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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: The 54th Annual Allentown Art Festival, from 11am - 6pm this Saturday and Sunday.

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.

54th Annual Allentown Art Festival

Saturday & Sunday, June 11th and 12th

Allentown, from North Street to Virginia and Elmwood to Main Street will be packed with tens of thousands of art lovers this Saturday (June 11) and Sunday (June 12) from 11am to 6pm, for the 54th annual Allentown Art Festival. The Art Festival is an outdoor, juried event on the streets of the Allentown District in Buffalo, produced by the all-volunteer members of the Allentown Village Society, which was founded in 1958. Approximately 450 artists and craftspeople from all over the U.S. and Canada will exhibit their work, after being chosen from a pool of over 700 applicants. 41 cash prizes, totaling over $19,000 will be awarded to exhibitors including prizes for Best of Show, and several media categories like realistic and abstract painting, photography, sculpture and many more. Expect dozens of concessions tents with some of the city’s best food and live entertainment from local musicians. Nietzsche’s will be packed once again for the Allentown Art Fest Music Fest including over a dozen local bands like Peanut Brittle Satellite, Aqueous, Anal Pudding, Universe Shark, the Erie Lackawanna Railroad Band, Family Funktion & the Sitar Jamz, Square Circle, and more from 2pm to 1am. Also look out for Dave Schulz & C.O. Jones, an all-star line up of Buffalo based musicians including members Dave Schulz, keyboardist/vocalist for the Goo Goo Dolls on their “Dizzy Up the Girl” tour, local R&B artist Gretchen Schulz, and Jock Ellis, former member of Canned Heat. They will keep the crowd moving at DBGB on Saturday from 5pm to 9pm. See you on the streets of Allentown for some sun and fun this weekend.

—cory perla

11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday. Allentown.

Friday, June 10

Here Come The Mummies

If mummies had tongues then Here Come the Mummies would have them firmly pushed into their cheeks. This 12 piece, formed “over 5,000 years ago, from the dry stretches of the not-so-fertile crescent,” (if you believe their website) have a sarcophagus full of funny and funky tunes that will cause audiences to “let their freak flag fly.” “Freak Flag” from their latest album Carnal Carnival (2010) is a jam so groovy that you might even mistake it for Sly & the Family Stone. And for all we know it could be, because the identity of these 12 musicians are unknown. Rumored to include a few Grammy Award winners, the mummies go by names like Oozie Mummy on the trumpet, drummer and vocalist Eddie Mummy, guitarist Mummy Cass, and bassist Ramses, among others. Whoever mummified this super group of funk musicians better watch their back because they’re on a tour around the country that will bring them to the Tralf on Friday (June 10). These guys have a reputation for putting on a lively (pun intended) live show, so don’t miss this group of undead all-stars.

—cory perla

7pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $20 advance, $22 day of show.

Friday, June 10

Son of Blammo! Art Show

The weather’s fine and it’s time for the much anticipated sequel to last years successful Blammo art show at the Art Space Buffalo Gallery on Friday (June 10). Yes, Son of Blammo boasts enough content to put his ol’ dad to shame. Throwing “theme” to the curb like an old parking ticket, the pieces on display come from all walks of art. From painting, sculpture, and photography to digital drawing and custom toys, there will be something for everybody to bask in, as some of Western New York’s finest put their visual arts on display as a self-described “love letter to pop culture.” Highlights include comic-influenced art and customized munnies by Mike Alvarez, graffiti-inspired pieces by Thomas Holt and the multi-media psychedelic quirkiness of Nicci Mangano. Promising to be a highlight for local arts this summer, Son of Blammo is not to be missed. Due to scale and demand, showings will be held from 12pm to 4pm Saturdays and Sundays for three additional weeks after Friday’s opening. Drinks and snacks will be available along with Son of Blammo’s impending feast for all senses.

—eric kendall

6-10pm. Art Space Buffalo Gallery, 1219 Main St. (803-6205) Free/All Ages

Saturday, June 11

Bedouin Soundclash

It is easy to tell from the first chord of any one of Bedouin Soundclash’s world-pop tunes that this trio has a hard to match optimism. At the same time familiar—with uplifting lyrics and folk-pop guitar riffs of band leader Jay Malinowski—and exotic—they often use congas, bongos, and other forms of percussion to produce their worldly rhythms—the band creates reggae inspired rock songs that keep heads bobbing. Formed a decade ago at Kingston’s Queen’s University in Toronto, Malinowski, bassist Eon Sinclair, and drummer Sekou Lumumba rely on hopeful, positive imagery in their songwriting, which is immediately obvious by simply reading the track listing and title from their latest record, Light the Horizon. The album, released in September of 2010, kicks off with their single “Mountain Top,” a track about gaining perspective when you’re down and out. Bedouin Soundclash will appear at the Town Ballroom this Saturday (June 11).

—cory perla

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $18 advance, $20 day of show. 16+.

Monday, June 13

Free Henry!

