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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: The Human Race, taking place this Saturday the 23rd at the Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center.

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 Human Race

Saturday, November 23

As I sit and write this, local chalk artist Chalker Ranger is outside of this office creating a giant chalk mural that reads The Human Race, Dnipro Ukrainian Cultrual Center, Nov 23rd 2013. Nothing is more complex than the human race, so to title an event The Human Race is a promise to deliver variety. In that sense, The Human Race, an art and music spectacle that mixes hip hop, country music, punk, electronica and visual art should deliver. Led by enigmatic hip hop performer and living Jack Yeats painting Jeremy Jermaine Jerome aka Just Ending Now, The Human Race is a one-of-a-kind multimedia event. Daniel Reynolds, better known on the streets of Buffalo as Scantron, will kick things off with an educational speech titled Hip Hop Society: In Search of a Cultural Definition, which will touch on the relationship between youth identity, crime, employment, and education. With acoustic guitars, drums, fiddle and bass, the Andrew J. Reimers Country-Punk Extravaganza is set to perform their brand of down-home punk music. Matched with cellist TJ Borden and musician Rob Schifferli electronic soundscape-crafter Art Lakewood brings a live show that will go beyond the extraordinary cerebral music found on his debut record (As People). Artist Alicia Paolucci will present an art installation simply titled Rap-sicles, which will employ some combination of hip hop stars and ice cream. Expect a surprise chalk-art installation from Ryan Meegan aka Chalker Ranger. Lloyd Taco Truck will provide culinary arts. With a ton of pre-Thanksgiving events to choose from, few have the potential for a thought-provoking, fun time that the Human Race promises. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

- cory perla

8pm Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center, 562 Genesee St. FREE.

Friday, November 22


Rakim is widely recognized as one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time. He began his career as the emcee of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, who in 2011 were nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Talking about Rakim’s career, it’s not hard to lapse into rhetoric, to regard him as a God-MC, as if he invented rap, because in some ways he kind of did. The constituents that make rap what it is in 2013 existed in various forms back in 1986, the golden age of hip-hop, when Rakim’s career launched. The seen-it-all thousand-yard stare; the windy internal rhyme schemes; the innate sense of the meter of speech and its possibilities; the cryptic ciphers that intrigued just as they alienated; the emphasis on sheer weight of presence—these are all Rakim’s legacies, and without them, rap music wouldn’t be what it is today. Rakim has never been known to be a particularly energetic performer, but the strength of his performance lies in his rhymes. This manifests when he performs classic hits like “Microphone Fiend” and “Paid in Full.” Rappers and old-head fans talk about Rakim the way they talk about retired legends; but Rakim’s out there, hungry for work and just as driven as ever. Rakim comes to the Town Ballroom on Friday (Nov 22) with special guest DJ Cutler.

- kellie powell

8pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $25 advance, $30 day of show

Friday, November 22

The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream

Though they emerged immediately in the wake of—and as much of a reaction to—the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the Rascals in many ways were the American ideal strived for by the British Invasion and in some areas bested their English counterparts. Initially as the Young Rascals, it was four guys who got together in New Jersey with backgrounds in doowop and penchants r&b who ably matched it with keen pop sense and raved up garage rock passion ultimately inventing “blue-eyed soul.” The outrageous organ sound and vox of Felix Cavaliere, the smooth but tough garage soul vocal and tambourine pound of Eddie Brigati, the wild guitar of Gene Cornish and steady drums of Dino Danelli were responsible for a litany of hits that have come to represent pinnacles of 1960s rock perfection among: the easy going roll of “Groovin,” the warm Beach Boys-do-Motown “A Beautiful Morning,” the conscience ballad “People Got To Be Free” and the soul-explosive party monster “Good Lovin” to name just a few. Spurred on by Rascals devotee/Springsteen guitarist/TV mobster ‘Little Steven’ Van Zandt, Cavaliere, Brigati, Cornish and Danelli reunited after 40 years apart for a multimedia live stage show retrospective last December at Port Chester’s Capitol Theater. The show produced by Van Zandt and his wife Maureen was a critical and box office success, then putting the Rascals on a Broadway run and ultimately landing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members back on the road all these years later. This Friday’s show at Shea’s is bound to be a rare chance to see one of America’s most legendary bands and true rock royalty.

- donny kutzbach

8pm Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (847-1410 / $32.50 to $78

Saturday, November 23

Mass Appeal

Milan Fashion Week doesn’t hold a candle to Buffalo’s Mass Appeal. This six-year old fashion show, organized by the Elmwood Village Association, is one of Buffalo’s largest, modish events. Expounding by the year, Mass Appeal showcases Buffalo’s top visionary, adroit designers and artists. The eclectic mix of designers guarantees that the show will be a high-fashion metamorphism. As if this high-profile exposition weren’t enough, they’ve added an after party that makes P Diddy’s (aka Puff Daddy, Diddy, and Sean John Combs) 40th birthday party look like a sweaty clown blowing up balloons. The after party, trademarked Heavy Rotation, will feature sets from some of Western New York’s premier DJs including: Medison, Crushes, Cultr Club, and ABCDJ. Not much of a dancer? Then stand on the sidelines, like you did at your high school homecoming, but Heavy Rotation will also feature some of Buffalo’s most limber aerial dancers (on the silks), courtesy of Buffalo Aerial Dance. This is a night that no one in Buffalo can afford to miss.

