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A look at a dozen of fall's must-see concerts

MUSIC: Twelve for '12 

A look at a dozen of fall's must-see concerts

When autumn leaves begin to fall, it's not just back to school — it's back to the clubs, where all kinds of music will be reverberating off the walls, and in your skull. There's almost too much talent calling Rochester home lately. (That's a good problem to have, to be sure.) And to compound this problem, there is a pile of bands piling into vans and busses and hitting the highway, pulling in for stops in Rochester along the way. Remember the boob tube doesn't really have boobs on it, and crosswords are for closeted psychos. Get out and dig the music. Below are 12 shows from a wide variety of genres that should grab your attention. For a full list of area concerts, make sure to check the online calendar at rochestercitynewspaper.com, or pick up City Newspaper ever Wednesday for print listings of that week's events.

Minus the Bear

Thursday, September 20 | Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St., 7 p.m. | $23-$25 | waterstreetmusic.com

Minus The Bear is the thinking man's indie band. With this Seattle-based band, you can't take your eyes of the road for a second, or you risk getting overturned by its odd time-signature changes. You'll dance in your head, think on your feet. Add some pop fun and, well, minus the bear.

David Bromberg

Friday, September 21 | German House Theatre, 315 Gregory St. 8 p.m. | $35.50-$40 | upallnightpresents.com

Multi-instrumentalist Bromberg is the end-all and be-all in folk-related American music. If his gentle humor doesn't get you, then his guitar playing will as he plays the parts of two guitar players by himself. Hearts will warm, jaws will drop.

Angie Stone Saturday, September 22 | Blue Cross Arena, 1 War Memorial Square | $61.75-$104.65 | 8 p.m. | bluecrossarena.com

Three-time Grammy nominee Angie Stone not only belts her own r&b, but she has sung back-up for Lenny Kravitz, penned tunes for D'Angelo, and was a fixture on the early r&b/hip-hop scene in groups like The Sequence — the second rap group ever signed to the Sugar Hill record label. She'll perform in Rochester along with Kem and Cameo.

This is the Delta blues gone sci-fi and batshit. Singing through a telephone receiver mounted on a motorcycle helmet while playing the drums with his feet, Bob Log III plays some of the wickedest slide guitar you'll ever hear. Expect songs about boobs dipped in scotch — among other things — make this a particular favorite with the kids.

At times the music of The Antlers sounds if it has been composed for a melancholy merry-go-round. Minor-leaning and quasi-epic, this Brooklyn band makes sad somehow happy, and avoids rock 'n' roll convention without threatening its own momentum.

When this O.C. outfit played rockabilly, it was untouchable. When it swung over to Western swing, it blew past every revivalist in a Stetson and red-tab Levis. Where there's a Bob Will, there's a way, and plenty of rug to cut. This one's for the dancers.

Old school punkers from the rotten apple, The Casualties lay it down slick, dirty, and mean. It's punk defiance with hard-rock agility and volume. Motorhead with a Mohawk.

This is most definitely the big rock show of the season. Zombie and Manson dig deep into the underbelly of psychotronic art and sleaze with their heavy music. The common denominator here is the fact that both artists owe a lot to Alice Cooper.

Whether she's singing in front of a rock ensemble or a major-league orchestra, nothing can contain the pipes Tony Award-winning Idina Menzel. A Rochesterian by marriage (her hubby is Taye Diggs), Menzel first made a stir on Broadway by playing Maureen in "Rent," but really left her mark as the green gal Elpheba in "Wicked." She's made the little-screen scene with a recurring role on "Glee" as well.

A bluesy fervor still burns hot in Melissa Etheridge after being in the game since the mid-80's. Etheridge had a string of radio-friendly hits in the 1990's, including "Come to My Window," "I'm the Only One," and "I Want to Come Over," and has been a prominent gay icon since publicly coming out as a lesbian. The heat also still burns on the smoky-voiced rocker's 14th release, "4th Street Feeling."

