Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Film Now Playing
Next story: The Winter of Our De-Content

See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: soul act Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings at the Town Ballroom on Friday, February 4th.

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.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Friday, February 4

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have got to be the funkiest, tightest and most genuine soul experience on the planet in the 21st Century. If there is an act that tops them—bringing together soul legacies of the Motor City sound, Stax and Muscle Shoals’ warmth and precision, Philly’s Huff-Gamble dynamics and the traditional New York City cool and smoothness—then it’s been doing a good job hiding. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have done anything but hide though, and instead have been steadily spreading their name, taking their music across the world. Just in the last month, Jones and the Dap Kings’ itinerary has included a TV appearance on Conan and opening for the immortal Prince at Madison Square Garden. The band is currently touring behind their fourth record on their Daptone label, I Learned The Hard Way, which was a fixture on many “Best of 2010” lists. Dap Tones bassist, bandleader, primary songwriter and producer Bosco Mann (aka Gabriel Roth) recorded it in glorious analog with an Ampex eight-track tape machine at Daptone Records’ House of Soul studios. The way that almost every great soul record has been made for the last 50 or so years. For as note-perfect and oozing with traditional soul power as their records are, it is unquestionably the band’s live performances—with Jones owning the show from center stage and the discipline and sheer funk of the Dap-Kings never flagging—that is really the ultimate way to experience them. Daptone Records labelmate Charles Bradley, with a voice reminiscent of rougher Al Green-testifying tenor that drips with passion, will support Ms. Jones & the Dap-Kings when they appear live at the Town Ballroom on Friday (Feb 4). As one Bradley fan recently told me: “Charles will have people wanting to make babies that night!” —gore petersen

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

Friday, February 4


There is no better place than a gourmet restaurant to display artwork inspired by the mouth. This Friday (Feb 4) at Merge, lip inspired art exhibit Kiss-n-Tell will open as part of the Greater Allentown Gallery Association First Friday. Artist Caesandra Seawell’s investigation into the act of kissing is equal parts science and art. Her methodical approach is presented artfully through a series of over 30 unique lip prints alongside stories from Buffalonians and her friends and family. The collection also includes accounts of the same kiss from both kissers. “One main theme of my work is deconstructing kisses. Kissing is a thrilling and ridiculous human behavior that many (though not all) cultures enjoy.” Seawell explained. “I began collecting kissing stories, prints, facts, and images in 2004. I will continue to do so for years to come” She is also making plans to open a kissing museum. If you want to learn more, next Friday (Feb 11) Seawell will be presenting an artist’s talk titled “the Art & Science of Smooching,” also at Merge. This informative lecture will reveal everything you ever wanted to know about kissing. The exhibit will be on view through February 27. —jill greenberg

5pm. Merge Restaurant, 439 Delaware Ave. (842-0600 / Free.

Friday, February 4

Duel of the Iron Mic

Anyone who has seen the movie 8 Mile knows that a raw, spontaneous brilliance electrifies the most exciting underground rap battles. There is a street-smart Shakespearean quality to the urban art form, as vibrant puns, incisive insults, and witty wisecracks give the English language a workout that leaves onlookers breathless. You won’t have to hitchhike to Detroit to experience the sweat and spit of a bona fide underground showdown because the Duel of the Iron Mic is going down at Broadway Joe’s this Friday (Feb 4), featuring some of the most heated MC battles to be found right here in Buffalo. Whether you’re there for Khari Waits vs. Dreski, Frigid Giant vs. Nicholis Nobody, or Globalken vs. Dutch Black, the uncontainable energy of this ultimate war of the words will amaze and absorb one and all. Come and judge for yourself which of these verbal gymnasts has what it takes to triumphantly bear the Iron Mic. —ryan wolf

10pm. Broadway Joe’s, 3051 Main St. (837-3650) $5 over 21+, $7 under. 18+.

Friday, February 4

Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra featuring Babik

This Friday (Feb 4) the Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra is playing the music of Brahms, Enesco, and Bizet, featuring gypsy jazz band Babik at Orchard Park High School. When performing solo, Babik plays 10 original compositions and three standards that honor their gypsy jazz roots and explore everything from jazz-fusion to Latin influenced music. Babik is inspired by the legendary guitarist Django Reinhardt. The band includes members Stuart Fuchs on lead guitar, Geoffrey Fitzhugh Perry on violin, rhythm guitarist Joshua Assad, and upright bassist Kevin O’Brien. Since beginning in 2005, Babik has been able to keep their very diverse audiences engaged and excited about their music. The Orchard Park Symphony Orchestra was formed over 60 years ago. They have around 70 regular musicians with Conductor and Music Director, David Rudge, leading them. He has conducted orchestras on five continents, to stellar reviews. These two groups performing together promises to be a creative combination of the local music scene and the amateur classical music scene, and a great example of artists coming together to make Buffalo even more unique. —rachel good

7:30pm. Orchard Park High School, 4040 Baker Road, Orchard Park. (209-6222 / $12, free for students.

