My favorite Middle Eastern sci-fi funk band – actually, the only Middle Eastern sci-fi funk band I know of, ha ha – is certainly Consider the Source. This trio, led by fretless guitarist Gabriel Marin, has performed consistently in Buffalo over the past several years, in the process delivering some unforgettable nights of mind-expanding, improvisation-based music. The band provides the missing link between the best of the first wave of jazz rock fusion artists – most prominently, the Mahavishnu Orchestra – and present-day jam- band stylings.

The level of instrumental virtuosity on display during any given Consider the Source show is almost absurd, so dazzling and confident is the interplay between the musicians. But Consider the Source is not pure self-indulgence – all three players serve the song, and their ability to listen to each other and create a musical dialogue is second to none among the band’s peer group.

Consider the Source returns to steal your face right off your head at 9 p.m. Friday in Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.). German space-prog outfit Panzerballet will handle the opening slot. Tickets are $10 advance, through, or $12 at the door.

Pausa, rewind, replay

The bookings keep coming fast and furious for the newly opened Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.) in Allentown. The shows that have already taken place in the few weeks since Pausa opened its doors have offered a far-reaching, eclectic array of musical performances, unexpected pairings and improvisational delight. That tradition continues at 8 tonight in Pausa, when percussionist Ravi Padmanabha brings his group My Nada Brahma to the stage. The trio – Padmanabha, guitarist Ron LoCurto and pianist Michael McNeill – will be joined by violinist David Adamczyk. Fans of Indian fusion outfit Shakti, Shankar and Trilok Gurtu, this one is sure to appeal to you. Admission will be $5 at the door.

A bigger bang

When it comes to electronic dance music, for my money, the most successful purveyors of the form are those who marry an organic, real-time approach to technology-based sounds.

For several years, Rochester-based duo the Manhattan Project has been employing electronic and acoustic percussion with synthesizers, sequencers, samplers and laptop-based rhythms, in service of a strain of EDM that lives and breathes. This is techno with a heartbeat, a human form and a sense of soul. At 9 p.m. Saturday, the Manhattan Project will join its Buffalo EDM brethren Space Junk for a party at Nietzsche’s. Advance tickets are $8, and can be found through

Gig picks

The 26th annual Bob Dylan Imitators Contest, presented by the Buffalo Song Project, takes place at 7 tonight in Nietzsche’s. The contest was initiated by the late Buffalo Song Project founder, musician and musical mentor Michael Meldrum.

Free Music Fridays at the Hard Rock Café (333 Prospect St. in Niagara Falls), presents DoDriver, Seven Faces and Todd Mangan with Contagious Woo, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday. As the name of the series would suggest, admission is free.

At 10 p.m. Friday, Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.) hosts a release party for “Open Affairs,” a new EP crafted by Mad Dukez & Fresh Kils. The hip-hop/soul hybrid serves a concept album inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” so a Roaring Twenties theme will prevail. Steddy P & DJ Mahf, Relic, B. Durazzo and Premtrock & Willie Green will round out the bill. Tickets are available through