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Buffalo Infringement Festival 2011
Click here to download a PDF version of the full Infringement Festival program, or grab a Thursday July 28th edition of Artvoice for the full 16-page pull-out program.
Infringement Opening Ceremonies
Infringement Festival 2011 is upon us, which means that marginalized artists of every shape, size and genre will come out of the woodwork to showcase the off-beat, unexpected, unheard-of art that has made this festival a focal point of the summer since 2005. For 11 days, Allentown and the surrounding area becomes ground-zero for musicians, poets, dance troupes, media artists, theatre groups, street performers, and anyone else that falls between the cracks of conventionality to put themselves, and their art, on display. This year’s festival lineup boasts 1,200 performances in 52 venues across Buffalo, with group events running the gamut from the College Street Block Party, Broadway Market Extravaganza, Squeaky Wheel Film Fest, and Bike-In Movie Night at the Elmwood Co-op. The mayhem starts Thursday (July 28), as unofficial BIF headquarters, Nietzsche’s, hosts the opening ceremonies in Olympic-style fashion with a jam-packed night featuring performances by MC Vendetta, Pam Swarts, Ginger James, Scantron, Harold Black and the Entire Planet, DJ Medison, the Zombettes, Reverend Soapbox and the Rabble Rousers, and many more on both the front and back stages from 7pm until deep into the night. It’s festivals like this that prove Buffalo is a hotbed for under-the-radar art, and that there’s no shortage of artists who are willing to push the envelope to experiment, be controversial, and above all, make art on their own terms. —jon wheelock
Thursday, July 28, 7pm-?, at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen Street, nietzsches.com).
Guillotine: Heads Will Roll
Subversive Theatre presents the debut of a new play conceived by renowned experimental director Joe Siracusa, entitled Guillotine: Heads Will Roll. Audience members needn’t worry about getting a good seat, since the production will take place as a caravan roaming through Allentown. The time-tripping play will summon famous freedom fighters from the French Revolution to the present, calling upon Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, and others to draw frightening parallels between the political corruption of Bourbon, France and our modern corporate state. This pay-what-you-can public theatrical spectacle features Colleen Neumann as assistant director, and the acting talents of Brittany Kucala, Mollie McDermott, Tommy Vane, Emilie Pryor, John Kehoe, Caitlin Neumann, and Lesta Ammons.
For those too bourgeois to follow along in a mob through the streets, backyards, and alleyways of Allentown, there will also be performances August 11-13 at 8pm at the Manny Fried Playhouse at 255 Great Arrow Avenue, third floor. Visit www.subversivetheatre.org for more info. —buck quigley
July 28-August 13, 8pm, starting in Days Park.
Like graffiti but cozier. Get knitting and clothe Allentown’s fixed structures in wool. Or just enjoy the handiwork of the city’s urban fiber guerrillas. —geoff kelly
Thursday, July 28, and Thursday, August 4, on the streets of Allentown.
Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
The roots of legendary California Black punk band Fishbone can be traced to the controversial court-ordered school bussing of Los Angeles schoolchildren in the late 1970s. Transported from their predominantly Black South Central neighborhoods—where Parliament Funkadelic and Rick James blasted from speakers—out to the suburban San Fernando Valley, where Led Zeppelin and emerging So-Cal punks like the Germs and Black Flag were gaining a foothold among teenagers—Fishbone lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher were in effect legislated to listen to a lot of musical styles growing up. What came out when they put their band together made them totally unique at the time. Black rockers with mohawks who could funk the hell out of any room, it became a dreaded fear among contemporary punk bands that they would have to follow Fishbone on stage. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, this documentary features interviews with fans like Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T, Perry Farrell, Branford Marsalis, George Clinton, Tim Robbins, and others, to tell the story of how this 25-year-old act keeps rolling out of pride, desperation and love for their art. —bq
Outdoor Movie Night
The breezy yard surrounding 464 Gallery on Amherst Street is an ideal place for an outdoor film series, and this promises to be a fine evening of short films: Jason Klinger’s The Empire Strike Bank, based loosely on the true story of a bank robber who disguised himself as Darth Vader; The Loft…Riding Into the Sunset, a documentary remembrance of the last performance at Buffalo’s fabled Loft; and Making it Personal: DIY Documentary Showcase, featuring five short works by Buffalo State College students. —gk
Saturday, July 30, 8:30-11pm, at 464 Gallery (464 Amherst Street, mindweb.us/464.html).
