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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: rapper Talib Kweli, who comes to the Town Ballroom on Thursday the 31st.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our full events calendar on-line for complete event listings, a location guide to find your way about the city, restaurant reviews, and more.

Talib Kweli

Thursday, May 31

Rapper Talib Kweli has been in the hip-hop game for over 15 years now. Staying fresh for that long means reinventing oneself over and over again, something Kweli has not been afraid to do. From his beginnings with Mos Def as Black Star to his work with Hi-Tek and his intensely personal, yet socially aware solo albums, Kweli has managed to transform himself into one of the most influential rappers around. The 36 year-old will make a stop—with a full band—at the Town Ballroom next Thursday (May 31) in support of his upcoming album Prisoner of Conscious, which features his latest single “Distractions.” “I wrote that record sort of under the influence of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street revolutions,” Kweli said in an interview. “The Arab Spring line in ”Distractions” was probably the first line that I wrote. A lot of my songs start as a single lyric and then I build around that. It wasn’t my intention to write something so socially conscious when I wrote that song, but I liked the beat and I wanted to write something that was just hard hitting.” Prisoner of Conscious picks up where his last record, 2011’s Gutter Rainbows left off, but Kweli explained that Conscious was a much more in-depth project, one that he was working on even while in the process of making Gutter Rainbows. “Gutter Rainbows was essentially a prelude [to Prisoner of Conscious],” Kweli said. Buffalo rapper Chae Hawk—inked up with a Black Star tattoo, and with his own highly anticipated record, Dance Party For The Heavy Hearted, coming out this summer—will open the show next Thursday. To read the full interview with Talib Kweli visit the Exit Music blog. —cory perla

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $24 advance, $27 day of show.

Friday, May 25

Comeback Kid

Comeback Kid, as a band name, is at this point perhaps a bit ironic—the group has been a fixture in the Canadian hardcore seen for close to half a decade now; they shook things up a bit with debut LP Turn it Around, found mainstream success with 2005’s Wake the Dead, and reached the upper heights of the indie and Billboard Heatseeker charts with Broadcasting..., a 2007 release. Barring, then some sort of unforeseen and dramatic collapse, it would seem that Comeback Kid has nothing to “come back” from (which is certainly not a bad thing). Indeed, with a new album reportedly in the works, a falling out or hiatus seems the last thing on the band’s collective mind. On Friday (May 25), this paradigm of crossover hardcore success will play Broadway Joe’s with support from Boston’s Lions Lions, and LA outfit Rotting Out. Be sure to check out the show if you can—Friday is Comeback Kid’s next-to-last show stateside before the Winnipeg quintet jets overseas for the European leg of their summer tour. —edward a. benoit

5pm. Broadway Joe’s, 3051 Main St. ( $12 advance, $14 day of show.

Friday, May 25

Roni Size

Drum and bass music wouldn’t be the same without Roni Size. It was in the late 1980s when Roni Size, real name Ryan Williams, began producing drum and bass tracks at the age of 16. Bristol, in South West England, was a good place to start writing that type of music because that is where things were transforming musically; tempos were getting faster and breakbeats more popular. By the mid 1990s Williams had built a name for himself as part of Full Circle and would help break drum and bass to a mainstream audience with his crew Reprazent. Twisting jazzy basslines like Squarepusher, laying down frantic snare-rolling beats, and adding rap verses over his liquid tracks like “Brown Paper Bag” from his 1997 album New Forms, Williams helped to open the door for the following decade of drum and bass. Don’t miss Roni Size when he comes to the Town Ballroom, where there will be two rooms of music pumping all night, on Friday (May 25) with support from DJ Hoogs, D.A. Dogg, Loki, and Perceptor. —cory perla

10pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $25 day of show.

Friday, May 25

The Ryan Montbleau Band

As a band that averages nearly 200 performances a year, the Ryan Montbleau Band will start their next string of touring at the Tralf Music Hall this Friday (May 25). The band’s sound stretches beyond a concise genre—Montbleau and company mesh together components of funk, rock, and folk. The band has built up their eclectic repertoire through their hundreds of performances, not committing songs to a record until they have had time to meld and take shape in years of live performance. If you can’t make it out to Friday’s show but are entranced by Montbleau’s feel-good funk tunes, don’t fret. Through a series of technological maneuvers that would make MacGyver jealous (which includes jail broken iPhones for WiFi, and a mixing console) the band has been streaming its shows live since January on Montbleau is fresh off the release of his latest album, For Higher. His first several albums are a clear testament to his ability to craft songs, but the new record draws additional depth from a few hand picked cover tunes, like Rhinoceros’ “Sweet, Nice and High.” Montbleau and his six-piece band will take the stage in their return to the Tralf as a fun way to reign in the long weekend. —sara dinatale

7pm. The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $12 advance, $15 day of show.

