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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Buffalo's first ChalkFest, featuring 3D artist Michael Macauley, this Saturday and Sunday on the 500 block of Main Street.

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.


Saturday & Sunday, August 11 & 12

Think chalk is only for kids or schoolteachers? Well, this weekend, chalk will be transformed into an art medium, and you can be the artist. On Saturday (Aug 11) and Sunday (Aug 12), you can head down to the 500 Block of Main Street and transport back to your childhood days for Buffalo’s first ChalkFest. Adults and children alike will have the chance to chalk up the block with their art creations right alongside over 30 local artists. There are even prizes for the best illustrations. World-renowned street and 3D chalk artist Michael Macauley will even bring his magnificent street “paintings” to Buffalo for the weekend. His art is impressive—using only chalk, he creates artwork so realistic it’s almost as if you can step right into the scene and become a part of it. Visitors can also participate in a live storybook, drawing pages of children’s tales. If you have a hop in your step, put it to good use by entering the hopscotch tournament too, or participate in a life-size tic-tac-toe or scully board competition. There will also be live music by the Brew featuring Rob Williams and Rick Strauss, a beer tent, and local restaurants serving up food. The event is free and open to the youngest kids and the kids at heart. —rebecca bratek

12pm 500 Block of Main Street. (860-1760 / Free.

Friday, August 10

George Thorogood & The Destroyers

George Thorogood is one of blues-rock’s most talented guitarists, and more for than 30 years he’s thrilled audiences with his hard-edged, often fast-paced take on the genres. Thorogood and his backup band the Destroyers have released countless albums together, and have established a winning formula with their revved-up boogie rock. Casual fans of Thorogood likely know him best for hits like “I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” and of course, his biggest hit, 1982’s “Bad To the Bone,” the title track of the band’s breakthrough album and the song that established Thorogood as a commercial force. Over the course of the years, Thorogood continued to rack up hits with the Destroyers, but he never lost touch of his blues roots. That was never more evident than last year, when he released 2120 South Michigan Avenue, named after the address of the legendary Chess records label. The album featured covers of numerous blues classics, including “Let It RocK,” “Spoonful,” and “My Babe.” The album received rave reviews from critics, and was considered to be Thorogood’s best album in years. Now, Thorogood and the Destroyers are headed to Lockport as part of the Labatt Canal Concert Series this Friday (Aug 10) with Tom Hambridge, Bruce Wojick, and the Jim Crean Band. With an excellent new album, as a well as a heavy back catalog of hits to choose from, Thorogood’s set list will likely draw from many eras of his storied career. —john hugar

5:30-11pm Labatt Canal Concert Series, Ulrich City Courtyard, 80 Main St., Lockport. ( Free.

Friday, August 10

Eternal Summers

If Stereolab mated with Galaxie 500 their offspring would be something like Eternal Summers. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Eternal Summers began as the duo of guitarist/vocalist Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff who quickly developed a familiar yet creative lo-fi garage/noise pop sound. After releasing their debut LP, Silver, in 2010 on Kanine Records the band grew into a three piece, adding bassist Jonathan Woods who helped the band move out of the garage and into jangly indie-pop territory. With their trio complete the band put out a superior sophomore release titled Correct Behavior, which begins with their virally catchy track “Millions” and moves through rock and roll and quirky indie rock before landing in the world of dream pop with tracks like “Good As You.” Now you might be saying to yourself “there are plenty of indie-jangle-noise-rock-garage-dream-pop bands with a female vocalist out there” and you’d be correct, but as the title of their latest record implies; the band is aware of this “correct behavior” and this awareness helps them transcend the mediocrity of many of their contemporaries. Eternal Summers will perform live at Soundlab this Friday (Aug 10) with support from “chain smoking, bird flippin, wife stealin neo-greasers” Sleepy Hahas, and Buffalo surf rockers Bryan Johnson and Family. —cory perla

8pm Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $10.

Sunday, August 12

The Queers & Agent Organge

The Queers were punk before you. Formed in 1981 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire by Joe King (aka Joe Queer) it didn’t take long for the band to break up, which they did in 1984, but by 1986 they had reformed with King at the helm and a new line-up behind him. In the 1990s the band would release seven albums including their debut Grow Up and—always with a knack for controversial titles—their break through record Love Songs for the Retarded, which they released on Lookout! Records in 1993. Their progress barely slowed in the 2000s, releasing records Beyond The Valley, Pleasant Screams, Munki Brain, and Back to the Basement over the course of the decade. Now entering their fourth decade in music the Queers continue to tour, probably still in the same van they started off in. Their current tour matches them with fellow punk veterans Agent Orange, who formed in Orange County, California in 1979, and who were one of the first bands to mix punk and surf music. These legendary punk bands will make a stop at Mohawk Place on Sunday (Aug 12) with support from Flat Tires. —john burkett

7pm Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $15 advance, $18 day of show 16+.

