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Thai guitarist Ekachai Jearakul returns to Kleinhans

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ekachai Jearakul

On Tuesday March 22 at 7:30pm, Thai guitarist Ekachai Jearakul will perform a solo recital in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall co-sponsored by the Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo and the BPO. Jearakul is a three-time semi-finalist and a two-time finalist at the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, placing second in 2014 and third in 2012. Jearakul is also the 2014 winner of the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition, where his prize included a 50 city recital tour and a solo guitar recital CD on Naxos.
Michael Andriaccio, co-artistic director of the Falletta Competition says: “Don’t miss Jearakul’s return performance – he is truly Thailand’s monarch of the guitar. Audiences around the world have marveled at his virtuosity and elegance and he is a favorite of our Buffalo audience”.
Jearakul’s program includes two works, including Magic Beams, arranged for classical guitar by William Kanengiser, from a suite written by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the world’s longest reigning monarch, who is also a prolific composer. The far-ranging program includes works by Joaquin Turina and Rito de los Orishas by Leo Brouwer, as well as a piece composed for him by Steven Goss.
Tickets: $10, or free with the purchase of a ticket to the JoAnn Falletta Guitar Competition finals on June 11. Information: 885-5000 or www.bpo.org


Ekachai Jearakul returns to Kleinhans

Filed under: Uncategorized

Ekachai Jearakul

On Tuesday March 22 at 7:30pm, Thai guitarist Ekachai Jearakul will perform a solo recital in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall co-sponsored by the Castellani Andriaccio Guitar Duo and the BPO. Jearakul is a three-time semi-finalist and a two-time finalist at the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, placing second in 2014 and third in 2012. Jearakul is also the 2014 winner of the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Competition, where his prize included a 50 city recital tour and a solo guitar recital CD on Naxos.
Michael Andriaccio, co-artistic director of the Falletta Competition says: “Don’t miss Jearakul’s return performance – he is truly Thailand’s monarch of the guitar. Audiences around the world have marveled at his virtuosity and elegance and he is a favorite of our Buffalo audience”.
Jearakul’s program includes two works, including Magic Beams, arranged for classical guitar by William Kanengiser, from a suite written by King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, the world’s longest reigning monarch, who is also a prolific composer. The far-ranging program includes works by Joaquin Turina and Rito de los Orishas by Leo Brouwer, as well as a piece composed for him by Steven Goss.
Tickets: $10, or free with the purchase of a ticket to the JoAnn Falletta Guitar Competition finals on June 11. Information: 885-5000 or www.bpo.org


The Great Irish Boycott

Filed under: Allentown, Events

Charles-boycott

While many will be headed to pubs with shamrocks pinned to their jackets to celebrate all things Irish, there is one contribution from Ireland that bears a toast (or two!): the boycott.

Coined in 1880 during the Irish Land Wars, the phrase refers to Captain Charles Boycott, a land agent for Lord Erne. It was a rough year, harvests had been poor, and the tenants had petitioned for a 25 percent rent reduction due to hardship. It had been refused. Boycott attempted to evict 11 tenant farmers. Outraged, the rest of the community began a social ostracism campaign, shunning the captain, refusing to help harvest his crops, and non-cooperating with his eviction efforts.

Irish author George Moore reported: “Like a comet the verb ‘boycott’ appeared.” Within six weeks, newspapers as far away as New York City were using the term.

According to Wikipedia, a “boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for social or political reasons. The purpose of a boycott is to inflict some economic loss on the target, or to indicate a moral outrage, to try to compel the target to alter an objectionable behavior.”

There is hardly a nonviolent movement around the world, out of hundreds of case studies, that has not used some form of a boycott! Think of Gandhi’s spinning wheel and concurrent boycott of British cloth imports, the American Independence movement’s boycott of tea, the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the United Farm Workers’ Grape Boycott, the boycott of white-owned stores in South African townships during the anti-apartheid struggle: the examples are numerous. So, this St. Patrick’s Day, while you’re celebrating leprechauns, shamrocks and all things Irish, lift a glass and raise a toast to one of Ireland’s greatest contributions to a more just and equitable world: the boycott.

Sun Rivera


Lake Effect Furies Open Up 2016 Season With A Statement Win Over Roc City

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The Lake Effect Furies wasted no time asserting themselves on Sunday at their 2016 Season Opener, kicking off the bout on a 113-0 run before the visitors Roc City could even get on the board. From beginning to end the Furies were dominant and by the time the dust settled they skated away with a 406-52 win, giving up only 9 points the entire bout 5 on 5. The win was exactly what skaters, coaches and fans were hoping for to start this season and this type of performance will need to be repeated throughout their remaining sanctioned home schedule against Ithaca, Green Mt. and Killamazoo. 

