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Steam Donkeys Host Winter Carnival Saturday

Mail AttachmentSpendthrifts, barflys, n’er-do-wells, and beautiful losers are unanimous in their praise for this Saturday’s Winter Carnival hosted by the Steam Donkeys at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. The event will include traditional snowball fights, a King of the Mountain contest on an icy snowbank, a donut-spinning challenge in the Tops parking lot with separate divisions for front and rear-wheel drive vehicles, and a freestyle pogeying competition with extra points awarded for dragging behind a cop car. Festivities begin at 9pm.

The event was conceived by the Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo-based music act and global think tank—who just wanted to put some old fashioned fun back into the winter season. 

“Renting a pair of ice skates and pretending you’re Hans Brinker on the faux canals at Canalside is all well and good,” says Steam Donkeys spokesperson and front man Buck Quigley. “But when I was growing up, winter activities were more spontaneous and challenging. It takes considerable skill to grab onto the bumper of a police cruiser, unnoticed, and maintain that aerodynamic tuck while sliding along on your boots. Couple that with the aerobic workout you’d get running through backyards and hopping fences when the cops discovered you—there’s nothing quite like it today.”

Local business leaders, wealthy philanthropists, elected officials and all of their appointed staffs voiced their strong opposition to the event.

“I don’t know where to begin,” said an influential mover and shaker, on condition of anonymity. “When you think of the massive amounts of public money that have gone into all the infrastructure at Canalside, not to mention the sweetheart deals that have been given out to connected vendors—you quickly realize the place is too big to fail. I don’t care if people are down there pedaling ice bikes through the slush. And I don’t care if they get frostbite weathering the freezing spray from the lake. They need to come and smile and talk about Buffalo’s renaissance. It’s important they continue to come by the thousands. The future of Buffalo depends on it. And here, we have this loose cannon Quigley urging otherwise rational people to loiter on street corners waiting to go—what does he call it? Pogoing?”

“The term is pogeying, which is essentially the same thing as skitchin,” Quigley retorted, “which my esteemed critic would know if he hadn’t been forced to spend his childhood winters packed off to a boarding school near St. Moritz because his parents found him to be an overbearing blabbermouth.”

The Steam Donkeys Winter Carnival at Sportsmen’s Tavern will also feature a performance drawing from the band’s vast catalog, plus several choice covers, sprinkled with lots of their trademark wise-cracking stage banter. Carnival admission is only $3. Participants are responsible for any legal issues they may incur before, during and after the event.





Steam Donkeys Celebrate Beer, Summer, Father’s Day

Scientists are still calling it a miracle. Steam Donkeys at Sporto's

Earlier this year, a snow plow driver made a shocking discovery when he uncovered a handful of bodies frozen into a snowbank. It was the Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo, NY-based original music act and global think tank. They were revived with shots of whiskey. Now, their impossible tale of survival is being made into a feature film starring Nicolas Cage as the snow plow driver.

To celebrate, the band will be performing a pair of shows this Saturday (6/20). The first will be a 6-7pm set at the Second Annual Buffalo Brewers Festival at Canalside. The second show starts at 8:30pm the same day, at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, where the band will perform four hours of material culled from its 23 year career.

“If this band were a person, he or she would be of legal age to drink,” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “So, we’re an obvious choice to play at a beer festival.”

While he says there are many benefits to playing in a band with such longevity, there is one major downside.

“Whenever we walk toward a 7-11 on a Friday or Saturday night,” he says, “there are usually a few young hipster bands lurking around the corner asking if we would buy them a twelve pack of Magic Hat.”

It’s a small price to pay. On the upside, the band has reached the point in its career where it no longer needs to rehearse.

“We used to rehearse a lot back when we sucked,” Quigley observes. “But like anything else, you do it enough and you get good at it, even if you go blind. Now we’ve reached a point that our songs are so catchy that we can’t forget them even if we tried. On those rare occasions when we still would rehearse, we mainly found ourselves just sitting around, drinking beer, telling jokes, and talking about the universe, life and all that. It was at that point we realized we had morphed into a global think tank.”

