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Infringement Festival 2013
There is no idea too small or too far-out for Buffalo’s Infringement Festival, an 11-day celebration of boundary-pushing art, which will be held July 25 through August 4 in the heart of Buffalo. The Infringement Festival reveals art in every corner of the Allentown district and beyond. Nobody is turned down here, leaving room for pure expression that ranges from the wildest street performers to the most professional rock bands. Organizers describe it as an “arts democracy” that is “the antithesis of the status-quo,” which is just the sort of artistic autonomy, devoid of censorship and overflowing with unconventional creativity, that is placing Buffalo back on the map. Most of the events at the Infringement Festival are free so there is little risk in trying out something new, from an experimental theater performance to a live-action game of Pac Man in Days Park. Set up by a committee of volunteers, the festival brings together local musicians, poets, digital and media artists, comics, dance companies and more on the streets and in the clubs to create art that examines the fringes of experience.
Below are a few of the performances that we are looking forward to the most (keep in mind that many of these performances are repeating or appearing at various venues, so if you miss something we’ve listed you might have another chance). There’s lots more than is listed here too: For more information, consult the handy pullout guide in this week’s print edition of Artvoice (download a PDF version here) or visit infringebuffalo.org.
- cory perla
Thursday, July 25, 7pm to 2am, Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. $5
With hundreds of performances spread throughout the city, the Infringement Festival can be overwhelming, especially for first timers. The best place to start is of course the Opening Ceremonies show at Nietzsche’s, which will take place this Thursday, July 25. Among the dozen or so bands performing that night—including Noah Gokey & The Skulls, Folkfaces, PINJA, and Lazy Ass Destroyer—are siblings Scott and Katie Quider and friend Matt Schichtel, who make up The Patterns: a strong, foggy, post-punk combination of Sonic Youth and the Smiths.
- jaz frazier
Infringement Busking Collective
Thursday, July 25 noon-6pm; Friday, July 26 noon-5:30pm; Monday, July 29 noon-6pm; Tuesday, July 30 noon-3:45pm; Wednesday, July 31 noon-6pm; Thursday, Aug 1 noon-6pm. Antique Man, 234 Allen St.
One of the great things about the Infringement Festival is that a lot of unplanned things go down. Sometimes artists can’t officially sign up for a time slot for scheduling reasons or work reasons. Plan B: busk. This year the Infringement Festival will have an official busking station outside of Antique Man in Allentown starting at noon most days. If you’re a street performer and you’ve already got a busking permit, you’re all set. If not, permits are available at City Hall.
A Man’s A Man
Thursday, July 25-Sunday, Aug 4, 8-10pm, Thursday through Saturday; 2pm to 4pm Sundays. Manny Fried Theatre, 225 Great Arrow
In the minimalist blackbox theater atmosphere of the Manny Fried Playhouse—in a converted building which once housed a Pierce Arrow Company factory—a re-telling of Bertolt Brecht’s 1926 anti-war/anti-imperialism play A Man’s A Man could not better complement the Infringement lineup. A dark and sardonic tale of Western military aggression in British colonial India, the Subversive Theatre Collective’s rendering of A Man’s A Man easily translates from interwar years to modern day. In this spin on the original, American forces futilely invade the country of Afghanistan.
- meghan sauer
8 Bit Bonanza
Friday, July 26, 7pm-midnight, The Foundry, 298 Northampton St.
Meteroid. Punch Out. Mario. Pac-Man. Back in the day, all you needed was eight bits. Our needs have multiplied since then, but 8BITbuffalo is a group of artists and musicians that keep it old-school, taking the blips and beeps of the Nintendo-era to a whole new aesthetic level. Expect 8-bit inspired paintings and drawings, sculptures, as well as interactive and playable digital art. Musical performances from the likes of SBthree, the Archaeologist, Danimal Cannon (of Armcannon), Rory McCormack, Bolognatron, and Jeffrepeater will employ all sorts of electro tricks and glitches from old Gameboys, joysticks, and anything else you might find in your mom’s basement. It’s on like Donkey Kong this Friday at the Foundry. And don’t forget to check out Pac-Man Park, a live action Pac-Man reenactment that puts the audience in the game: Days Park at 2pm on July 28 and August 4.