The win becomes the highest Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) score in Furies history (461), their 3rd highest positive point differential (+354), their third highest all time single game increase on Flat Track Stats and pushes them to their all time highest Flat Track rating (770). Controlling the game with 86% lead jam percentage, Roc City was forced to make up 43 of their points off of 6 Furies jammer penalties. Their jammers played with a lot of heart and determination, but the Furies blockers ground them down from start to finish. 

Roc City played without star jammer GO! (Flu) and missed veteran blockers like Lethal Lorelai dearly in this bout. Ranked 76th coming in with an average WFTDA score of 233.76, Roc City come away with a lot of bumps and bruises and only 87 WFTDA points. Last year, almost to the day, they came to Riverworks and challenged the Furies to closer a 213-105 loss that netted them a 207 WFTDA score, above their 191 average at the time. This is the ruthlessness of the WFTDA ranking system though and Roc City is unlikely to gain any sympathy from the Furies – especially not after the Furies got to experience what playing Gotham feels like last year and while they will carry the 95 WFTDA score they received from that game around their neck like an albatross all season. 

The Furies mental toughness in this bout was superb. There were no runs or momentum swings for Roc, they played clean and took fewer penalties than their average last year, and while giving up 7.1 points per power jam is still a bit high that is much less than last year. Panic didn’t set in, blockers dug in and did their job regardless of how many of them were on the track. The bout pointed more towards the finer points – jammers taking that extra second to shift their weight as they hit the pack, that extra second on re entry to leave the referees with no doubts. Ending the bout on a final jam with a 4-2 pack advantage for Roc and InSINerator taking a penalty was the first sign of slippage, but the rest of the game was so overwhelmingly positive and dominant it is hard to nit pick. The Furies actually increased their share of total points in that 2nd half – there was no let up.

The Furies jammer statistics go from huge to nuclear – Murphy with a +7.3 per jam, Miss Fire going 70/10 with 7/8 leads, Sin going +10.7 per and 90% of total points and Librawlian putting up 145/6 with 11/11 on leads and +12.6 per and 96% of total points. Sin had a 35-0 jam, Brawl 30-0, Murphy 25-0 and Miss Fire’s highest were two 14-0 jams. 

Let's go Lake Effect Furies! Thanks for having us! @qcrg #rollerderby #qcrg

A video posted by IGers Buffalo (@igersbuffalo) on

 

As dominant as the jammers were this bout was more of a coming out party for the Furies blockers. Locked into to a system that looks tighter and stronger than last season the Furies blockers held Roc jammers for full 2 mins on their initial passes multiple times – creating massive jams and a nice test of their own jammers endurance. Bricks Hit House looks absolutely terrifying on the track for the Furies right now and their overall communication, reforming and timed offense is all greatly increased from D1 Playoffs in October last year. The video above shows a nice assist from Furies blocker Midnty Maniac as Librawlian pushes through the Roc blockers and Bricks holds a Roc blocker as a “goat.” 

This is great news for the Furies, and a great statement game, but they now have under two weeks to prepare and keep this going as they head to the Quad City Chaos Tournament in Toronto, On (Canada) on March 19th to face more familiar foes – Tri City Roller Derby and Toronto Roller Derby’s CN Power. The competition will be stiffer and it will be up to the Furies to stick to the gameplan they executed in this game while lead jams become more rare and penalties may increase. With WFTDA weights of 2.56 (Toronto) and 2.43 (Tri-City), the Furies need a good showing against these teams to propel themselves back up in the rankings and into Division 1 Playoff territory.

They take back to the track at Riverworks this coming Friday with a mash up Expo of Buffalo’s two travel teams – the Furies and the Subzero Sirens – to work on their in game fitness and also have some fun.

The Sirens also came away Sunday with a dominant win taking the Roc City B Sides for a spin with a 290-94 win. The first Sirens bout for Queen City Junior Roller Girls graduate Veggy Cowgirl, she looked perfectly at home in the Sirens deep jammer rotation. Her, Dana Scullcrusher, Celery Stalk-HER and Double Barryl were relentless all game. The Sirens put up 145 points a half and only allowed 39 and 53 points for the B Sides. Undefeated this season, the Sirens move to 3-0 and the win shows that much more progress as they never had a momentum lapse in the 2nd half as they did in their first two bouts this year. Like the Furies they kept the pressure on from start to finish. 

