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: https://www.gofundme.com/lb9rys
“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: shanewynn.com)
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 Buffalo Chamber Players made the move from their former home at the Buffalo Seminary to the Albright Knox this season, and based on the record attendance at their season opening concert last September, the move has been a huge success. Their concert at the AK this Thursday at 8pm will feature music with ties to two new exhibitions.
To coincide with the AK’s opening of Monet and the Impressionist Revolution, they have programmed two major works by Impressionist masters, Claude Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp and Maurice Ravel’s Chansons madécasses for mezzo-soprano, flute, cello and piano. The award-winning Canadian mezzo-soprano Lynn McMurtry makes her BCP debut in the Chansons madécasses.
Inspired by the AK’s current exhibit Looking at Tomorrow: Light and Language from the Panza Collection, BCP artistic director Janz Castelo has selected works by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and American avant-garde composer La Monte Young that relate to the exhibit. Castelo says, “Much like the artists in the Panza exhibit, Pärt and Young sought to redefine and challenge what music was, is and could be. Their works are a musical breath of fresh air, inviting the listener to experience music in a new light.” The ensemble will perform Pärt’s Fratres and Spiegel im Spiegel, and Young’s Composition 1960 #7. Manuel de Falla’s Pantomime and Ritual Fire Dance from El Amor Brujo, arranged for piano sextet by the composer, and Caroline Mallonée’s The Butterfly Effect for string quartet, electronics and rain sticks are also on the program.
As an added benefit to concertgoers, the AK’s new exhibit Monet and the Impressionist Revolution will be open to ticket holders at no extra charge from 5 to 7:30 pm. Tickets: $20/15/5 students. Phone: 270.8223 or visit: www.tickets.albrightknox.org
“Watch the dust start to rise through the air I don’t know if it ever comes back again Breathe it in so I never forget where we came from
Don’t put out the fire It’s been the summer like I wanted but it’s never enough And although my bones are tired I won’t change a thing”
“Wipe Yourself Off Man, You Dead” – Four Year Strong
5. Sugar City Soul Night @ Milkie’s (Oct 10)
So the Bills just lost and you’re feeling the blues. Well, you can get yourself a little jolt of soulful energy this Saturday at Milkie’s when some great local DJs will be spinning some of the best Soul records from their extensive collection. Milkie’s is a Buffalo staple of course, and if you aren’t familiar with Sugar City check them out here. They have done some phenomenal things for the Buffalo arts community and run one of the most unique music venues in the city. They’ll be taking $5 “donations” at the bar this Saturday, so I highly recommend you throw them a couple extra bucks for what they do.
4. Four Year Strong @ Waiting Room (Oct 10)
Pop punk can sort of get a bad rap due to the extensive list of corny bands that have showcased the genre on the big stage over the years, but this is not one of those bands. They’re closer to the Bouncing Souls then they are to Sum 41 in terms of the “pop” punk sound, so don’t be afraid that you’ll have to check your punk cred at the door. The Waiting Room is a pretty cool venue too so this ought to be a pretty awesome show. Make sure you get nice and close to the pit and get a little sweaty, that’s all part of the fun.
3. The Dodos @ Mohawk Place (Oct 8)
Riding high on their well received 2015 album Individ, The Dodos will be bringing their kinetic brand of indie rock to Buffalo’s Mohawk Place this Thursday. Although beset by tragedy in 2012 with the death of guitarist Christopher Reimer, the band formerly known as “Dodo Bird” has kept moving forward and have built up quite a following over the years. They have an incredibly fresh and energetic sound that ditches some of the snarkyness of modern indie rock in a great way. Mohawk Place might be my favorite venue in Buffalo so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out A) why do you choose to live under a rock and B) this is as great an opportunity as any to give it a try.
2. Carrie: The Musical @ The American Repertory Theater of WNY (Oct 3)
Take advantage of one of your last opportunities to see The American Repertory Theater of WNY‘s production of Carrie: The Musical. If you haven’t been, the venue location is located at 18 Agassiz Circle (otherwise known as Medaille College). The reviews have been pretty solid, with the Buffalo News giving it 3.5 out of 4 stars along with plenty of other positive buzz. The talent is mostly home-grown, with theater veterans Christopher Standart and Michael Hake running the production, directing and musical duties. The last 2 shows will be this Friday and Saturday so get on over there and check it out while you still can!
