Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Film Now Playing
Next story: Valentine's Day Events

See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: The 2nd Annual Powder Keg Festival starting Friday at 5PM with events all weekend Downtown.

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.

2nd Annual Powder Keg Festival

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, February 11 - 13

Lake effect snow. Black ice. Shoveling. Winter in Buffalo can carry a lot of nasty connotations, but it’s time to forget about all the ways winter limits us and embrace the possibilities that the cold weather allows. Buffalo is, after all, a city of festivals, a city of innovation, and a city with a lot of snow. Combine them all and you have the Powder Keg Festival, this Friday (Feb 11) through Sunday (Feb 13). Last year, the festival brought upwards of 70,000 people to downtown Buffalo, and those who attended witnessed an entirely different kind of Buffalo celebration, one that showcased our affinity to cold weather. In its second year, the Powder Keg Festival promises to bring more buzz to downtown Buffalo and the surrounding area with an expanded list of winter activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Sadly there is no ice maze this year, but the Seneca Street ramp will once again be up and running for sledding, in addition to new events such as the Mark Twain Chili Cookoff, the Police vs. Fire Olympics, and the “Fight For Air,” a race to the top of the HSBC Bank building to benefit the American Lung Cancer Association. For the gym class heroes, there will be broomball, Kan Jam, touch football, snow tennis, ice skating at the Rotary Rink, and of course, frozen turkey bowling. Other attractions run the gamut from igloo and snowman building, to chainsaw wood carvings and ice sculptures. For the kids, there are carnival games, knock hockey, a petting zoo, scavenger hunts, and much more. The fully-heated family pavilion tent will be open both days of the festival. Every self-respecting festival needs a good beer tent, and the fully-heated beer garden sponsored by Labatt Blue Light offers free admission and live music all weekend. There will be a beer tasting on Sunday from noon to 4pm, where visitors can sample over 20 craft brews from eight different breweries. Working in conjunction with the Powder Keg Festival for the second straight year is the Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament, which will take place Friday through Sunday at Buffalo’s Erie Basin Marina. Over 700 hockey stick-wielding players will take to the frozen shores of Lake Erie to battle it out for bragging rights. With Pearl Street Grill and Brewery serving as headquarters, the 2nd annual Powder Keg Festival will take place in and around the southern end of downtown Buffalo. An “Ice Breaker” party takes place Friday in the beer tent, with live music by Suckerpunch. For a complete list of activities and events, visit Come on Buffalo, go outside and enjoy the weather. —jon wheelock

Friday, 5pm to 11pm, Saturday, 10am to 11pm, Sunday 10am to 8pm. Downtown Buffalo-Seneca Street from Coca-Cola Field to Pearl Street Brewery.

Friday, February 11

Underoath & Thursday

It usually takes something epic like the Vans Warped Tour to match up two titans of post-hardcore like Underoath and Thursday on one stage, but you won’t have to wait for a massive music festival for this line up. On Friday (Feb 11), these two veterans of heavy rock will join together for a night of discord and chaos on the stage of the Town Ballroom. Not sold yet? Thursday will be performing their classic, 2001 breakthrough album, Full Collapse, in it’s entirety. This is the album that put Thursday on the map and paved the way for major label releases like War All The Time and A City by the Light Divided. Both Thursday and Underoath have been bringing mayhem to the masses for over a decade now, weaving in and out of the mainstream. With their latest release, Ø (Disambiguation), Underoath has ducked back into their heavier, underground style of emotional hardcore, more along the lines of 2006’s Define The Great Line than their 2004 break-out album They’re Only Chasing Safety. With a batch of former members like Dallas Taylor of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Aaron Gillespie of the Almost, Underoath has proven that they are a hardcore music-producing machine. Insturmental prog-metal band Animals As Leaders and emocore upstarts A Sky Lit Drive open the show. - cory perla

6:30pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $19.50 advance, $23 day of show.

Friday, February 11

Give Bradforinkus a Real Name

You’ve never heard of Bradforinkus? Well, don’t bother memorizing how to spell their name. On Friday (Feb 11) at Nietzsche’s, there will be a raffle for Bradforinkus, a new band comprised of Brad Gower (formerly of Photos of Wagons) on vocals and guitar, and the members of Ramforinkus: Evan Kaderback on guitar and vocals, Dan Reitz on trombone and vocals, Mike Johnson on bass, and Brian DeAngelo and Ryan Campbell on drums, to give fans a chance to name this newly formed band. The band has admitted that Bradforinkus is just temporary. “I’m excited and confident in the potential of this band,” Gower said. “I don’t have a good history of naming bands. I’m hoping someone else who sees and feels our sound will drop a perfect name on our lap.” The audience will be given a chance to submit their ideas to replace Bradforinkus, and the band will collaborate over the decision of their name. Their decision will be announced on by Februrary 18th. —michael koh