With a fanbase that’s expanding as fast as the universe, years of hard work, constant gigging and a relentless drive to keep evolving their music, Free Henry! have finally graduated from “up and coming” newbies to become cemented as one of Buffalo’s most sought-after local acts. The band were the leading vote-getters for Artpark’s “Rock the Park” contest, in addition to taking home a Buffalo Music Award for “Best Original Rock Band” in 2010, and the accolades are sure to keep piling up for a group whose ceiling is as high as Free Henry!’s. It’s great to see a band like Free Henry! gain popularity for all the right reasons, and it’s only fitting that these guys headline the start of the summer concert season at the spacious outdoor amphitheatre at Artpark, this Monday (June 13). In the sea of anonymous jam bands, Free Henry! rises lightyears above the rest with a sound that allows for as much musical freedom and creativity as humanely possible, bringing together elements of alternative rock, jazz, and blues with stellar improvisational jams. Where these genres show themselves in Free Henry!’s music is a little less discernable, as the quartet does an impeccable job at meshing with each other to ensure their sound stays fresh and accessible for anyone that has an ear for well-crafted music. Layering rock/pop melodies over free-flowing jazz rhythms, Free Henry! is spearheading a new phase of jam-rock with music that’s eclectic, unpretentious, and above all, honest. Their anticipated second album, Ethereal Gust, is set for release this fall. Opening the show are fellow jam-rockers Aqueous and Little Mountain Band.

—jon wheelock

6:30pm. Artpark, 450 South 4th St., Lewiston (754-4375 / Free.

Sunday, June 12

Drive-By Truckers

On Sunday (June 12) six member alternative country band Drive-by Truckers will put a few bullet holes in pedestrian perceptions of what southern rock is through their sharp storytelling and effortless incorporation of classic rock and blues. Coming from the same reflective literary tradition as William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, Drive-By Truckers address the American South both critically and nostalgically in their careful character studies. Through all their songs of shotgun weddings, incest, old-time religion, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Drive-By Truckers are less interested in rehashing clichés about the South and more concerned with revealing a cultural richness that shows just how superficial these clichés are. Their 2003 album Decoration Day made many critics “Greatest Albums of the Decade” lists, and their latest creation, this year’s Go-Go Boots, expands and deepens the sound they have developed over the course of a career that has lasted fifteen years and led to nine studio albums. Darker and more incisive than nearly anything you are likely to hear on country radio, Drive-By Truckers continue to deliver burly ballads that justify their status as musical kings of road, trucking onward through the years assuredly and unashamedly, making a stop at the Town Ballroom to perform a powerhouse hit on the audience before taking off to the next lucky locale on a tour that won’t soon be forgotten.

—ryan wolf

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $24 advance, $28 day of show. 16+.

Tuesday, June 14

Blue Öyster Cult

Not all bands stand the test of time, but those that successfully ride the tide of musical success accumulate a long and diverse history. Blue Öyster Cult started during the late 1960s on Long Island. Spanning three decades, they have experienced changes in their name, record label, and lineup. Once the name Blue Öyster Cult stuck, their debut album was released in 1972. Since then they have toured with artists such as Alice Cooper, collaborated with Patti Smith, added lasers to their light show on tour, and rocked the hard rock/heavy metal umlaut before Motörhead, Mötley Crüe, or the spoof band Spinal Tap. Overall, Blue Öyster Cult is able to boast six compilations and 21 studio and live albums. Hits such as “Burnin’ For You,” “Godzilla,” and “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” have a classic rock sound that pull you into head-banging submission. Blue Öyster Cult will be performing at Artpark as part of their Tuesday in the Park free concert series this Tuesday (June 14) and you can be sure that they will provide more than enough cowbell.

—jill greenberg

6:30pm. Artpark, 450 South 4th St., Lewiston. (754-4375 / Free.

Thursday, June 16

Blues Traveler

It’s been five years since they set foot in Buffalo and put on that explosive, awe-inspiring performance. On Thursday (June 16) as part of the Thursday at the Square free outdoor concert series, Blues Traveler will come back in an earnest, carefree, and passionate fashion on that very same stage again with a perfect sound under the beautiful Buffalo summer sky. Rockin’ together as a quintet since 2000–formerly a quartet for a little over a decade before the untimely passing of Bobby Sheehan in 1999—is presently comprised of John Popper (vocals and harmonica), Chan Kinchla (guitar), Brendan Hill (drums), Tad Kinchla (bass), and Ben Wilson (keyboard). Since Blues Traveler’s inception in 1987, the band has released more than 10 albums, the latest released in 2008, titled North Hollywood Shootout, features a guest appearance by Bruce Willis. The band is described as a jam band and part of the indie rock scene, and has headlined music festivals such as the OH-Fest at Oneonta in 2006, as well as making an appearance at Lollapalooza in 2008. Definitely a band to see live, Blues Traveler have toured all over the country, putting on lively performances, enriching both fans and new listeners alike.

—michael koh

5-9pm. Lafayette Square ( Free.