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Tonight: Bear Hands at Mohawk Place

Tonight. 7pm. Mohawk Place, 47 East Mohawk Street. (465-2368/ $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

Party on the Portico: Not Your Average Happy Hour

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


Tonight: Ingrid Michaelson at Town Ballroom

 Tonight. 7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $24 day of show.

            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 at Artpark

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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/ $5 before 7/15, $10 afterward.

This Friday: Tech N9ne Hostile Takeover Tour

Tech N9ne Hostile Takeover Tour. Friday (June 15), 7pm. Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). $30/$25. 852-3900,

 Aaron Yates, better known by his moniker Tech N9ne, seems like he was born to rap.  His life was certainly rough enough—he grew up in a tough neighborhood, he never met his father, and he lost his best friend to gun violence.  From a young age, Tech N9ne—called so after the rapid-fire TEC-9 handgun, which he feels describes his aggressive, violent, fast-paced style—would use music to cope.  Now 40, Yates is far removed from all that; he’s sold in excess of a million records, his music’s been featured in several television series and video games, and he’s directly collaborated with industry titans like Lil’ Wayne.  His relentless style of hardcore rap, though, has never gone soft or sold out.  You can witness N9ne’s unique brand of violent lyricism on Friday (June 15) at the Town Ballroom.  The show—or perhaps “takeover” is a better word—will also feature the rhythmic and lyrical talents of Machine Gun Kelly, Krizz Kaliko, Mayday, Prozak, Stevie Stone, Kamp Crystal Lake, and Malicious Intent. -edward a. benoit


Enrico Rava at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

This Sunday (February 26) the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be hosting a performance of Trumpeter Enrico Rava and his band Enrico Rava Tribe in a rare North American appearance.  Mr. Rava is an international jazz icon as well as one of the most acclaimed Italian jazz musicians in history.  The Guardian refers to the 72-year-old as “one of Miles Davis’s most imaginative inheritors while Jazzwise has called his most recent ECM recordings as “among the best jazz albums of the last decade.”  Enrico Rava Tribe also features the remarkable young trombonist Gianluca Petrella as well as pianist Giovanni Guidi, bassist Gabriele Evangelista, and drummer Fabrizio Sferra.  Rava will only be touring four cities in the United States; besides Buffalo, these places include New York, Portland, and San Francisco.  The concert will begin at 3 p.m. in the Gallery’s Auditorium with a pre-concert discussion called “Fresh Sounds of Europe” with Art of Jazz Series Producer Bruce Eaton beginning at 2 p.m.  The concert has been made possible, in part, through the generous support of Christi and Bruce Reinoso. 

Tickets cost $25 for Albright-Knox Art Gallery Members/$29 for non-members and can be purchased at the Gallery’s Admission Desk or online at

For more information visit

-daniel whitney

Seth Meyers at UBCFA Feb 25

Seth Meyers, the Weekend Update anchor and head writer of Saturday Night Live, will present an evening of standup comedy at 8pm Feb 25 at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts on the North Campus, Amherst.

“The star of Saturday Night Live’s ‘Weekend Update’ comes to UB Center for the Arts for a rare night of standup!  As head writer for SNL, Seth Meyers has helped shape some of the best comedy of the last 10 years and recently delivered an absolutely incredible & hilarious keynote at this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner.
The New Hampshire-born Seth Meyers graduated from Northwestern University and soon joined the improv/sketch comedy group Boom Chicago, which performed in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Singapore. Meyers also performed with Chicago’s Improv Olympic, which has been used as a springboard by many other SNL cast members and writers.
During a performance at the Chicago Improv Festival, he caught the eye of SNL producers and was soon hired as a featured player. In addition to contributing to numerous sketches, Meyers appears in the recurring “Jarret’s Room” sketch as DJ Jonathan Feinstein as well as co-hosting the Irish talk show “Top O’ The Morning” as William Fitzpatrick, opposite Jimmy Fallon’s Patrick Fitzwilliam. He has also contributed notable impressions of Hugh Grant, Russell Crowe, Tobey Maguire, Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry and NBC News’ Stone Phillips and Brian Williams.” –UB Center for the Arts Press Release

Tickets are $35 and go on sale this Friday (Jan 20) at 10am through the box office, and Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

For more information, call 645-ARTS (2787) or visit

Echo Park Film Mobile

If you’ve ever considered getting involved in the enchanting field of filmmaking, Sunday (July 17) is your chance to satisfy that curiosity with the encouragement of the Echo Park Film Center.  In conjunction with the Buffalo DIY Punk Festival, Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo is organizing a Filmmobile tour in celebration of EPFC’s ten years of commitment to its community.

EPFC is a non-profit organization determined to provide equal and affordable opportunities in the field of media arts to media-marginalized populations through a neighborhood microcinema, free and nominal cost education programs, a comprehensive film equipment and service retail department, an eco-friendly mobile cinema and film school, and a touring film festival showcasing locally established and emerging filmmakers.  Once a 1997 Bluebird, the Filmmobile bus now screens free films in parking lots and nontraditional venues of the like while simultaneously providing the community with a model of sustainable energy—it runs on vegetable oil!

This Sunday, the Filmmobile will exhibit an assortment of short format experimental and documentary pieces outside the Squeaky Wheel (712 Main Street) at dusk.  Meanwhile, a Direct Animation Workshop will take place from 6-9pm where you are free to work on a collective animated film—sans cameras—by physically altering and drawing directly on film.  Plus, Lloyd’s Taco Truck is providing eats, and donating a portion of the proceeds to support Squeaky Wheel’s arts and education programs for youth and adults.

-rachelle toarmino

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