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Dreamland: The Uncensored Space

Filed under: Music, Photo of the Day


Photos by : Cheryl Gorski

A couple Fridays ago, I experienced a very cool, avant-garde performance by a collaboration of musicians. Dreamland’s performance space provided an intimate close up performance of this unnamed group’s new album, “Stolen Car,” released earlier this year on Golden Lab Records. Steve Baczkowski, music director at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, played the saxophone. Joining him were musicians Bill Nace and Chris Corsano on electric guitar and drums, respectively. Their performance was improvised high-energy outbursts with spontaneously-structured forms stretching sideways via mixed free jazz.

Dana McKnight conceptualized Dreamland after realizing there wasn’t enough queer-centric spaces in Buffalo, NY. Nearing two years since inception, the center is a queer-friendly, racially diverse arts space and collective. Dreamland is located at 387 Franklin Street at the corner of Edward. It is perhaps better known as the 1860’s mansion, “The Florentine Center.” Their mission is to provide a safe space for a diverse population of artists to create and perform free of censorship or economic exploitation. The space has a homey, laid back vibe; crowds are respectful to one another. However, I blasted everyone and the musicians with my flash. My apologies…. There is convenient parking too! Dreamland could use some funding to get a sound system and lighting to enhance their events. Here’s their link to help:

This Modern World: Home of the Brave


Queen City Roller Girls to Throw Back to the 80’s This Saturday at Riverworks


80’s nostalgia is a real thing. We just lived through the Back to the Future Day, a new Star Wars film is about to be released, and there is talk of a reboot of both the “Goonies” (1985) AND the “Gremlins” (1984). The Queen Roller Girls, with many league members who grew up in the 80’s, are seizing on that nostalgia for a Totally 80’s Expo Bout this Saturday at Buffalo Riverworks (359 Ganson St).

I will be back on the bench coaching Team Scare Bears with my wife and Lake Effect Furies skater Murphy, while on the opposite bench Lake Effect Furies coaches Guy and Andy will be coaching Team Garbage Pail Kids. The Expo bouts, leading into the official 2016 season, are a great time for fans to see new rookie skaters and also have fun in the new Riverworks atmosphere.

Team Scare Bears features four Furies skaters – InSINerator, Rosi, Miss Fire and Rocky, while Team Garbage Pail Kids responds with Furies Pepper Stix, Bricks Hit House, Midnyt Maniac and Dana Scullcrusher. Alongside these travel team skaters the bout will feature rookies like Percipihatin’, Raspoutine, Molly Malign, Sigourney Cleaver, MegLO-MEINia, SkarPinski, SlamUWell Jackson and Chet UpStandUp. There are also some returning skaters that fans have not seen in a while – Vile Love It, Flame Throwher and Rachel Tension (formerly Jaded). You can find full rosters on the event page. You can also find tickets here.

In the lead up to the bout QCRG has been releasing photos of league members from the 80’s and they are amazing. Check their facebook for more.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 1.00.11 PM

The league is also celebrating the release of a billboard with Buffalo Riverworks. The first billboard ever for the league things are already kicking off with a bang to start this 10th anniversary season. Billboard

Glamour & Glow Buffalo 2015 (Photos by Glenn Murray)



5 ways you can recycle old, outdated clothing in your closet, from fashion trend expert Kimberli MacKay of Brother International

Filed under: Uncategorized


The average American woman wears 30 different outfits each month (up from 9 in 1930)… but her closet is filled with endless items of clothing that are never worn. With National Recycling Day right around the corner, Here are 5 ways you can recycle old, outdated clothing in your closet, from fashion trend expert Kimberli MacKay

National Recycling Day is a great time to take a second look at what we’ve got in our closets! Rather than shopping for a whole new outfit, here are some ways to bring some of the older items into your closet into this year’s fashion! The simplest of sewing machines can help you give your wardrobe a simple uplift!


1. Those extra wide leg trousers that have been waiting to see the light of day these last few seasons can easily be hemmed to join the hot culotte trend seen in stores across the country.

2. Shorten last fall’s maxi skirt to a midi length! You only need to sew a simple hem and you’ve created a whole new look!

3. Shorten the sleeves on that dress or tunic you’ve grown tired of, or take the sleeves off all together and wear layer with a shirt beneath, which brings me to layering! Layering different styles can change your look instantly! Take those new culottes that you made and layer with your newly de-sleeved tunic with your favorite long sleeved knit top! Be sure to mix fabric weights,  garment lengths and colors as you layer!


4. Take a cue from the runway and add a flat black trim or lace trim over all the seams of your favorite floral flowy dress. The fabric you cut off your clothes can be simply stitched together into a patchwork infinity scarf that will tied together your wardrobe following this fall’s updated Boho trend or add trim to edge of last fall’s wide brim hat, and to the bottom of trousers, skirts and sleeves hems. Don’t have trim hanging around? Use the decorative stitches on your sewing machine and add stitching to cuffs, collars and hems!

5. Check out Brother’s embroidery machines and add the hottest trend of all, embroidery, to the garments of your choice!  Whether multi-colored or tonal, embroidery will allow you to create a whole new look for items already in your wardrobe!

This Modern World: Sizzling Hot Takes

Filed under: This Modern World


Steam Donkeys Host Global Think Tank Fundraiser Saturday Night

Filed under: Announcements, Music

The Steam Donkeys, a Buffalo-based musical act and global think tank, will be hosting a fundraiser for the organization this Saturday night (11/21) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. The event will begin with a performance by Akron, Ohio-based Americana group Hey Mavis.

