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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: the Spiral Dance, this Friday, December 14 at Asbury Hall.

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.

Spiral Dance

Friday, December 14

Have you ever seen a picture of our galaxy? The stars and planets all tend to blend together in somewhat of a spiraling manner. On Friday (Dec 14), at Ashbury Hall participating members will all join hands and dance in a similar spiral motion, rejoicing for the return of the light to planet earth. It is referred to as the Spiral Dance, and is a Celtic tradition. The days have grown shorter while darkness prevails, up until the clock strikes midnight on the day of the Winter Solstice. From that moment on out, we get more and more daylight each day. To help guide us in our celebration of the return of the light are Dragon Ritual Drummers, Dixon’s Violin, and a slew of local vendors. In their genre, Dragon Ritual Drummers, a European and North American-born six member band ranks number one on the Canadian MySpace music charts, top twenty in the U.S. MySpace music charts, and also number one on Reverb nation’s charts. They have performed for crowds ranging from 5,000 plus to more intimate settings of only a couple hundred. Last year, the drum troupe had encountered border problems. Via their website,, the group has issued a statement proclaiming “The Buffalo Spiral dance is on our visas, already approved by the U.S. Dept. of Home Land Security as early as May of 2012, so nothing will be stopping us from getting there this year....even if we have to swim across the Niagara River!” Dixon’s Violin has performed at burning man eight years in a row, brandishing his mission statement: “I want to inspire people!” Both featured acts express master-like qualities while playing their instruments, from extending their pitch ranges far beyond the standard, to combining tones to create sounds not thought imaginable by such mediums. Come welcome back the light with a festive, ancient traditional dance. In the meantime, you can shop for all sorts of things: jewelry, henna, goddess décor, knitted goods, wine/beer/cordials, glass, notecards, cookies, food, wood, soaps, body lotions, airbrush art, tarot readers, notebooks, clay goods, massages, glass, body care, ceramics, notebooks, home decor, photography, and more.

- brett deneve

5:30pm to 10:pm Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 /, $15 advance, $20 day of show

Friday, December 14

Killswitch Engage

“Are we alive or just breathing?” is a question Jesse Leach asked when he penned the lyrics to a song on Killswitch Engage’s 2002 groundbreaking album Alive or Just Breathing. The passionate frontman left the band shortly after the album’s release in the midst of their first national tour. Fast forward 10 years and fans were asking a similar question to the band as Jesse’s replacement, Howard Jones, stepped down at the beginning of this year. The band feverishly searched for a new singer only to end up in familiar territory, settling on the guy they originally started with back in 1999, Leach. It’s funny how things have come full circle for a band whose sustainability was questioned when Leach initially left. Now on the 10 year anniversary of the album that helped usher in the metalcore genre and propel Killswitch’s success, the band is embarking on a tour to honor it and welcome Jesse back into the fold. The band is literally breathing new life into one of their most popular albums amongst fans as they are taking the opportunity to play it in its entirety on this tour. Killswitch will be the showcase Friday (Dec 14) at the Town Ballroom with fellow Massachusettes—based metal act, Shadows Fall, and Acaro, opening the night. The evening is going to be packed with nostalgia and will hopefully shed some light on the chemistry of the reunited band members. Their new album is in the works and will hopefully be released in early 2013 with much anticipation.

- jeremiah shea

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance

Friday, December 14

Last Minute Panic Holiday Market Place

Didn’t find what you were looking for in our Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide? You’re starting to panic now, aren’t you? I can sense the sweat dripping down your brow, the anxiety building in your gut, the tension in your chest growing as you inventory all of the people who you still have to buy for. And when I say “all of the people who you still have to buy for” that really means all of the people on your list, doesn’t it? Well don’t worry, the Western New York Book Arts Center has you covered with their 5th annual Last Minute Panic Holiday Market Place. I can tell you that in a panic last year I checked out this event and found some ideal gifts for several people on my list. Most of the goods at this event are hand made by local artists, from knit-wear, trinkets, and jewelry, to hand-printed greeting cards and posters. There will be over 25 artists participating in the event, including Hero Design, Papercraft Miracles, Devil Chicken Design, Studio Hart, Fly Rabbit Press, Hoover Hoops, CrowBiz, and many more. The event is free and open to the public so stop by the WNYBAC this Friday (Dec 14) and fill in some of those final missing pieces as the holidays rapidly approach.