Wham! Bam! Thank You…Slam
BIF Burlesque and Poetry Showcase
The Buffalo Infringement Festival Burlesque and Poetry Showcase brings together two art forms to create a night of burlesque, poetry, erotic storytelling, and more. Various poets will use the power of language to incite the sensual mood of the evening, just as local burlesque troupes will perform to delight and inspire. Burlesque began as a satirical form of entertainment that explored sexuality, movement, comedy, and caricature. Since the 1990s, interest in burlesque has surged and it has been revived as a nostalgic, glamorous, ecdysiastic, and at times political variety show. Burlesque is campy and fun while adding to the social commentary that began in the 1970s with body and performance art. This jam-packed event kicks off with the Beau Fleuzies, a burlesque troupe that describe themselves as “whimsy, wonder, and boobs.” Buffalo’s active burlesque community is also represented by Hell’s Harlots (“evil never looked so good”), the Zombettes (“burlesque with a slight tendency towards the grotesque”), the Boom Boom Betties, and Roxy’s Thursday residents, the Stripteasers (“…dance, political satire, and queer sketch comedy to create a shocking, sex positive revue…The Stripteasers use their wit and sass to challenge social stigmas, gender hierarchy, and political constructs”). Prepare yourself for slam poetry by MC Vendetta (of the BloodThirsty Vegans), a BIF participant since its inception. She is wildly political and outspoken, boldly and loudly going where others wouldn’t dare to tread. Music will be provided by DJ Soma’s Space Time Trip, which features a wide spectrum of electronic music such as trance and house. —jill greenberg
Wednesday, August 3, 7pm-1am. Nietzsche’s (248 Allen Street). Admission is $3 with a costume, $5 without. 21+
Video and sound orchestrated by Jax Deluca, plus Pam Swarts, Steve Baczkowski, Scantron, All Them Witches
The willow tree, and its capacity to heal, and to inspire visions and dreams, is the catalyst for this performance, orchestrated by Jax Deluca. The show comprises Deluca’s handpainted films and complementary sound by Deluca, Jim Horbett, and Kevin Cain. Supported by and supporting Deluca’s beautiful, often abstract moving pictures, they are bound to create a transporting experience.
Also taking part are avant jazzist Steve Baczkowski, sound and performance artist Pam Swarts, electronic experimentalists Scantron, and rock mathematicians All Them Witches. Any one of these artists alone ought to attract attention; taken in combination, they are not to be missed. —gk
Wednesday, August 3, 8-11pm, at Hallwalls (Babeville, 341 Delaware Avenue, hallwalls.org).
Original: The Mark Freeland Story
Cowboys of Scotland perform their new rock opera
The greatest operas of all time have thrived on aspects of triumph and tragedy. Mark Freeland’s life was ripe with both, so it makes sense that local indie rock band Cowboys of Scotland have transformed the story of Mark’s life into a multi-media rock opera, Original: the Mark Freeland Story. I talked to Cowboys of Scotland leader Bud Redding about how he conceived of the project and how he pulls it off.
AV: Tell me about the moment you realized you wanted to make this musical about Mark Freeland’s life?
Redding: After he passed away, I was just working on a song and it turned into a song about Mark, and once I realized I had one song about Mark then I wrote another song about Mark. After three or four of them I realized I had the makings of a rock opera and I just kept going with it.
AV: How did Mark Freeland inspire you?
Redding: He gave me my start in the Buffalo music scene in a band called Trelaine, they needed a keyboard player. I didn’t even have to audition because Mark said “here’s your guy.” I said, “I don’t even have to audition?” and the band said “nope, if Mark says you’re the guy, then you’re the guy.” He inspired everyone around him. He inspired me a lot musically with the whole extravaganza of putting on a show. He hardly ever played just a show; it was always a big event.
