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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Hit the Lights, who plays Mohawk Place on Friday the 2nd, and Street Dogs, who also play Mowhawk place this Monday the 5th.

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.

AV Editor's Pick: Hit The Lights

Friday, December 2

Even if we don’t want to admit it, most of us twenty-somethings still catch ourselves singing at the top of our lungs to our favorite pop-punk CDs from our teenage prime. You know, the gushy tracks from bands that played Warped Tour 2004—now, urging us to fall in love quickly, hop fences and stir up the pot. Yeah. When Ohio-born pop-punk band Hit the Lights comes to Mohawk Place on Friday (Dec 2) , it will take you back to those days—driving to the Buffalo Icon or Xtreme Wheels for a show, blaring punk-rock in a beat up Honda Civic the whole way there. Since touring with Cute Is What We Aim For, Paramore, and New Found Glory in 2006, Hit the Lights has headlined a tour in the UK with Bayside and were one of the five bands on the 2009 Alternative Press Tour. This year, they’ve signed with Razor and Tie Records and released a new EP Invitica, available on iTunes. When the five guys come to Mohawk Place, they’ll be performing with current vocalist Nick Thompson, who replaced original front man Colin Ross in 2008. While the Hit the Lights members may not rock the asymmetrical hair dos and mismatched punk apparel, the music alone will be enough to bring you back to your glory days. The Dangerous Summer and other special guests will open the show. —emilie hagen

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $12 advance, $14 day of show. 16+.

AV Editor's Pick: Street Dogs

Monday, December 5

An annual holiday tour might seem a bit peculiar for a gritty power punk band like the Street Dogs. But when you take into account where this five-piece band comes from—the Boston punk scene, where friends and family are the only people you can count on—then it starts to make sense why this tight-knit band would go out of their way to tour during the season when friends and family matter most. You might already feel like a friend of this band too, because front man and principle songwriter Mike McColgan was formerly the leader of another popular Boston based band, the Dropkick Murphys. After leaving the Murphys to become a firefighter in 1998, McColgan couldn’t help but continue to write his politically charged, aggressive punk tunes. In 2002 he began moonlighting with bassist and friend Johnny Rioux. Soon enough they made the gig a full time endeavor, as the Street Dogs were born, and they began work on their debut album, 2003’s Savin Hill. Now, eight years later, the band is touring in support of their latest record, a self titled, 18 song punk epic released in 2010. Spend some time with friends swilling beer and chanting along to the Street Dogs this Monday (Dec 5) at Mohawk Place. Off With Their Heads, Murder the Stout, and the Chosen Ones open the show. —cory perla

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $15. 16+

Friday, December 2

Babel: Naomi Shihab Nye

Babel is one of the Just buffalo Literary Center’s most popular events, featuring numerous intriguing, world-renowned authors year after year. The second Babel of the season is taking place this Friday (Dec 2) at Kleinhans Music Hall, and will feature another great author, Naomi Shihab Nye. Born in Texas to a Palestinian father and an American mother, she lives in San Antonio but refers to herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 35 years writing and inspiring other young authors to get into writing. Nye has written several books of poetry, as well as a novel, 1999s Habib, a semi-autobiographical work that told the story of an Arab-American teenager who travels to Jerusalem. Her latest collection of poetry is titled Transfer, and in it she draws on both her Palestinian heritage and her Texas upbringing for inspiration. She has had a very distinguished career, as she has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow. Additionally, Nye has received numerous awards for her work, including the Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and four Pushcart Prizes. Babel prides itself not just on bringing quality speakers, but on bringing speakers from a wide variety of cultures who have a unique perspective, and can impart wisdom to their audience that they wouldn’t get from other sources. Nye fits that bill perfectly, and her appearance at Babel figures to be well worthwhile for anyone interested in Palestinian culture, or curious about the life of a wandering poet. —john hugar

8pm. Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. (, $35 general admission, $100 VIP, $10 students.