- cory perla

4pm to 8pm Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St (348-1430 / free

Saturday, December 15

Buffablog Holiday Party

An individual can only attend so many holiday parties in one year. There are only so many cups of mysterious frothy egg nog one can gulp down, only so many ugly sweaters in one’s closet. One can only find oneself cornered underneath a swatch of plastic mistletoe from the Dollar Store next to the crazy guy/girl from one’s office so many times a year. There is a beacon of light reflecting off of all of the over-applied tinsel and kitschy ornaments though, and that is the buffaBLOG Holiday Party at Duke’s. The local music blog did it right again this year for their 2nd annual party, mixing a grab bag of bands and performers from Buffalo and Rochester and from a variety of different genres. Fredonia booze-rockers Well Worn Boot kick off the show followed by Dr. Ooo and Mic Excel of the Essential Vitamins Crew. Take a moment and get yourself acquainted with Excel’s new track “The Morning After” a drawling, crackling hip hop track, seemingly spewed from some American backwoods inspiration, available on his Soundcloud page. Electro-dance four-piece Kopps from Rochester will take over the dance floor before scene leaders Lazlo Hollyfeld close out the night with their experimental progressive rock. Rochester DJ team Bud and Dan of Cultr Club will keep the beats bumping all night, so skip that office party, forego that family get-together and go straight to Duke’s on Saturday (Dec 15).

- cory perla

10pm Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359 / $5

Saturday, December 15

12th Annual Squeaky Wheel Dys(fun)ctional Holiday Party & Xmas Apocalypse Dance Party

Buffalo media resource center, Squeaky Wheel, doesn’t need a damn Christmas tree. They have a digital tree, digital tinsel, digital ornaments, and a digital Santa Claus, because they don’t live in a material world. Well, maybe they’ll have a real tree too, but that is just not nearly as fun. What should you expect at Squeaky Wheel’s 12th Annual Dys(FUN)ctional Holiday Party this Saturday (Dec 15)? Expect a visit from a time travelling Santa Claus, a video screening featuring videos and performances submitted by local artists, a gift basket auction of miraculous proportions, local vendors, a fashion show by Lisa Crapsi, a display of the art of shadowgraphy with Neil Coletta, and as many lights as they can hang without blowing power to the whole building, Once you’re done beer-bonging some egg nog at Squeaky Wheel, take a walk down the street to the Vault for their Christmas Apocalypse Dance Party later that night. Music will be provided by Frankie NP, local rap anti-star Jack Topht, Dan O, who will synthesize some 1980s new wave tunes, and ABCDJ who will pump the bass nice and loud for the remainder of the night. $7 will get you into the Dys(FUN)ctional Holiday Party, $5 will get you into the Vault, or a $10 “Golden Ticket” will get you into both.

- cory perla

10pm The Vault, 702 Main St. (884-7172) $5 or $10 for both parties

Sunday, December 16

Shawn Colvin

Grammy-Award winning artist Shawn Colvin will play at the Buffalo State College this Sunday (Dec 16). A part of the Great Performers Series presented by M&T Bank, this solo acoustic show will be held in the Performing Arts Center of Rockwell Hall at 8pm. A veteran in the world of folk, Colvin has been writing and performing her own music since the late 1980s. Though she produced several albums throughout the early 1990s, her claim to fame truly came with her 1996 single “Sunny Came Home” from her album A Few Small Repairs. She scored Grammy Awards for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year. This past June, she released All Fall Down, her eighth studio album that was released alongside her memoir, Diamond In The Rough. Considering her intimate performance style, Colvin’s live shows are said to offer a closer look into her music. Each smoothly sung melody serves as a piece of the patchwork that is her life, and each tune is offered with a sort of explication. On stage, she gives every song the kind of passion and attention it deserves as if it were being performed for the first time. Shawn Colvin isn’t merely offering a concert; she is offering a night of entertainment in which she seeks to explore life, love, and the other big questions nagging at us all.

- elexa kopty

8pm Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-3005 / $15-$35

Thursday, December 20

End of the World Party

There’s a lot of confusion out there when it comes to what the End of Days will bring. No one seems to know what time of the day it will happen, or exactly what will happen, just that on December 21st, we’re all supposed to die because the Mayans said so. One thing is for sure, the Mayans crappy calendar-making skills have provided an excuse to celebrate, so you might as well make your last precious hours on planet earth count this Thursday (Dec 20) as Nietzsche’s hosts an End of the World Party of apocalyptic proportions. Give your meaningless existence some merit and witness the final performances (ever!) of Clocks Ticking Backward, sonic mind-effing outfit Gut Pole, 11-piece punk/funk group Mallwalkers, and everyone’s favorite dancing singing cover band, the Stamplickers. DJ’s XiO and Needles Numark will also be on-hand to keep the party going as all fades to black. It was nice knowing you, world.

- jon wheelock

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