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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: The 22nd Annual Artie Awards, held this Monday, June 4th at the Town Ballroom.

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.

The 22nd Annual Artie Awards

Monday, June 4

The 22nd Annual Artie Awards, Buffalo’s annual theater awards, will be presented this Monday (June 4) at the Town Ballroom. The doors open and the event begins at 7pm with Jimmy Janowski on the red carpet, and jazz vocalist Peggy Farrell in the show room. The ceremonies begin at 8pm with music director Michael Hake at the piano. This year boasts an impressive roster of nominees in a banner theater season, which promises an exciting evening. Included in the festivities are the traditional musical numbers from nominated shows: Avenue Q, from MusicalFare; Floyd Collins, from ART; 42nd Street, from the Kavinoky; Hedwig and the Angry Inch, from ALT; and Oliver!, also from MusicalFare. This year’s Career Achievement recipient will be playwright and actor Kathleen Betsko-Yale. In addition to her accomplishments as a writer and performer, Betsko-Yale is one of the founders of the International Women Playwrights Conference in 1988, which convenes every three years. This year, 25 years after its founding, the conference will be held in Sweden with Betsko-Yale in attendance. The Arties represent the culmination of a remarkable year of theater and a season of fundraising for Benedict House, which provides support to individuals in our community living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Over the past several weeks, participating theaters have sold red ribbons after their performances. Those funds, and $10 donations collected at the door on Monday, will be presented to Benedict House. —anthony chase

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $10.

Thursday, May 31

Grass Widow

Hypnotic layered melodies, haunting songs, rich metaphors—you could describe a lot of indie rock bands with these words, including San Francisco’s Grass Widow, but what really matters is if the band uses these characteristics to create songs that are actually good. Where Grass Widow stands out is in their tendency to strip back. A tambourine, some snare drum, a few double tracked guitars and the heavily harmonized vocals of all three members, Hannah Lew Raven Mahon, and Lillian Maring, are all that Grass Widow need to transmit their post-punk infused personal narratives. The band released a self titled record in 2009, followed by a few EPs and 2010’s Past Time. This week the trio released their latest record, Internal Logic (you can stream it for free at, which uses minimalism as a foundation for psychedelic, guitar based surf rock tunes perfect for a day by the pool baking in the sun. Don’t miss Grass Widow when they come to Mohawk Place on Thursday (tonight!) with All of Them Witches. —cory perla

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

Friday, June 1

Alan Doyle

In their nearly 20 years together, Canadian folk-rockers great Big Sea released many great records, and developed a solid cult following with many dedicated followers going to their shows. They’re also one of the highest-energy live bands around, as anyone who went to their 2005 Thursday In the Square show will tell you. Their catchy folk sing-along’s often have the power to whip crowds into a dancing frenzy for hours on end. Now, however, front man Alan Doyle is going out on his own, with the release of his debut album Boy On Ridge, which was released earlier this month. Anyone who is worried about Doyle losing his way need not fear; while he does explore other genres (country especially), it’s still steeped in folk. Doyle is taking his solo show on the road, with Buffalo being one of the stops. He will be appearing at the Town Ballroom this Friday (June 1). Doyle has been an excellent live performer for a long time, and it will be interesting to see how the situation changes in a solo setting. No matter which direction he leads to show in, it should be a wonderful time; a chance to see how of the most prominent figures in folk music works in a solo setting, and potentially put his entire career in a new context. —john hugar

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $19 advance, $23 day of show.

Saturday, June 2

The Music is Art Battle of the Bands

These days, it’s almost impossible to hear the phrase “battle of the bands” outside the context of either the climax of a bad teen comedy, or the commercialization, commodification, and competitive capitalization of music. Hard though it may seem, the Music is Art 2012 Battle of Student Bands fits into neither of those groupings. Music is Art, or MiA, is a not for profit organization (founded by Goo Goo Dolls bassist and Buffalo native Robby Takac) that aims to keep young people involved and to keep music in local schools. The group’s annual BOTB is just one means to this end—the winning outfit gets stage time at the 2012 Music is Art Festival in September, the Queen City’s largest single showcase of local musical talent. Groups playing at this year’s MiA BOTB include Victory For Poland, Born to Funk, Major Thirds, Satellite Nation, Brimstone Blondes, the Blokes, Fiasco Jones, Landslide, Sorry, and Wildcards. With tickets costing about what a single beer might, there’s no reason not to head over to the Town Ballroom on Saturday (June 2) night to hear local music and support a good cause. —edward a. benoit

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $5.

