Salt Peter, one of the most interesting, envelope-pushing alternative rock bands to have emerged from the region in the 1990s, released its debut, "NaNO3," in 2000. That record was a beautifully bizarre and deeply musical collection of twisted funk tunes and edgy art-rockers, and the music still sounds fresh today.
By the middle of the last decade, however, the members of the Niagara region band had scattered. During that time, a European indie label rereleased "NaNO3," and the band members kept in touch, making plans that ultimately led to them reconnecting in service of new music a little over a year back. The jams that came from these initial meetings have blossomed into full-fledged songs, and finally, Salt Peter's sophomore effort is upon us. Dubbed "Ameraka," the record finds Anthony Aversa, Robert Tweedie, Steve Puglisi and James Colquit picking up where "NaNO3" left off, marrying Salt Peter's trademark freak-funk to elements of jazz fusion, electronica and again, art-rock.
Salt Peter will celebrate the release of "Ameraka" with a party/concert at 9 tonight at Water Street Landing (115 S. Water St., Lewiston). Admission is free, but Salt Peter is offering a killer deal for those with an eye toward VIP status – for $20, you'll get a copy of "Ameraka," a copy of the European reissue of "NaNO3," and access to the open bar. You can snag these VIP tickets at Jackson Music on Grand Island or Lewiston Music on Fourth Street in Lewiston. Salt Peter keyboardist Tweedie's new band, ArtParker, will open the show.
The Jerry Garcia Band with Melvin Seals returns to town for an 8 p.m. show Wednesday in the Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.). Led by longtime Garcia collaborator, the legendary Hammond organist Seals, JGB also includes guitarist Dave Hebert, bassist Jimmy Tebeau and drummer Pete Lavezzoli. Several months back, the collective played a highly lauded show at Nietzsche's, so if you happen to have missed that gig here's your chance for a make-good. To quote a friend of mine, "These guys are the real deal. They don't mess around."
Tickets for JGB with Melvin Seals, and guests Funktional Flow, are $22 advance (box office, ecepresents.com and tralfmusichall.com). Admission to the 18-and-over show on the day of the event will be $25.
This monkey's gone to heaven! Everyone else, however, will be going to Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.) at 9 tonight for a Pixies tribute. Crackity Jones, Deathbells and the Screaming Jeans will be getting their Pixies on throughout the evening. Admission is $3.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the legendary New Riders of the Purple Sage will bring some cosmic American music to the Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Tickets are $40 (www.sportsmenstavern.com). The same venue hosts the timeless singing of Maria Muldaur at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $20.
Mohawk Place (47 East Mohawk St.), has a schedule chock fulla goodies this week, beginning with Roger Bryan & the Orphans, plus Johnny Nobody and Aye Karou at 9 tonight; Lord Huron with Night Moves at 8 p.m. Saturday; the Smoking Popes at 7 p.m. Tuesday; Bright Light Social Hour at 8 p.m. Wednesday; and punk rock icon Mike Watt and the Missingmen at 8 p.m. next Friday. Tickets are available through www.themohawkplace.com.