Avi Buffalo celebrated their self-titled debut album with a record release show at The Troubadour in West Hollywood last night. With some members barely out of high school, the Long Beach band gear up for their first European tour while others their age are probably fussing over prom and SAT’s.
Frontman Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg’s name might be a tongue twister but he writes graceful songs with hints of wanderlust. Their sound is a combination of Wilco circa late 90s and a bit of The Shins. Avi Buffalo’s folksy tunes make you want to kick back on the porch on a breezy summer day; if you didn’t pay attention you’d probably have no
idea you’re enjoying a song called, “Summer Cum.” They opened with that song as smoke billowed onto the stage. Sheridan Riley provided the drumbeats while Arin Fazio, the oldest member of the band at—GASP—21 years old, played bass.
Their album, released by Sub Pop Records, features several songs with beautiful vocal harmonies by Avi and keyboardist, Rebecca Coleman. Their calm duets resemble a bit of Stars and their vocal crescendos possess an interesting twinge of Joanna Newsom (especially on the track “One Last”). Bottom line—really great, airy, tunes when you’re
in a pensive mood but don’t want to take yourself too seriously.
The opening bands played great sets as well. The Wailing Wall, a New York band fronted by Jesse Rifkin, provided an interesting combination of psychedelic rock and folk music. Their set included finger cymbals and a capella solos. So basically, pretty freakin’ cool. It felt like a show between friends as Rifkin reminisced about how he and Avi met during camp years ago.
Los Angeles duo, VOICEsVOICEs, hit the stage opening up for Avi Buffalo with their trippy, atmospheric music. To be honest, I initially brushed them off as the latest over-hyped electronic lo-fi band. However, their set proved me completely wrong. They unfurled a tumultuous energy with the intricate layering of guitar, drums, samples and vocal synthesizers. People of all ages packed The Troubadour that night and Avi admitted that although they weren’t used to encores, they were going to do one anyway. The crowd’s cheers proved that Avi Buffalo’s talents should not be underestimated on account of their youth.
Photos and Words: Wei Shi