Since it’s election season, you’ve probably either met your four-year quota for fundraisers already or have been harassed at clipboard-point by a door-to-door volunteer to go to one. But why should politicians be the only ones with direct access to your wallets? Why not give your hard-earned money to something that matters instead? Here’s a suggestion: head downtown tomorrow (October 10) to the Town Ballroom to support Young Audiences of Western New York, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the area’s youth through involvement in the arts. The fundraising event will feature, among other things, small plate hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Current Catering, a juggling performance by Nels Ross, and a performance by Buffalo’s own contemporary dance troupe, LehrerDance. The general admission price of $50 might seem a little steep to some, but when you consider it’s 1/25,000,000th of Mitt Romney’s estimate worth and a mere $50 more than what General Electric paid in federal taxes last year, it becomes pretty clear that the cost of admission (to say nothing of supporting a good cause) is worth every penny. —edward a. benoit
Going back all the way to grade school, “sports” and “science” were two things that just never seemed to go together—separate, antithetical realms that somehow dictated that success in one guaranteed failure/public PE-class embarrassment in the other. The Buffalo Museum of Science has partnered with all of the Queen City’s major sports franchises (that would be the Bills, Sabres, Bisons, and Bandits) to hopefully both dispel this notion and provide some educational family fun while it’s at it through a season-long series of interactive (read: your kids can play on them) exhibits. Budding hockey fans are invited to test their shooting accuracy and reaction time via a state-of-the-art equipment used by professionals while future frustrated football fans can learn the ins and outs of what makes the Bills so hard to watch (kidding, kidding). Can’t make it this weekend because you’ve got tickets to a real game? No matter—the exhibits run through January 6, giving you about a month and a half to catch them after the Bills are inevitably mathematically eliminated from playoff contention after about Thanksgiving. With tickets costing but a fraction of what a trip to Ralph Wilson or Coca Cola Field will run you, why not? —edward a. benoit
Wed. 12. 7pm. Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Avenue. (854-1694/hallwalls.org). $8 general, $6 students/seniors, $5 members.
Unfortunate though it may be, not many people are relocating to the Queen City these days. Matt McCormick—an acclaimed multimedia artist—is one of the rare few who has, hailing originally from the Pacific Northwest. Needless to say, travel and coffee/bigfoot/Portlandia territory figure big in Mr. McCormick’s life. It should come as no surprise, then, that these two tropes constitute the subject matter of the director’s latest opus, The Great Northwest, which will be showing at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center on Wednesday (September 12) night. An “experimental documentary,” The Great Northwest is an exercise in nostalgia as much as it is in filmmaking or travel: McCormick retraces the route of a 1958 road trip using only the scrapbook made of said road trip as a guide. The resultant film demonstrates both how much things have changed in the intervening five decades and that the spirit of Kerouac is very much alive, even after said half-century. A screening of McCormick’s short film The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal will also take place. —edward a. benoit
Net+Positive, a new not-for-profit organization in Buffalo’s East Side, is hosting this artisan sale and farmer’s stand on Saturday (August 11). With locally produced crafts, locally harvested architectural materials, and the opportunity to learn how to brew beer like a pro, this event at The Foundry is unlike anything else going on in Buffalo this weekend.
This weekend’s sale is part of series taking place on the second Saturday of each month. Each sale feature the works of local artisans, musicians, and educators. There are also culinary artists whipping up favorites, like cherries jubilee, and patrons can purchase locally grown produce. This Saturday, a conglomeration of different music styles will be the soundtrack to the sale as the local band Andrew J. Reimers Country-Punk Extravaganza, performs.
Events like this are helping The Foundry take shape. The new destination aims to provide affordable workspaces for craftsmen and artists, especially those who are interested in incorporating reclaimed or alternative materials in their creations. The upcoming sale will be glimpse into what these artists have been working on.
“This is more than an opportunity for artisans to sell their work; artists share their inspiration with each other and their public,” said Caesandra Seawell, Net+Positive’s ‘director of shenanigans.’ “My hope has always been that our impact on the community is an exchange of inspiration.”