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

Friday & Saturday, February 11 & 12

Henry's Future

You would never mistake Henry’s Future for a movie made anywhere but in Buffalo. Set in the period between New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, this romantic drama wears our snowfalls on its sleeve, accessorized with plenty of local restaurants and sporting events. Jason Gelsomino heads an (almost) entirely local cast as Henry, a 31-year-old bachelor who puts his unwavering faith in the words of a psychic when she tells him that he is about to meet the woman of his dreams. His task is to look around him and decide who fills the clues provided by the crystal ball. But can Henry tell a square peg from a round hole? A joint venture of Buffalo Nickel Productions and Challenge Films, Henry’s Future was written and directed by DonnaMarie Vaughan with cinematography and general production assistance by local movie maven Emil J. Novak. Songs for the film were provided by local musicians Aaron Masters, Paul Isaac, Jr. and Larry Saunders. After some test screenings last year, the film has been tightened by twenty minutes along with some other cosmetic fixes. Henry’s Future will be a Valentine’s presentation at the Screening Room on Friday (Feb 11) and Saturday (Feb 12). The Saturday matinee will be followed by a Q&A with members of the cast and crew. For more details and a look at the movie’s trailer, go to —m. faust

Friday, 2pm, 4pm, & 9:30pm, Saturday, 1pm, 3:30pm & 9:30pm. The Screening Room, 3131 Sheridan Drive (in the Northtown Business Park) (837-0376 /

Saturday, February 12

5th Annual Joysdead! My Blood Valentines Day

You know, Valentines Day isn’t all about fuzzy stuffed animals, sweet nothings whispered into your ear by a hallmark card or even the obligatory romantically charged trip to Olive Garden. How about something different, exciting, and most importantly loud for a change? Show that special someone you give a damn this Friday (Feb 11) when some of Buffalo’s finest take the stage at Soundlab in the name of everything lovely. Shudder and swoon as the Fucking Hotlights make everyone’s girlfriend/boyfriend jealous with their Stooges-infused rock. Newcomers the Tins bring a raucous dance-pop vibe that brings to mind Devo as much as the Rapture with hooks galore. The Bird Day will provide more than enough fuel for a psychedelic dance-off, and experimental electronic duo UVB-76 will keep the party going with beats so mutated you’ll think twice about bringing them home to mom. Julie Byrne rounds out the bill with heart-breaking folk of the highest caliber to help you get your cuddle on. As a special treat for the occasion, each band is required to play a couple of covers of songs involving love and/or heartbreak. Friday also marks the release of the “Joysdead! Presents Zine,” a how-to guide featuring music, festival reports, recipes and DIY styled instruction on a range of fun activities (ever wonder how to build your own tall bike?). Seven bucks is the least you’ll ever have to pay for love like this. —eric kendall

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $7.

Saturday, February 12

George Jones

Though country legend George Jones may have earned the nickname “No Show Jones” for his notorious reputation of skipping scheduled concerts, the city can be assured that Jones will indeed show up at the Riviera Theater on Saturday (Feb 12). Still touring with zest at 79 years-old, Jones has lost none of his charm. The classic tunes “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “She Still Thinks I Care” continue to break hearts, while upbeat romps like “White Lightning” and “The Race Is On” remain as danceable as ever. With a career spanning over a half of a century and an arsenal of more than 150 high charting country hits, Jones is a prolific and well-established figure whose controversial private life has never stopped him from churning out great music. The Kennedy Center Honoree has loaned his voice to collaborations with Ray Charles, James Taylor, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson, and received CMA, Grammy, and Billboard awards. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to experience one of country music’s most enduring stars. —ryan wolf

7pm. Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda (692-2413 / $55-$65.

Sunday, February 13

Benefit for the Heart Association

It think is was best said by Sonny…or perhaps it was Cher…well, either way: “The beat goes on!” Years after forging the Buffalo punk and new wave scene, so many of the bands from the “McVan’s days” are still making music. Among them are the Good a band led by singer/songwriter Bernie Kugel. The New York City native/longtime Queen City resident’s renown has far surpassed the significant but short lived heyday of the early Buffalo punk scene. Kugel has been an in demand music writer with an expertise of 1960s recordings, garage rock and powerpop. He’s been mentioned on several occasions by filmmaker/actor/musician Vincent Gallo as an inspiration, and beyond the Good, made noise internationally with his late psych-garage outfit the Mystic Eyes. Calling friends from the past and present to join a benefit show, this is clearly a cause close to Kugel’s heart: literally. He himself has lived and fortunately thrived with a heart condition. “I want to give back for all the things that have been done for me courtesy of the Heart Association,” Kugel says. The Good will appear at Mohawk Place on Sunday (Feb 13) with Dead Cowboys, the Vores, the Cleanest Dirty Shirt, and more. ­—donny kutzbach

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 /