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Give It Up, Buffalo

One week remains in the Give for Greatness campaign. Have you given yet?

It’s been two months since we started the Give for Greatness, a campaign to raise money for Buffalo’s arts institutions left out of Erie County’s budget. The campaign kicked off on Mardi Gras, when we paraded down the streets of Buffalo and partied in our favorite bars. Now we’re down to our last week and our last five events. With another big celebration coming up in Cinco de Mayo, the campaign is coming to an end for the year, and what better way to say goodbye than to party once again.

Unit III / Fiesta For The Arts

Fiesta 4 The Arts

Thursday, May 5

5pm. Albright Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave. (882-8700 / $5.

On Thursday, May 5, the G4G campaign will come to a climax at Fiesta 4 the Arts, an evening festival to support Buffalo’s art at the cornerstone of the art community, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Music will be provided by a list of great local bands including pop-rockers the Albrights, Unit III, alternative reggae band the Rockaz, and jazz rockers Midnight Sun Club. Expect performances by some of Buffalo’s most important dance groups like the contemporary dancers at LehererDance, Habit Dance, nimbus dance, and the ballet dancers of Configuration Dance Theatre. The Alt Theater’s Amy Taravella and Anne Burnidge Dance will also make appearances alongside many of our city’s favorite actors, musicians, poets, and artists. Afterward, the party will continue into the night at neighborhood venues like Cole’s Restaurant on Elmwood and Amherst Street’s Sportsmen’s Tavern with Gretchen Schulz & the Morvels.

The Fiesta begins at 5pm at the art gallery with a minimum donation of $5.

—cory perla

Electrorespect 4: A Tribute to Mark Freeland

ElectroRespect 4: A Tribute to Mark Freeland

Saturday, April 30

10pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5.

Artist, writer, and musician Mark Freeland was constantly pushing the creative envelope, an enduring testament to the vibrant art and music community that Buffalo boasts. It’s hard to sum up a person who refused to be pigeonholed, and while you could say “outrageous” or “legendary” or “one-of-a-kind” and be accurate, it still does little to convey the kind of person Mark was to his family, friends, artists, and fellow musicians. Mark was all art, all of the time, breathing passion and originality into everything he did.

It’s been four years since Mark passed away, and while we might not have him here physically, he left us an amazing gift through his music, art, and stories from the people who knew and interacted with him. This Sunday would be his 54th birthday, and on Saturday, the always revered local music watering hole Nietzsche’s will be hosting ElectroRespect 4: A Tribute to Mark Freeland, featuring a huge bill honoring Mark with performances of his original tunes and favorite covers.

Making the trip from NYC are industrial-samba-fusion outfit Hylofi, an offshoot of Brooklyn mainstays Thought, with a 10-piece lineup featuring ultra-tight horn lines and a stellar rhythm section. At midnight is a birthday dedication for Mark, with another set from Hylofi to follow. David Kane, who played with Mark in a number of bands, will be covering some of his favorite Bowie songs. The Disobedient Quartet will be on-hand to play acoustic renditions of Freeland originals, while the Fucking Hotlights close out the show with their raucous grime and apeshit stage presence that Freeland would surely applaud. Also on the bill are Ed Koban and Emile Lattimer, newcomers Pillow Queen, and Cowboys of Scotland.

Proceeds from the $5 cover charge benefit Give for Greatness. If Mark was around today, there’s no doubt that he would put forth a tireless effort, as he did with everything in life, to help save our cultural institutions. Give for Greatness is largely inspired by people like Mark, who created a lasting impression on the fabric of our art and music community.

—jon wheelock

Libraries for the Arts

Friday, April 29 and Tuesday, May 3

Noon. Buffalo and Erie County Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo. 858-8900.

Word is art, too. Shakespeare would certainly agree. This Friday, April 29, the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library will present the Best of the Bard, scenes from Shakespeare’s well known plays, trivia, and theater during his times. Join several of Buffalo’s best actors, dancers and musicians as they present these works of Shakespeare. If this event doesn’t satisfy your craving for the Bard, then on Tuesday, May 3, the library will present Sonnets Through the Ages, sonnets by Shakespeare and works of modern poets and writers, presented by members of Buffalo’s theatre community with guitar accompaniment by Matt Crane.

Donations to the ongoing Give for Greatness campaign will be accepted following each noontime program.

—cory perla

Speakeasy Sundays: McCarthyizm + Soulis

Speakeasy Sunday: McCarthyizm + Soulis

Sunday, May 1

7pm. Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, 76 Pearl St. (856-2337 / $5.

There was, during those dark years of Prohibition-era Buffalo, a speakeasy catering to the city’s thirsty residents, lakers, and canallers housed in what is now Brawler’s Back Alley Deli in the bowels of Pearl Street Grill & Brewery. In those days, that area of the city wasn’t the most hospitable place, but the downtown location and historic vibe of Brawler’s now makes for the perfect venue to showcase live music from some of Buffalo’s best local acts. Speakeasy Sundays, a four-part concert series benefitting Give for Greatness, culminates this Sunday, May 1, with alt/garage rockers McCarthyizm and newly formed string trio Soulis.

If there’s ever a band that will make you want to raise your beer in approval, it’s McCarthyizm, but by no means are they merely “drinking music.” The band manages to mold together a number of different genres, from boisterous 1960’s garage rock to the lyrical and melodious influences of Celtic folk music.McCarthyizm, who took home a Buffalo Music Award for “Best Original Rock Band” in 2006 and 2007, and released their new album, Victors and Vices, in March. Newcomers Soulis open the show.

This is the last installment of the Speakeasy series, and one of your last opportunities to Give for Greatness, so head downtown on your lazy Sunday evening for a night of original music and a beer-swilling good time. And you won’t have to drink ambiguous hooch or worry about the feds busting up the party.

—jon wheelock

The Sins

The Sins at Club Diablo

Thursday, May 5

7pm. Club Diablo, 517 Washington St. Buffalo. (842-0666 /

On a day like Cinco de Mayo, it’s okay to let go a little bit, as long as your sins aren’t life-threatening. Club Diablo is a good place to start because local trash rockers the Sins will be on hand to inspire a night of chaos.

When the Sins take the stage it’s like a no-holds-barred meeting of Spinal Tap and the Sex Pistols, outrageous lyrics, flying guitar riffs, and questionable behavior included. Made up of former members of heavy rocking Buffalo bands like SuperPimp and Viel, the Sins are singer Johnnie Perry, guitarist Stephen Perry, Paul Baggs on bass, and drummer Dean O’Keefe. The hard-rocking foursome, who formed in the summer of 2009, will take the stage with 1980s hair rock tribute band Jim Crean & Hair Nation.

cory perla

Donations to Give For Greatness can be made online at, by calling 716-881-6604 or through the mail to: PO Box 8000, Department Number 938, Buffalo, NY 14267.

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