AV: What went into the creation of this project?
Redding: Once I finished a couple songs I brought it to the band’s attention. I said “Hey, I’m thinking about doing this rock opera,” and everybody kind of laughed about it, but once they heard the songs everyone was on board. It went from being my ideas for songs to being the band’s songs. Everyone added stuff and it took on a life of it’s own.
AV: Why is Mark a good main character for your story?
Redding: There were a lot of really good things that Mark did, and a lot of inspiration he gave to people, but there was also a tragic side to it. He had his battles with substance abuse and alcoholism. He had a tragic accident where he almost died, and shortly after that his brother died. But he got his act together and went cold sober on his own. He became a new person and became successful again, putting out records with Electroman, but once he finally reached his peak there was more tragedy: He got cancer. It’s just like a classic opera where you have triumphs and tragedies.
AV: How do you think the audience relates to this musical, even if they don’t know who Mark is?
Redding: The songs have a wide variety of music; there is funk, there’s progressive, rock, and hip-hop. Mark had a lot of styles so we tried to incorporate that. I think people relate to that. It’s a Buffalo thing; people around here like to listen to a lot of different stuff.
AV: Tell me about your first performance of the musical at Club Diablo.
Redding: It went off really well. I wrote the songs and I really put my heart and soul into them, but it’s a multimedia thing so a lot went into it. After the first song people were cheering wildly, clapping, yelling, and that made it really worthwhile for me. —cory perla
Thursday, August 4, 8-10pm, at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen Street, nietzsches.com).
Wooden Waves, Early Attic, N3wt
Screw the rapture—let’s get right to the end already. For those of you that don’t want to wait until December 2012, the end-of-days are happening, musically speaking, Thursday (Aug 4) at DBGB’S, with various audio/visual cataclysms courtesy of Armageddon Party. The Buffalo-based duo use an arsenal of live sampling and manipulating techniques with acoustic and electronic instrumentation to forge a blend of glitch-hop, dub and psychedelic, all mixed in real-time. There’s a subgenre known as IDM, or Intelligent Dance music, that fits within the same atmosphere Armageddon Party looks to create, with elements of techno and industrial coming into play as the duo works their magic on stage. Comprised by members of Paradijme and N3wt, Armageddon Party experiments with on-the-fly composing and electronic improvisation in a way that always varies for the listener, an effect compounded by the abstract videography that accompanies their sonic wonderland. Reminiscent of Aphex Twin, Armageddon Party uses multiple filters and effects to warp conventional sounding instruments like acoustic guitar and synthesizer, and alter the way the listener perceives those instruments. What results is an experience that keeps progressing, and between the trippy visuals and equally as ambient music these guys put out, there’s more than enough going on to keep your senses stimulated. Joining Armageddon Party are Buffalo surf-thrash band Wooden Waves, indie rock band Early Attic, and live electronic artist N3wt. —cp
Thursday, August 4, 1pm-1:30am, at DBGB (253 Allen Street, www.dukesbohemiangrovebar.com).
The Habit Dance Project Explores Dr. Seuss
With a whimsical aesthetic and a goal to expand an audience’s mind, the works of Dr. Seuss are perfect inspirations for short dance pieces at the Infringement Festival. These performances are presented by the Habit Dance Project, which encourages its dancers to think outside the box to create modern/contemporary-choreography. Founded little over a year ago, the Habit Dance Project is based on the same ideals as the Infringement Festival. Both celebrate open expression for all and artistic experimentation. The Habit Dance Project’s performances, called playdays, encourage dancers and choreographers of all skill levels to contribute to and participate in a casual and positive dance atmosphere. In addition to performing at the 2010 Infringement Festival, the Habit Dance Project has appeared at Music is Art, Art of Women at Shakti Yoga, various Give for Greatness events such as Libraries for the Arts and Fiesta for the Arts, and more. “In modern/contemporary dance, movement is used the way a poet uses language: to create a series of specific images that express something that is important to the creator,” says Habit Dance Project dancer Kara Mann. “Our Buffalo community should be exposed to this sort of work for the same reason they should be exposed to sculptures, classical music, and Shakespeare—it’s inspiring, thought-provoking, and beautiful.” Stay updated on the Habit Dance Project at habitdance.org where their performances and playdays are posted. —jg
Friday, August 5, 7-8pm, at the ALT Theatre (255 Great Arrow Drive, alttheatre.com), and Saturday, August 6, 1:30-2:15pm, at the Broadway Market (999 Broadway, broadwaymarket.org). They will be accepting $5 donations.
