See You There!
Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts, this Saturday & Sunday, August 24 & 25.
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.
Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts
Saturday & Sunday, August 24 & 25
For two days each year Elmwood Avenue shuts down between Lafayette and West Ferry and the artists of Buffalo take over. The 14th annual Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts happens this Saturday (Aug 24) and Sunday (Aug 25). In addition to the dozens of vendor and artist booths selling art ranging from ceramics to jewelry, paintings, metalwork, photography, sculpture, toys, woodwork, and more, there will be two stages for live entertainment. Local groups like Folkfaces, the Canal Street String Band, and Dr Jazz and the Jazzbugs will take the 7-Elven Stage, while groups like the Albrights, Buffalo Tango Orkestra, LehrerDance, and Configuration Dance will take the Lafayette Stage throughout the festival. On Sunday at 4pm there will be a festival parade. Cultural Row on Breckenridge Street will feature over 35 non-profit arts and cultural organizations like Compeer of Greater Buffalo, Locust Street Art Classes, and many more that will share information about what they’re doing to improve our community. Expect great food from places like the Globe Market, Fat Bob’s, the Lexington Co-Op, and Lloyd’s Taco Truck, and of course the ever expanding KidsFest area, where children will find plenty of creative activities to partake in. For years the Festival has focused on not only giving regional artists, crafts people, organizations, and community groups a beautiful venue like the Elmwood Village to present their work, but also on doing it in an environmentally sustainable way. The festival highlights an area called Environmental Row, on Aubrun Avenue, where people can find information on wind and solar energy, and how to decrease their energy consumption. For a festival map and more information visit eafa.techriver.net.
- cory perla, photos by anthony brown
10am-6pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday between Lafayette Avenue and West Ferry Street (eafa.techriver.net) Free
Friday, August 23
The story of dirtybird records is one inspired by risk-taking and driven by pure passion. The dirtybird crew formed initially to throw a party at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Brothers Christian and Justin Martin, along with roommate Worthy, and also Barclay Crenshaw (otherwise known as Claude VonStroke) were striving to “change the landscape of San Francisco’s house music scene.” With the development of a new sound and new approach, dirtybird evolved into what it is today after VonStroke’s major step initiating the creation of the label in 2005. Illinois native Jessica Phillipe went from studying engineering to becoming a full-time dirtybird member known as J. Phlip. Rather than going forward as an engineer she chose to focus on her true love for music; she signed her first record with them in 2008 and has since earned a name of prominence. “She can hold her own with anyone I have ever heard play on any stage,” says VonStroke. “Straight from San Francisco with dirty basslines, bootylicious funk, and cute as hell—J. Phlip is the total package.” Friday night Factory Nightlife and Rendezvous Niteclub presents J. Phlip at Sky Bar. Also, be sure to catch another dirtybird member Justin Martin the following week on Aug. 30.
- alicia greco
10pm–4am Sky Bar, 257 Franklin Street (buffaloskybar.com) $10 advance, $15 day of show, 21+
Friday - Sunday, August 23 - 25
Buffalo Irish Festival
This weekend, for the second straight year at Canalside, the air will be heavy with the sound of fiddles and the scent of traditional Irish food during the Buffalo Irish Festival. Head down to the terminus of the Erie Canal this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Aug 23 to 25) for a weekend full of fun activities. The festival kicks off Friday at 5pm with a parade on the boardwalk featuring flags from Ireland’s 32 counties. Then, starting at noon on Saturday and Sunday, visit some of the 30 different vendors selling Irish goods—like Shamrock Chic or Amerikilt—or sit back and watch Irish step-dancers do their thing. Headlining the musical performances are three bands: the Glengarry Bhoys, Burning Bridget Cleary, and Enter the Haggis (pictured). The Glengarry Bhoys are a high-energy rock-Celtic fusion band, while Burning Bridget Cleary are the self-proclaimed “Allman Brothers of Celtic fiddle bands, only prettier.” Enter the Haggis is an international touring band with a slightly edgier-than-usual Celtic sound. Their latest album, The Modest Revolution, is based entirely on the stories from one randomly picked day in the Canadian national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. In addition to music, there will be plenty of food and beer—everything from lamb stew to soda bread, and, of course, Guinness. Finding a parking spot might be tough due to the construction at Canalside, so your best bet is to take the subway. Plus, the Irish Festival offers a $1 discount on admission to anyone who shows their metro rail pass or ticket stub. There will also be shuttles running to Canalside from five parking lots downtown. Visit BuffaloIrish.com for more details.
