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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: 88 Keys, an 88th birthday celebration for Andy Anselmo at Kleinhans Music Hall on Thursday the 25th.

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.

88 Keys

Thursday, October 25

When Andy Anselmo showed up to Buffalo’s Community Music School for voice lessons at the age of 16, he could have never known that someday he would be giving voice lessons of his own to stars like Tony Bennett and Liaz Minnelli. Now, at the age of 88, the legendary vocal coach is back in Buffalo to help his old school celebrate their own 88th birthday at Kleinhans Music Hall—with acts like Michael Civisca, Bobby Militello, and his current student Caroline Jones—at an event they’re calling 88 Keys. “Andy has these wonderful friends in New York City who are great entertainers so we thought ‘let’s give Buffalo a taste of the Big Apple for a night,’” said Jeff Paterson, Executive Director of Community Music School. As Paterson and Anslemo saw it, this seemed like the perfect excuse to throw a huge party, and since the typical piano has 88 keys, they had the title of their show too. Although Anselmo has gone on to become a vocal coach to the stars, he still remembers how the school helped him realize his potential. “All I ever wanted to do was sing. The lessons gave me a base. It made me value the gift of singing,” Anselmo said. “It gave me a path to follow.” With their current home at 415 Elmwood Avenue in the heart of Buffalo, Community Music School provides music instruction to children as young as six months old to adults and seniors too. “Our tag line is ‘music for everyone for a lifetime’ and we always say all ages, all abilities, all ambitions” Paterson said. “Nobody is excluded.” 88 Keys is this Thursday (Oct 25) at Kleinhans. For more information go to communitymusicbuffalo.org. —cory perla

7:30pm Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. (883-3560 / kleinhansbuffalo.org) $40 or $100 VIP

Friday, October 19

Sloan

In 1994, Canadian rock band Sloan released a record called Twice Removed. It was a commercial failure, and nearly catastrophic for the band, as they were dropped by their record label, Geffen. Now, the four-piece alternative rock band is on tour playing songs exclusively from that record. So how did it come about that an album that was considered a failure could be the centerpiece of a tour almost two decades after the it was released? Records like that usually fade into musical oblivion, so why is Twice Removed still relevant today? Because people love the songs, because the record label was wrong, and because sometimes the unexpected strikes the right note. Geffen records expected a huge grunge record from Sloan after their 1992 record, Smeared. The plan was to market the record alongside Nirvana and Hole, but Twice Removed was not a grunge record. What they got was a powerful pop-rock album with catchy hooks that sounded more like U2 or Oasis than Alice in Chains or Pearl Jam. The label hated it, the band backed it, and the fans ate it up; it’s now considered their greatest achievement. Don’t miss Sloan when they perform Twice Removed in its entirety this Friday (Oct 19) at the Tralf. —cory perla

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / tralfmusichall.com) $20 advance, $23 day of show

Sunday, October 21

GZA

The atmosphere is tinted red from blood spray. A body lays lifeless on the chess board checkered battlefield, his head caught in a bear trap attached to a single chain link leash wielded by a fellow clan member. Off in the distance only more violence ensues. Center stage, however, holds a battle scene still in progress. One of these teal green hooded Wu-Tang oppressors has begun to bring his hand forward to strike. Mere milli-seconds after his attack is directed, the Wu warrior has already placed his sword at his enemy’s jugular. This is the cover art for GZA’s critically acclaimed solo project entitled Liquid Swords. “He was the greatest samurai in the empire; and he was the Shogun’s decapitator,” says the sample introducing the album titled first track, “Liquid Swords.” Spanning roughly 55 minutes and 17 seconds start to finish, sampling heavily from martial arts film Shogun Assassin, GZA’s solo album Liquid Swords stands up to its Chicago Tribune citation as “one of the most substantial lyrical journeys in hip-hop history” in 2007, twelve years after its release in early November of 1995. Steve Huey of Allmusic calls GZA “one of the best lyricists of the 1990s,” while the editors of About.com ranked him #17 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007). “Liquid Swords is a great album. The theme, the way it was put together, the atmosphere, the production from RZA; there’s just a combination of things that make it a great album in my eyes. It’s just good to know that people respect it,” The Genius said in an interview with Abort.tv in 2008. Come witness for yourself the ancient sword swinging style that is GZA, The Genius performing the critically acclaimed album Liquid Swords, in its entirety, Sunday (Oct 21) at the Town Ballroom. with special guests Killer Mike and Bear Hands. —brett deneve

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / townballroom.com) $25

Sunday, October 21

Black Label Society

Things are sure to get Wylde this Sunday in the Falls as the guitar hero himself, Zakk Wylde, and his Black Label Society bring their version of Southern, bluesy-metal to town. The band will make the final stop of the U.S. leg of their tour when they play at the Rapids Theatre on Sunday (Oct 21). From there, the band will be headed north to Canada before they wrap up the tour in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. Wylde will surely bring along his bag of tricks that he’s used to showcase his virtuosity and what’s propelled him throughout his career. He’s been known to play with his teeth, behind his back, and shred at blistering speeds that the eye simply cannot follow. The band put out an album, The Song Remains Not the Same, last year in May and are still touring in support of it. Opening the show for Mr. Wylde and BLS will be Michigan natives, Pop Evil, and Heart Set Self Destruct, who hail from Chicago. You won’t want to miss this show as any Zakk Wylde experience is always a memorable. —jeremiah shea