The Net+Positive organization strives to create ecological, social, and neighborhood growth; their mission is to activate models of neighborhood prosperity through innovative housing initiatives, entrepreneurship, and a focus on the environment. The Foundry exists as an extended effort to achieve the organization’s goals, and the upcoming sale will highlight that. So come out on Saturday to support local efforts to re-energize the Buffalo community. -sara dinatale
12-5pm The Foundry, 298 Northampton St (803-5566 / netpositivefoundation.org)
Tonight. 7pm. Mohawk Place, 47 East Mohawk Street. (465-2368/themohawkplace.com) $10 advance, $13 day of show
One of the latest of a long line of post-punk indie bands to come out of Brooklyn, Bear Hands is everything fans of the genre have come to expect and love. Dylan Rau’s vocals evoke the likes of MGMT and Vampire Weekend, Val Loper’s bass lines are infectious and contain just a hint of funk influence, and the band as a whole expertly walks the line between indie rock whimsy and punk rock edge expertly (plus, needless to say, the band’s name ranks among the very wittiest echelons of the indie-punk pantheon). Though they’ve only been signed for two years, Bear Hands already have an EP and a full-length release to their credit, and, in the spirit of the genre, show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Currently in the midst of a North American tour, Bear Hands will be gracing the stage at Mohawk Place tonight (July 24). Playing support will be another staple of Brooklyn’s burgeoning indie-punk scene, Fort Lean, among others. -edward a. benoit
Work is over, it’s Friday evening, and the sun is still shining. It seems to be a waste not to have happy hour outside during Buffalo’s summers. Or how does the iconic steps of the History Museum sound, overlooking the Mirror Lake, Delaware Park, and the Japanese Garden?
The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society held its seventh annual Party on the Portico summer happy hour on Friday, the second of a three-series event. The parties are on the back patio of the History Museum, located at 25 Nottingham Court, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The next and last party of the summer is on Friday, August 17 with The Steam Donkeys and The Albrights.
At each Party on the Portico, guests enjoy upbeat live music by local bands, free appetizers, cash bar – wine/beer cost $4 and water/soft drinks cost $1 – and free 15-minute mini-tours of the History Museum. The money goes to the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society.
The weather was perfect last Friday (July 20) as drinks and conversation flowed on the beautiful patio of the museum. A Potter’s Field and Marvelous Sauce, two local bands, performed and kept the atmosphere high and lively all evening, and even prompted some young guests to dance. “It’s a FUNdraiser, with the emphasis on ‘fun,’” Constance Caldwell, the director of communications and community engagements of the historical society, said. 300 to 600 guests attend each Party on the Portico, according to Caldwell. She said that the fundraiser is a way to both have fun and look after an important institution.
Melissa Brown, the executive director of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, said that she particularly likes its Party on the Portico event because people of all ages attend – which was quite evident on Friday, where ages ranged from 21 to decades older. “We usually have an older crowd with a lot of our events, it’s nice because it’s a mixed-age thing and sometimes it’s people’s first contact with the organization,” Brown said. “So it’s a nice way to say, ‘Hey, there is more to us than just the history stuff.’ And it’s about really getting involved with the community, too.” -lisa khoury
What do you get mix a piano, a quirky personality, and witty wordplay? Well, you get indie singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. Don’t recognize her name? You’ve heard her music everywhere – from Old Navy advertisements to Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill episodes to So You Think You Can Dance where a mother danced to her song and dedicated it to her children. VH1 named Michaelson as a “You Outta Know” artist and even The New York Times has said she’s “singing her way from obscurity.”
With such catchy lines – like “let’s get rich and buy our parents homes in the South of France; let’s get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance” – you’ll be singing along and bouncing to the piano, ukulele, and acoustic sounds. Her songs often explore love, relationships, and the loss of both, but she remains surprisingly optimistic. Her melodies bridge between haunting and smooth to soulful and poppy – it’s hard to quite pin down what Michaelson is all about.
She’s the daughter of a composer and sculptor; the arts have been in Michaelson’s veins since birth. After receiving a degree in theatre from Binghamton University, she began self-recording and self-releasing her music in 2002 via Myspace. She’s released five albums since, after music producer from Grey’s Anatomy found her Myspace page in 2006. Her most recent release, Human Again, has been out since January.
If you’re in the mood for a refreshing night of music mixed with Michaelson’s impeccable and captivating stage presence, head over to Town Ballroom tonight (July 20). -rebecca bratek
Yes is a band that needs no introduction. Four decades. Twenty-one studio albums. The bass part of “Roundabout.” These are the guys who managed to make 20-minute progressive rock epics radio friendly and invented the fine art of the trippy album cover (well, okay, Roger Dean did that, but still). Yes, the lineup’s changed, again—the current iteration consists of Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, and Jon Davison—but don’t let the lack of Jon Anderson dissuade you. Get up, get down, and see these titans of prog rock when they play close by a river, not in but around a lake at Artpark on Tuesday night (July 17). Accompanying the venerated quintet will be another set of the prog pioneers, Procol Harum, an Essex sextet whose 45 years of reputation precede them. Fans of unusual time signatures and the Hammond organ may never witness an opportunity like this again, and all for what it might’ve cost you to see it in 1969. -edward a. benoit
Tues. 17. Yes w/ Special Guests Procol Harum. 6:30pm Artpark. (754-4375/http://www.artpark.net). $5 before 7/15, $10 afterward.
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