- kellie powell (photo by jill greenberg)

6pm Pierce Arrow Film Arts Center, 1685 Elmwood Ave ( general admission $35, VIP $125

Saturday, November 23

Conehead Buddha with Funktapuss

The winter blues are beginning to loom as the darkness and cold of another Buffalo winter begins to set in, but there’s no better cure than what’s quickly approaching this weekend. Two bands are making their way into town at vastly different points in their respective careers, but with similar goals. Both are bringing the heat that’ll help loosen winter’s icy grip. On one side, you have headliners Conehead Buddha who are in their second incarnation as a band. The Albany-based jam vets had a successful run in the 1990’s alongside fellow New Yorker’s moe., but ultimately broke up in 2002. Now back together after a 10-year hiatus, the eight-piece band is picking up right where they left off and giving people a reason to be excited all over again. Their mix of jam, ska, funk, and Latin influences will have you up and moving without even realizing it. On the flip side of the bill, you have newcomers in Funktapuss (pictured) vwho are a musical force wise beyond their years. Their soulful touch on funk is quickly ignited like Jimi’s guitar with a blues flare lead by their guitarist Tom Davis. The band has the chops when you want to dig deep, but can also lay down a groove thicker than lake-effect snow. There’s no doubt that these guys will be popping up more and more as they plan to begin touring more extensively in 2014 and also have their second album in the works that is due out in early 2014. As Conehead is reviving their career and Funktapuss is beginning to carve out their own, one thing is certain: you don’t want to miss out on this one, Buffalo. Nietzsche’s will be the setting for this incredible lineup on Saturday (Nov 23).

- jeremiah shea

9pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $10, 21+

Saturday, November 23

I Was the Scarecrow CD Release Show

Sometimes a romantic relationship can feel like a cult. I mean, think about it; unquestioning commitment, devotion of inordinate amounts of time to the relationship, mind-altering practices (sex?), and escalating isolation are all characteristics straight off the cult checklist. Now, of course not all romantic relationships are like this, some are healthy, but when they become unhealthy, well that’s when Heaven’s Gate opens. At least that is what I Was The Scarecrow frontman Peter Vullo suggests on the band’s latest record Death To Self. The title refers to this phenomenon when two become one and things go sour, but the cult imagery goes beyond that with tracks like the powerful “First Church of the Coast United” and “Mind Control.” Vullo scoures the deepest, darkest parts of his soul in a violent attempt to exorcise his relationship demons on this grungy track. “I’m not like me anymore, when I’m not like me it’s a war,” he sings in the band’s black and white music video, recently shot at the Amherst Dipson movie theater. I Was The Scarecrow will be celebrating the release of Death To Self this Saturday (Nov 23) at Spiral Scratch Records with math-rock band All Them Witches and indie rockers Noah Gokey and the Skulls.

- cory perla

6pm Spiral Scratch Records, 291 Bryant St. $5

Wednesday, November 27

MNM Presents: The Night B4 Thanksgiving

Don’t wander aimlessly, bar-hopping, hoping to find a spot that has good music to bust a groove to on one of the biggest party days of the year. It’s the night before Thanksgiving, but this year MNM Presents a five room and three floor music and conviviality celebration at the Hotel at Lafayette. Each room is themed to the musicians who will be playing throughout the night. In the Pan American/Mezzanine Space: Lazlo Hollyfeld, the 12/8 Path Band, DJ Cutler, LoPro, Josh YourMoms, and Funktional Flow. The Upstairs Den of Debauchery will be occupied by Godmorgen, Xotec, Marcos Udagawa, 3PO, DJ Matty, otherwise known as the Knowmatic Tribe Soundsystem. This room will be a reunion of the collective that was born in the basement of the Hotel in 1994, along with special guest Queen Majesty. The Igloo Music room will consist of some of Buffalo’s favorites, Paul Kuenzi and Rufus Gibson, 222 Oceans and Cloud11, Greg Howze and Bill Bacon, and DJ Lalka and John Patrick. Only Comrades will be hosting and curating the Third Floor Art Directory for visual stimulation. Other performances will grace the place from Projex, UVB-76 and more. A night of both chaos and charity, The Night B4 Thanksgiving is a sponsor of Toys For Tots; attendees who bring one new and unwrapped toy will receive their first drink for free. To stay safe after the chaos has ended—or perhaps to keep the chaos going—MNM Presents has blocked off rooms in the Hotel; the price will be discounted if you tell them you are with the “Thanksgiving Eve party” when you make the reservation. After it’s all over, prepare for the weird and hilarious flashbacks to ensue while scooping stuffing and drizzling gravy on your dark meat turkey the next day.

- alicia greco

9pm to 3:45am Hotel at The Lafayette, 391 Washington St. $17 advance, $20 day of show, 21+

Wednesday, November 27

Wild Turkey featuring Chae Hawk, Rich Rocka and Ando

The words “Buffalo rap” are synonymous with the name Chae Hawk. His latest video “Dirty Rich” has the hungry rapper jaunting through Buffalo like a hip hop politician campaigning with Team Radio stickers and schmoozing with friends on the West Side. The cut from his latest record, the dark and romantic Dance Party For The Heavy Hearted is his fifth video and he is showing no sign that he’s slowing down. Taking advantage of one of the biggest party days of the year, the night before Thanksgiving, Hawk is teaming up with San Francisco Bay Area rapper Rich Rocka and Buffalo rapper Ando for a show they’re calling Wild Turkey. Cousin of Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson, Rich Rocka aka Ya Boy has made a name for himself on the West Coast working with producers like Araabmuzik on his record Holla At Ya Boy. On his latest mixtape, Road 2 Rocka, the West Coast rapper combines gangster rap with trap and soul on tracks like “3D” (produced by DJ Rek). Ando takes a more sample heavy approach with tracks like “Better Man,” which picks apart and recombines tracks by Eminem, Nas, and Notorious B.I.G. Naturally, at a show called Wild Turkey, there will be cheap shots of Wild Turkey bourbon available all night long. Check out this hip hop showcase at the Waiting Room on Wednesday (Nov 27).

- cory perla

9pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $10, 18+