7:30pm Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls. (205-8925 / rapidstheatre.com) $35

Sunday, October 21

Holstrom Benefit featuring The Steam Donkeys

We see more and more cases like this every day: A community member falls ill or is involved in an accident and the Buffalo music scene steps up to help out. When 24-year-old Nick Holstrom was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Plasma Cell Leukemia—which can be aggressive and is often treated with chemotherapy and transplants—that is just what happened. In a case like this, the focus should be on getting better and healthy again, but the thought of paying what might seem like endless hospital bills can become overwhelming and take the focus off the real issue. That type of stress never helps, so to help out, local Americana rock band the Steam Donkeys and the Sportsmen’s Tavern have stepped up to put on a benefit show for Holstrom. For Holstrom, a husband and father of a two-year-old boy and a 9-week-old baby girl, any amount of relief is welcome. The renowned Steam Donkeys will perform this Sunday (Oct 21) at the Sportsmen’s Tavern in support of Holstrom. In addition to music there will be a free drink included with the $10 cover, basket raffles, 50/50 splits, snacks and more. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance through Susan Jaworski 716-998-5594. Come out for a night of great music and to help out a friend too. —cory perla

5pm Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / sportsmens-tavern.com) $10

Tuesday, October 23

Primus 3D

Primus have always existed on the cutting edge of sound, pushing boundaries and innovating whenever possible. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the band, led by bassist Les Claypool, have always taken the risk. Their latest tour, the “first-ever traveling 3D-Enhanced tour” is a risk that could pay off. What does it mean to see Primus 3D? I’m not exactly sure. There is little video that exists of their current tour, and in the video that does exist; it’s hard to tell exactly what is 3D about the show, other than the fact that they are humans who exist in the third dimension already. It sounds very cool though, and the technology is out there to create what the band calls a “one-of-a-kind psychedelic experience” that goes beyond your typical stage set up. If you’re already a fan of “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” “John The Fisherman,” “Jerry Was A Racecar Driver,” or their new album Green Naugahyde, then you certainly won’t be disappointed by whatever extra visual enhancements the band throws at you, or the extra quad surround sound system that they are touting around these days. Primus 3D comes to the Rapids Theatre this Tuesday (Oct 23). This isn’t the Primus of 1992, or even 2012. This is the Primus of the future, and they’re here to impress. —cory perla

Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls. (205-8925 / rapidstheatre.com) $50

Tuesday, October 23

Investigative Journalism in the 21st Century

Mainstream news outlets have been cutting their capacity to produce solid investigative journalism for decades. At daily newspapers, once the source for most serious reporting, the cost-cutting began as an effort to protect generous profit margins; now the cuts are rationalized as a matter of economic survival. But the same technological advances that have upended the traditional business model for daily newspapers have provided reporters new investigative tools and new ways of delivering their stories to larger audiences, and offer hope for the economic viability of the pursuit of serious news. All of this will be the subject of a panel discussion this Tuesday (Oct 23) at the Burchfield Penney hosted by Investigative Post, a nonprofit investigative reporting center founded by former Buffalo News reporter Jim Heaney. (Investigative Post’s reports regularly appear in this newspaper.) The featured speaker is David Cay Johnston (pictured above), a Pulitzer Prize winner for the New York Times and the author of several books, most recently The Fine Print, about the nefarious behavior of American corporations. Johnston is current president of Investigative Reporters & Editors, the world’s premier investigative reporting organization. Johnston will be joined by Heaney, Buffalo News education reporter Mary Pasciak, Jeff Woodard of WGRZ TV News, and Kevin Connor of the Public Accountability Initiative. The moderator will be First Amendment attorney Joe Finnerty of the firm Hiscock & Barclay. —geoff kelly

7:30pm Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-6011 / burchfieldpenney.org) Free

Thursday, October 25

Circa Survive

Indie rock group Circa Survive to the Town Ballroom next Thursday (Oct 25). The prog-rock inspired band will headline the show in which they’ll appear with Touche Amore, Balance and Composure and O’Brother. Though Circa Survive has found success, they are a group initially founded on turmoil and confusion. After serving as the front man for Saosin for only one year, singer Anthony Green began to question his role in the band. Though he was lead vocalist and the band was becoming exceedingly successful both in California and nationwide, he felt that something wasn’t right. He found himself lacking a connection with the music, homesick for Philadelphia and unsure about what he wanted from the future. He ended up abruptly returning to his hometown (seriously, he made the decision at the Pheonix airport on his way back to California) and reconnecting with an old friend. Fellow musician Colin Frangicetto happened to be in the midst of a split with his own band, This Day Forward. They related emotionally and musically, and together the two formed Circa Survive. It seems they made the right decision, as eight years later the group is still going strong; they just released their fourth album, Violent Waves in September. Circa Survive incorporates influences from both Saosin and This Day Forward, but offers an arguably more mature, level sound than either of the past projects. When describing their music, Frangicetto explains, “We really just want to bring back that quality that was extremely present in the music of the 1960s and 1970s. That urgency, the feeling that a note could change the world.” With four critically acclaimed records and several national tours under their belt, Circa Survive seems to have inspired that sense of urgency and passion within their fan base. Not bad for a band formed on an instinct and a layover. —elexa kopty

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