- jon wheelock
First Friday Film Festival: Hidden Homeless
Friday, July 26, 7:15-9:45pm Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave.
They live in train tunnels, in the abandoned buildings and cars that dot the city. You might not know they’re there, but for the nearly 1,500 homeless youth in Buffalo, opportunities are scarce and the fight to survive is constant. Hidden Homeless, a film by Mark Hall of Mouse Media Productions, gives these young people a voice and shares their stories in an attempt to raise awareness and advocate for the funding of youth shelters in Western New York. Catch the screening of Hidden Homeless at the First Friday Film Festival, along with five other short films, including “Buffalo by Bicycle,” which addresses the growing popularity of biking in the city, and “The Fire Rises,” a Batman-inspired fan film.
Lazy Ass Destroyer
Friday, July 26, 10pm, Code Blu Juice Bar, 23 Allen St.
Raucous, raw and unfiltered, Lazy Ass Destroyer hails from Cincinnati where they’ve been brewing their boozy mix of crunk, punk, rock, and hip-hop. Rock guitar, turntables and rhymes from Lazy D rounds out this trio that will be performing at Code Blu Juice Bar on Friday with AJ Jordan.
Anti-Warped Tour 2
Saturday, July 27, 11am-9pm, corner of Hoyt St. and Forest Ave.
As the years pass, it seems that the Warped Tour gets further and further away from what it used to be. What a shame. Buffalo is ready to combat the machine that is Warped Tour with its own army: the Anti-Warped Tour. This second installment of the Anti-Warped Tour is chock full of local artists trying to preserve the sanctity of their respective genres. Featured artists include the grungy Alaysa O’Brien, a.k.a. Ballzy, North Tonawanda used-to-be punk kids (who are still quite punk, and apparently think they have an awful name) the Cran Tangerines, and hip-hop artist Justice Determination Unity, bent on bringing back the genre’s purpose of being the strong voice of a disregarded generation. Over 20 bands are coming together across three stages in musical protest at Hoyt and Forest on Saturday, July 27, 11am-9pm.
The Apocalypse Ball featuring Garda
Saturday, July 27, 8pm-3am Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. $3 with costume, $5 without
Buffalo hard rock band Garda will perform at the Apocalypse Ball, a zombie-themed party at Nietzsche’s on Saturday, July 27 with Sic Sin, Lesionread, BlueShift, Pinja, Ghostfeeder, Primrose Night, Crux, and Fe Vajen. We spoke to vocalist and guitarist Chris Miller about his band and the local industrial rock scene.
AV: Describe who Garda is, for those who don’t know.
Chris Miller: We’ve got ourselves into this dark electro-rock thing, as we like to call it. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Sisters of Mercy that we’ve listened to for a long time, we bring those influences to the party. Beyond that though, we don’t really want to put a label on it. That sounds a little cliché in itself, you know some bands come out and say, “Oh, we’re just artists,” but that’s not what we mean. If we write something that doesn’t quite fit with everything else we’ve done, whether it’s a little heavier or a little mellower or more upbeat or positive, we’re not going to say no. If we’re all happy with what comes out, then it doesn’t matter if it fits under a certain label.
AV: How would you describe a Garda live show?
CM: Polished [laughs]. We spend a lot of time on this. We have a script and we stick to it. Once we start playing, we’re going to keep playing and we want to keep people glued in. We don’t want those long breaks or inside jokes with our friends in the front row. We want this to go from A to B and just leave the crowd thinking, “What the hell just happened?”
AV: How do you think you fit into the Infringement Festival?
