Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Film Now Playing
Next story: It's All Nu: The 2011 Hyundai Elantra

See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Music Is Art's Mardi Gras Jam at the Tralf on Friday, March 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.

Music is Art Mardi Gras Jam

Friday, March 4

There might be a thousand miles between Buffalo and New Orleans, but that distance will be shortened, musically speaking, at the 4th annual Music is Art Mardis Gras Jam. This Friday (March 4), NoLa and B-Lo come together to make sure Mardis Gras starts off right, as local and Louisiana musicians share the stage at the legendary Tralf Music Hall. The event is part of the Music is Art: Big Easy in Buffalo Music Education and Concert Series, which brings in Louisiana and New Orleans bands to host public concerts and cultural programs in local Buffalo schools. Headlining the show is blues guitarist, environmental activist, Grammy nominee and recent Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee Tab Benoit, with his brand of Cajun blues that comes straight from the swampy bayou towns where he first made a name for himself. In addition to being considered one of the greatest contemporary blues artists of our time, Benoit has been steadfast in his support for the region that has fostered an entire culture and sub-genre of music. Also holding it down for New Orleans is guitarist/banjoist/singer and “7th Ward Griot” Carl Le Blanc, whose storied musical career has crossed the spectrum from traditional to avant-garde jazz, having worked with the prestigious Preservation Hall Band, as well as the Sun Ra Arkestra. Buffalo’s own the Heavenly Chillbillies will be on-hand for some good ol’ “booze-infused blues and Americana.” One lucky band from Music is Art’s student battle of the bands will open up the show, with all proceeds benefitting Music is Art, a not-for-profit organization founded by Buffalo native and Goo Goo Doll bassist Robby Takac. Behind every Mardis Gras celebration is great music, and with the Big Easy in our own backyard, it’s safe to say we’ve got that covered. —jon wheelock

6pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $23 advance, $25 day of show..

Thursday, March 3

Jazzbollah vs. Jazzbollah

In the revolutionary spirit that has awakened people around the world over the last few weeks, it’s only fitting that Buffalo’s own radical jazz faction Jazzbollah manifest itself for one of their rare live performances. As the venue that has been the launch pad for so many of Buffalo’s bands, Jazzbollah’s beginnings can be traced back to their regular Wednesday night gig at Nietzsche’s back in 2007. This Thursday (March 3), Jazzbollah pays homage to their place of conception with “Jazzbollah vs. Jazzbollah,” a two-set performance that will turn the world on its head, pitting different members of the band against each other in what promises to be an epic show of one-upmanship. Of course, they’re all still friends at the end of the day, and “Jazzbollah vs. Jazzbollah” really just shows the depth of their collaboration and range of styles. The band currently features a conglomeration of members from some of Buffalo’s favorites, including Peanut Brittle Satellite, Shapes of States, Anal Pudding, Arm Cannon, Rhubarb, A Hotel Nourishing, Wooden Waves, Caraway, and Drivers to Warshaw. With over 50 personnel changes during their tenure, Jazzbollah is always morphing into something new and unpredictable, but always marked by stellar musicianship and sinister improvisations. “Jazzbollah vs. Jazzbollah” is the inevitable battle that wages when two incarnations of the same band share the stage, so take to the streets, get to Nietzsche’s, and behold. —jon wheelock

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 /

Friday, March 4

The Art of Beer

This Friday (March 4), the NACC’s largest annual fundraiser, the Fifth Annual Art of Beer, has expanded this year to include the Main Gallery and Great Theater with live music by Lakeside Blues Band, Echo Skye, and special guest performers, food and beer provided by local food vendors, and Western New York’s most popular micro breweries. Beer and food will be provided by Certo Brothers Distributing, Try-It Distributing, Mister Goodbar, Flying Bison Brewery, Alternative Brews, Consumers Beverage, Niagara Falls Conference Center, Lewiston Brew Pub, Just Pizza, Wine on Third, Tim Hortons, DiCamillo Bakery, Goodfellas Pizzeria, NACC Artisan Café, Brickyard Pub & Barbeque, Pearl Street Gill & Brewery, Orchard Grill, Villella’s Italian Restaurant and more. Also participating is the Niagara Tradition Homebrew Supply, King of Keg, and Great Lakes Brewing News. Of course, you must be 21 years or older to attend. The ticket price includes a food tasting, a souvenir glass for beer tasting, three beer memorabilia collections on display (collections of “breweriana”), free parking, and a great time. —krysta zagorski

6-9pm. Niagara Arts & Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave. at Portage, Niagara Falls (282-7530 / $25 advance, $30 day of event.