The Steam Donkeys

The Steam Donkeys

“From time to time we ask our supporters to chip in to help fund the think tank,” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “People don’t understand the expenses involved in running a think tank—and a global one, at that. But when we remind them of just some of the mind bending ideas that have been generated as a result of all the thinking we do, they’re happy to reach for their wallets.”

Not everyone agrees.

“Why should I pay $10 to see two great bands at an intimate, acoustically-perfect venue with great food and drinks, friendly staff, and outgoing music lovers when I could—as I did last Wednesday—shell out $100 to see the Dead & Company in the vast echo-chamber that is the First Niagara Center?” So asked one slightly baked hippie, under condition of anonymity. “I find comfort in buying $10 cans of Yuengling and getting harassed by zealous, skin-headed security guards while I’m getting my freak on.”

“To each his own,” Quigley observes. “We’re very excited to be sharing the stage with a band as cool as Hey Mavis—who will be kicking off the evening at 8pm—and we’re sure our fans will be wowed by their hip take on bluegrass.”

Hey Mavis  (Photo:

Hey Mavis

Fans of the global think tank—commonly known as Steam Heads—are urged to arrive early and stay late. “They can park their vans in the Tops parking lot and do whippets or whatever it is they do all day,” says Quigley.

The Steam Donkeys take the stage at 10pm.


Lake Effect Furies Announce 2016 Rosters; 4th Annual “We All Brawl” Expo A Success

Credit: CK Photographic Systems (Chris Kalisiak)

Rosi vs. Bricks. 4th Annual “We All Brawl” Expo 2015. Credit: CK Photographic Systems (Chris Kalisiak)

The Queen City Roller Girls 10th anniversary season unofficially kicked off with a bang last Saturday at Buffalo Riverworks with the 4th Annual “We All Brawl” Expo Bout. A mix of rookies, home league skaters and Lake Effect Furies – the bout is always a great coming out party for new skaters and a great experience for skaters who get to test their comfort zones and skate with people they have never played with before. 

I was lucky enough to get to coach Team Black in the Expo bout, but unlucky to be up against longtime league veteran Vajenna Warrior as my counterpart on Team White. After a see saw bout that saw many lead changes Team White pulled away in the last 5 minutes to skate to a 194-161 victory. Fans at Riverworks had lots to cheer about. This bout was the first time fans of the league saw rookie skaters Rosi, MegaLO-MEINia, Chet UpStandUp, Double Baryl, McCreadie, May Bringdowndahouse, Percipahatin and Raspoutine. Rosi led the charge for Team Black – putting up a 35-o jam in the second half to keep the bout close. MegaLO also impressed using a hard hitting and aggressive jamming style up against Team White’s size advantage in the blocking core. For Team White, rookie jammers Double Baryl and McCreadie also had stand out games and looked solid up against league veterans. 

The central focus of the bout quickly became Team White blocker and Furies skater Bricks Hit-House. A rookie transfer last season, Bricks is coming into her own entering her 2nd season with the Furies and is poised for a massive year. Her blocking wore down Team Black jammers and although she ran up 4 penalties in the first half she was able to adjust in the 2nd and play clean. Blocking alongside veterans Lip Service, Wrecks Kitten and Midnyt Maniac the Team White blocking core was too much for Team Black. 

The next Expo bout will take place on Saturday November 28th at Riverworks. You can find tickets and ticket packages at

Following the Expo Bout rosters for the 2016 Lake Effect Furies have been announced. After a year without a B Team the Furies have announced a return to their A/B set up. Their B Team will be anchored by three Furies veterans and alternatives last year – Celery Stalk-HER, Wrecks Kitten and Her Heiny Grainger – while also featuring 5 Queen’s Court skaters from last year. The full roster is – Brutali-Tease, Celery STALK-her, Chet UpStandUp, Chickadeemolish, Double Baryl, HerHeiny Grainger, Jules Burn, June CleaveHer, May Bringdowndahouse, McCreadie, Molly Malign, NicNugget, SlamUWell Jackson, Wailing Wench, Wrecks Kitten.

Coached by Librawlian and Vile Love It the focus for the B Team this year will be increasing internal competition and pushing the A team forward. From Coach Librawlian, “Cultivating a strong B Team is essential to the Furies continued growth and competitiveness within the WFTDA. Having a solid B Team, means that the Furies will become a more internally competitive team as skaters are moved between the B Team and Furies. Thus allowing the Furies to be more competitive externally. We plan to transform every member of the B Team’s game. There’s a lot of potential and excitement within the ranks, and it will be a matter of people rising to the challenges set before them.” 

The A Team returns this year with two new faces – Niagara Roller Girls transfer Dana Scullkrusher and Queen’s Court graduate Rosi. Dana becomes the third Canuck on the team and the third transfer from NRG in the last two years (joining Ashes t’Ashes and Murphy). Longtime veteran B’Kini Whacks is taking the year off, and three alternates have shifted to the B Team, but outside of that the Furies core returns as a whole. Captain Tabrina Schreier is excited to get started on the 2016 season, “The Furies are looking to return with most of our core. We have added a couple new faces who will strengthen us and we’re going to have to fight for every ranking point this year to get back into D1. We had a couple of weeks off to heal physically and mentally prepare. Now we work to tighten up our defense and improve our offense. Personally I can’t wait to see how we do this season because we improve every time we practice, watch game footage or just hang out together.” 

With two solid travel teams, three competitive home leagues, a Queen’s Court that is graduating skaters direct to the Furies and a solid Jr. program fans have lots of to cheer for in this 2016 season. With 30 more bouts to come this season, fans also get to look forward to a finished Riverworks facility with a 27′ scoreboard for games, an open mezzanine, and an overall amazing atmosphere for women’s flat track roller derby. Let’s Roll Buffalo! 

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