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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Rock & Roll For The Arts, a Give For Greatness fundraising event at Nietzsche's on Saturday the 23rd.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our new and improved events calendar on-line for complete event listings, a location guide to find your way about the city, restaurant reviews, and more.

Rock & Roll For The Arts Give For Greatness Fundraiser

Saturday, April 23

There are still two weeks left in the Give for Greatness campaign to help save our cultural and art institutions, and if you haven’t acquainted yourself with what G4G is all about, now is the time to get involved. This Saturday (April 23), Buffalo’s bastion of local music, Nietzsche’s, plays host to Rock & Roll for the Arts, with a doozy of a lineup featuring six of Buffalo’s best local bands. The Bloodthirsty Vegans open up the show with a hip hop-based sound that brings in elements of rock, ska, and funk to create a feel good groove with socially-conscious lyrics. In addition to having an awesome name, their dedication to deliver a positive, upbeat message fills a space that hip hop has been missing for years. Reverend Soapbox and the Rabble Rousers are the type of band you might find at some anonymous speakeasy in the 1920’s. Their addicting blend of gypsy and New Orleans-style jazz, ragtime, and blues gives new life to an all-but-forgotten era of American music. The band is really like a mini orchestra, with all-acoustic instrumentation that uses mandolin, trumpet, and upright bass to produce a dusty vintage sound that swings and bops with every beat. Next up are the B-Side Dubs, taking reggae dub well beyond its atmospheric limits by using a myriad of special sound effects and psychedelic echoes. The band just released their new EP, appropriately titled Buffa-Dub. Part Lazlo Hollyfeld, part Peanut Brittle Satellite, Logo City’s music is largely inspired by the Buffalo mainstays whose members comprise the newly formed supergroup. The Hammond B3 adds some serious soul sauce to Logo City’s mix, which combines hard driving breaks and bass-heavy grooves. Autopunch brings a number of musical sensibilities to the table, with influences that include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin and Stone Temple Pilots. The band released a self-titled EP early this year, and has begun to travel outside of Buffalo to show off their original sound. Closing out the show in the early morning hours are the Merchants, with a genuine, emotionally-charged sound that crosses the musical spectrum from delta blues to funk to hard punk. A $5 minimum donation will get you in, with all proceeds benefitting Give for Greatness. It’s no secret that our cultural institutions are an essential part of the city we live in, and their existence and success means that Buffalo can continue to foster local arts and music the way it’s always known how. —jon wheelock

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / nietzsches.com) $5 minimum donation.

Friday, April 22

Crappy Dracula

Shamelessness can indeed be a virtue. Milwaukee’s Crappy Dracula are a living testament to that. They’ve been yucking it up for years now with intentionally silly and absurd ditties that bring to mind a garage-rock version of the Dead Milkmen. Topics range from a folk-skit involving falling in love with a gorgeous hijacker on an ill-fated zeppelin to a surf stomp about the merits of “free wi-fi” as the last stop on the way to achieving the American dream. Most bands that attempt to combine humor with music are forgotten almost immediately after first notice but Crappy Dracula churn out tunes that stick with you long after first chuckle. Regardless of whether they admit to it or not, Crappy Dracula are a great band to the core and boast the kind of charmingly lo-fi hooks that make their talent undeniable. Make sure you pick up their new full-length Fantastic Dracula!. Speaking of hooks, accompanying them will be fellow Milwaukeeans The Trusty Knife; the catchiest pop band you’ve never heard of. I’m not talking about the kind of pop shoved down your throat by any given top 40 station, more like the pop you’ll find in your parent’s old collection of 45’s. With their flawless lyrical imagery and sense of melody, the Trusty Knife find themselves in the beginnings of a possible second golden age of rock and roll. Mohawk is the place and things kick off at 10pm. Opening the show are indie rockers Coworkers and band name of the year contenders, Utah Jazz.

—eric kendall

10pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / www.themohawkplace.com). $5.

Friday, April 22

Lisa Forrest CD Release Party

In the last few years, some of us—those who frequent the Sportsmen’s Tavern and Nietzsche’s on odd nights or the back room of Rust Belt Books—have had the pleasure of listening to local poet Lisa Forrest transform herself into a singer and a songwriter. The latest stage of Forrest’s evolution is the release of her first record, Oh Lake Erie, comprising 11 originals whose yearning evokes the great open mystery beside which we all live. Forrest is backed by some of the region’s finest musicians, many of whom will join her to mark the release with an early show on Friday (April 22) at the Sportsmen’s. At the show, special edition CDs will be sold with letter-pressed covers in hand-stitched vellum. Because it is Earth Day, door proceeds will benefit Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve, the beautiful spit of waterfront parkland adjacent to the Coat Guard Station downtown. If you can’t make the show, you can buy the album online at www.cdbaby.com/lisaforrest. —frances boots

5:30pm. Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst Street (874-7734 / www.sportsmenstavern.com). $5.

Saturday, April 23

Glass Hero

Since their formation in August of 2009, Buffalo’s Glass Hero has charged their way to the top of the local music scene. Their music harkens back to the three-piece glory days of bands from the 1990s. Guitarist and singer Claire Fornarola, drummer and vocalist John Galbo, and bassist Aaron Smith have forged their own style somewhere between grunge and indie rock. Fornarola and Galbo share the vocal mic, adding texture and surprise to their songs. There is something mournful and sensitive apparent in the band’s lyrics and melodies, as if the songs and band are weathered from the constant trials of life and too many gigs in dive bars. The pretty/gritty contrast of the music feels real and honest, beautiful in its own way, like a hazy basement hangout. Glass Hero has independently released two EPs: And/Or in December of 2009, and You(Me) in October of 2010. This Saturday (April 23) will find Glass Hero performing live at the Gateway Gallery. The event will be filmed as part of a future Glass Hero DVD release. The band will debut plenty of new material, and play the old classics as well. Rhubarb and Seth Faergolzia of Dufus will join the band. Glass Hero are the post-rock star poster kids of the Queen city. Say hello. —peter vullo

7pm. Gateway Gallery, 141 Elmwood Ave. (886-6888) $5.