Friday, March 4

Mother Mother

Get your fill of electronic dance music this Friday (March 4) at Mohawk Place. These four bands will serve up music to satisfy your urge to bust a move with a side of indie cred. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mother Mother is a five piece indie rock band. They formed in 2005 and have been progressing rapidly ever since. They made their debut self-titled album with producer Howard Redekopp, who has worked with the New Pornographers and Tegan and Sara. They have opened at a nationally broadcast concert, at the sold-out Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Mother Mother’s driving rock beat and synth licks make every song catchy enough to get stuck in your head all day. Their third album, Eureka, has more of an electronic edge but still has the same direct rock punch as their previous releases. Hailing from San Fransico, Sugar & Gold bring smooth and instantly infectious songs with an R&B tinge and undulating with syncopation. With songs like “Feels Like Fire,” “Slice Me Nice,” and “Do It Well,” Sugar & Gold use electronic beats to get you all hot and bothered. Their fun, frolicking melodies combined with effortlessly sensual David Bowie-esque vocals provide the perfect sound for hipsters to ironically shimmy the night away. Yip Deceiver is a new band featuring members from Of Montreal. They have a restrained sound that manages to rein in experimental pop, new wave, 1980’s R&B, and electro sensibilities in a neat dance music package. To add some local flair, Buffalo-based the Bird Day will provide their psychedelic pop sounds. —jill greenberg

7:30pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $8 advance, $10 day of show.

Saturday, March 5

Das Racist

Blurring the line between seriousness and sarcasm is what Das Racist does best. Though the three piece hip-hop group from Brooklyn might arouse a lot of laughter with lines about what white folks like to eat, or how people mistakenly think they’re all Puerto Rican cousins, the group has a lot of valid points to make about racism, the commercial value of rap, and their love for blunt smoke. They deliver this message in a complex, yet easily consumable package. “They called us joke rap/We kinda weed rap/We just like rap/We don’t even need rap,” the trio rhymes on their track “Rapping 2 U.” On their latest album, 2010’s Sit Down Man, MC’s Victor Vazquez, a.k.a. Kool A.D., and Himanshu Suri a.k.a. Heems, poke fun at the ignorant and prejudice, with satirical lines like “The white man can’t even go outside/He’ll get a disease/I’m talking about how like white people can’t even go outside into the sunlight,” from their track “All Tan Everything,” featuring Jay-Z. Ok, so skin cancer isn’t hilarious per se, but Das Racist would argue that this sounds just as dumb as some of the things Bill O’Reilly takes seriously. The highlight of the album, “People Are Strange,” is a catchy and bumping track, sampled from the Doors’ song by the same name, which hits on our similarities rather than our differences. Das Racist will bounce some beats and spit their tasty rhymes at Soundlab on Saturday (March 5). —cory perla

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $15.

Saturday, March 5

The Taqwacores

Based on Michael Muhammad Knight’s novel by the same name, the Taqwacores is set in Buffalo, filmed in Buffalo, and is now showing in Buffalo at Hallwalls this Saturday (March 5). The 8pm showing will be introduced and presented by director Eyad Zahra who will discuss his debut film and how he created an original take on the identity narrative within it. Premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Taqwacores has since been included in the London Film Festival and SXSW. Yusef, a Pakistani engineering student in Buffalo finds himself as housemate to a bunch of punk-rock Muslims who identify themselves as part of the Taqwacore scene. They try to balance the anarchy, sex, and partying aspects of the punk lifestyle with the Koran-reading and mosque-attending duties of their faith. As Yusef submerges himself deeper into Taqwacore, he finds himself at a crossroads between his friends, being a member of his newfound subculture, and the Islamic tradition. The film is 83 minutes long and stars Bobby Naderi, Noureen Dewulf, Dominic Rain. —krysta zagorski

3pm and 8pm. Hallwalls, 341 Delaware Ave. (854-1694 / $8 general, $6 students and seniors, $5 Hallwalls members

Saturday, March 5

Jonathan Richman

Eager to please and seemingly beyond irony, Jonathan Richman has always been able to tune into the mundane and make it shine through his droll storytelling and charming sense of humor. Heavily influenced in his youth by the Velvet Underground, the proto-punk icon influenced many groups himself as frontman of the classic band the Modern Lovers. Their exuberant hit “Roadrunner,” remains the quintessential song to blast on a car stereo while cruising in the wee hours of the night. Richman’s long solo career has revealed a stripped down but equally fun side to a man whose simple but lovable music has appealed to kids through its appearances on Sesame Street and to adults through its use in There’s Something About Mary. Richman’s latest album, O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth, is an intimate Spanish-sounding collection of songs that reveal the immense range of the musician’s oeuvre. Tommy Larkin will accompany Richman on drums in what will be an effortlessly cool evening at the Mohawk Place this Saturday (March 5). —ryan wolf

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $15 advance, $18 day of show.