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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: the Artvoice Battle of Original Music (BOOM!) Grand Finale, where we crown our $5000 winner at the Tralf on Friday, May 13th.

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.

Artvoice B.O.O.M! Grand Finale

Friday, May 13

The final four Artvoice Battle of Original Music finalists have been chosen and these fast rising local bands will battle it out for the $5000 grand prize at the Tralf on Friday (May 13). Set times have been randomly assigned starting with folk-jazz band Steel Keys & Brass. This four piece, formed in the winter of 2009, is fresh off the release of their first LP, Vaudevillans, a widely varied 15 track mix of jazzy bass licks and crisp acoustic guitar inspired by a range of artists from Led Zeppelin to Miles Davis. Next, indie rock outfit the Etchings take the stage. The four-piece describes their music as “visceral and volcanic” a description that rings true on songs like “Checkerboard Lies.” The Andrew J. Reimers Country-Punk Extravaganza follow with a lineup of melodic punkabilly tunes. Their songs are simple, mostly acoustic guitar, bass, and rock drums, but this simplicity creates the perfect canvas for Reimers heartfelt and honest lyrics. Closing out this BOOM finale will be grooving jam band the Funky Beets with their highly improvised, guitar driven funk-rock. The four-piece explores laid-back funk that often mutates into psychedelic jam sessions. After nearly six months of online voting and live performances it all comes down to one last 45-minute set for each of these finalists, with the winner to be announced at midnight. Audience members will have one last chance to vote for the band they think should be 2011’s B.O.O.M. grand champion. Who will you vote for? —cory perla

7pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / / $7. 21+.

Thursday, May 12


On Thursday (tonight!) robotic mixmaster Calvertron, will bring his swerving, unpredictable style of house and dubstep to Soundlab. Calvetron, a.k.a. Alex Calver made his name in the UK, remixing artists like Laidback Luke, Armand Van Helden, and Sander Kleinenberg. With aspects of hip-hop, ragga, dubstep’s electronic wobble, and robotic samples, this veteran producer lays down pure dance floor energy on tracks like “R U Ready” and “Futureproof.” Joining him on Thursday is Figure, real name Josh Gard, who brings heavy bass from the Midwest with a mix of house, dubstep, and drum ‘n’ bass. Figure is often featured on BBC radio and has been enlisted as a remixer for names like Bart B More and Diplo. Rochester’s breakbeat manipulator DJ Fixx, local newcomer Ill Billy, and fidget beats from JFN’s electro-dubstep duo Red Tunes will open this dance party on Pearl Street. —h. timpson

10pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $15 advance, $20 day of show.

Friday, May 13

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari has made his mark on the entertainment industry with his exuberant brand of comedic brilliance. The 28 year-old comedian has been successful as a stand-up comic, writer, and actor. He created and starred in the MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant, appeared in movies such as Funny People, and I Love You, Man, released a CD/DVD of his stand up comedy, and currently stars on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Ansari is a comedian who knows how to find humor in the small things. His Twitter feed is full of small but hilarious moments like these: @Aizansari: Congrats to my little cousin Harris who will be attending NYU next year! #PrettySureHeWillJustPlayVideoGamesandEatBagelBitesinHisDorm. Hashtags suite Ansari’s amped up delivery style and he has made Twitter his playground by live tweeting while watching movies like Twilight and encouraging internet memes such as #PredictingKanyeTweets. Even a short monologue­—where Ansari’s Parks and Recreation character, Tom Haverford, created slang—inspired the website (“Root beer is ‘super water,’ and I call forks ‘food rakes.’”) When asked how Tom Haverford would refer to Buffalo wings, the comedian replied, “Wacka Flocka Waaaaaaaangs.” Whether he’s acting, performing stand up, or tweeting Ansari never fails to delight audiences. You won’t want to miss Ansari’s stand up comedy act this Friday (May 13) at the Seneca Niagara Events Center. —jill greenberg

8pm. Seneca Niagara Events Center, 310 4th St., Niagara Falls (852-5000 / $35.