Monday, August 15

Height with Friends

As stated on their Facebook page “The goal is always to make understated, moving music from the heart,” which in my estimation is exactly what is occurring. Height with Friends are a mustard seed growing into a tree; they’re a fire burning, the centuries turning. Lyrically, Height displays the constant change and development of himself and the world he and his friends, and listeners, traverse. He’s like a modern day musical messiah changing the world’s future with the assistance of his disciples (band mates), an amp, synth, and some other musical devices. Height’s easy-listening, alternative hip hop style is flooded with similes and metaphors about growth and evolution, helped along by one or two biblical parables including the one about a mustard seed. The group’s beats are mostly down tempo, clean and simple, and the lyrics are spoken clearly and easily heard. Throughout his career, starting in 1998, Height has made over 13 albums and played no less than 500 shows in the US, Canada, and Europe, while continually adapting. Height with Friends is very enjoyable to listen to and can be witnessed Monday (Aug 13) at The Vault on Main Street. Mellow hip hop rhyme slinger dUbble yUe and loopy rap/punk Jack Topht will also perform. —steve bruckman

8pm The Vault, 702 Main St. (884-7172) $7.

Thursday, August 16

Neon Trees

With an image reminiscent of scenes from Rocky Horror Picture Show, one Utah based band has interjected their fun, pop-punk, synth-rock tunes into mainstream music. Typically clad in bright colors and funky finds that go against societal norms—it’s kind shocking that the quartet that makes up Neon Trees has a faith rooted in Mormonism. But front man of the band, Tyler Glen feels that the true spirit of rock and roll isn’t found in debauchery and drugs and the typical rock and roll “act.” To him, it’s simply about the music. “The spirit of rock and roll is in the music, the emotional weight of the melodies and lyrics, the show and the performance,” Glenn explains. “With all of that Neon Trees is rock and roll.” The band has garnered the kind of attention appropriate for true rock stars. Their debut album Habits’ single “Animal” went double platinum and was named the top Alternative Song of 2011 by Billboard. Neon Trees’ knack for creating contagious tunes has continued with their latest single, “Everybody Talks” off of the album Picture Show, which dropped in April. With songs that dabble in topics like masochism, vanity, the reality of reality, and the politics of gender, Neon Trees wraps up complexity in songs that light up the dance floor. Catch them on Wednesday (Aug 15) at the Town Ballroom with the indie-rock, Ohio based band, Walk The Moon. —sara dinatale

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $23 day of show 16+.

Thursday, August 16

The Mike Dillon Band

Here are some words that don’t go together: Texas, vibraphone, punk, and jazz. Singer/songwriter Mike Dillon somehow brings those four very different things together though. The Texan, a percussionist at heart, has performed and recorded with many musicians including Les Claypool and Buffalo’s own Ani DiFranco. On stage Dillon’s punk attitude comes across in the strange way that he sings, screams, and frantically beats upon his vibraphone with wooden mallets. His band’s seemingly structure-less songs, and Dillion’s ability to play two percussive instruments at once also lend a uniquely organic jazz vibe to his high-energy concerts that tend to have crowds stirring about on their feet from start to finish. Dillion has been a part of many projects including bands like Critter’s Buggin’, Garage A Trois, Billy Goat, Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle, the Dead Kenny G’s (best band name ever?), but when he comes to Nietzsche’s next Thursday (Aug 16) he’ll be joined by his own personal band including drummer Adam Gertner, guitarist Cliff Hines, and Carly Meyers on trombone and vocals. Dillon’s enthusiasm alone is worth the price of admission. —cory perla

7pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $10 advance, $12 day of show 21+.

Thursday, August 16

Salt n Pepa

“The Showstopper is stupid fresh, when will you be satisfied?” These are the first words of the first track released by one of the world’s first all female rap groups, Salt n Pepa. “Show Stopper” was stupidly fresh when it was released, but that was in the late 1980s when the idea of women rappers was still a novelty. Now female MCs are at the top of the rap game running the show, but their debt is to people like Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Diedra Roper aka DJ Spinderella. After disbanding in 1999 the group reformed six years later during VH1’s annual Hip Hop Honors event where the trio performed “Whatta Man” with R&B group En Vogue, a group they helped to pave the way for. The grammy award winning ladies of Salt n Pepa will come to Buffalo to perform a free concert at the Erie Harbor Central Wharf with local hip hop star Chae Hawk next Thursday (Aug 16). Hawk has been on a journey of his own that will culminate with the release of his epic debut record Dance Party For The Heavy Hearted this fall. With his protégé, beat maker, and partner Grabbitz the rapper has formed a dynamic live show that combines bass music, and rap. They’ll be unveiling some songs straight from the album when they open the show on Thursday. Chae Hawk’s Team Radio will also present a special after party at Soundlab beginning at 9pm. —cory perla

5pm Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf. ( free.