CM: I think we fit in well. All these bands…Buffalo tends to be a classic rock cover band kind of town and I think everyone at Infringement, even though most of us don’t sound anything like one another, we don’t fit into that norm. We’re not part of the established rock crowd, so to speak. I think in that sense the Infringement Festival highlights a lot of the original music that is coming out of Buffalo. There are a lot of good bands out there, whether it’s just two guys with banjos or it’s pure electronica or metal or rock. Infringement showcases that side of the Buffalo music scene.
AV: How would you describe the state of Buffalo’s industrial/hard rock scene right now?
CM: I think it’s resurging. When we started playing together as Garda three or four years ago, we were one of just a couple acts doing this. Again, it’s not the mainstream yet, but we’ve started to find more and more bands that we fit with, bands like Third Realm or Pollock, for instance. Greg Burt over at For the Music Productions has got his Dimension thing going on, showcasing bands like us, and there is enough of a demand for it, enough of a presence here, to support that.
College Street Block Party
Sunday, July 28, 1pm-9pm, College St.
The College Street Block party is an Infringement Festival tradition that continues this year with a wide range of music, from the Slyboots Drum Ensemble, to the electronic sounds of Jeffrepeater, the folk-rock of Ramforinkus, and many more. Bring a dish and shake your ass.
Monday, July 29, 4pm-9:30 pm, Picasso Moon, 260 Allen St.
Picasso Moon on Allen will be welcoming many acts this summer for Infringement Fest, including David Cloyd on Monday, July 29. This touring indie rock artist redefines what it is to be self-reliant. After Cloyd’s band broke up in 2008, he decided to go the road alone. As of now, Cloyd is the singer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, drummer, vibraphonist, accordionist, digital sound programmer, and more for his own act. Who needs band members when you’re a jack-of-all-trades? With the help of Grammy Award-winner Phil Nicolo of production team Butcher Brothers, Cloyd released his 2009 album, Unhand Me, You Fiend!, a gorgeously constructed effort. In 2010, I Could Disappear followed, this time showcasing a minimalistic approach, employing simple guitar and piano. Cloyd’s voice and sound can be compared to Elliott Smith, Radiohead, and the Beatles. Playing alongside David Cloyd are Danielle DiStefano, Lloyd MacHardy, Porcelain Train, and Living Poets Society.
Monday, July 29, 7pm-2am, The Bend, 256 Allen St.
Jezkova’s music is like if someone with a head full of acid stepped onto an elevator wearing a badger suit. But once fallen onto the ears, it all comes together. The music is just wild enough to make you chuckle, but composed enough for enjoyment. The mixed arts of jazz, dubstep, and ambient house come together to make a loopy, Brian Eno-reminiscent creation. The Bend presents Jezkova Monday, July 29, as well as singer-songwriters Sarah Elizabeth and Mike Criscione, and the Finality Complex.
Milkie’s Massive Monday Music Manifestoval, featuring This Is Fiction
Monday, July 29, 6pm-midnight, Milkie’s, 522 Elmwood Ave.
Local pop-rock band This Is Fiction is an easy go-to for those who like music in the vein of All-American Rejects and Jimmy Eat World, but with the introduction of an electronic element. Fun, catchy dance songs are what make this group of kids popular around town. The quartet is playing Milkie’s Massive Monday Music Manifestoval on July 29.
Monday, July 29, 7pm, Coming Home Buffalo, 140 Elmwood Ave.
Todd Benzin and Don Gervasi are two comedic improvisation actors with more than 35 collective years of experience. With but one suggestion from their audience, the pair can create a world of spontaneous amusement guaranteed to split your sides. Throughout an extensive career in acting and improv, which includes founding Buffalo’s Eclectic Improv Company, Benzin and Gervasi have built an incredible repertoire, having performed at many theaters here in Buffalo. For the Infringement Festival, they present Babushka!, a comedic improv show scheduled for 7pm at Coming Home Buffalo on Monday, July 29.
A Buffalo Pyromance
Tuesday, July 30; Wednesday, July 31; Satuday, August 3; and Sunday, August 4, 9-10pm, Days Park.