Tickets for the Mash Up Expo are available at http://www.qcrg.net/event/lake-effect-furies-opponent-tbd-8/

 


Mad Max: Fury Road, is a sequel in the works?

Filed under: Film

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Title: Mad Max Runs Over the Oscars

The 88th Academy Awards came and went and actually managed to pass without too much controversy or scandal. Chris Rock did an exceptionally capable job of hosting, remaining true to himself and speaking truth to power without making things too uncomfortable for the Hollywood elite in attendance. There were some winners and losers and some definite surprises and upsets (looking at you, Ex Machina for Visual Effects), but overall we were rather pleased with how our favorites performed.

One of the biggest stories from the awards has to have been the success of a little flick you may have seen called Mad Max: Fury Road. The Australians won big at the Oscars this year with George Miller’s Fury Road taking home six awards out of its 12 nominations, easily earning more than any other film of the evening. The awards were all in technical categories, though the movie was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. The success at the Academy Awards was remarkable for such a mainstream film, especially one that focused so much on action and style. This recalled the success of other Oscar-winning mainstream franchises/films such as The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and, Gladiator, and they have more in common than you might think.

One of those similarities would be belonging to the esteemed pantheon of Oscar-winning films that also boast their own video game adaptations. Among these are classics like Lord of the Rings and The Godfather, which received perfectly acceptable, if somewhat mediocre, adaptations. And then there’s E.T., which is responsible for what is largely considered one of the worst video games of all time. In fact, thousands of copies of the E.T. game went on to inhabit a New Mexico landfill (an occurrence that led to a documentary of its own).

Gladiator took home five Oscars, including Best Picture and notably Best Actor for Aussie thespian Russell Crowe. Interestingly enough, Gladiator went the safer route in gaming, as its own title exists on a casual gaming and casino platform. It features everyone’s favorite Romans and continues to capitalize on the on the renewed interest in the “sword and sandals” genre that the movie (re)popularized. Mad Max can also count itself among this company with an ambitious open-world game based on the post-apocalyptic franchise. It was released last fall to surprisingly positive reviews for a licensed movie game that tasks players with drive through acres of dystopian desert.

Given the critical and commercial success of the renewed cult franchise it only makes sense that Miller and company would try to repeat the feat. We have our fingers crossed that a sequel won’t be too long in the making. Apparently, the highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning movie is currently in production. It will concern the backstory of Imperator Furiosa (played by the egregiously snubbed Charlize Theron), and Tom Hardy is also already confirmed to reprise his role as Max. Miller has gone on record that he has finalized the storyline for the sequel, but he also said it might be some time before we’re whisked away to the wasteland once again. He has also hinted at wanting to make a smaller, less intensive film for his next project.

Follow the success of his surprise cinematic gem, we agree that Miller has definitely earned himself a bit of a break. However, we can only hope that the 70-year-old director won’t stay away for long, because more Furiosa would surely be fantastic.


Dollies Pull Off Thrilling Last Jam Win Over the Saucies

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Guest Post By Vile Love It 

The Queen City Roller Girls home season has seen some super tight games and this past Wednesday’s rematch between the Suicidal Saucies and the Devil Dollies didn’t disappoint. With more lead changes than you could keep track of, the Dollies squeaked out a 161-173 win in the exciting last jam.

Dollies jammer McCreadie pulled her team to within 2 points of the Saucies in the second to last jam and then both teams’ clutch jammers:  Rosi for the Saucies and Double Barryl for the Dollies lined up on the track. Unfortunately for the Saucies, Rosi headed to the box early in the jam leaving Double Barryl on the track to calmly gather up the winning points.  She cemented her team’s victory and then hung out in the back until the period clock wound down and the Dollies maintained their 2-0 record against the Saucies this season. 

This was an important game for the Saucies. They lost to the Dollies in the home season opener (179-113) the largest point spread of any home game this season. The Saucies then went on to beat the Alley Kats 174-158 on February 3rd. 

The Dollies, on the other hand, have fallen to the Kats twice. On January 13th they lost by 3 points in another last jam win (164-161) and then again on February 13th 133-115.

In the Saucies mind, it might have been: we beat the Kats, the Kats beat the Dollies, so therefore, we should beat the Dollies. But it just doesn’t always work out like that. First, the Saucies were down several players.  Maggie de Sade is out with an ankle injury. TeKill’ya Sunrise is also injured.  Fresh Slaughter Pearl, Poisonous Peaches and Chet UpStandUp sat out Wednesday’s game due to a variety of issues. The Saucies did pull up Veggy Cowgirl and Emma Dilemma from the Queens Court to fill in and they both made quite a difference.

