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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: the Dia De Los Muertos costume party at Soundlab on Friday, October 28th.

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.

Dia De Los Muertos

Friday, October 28

Dia De Los Muertos, which means Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday and is totally unaffiliated with any zombie-related movie by George A. Romero. The holiday is typically celebrated by the gathering of friends who participate in a ceremony of heavy bass and breakbeats, and the consumption of whatever happens to be the cheapest bottled beer available at the bar. Ok, so maybe heavy bass and breakbeats aren’t traditionally a part of Dia De Los Muertos, but those who celebrate it do like to dance, usually while covered in shells or other noise making objects in order to rouse the dead from their eternal sleep. Those interested in celebrating the sugar skull holiday and awakening the funky dead would be advised to make a stop at Soundlab on Friday (Oct 28) for the Queen City Cartel’s Dia De Los Muertos costume party featuring Washington, DC club DJ Jon Kwest. Expect some fresh latin/moombahton style tunes from QCC favorites Tiger, Medison, Arehouse, and Swaggle Rock. Paint up your face as best as you can, strap on your dancing zapatos, and see you at Soundlab for Dia De Los Muertos. —cory perla

10pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $7.

Friday, October 28

Festival of Blood Part Six

You’re not likely to find the Festival of Blood on the official calendar of Buffalo festivals, but it certainly warrants some respect, as Festival of Blood Part Six brings in four badass bands to Nietzsche’s, this Friday (Oct 28) to kickoff the Halloween weekend in the name of great music and good old fashioned bloodlust. Jam-funk and jazz abound as Buffalo mainstays Lazlo Hollyfeld and Funktional Flow get all the freaks moving to the Halloween groove. Buffalo’s favorite costumed potty-rockers and Festival of Blood veterans Anal Pudding will also be on-hand to lay a giant steaming turd on the chest of conventionality with their Zappa-esque theatrics and witty sensibilities. Playing in between sets on the front stage are instrumental jazz-prog rock combo The Suite Unraveling, led by dynamic guitarist/composer/Brooklynite Lily Maase and cohorts Mike Kammers (sax, MK Groove Orchestra), Cosmo D (cello), Alex Mallett (bass), and Nico Dann (drums). Everything from straight rock and roll, to electronic music and the free jazz techniques of Ornette Coleman figure into The Suite Unraveling’s dizzying array of improvisations. With a costume contest, freakshows, games, prizes, and possibly a neck biting booth, you’re sure to get your fix of Halloween shenanigans at Buffalo’s goriest festival. —jon wheelock

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

Saturday, October 29

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper’s latest album, American Goldwing, bears the impression that it was written by a lonesome mountaineer, befriended only by trees, leaves, and empty cans of baked beans; a fitting appraisal considering lead singer Eric Early’s upbringing. His self-proclaimed ambitionless childhood led him to drop out of school and focus solely on songwriting, making home wherever the leaves settled. With no job, house, or responsibility, music became Early’s raison d’être. Consistent with the lonely woodsmen theme, Blitzen Trapper recorded their critical masterpiece Wild Mountain Nation in 2007. Honing the title of Pitchfork’s “Best New Music,” the album is a grunge-blues amalgam sucked through a vacuum, coalescing heavy doses of Elton John, Springsteen, and hints of Bowie. Wild Mountain makes even the hardest of whiskey slinging cowboys shed a tear of ambivalence. On their current tour, Blitzen Trapper joins forces with female folk artists the Smoke Fairies, who play a brand of Americana fit for a swinging-doored saloon. Catch both performances this Saturday (Oct 29) at Mohawk Place. —brett perla

>8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $15 advance, $17 at the door. 16+.

Sunday, October 30

Mt. Eden

The scene is no longer tied down by geography. The internet allows producers to spread ideas instantly, so something that is popular in London today could be the trend in Buffalo, or Auckland, New Zealand tomorrow. Not so surprisingly then, one of the biggest dubstep acts in the world right now is the duo of Jesse Cooper and Harley Rayner, known as Mt Eden, who hail from the north island of New Zealand. How did this unsigned, independent dubstep duo become one of the most popular acts in their genre? Well it certainly has something to do with their 2009 album Mt Eden Album full of drum n’ bass and dubstep remixes of songs by everyone from Sigur Ros, to Burial, the Prodigy, and Madonna. Even singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan makes a vocal appearance on their remix of “Silence” by Canadian industrial band Delerium. It could be hard for some to imagine how that mismatched fistful of artists could ever fit cohesively onto one album, but Mt Eden does this by spraying a sheen coat of wobbling bass and heavy laser riffs over everything. Be one of the 11 million people to listen to their hit “Sierra Leone” on Youtube and catch the duo at Town Ballroom this Sunday (Oct 30) with local DJs HXLY, Medison, and DJ Bittle. —cory perla

8pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $15 advance, $20 at the door.

