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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Com Truise, performing at Soundlab on Friday the 27th.

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.

Com Truise

Friday, January 27

His podcasts sound like the score of a 1980s Jackie Chan flick. His albums sound like the music you’d hear inside of a nightclub, inside of a computer…in the future. Most know him as Com Truise, but that’s just one of many personalities of slow-mo electro-funk schizoid Seth Haley. A product of the thriving upstate New York electro scene, Haley has been writing music for nearly a decade, starting as a DJ and more recently puttering in the trending territories of chill-wave, electro-dub, and synth-fi. His Cyanide Sisters EP dropped in early 2011 like a white dwarf falling from deep space, and packed twice as much heat. It’s the type of EP that makes you quit you’re day job and dedicate your life to finding new ways of dancing. Followed shortly after Cyanide Sisters, in the same year, Haley released Galactic Melt, sending the solar system into a proverbial panic…in a good way. Critics praised Haley’s revitalization of time-warped drum beats and laser-fire synth leads on the album, which spawned viral hits like “VHS Sex,” and “Cathode Girls.” Com Truise makes his return to Buffalo this Friday (Jan 27) at Soundlab after a brief opening set for the Glitch Mob in early fall of 2011. This time however, Truise has the headline spot to himself. Soundlab, prepare for launch sequence. —brett perla

9:30pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $12.

Friday, January 27

The Return of Alec Baldwin

One of the most recognizable names and faces in Hollywood right now, Alec Baldwin, will make his return to Buffalo on Friday (Jan 27) at the University of Buffalo Center For The Arts. Acting in everything from the hilarious NBC television show, 30 Rock, to award winning movies like The Departed, as a living cartoon in Beetlejuice, and now as a spokesman for Wegmans’ $6 meal deals (“I can’t even get a coffee in New York for $6!”) Baldwin has had a long, steady, and unforgettable career. For The Return of Alec Baldwin, the 53 year-old actor will set his theatric mind to a reading of the Road Less Traveled’s production of Clifford Odets’ play The Big Knife. Baldwin will read the role of Charlie Castle, a Hollywood icon who yearns for more artistic freedom. He’ll be joined on stage by a cast of ten prominent Western New York actors, including Brian Mysliwy, Lisa Vitrano, Gerry Maher, Brendan Powers, Cassie Gorniewicz, Dave Hayes, Kelly Jakiel, Matt Witten, Kristen Tripp Kelley, and Barry Williams. The event will be a benefit for the Road Less Traveled a Buffalo based theater company who’s mission it is to tell stories that reveal the commonality of the human relationships we all engage in. Don’t miss the Return of Alec Baldwin this weekend. —cory perla

8pm. Mainstage Theatre, UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center For The Arts (654-ARTS / $60, $75, $250 VIP, $20 discount student rush seats (any school) available at the box office.

Sunday, January 29

Machine Head

It is really strange to see a song title like “I Am Hell” with the parenthetical “(Sonata in C#)” next to it. This is a song by metal act Machine Head, a band that likes to combine their love of epic classical music with the raw aggression of metal. This trend of neo-classical metal music is not something entirely new though, going as far back as 1980’s Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, through more modern acts like Children of Bodom and Protest the Hero. Formed in 1991, Machine Head have been trailblazers of the genre. Surprisingly, this American metal band from Oakland, California have garnered a much larger following in the UK, with several Top 25 charting albums like their 1994 debut Burn My Eyes, and their 2007 album The Blackening. In 2011, the band released their seventh full length album, Unto The Locust, released on Roadrunner Records, which is highlighted by the torturous and beautiful three movement piece that is “I Am Hell (Sonata in C#).” Come celebrate the band’s 20 year anniversary on Sunday (Jan 29) at the Town Ballroom with support from Suicide Silence, Darkest Hour, and Rise To Remain. —cory perla

6:30pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $24 day of show.

Tuesday, January 31

Crisis! Film Series

A new film series devoted to engaging the community in discussion about the current global economic crisis will begin Tuesday (Jan 31) evening in the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Event moderators include Buffalo State faculty members Dr. Ted Schmidt, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance; Dr. Albert Michaels, Professor in the Department of History; and Bruce Fisher, Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Studies. This week’s film is the 1941 Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane. The enigmatic masterpiece—loosely based on the life of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst—caused a sensation at the time due in part to the vain lengths Hearst went to to prevent its theatrical release. Join in lively discussion about what can happen to the economy when manipulators control information. Each week, guest panelists will be on hand. Yours truly will be sitting in this week, dusting off his Media Study degree from the University at Buffalo, and railing against the hogwash pounded into our heads by mainstream media. The series runs every other Tuesday until April 17, and will feature seven films including Roll Over, Bonfire of the Vanities, Client #9, Inside Job, Capitalism: A Love Story, and Wall Street. Free movies and public debate! What a great night out for us 99-percenters. —buck quigley

7pm. Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-6011 / Free.