Their influence is widespread. Though they shun the praise they so richly deserve, the band is widely credited with convincing the Pope to take a stand against climate change.

“Let’s just say we made a couple phone calls,” Quigley says.Steam Donkeys at Pollywogg holler 2

Aside from celebrating their upcoming motion picture and the art of craft brewing, the band wants these two shows to honor both the summer solstice and Fathers Day, both of which begin at midnight Saturday night.

“You know, we’ll be doing the traditional Midsummer thing after the show…with the big bonfire, sacrifices to obscure deities and fertility rights and stuff,” Quigley adds. “And in the morning it will be Fathers Day, so I’ll be sleeping in before pretending to get things accomplished in the garage all day. Welcome, summer!”


The Steam Donkeys Present: A Scary Home Companion

This Saturday (5/16) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, the Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo-based musical act and global think tank—will present the first live broadcast of their new radio program entitled A Scary Home Companion. Combining down home humor with a sprinkling of satirical social commentary, the show will feature original skits like “The Lives of the Plowboys”—which will follow the adventures of Rusty and Righty, two corn pone country youth. Another bit is called “Guy Boudoir: Private Dick”—which will be a send-up of old film noir and radio dramas.

“We wanted to try something completely new and fresh,” said Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson, Buck Quigley, before a large group of entertainment reporters. “Music will of course remain a big part of the show. As a matter of fact, this week’s guests will be none other than the fabulous Irving Klaws. But we’ll also be featuring a segment called ‘The News from Lake Snobegon,’ where I’ll report on the humorous and heartwarming events in the small fictional town.”

via the facebooks

Campy, much?

Quigley was then peppered with a flurry of questions from the press:

“Could you tell us what, exactly, is new and original about this radio show?”

“This is a joke, right?”

“Aren’t you afraid you will be sued?”

Unrattled, Quigley responded to his critics: “Look, we’re gonna try it. If it works, it works. If the radio show bombs, we will be trying out our new television project the following afternoon, when we open up for the pride of London (ON), the Rizdales.”

The Rizdales are touring in support of their latest release entitled Blue Ain’t The Word – A Tribute To The Music of Ray Price.


Quigley says the TV program will take the form of an old-fashioned variety show, with lots of country music, dumb jokes, beautiful women lounging around or jumping up and down in calico halter tops and a salute to Quigley’s hometown of Grampian, Pennsylvania, population 356.

“We’re calling it Hoo Haw,” he says.

Saturday night’s radio show begins with the Steam Donkeys at 8:30pm; followed by the Irving Klaws at 10:30pm.

Sunday’s (5/17) television broadcast starts with the Steam Donkeys at 4pm, followed by the Rizdales. Both acts will be joined by a cavalcade of guests including Dee Adams, Dwane Hall, Carl Eddy, and Jim Whitford.

Steam Donkeys Call for End to Tax Season

Addressing a crowd of overworked, underpaid barflies at a local watering hole, a spokesperson for the Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo, NY-based music act and global think tank—called for an end to tax season.

The Steam Donkeys

The Steam Donkeys











“For too long, the State and Federal Governments have had their hands in your wallets!” Shouted Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley, as he motioned for another round. “This out of control taxation must come to an end immediately,” he added.

“Quigley’s fiery rhetoric does stir people’s emotions,” said one certified public accountant, on condition of anonymity, “But I have to question his timing. The tax deadline is today. So, with tax season over, I was planning on going down to this little place I have in the Florida Keys and smoking a bag of weed on the beach for a week. But, whatever. He thinks he’s a revolutionary.”

“The revolution has just begun,” says Quigley. “This Saturday (4/18), we’re calling for a mass demonstration at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. To send a strong message to Albany and Washington, we’ll be waiving all taxes on the $5 admission fee. We call that ‘Sticking it to the Man!'”