Tuesday, November 1

Cocktails in Character

If I were to attend a costume party as a writer or literary character I would probably choose Kurt Vonnegut. We both have a whacky hair thing going on and it would be a good excuse to wear a tweed jacket. I think once I got to the party though, my behavior would be a bit more like Hunter S. Thompson’s; drunken and violent. “Six margaritas and a shot of Ibogaine please, Mr. Bartender. And chop chop, I’ve got something to explode.” Ok so maybe that behavior is a little exaggerated, but isn’t that what a writer does? Funny enough, these two writers eventually became fictionalized characters in their own stories. If you’re looking for an excuse to exaggerate a little bit and drink like a writer, look no further than Cocktails In Character, a fundraiser for the Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo & Erie County, the region’s sole provider of free, one-on-one adult literacy services. This unique event will be held on Tuesday (Nov 1) in the grand lobby of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Dress as your favorite literary character or just wear your best cocktail attire. Costumed actors portraying literary characters from classic books will interact with guests throughout the night as guests enjoy food, beer, and wine samples from more than a dozen restaurants. —cory perla

5:30pm-8:30pm. Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (, $30 advance, $35 at the door.

Wednesday, November 2

Professor Griff

Griff is back. It’s been three years since Public Enemy’s famed minister of information came to town to deliver his message to Buffalo, calling for black and white Americans to look past and rise above the stereotypes that are imposed by society, and work together for justice and empowerment. Griff is speaking Wednesday (Nov 2) as part of the Black Solidarity Day presented by the new incarnation of a legendary East Side community action group BUILD (Build Unity, Independence, Liberty, and Dignity). That day includes a Youth Leadership Council (Muhammad Mosque No. 23, 3-5pm) and a tour of local, black-owned businesses (BUILD office, 1327 Jefferson Avenue, 9am-1pm). Griff’s lecture on Wednesday is called “It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop.” For more information, visit or search “Day of Action Buffalo” on Facebook. —geoff kelly

5-8pm. Friends of the Elderly Center, 118 east Utica Street. ( $5 adults, $2 youth.

Wednesday, November 2

The Vacant Lots

In their first year, Burlington, Vermont’s the Vacant Lots did what most indie rock bands strive to do over the span of an entire career. That is, self release three full-length albums. Tapping into the dark side of the pop spectrum, the Vacant Lots recently signed to New York City’s Mexican Summer record label to release their singles “Confusion” and “Cadillac,” two psychedelic, yet black and white garage rock burners. Previous releases, like their 2009 single “Let Me Out” and the artful black and white music video that accompanies it, heavily recall droning psychedelic shoe-gazing tracks like “Walking With Jesus” by Spacemen 3. Its not out of the ordinary to find the Vacant Lots compared to bands like the Spacemen 3, Black Angels, the Stooges or Bo Diddley, but their sound still remains their own, combining retro-rock with grunge and indie. The Vacant Lots will bring their retro-psychedelic rock to Soundlab on Wednesday (Nov 2). —h. timpson

8pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $8.

Thursday, November 3

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones

Next Thursday (Nov 3), Béla Fleck will bring his original Flecktones to one of the best places in Buffalo to catch a show, UB’s Center For The Art’s Mainstage Theatre. Fleck, who performs a mix of jazz and bluegrass on stage, has surrounded himself with the sort of talent that overwhelms without being tedious. With the addition of former piano and harmonica player Howard Levy, Fleck is back to his roots, yet eager to look forward, “I was intrigued by what we could do that we had never done before,” Fleck said. With over 14 albums under their belts and a surprisingly young group of fans for a jazz-bluegrass fusion band, this may seem like a risky move. But the band has proved resilient over time, finding their niche at bluegrass and rock festivals every summer to increasingly bigger crowds. While Fleck is certainly brought up often when it comes to virtuosos, it’s bassist Victor Wooten who is mentioned in breathless couplets along other extraordinary bassists like Les Claypool of Primus. That’s why it will be such a special treat when he steps into Music City on Main Street on Thursday (Nov 3) for a free public clinic at 1pm. The clinic will feature bass techniques as well as audience questions, and will run around two hours. —nick torsell

7:30pm. Mainstage Theatre, UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center For The Arts (654-ARTS / $32-$42.