Review: KCRW Presents Avi Buffalo’s Sold Out Album Release Show

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By KCRW Volunteer: Lulu Mickelson


KCRW presented Avi Buffalo at the Troubadour for a sold-out record release show on Saturday night. “A talent show,” the band joked between laying down impeccable renderings of the quaint but complex pop tunes that dominate their self-titled debut on Sub Pop.

Based in Long Beach and led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Avi Zahner-Isenberg, the youthful quartet drew in an adoring full house, whose anticipation and thunderous applause transformed the smoky venue into, well, a sort of talent show – complete with adoring grandparents and awe-struck high school buddies.  But don’t let grandma fool you. They may be young (drummer Sheridan Riley will, like me, be graduating high school this June), but they are mighty.

Coming from SXSW and heading toward a booked summer season –touring with Modest Mouse, among others — these locals have harnessed the power of youth to create a refreshing new sound that has captivated listeners around the world. It’s a great mix: Avi’s unusual high, straining voice passionately proclaiming witty but sincere teenage lyrics, backed by playful harmonies, talented guitar work, and a very tight band. It’s raw talent. And, what was inescapable watching them take the stage Saturday night, was how authentic they all are – grateful, goofy, and incredible gifted.

Avi Buffalo will make their Morning Becomes Eclectic debut in late September.

Check out an excellent photo gallery on

— Lulu