Nietzsche’s in Allentown is your go-to venue this Infringement Festival with a string of themed shows including the Journey To Uranus: Sci Fi Costume Party on Friday (July 29), Rawk the Plank: Pirate Party on Saturday (July 30), and the Zombie Ball, featuring Garda, next Friday (Aug 5). Formed in 2009, Garda is composed of multi-instrumentalists Chris Miller, Eric Szymanski, Ken Devlin, and drummer Rändy Käus. Combining dark wave with glam rock and lined with an industrial edge, they preserve the electro-rock vibe of the 1980’s, said drummer Randy Kaus. As for the show’s Zombie Ball theme, Kaus thinks the band is a good fit. “When we are not onstage, we feel dead,” he said. “When we are onstage, we feel alive.” To this four-piece it’s also about pushing the envelope and living outside of the mainstream, something that Infringement Festival allows them to do. “The festival showcases artists who dance on the fringe of commercial art. It stands for not fitting in.” Stand tall at the Zombie Ball with Garda and other local non-conformists like Tyrohill, Bad Kids, the Lockets, and the Screaming Jeans. —cp
Friday, August 5, 10:30pm-3am, at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen Street, nietzsches.com).
Electronic Nights at Soundlab & DBGB
Trance, house, IDM, downtempo, techno, dubstep: This is the language of electronic music, and Buffalo is a city where you can find all of it. On Friday (Aug 5) you’ll find it all in one place at Electronic Night at Soundlab. Starting with SoundShaman, solo project of Dotsun Moon member Rami Abu-Sitta, who incorporates everything from synthesizers to theremin, and acoustic guitar, sampled, looped, and flipped inside out. DJ Cult Hero follows combining disco, indie rock, and house, before Dudley Ghost takes the stage with a chopped-up mix of his own Prefuse 73-like glitch-tech and mellow lo-fi wave. The night will soar to a peak when DJ Medison takes the stage with a mega-mix of dance-house and party music, followed by a set of techno, trance, and IDM from DJ Soma. One man electronic band Shapes of States, sitting in front of a world of foot pedals, drums, and a micro-korg synthesizer will close out the show with an intense set of live IDM.
If you happen to miss this tightly packed night of electronic music, there will be a slightly altered repeat on Saturday (Aug 6) at DBGB with DJ Cult Hero, DJ Medison, and Dudley Ghost returning for an encore with VJ and DJ Projex. —cp
Buffablog Broadway Market Rooftop Extravaganza
BloodThirsty Vegans, the Bird Day, and more
You can’t beat local music on a Saturday afternoon, especially when that local music is being performed on the roof of Buffalo’s famous Broadway Market (open since 1888). The BloodThirsty Vegans’ blend of hip-hop, ska, funk, and rock opens the show at noon, followed by the dark synthpunk growl of Ronald Raygun, indie avant-garde Cuban hip-hop act Sea Snake Vs., and two-piece pop band with heartfelt lyrics Bill Times a Billion. Closing the show is the Bird Day. Their sound leaves listeners feeling lightheaded because it teeters between heavily psychedelic, effortlessly dreamy minimalism, layered, accessible pop, and mysterious electronic. Their sound has a wafting nature to it, like a hazy summer day that you can’t recapture. The Infringement Festival’s website endorses the Bird Day with a place on its “to-do list.” Though they aren’t signed to a record label, the Bird Day has already crafted a full-length album and have gained recognition on national blogs. One of their new songs, “Chain Gang,” has a surf pop feel with an added kick to get you moving on the dance floor. Sometimes it gets so hot and sticky that you just have to embrace it, and the Bird Day provides the perfect soundtrack. —jg
Saturday, August 6, 12-5pm at the Broadway Market (999 Broadway, broadwaymarket.org) on the rooftop.