Friday, May 25

El Museo De Infringe

Buffalo’s festival season is just around the corner, and anyone who frequents our city’s multitude of gatherings knows that Infringement Festival is the most diverse and genre-defying on this year’s summer calendar. Artists, musicians, poets, performers and everyone in between converge on the Queen’s City for 11 days in nearly 52 venues across Buffalo, with Allentown acting as the de facto headquarters of it all. An event of this magnitude requires a dedicated and passionate group of organizers and volunteers, and the BIF proves year after year just how important the work of these folks is in making the festival a reality. None of this can happen without the necessary funds, and BIF organizers have been diligently fundraising throughout the year in anticipation of this year’s festivities. This Friday (May 25), El Museo Gallery hosts a 50/50 fundraiser for BIF 2012, with performances from Infringement artists, prize give-aways, BIF merch and more. The evening includes music from Peter Sorkin, Pam Swarts and Kelly Cornelius, poetry from Robin Brox, Jon Cuttito (of the Living Poets Society), Alex Mead and MC Vendetta, dance from Angela Lopez, The Hell’s Harlots, and Euphraxin. Get in for half price with a purchase of the new unveiled BIF t-shirts. Come show your support for “Art Under the Radar” and help BIF 2012 (July 26-August 5) take off. —jon wheelock.

6:30pm. El Museo, 91 Allen St. (, $10 general, $5 with t-shirt purchase.

Friday, May 25 - Sunday, May 27

Beyond Ghosts Parahorror Weekend

How often can you say that you and Michael Myers participated in a ghost hunt together? You’ll have your chance this Friday (May 25) and Saturday (May 26), when Tyler Mane, star of Rob Zombie’s Halloween remakes, kicks off the Beyond Ghosts ParaHorror Weekend, which runs through Sunday at the Buffalo Central Terminal. Thanks to the several locally produced horror films and TV’s Ghost Hunters, the Central Terminal is the perfect venue for what organizers Ryan Willard and John Crocitto promise will be Western New York’s biggest paranormal and horror convention. A one day convention on Saturday brings together guests from both genres and features paranormal lectures, film screenings, a scream queen panel discussion, special make-up effects demonstrations, and vendors. In addition to Mane, headliners at Saturday’s convention include stuntman James Winburn, who donned Michael Myers’s mask in John Carpenter’s original Halloween; Leah Gibson from Twilight: Eclipse; and cult movie actress Suzie Lorraine. Returning favorites include Lloyd Kaufman from Troma Entertainment and actress Melantha Blackthorne. Local author and filmmaker Gregory Lamberson will be on hand with two new books, and to screen Slime City Massacre following Kaufman’s presentation of Poultrygeist (both films were shot in Buffalo). Even the cars from Knight Rider and Christine are coming to town. For a complete list of guests and a schedule of events, visit Proceeds benefit the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. —m. faust

Buffalo Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive. (See for a full schedule). Admission for Saturday’s convention is $20; separate admission for the Friday and Saturday ghost hunts is $50; and candle light tours Sunday night, which run every half hour, cost $20.

Saturday, May 26


Who would’ve thought that a group started as a pay-what-you-can music school would become one of Canada’s most influential reggae groups? Well, the Sattalites have done just that. Over 20 years ago, flugelhorn player Jo Jo Bennett and singer/saxophonist Fergus Hambleton met while touring with famed reggae crooner Leroy Stibbles. The pair backed Stibbles as a “Sattalite Horn” section and soon decided to branch off and start their own group. They recruited members through their music lessons, combining talented beginners with experienced vets to showcase their unique blend of deep reggae roots and love of 1960s pop-vocal harmonies. A mix of horns, guitars, the alto sax, keyboards, and Hambelton’s smooth voice create a unique “lovers rock” genre. Since 1980, the Toronto-based group has toured extensively across Canada and the U.S. They’ve produced five award-winning albums and have won two Juno awards for “Best Reggae Recording.” The seven-piece group was even was the first-ever Canadian band invited to play at Jamaica’s Sunsplash in front of over 25,000 reggae lovers. If you’re in the mood for a bit of infectious reggae-pop, stop by Nietzsche’s this Saturday (May 26). —rebecca bratek

9pm. Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $7.

Mariachi El Bronx

Saturday, May 26

It’s not often that a successful punk band drops everything in the middle of their career to try an entirely new style of music, but that’s exactly what the Bronx did. After gaining a reputation as one of the best hardcore bands around, the band turned their attention to...mariachi music. No, seriously. They’ve recorded two albums as Mariachi el Bronx, and it’s become evident that this was not something the band took lightly. The songwriting and musicianship on these albums has been top notch, and any notion that this was a mere joke has been thoroughly disproven. The band has already appeared in Buffalo recently, opening for the Foo Fighters back in September. Now, they will be appearing at Mohawk Place this Saturday (May 26). They will be joined on the bill by the guitar and drum duo Two Gallants. The San Francisco-based group formed in 2002, and has since released three studio albums, the most recent being their self-titled effort in 2010. Their lo-fi, folk-rock meets blues rock sound could be compared to Deer Tick or Murder By Death. The band has a knack for dark storytelling, as evidenced by songs like “Long Summer Day,” in which a black employee considers lashing at out at his cruel white boss, while “Steady Rollin,” possibly their most famous song, tells the tale of a man who shoots his wife and throws her body in the San Francisco bay. The co-headliners on this bill certainly have very different styles, making this a perfect show for anyone whose musical tastes are varied, and a little bit adventurous. —john hugar

8pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $15 advance, $20 day of show.