Avi Buffalo started out as the musical stage name of singer-songwriter-guitarist Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, which played Wednesday (Oct. 20) at Schubas. Still, Zahner-Isenberg was clearly the focus of attention and the key creative force on the stage. Avi Buffalo played a cool set of songs from its self-titled debut album, which came out in April on Sub Pop. In both his singing and his guitar playing, Zahner-Isenberg displays tremendous creativity. His melodies sometimes jump and twist like a Shins or XTC tune, and his falsetto singing is also in the same realm as the Shins’ James Mercer. Drummer Sheridan Riley’s percussion artfully filled in the spaces in Zahner-Isenberg’s songs. As crafty as those songs are, the live performance by Avi Buffalo was refreshingly simple and straightforward, without a lot of sonic effects to dress up the intriguing music.
PHOTOS OF AVI BUFFALO
The opening acts were Whisker Music and New Ruins, both of whom play roots rock. I especially liked the set by Whisker Music, a Chicago band that released a self-titled debut EP last year, reminding me of alt-country by groups such as the Blacks.
PHOTOS OF WHISKER MUSIC