Veggy Cowgirl is the first Queen City Junior Roller Girl graduate to skate in the adult league and she has made an immediate splash. She has skated games with the Queens Court and recently made the Subzero Sirens travel team. Veggy skated with the junior league for four years and is the eldest daughter of QCRG co- founder Sissy Fit (who herself used to play for the Saucies) so suffice it to say, she’s been skating since before she could walk. She also played on the Junior World Cup Select Team in 2014.  She is a versatile player and was effective as blocker (sometimes pivot) and jammer. 

Emma Dilemma also filled in as a Saucie on Wednesday night. She is a recent transfer from Toronto Roller Derby where she played with the Gore Gore Girls for 5 seasons including 2014 when that team won the prestigious Canadian Beast of the East Tournament.  She was quite effective as a blocker and looked at home in her hastily made red t-shirt.

The Dollies remain under the strong coaching of Senor Wiener assisted by Assistant Coaches and Lake Effect Furies players Ivana LeiHerOut and LiBrawlian (who is also co-coach of the Subzero Sirens). Senor Wiener crafted a team of a select few of anchor veteran blockers including Chickadeemolish, Lip Service, LaBatt Bruise and Bully Holiday and then packed in a solid group of rookies and second year skaters. His rookies, however, aren’t all “technically” rookies.  Double Barryl played for Watertown before she took a year off for knee surgery and a baby. McCreadie and May Bringdowndahaus were with Niagara Roller Girls before they came south.

The Saucies relied heavily on Rosi, Flame Throw-Her, Sigourney Cleaver, and Veggy Cowgirl as jammers (with both Rosi and Veggy playing double duty as blockers). 

The Dollies were down regular jammer Jules Burns and so spread the jammer love around to SlamUwell Jackson, Erin Go Braless, Nic Nugget along with regulars Double Barryl, McCreadie and Raspoutine. 

The games started out a defensive battle with “hit it and quit it” jams where few points were scored. Eight minutes into the game the score was only 13-10 with the Saucies in the lead. Although there were jams where one team was ahead by 10 or 15 points, neither team dominated for more than a jam. At the half the score was Saucies 60, Dollies 59.

When a game is this close it is difficult to point to a statistic that won or lost the game for either team.  The Saucies had a total of 8 penalties in the first half but then doubled it for a total of 24 penalties. The Dollies had 16 penalties in the first period and 15 in the second. Dollies caught lead jam slightly more often than the Saucies, but they couldn’t always capitalize on it.

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Chris Kalisiak (CK Photographic Systems). Shot at 1/8th Second.  

One fan said the score board resembled a basketball game, back and forth, back and forth but in the end, the Dollies were able to keep their winning record against the Saucies. Fans can see the full bout footage from the game here on QCRG’s youtube channel

The home teams are taking a break during March as the Lake Effect Furies and Subzero Sirens take center stage at Riverworks. The Lake Effect Furies open their home season against neighboring Roc City All Stars with the Subzero Sirens playing against Roc’s B Sides on March 6th and follow that with a Subzero Sirens + Lake Effect Furies Mash up Expo bout on Friday April 11th. You can always find ticket at qcrg.net/tickets.  

 

 

 


Buffalo’s Lake Effect Furies Set to Kick Off 2016 Season This Sunday at Riverworks

2016 Furies

Photo By Jim Bush

After a thrilling last jam victory over long time rivals CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby) in their game at Division 1 Playoffs in Omaha, NE last year, their first ever D1 Playoff appearance, the Furies were elated. 

That win gave them the chance to play Gotham Girls Roller Derby, the roller derby dynasty that to that point hadn’t lost a bout in 5 years. Predictably, the Furies lost big. The experience gained from that bout and playing the best in the world, will hopefully fuel this years playoff run. However, it also put this team in a tough spot to start this year. 

The result of that bout alone is the difference between the Furies current ranking (46th) and the low 30’s where they would sit without it. They scored just 95 WFTDA points in that bout, well below their average of 340 at the time. (WFTDA scores are a math equation made up of percentage of total points scored, divided by 3, times the weight of a given team – then the result averaged from your sanctioned bouts over the last year). 

The Furies battled through the rest of the weekend coming out with a higher seed than they entered (9th to 8th), but that in seeding bump doesn’t get reflected in their ranking. 

