The local concert calendar has finally picked up for the stretch run. Thirty-eight days remain in the semester and at least 28 shows (OK, 26 pre- the official semester's end) exist that are worth seeing in CNY... and there are even more than that. To help navigate how to spend your last music viewing month, here are three recommendations:
Have the Ra Ra Riot experience. SU's most recent famous alumni group comes to CNY again this semester and every Orange music fan needs to see them once in an academic career. In case you forgot, they played Funk N' Waffles last fall right after debuting The Orchard.
The band returns to The Westcott tonight with the first of three CNY shows before summer rolls around (Hamilton College on 4/30, Cornell on 5/6). They've been busy connecting with local press (Wes with the Post-Standard, Milo with The Daily Orange and Mat with WERW) and also working to raise money. The band has a strong relationship with Japan through their previous tours and is currently working through whether or not they can keep upcoming dates there. In the meantime, they paired with Vampire Weekend and Tokyo Police Club to auction off items and then with Amazon.com to sell their records this week, both for charity. All those sales benefit Japanese aid efforts.
Support the local scene, especially this weekend. The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jugband performs on back-to-back nights (including opening for Ra Ra Riot), world famous potato rapper ToTs takes over Funk N' Waffles and then a plethora of local DJs (including Chemicals of Creation) compete to open for Pretty Lights at the WERW DJ Competition this Friday. Keep your eyes peeled to on-campus media (and Facebook) to see what else develops before the year ends.
Try something new. The full calendar below may not contain the major names some were hoping for (although Kid Cudi qualifies, right?) but there's no lack of quality. Catching some of these acts now certainly gives you the potential for "I saw them when..." stories in just a year or two. Maps & Atlases could've landed on your radar after opening for Ra Ra Riot in CNY a few short years ago, but now they've been appreciated as underrated by outlets like Amazon Music and held their own at SXSW. Telekinesis currently carries the Merge Records momentum in 2011 as their second album, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, finds lots of play and will certainly be on display at The Westcott in May. STRFKR's second album, Reptilians, was recently called the sequel to MGMT's Oracular Spectacular that band didn't want to make so don't miss the party this weekend.
If all else fails, check out the lineup yourself and make sure you find a show to end the year right. The air guitar competition seems like it'd do the trick...
STRFKR - April 7 (Thur.) in Ithaca (also April 9, Sat., in Rochester)
Ra Ra Riot w/ w/ The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jugband - April 7 (Thur.) at The Westcott
ToTs - April 8 (Fri.) at Funk N' Waffles
DJ Battle to open for Pretty Lights (featuring Chemicals of Creation, Cloud Club, etc.) - April 8 (Fri.) at The Westcott
Hoots & Hellmouth w/ The Northbound Traveling Minstrel Jugband - April 9 (Sat.) at Funk N' Waffles
The Beach Boys - April 9 (Sat.) at Turning Stone
Kaki King - April 9 (Sat.) in Binghamton
Franz Nicolay of the Hold Steady - April 12 (Tues.) in Rochester
Lupe Fiasco - April 13 (Wed.) in Albany
Iron & Wine - April 15 (Fri.) in Buffalo
Maps & Atlases – April 15 (Fri.) in Buffalo
Jukebox The Ghost - April 15 (Fri.) in Oswego
Pretty Lights - Apr 16 (Sat.) in Syracuse
US Air Guitar Competition - April 22 (Fri.) in Syracuse
Elton John - April 23 (Sat.) in Rochester
The Walkmen/New Pornographers - April 25 (Mon.) in Buffalo
Of Montreal - April 25 (Mon.) in Ithaca
Kid Cudi/Nas & Damian Marley – April 29 (Fri.) at Block Party 2011
Ted Leo - April 30 (Sat.) in Scranton
Rockapella - April 30 (Sat.) in Albany
Ra Ra Riot - April 30 (Sat.) at Hamilton College
Yellowcard/All Time Low - May 5 (Thur.) in Clifton Park
Nelly/Ra Ra Riot/The Cool Kids – May 6 (Fri.) at Cornell
The Walkmen – May 6 (Fri.) in Ithaca
Stone Temple Pilots - May 7 (Sat.) in Rochester
Manchester Orchestra/An Horse – May 7 (Sat.) in Rochester
Cake - May 20 (Fri.) in Buffalo
Portugal The Man/Telekinesis – May 28 (Sat.) at The Westcott
Otto-Tune is a music blog dedicated to exposing the best in local, national and international music to the Syracuse community.