Easing into your 60s doesn't mean going gently into that "thank you, good night." Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have embarked on the "Wrecking Ball" tour to bring what always proves to be an epic — in performance and length — no-frills rock 'n' roll show to the faithful. My suggestion to the Boss this time around is to adopt the spin-the-wheel concept like Elvis Costello has been doing. Springsteen's catalogue is so huge that it's almost inevitable that fans of sons from different eras will get passed over. I mean, I've seen him four times now and he hasn't once done "Candy's Room."

Jazz vocalist Renee Marie isn't afraid to reveal the source of her resolve and determination. It was her decision to leave an abusive relationship that gives added legitimacy to the vocal fire with which she roasts her standard-laden sets. When pushed by her husband to quit singing or leave, Marie split. Hubby's loss, our gain.

In This Guide...

    Fall Guide 2012

    An awesome autumn
    The air is crisp and cool, the food is bountiful (thanks, harvest!), and most importantly, our area arts and cultural groups return with packed schedules after relatively quiet summer months.

    ART: Wall wizardry

    Behind the curtains of three Rochester exhibition spaces
    When creative works are presented to the public, the illusion of a seamlessness is a necessary factor. On opening night of a theatrical production, the audience is immersed in pure experience along with the characters, and hopefully not pulled out of the story by the visible hand of the designers or director.

    ART: Best bets

    While many Rochesterians dread the shortening of the days and the increased and lingering chill in the air, I love autumn for the sudden surge in art shows. Kids go back to school and our area's many academic institutions triple the amount of shows on display.

    CLASSICAL: 2012 Highlights

    Two years ago, Rochester's concert halls swelled with the depths of the Russians. It seemed every orchestra, group, and soloist in town had something by the great masters Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev on their programs.

    DANCE: Stop, collaborate, and listen

    Partnering with composers, musicians, and designers underscores the 2012-13 dance season
    Dance is about being fully aware — completely present physically, mentally, and emotionally. That being said, let me note that it can be very difficult to get dancers and choreographers to project what they'll be doing a few months down the road, especially this year, when most of the dance groups in town seem primarily focused on their upcoming performances in the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival (September 19-23).

    OUTDOORS: Fall flavors

    Local farm stands offer the sights and tastes of autumnRochester-area farms/farmstands
    Fall always creeps in slowly. First it's a couple of red leaves here, some cool breezes there.

    FILM: Waiting for the weekends

    Your guide to this fall's buzzed-about movies
    There are nine Fridays (plus one very desirable Wednesday) between now and Thanksgiving, and, as usual, Hollywood will be pummeling you with movie upon movie. But autumn is typically a strange time for film, acting as a sort of bridge between summer's dopier action flicks and the end-of-the-year Oscar hopefuls.

    MUSIC: That's the ticket

    Local venues explore alternatives to the big-ticket enterprises
    The conversation happens all the time among concert-going friends, and it tends to go something like this: "Hey dude, you should come to this super awesome fun time special concert." "I'd love to man, how much does it cost?"

    THEATER: Let's put on a show!

    How three local theater companies plan and approach their seasons
    Geva Theater Center's artistic director Mark Cuddy calls the huge piece of kraft paper his "planning wall" for the season he is working on — lists in different colors with dividing lines between them, but also extra sheets of paper tacked up helter-skelter to give it the look of the organized chaos it probably is. Yet that list of more than 50 titles eventually leads to the six main-stage plays (plus the annual production of "A Christmas Carol") that Geva is betting on for the next 11 months.

    THEATER: Best bets

    Here are some of the plays I'm looking forward to seeing in the 2012-2013 Rochester theater season. The good news is that this season there are more plays I want to see than I have room to write about.

    CALENDAR: Fall Special Events Guide

    Summer may be over, but it's not time to head indoors yet. Rochester has plenty of events to keep you busy through the fall.

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