The Furies current position at 46th has them only 6 spots and 12 points out of that 4oth spot – the cut off for Division 1 Playoffs – but the log jam around that cut off will make things tough. They will have to climb 6 spots without being leap frogged by other teams in the process. The level of talent they have on the roster is enough to do it, but it won’t be easy.

At this level the mantra of “every jam counts” is constant, but the focus for the Furies will be playing dominant roller derby for 60 minutes, every game, without any let up or panic. They will need to consistently hit their all time top end of WFTDA scores this year to get back to where they want to be – representing Buffalo in Playoffs against teams from all over the globe.  

Their first opponent, the Roc City Roc Stars from Rochester Roller Derby, will be a tough first challenge. Ranked 76th with a weight of 1.76, the Furies need to beat Roc City in convincing fashion. To just play to their average they will need to score 63% of the total points in Sunday’s bout. To get back into D1 Playoff position though, they will have to aim even higher.

Since Win-Loss records are not the determinant for WFTDA rankings this creates an in game battle that is purely mental – how do you not let up, how do you stay focused and dominant? The Furies got to experience the other side of this in their Playoff loss last year to Gotham, the team with the best killer instinct in the history of women’s flat track roller derby. If there is one main thing they need to take away from that experience, ironically, it will be that. That is what they will need to tap into in order to get back into Division 1 territory. 

With very little roster turn over and a full returning coaching staff – long time veteran B’Kini Whacks has taken a year off while two rookies join the roster, Niagara Roller Girls transfer Dana Scullcrusher and Queen’s Court graduate Rosi – the Furies should benefit early from the continuity of the roster. They can also expect the return of blocker Head Huntress from injury this year, which should shore up their blocking core even more.

With a jammer rotation that is deeper and tighter than last year – Librawlian, InSINerator, Miss Fire and Murphy – the Furies have more options this year shifting hard hitting jammer Low Hits Griffin to more of a blocking role and having three alternate jammers to call on for relief on top of her – Ashes t’ Ashes, Rosi and Dana Scullcrusher. Penalty trouble or off games will be that much easier to bear in the jammer rotation this year as a result. 

The Furies have also re-doubled their efforts at cross training this off season, joining with trainer Matt Crawley at Impact Training at the Harborcenter in hopes of adding to their strength, endurance and overall fitness. Impact also trains members of the NLL Buffalo Bandits, as well as members of the NWHL Buffalo Beauts. 

These are all great signs going into the 2016 season. With just 5 home games scheduled for this season, and only 4 of them sanctioned (meaning counting towards their WFTDA score and rank) packing Riverworks and having a large supportive crowds will be a priority. They have already sold out front row tickets and tables for this Sunday, and matched the pre sale levels of the leagues home opener in January, so along with the decent weather forecast for Sunday they are set up nice for this Sunday double header that will see the B Team Sirens take on Roc City’s B Sides following the Furies bout. 

By the end of this month the Furies will have played 3 total sanctioned bouts – Rochester at home and then CN Power (Toronto Roller Derby) and Tri City Thunder (Tri City Roller Derby) at the Quad City Chaos tournament in Toronto. How these bouts go should give a good read on the direction the team will take this year. Coaches and skaters will be hoping to make March a statement month. 

Things to Watch 

Penalties: The Furies were great 5 on 5 last year against whoever they played, but creeping penalty trouble and panic would decide games last year (Steel City, Ohio, Tri City). With so much continuity and a dedication on the part of skaters to study their penalties and the rule set, they should see those numbers go down. Beyond that though fans should watch to see how the team reacts when they do still take penalties. Calming down and digging in can be the difference between giving up one manageable powerjam and allowing the other team to gain momentum and go on a run. 

Start and End of Half: The Furies did a great job last year of dominating against New Hampshire at home, beating them 518-29 and setting a new club record for positive point differential at +489. A lot of developing that killer instinct relies on starting and ending well in each half. No let up to start and no letting light creep in near the end of a half to give the other team hope. Mental toughness. 

General Admission tickets are still available for presale online. The Box office opens on Sunday at 1pm. Furies play first. Tickets – https://www.facebook.com/events/220103121672762/

Bout Poster By Gelia

Bout Poster By Gelia


Marble Machine Plays Music Using 2000 Marbles

Filed under: Music

This incredible device, built by Martin Molin, looks like something DaVinci and Dr. Suess came up with while drinking together, but damn, is it amazing.  Molin also has a series of videos on his Youtube channel detailing the build of this mechanical marvel.

 




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