Sunday, April 24

Of Montreal

Making their second trip out to Buffalo in less than a year, Of Montreal will once again transform Town Ballroom with their infectious, highly visual, live performance. On Easter Sunday (April 24), the ever-surprising Kevin Barnes and his brigade of costumed musicians and dancers will use props, projections, and screens to suck the stage down a rabbit hole of wonder, burrowing deeper into the realm of dream and fantasy than any Easter bunny. A carnival-like swirl of surreal imagery and colorful characters will animate Barnes’s philosophic and poetic lyrical musings on sex, religion, and identity, and further enliven the band’s bouncy beats. Of Montreal have evolved from folk to funk since their 1996 formation in Athens, Georgia, and remain one of the most entrancing and entertaining indie rock acts in existence. Whether producing brilliant concept albums that nakedly explore the subconscious or putting on wild shows that feel like parties from another planet, Of Montreal has managed to make art that is both primal and cerebral, never forsaking the fun factor in their brainy but danceable songs. The band is currently 10 studio albums into a career that continues to expand, finding new fans and new ways to make satisfying and progressive pop music. —ryan wolf

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-9300 / townballroom.com). $20 advance, $24 day of show.

Monday, April 25

Dyngus Day

Nazdrowie! Monday (April 25) is Dyngus Day. On the Monday after Easter every year, Dyngus Day celebrates a couple of different things: the baptism of Prince Mieszko I and his court (hence the introduction of Catholicism to Poland), the end of lent, and the beginning of spring. Dyngus Day has become somewhat of a transplant holiday much in the way St. Patrick’s Day is for the Irish, and it’s a reason to celebrate Polish pride. Best of all, Buffalo is Dyngus Day capital of the world! So get your pussy willows ready, your water guns filled, your falcon embossed red and white clothing on, fill up on pierogies, Sobieski, Tyskie, Krupnik, Okocim, and maybe meet your true love if you can keep sober enough to say “Kocham Cie!” Start off your festivities with the parade which begins at the Broadway Market at 5pm. Next up, get your dupa over to the Tyskie Beer Pussy Willow Park Party Tent at 6pm for some Polish brews along with music by Buffalo Touch Polka Band. If you’re into the polka jams, head over to the close by Buffalo Central Terminal to see Those Idiots perform, or simply go to any of the Pussy Willow Pass participating locations. The pass is a wristband that will get any Polish loving party goer into any official festival site for $2. Another perk of the pass: unlimited use of the Sobieski-Grand Tours Ridge Road Express shuttle to over 20 festival halls and taverns between 4pm and 1am. Can’t make it on actual Dyngus Day? No problem. Enjoy Dyngus Downtown this Saturday from 5pm to 10pm at DBGB, Hardware Cafe, and the Bend. For more info on all things Dyngus, check out dyngusday.com. —krysta zagorski

5pm. Parade begins at the Broadway Market, 999 Broadway.

Monday, April 25 - Wednesday, April 27

Americana Music Festival & Celtic Rock Night

Come out to the Sportsmen’s Tavern and enjoy an evening of celtic rock music produced by the Irish Classical Theatre and Music Is Art for the benefit of the Give For Greatness campaign on Wednesday (April 27). Headlining the night will be Poor Ould Goat, who for the last six years has been working the Irish Pubs and taverns of New York with their melting pot of Irish, Scottish, and American traditional and contemporary folk rock. The songs are played with the energy of modern music without losing the roots, complete with sing-alongs, shout-alongs, dance-alongs, and drink-alongs. The Craft of Fiction will perform to open the night. Formed 20 years ago by four Canisus College friends; Brew Mbirika, Scott Sroka, Mike Argus, and Aaron Marshall have lit up several stages together playing a mix of their own material, as well as covers by the likes of the Black Crowes, REM, U2, and Eric Clapton. For those who are interested in a different feel, the Sportsmen’s Tavern will also be hosting two nights of Americana music by Buffalo’s favorite roots bands. Cosmic Americans the Steam Donkeys will perform on Monday (April 25) at 6pm while the Twang Gang performs on Tuesday at 6pm and Culliton Mahoney at 9pm in support of G4G. —phillip weiss

Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / sportsmenstavern.com).

Monday, April 25

New Pornographers with The Walkmen

All things musical aside, April has been a pretty dreary month for Buffalo. Lucky for us, the planets have aligned just right to give our city a co-headlining show of mammoth proportions (and we didn’t even have to wait until 2012). Nostradamus himself couldn’t have predicted this dream-come-true meeting of two the most important independent bands of our day, the New Pornographers and the Walkmen. Both of which are close to reaching veteran status and are arguably in the midst of their prime. The Vancouver super group roll into town Monday (April) with Neko Case in tow, still in support of last years sugary success, Together, an album that exemplifies pop at its smartest and most ambitious. Alongside will be garage-swooners the Walkmen, who are still riding the rightfully long coattails of their gorgeously sparse Lisbon, a record that crashed the top ten lists of many music lovers in the know. For your money, you won’t come across another concert like this anytime soon. This might be just the ticket to usher us out of our soggy transition state and on to sunnier times. —eric kendall

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / townballroom.com). $24 advance, $28 day of show.