Friday, May 13

Granted Fundraiser

Shooting an independent film can be expensive, just ask someone like Buffalo’s token filmmaker Vincent Gallo. Though the filmmaking process is demanding, a group with a passion for it will find a way. On Friday (May 13) DBGB in Allentown will host a Happy Hour Fundraiser for five local filmmakers, Brian Bernys, Jacob Albarella, Craig Gusmann, Evan Pease, and Anthony Vescio, who are working on an independently produced feature film titled Granted. Being filmed locally and featuring a local cast and crew, Granted is the dark story of a room that grants its occupants their life’s wishes, but takes something from them in return. “We’re looking to go back to the older era of filmmaking, when things were more simple, when story and acting mattered,” said director Anthony Vescio. In 2009 this group of local artists were national finalists at the 48 Hour Film Project and have won various awards for their work. For $30, supporters at DBGB will help these local filmmakers reach their goals and also help themselves to an open bar, a complimentary grand buffet, and live music from local electronic indie band Voices. “We’re going to make this movie whether someone donates five bucks, 100 bucks or 1,000 bucks,” said Evan Pease, director of photography. “If someone wants to donate, they know they are going to help make this movie that much better.” —cory perla

6pm. Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359). $30.

Friday, May 13

The Dan Harper Blues Band

The Dan Harper Blues Band is one of Buffalo’s longest running blues bands, having played together for over two decades. They have recently reached an agreement with Club Diablo that will have the band appearing at the club every Friday night. The band’s sound is decidedly old school, as several of their numbers harken back to the sound of 1950s and 1960s blues. “Pain In My Heart” is a somber number reminiscient of Buddy Holly and Gene Vincent, with a bit of the Animals thrown in for good measure. “Trouble No More” has a style heavily indebted to Canned Heat, and features a riff vaguely similar to that band’s classic “On the Road Again.” ”Little Baby” continues the 1960s vibe with a style that evokes memories of the Ten Years After staple “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.” While the band’s sound is certainly influenced by their ancestors, that is not to say they don’t have an original style. Indeed, they blend the sounds of several classic blues bands to create something all their own. Considering the band’s highly diverse catalog (their website features songs dating back to 1990), they’ll have a large variety of songs to choose from. Anyone who loves the blues, or just has a taste for old-school tunes, will surely get a kick out of Dan Harper’s weekly performances. Their next show is this Friday (May 13) at 6pm to 9pm, admission is free. —john hugar

6pm, every Friday. Club Diablo, 517 Washington St. (842-0666 / Free.

Saturday, May 14

Xavier Rudd with Honeyhoney

Xavier Rudd’s headlining Tap Root Tour, which kicked off in Aspen, Colorado on April 28th, makes a stop in Niagara Falls this Saturday (May 14). The U.S. branch of his often sold out world tour is in support of his 2010 album Koonyum Sun. As a surfer and a supporter of environmentalism, Rudd, who is often referred to as a “one man band,” does what he can to incorporate the beauty of nature into his music by using the earthy sound combination of guitar, didgeridoo, and percussion in his music. As a seasoned musician, Rudd has opened for Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and has also played musical festivals such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Bumbershoot, Glastonbury, Summer Sonic, and more. However, he said that he has never been as excited about a tour as he is about this one. Opening for Rudd is the duo Honeyhoney, which consists of Suzanna Santo and Ben Jaffe, who describe their music as “freaky deeky.” Get freaky deeky with Rudd and HoneyHoney at the Rapid’s Theatre on Saturday. —krysta zagorski

7pm. Rapid’s Theatre, 1711 Main Street. (716-205-8925 / $22.50 advance, $25 day of show. All ages.

Thursday, May 19


You would think that with a name like Justin Sane, Anti-Flag’s frontman might have a hard time getting people to take him seriously as a political voice. But Sane, real name Justin Geever, has been leading the protest—with his four-piece band of sociopolitical punks and their activist fan base—for over two decades now, proving that their fast paced, in-your-face brand of punk is the great unifier. The band’s name came from Sane and drummer Pat Thetic’s frustration with the “antifascist,” yet hypocritical punk scene in their hometown of Pittsburgh in the 1980s. “We just wanted to make a point that we weren’t there only to entertain, we had something to say, there was a fundamental belief behind the band,” Sane explained. They’ve taken those fundamental beliefs and shaped their nine albums around them, albums like their debut Die For The Government, and their latest, 2009’s The People or the Gun featuring tracks like “We Are the One,” where Sane shouts lyrics about punk unity and destruction as a channel for change over huge punk rock guitar riffs and booming drums. Anti-Flag will play live at Buffalo’s appropriately punk rock venue, Mohawk Place on Thursday (May 19) with local indie rockers Lemuria, Fat Wreck Chord’s the Flatliners, and Hostage Calm by their side. —cory perla

6pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $15. 16+.