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.