Tuesday, January 31

Jeffrey Reunion at BUA

In 1995 when BUA first produced Jeffrey, the rollicking comedy about celibacy and romance in the age of AIDS by Addams Family scribe Paul Rudnick, the play was a recent off-Broadway hit. I committed to a three-week run of the play, in the role of Sterling, the overly refined and comically sophisticated best friend of the title character. (My love of Martha Stewart has endured to this very day). The play was a hit. Three weeks turned into six months, turned into a year and an engagement in Rochester. In the play, Jeffrey is a gay man who has had 5000 sexual partners but is, to his amazement, HIV negative. (He’s not promiscuous; he’s just “cheap.”) As the AIDS crisis looms, in his terror, Jeffrey resolves to live a life of total celibacy. Then the twist—he meets the man of his dreams, a gorgeous guy named Steve who turns out to be HIV positive. Hilarious and touching episodes of soul searching ensue. Chris Kelly played Jeffrey at every performance in his first of many roles for BUA. I was Sterling. Anne Hartley Pfohl played all the women. Franklin Aquilina played Steve and was succeeded by Ray Ganoe. Sam D’Amato played my young lover Darius (like a wonderful pet who could feed and walk himself). Paul LaDuca played the man in leather and other roles. For the record, my original costumes still fit. In celebration of their 20th anniversary, BUA will present a reading of Jeffrey on Tuesday (Jan 31), reuniting actors from that original production, myself included. We will be joined by John Buscaglia, who played multiple roles, including a randy priest; and Timothy Finnegan. The event, to be held at the BUA theater, is a fundraiser for the company, and tickets will be $20. Call 716-886-9239 for reservations. —anthony chase

7pm. BUA Theater, 119 Chippewa St. (886-9239 / $20.

Wednesday, February 1

Benefit for Music in Action

On February 19, Grace Stumberg, a local musician who is just 22 years-old, is leaving Buffalo to pursue an exciting opportunity. Stumberg will be working for music icon and social activist Joan Baez for a five-week tour of the UK. More than luck brought this opportunity to Stumberg. Four years ago she participated in a workshop on Music Business Networking as part of Music in Action, a program designed by Goo Goo Doll Robby Takac and music educator Bob James, which took place at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Music is Art’s Music in Action program is recognized by the NYS Department of Education as a proven quality program covering the learning standards for Career Development & Occupational Studies. Grammy producer Anthony Casuccio presented the workshop and his words moved Stumberg to pursue a career as an independent folk rock artist. She went on to tour, record, and get involved with the activism of the “tunes4food” food bank campaign. When she shared her stories at a Music in Action workshop that was attended by Cynnie Gaasch of Young Audiences of WNY, Gaasch connected Stumberg with Joan Baez’s tour manager. To celebrate her success and future endeavors, Grace’s The Grace Stumberg Band, Lewiston’s The Brass Monkeez, and The Ruby Spirit from Toronto will perform at a benefit for Music in Action this Wednesday (Feb 1) at 7pm at the Sportsmen’s Tavern. For just $10 you can support a local music organization and experience the talent of these local musicians. —jill greenberg

7pm. Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $10. All ages.

Wednesday, January 18

The Yardbirds and Vanilla Fudge

When compiling a list of the biggest rock bands of the 1960s, as well as the biggest influences on heavy metal, the Yardbirds and Vanilla Fudge would rank high. Both bands have left amazing legacies, and changed rock music in countless ways. During their time, the Yardbirds lineups’ included three of the greatest rock guitarists ever—Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton. All three would go on to do great things in other bands as well as solo artists, but it was the Yardbirds that gave them their start. During their existence, the Yardbirds had several smash hits, the most notable being “For Your Love,” a driving song that serves as a veritable blueprint for both power pop in metal. Vanilla Fudge also left a considerable imprint on rock n roll, as they were one of the first hard rock groups, as well as one of the first bands to really develop the sound we now know as metal. When the Long Island based group released their self-titled debut 1967, it was unlike anything that had been heard at the time. Their thunderous cover of the Beatles “Ticket To Ride” can stand alongside Hendrix’s take on “All Along The Watchtower” as one of the greatest interpretations of another artist’s work, ever. Now, both of these bands are coming to the Tralf this Wednesday (Feb 1), in a lineup that should make fans of early rock n roll drool. Even though these songs were recorded over 45 years ago, they’ve lost none of their impact and Wednesday’s show should be nothing less than a full display of rock n roll power. —john hugar

8pm. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $37 advance, $42 day of show.

photo credit: William Hames