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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: the Best of Buffalo 2013 Awards Ceremony, this Monday, May 13th 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.

Best of Buffalo 2013 Awards Ceremony

Monday, May 13

Who will win? This is the question on Buffalo’s mind this week. That question will be answered when the Artvoice Best of Buffalo winners are announced at our awards ceremony this Monday (May 13) at the Town Ballroom. The votes have been tallied—over 2,600 completed ballots, 92,000 responses, and 183 essay questions answered. We keep saying it because it keeps being true: Every year, the Best of Buffalo survey grows bigger. Last week we announced the top five nominees in each category from People and Places, to Arts and Artists, Music, Nightlife, Local Eats, and Shops and Services. The list is long and there were many familiar names but plenty of new ones too. The winners at this ceremony will represent the top vote getters in each category as voted on by you, the readers. Who will win Best Cultural Asset? Best New Bar? Best New Restaurant? It’s all up for grabs. The front room of the Town Ballroom will be packed with hopeful nominees and their friends, as well as live music from Best Rock Act nominees the Albrights and Best DJ Crew nominees Spooky Business. Expect plenty of food from Best Beef On Weck nominee, Anderson’s; Best Deli and Salad nominee, Globe Market; Best Desert nominee, Butterwood, and many more. Nominees will receive two free tickets. General admission is $5. See you on Monday, and good luck to all of the nominees!

- a.v.

6pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $5 general admission, two free tickets for nominees

Saturday, May 11

Loud Guys Against Violence Against Women II

In some way all of us have been affected. Whether directly or indirectly, violence against women has been a hot topic for years. There are women, just like you and me, right here in Buffalo, who have suffered at the hands of violence for years without refuge or resources. But times are changing. People are taking a stand and its happening right here in the Queen City. Four years ago Rev, a local rock band, and their collaborators joined together in support of The Family Justice Center of Erie County to increase public awareness about violence against women and other violent acts. This band and their mission has transformed into a world-wide movement: Loud Guys Against Violence Against Women. “Personally, I was disgusted by the recent attacks in Third World countries. As a man, I was curious if other men around the world felt as passionate as I do. Turns out, a lot of them are more like me than the media makes them out to be,” says Alan Kryszak, founder of Loud Guys Against Violence Against Women and front man of Rev. Today, Kryszak and Rev have a Facebook page with over 7,000 members from all around the world dedicated to speaking out against violence against women. The product: a large platform where people all around the world can find support and advice about the effect violent attacks and abuse have on women and their communities. Expect great music from the likes of Rev, Salt Peter, up and coming artist Holly Kay and Americana lover Leroy Townes when you head out to the Tralf Music Hall this Saturday (May 11). Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to assist the FJC in their mission to protect victims and their families from domestic violence.

- elizabeth lewin

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

Thursday May 9 - Saturday, May 11

Erik Griffin

Erik Griffin is a workaholic in more ways than one. On one hand, the actor/comedian plays the character Montez Walker on the television show Workaholics. On the other hand, Griffin doesn’t seem to stop working and has his hand in various creative outlets. Besides playing Montez, Griffin just released his debut comedy album titled Technical Foul: Volume One, last month and is also touring the country doing stand-up comedy. All of these facets add up to a person who is working hard at his craft and that effort seems to be paying dividends. Not only does Workaholics continue to grow in popularity with each successive season, but that success is also spilling over into Griffin’ stand-up gigs and other endeavors. This Friday, the comedian is debuting on Comedy Central’s The Half Hour, which is big news and, from the looks of the previews, hilarious. Obviously this working man won’t be enjoying the milestone from home though as he continues to tour, making a stop in Buffalo at Helium Comedy Club this Thursday (tonight!) through Saturday (May 11). Even though Erik doesn’t seem to stop, he found some time to talk to me about his experience with Workaholics and the general progression of his career.

Artvoice: How did the character Montez in Workaholics come about? Did the writers base the character on someone they knew?

Erik Griffin: I believe there is a real Montez out there who Anders knows. They based the character on him. The description of the character was very detailed, and I thought about some people from my old neighborhood and BOOM, Montez was born.

AV: Workaholics is centered on three guys, Anders, Blake, and Adam, who also happen to be the creators of the show. What can you tell me about them?

EG: They are great guys. They work hard and are handling all of this very well. Their chemistry is undeniable. They’re the modern day Three Stooges.

AV: Comedians have certainly done it in the past, but what specifically made you want to put out a comedy album?

EG: I have always wanted to do that. I remember listening to Cosby, Pryor, Carlin and all those old school cats put out comedy albums. It was just something on my bucket list. Check.

AV: What inspired you to get into comedy?

EG: I have always been addicted to making people laugh. I was a silly kid that would over-think everything. That’s part of being a comic, analyzing the minutia of life.

AV: You’ve been performing now for around 10 years, how are things different compared to when you first started out?

EG: I am more confident in my own skin. I now believe the things I am saying and I understand what I do to make things funny. I am also okay with people not agreeing with me. I don’t let the more challenging times hold me back; it’s how you come back from those times that’s the measure of what kind of comic you are.

