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Cute Is What We Aim For, August 2, Knitting Factory


When a band chooses a name and then experiences even a modicum of fame (or infamy), said band may be saddled with that name for as long as they last. Maybe they can remove some strange punctuation (3Oh!3, anyone?) or try to use an acronym, but they're most likely stuck.

But Buffalo, New York-based Cute Is What We Aim For (CIWWAF just does not ring) hasn't taken the easy road from the beginning. Fights with former bands, questions about song originality and arguments with management have put the band's successes in jeopardy from the get-go. But an affinity with emo-lovers (the band boasts 358,715 Myspace "friends" to date) may have led to a serendipitous call from Fueled By Ramen (Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco) co-founder John Janick who signed the youngsters, giving them a leg up above some of the obstacles they faced.

Their sophomore release, Rotation, has longhaired lead singer Shaant Hacikyan reaching for more adult content than in the band's 2006 debut The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch, but at times he's still just a boy in a man's world. On "Navigate Me," he sings of the first time in terms that a more seasoned listener might find vapid, but probably sends idolizing teen fans into a swoon: "I'm creepin' your way / and these sheets aren't stopping me / because I'm gonna meet you face-to-face / and I'm gonna start from your waist / up through your navel."

Hacikyan, Jeff Czum on guitar, Dave Mellilo on bass and Tom Falcone on drums have always looked as though they've been having a good time doing what they do. But calling themselves Cute and Having Fun Is What We Aim For or CAHFIWWAF would be just too much.

August 2, with Ace Enders, Danger Radio and Powerspace, 8 p.m., $13. Knitting Factory, 416 S. 9th St., 208-376-1212.