Friday, February 4

Norma Kassirer

Haunted houses and magical dolls that come to life are not uncommon encounters for those who have read the works of Buffalo’s own fictional author Norma Kassirer. Her whimsical novels are unique in that they cordially transport readers out of the world of the ordinary and everyday, and into the boundless realm of the imaginary. Kassirer’s first book, Magic Elizabeth, tells the story of a young girl named Sally who reluctantly stays with her aunt while her parents are away on a business trip. The girl’s visit takes an unforeseen turn when she comes across a picture of a young girl who looks eerily like her holding an identically-dressed rag doll named Elizabeth. The reader is continually led down an ever-winding road as Sally discovers more and more about the doll in the girl’s arms. Other works by Kassirer include the children’s novel the Doll Snatchers and a collection of short stories titled the Hidden Wife and Other Stories. Kassirer will be at the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative on Friday (Feb 4) to launch her most recent novel, Katzenjammered, and conduct a book reading. Katzenjammered follows a young girl on her emotional journey as she repeatedly revisits her father’s experiences as a soldier in World War I by way of his writing. —amber gerrity

7pm. Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, 468 Washington St. Buffalo.

Friday, February 4

Found Footage Festival

It’s only been eight months since the Found Footage Festival played to a sold-out show at Squeaky Wheel, but curators Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett are back this Friday (Feb 4) with a whole new evening. The two have spent years combing through the flea markets and garage sales of America for obscure or homemade VHS tapes (if you don’t know what those are, ask your grandparents). From mountains of instructional videos, forgotten Saturday morning cartoons, celebrity exercise tapes, VCR games, misconceived erotica, local pitchmen, and video dating ads, Prueher and Pickett have culled the most jaw-droppingly weird moments from the days before YouTube. Even better, the show is preceded by a 25th anniversary screening of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the 1986 video that claims to be the most bootlegged tape in history. Maryland filmmakers Jeffrey Krulik and John Heyn took their video camera outside a stadium where fans were preparing for a Judas Priest show and let them expose their souls. Laugh with them or laugh at them, but you will laugh. —m. faust

7pm & 9pm. Squeaky Wheel, 712 Main St. (884-7172 / $10.

Monday, February 7

Justin Townes Earle

He’s got a sparrow on his left hand and a pair of hammers on the right. With his old sailor tattoos and broken down voice, Justin Townes Earle is a man who knows how to hold the past close. He has a war chest of well-written songs about suicide, movies, and women. His roots are well known: he’s named after dead country singer extraordinaire Townes Van Zandt and Papa Earle is a famous singer-songwriter himself. Justin Townes Earle is as close as it gets to having been born with music in his blood. With his latest release, Harlem River Blues, Earle takes his Nashville swagger to the boroughs of New York City. The album harkens back to a time when music was pure and spoke to those who understood the troubles and joys of working life. On the Harlem River track “Christchurch Woman,” Earle half-chuckles and sings: “Now, I’ve always been a fool for a conversation and a couple of smokes/Yeah, when I’m feeling this blue I just need someone to laugh at my jokes.” It’s this honesty that makes Earle’s music so appealing and organic. It’s a far cry from the cheesy, hokey country music that’s ever so popular on radio. The country charm and song craft make his previous records—Yuma, the Good Life, and Midnight at the Movies—all worth having. Get ‘em. Justin Townes Earle plays the Mohawk Place this Monday (Feb 7) with special guest Jessica Lea Mayfield. If you got the blues, nothing cures it better than good ole fashion American music. —peter vullo (photo credit: Joshua Black Wilkins)

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

Thursday, February 10

River City Extension

River City Extension is a band with an identity crisis. Punk or folk? Guitar or banjo? Tour with eight members, or two, or five? That’s not to say that frontman Joe Michelini doesn’t have a vision for his music. One thing that is for sure is that he has a passion for making music that defies genre and expense. The New Jersey based band took it upon themselves to self-release their first album, Nautical Sabbatical, last year, and earlier this year began working on their “chamber punk” follow up, the Unmistakable Man. With no budget, no plan, and a lot of faith, the band wrote 13 backwoods, folk-punk tracks, horns, hand-claps, and strings included, like on their emotional Iron & Wine-esque song “Friends & Family.” By the end of their recording sessions the band had signed a deal with XOXO Records and secured a tour with colleagues Steel Train, the Get Up Kids and Max Bemis of Say Anything. Although River City Extension will march into Mohawk Place on Thursday (Feb 10) by themselves, expect an emotional rollercoaster ride from this group of passionate musicians. —cory perla

7pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $8 advance, $10 day of show.