Last year saw release of the debut album from Long Beach indie pop quartet Avi Buffalo. The self-titled garnered praise from music outlets such as The AV Club, NME, Drowned in Sound, and Filter, a strong first step for lead guitarist/songwriter Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, who’s musical history stretches all the way back to his sophomore year in high school. A solo show at a restaurant made Avi Buffalo into a full band; before they even had a record out, many LA publications had already been picking up the act. Top it off with an invitation from engineer Aaron Embry (Elliott Smith, Emmylou Harris) to help him test out the new studio he’d built, and the rest is history. One of the first songs recorded, just for a laugh, was “What’s In It For?” It soon became the first single from Avi Buffalo’s debut, after an upload to Myspace and a Sub Pop inquiry. Oh yeah – and this all happened within the span of a few months. Avi Buffalo’s future is bright, and that makes him a must-see this weekend at the KEXP live broadcast at Doug Fir Lounge for Musicfest Northwest.
Avi Buffalo put on one of the more fun and lighthearted sets seen at this year’s MusicFestNW. Frontman Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, simply put, is a character; slightly spastic, quirky, and obviously having a shitload of fun, he often rambled between songs about musical inside jokes (one about Wilco that I got!) and joked around with his bandmates. Their sound was equally as out there, some songs catapulting into straight up avant garde noise like in “Won’t Be Around No More” or a song about a porn star that saw Avigdor’s normally high-pitched vocals drop into a lower register, blatantly sexed up. Song structure seemed to more often than not seemed to take the least expected path, making for an intriguing show. This young band has tons of potential and it will be interesting to see where they go.
photos by Brittney Bush Bollay: