He’s billed as “Cornell’s first galactic rock star,” and this Friday night, local musician Kurt Riley marks the release of his album “Kismet” on Ithaca’s own Electric Buffalo Records with a concert at Cornell’s Klarman Hall.
In fact, if you read this article right away, Kurt’s performing a preview show on Cornell’s Ho Plaza from 11am-1pm today, selling copies of the album and tickets to the show, and taking selfies with fans. This afternoon, he’ll be on CornellRadio.com with band members at 4pm.
“Kismet” is a daring concept album that blends punk electronica and glam rock and a story — a tale of a king from an advanced alien world in search of his queen, whose ship crash-landed on an ancient planet Earth.
It’s the first major release for Electric Buffalo Records, an Ithaca-grown record company affiliated with community radio station WVBR and, like the radio station, run by Cornell University students.
“Kurt’s very talented and very self-motivated to get his stuff out there,” says Electric Buffalo Records co-founder Jacob Grossfeld. “He’s also very particular and professional, which helps the label’s image.” Electric Buffalo Records has previously released two Kurt Riley singles as well as a compilation record last spring, “Electric Buffalo Presents Vol. 1,” that features seven different Cornell artists who each provided original material for the release.
“They’re putting everything they’ve got behind [the album],” says Riley of Electric Buffalo Records. “It’s an Ithaca production, through and through; some of the best and brightest of Cornell and Ithaca College are playing and singing on it.”
“Kismet,” which was recorded entirely on the Cornell campus between last summer and early this winter, is available now on Amazon, CDBaby, Spotify, and iTunes. Musicians include Charlie Fraioli: bass guitar, percussion; Olivia Dawd: drums, percussion; Brad Nathanson: lead guitar; Ryan Frank: rhythm and lead guitars; Paige Washington: backing vocals; Asante Quintana: rapping; John Mason: saxophone; and David Dillon: lead guitar. WVBR said of Riley’s album that “his scintillating blend of punk, new wave, and glam rock will excite you about the direction of contemporary music,” and the Cornell Daily Sun likened it to an “Intergalactic Fantasia.”
General admission tickets for Friday’s 9pm concert in the Klarman Auditorium, in the new Klarman Hall on East Avenue on the Cornell campus, are available for $10 at cornelltickets.com or at the door. No food, drink, or alcohol will be permitted, but Riley says “photography and video are totally cool!”