Well, the summer concert season has officially begun with the first Thursday at the Square concert in Buffalo. They kicked it off with Alejandro Escovedo last Thursday.

This week provides more choices in free outdoor concerts in the Erie-Niagara area. Artpark opens it’s Tuesday series with War with Then and Now billed as openers.

Thursday at the Square continues it’s run with Ingrid Michaelson. A. A. Bondy opens.

With only two concerts this week, the choice is pretty clear. If you want familiar, comfort-food music, you’re going to go see War at Artpark. If you’re the type that goes and sees America there every summer, (June 29 this year) and thinks The Boys of Summer is a great local band, then you know who you are.

But if you want to hear something new and embrace something that isn’t being spoon-fed to you by 97 Rock, (or worse, WJYE) then Thursday at the Square is the clear winner. I hadn’t heard of Ingrid Michaelson or A. A. Bondi, but a quick listen online (I’ve put MySpace links in above) has tweaked my curiosity. They’re both worth a trip to see.

Kudos to Buffalo Place for getting “It” and bringing in some new and upcoming talent, rather than just the latest in the milk-it-for-all-it’s-worth touring greatest-hits has-beens.

Incidentally, MySpace may be getting kicked around by Facebook when it comes to popularity in social media, but it’s still the best place to find and hear new music. Every band has a page there. It must be required by law or something. Even when they have other outlets for their online presence, a MySpace page is an integral part of any musicians self-promotion kit.