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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Herculaneum, who play at Hallwalls on Friday, January 6th.

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.


Friday, January 6

What do the words prosecco, Italian ice, and Venice beach grass have in common? Other than their Italian-made themes, these are the song titles of Chicago based prog-jazz band Herculaneum (also the name of an ancient Italian city lost to the same volcanic eruption that consumed Pompeii). The term “prog-jazz,” a term this newly heralded six-piece uses to describe their own music, might seem a little intimidating at first but when you take into account their fantastically blithe song titles (like “Twin Unicorns”) and their bohemian grad-school-dude looks, their serious improvisational jazz sound takes on a more accessible feel. The group, led by Icy Demons drummer Dylan Ryan, takes up-tempo, horn blaring queues from classics like Miles Davis’ “Spanish Key” on tracks like the aforementioned “Twin Unicorns” and props them up next to mysterious and lilting, Tortoise-esque jams like “Golden Monarch.” The result is an atmospheric combination of spectacular rhythmic highs and dark, caustic lows that strike a balance between fluid improvisation and just the right amount of discordant intensity. Accompanying the rhythm section of Ryan and upright bassist Greg Danek is a team of horn players, led by trumpeter Nick Broste, who paint colorful melodies over their mellow afro-beat grooves. Herculaneum will play a special live show this Friday (Jan 6) at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center with Buffalo’s Bear Flames as part of the center’s Winter 2012 concert series. —cory perla

8pm. Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, 341 Delaware Ave. (854-1694 / $12 general, $10 students/seniors, $8 members.

Friday, January 6

9th Annual Syd Barrett Birthday Tribute Concert

Most people probably know Syd Barrett primarily as the guy who Wish You Were Here was about. A few slightly more educated fans might remember that he was Pink Floyd’s original lead singer, and was the driving creative force behind their debut album, The Piper At the Gates Of Dawn. Those who are truly familiar with Barrett’s work, however, know that the man is nothing short of a music legend. After leaving Pink Floyd, he released two little-heard but much-loved solo albums, The Madcap Laughs, and Barrett, both of which were released in 1970. After that, Barrett’s rapidly deteriorating mental condition did him in and he was essentially a complete recluse for the rest of his life, before finally passing away in 2006. In spite of his small recorded output, Barrett’s legacy has only grown throughout the years, as he is revered as a cult hero. Now, exactly 42 years after The Madcap Laughs some of Buffalo’s most prominent musicians are gathering to pay tribute to the mad genius. This Friday (Jan 6), Mohawk Place will host the 9th Annual Syd Barrett Birthday Tribute Concert, which will feature such local artists as Odiorne, the Vegetable Men, the Projected Sound, and more. The show will be a tribute to Syd’s eccentric, wildly original approach to songwriting. Considering how offbeat Barrett’s compositions often were, it will be interesting to see how these local acts approach his work. Ending this piece with a variation on the phrase “shine on you crazy diamond” would be a bit clichéd, but suffice it to say, this should be an amazing show, paying tribute to a music legend whose legacy grows with each passing year. —john hugar

9pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / Free.

Friday, January 6

One World Tribe

While many artists dwell on negativity and despair, One World Tribe focuses on turning frustration into a positive force for societal change. The upbeat and optimistic band enthusiastically spreads an idealistic message of hope, renewal, and reconciliation. With songs like “No Justice, No Peace” and “We Are One,” One World Tribe infuses its jazzy, world beat jams with a fierce social justice component. Like Sly and the Family Stone, the funky group builds its work around a celebration of diversity and cooperation that it itself demonstrates. Led by Kennedy Thompson, the Pennsylvania-based collective of artists formed in 1994, joining together a massive assortment of skilled musicians and dancers from across the globe. Performing both covers of popular artists like Santana, Bob Marley, and Stevie Wonder alongside their own unstoppable original compositions, One World Tribe bring their joyful noise to communities throughout the region. The group also reaches out to schools through their involvement with Young Audiences of Western New York. On Friday (Jan 6) the band can be experienced live at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery auditorium as part of the M&T First Fridays @ The Gallery series. Although there is an incredibly low ticket price to attend the concert for non-gallery members, entrance to the 1962 Knox Building gallery itself is free from 10 am to 10 pm on this special occasion. —ryan wolf

7:30pm. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave. (882-8700 / $5 per family; free for gallery members.

