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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: The Waiting Room Grand Opening, featuring The Polar Bear Club.

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.

The Waiting Room Grand Opening, featuring The Polar Bear Club

Saturday, March 23

The problematic closing of many of Buffalo’s prominent music venues will soon be rectified. On Monday (April 1), the vacant gap in the scene will be filled by a promising new venue, and it is not just an April Fool joke. The Waiting Room, which is located at 334 Delaware Ave, a space previously known as Sinful Nightclub, aims to be a new home for local musicians and national talents alike. Donny Kutzbach, who runs the Town Ballroom and Funtime Presents, and Chris Ring of After Dark Entertainment have promised that the venue will combine the best elements of Buffalo’s intimate clubs and set them in a fresh, new environment. “In the wake of Mohawk Place shuttering, we knew there was going to be an immediate need for a new venue in downtown Buffalo to continue the mission of providing the right kind of space for both emerging and established bands both local and national/international,” says Kutzbach. The Waiting Room will be able to hold 450 people, and also features a “Songwriter’s Stage” toward the front of the room in order to put viewers in a comfortable and intimate setting for smaller shows. Rochester punks the Polar Bear Club will christen the opening of the club with a performance on Monday alongside !Outernational!, Anchor Me Down, and Cedar Kites. The perpetually versatile band the Slackers will provide the sonic vibrations for the venue’s second show on Thursday (April 4) alongside the B-Side Bastards, Uncommonly Smooth, and DJ Ruben of Culture Clash Soundsytem. Local acts and show-goers that have been mourning the demise of local venue staples need not mourn anymore—The Waiting Room promises a new beginning for the Buffalo music scene, and will hopefully provide gig-hoppers with new and colorful memories for years to come.

- tom etu

7pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / townballroom.com) $13 advance, $16 day of show

Thursday, March 28

The 26th Annual Bob Dylan Imitators Contest

Bob Dylan would be carved into the Mount Rushmore of American songwriters if such a thing existed, as he is undeniably one of the most iconic and recognizable musicians of the 20th century. His voice is perhaps his most unique asset, and his vocal transformation over his 50-year career is a testament to his range and maturity as a musician. From the smooth folksy tone of the 1960’s counterculture era, to the gravelly-bluesy style of his later career, and just about everything in between, it’s always been his voice that has given Dylan his character. His trademark vocal tone is perhaps inimitable, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from trying, and there’s no shortage of musicians out there looking to emulate the legendary folk bard. If imitation is indeed the greatest form of flattery, we’ll see how well that holds true during the 26th Annual Bob Dylan Imitators Contest, this Thursday (March 28) at Nietzsche’s. Presented by The Buffalo Song Project, the event kicks off with an open signup at 7pm ($6 for admission/contest entry) for any bold contestant who wishes to pay homage to Bob Dylan, with a panel of judges deciding the victor. The music starts at 8pm and there are prizes, giveaways, and bragging rights to be had. If you find yourself wanting the real deal, don’t forget that you can see Bob Dylan do his best Bob Dylan impression on April 5th at UB’s Alumni Arena.

- jon wheelock

8pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / nietzsches.com) $6

Saturday, March 30

The Manhattan Project

The North East has become known for live electronic acts like the Disco Biscuits, Lotus, Umphrey’s McGee, and Conspirator. The sounds of these groove oriented, electro-tinged jam bands should be familiar to Buffalo music fans. The latest to join the pack are a live electronic duo called the Manhattan Project. Hailing from Rochester, the duo, made up of keyboardist Charlie Lindner and drummer Shawn Drogan, are carving out a name for themselves. Formed in 2010, the band has become a staple at Camp Bisco and across live stages all over the East Coast. They are currently preparing to release their next EP titled Atomic Bomb Party Vol. III next month and it’s sure to be full of the high energy, house and dub influenced sounds that have graced their previous Atomic Bomb releases. Their EP release show is April 20th at the Water Street Music Hall, but you can catch new live material from The Manhattan Project when they perform live at Nietzsche’s this Saturday (March 30) with support from Buffalo electronic trance-groove band Space Junk.

- cory perla

9pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / nietzsches.com) $8 advance

Saturday, March 30

BuffaBLOG Third Birthday Party, featuring Cinnamon Aluminum, Merchants, Joywave, and Young Suns

These days, $5 doesn’t get you very far. On Saturday (March 30) $5 will grant you entry to Duke’s Bohemian Groove Bar for BuffaBLOG’s 3rd Birthday Party featuring five great local bands. It can’t get much better than a dollar per band, right?! First on the list is psychedelic rock band from Buffalo, Cinnamon Aluminum (pictured). With two albums, two EP’s and a new album in the works, their set list will keep you interested with their futuristic sound and psychedelic feel. Second on the list are the Merchants, another local band self-described as “a Buffalo band with hair.” This indie rock band has two EP’s out and isn’t afraid to let loose on the stage. Following the Merchants is Joywave. Coming from our neighboring city of Rochester, this alternative indie-pop band just released a new album titled Koda Vista. Fourth up is an atmospheric local band that call themselves Young Suns. This instrumental rock band promises to keep your feet tapping, creating an atmosphere in any room they play. Last but certainly not least is a DJ set from another local band that call themselves, Space Wolves. Described as garage-surf-pop, their newest album Space Wolves II is sure to be the album of the summer with modern surf inspired undertones. For that small fee of $5 you will be taken on a musical trip through Buffalo and Rochester’s music scene and celebrate buffaBLOG’s 3rd birthday.