Randle and the Late Night Scandals

Randle and the Late Night Scandals

Joining the Steam Donkeys will be local favorites Randle and the Late Night Scandals—who will get the event going at 8:30pm. They will also be selling tax-free copies of their latest CD.

“We urge everyone to come out in force so we can finally put an end to this terrible burden on working men, women, and families—known as ‘tax season.'”

Steam Donkeys Celebrate Spring at Sportsmen’s

Early last week, archaeologists uncovered what was believed to be the fully preserved remains of a five-piece musical act, encased in a melting snowbank in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo, NY, near the Sportsmen’s Tavern.

A private snowplow driver was the first to notice the weird anomaly at the top of the towering snow pile.

“A lot of stuff turns up in snowbanks,” the driver said, under condition of anonymity. “Everything from side-view mirrors to jewelry to i-Phones. But it’s not everyday you see a cowbell. I looked further up the pile and saw what looked like the edge of a cymbal sticking out of the ice. I got out of the truck to take a closer look. As I scraped away at at the snow pack, I came upon what looked like the foot pedal to a bass drum. And just above that, a cowboy boot. That’s when it hit me, ‘My God! There’s a drummer in there!'”

A team of archaeologists was called to the scene. What they discovered was shocking.

“As they cordoned off the area and began to pick at the ice, they realized that what they had found was, in fact, an entirely intact drummer with his arm raised as if to strike a cymbal with incredible force,” said a spokesperson for the research team. “It’s not unusual to find drummers frozen in snowbanks after a hard winter. But at the point when they become stuck and frozen in the ice they are usually performing their day jobs as pizza delivery men. What was unique about this specimen was that he was actually sitting at his drum set.”

As the researchers continued their work on the site they began to uncover, one by one: a bassist, a saxophone player, and not one but two guitar players, entirely intact.

“It was as if the whole band was frozen and buried mid-song,” the spokesperson said. “Except for the one wearing the acoustic guitar, who appeared to be nonchalantly sipping a Genesee Beer.”

What is even more remarkable is that upon close examination, each frozen musician was found to have a faint pulse. They were immediately rushed to the bar where they were administered shots of bourbon. The quick thinking of the bartender is credited with saving their lives.

How the band came to be buried in the snow bank remains something of a mystery. The leading theory is that they drove to a previous gig in a complete whiteout, and, while loading into the club began to suffer from hypothermia. As confusion set in, they may have set up in the street, thinking they were already on stage and that the oncoming headlights were stage lights.

The unfrozen musicians—known as the Steam Donkeys—are a Buffalo, NY-based music act and global think tank. They last played at the Sportsmen’s Tavern on December 26, 2014. None of them have any recollection of the ordeal they have been through, preferring instead to look ahead.

“What happened to us isn’t so special,” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “From what people have been telling us, everyone was feeling frozen this winter. We had it easy, being stuck in a state of suspended animation.”

The Steam Donkeys are celebrating the return of spring with a performance Saturday (3/21) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, beginning at 8:30pm with a long set by their good friends Shaky Stage.

Shaky Stage

Shaky Stage

The Steam Donkeys

The Steam Donkeys








“After what we’ve all been through,” Quigley adds, “It feels good to be back.”



Steam Donkeys Boxing Day Fundraiser

The Steam Donkeys—a Buffalo, NY-based music act and global think tank—will keep the embers of the Yule log glowing right into Friday (12/26) when they host a Boxing Day show at the Sportsmen’s Tavern at 9:30pm. Original think tank member and lead guitarist Charlie Quill will be there, direct from NYC. The event will also be a fundraiser for  Operation United, which helps local military families.

Over 4,600 veterans in Erie County live below the federal poverty line, and nearly 2,300 are unemployed in Buffalo alone. Of the 69,000 veterans residing in Erie County, many live with the day-to-day challenges of physical and mental health problems, all on top of raising families, retaining employment, maintaining housing, and working toward higher education. Numerous veterans are also returning home and need help re-acclimating to their families and communities.