Saturday, December 3

Consider the Source

Sci-fi, Middle Eastern fusion. No, we’re not talking about Naked Lunch, we’re talking about Consider The Source. Fresh off of a tour of Europe and Israel, the three-piece band from New York City return to Buffalo on Saturday (Dec 3) for a show at Nietzsche’s. Last year the band, guitarist Gabriel Marin, bassist John Ferrara, and percussionist Justin Ahiyon, released their third full-length album, That’s What’s Up, a progressive jam record full of foreign rhythms and complex time signatures. So where do three dudes from New York state gain the skills and knowledge to play such improvised, eastern influenced music? A unique source of their musical understanding can be attributed to a trip the band took to India, where they studied the tala, or rhythm, of North India, and the micro-tonal scale structure and melodic design of South India. In the past two years the trio has criss-crossed the United States half a dozen times, while performing alongside acts like Victor Wooten and Wyclef Jean, as well as touring the Middle East and Europe. Taking these experiences and filtering them through their heavy rock background, Consider the Source have crafted a one-of-a-kind sound. A new live DVD is in the works for a March release, but you won’t have to wait until then to experience this band’s infections improvisation. Aqueous and the Left Hand of Darkness open the show. —cory perla

10pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $10. 21+.

Saturday, December 3

The Canal Street String Band

There was a time that old-time string bands playing traditional American music were as common as bluegrass bands. The instrumentation was nearly identical, but stylistically the rapid tempos, instrumental breakdowns, and “high, lonesome sound” of bluegrass could be miles away from the old-time tunes often drawn from sea shanties or cowboy songs. Lucky for us, three of the area’s best stringed-instrument players have been getting together, woodshedding, playing gigs, and are now poised to release their first CD: Introducing The Canal Street String Band. Formed in 2010, the outfit is comprised of Phil Banaszak—a NYS fiddle champion and member of the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame—who also takes turns on the mandolin and guitar; Dave Ruch who plays mandolin, guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, bones, spoons and jaw harp; and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame member Jim Whitford, who plays stand-up bass, dobro, and guitar. All three sing and add harmonies to classic nuggets like “Miss Molly” and “Rambler Gambler.” About as folksy fun as it gets, you can catch the band live, celebrating their first recorded release this Saturday (Dec 3) at Shakti Yoga—a cool venue on Grant Street resurrected from an old bank. —buck quigley

8pm. Shakti Yoga, 133 Grant St. (884-9642 or 884-6855 / $10.

Saturday, December 3

Clutter: A Buffalo DIY Market Round 2

Clutter, Buffalo’s bi-monthly indie flea market, is returning to Sugar City for the second time, this Saturday (Dec 3). This round of Clutter will feature 15 vendors, five of which are new, and all selected by organizers Vanessa Ron and Liz Flyntz. This curated market was modeled after Brooklyn Flea, which runs several of the largest flea markets on the East Coast. Clutter’s vendors cultivate an Allentown vibe by promoting locally made, handcrafted, and vintage gift items. Visitors can peruse vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories, vinyl, tapes, posters, buttons, hand-knit scarves and hats, home textiles, prints, and more. Local vendors include Etsy shops Louder Space, Owl La Mode, and Super Giant, vintage sellers Vanron’s Vintage and Leigh Viande Vintage, record distributors Warm Bath Label, Feral Kid Records, Spiral Scratch Records, and more. As an alternative community arts center, Sugar City is a fitting venue for a market that promotes a do-it-yourself aesthetic. Vanessa Ron emphasizes the importance of this mindset because “it lends an opportunity to those who otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to open a store front to show their work to the public on a grassroots level. DIY culture is an instrument to differentiate communities.” —jill greenberg

12-8pm. 6pm. Sugar City, 19 Wadsworth in Allentown (

Saturday, December 3

Soldier of the Road, A Portrait of Peter Brötzmann

At the age of 70, Peter Brötzmann shows no signs of slowing down. The free jazz saxophonist, born in Germany, continues to tour and record regularly. In 1972 he became an object of fascination to French journalist Gérard Rouy, who has documented his career for more than 40 years. Rouy accompanied film editor Bernard Josse for the making of Soldier of the Road, a documentary following Brötzmann on and off the road for nearly a year in 2008 and 2009. Shooting with a single camera, Josse was especially fascinated at watching the musician on stage with various ensembles as he listened to the other musicians, waiting for the precise moment to enter the fray. He writes in the press notes that “I watched from afar, seeing how he picked the moment when, like a diver who waits on the diving board until the instant when he decides to go. The leap of the angel. It’s lovely to see...and to hear!”— m faust

6pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $200. 21+.