- kendra sornberger

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

Monday, April 1

Dyngus Day

The saying, “everybody is Polish on Dyngus Day” applies even more heavily to Buffalonians, because the Queen City is home to one of the largest Dyngus Day celebrations on the planet. If you’re in the mood for authentic Polish food, polka music, or have a good supply of pussy willows, Buffalo is just the right place to be on Dyngus Day, Monday (April 1). The ancient rite of cleansing and purification has become a gigantic symbol of Polish pride in Buffalo. It remains the largest polka festival in North America. The Central Terminal (495 Paderewski Dr.)is a main point of interest for those searching to showcase their ethnic pride, and will be pouring Tyskie beer and Sobieski vodka all night long. The Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.) is also hosting a promising celebration featuring Black Rock Zydeco starting at 6:30pm. Don’t forget the annual Dyngus Day Buffalo Parade, which begins at 5pm at Corpus Christi Church (165 Sears St.) and makes its way through the streets of the city’s Historic Polonia District, concluding at the Central Terminal. The first ever free Dyngus Day Fireworks Extravaganza, at the corner of Memorial Dr. and Peckham Street in the Polonia district, will finish off the celebration at 11pm. For more info visit dyngusdaybuffalo.com. Dance the whole night away to traditional polka music, don’t forget your pussy willows, and make sure you have nothing to do on Tuesday morning.

- tom etu

Various locations

Wednesday, April 3

8: The Case for and Against Gay Marriage

As the Supreme Court considers arguments on two separate same-sex marriage cases, one involving California’s Proposition 8 and the other on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Buffalo United Artists states the case with 8, a new play by Academy-award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) that chronicles the landmark trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, using the actual court transcripts from the landmark federal trial of California’s Prop. 8 and first-hand interviews. The actual Prop 8 trial took place in San Francisco back in January 2010. Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that 2008 voter approved Prop 8 violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, but his ruling has been stayed pending the appeal currently before the Supreme Court. 8 presents both sides of the debate in a riveting 90-minute play that provides as many laughs (some unintentional) as it does sobering insights. 8 premiered on Broadway in September, 2011, and in Los Angeles in March, 2012. The readings were directed by Joe Mantello and Rob Reiner, respectively, and starred George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Christine Lahti, John Lithgow, Bradley Whitford and a host of actors from Broadway and Hollywood. At BUA, the cast will feature a litany of popular BUA actors including: Kerrykate Abel, Steven Brachmann, Caitlin Coleman, Kevin Craig, Kurt Erb, Matthew Crehan Higgins, Sabrina Kahwaty, James Mikula, Loraine O’Donnell. I, Anthony Chase, will play Judge Walker. The BUA reading will take place Wednesday (April 3) at the BUA Theater.

- anthony chase

7:30pm BUA Theater, 119 West Chippewa St. (buffalobua.org) free

Wednesday, April 3

Purity Ring

There are fewer things in life I enjoy more than a pretty voice singing morbid things. Purity Ring delivers the goods in spades. The Canadian electronic music duo—consisting of singer Megan James and instrumentalist Corrin Roddick—know exactly how to craft a creepy, catchy masterpiece. Their 2012 album Shrines is that macabre masterpiece. Shrines is full of heavy beats that rattle and shimmer, lyrics marred by gore and ghastly nightmares sung sweetly by James, and an atmosphere of mystery that leaves a listener like me wondering “What is this all about?” Of course the answer to that question doesn’t really matter. Not knowing is a wonderful thing. No demystifying allowed. The album has a nearly horror movie level of gore, as exemplified by the lyrics of “Fineshrine,” one of Shrines many standout tracks. “Cut open my sternum, and pull my little ribs around you,” James sings. Maybe it’s some metaphor to suggest that Love is Gore, which is great sloganeering. Anyway, Purity Ring are a godsend to those music lovers who’ve just about had it with faux-folk foot-stomping, hand-clapping piffle like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. Purity Ring are the exact opposite. They are dark, unsettling, enigmatic. They are something different. Just go get Shrines, and you’ll understand. Purity Ring plays at the Town Ballroom this Wednesday (April 3), with opening act Blue Hawaii.

- peter vullo

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / townballroom.com) $15 advance, $17 day of show

Thursday, April 4

Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. could be the most popular name in comedy right now. That’s funny because his comedy is not the most approachable brand out there. His stand up routine usually revolves around his self-deprecating, pessimistic life view, and though the laughs rain down, he can be extreme to say the least. “I don’t have a gun, but if I did, I would shoot a baby deer in the mouth and feel nothing,” he joked in his 2008 comedy album, Chewed Up. That joke is either funny to you or not, but if it is then you’re most certainly already a fan of the 45 year-old Emmy Award-winning stand up comic. Though not every joke of his ends with the slaying of Bambi’s mother, his sometimes extreme sense of humor hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of the leading comics on television right now, as he’s basking in the success of his FX sitcom Louie, which will enter its fourth season in early 2014. His TV show has acted as a who’s who of the comedy industry with guest starts like Chris Rock, Artie Lange, Jay Leno, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Amy Poehler, and even David Lynch. Louis C.K. comes to Kleinhans Music Hall next Thursday (April 4) to perform his stand up comedy routine. There are less than 300 tickets left, so act fast if you want to catch one of the current kings of comedy in person.

- cory perla

7:30pm Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. (883-3560 / kleinhansbuffalo.org) $45