If you are a dare devil or risk-taker who likes to sit on the edge of your seat, then you don’t want to miss out on a night filled with hypnotizing dancing and fire-play. This troupe has been around for more than five years performing their dazzling fire dances. Prepare to be amazed.
- ally selva
Tuesday, July 30, 9pm-9:45pm Tudor Lounge, 335 Franklin St.
Lack of studio space forced this Lewiston group to pick up what they call acoustic space folk: Buffalo meet Difficult Pedestrian; Difficult Pedestrian, Buffalo. Circumstances allowed the band to flourish in their specially crafted genre, creating something of a lovechild between Led Zeppelin jams and a far-out fun Flaming Lips capacity. All members contribute vocals and their own funky instruments. Difficult Pedestrian is a smart mix of world music, classical acoustic, and psychedelia. They will perform at the Tudor Lounge on Tuesday, July 30.
A Mind in the Gutter
Wednesday, July 31, 6:45pm to 7:45pm Rust Belt Books.
Lucas Simmons is an award-winning mentalist who has his own punk rock style combined with a dark comedy and interactive multimedia display of his mental abilities. Simmons takes the magician act to a whole other level with his captivating performances. He loves to get the crowd involved, so you don’t want to miss out on this one.
Wham Bam Thank You Slam III
Wednesday, July 31, 6pm-midnight, The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave. $5
With names like the We Couldn’t Afford Bootsy Collins All Star Project, the Boom Box Betties, MC Vendetta, and the Muppet Burlesque Show, the third installment of the Wham Bam Thank You Slam is shaping up to be a diverse night of poetry, music, and burlesque at a first-time Infringement Festival venue: the Waiting Room. Expect hilarious interludes, racy stories, and dirty ditties all night long. A piece of advice from MC Vendetta: “Bring your singles and be prepared to throw them on stage!”
Tree of Liminality
Thursday, August 1-Saturday, August 3, 6-10pm Thursday, 5-9pm Friday & Saturday, Days Park
The Tree of Liminality—derived from the Latin word limen, which means “threshold”—offers more than just shade. From the Infringement Festival website: “Yes! Everything is possible. But things are more possible here.” That’s because of the “visionary being” living in the tree’s “enchanted branches.” The interactive performance promises the opportunity for an “existential conversation”—a refreshing break from the inane small talk you’re subjected to each day from the tree in your neighbor’s front yard.
- leif reigstad
Squeaky Wheel Second Saturday Film Fiesta, featuring I Can Hear You Calling
Saturday, August 3, 1-pm Squeaky Wheel, 712 Main St.
New York City can make or break a band, especially if said band is a transplant from another city. Many Buffalo-based bands know what it’s like to try their hand in the Big Apple. I Can Hear You Calling follows a handful of bands, including Buffalo transplants Hi/Lo Fi, as they navigate the modern music industry from the rehearsal space to the stage and beyond.
Infringement Closing Ceremonies
Sunday, August 4, 8pm-1am Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. Pay what you can.
That was fun, wasn’t it? Chances are, you’ll be trying to wrap your head around what you saw over the previous 11 days, and hopefully it was a little bit of everything. There’s still a lot to check out on the final day, and the Infringement Closing Ceremony is always a grand finale worth attending. See Infringement 2013 off into the sunset at Nietzsche’s starting at 8pm, with performances on the front and back stages from Crows and Jays, Erin Sydney Welsh, Greengage, Savannah King, Manawi Thorn, Jen Whitmore, Second Trip, Sara Elizabeth and Wise Medicine. The Iffy Awards, Infringement’s open-ended, audience-suggested awards, will be dished out throughout the concert. Literally: They’re written on paper plates, and you can fill one out at Rust Belt Books all festival long if you want to tell your favorite Infringement act how much they’re loved. Everyone’s a winner. Admission is pay-what-you-can, but remember that it’s people like you, wise and generous Infringer, who make this festival possible.
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