AV: Would you tell me about one of your favorite Workaholics experience so far?

EG: Adam makes me laugh so hard. In the episode where we are wearing the onesies, there were a couple of takes when I laughed through the whole thing because he was just being hilarious. That happens a lot.

AV: Can you give us any details about the upcoming season of Workaholics?

EG: Even if I knew anything, I would have to kill you after I told you.

- jeremiah shea

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 8pm. Friday & Saturday 10:30pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $15

Monday, May 13

Aziz Ansari

Named by Rolling Stone magazine as the “Funniest Man Under 30,” comedian Aziz Ansari comes to Kleinhans Music Hall this Monday (May 13). His praise has been nearly universal; Paste Magazine named him one of the “Top 10 Comedians of the Decade,” and his roll as Tom Haverford in the Emmy nominated NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation has fans quoting him non-stop. “At the risk of bragging, one of the things I’m best at is riding coattails. Behind every successful man is me, smiling and taking partial credit.” Haverford may not deserve much credit, but the man behind the character does. Ansari has quickly worked his way up the comedy ladder appearing on TV but also in films like I Love You, Man, 30 Minutes or Less and outshining comedy legends Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen in Funny People. On stage, the New York City stand-up comedian lets loose on popular culture, reacting to the ridiculous behavior of celebrities and normal humans alike with a sense of deranged astonishment rather than simply lampooning them. His act rides the line of meta-comedy, where a joke becomes a joke about jokes. His most well known stand up bit might be his riff on r&b star R. Kelly, which would be a good place to start if you’re new to Ansari’s work. To leave you with a final piece of advice from Tom Haverford: “Sometimes you gotta work a little, so you can ball a lot.” Heed his advice and ball a lot with Ansari this Monday.

- cory perla

7pm Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle. (883-3560 / $25-$35

Wednesday, May 15

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

The Waiting Room is beginning to deliver on the promise of hosting a wide range of musical acts. Chicago based band JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound are an unexpected amalgamation of R&B, soul, and punk. Brooks carries a heavy dose of showmanship and musical range that culminates in a performance crackling with emotion and soul. Minimalist with just the right amount of swagger, these guys bring you up, send you flying around and don’t let you come back down to earth. They know that soul is still a certifiably effective method for melting away stress and negativity. While the band has described themselves as “Otis Redding fronting the Stooges,” this description only represents the tip of their musical iceberg. Brooks’ lyrics speak out poetically about the hectic and tumultuous times in which we live. He croons and shrieks over a wall of funky rhythms. They are releasing a record entitled Howl from indie-label Bloodshot Records this month. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound have toured, warred, scored, and they’re not to be ignored. Check them out this Wednesday (May 15) and prepare for a wild, exhilarating ride.

- tom etu

8pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $12 advance, $14 day of show

Wednesday, May 15

Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer are both incredibly talented folk singers and songwriters. Their collaboration on “Child Ballads” is a pleasing combination of harmonies and melodic voices. Mitchell began her singing and songwriting career at the ripe age of 17, taking influences from Ani DiFranco, another heavy hitter in the folk genre. A native of Vermont, Mitchell is well traveled, venturing to the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. Her travels have influenced her musical style because of her experiences abroad. Hamer, a New England native, didn’t pop up on the music scene until after the 21st century, performing many a political protest song. Upon joining Great American Taxi, he began to divert away from topical songs to American country rock. Moving to New York City provided him the opportunity to work with folk artist Laura Cortese, which brought him to the folk music he is currently playing. Hamer has a background in both traditional and contemporary folk music and writing. The strong verbose harmonies are credited to Hamer, while Mitchell brings her light melodic vocals, which are layered on top. The Ninth Ward at Babeville will host Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer while they perform a selection of songs from their newest collaborative album titled Child Ballads this Wednesday (May 15).

- kendra sornberger

7pm Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $15 advance, $18 day of show

Thursday, May 16

Om Unit

Generic words like “unique” or “versatile” could be tossed around if necessary when defining music, but with London producer and DJ Om Unit, there is just something inexplicable. His productions have a very cosmic feel; as if you took the cosmic universe, swirling galaxies and all, put it on a television screen and hit fast-forward. The feelings attached to the sacred yogic mantra “Om” are so complex; it becomes clear after pressing the orange Soundcloud play button that his moniker is truly reflective of his music. Om Unit has released three EPs and in 2011 he was selected to be a part of the Red Bull Music Academy, a jump-off event that brings recruits and professionals together to provide lessons and enhancements to their music. In 2011 he also founded and launched his record label Cosmic Bridge. He is known for an extensive amount of remixes and has traveled worldwide to perform. Also, any show at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar in Allentown usually tends to be wonderful, with a decently-sized and intimate dance floor, a bar with easily squeezable spots and short waits, and it is often filled with familiar faces. The opening line-up is ideal for the night as well: Killsound, Mark Kloud, and Buzz Trillington are talented musicians who will surely have the audience grooving before the show starts. The great price for entry is the cherry on top of the night. See ya’ there!

- alicia greco

9pm Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359 / $7 advance, $10 day of show, 21+