Friday, January 6th

The Tins, The Found, & Cosmic Shakedown

It’s safe to say that when given the choice, Buffalonians prefer original live music over any alternative, and it’s that reason that our city has helped foster a diverse local music scene that continues to support the up-and-coming and established acts that inhabit our bars, clubs and venues on a nightly basis. This Friday (Jan 6) Buffalo’s enduring bastion of local music, Nietzsche’s, presents a lineup featuring three of Buffalo’s most promising local bands in action. Kicking off the show is Cosmic Shakedown, and with a name that recalls some kind of far-out, stratospheric jam-session, this foursome has been making a name for themselves here on earth following the release of their self-titled EP. We all love a good underdog story, and the Tins are a trio of hardworking mates that everyone can root for, having recently surpassed their goal of raising $8,000 on Kickstarter for the release of their first full-length album. Given the attention that their self-titled EP gained in 2010, it wouldn’t be a surprise if their new album, set to come out in March, propelled them into new territory as a band that knows how to churn out accessible, insanely catchy rock tunes. If you’re lucky enough to have found the Found, then you’ve discovered a band that was made to be witnessed in the live-setting. The Found’s classic rock sensibilities give way to obvious comparisons to bands like the Stones and Deep Purple, but there’s still so many other layers that continually reveal themselves whenever these guys perform. In addition to having an absolutely demonic drummer, the band’s equally as sinister guitar, bass, keys, and organ cement this quintet’s status as one of Buffalo’s must-see local rock acts. —jon wheelock

10pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5. 21+.

Saturday & Sunday, January 7 & 8

Metal For Tony

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring people together. Local musician Tony Lorenzo was the victim of a shooting that took place in the Elmwood Village on October 26, 2011. He remains in the hospital; the gunshot left him paralyzed from the chest down. Our community has stepped up to help him with a series of benefit shows, which will continue when Glorious Times and Club Infinity present a 2-day benefit concert, which will feature the reunions of a couple of classic Buffalo metal acts. On Saturday (Jan 7) 1980s metal band Beyond Death, which includes founding members of Cannibal Corpse and Goldfinger, will reunite for the first time since 1988, along with legendary thrash metal band Tirant Sin, who will also be reuniting for the first time since the late 1980s. Other acts include Avulsion, Demented Dream States, Abdicate, and Seplophile. Sunday (Jan 8) will feature Long Island death metal band Suffocation, Cleveland’s Embalmer, and local bands Seplophile and Cain. Tony is a talented metal guitarist who has played in local bands like Sons of Azrael and Ritual Quarantine—significant groups in Buffalo’s metal and hardcore scenes—so it only makes sense that a few hardcore legends would come together for this once in a lifetime benefit show at Club Infinity. If you can not attend but would still like to give, PayPal donations can be sent to —cory perla

6pm. Club Infinity. 8166 Main St., Williamsville (565-0110 / $15 advance, $20 day of show.

Wednesday, January 11

Pure Ink Poetry Slam

This Wednesday (Jan 11) is the grand opening of the Pure Ink Poetry Slam at Merge Restaurant. This monthly event will contribute to the backbone of our local literary community, which already boasts a few regular open mic reading nights, poet presentations, and writer’s groups. The organizers of Pure Ink plan to feature local poets alongside poets from Niagara and Canada. After years of traveling to Burlington, Ontario, and Toronto for poetry slams, Brandon Williamson, a Buffalo native and poet, created this event with the literary community in mind. “I simply want to bring this poetry scene, which has essentially been an underground phenomenon, to the surface so that we can showcase what the poetic community of Buffalo has to offer,” said Williamson. Unlike an open mic, a poetry slam is a competition. Poets will present their best offerings to be judged by audience members, who will be welcomed to participate. Gracing the stage will be poets Ntare Ali Gault, Ten-Thousand, David Hulett, Tomy Bewick, and more. Poetic styles will range from reading, lyrical, slam style, free style, rap, and more. Williamson explained, “Poetry slams are making waves throughout the nation and as the art form grows, expression grows along with it.” Sign up begins at 8pm and the slam starts at 8:30pm. —jill greenberg

8pm. Merge Restaurant, 439 Delaware Ave. (842-0600 / $5 for poets & spectators.

Wednesday, January 11

Langhorne Slim

Folk singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim might have a name that sounds like it is straight out of Looney Tunes, but he is anything but looney. In fact, he’s extremely down to earth. “Though we have sinned all of our lives, we ain’t going to hell. Well, we’re going to the rebel side of heaven,” the 31 year-old sings on “Rebel Side of Heaven,” the opening track of his latest album, 2009’s Be Set Free. The lyric seems to express the feeling that though you might have vices, being a good person to the people around you is what really matters. This is the type of subject matter Langhorne Slim, real name Sean Scolnick, has focused on throughout his career, beginning with his 1999 album Slim Pickens and continuing through six more full length albums. After taking his stage name from the town he grew up in, Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a town of 1,600 people, he left to tour the country with only his guitar and backing band to share the stage with the likes of the Avett Brothers, Cake, and Murder By Death. Langhorne Slim will appear live at Babeville’s Ninth Ward this Wednesday (Jan 11). —cory perla

7pm. Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $11.