Brownman Electryc Tro Jazz-Hip-Hop Summit
Powerhouses of jazz and hip-hop converge on Nietszche’s this Saturday (Aug 6) for a jazz-hip-hop summit that would put the G-8 to shame. The parallels between jazz and hip-hop go as far back as Louis Armstrong, and continued on into the 1970s with groups like the Watts Prophets and the Last Poets using spoken word and rhymed poetry over jazzy backing tracks. From Miles Davis’ posthumously released hip-hop inspired album Doo Bop, to East Coast hip-hop duo Gang Starr, jazz and hip-hop have paired together in a way that showcases the evolution of urban music in America. Now, acclaimed Canadian jazz-fusion outfit Brownman Electryc Trio uses the sounds of Miles Davis at the height of his electric period as the backdrop for four of Buffalo’s most prolific freestyle rap lyricists in a collaborative effort that promises to be a focal point of Infringement Festival 2011. Brownman Electryc Trio delivers charged performances using a simple, yet powerful lineup of trumpet, drums, and bass, combined with an incessant drive to push the improvisational envelope to new realms. Between these three instruments, the group covers a modern jazz landscape largely inspired by Miles Davis’ plugged-in years, with albums like Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way becoming the enduring template for experimentation and creativity in jazz fusion. Leading the ensemble is award-winning trumpeter Brownman, who has earned the right of being “Canada’s preeminent jazz trumpet player” by New York City’s Village Voice, in addition to being a fixture in the Buffalo music community during his numerous stops in the Queen City. As the featured soloist with legendary jazz-hip-hop group Guru’s Jazzmatazz from 2006 to 2010, Brownman looks to carry the flame of Guru’s jazz-rap blend with his own crew of global musicians and rappers, Gruvasylum Syndicate, a sort of musical retrospective of the late Guru himself (formerly of Gang Starr), who had been a figurehead in the jazz-hip-hop genre. Holding it down on the hip-hop end are four kingpins of freestyle rap in Western New York, Mad Dukes, A.L. Third, D. Ooo, and Shuteyes. Mouths will be agape at what comes out of the mic between these bonafide freestyle masters and Brownman’s soaring trumpet. The jazz-hip-hop timeline just earned another notch. —jw
Saturday, August 6, 10pm-2am, at Nietzsche’s (248 Allen Street, nietzsches.com).
Can You See Me?
Immersive Locative Soundscape in the Buffalo Psychiatric Center
Presented by media artists Katrina Boemig and Necole Zayatz, Can You See Me? is a locative media experience where participants partake in a 30-minute audio walk on the grounds of Buffalo’s abandoned psychiatric hospital at the H. H. Richardson Complex. Participants navigate the grounds on the remains of the Olmsted Park surrounding the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. They will be given a map and a well-used 1970s frame pack. Using GPS technology the viewer will follow passageways of audio of contemporary stories and historical narrative fragments. Through this project Boemig and Zayatz hope to raise questions of visibility and lack thereof. In the literal sense they question the hidden nature of the psychiatric hospital. In the metaphorical sense they question the hidden nature of mental illness and the need to act out in human nature. “The neglect of the structure…became the central metaphor of our project. What we hear of mental illness is the dramatic stuff, the bits we can fill theaters or television sets with, while the reality of it is hidden. And in this pattern the people needing help or treatment are even today shamed into not talking about it,” Boemig and Zyatz said. Participants will experience this soundscape while in a specific environment. The audio will raise these questions and more in the participant’s mind and the environment will provide a specific context for said questions.
Besides a meditation on the building itself, Can You See Me? forces viewers to notice that we as a society make conscious decisions about space and environment. Once participants begin to notice that, they can begin to ask themselves: Why? Read more about this project and others at katrinaboemig.tumblr.com. —jg
Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, 1-6pm, starting at Filigrees (1121 Elmwood Avenue at Forest). Sign up at doodle.com/pux8gzbbb7ebud28. 16+blog comments powered by Disqus
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