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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: the Tyler The Creator, playing Wednesday, March 20th 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.

Tyler, The Creator

Wednesday, March 20

Say what you will about Tyler, The Creator, but he never meant to be a role model. The Odd Future star, real name Tyler Okonma, is barely old enough to legally drink, but when you hear his voice on his 2011 record Goblin, he sounds like he’s been through war, a jaded old man with a deep, raspy voice, rapping about the absence of his father and how much, he’s, like, not homophobic, despite what his critics say. He manages to sling mud at a variety of different groups, religious and otherwise, in the first track of Goblin alone. Combine that with his occasional references to rape and murder, and it seems as if his lyrical content clashes with his cartoonish personality creating an aura of conflicting tones that has obviously appealed to his fan base. His hip hop collective, Odd Future, which includes Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Mike G, and more, have come to define alternative hip hop in the second decade of the new millennium. With his next record, Wolf, slated for release on April 2nd, and a new sketch comedy show, Loiter Squad—featuring members of his Odd Future crew and Blake Anderson from Workaholics—Okonma has a lot on his plate, which means a lot of new material for his fans when he makes a stop at the Town Ballroom on Wednesday (March 20) as part of his first ever solo tour.

- cory perla

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

Thursday, March 14

Railroad Earth

Very rarely does a band come along whose message is just as enlightening as the music they play. New Jersey-based sextet Railroad Earth is one of those bands that seems to exist at just the right time, playing with a sense of purpose and pertinence that reflects our country’s history and future. Taking their name from the Jack Kerouac short story “October in the Railroad Earth,” their music contains that same poetic element and spontaneity that Kerouac was known for. Like Kerouac, Railroad Earth has the gift of storytelling infused into every note and lyric. The band has Americana in their blood, with a distinctive “newgrass” sound that gives them the freedom to plug in and float around rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass, Cajun music and Celtic folk with a remarkable versatility. The vocal delivery of frontman Todd Sheaffer is where Railroad Earth’s story finds its words, and his ability to paint a portrait of America’s triumphs and failures is what makes him such a superb lyricist. With six critically acclaimed studio albums under their belt, Railroad Earth continues to blaze a trail in today’s newgrass and Americana music scene, and bring their roots-conscious brand of rock n’ roll to the Town Ballroom tonight (March 14).

- jon wheelock

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

Friday, March 15

Live at O'Larkin

There is nothing in the world more Irish than firefighters in kilts with bagpipes. The Greater Buffalo Firefighters Pipes and Drums, along with McCarthiyzm, Pour Ould Goat, and the Clann Na Cara School of Irish Dance will be on hand to perform this Friday (March 15) as part of the inaugural Live at O’Larkin celebration. This kickoff to St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Buffalo will not only include the Celtic-inspired music mentioned above but classic Irish-American “sights, sounds, servings and suds” like Irish coffee, stout and food by The Filling Station, The Grill, and Square 1 Sandwiches. “We’re getting our green on in Larkinville,” says Larkin Square Director of Fun, Leslie Zemsky. “The boardwalk will be covered and warm, space heaters will dot the square, and the lilt of Irish laughter will fill the air.” The event, presented by First Niagara, is free and open to all ages. “We’re excited to add Live at O’Larkin to the list of events that make St Patrick’s Day such a fun time in Buffalo,” Zemsky says. “We’ll be shouting, ‘Larkin Go Bragh!’” See you at Larkin Square this Friday.

- cory o’perla

4:30pm to 8pm Larkin Square, corner of Seneca and Swan Sts. (larkinsquare.com) Free

Friday, March 15

Fragments

It’s hard to walk through the city with out seeing the large-scale work from any of the artists in Fragments. The show at Hi-Temp Fabrication combines works from some of Buffalo’s most recognizable. Max Collins (pictured), an East Aurora native, currently works out of studio at 464 gallery. His photographic murals can be seen all over Buffalo including on the sides of buildings and even inside some like Ashker’s Juice Bar and Hardware. He has been commissioned by bars, coffee shops, and storefronts to turn his artwork into captivating displays. His public murals can also be seen in Anne Arbor, Michigan and Springville. Matt Grote is a graffiti artist known for making murals full of imagination and color. There is a fun energy to in his work, which is often laden with distorted pop-culture characters. Chuck Tingley is a mixed media artist who studied painting at Buffalo State. He works in ink, pen, spray paint, charcol, acylic and oil. His work is inspired by news, technology, life, and the dreams that come from it. You might know this trio of artists from the massive mural they did on the side of Main(St)udios, downtown last year. Finally, artist Thomas Webb believes there is good and evil with in all of us. His work explores the idea that “each person has a devil within them, no matter how small it may be.” His artwork is beautiful and absolutely haunting. Fragments is a unification of some of Buffalo’s most prolific artists. Come celebrate their opening this Friday (March 15) at their reception catered by Wandercrust Baked Goods and Lloyd’s Taco Truck. Entrance to Hi-Temp Fabrication and free street/lot parking on Illinois St.

