The grapevine

Your weekly collection of Buffalo’s sonic selections


As the spring semester begins, it is easy to get caught up in a daily routine: go to school, go home, do homework and go to sleep. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a dreary school schedule – schedule in some concerts.

This week, Buffalo is hosting a slew of smaller indie rock bands – some local, some out of town, but all waiting for their shot on the big stage.

Wednesday, Jan. 27

The Toasters – Mohawk Place

Although you will not find their music on any modern radio station, The Toasters are a prominent band in the American ska scene. They are originally from New York City and formed in 1981 during the third wave of ska bands in the United States.

The band experienced its biggest commercial success in the ’90s during the height of ska popularity. They are best known for their TV spots, especially for their song “Two-Tone Army,” which was the theme song for the Nickelodeon show “KaBlam!”

Don’t miss this band on its 35th anniversary tour when they come to Mohawk Place on Jan. 27.

Thursday, Jan. 28

Secret Space and The Flats – Waiting Room

Secret Space is a small band from Ohio who has been making its way around the edges of the burgeoning, modern day indie pop scene with its unique brand of indie pop and emo rock. The band is signed to Equal Vision Records and is currently working on its debut album, which will be released sometime this year.

Secret Space’s touring mates The Flats, also from Toledo, Ohio will be opening the show – a light, indie rock outfit known for its alt and emo sensibilities.

Friday, Jan. 29

Joan Osborne – Seneca Niagara Casino

A product from the ’90s era, Joan Osborne is an award-winning vocalist who is lauded for her soulful sounds and lyrics. She rose to the height of her fame in the mid-’90s with her release Relish, which was nominated for a Grammy.

Since then, the singer-songwriter has performed around the world, touring with household names like Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder and Emmylou Harris. She is currently on tour for her album Love and Hate, which was released in 2014. Come out on Friday to see one of music’s veterans.

Friday, Jan. 29

Electric Watermelon – Hot Mama’s Canteen

Local Buffalo group Electric Watermelon is an emerging indie rock, jam band that will be playing at Hot Mama’s on Friday. Electric Watermelon, jokingly named during a drunken night out, is on the come-up in the local scene.

They are trying to cement their place in the Buffalo indie rock scene before moving on to bigger and brighter things. Support a local band, come out and enjoy a few beers with some funky bass lines on Friday.

Saturday, Jan. 30

Sonny Baker – Babeville

Local musician Sonny Baker is one of the few tried and true musicians in the area. It isn’t easy to get booked at Babeville, but the inventive, free-spirited solo artist has been around for a while: his first album welcome, machinery was released in 2008.

The guitarist will be bringing his unique brand of experimental indie rock to Buffalo on Saturday.

Brian Windschitl is the senior arts editor and can be reached at