Wednesday, June 6

Filmstrip with Aircraft and Nick Gordon & The Hall of Fame

Filmstrip is the type of band you would expect to see on the front page of Pitchfork. Singer Dave Taha sounds a lot like David Bazan, their songs are as depressing as the National’s, and their guitar tones are as stressed out as the Deerhunter’s. These days there is only one thing that could make a band like this cooler than being featured on Pitchfork though, and that is not being featured at all. The hype machine and the automatic haters have not tainted the three-piece band from Cleveland, Ohio yet. You can still discover this band on your own, and that feeling of discovery is a rare one these days. Singer/guitarist Taha, his brother and bassist Matt Taha, and drummer Nick Riley have spent most of their lives playing music together in one form or another and in 2009 formed Filmstrip. Their latest album Feeling Like Infinity, the follow-up to their 2010 record Everything Can Change, is a shift from post-punk to post-grunge culminating in the very Nirvana-like live track “Should Have Seen It Coming.” Maybe, after a little bit more success these guys will be smashing their guitars at the end of each set. Don’t miss Filmstrip when they play The Vault on Wednesday (June 6) with local support from Aircraft and Nick Gordon and the Hall of Fame. —cory perla

9pm. The Vault, 702 Main St. (884-7172). $5.

Wednesday, June 6

Brett Shurtliffe and Amy Licata

There aren’t very many places you can go to hear the music of Bach and new age music, rock and jazz all performed in the same night, let alone by the same musician. It would take a classically trained professional to pull something like that off. That man is Brett Shurtliffe. A bassist for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Shurtliffe is a certified master. In 2003 he was the top American Prizewinner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition and has since gone on to win additional ISB awards. He currently sits as Associate Principle Double Bassist of the BPO. These are the things that qualify Shurtliffe to dabble in everything from early 18th century string music to bluegrass, and cutting-edge improvised electronic music too. On Wednesday (June 6) Shurtliffe will be performing works for solo upright bass, in addition to pieces with violinist Amy Licata. Not even Johann Sebastian shredded as hard as this guy. —herbie timpson

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

Thursday, June 7

Thursday at the Harbor featuring The Cult and Against Me!

Thursdays are in the square no longer. Get used to calling the series Thursdays at the Harbor because Buffalo’s annual free summer concert series has a new home. The concert series will move on down to the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf after 25 years at Lafayette Square. Next Thursday (June 7) the series will kick off with famed British rock band, the Cult. The group, as its name suggests, has garnered a dedicated following in the post-punk rock scene. “We don’t have fans, we have devotees. You either need it or you don’t. You either get it or you wont. There is nothing casual about The Cult,” says vocalist Ian Astbury. Since 1983, the band has headlined arenas and stadiums across the globe, fusing heavy metal revivalist sounds with touches of post-punk goth rock—think the Doors meets Led Zepplin with a heavier sound. Against Me! will join The Cult as support for this year’s Harbor kick-off. Just weeks ago, lead singer Tom Gabel came out as transgender and plans to begin living life as a woman, shocking the music community. Gabel is the first major rock star to come out to the public as transgender, and she plans to continue to front the band as she goes through the transition process. Against Me! began recording their sixth studio album this past February, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, a concept album about a transgender prostitute. The show starts at 5pm down at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf and the Harbor series will continue every Thursday until August 23. —rebecca bratek

5pm. Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf ( Free.

Marc Scibilia

Thursday, May 7

“I don’t have a real job, I write songs for a living. My grandmother still thinks I am going to be a doctor,” says singer/songwriter Marc Scibilia. It’s probably better for all of us that Scibilia has stuck to his calling: writing deeply personal stories through song. Poets aren’t usually so good at open-heart surgery. Born and raised in Buffalo, Scibilia has been surrounded by music all of his life. His father worked for a drumstick manufacturing company, his grandfather was a bassist in a pit orchestra, and at the age of six Scibilia sat down for the first time at a piano—his main instrument and primary tool for songwriting. When the tall, curly haired, 25 year-old musician steps on stage looking a bit like James Franco and singing lines like “I’m a fool man/compared to the school man/but I feel so enlightened just studying your smile” one has got to imagine that the ladies melt in their seats. Those lines are from his song “Better Man,” a song which will be on his next EP for Hickory Records/Sony that will be released on June 5th, and for which Scibilia shot a very candid and intimate music video. Currently located in Nashville, Tennessee and on the brink of some major national success, Scibilia will return to his hometown to perform a show at the Tralf next Thursday (June 7) with support from Vinnie DeRosa. —cory perla

7pm. The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $12 advance, $16 day of show.