Sunday, December 4

Ryan Miller's Catwalk For Charity IV

Two and half weeks ago Sabres all-star goalie Ryan Miller was grimly sidelined with a concussion and neck injury following a brutal run by Boston Bruin Milan Lucic. This week looks to be a big one for a resurgent Miller. As we go to print, he is getting back on the ice and returning to practice. He’s also hosting one of the Queen City’s most anticipated annual fundraisers this Sunday night (Dec 4) at the Town Ballroom. Miller looks to be proving that you can’t keep a real cowboy off his horse. Cowboy? Yup. For the sixth year of Ryan Miller’s Catwalk For Charity, the theme is country—where the wild, wild west meets Nashville honky tonks—and Miller and Sabres teammates will trade in their pads and skates for jeans and boots. While the Sabres roster show off some fancy duds on the catwalk, there’s so much more to see and do: local country music stars Scott Militello and the Heritage are set to perform, plenty of surprise guests will be in attendance, a lavish spread of food and drink along with a corral of unique auction items.. While the Catwalk is a hybrid fashion show, dance party-gala, and a chance to hang with Mr. Miller and the blue and gold boys out of uniform, the really great part about the Catwalk For Charity is that all proceeds go to Miller’s Steadfast Foundation, which provides resources for families afflicted and affected by the consequences of cancer, focusing on childhood forms of the disease. To date, the Catwalk has raised over $800,000 and with the kind of hoedown in the works and the posse lined up for this Sunday night, that number is set to get a lot higher. For more info, go online at or —donny kutzbach

6pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $200. 21+.

Tuesday, December 6

Kyuss Lives! with The Sword and Black Cobra

In 1989 it came from the desert, right at the time when cheesy metal and corporate hard rock were peaking, and as underground music was slowing surging above ground. With punk’s DIY ethos and heavier-than-heavy riffs, they amassed gas-powered generators and stacks of amps. They created impromptu concerts for friends and like-minded heads, against the backdrop of remote locales out in the seemingly endless stretches of sand near Palm Desert, California. Kyuss was born. The band’s sound was part Sabbath, part Stooges and yet something totally unto itself. In under six years—and highlighted by the core original lineup of bassist Nick Oliveri, vocalist John Garcia, drummer Brant Bjork and guitarist Josh Homme—Kyuss crafted a template of searing guitars, propulsive beats, deep rumbling low end, and themes torrid with menace and lysergic nightmares. After nearly 15 years since the pioneers split, the jean-jacketed, black t-shirted legions rejoiced in 2010 as Kyuss was reformed and reborn as Kyuss Lives!, sans Homme— who maintains his post-Kyuss brand name Queens Of The Stone Age—and replaced on guitar by Bruno Fevery. Joining Kyuss Lives! as they destroy America on the current tour, is Austin trio the Sword, arguably one of the best bands to emerge in the stoner wake and have been known to blow frequent headlining tour mates Metallica off the stage. Black Cobra opens. Prepare to bang your head and pump your fist! —gore peterson

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $21 advance, $24 day of show.

Wednesday, December 7

John Kolaga & Ernie Palmer

Those who have a mind for law usually don’t get into the music game. It’s a right-brain vs. left-brain problem. The left-brain handles math, logics and language, while the right side is interested in music, among other things. Local lawyers and musicians John Kolaga and Ernie Palmer defy that logic. Kolaga, an attorney for law firm Damon Morey, and Lewiston Town Councilman Ernie Palmer have teamed up to release a new album titled Devil’s Hole, on which the guitar duo recounts some of the history of their hometown of Niagara County. In the vein of folk artists like Johnny Cash and Bruce Springstein, Kolaga and Palmer reminisce about the special place they call home on these 12 tracks. This Wednesday (Dec 7) between 5:30pm and 8pm, the pair will team up with singer/guitarist (and fellow lawyer) Willie Schoellkopf and drummer Cave Wilson for a special CD release show at the Back Room at Allen Street Hardware. There is no admission charge to attend, but CDs will be sold for $10 each. Your left-brain should forgive the financial investment in Devil’s Hole while your right brain enjoys this locally made folk music. —cory perla

5:30pm. The Back Room at Allen St. Hardware Café. (882-8843 / Free.