The origin of the term “Boxing Day” is unclear. Some argue that its roots may date back to Good King Wenceslas, who was moved at the sight of a peasant and braved a winter storm on December 26—the Feast of St. Stephen—to bring the poor man wine and food. Others claim that Boxing Day was so-called for the donation boxes the Church of England would break open on the day after Christmas to distribute to the poor. The Boxing Day tradition was mainly carried on by various members of the UK Commonwealth, including Canada.

The equivalent of 20 "loonies."

The equivalent of 20 “loonies.”

Famous bespectacled Brit Elvis Costello even wrote a song titled “Boxing Day” in 1983, though it sheds little insight into the holiday’s meaning:

Although the origins of the holiday seem to have been lost in the collective consciousness, the message is as clear today as the message contained in a vintage English poster that was recently discovered rolled up under the driver’s seat of a rusted lorry in a breaker’s yard near Shropshire:


When England was terrorized by German bombing raids during WWII, Prime Minister Winston Churchill had the posters printed and hung in London subway stops, pubs, and other public places to remind Britons to keep a stiff upper lip. The posters had the opposite effect, causing many Englishmen to conclude that their leader had lost his mind.

“Everyone was confused by it,” said Sir Reginald Toff, who was a mere Shropshire lad when the posters first appeared in public. “Churchill was a charismatic leader and legendary orator, but he completely missed the mark when he urged the population to steam donkeys. Yes, food rationing was on, but we were not that hungry.” Toff would go on to invent English toffee—for which he received his knighthood.

Within a day of being hung, all of the posters were ordered removed. Still, millions had been printed, and the backs of the posters were reused as scrap note paper well into the 1960s. Below is an example:

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“Whatever the true meaning of Boxing Day is, we intend to celebrate it with gusto on the day after Christmas,” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “It’s just not fair that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day get all this attention, while Boxing Day just kind of sits there like a red headed stepchild. That’s why we hope to build it into a huge celebration, and raise some money to help our military families in the process.”


Steam Donkeys / Maniacs Stage Grateful Dead Snowstorm Extravaganza

Local music act and global think tank the Steam Donkeys will perform an opening set for legendary local Grateful Dead purveyors the Maniacs, upstairs at Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Avenue) at 9pm Saturday night (11/22).

The Steam Donkeys (circa 1967)

The Steam Donkeys (circa 1967)

“While many people are unaware of the Steam Donkeys beyond their global think tank role in shaping world policy, those who do know of our music tend to pigeon hole it as merely ‘honky tonk’ or ‘Americana,'” says Steam Donkeys front man and spokesperson Buck Quigley. “The fact is, the band’s roots are as deeply planted in Nudie suits as they are in tie-dyes. What a long, strange trip Saturday night is promising to be.”


“We’ve been looking forward to this event for months, ever since the Maniacs asked us to play,” Quigley adds. “I haven’t been as excited about a show since that time I let a guy stash a ream of blotter paper in the trunk of my car in the parking lot at the Grateful Dead Hampton gig in ’89. I’d forgotten all about the blotter until weeks later, crossing into Canada. Boy, was I relieved when they ran the test and it turned out the guy was selling blanks. Good times!”

As Buffalo recovers from this awful snowstorm and rushes headlong toward Thanksgiving, Quigley is mindful of one thing: “It’s important that we give thanks, but this time of year it may be even more important that we be Grateful.”



Weather Forecast: Good Time Expected Tonight at Larkinville

Shaky Stage and the Steam Donkeys will be playing at Larkin Square from 5:15pm-8:30pm in what many meteorologists are proclaiming “the most perfect summer weather of 2014.”

The show will feature an amalgamation of the two bands, with a top secret mystery guest to round out the high pressure system.


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