- leif reigstad
Friday 5pm-11pm, Saturday & Sunday Noon-11pm. Canalside, 44 Prime Street (buffaloirish.com) $10 for adults, $8 for children ages 4-12 and seniors, and free for kids under 4-years old
Saturday, August 24
Battle @ Buffalo: Under the Lights 3
Verve Dance Studio will be presenting Battle @ Buffalo on Saturday (Aug 24) at the New Era Flagship Store on Delaware Avenue. The event gives a chance to local and international B-boys and B-girls to compete against other performers for a grand prize of cold cash and New Era gear. As for the community, the goal of the battle is to promote unity and respect for individuals and their respective styles and bring people of all walks of life together in a cultural and educational setting. Verve most often uses their studio space to perform, but is taking to the streets for what they call Buffalo’s only hip hop and B-boy festival. The event will not only be a dance performance, there will also be interactive art activities, dance workshops for kids, tent vendors, food trucks to fuel all attendees, and more. The cost is $5 to enter and only $1 to battle. On the bill, so far, are 15 crews to compete three vs. three and 47 individuals to compete one vs. one, the latter being an all styles battle. The winners of the three vs. three battles take away the grand prize of $1500 and New Era gift bags, while the one-on-one battle champions win $300 and a New Era gift bag. Everyone is welcome to this family-friendly celebration of hip hop music and dance culture. Festivities will go on from noon to about 10pm.
- jaz frazier
Noon-10pm New Era Flagship Store, 160 Delaware Ave. (vervedancestudio.com). $5 general admission, $6 to compete
Tuesday, August 27
Over the past decade, Boston punks Dropkick Murphys have become increasingly popular. When the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, they recorded a cover of the Sox theme song “Tessie,” which was used in EA Sports’ MVP Baseball 2005. For many, this was an introduction to the band that had been somewhat under-the-radar until that point. While that certainly helped, the band really saw their profile increase after “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” was used in the Oscar-winning film The Departed. Suddenly, the Dropkicks were everywhere, playing every late-night talk show, and collaborating with the likes of Bruce Springsteen. But the band’s new found fame hasn’t changed their approach, as evidenced by their excellent new record Signed And Sealed In Blood. The band has always had a political streak to their music, as evidenced by songs like “Take ‘Em Down,” which became an anthem for the Wisconsin teacher’s union protests in 2011. The first single off their new album, “The Season’s Upon Us,” paints a picture of a dysfunctional family at Christmas time, a reminder that the band has never shied away from talking about class issues. This Tuesday (Aug 27) they’ll be heading to the Town Ballroom for what will surely be a raucous night. It’ll be a great chance to catch a band that found fame and recognition, but stayed true to what got them there.
- john hugar
7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / townballroom.com) $27.50 advance, $31 day of show
Wednesday, August 28
Mick Foley might have made a name for himself by body slamming opponents onto thumbtacks and hurling his body off of the top of steel cages as Mankind in the WWE, but the 48-year-old former professional wrestler is a full time author and comedian now. If you don’t recognize the plaid vest-wearing entertainer by his shaky, nervous voice, his scruffy beard and shaggy mullet, then you might recognize him from his recent appearance on the Daily Show when he helped John Oliver vertical suplex the immigration reform debate. Foley is a New York Times best-selling author for his book Have a Nice Day!: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. The book reached #1 in 1999, and his 2001 autobiographical follow-up, Foley is Good: And The Real World is Faker Than Wrestling made the same list that year. He’s gone on to release several children’s fiction books too, including his 2012 book A Most Mizerable Christmas. His true calling is entertaining in person though. His routine is a hilarious mixture of punchlines, stories, and banter about everything from his career in the WWE, politics, porno, world peace, and his extraordinary life. Mick Foley will perform his one-man show live at Buffalo’s Helium Comedy Club on Wednesday (Aug 28).
- cory perla
7:30pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / heliumcomedy.com) $25
Thursday, August 29
Back to school shopping, cooler temperatures, and preseason football are all signs that summer is slowly coming to a close. With that, comes the end of another phenomenal season of outdoor concerts all around the city as well. One of the most popular, Thursday at Canalside, is wrapping up, but not without one more incredible show. Next Thursday (Aug 29), Lotus will take the stage as the final act in the Downtown series. The band has been one of the visionaries in the jam/electronica scene as they incorporate the two flawlessly and add elements of funk and jazz to create a sound that you can’t help but get down to. When you pair that with their stunning light show, they are visually and sonically capable of taking you to a completely different place. And while the crowd might follow Lotus into another dimension, they’ll at least begin the night locally, with Buffalo’s own Aqueous. For those unfamiliar, the kings of the Queen City jam scene have put some significant miles on the odometer this summer with stops all over the east coast. The band had a huge summer, making appearances at a few major festivals around the country. They were even featured as an “On the Verge” artist in Relix magazine, a nod that doesn’t just go to any newbie. Somehow both bands have struck the perfect balance between showcasing their immense talent and providing music that anybody can dance to. Saving the best for last might be a little cliché, but thankfully for us, the organizers weren’t worried about that.
- jeremiah shea
5pm to 9:30pm Canalside, 1 Navel Park Cove (856-3150 / buffaloplace.com/thursday) Free
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