1. Sabres Opening Night Festivities @ First Niagara Center/Harborcenter (Oct 8)
It’s here! It’s finally here! We can root for the Sabres again! If the Giants beating up on the Bills has got you down, you should hopefully be able to get your sports fix with the other Buffalo sports team the Buffalo Sabres. The great news is that they are looking to finally be pretty good, although anything is better than the hell that has been the last 2 years of Sabres Hockey. They might not be good enough for the playoffs but they’ll at least be exciting. They’ve looked pretty good in preseason, with the new savior of Buffalo Jack Eichel scoring a couple beauties. Even vets like Tyler Ennis have been looking pretty damn good, and that doesn’t even include all the shiny new tools in the form of Ryan O’reilly and Evander Kane. They’re a little green on defense and the goaltending is very suspect, but like I said we’ve got nowhere to go but up for this team. Let’s Go Buffalo!
“I always say, if you are homophobic, you better be positive you’re right. Because is it going to blow [that] all these kids are killing themselves, and … that in 20 years … you get to write a book about how wrong you were. They’re dead. So why don’t you have a soul-searching moment now? Go into your house, shut the door, and make sure you’re positive that you’re making kids feel like crap for no good goddamn reason.”
WTF With Marc Maron -Todd Glass
5. Buffalo Beer Week: San Diego Burger and Tap Night @ Allen Burger Venture (Sep 29)
Still haven’t been to ABV? What the hell are you waiting for? Allen Burger Venture hasa bevy of unique burgers and beers with an awesome rock ambiance that keeps snootier types at bay. With vinyl records on the wall, heavily tattooed bartenders and absurdly delicious burgers on the menu this dive will certainly continue to do very well on the Allen St. strip. This week they’ll be holding a San Diego Burger and Tap night as a part of Buffalo Beer Week. San Diego has some of the best beers in the country, and I’m pumped to see what sort of burger concoctions they come up with. ABV is open M-W 11AM-Midnight, Th-Sat 11AM-2AM.
Owner Mike Shatzel must have big plans for Allen as he also purchased a few other buildings along the street for future projects. It is a very exciting time for those who enjoy the edgier part of Buffalo that exists on Allen St.
4. Doug Benson @ Helium Comedy Club (Oct 4)
3. Todd Glass @ Helium Comedy Club (Oct 1-3)
What a week for comedy in Buffalo as stoner hero Doug Benson and one of America’s most insightful comedians Todd Glass will be coming to Helium. Just watch the above video and you’ll get a great taste of what to expect from both comedians. Both are podcast staples, with Benson running the always hilarious Doug Loves Moviesand Glass putting out The Todd Glass Show. Todd Glass was also on one of my favorite podcast episodes ever, where he comes out as gay on WTF with Marc Maron and gives a lot of insight into what his experience has been like and reflections on life and society. Benson will be here Sunday after the Bills game and Glass will be here from Thursday to Saturday, so don’t miss them.
2. Allentown Fall Festival @ Allen St (Oct 3)
Allen St. will be closed off and filled with musicians, vendors, an artisan market and fun activities for children as the Allentown Art Festival kicks off for the second straight year. The event starts at 11 and goes to around 7 with the band PA Line closing things out. In addition to the festivities, there is a casual 25 mile bike ride to the Olmstead parks throughout the city that starts at 9 AM (sign up is here). If you have never been on one of these rides I highly recommend it. Buffalo is a great city to see on a bike and the weather looks to be pretty decent still. Once you are done over there, you can just hop back on your bike and head over to….
1. Buffalo Porchfest (Oct 3)
Ah yes my favorite event of the year. If you haven’t been before, Porchfest is an absolute blast. The premise is simple- a dozen or so residents in the West Side open up their porches and lawns to musicians and spectators and Buffalo Police look the other way when it comes to drinking in public. Get your bike out of the garage one last time and spend the day going from site to site checking out some of the best music Buffalo has to offer. For my money (okay it’s all free) I’ll be hanging out around the corner of Elmwood and Lafayette where the bands usually end up going the latest and the party seems to be the wildest. Keep your eyes open for the official schedule later this week, I’ll post it on the Facebook page when it comes out.
In this week’s show Pete talks with comedian and HBO talk show host Bill Maher, who’s performing at Shea’s Performing Arts Center this weekend. Maher talks about his roots in standup comedy, and the politically correct culture we live in. We also have a ticket give away to his show! Also in the show Cindy Batista talks about her project to bring a hospitality house to families with loved ones staying at Mercy Hospital, Willard Brooks talks about the Buffalo craft beer bubble, and Artvoice BOOM Winners, Uncle Ben’s Remedy is in our music spotlight.