- sarah barry

6pm-11pm Hi-Temp Fabrication, 79 Perry St. Free

Friday, March 15

Excision

I warn you, don’t google the word “excision,” you’ll get some seriously graphic results. Take this advice from a person who has made that mistake. Now, if you search something like “excision dubstep” you’ll get some more relevant, yet equally gnarly results. Excision is the stage name of young dubstep producer Jeff Abel, but it also means “removal by cutting,” a brutal thought to ponder while you listen to his massive, filthy bass drops and searing sounds. Only a serious dubstep artist would lug their 18” subwoofers across the country with them and Excision does just that. You can’t blame him though, since his specially made speakers peak at 100,000 watts of bass (the average guitar speaker pumps out around 170 watts). The producer also brings with him a set of “intelligent lights” and an “intelligent video mapping system” that are also specially made to blow minds, explode brains, shatter souls, etc., as the producer pumps out an original mix of drum n bass, metal, and hip hop, all filtered through a bass-heavy dubstep lens. His latest record, X-Rated, recently received the remix treatment by the likes of Loadstar, Xilent, Calx & TeeBee, Dirtyphonics, and more. Energy is the key to Excision’s set so show up with some or expect it to be forced on you by an assault of rapid mix bass tracks when the Excision drops by the Rapids Theatre on Friday (March 15) with support from Colorado bass-head Paper Diamond and Minneapolis, Minnesota dubstep producer Vaski.

- cory perla

8pm Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls (205-8925 / rapidstheatre.com) $25 advance, $30 day of show

Saturday, March 16

Jewel: Greatest Hits Tour

It’s hard to believe that such a mega star with numerous awards and nominations came from such humble beginnings. Singer and songwriter, Jewel is no stranger to fame with her multi-platinum records. Her stop at the Seneca Niagara Casino revisits her greatest hits that put her on the top on many occasions. Her fame and career has lasted over two decades with countless hits including “Who Will Save Your Soul,” “You Were Meant For Me,” and “Foolish Games.” Jewel is a triple threat with her singing, acting, and writing, with most notable performances for Pope John Paul II, President Clinton and performing with Bob Dylan and BB King. With a big heart, she is a member of the organization Project Clean Water: Celebrity Lyrics Auction, an organization that allows songwriters to donate their lyrics to be auctioned to raise money for cleaner water in places like Africa. Her music began at an early age with her father. The duo performed in many local restaurants, vets clubs, and biker bars. Her main influences were her father and her grandmother who luckily, was able to see her perform and be successful before she passed away. The inspiration from these two figures created her top hits, and ultimate fame. The Seneca Niagara Casino will be the place to be to hear her Greatest Hits Tour on Saturday (March 16). Tickets start at $30 and are selling quickly! They can be purchased at the Seneca Niagara Casino box office and ticketmaster.com.

- kendra sornberger

8pm Seneca Niagara Events Center, 310 4th St., Niagara Falls (852-5000 / senecaniagaracasino.com) $30 Available on the Seneca Niagara Casino Website and Ticketmaster.com

Saturday, March 16

Super Freakin': Poetry by Sean Thomas Dougherty, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Corey Zeller, and Noah Falck

Sean Thomas Dougherty has nine published books in his jacket, along with a handful of literary prizes. The three featured readers on the program Dougherty hosts this Saturday (March 16) at Rust Belt Books, on the other hand, have recently published their first books of verse. Two of the three featured artists are from out of town: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, whose work has appeared in numerous journals and won significant acclaim, is pursuing a PhD at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City; Corey Zeller, like Bertram, is widely published, and, like Dougherty, is based in Erie, Pennsylvania. That leaves Falck, a native of Dayton, Ohio, who is currently education director for Just Buffalo Literary Center. Falck, too, has published in a number of prestigious journals. A good night to visit the back room at Rust Belt Books.

- frances boots

7pm. Rust Belt Books, 202 Allen Street

Wednesday, March 20

Field Report

Midwestern lyricist Chris Porterfield thought his music career was over when his band with Bon Iver frontman, Jason Vernon split. After the break up of DeYarmond Edison, Porterfield began writing and creating his own music. Six years of hard work, dedication and his own personal emotions came to a boiling point, the creation of their debut, self-titled album Field Report. Field Report coincidentally is an anagram of Porterfield’s last name, pretty neat right? After the September 11th 2011 release of his debut album, their fame swelled to new heights. Field Report has haunting lyrics, written by Porterfield himself after his long discovery of self in the years after the break up of DeYarmond Edison. A strong Midwestern folk music vibe with hints of Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon dominates their debut album. This six-piece band, comprised of Chris Porterfield (vocals and lead guitar), Nick Berg (keyboards and backing vocal), Travis Whitty (bass and backing vocals), Jeff Mitchell (baritone guitar and backing vocals), Damian Strigens (drums), Ben Lester (pedal steel), and Shane Leonard (drums, fiddle, banjo and backing vocals) is a force to be recognized. After their first public performance, artists like Emmylou Harris and Counting Crows reached out to tour with Field Report. One of the most notable features of the album is the deep personal meaning within the lyrics. Their performance with Savannah King at Tralf Music Hall this Wednesday (March 20) is sure to be one you will not forget.

- kendra sornberger

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / tralfmusichall.com) $10