Recommended Greater Cincinnati Concerts: Avi Buffalo with Haunted Summer and Big Hit at MOTR Pub (Oct. 20)

Creatively re-energized, Avi Buffalo has returned as a solo outfit, midway through its 2018 “Requiem Tour” with Chamber Pop ensemble Haunted Summer

click to enlarge Avi Buffalo - Photo: avibuffalo.bandcamp.com
Photo: avibuffalo.bandcamp.com
Avi Buffalo

Avi Buffalo is not quite a band, not quite a man — it’d be more accurate to call it the disembodied inspiration of Los Angeles’ Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, imbuing whichever musicians cross its path with a taste for vintage Folk Rock stylings and a hint of College Rock crunch.

Named for Zahner-Isenberg’s appetite for peppery chicken wings, the project emerged in the late ’00s as a proper quartet of teenagers with talent beyond their years. Avi Buffalo produced its eponymous debut in 2010, riding Sub Pop Records’ wave of ’70s-inspired singer/songwriters to critical acclaim. At just 19, Zahner-Isenberg seemed poised to share in the indie prestige of his stylistic peers.

The Guardian even dubbed Avi Buffalo “The US Indie Band Most Likely to Cross Over From the Verbose Endorsements of Pitchfork.com to Mainstream Success” — a tongue-twisting title as indicative of the band’s talent for crafting memorable melodic hooks as it is the momentum that Indie Folk music accrued during the Obama administration’s infancy.

While Avi Buffalo never fulfilled The Guardian’s somewhat sardonic prophecy, they did produce a solid sophomore effort with 2014’s At Best Cuckold, a more minimal effort equally likely to draw comparisons to both Neil Young and Pavement.

Completing his two-record contract with Sub Pop, Zahner-Isenberg dissolved the band in 2015, citing creative exhaustion and stress.

“The Avi Buffalo project went too far, and I don’t think this project was meant for even the minute exposure on a ‘professional’ scale that it got,” Zahner-Isenberg said in a statement. “It ended up causing a lot more pain and drained my creative energy.”

The hiatus didn’t keep him from making music, though. Creatively re-energized, Avi Buffalo has returned as a solo outfit, midway through its 2018 “Requiem Tour” with Chamber Pop ensemble Haunted Summer. Expect classic cuts and new material at Zahner-Isenberg’s show at MOTR. And drop by his newly-opened Bandcamp page (avibuffalo.bandcamp.com) to scope out his new collection of home-recorded synthesizer experiments. 

10 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 20). Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

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