-described “Video game music prog-metal band” I’ve seen several times over the years. Now, I’m wondering if I have any of my son’s old video game components laying around the house.

Check out the Danimal Cannon feature here, and listen to this inspired craziness below.

 

 

Buffalo’s Crean tagged for Vinnie Vincent Invasion comeback gigs

Former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent is rebooting his 1980s metal juggernaut the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, and he’s enlisted a legend from the Buffalo bar scene, Jim Crean, (Hair Nation) to handle the vocalist/frontman position.

This is a big deal for Crean, who will be joining a band that includes drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart) and bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, Kenny Wayne Shepherd). Logical, really, because Crean has a history with both Carmine Appice and his drummer-brother Vinnie Appice that includes several shows in Buffalo over the past few years, as well as the 2017 full-length “Sinister.”

So far, only a pair of comeback shows are slated slated for Nashville’s Rocketown Entertainment Complex on Feb. 8 and 9 are on the docket, but Crean said he hopes that more dates will be added. Good to see a long-serving soldier from the Buffalo music scene getting such a well-deserved break.

Short spins: Tool fans have been waiting for a new album from the groundbreaking prog-metal ensemble since 2006, and the band hasn't played Buffalo in even longer. It looks like the drought will end in April, as reports are emerging suggesting that the bands has finished their long-awaited new platter. Celebrate with Tool tribute band Schism and guests Anger Is A Gift (Rage Against the Machine tribute) at 8 p.m. on Feb. 1 at Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.) ...  Arts X Beats, a new monthly series celebrating live music, spoken word, poetry and performance art, kicks off at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Imagine Event Center (71 Military Rd.) For its debut, the Beau Fleuve Music & Arts-produced event is presenting Curtis Lovell, 90Z Neptunes, Taryn, Marchon Hamilton, Ten Thousand, and several DJs. The events will continue on the first Friday of each month throughout 2019... Pianist, violinist, composer, producer and Latin Grammy nominee Yan Carlos Artime will present a program of Afro-Cuban jazz beginning at 7:30  p.m. Jan. 31 at Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.). Artime will be joined by guest percussionist David Phillips.

 

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