Photo by Jeff Antebi

In one of Avi Buffalo’s press photos from Sub Pop, it shows the foursome; two dark-haired girls and two dark-haired guys sitting in what looks like the family living room from the set of “Freaks and Geeks.” Fresh-faced on a tweed couch in thrift store tees, Chuck Taylors and torn jeans, this Long Beach, CA band of just about 19-year-olds wear (mostly) a look of content on their faces. This gaze is summed up nicely once you reference their recent whirlwind of press, bookings and buzz.

Named after lead singer Avi Zahner-Isenberg who started out solo, the band, just barely graduates of Millikan High School, inked to one of indie’s mainstay labels, snagged dates opening for a little band called Modest Mouse and recorded in Aaron Embry’s (Eliott Smith, Emmylou Harris) new Glassell Park home studio. The result is their jovial ST debut, released April 27th. Opener “Truth Sets In” evokes a backwoods, cabin-smoke-out of something like Woods, whereas the second (and standout single) “What’s It In For” revs up these kids into a certain lo-fi breeze of shimmering, SoCal mood. It also features one of the best love-note adages I’ve heard in a while- “You are tiny and your lips are like little pieces of bacon.”

These 10 tracks swirl and glisten with a certain age-inappropriateness to them when you again point to just how young these kids really are. This debut is certainly sprawling and mature; though the cast seems to play the role of sophisticated, record-collection (their parent’s no doubt) delvers spinning said sophistication with quips of their normal teenage existence. Zahner-Isenberg uses the word “freaky” when commenting on his band’s rapid acclaim, has a song titled “Summer Cum” (“leave all your stains with me, I know I will never be allowed to walk right next to you”), is publicly cited as one who’s “never written a love song,” and first heard (the heavily picked from sound of) Wilco, while at summer camp.

If they play their cards right, these kids can certainly make something of themselves. Looks like all the high school jocks who may have picked on them for listening to twee records and carrying tote bags might just have to stomach the fact that they are now receiving paychecks to play a song called “Five Little Sluts” to audiences the world over. Let the (Avi) buffalo roam!

Words: Matt Draper

Artist: Avi Buffalo
Album: “Avi Buffalo”
Label: Sub Pop
Release Date:  April 27th, 2010


Avi Buffalo Tour Dates:

  • Thursday, May 13, 2010
    Brighton Dome, Brighton United Kingdom
    Pavillion Theatre – The Great Escape Festival
  • Friday, May 14, 2010
    ATP UK, Minehead United Kingdom
  • Saturday, May 15, 2010
    Walk the Line Festival , Holland Netherlands
    The Hague
  • Sunday, May 16, 2010
    Les Nuits Botanique, Brussels Belgium
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2010
    Le Reservoir Club, Paris France
  • Thursday, May 20, 2010
    Molotov, Hamburg Germany
  • Friday, May 21, 2010
    Bang Bang Club, Berlin Germany
  • Monday, May 24, 2010
    Old Blue Last, London United Kingdom
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2010
    Rough Trade East (UK), London United Kingdom
    In-store @ 7PM
  • Sunday, May 30, 2010
    Sasquatch! Festival, Gorge WA
    Yeti Stage
  • Friday, June 18, 2010
    Great Hall (ON), Toronto Canada
    part of NXNE festival 2010!
  • Saturday, June 19, 2010
    Lee’s Palace, Toronto Canada
    part of NXNE festival 2010!
  • Thursday, July 1, 2010
    Royal Oak Theater (MI), Royal Oak MI
    w/ Modest Mouse
  • Friday, July 2, 2010
    Royal Oak Theater (MI), Royal Oak MI
    w/ Modest Mouse
  • Saturday, July 3, 2010
    Summerfest (WI), Milwaukee WI
    w/ Modest Mouse
  • Sunday, July 4, 2010
    80/35 Festival, Des Moines IA
    main stage @ 1:30PM
  • Tuesday, July 6, 2010
    Crossroads, Kansas City MO
    w/ Modest Mouse
  • Thursday, July 8, 2010
    Twlight Concert Series, Salt Lake City UT
    w/ Modest Mouse
  • Friday, July 23, 2010
    Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR
    w/ Blitzen Trapper
  • Monday, July 26, 2010
    Aquarium (Dempsey’s Upstairs), Fargo ND
  • Tuesday, July 27, 2010
    First Avenue, Minneapolis MN
    w/ Blitzen Trapper
  • Wednesday, July 28, 2010
    Turner Hall, Milwaukee WI
    w/ Blitzen Trapper
  • Friday, July 30, 2010
    Pier 17 / South Street Seaport (NY), New York NY
    w/ Neon Indian
    All Ages!
  • Saturday, July 31, 2010
    Osheaga Music Festival, Montreal Canada
    All Ages!
  • Tuesday, August 3, 2010
    Opera House, The, Toronto Ontario
    w/ Blitzen Trapper
  • Wednesday, August 4, 2010
    Majestic Theater (MI), Detroit MI
    w/ Blitzen Trapper
    All Ages!
  • Thursday, August 5, 2010
    Vogue, The, Indianapolis IN
    w/ Blitzen Trapper
  • Saturday, September 4, 2010
    All Tomorrows Parties – NY, Monticello NY