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A sampling of the best new (and new-ish) music that I'm listening to this week. Joan as Police Woman, "Damned Devotion" Smoky, soulful and often disarmingly intimate. I've had this one on repeat since its release last week. Thundercat, "Drank" DJ collective the Chopstars work their wicked magic on this brilliantly remixed and reimagined take on Thundercat'…

Columns

I've got my own criteria for what makes a strong summer concert season. I need a solid arena-style or outdoor amphitheater to kick things off. I need tantalizing club shows peppered throughout the summer . I need our outdoor soft-ticket and free gig roster to offer diverse programming that covers a broad array of genres. I need to plan a few road-trip gigs, for the sake…

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It will be a night of romance and glamour when André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra return to KeyBank Center for a performance at 8 p.m. Sept. 29. It is part of the Rieu's 11-date North American arena tour. Tickets are $113, $93, $73 and $53 and go on sale at 10 a.m. March 3 (box office, andrerieu.com, tickets.com, or by calling 888-223-6000). “I’m so excited …

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In mid-March, when the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra tours Poland, it will be a time of celebration and, with luck, triumph. Cellist Robert Hausmann, though, will be making a poignant side trip. His mother, Britta, had been a little girl in Germany when Hitler came to power. She told him about how she had seen Hitler’s soldiers parading down the Kaiserallee, one of …

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Deer Tick is set to return to town at 8 p.m. May 1 in Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.). Rhode Island's ragged roots outfit is coming off a rather ambitious 2017, having dropped two albums, "Deer Tick, Vol. 1" and "Deer Tick, Vol. 2," on the same day back in September. The former showcased the band's acoustic, lyrically driven side, while "Vol. 2" captured Deer Tick'…

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With the Van Warped Tour calling it quits after more than 20 years, this summer's annual - and final - stop at the Darien Lake Amphitheater is the big ticket of the summer. The traveling musical extravaganza, the longest running touring music festival in North America, is set to return July 25 to Darien Lake. The music lineup will be announced March 1. The Super Fan Bun…

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John Popper of Blues Traveler will perform at 7 p.m. April 29 in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.). The long-time harmonica-clad frontman to the jam leaning blues-rock act is set to head out on his latest string of intimate solo dates. His previous tour included bandmate Ben Wilson on piano and backing vocals. As for Blues Traveler, the New Jersey four-piece celebr…

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What would you get if you threw Pink Floyd, Phish and Talking Heads in a blender, hit the puree button, and then spiked the whole concoction and served it over ice? If you answered "a hangover," you're hilarious, but you're also incorrect. What you'd really end up with is a mash-up of epic proportions. Turns out this is already a thing. And that thing is called Pink Talkin…

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"We’ll be doing some new songs… and many others that will, I assume, be familiar. This is the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for ‘Stop Making Sense,’ so fingers crossed." Like many of the Buffalo contingent responsible for selling out David Byrne's March 6 engagement at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts in a matter of minutes,…

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Many were called. Nine were chosen. John Morris Russell, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's  principal pops conductor, announced earlier this season that he was seeking singers to compete for a guest slot in the "Buffalo Sings," BPO concert. The successful singer will perform "Over the Rainbow" at the concert on April 14. Nine finalists have been chosen to compete …

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Los Angeles, Calif., metal band Metallica has been a stranger to Buffalo for nearly 10 years; the James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich-led band last stopped in November 2009 for a show at HSBC Arena. The wait is over for metal fans, however, as Metallica announced an Oct. 27 concert in KeyBank Center as part of its WorldWired Tour. Tickets, which range from $65 to $135, go…

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The head-to-head battle between these two contemporary English rock bands lives on, as The Cure vs. The Smiths Dance Party took over Buffalo Iron Works for the second year in a row on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

Food and Drink

Thin Man Brewery on Elmwood Avenue returned its popular Hip-Hop Brunch on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, with themed drink specials, a live DJ and much more. See who engaged in the Sunday Funday.

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Ska band Less Than Jake was thrust back into the limelight on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Town Ballroom with Four Year Strong. See who relished After Dark Presents' show.