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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Drake, coming to the First Niagara Center on Sunday, December 15th.

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.


Sunday, December 15

Young Money Entertainment superstar Drake may have started from the bottom (if that’s how you like to think of Canadian television), but now he’ll be here, in Buffalo on Saturday (Dec 15). The 27-year-old hip hop champion has been touring strong this year. His tour, Would You Like A Tour?, began in October and will end in Philadelphia on December 18, but not before he makes a long awaited stop in Buffalo after rescheduling the show originally intended to be the first stop on his tour. His latest record, Nothing Was The Same—featuring “Started From The Bottom,” one of his biggest hits yet—met the expectations of fans and critics when it was released in September. On Nothing Was The Same, Drake attempts to reconcile his insecurities with his ever-heightening fame. As sensuous as his 2011 record Take Care, the album is a cathartic continuation that not only has the Canadian rapper examining his personal flaws but also has him accepting them, especially on songs like “Too Much (feat. Sampha).” The song juxtaposes egotistical lyrics with the simplicity of a minimalist piano line and chorus by English singer Sampha— a quickly rising star in the English R&B scene who has worked extensively with such diverse artists as Jessie Ware, Koreless, and SBTRKT. Don’t miss one of the most talented and popular rappers in the game right now when he comes to the First Niagara Center this weekend.

- cory perla

7pm First Niagara Center, One Seymour H. Knox III Plaza (855-4100 / $49.75-$99.75

Thursday, December 12

Stevie Tombstone

When Stevie Tombstone began writing music, folk, country and blues were hardly the popular genres of the day. There were countless other styles emerging from the 1980’s, from pop and New Wave, to post-pun kand hard rock. A 1985 New York Times article declared country music as “dead.” For Georgia-born Stevie Tombstone, it was hard to shake the familiar backroad twang that filled his childhood, the music that ultimately inspired a career that has lasted more than three decades. Whatever the musical trends might indicate, songwriting and storytelling are what ultimately capture an audience, and Tombstone excels at both with his heartfelt lyricism and gritty vocal delivery. As the frontman of swamp rockabilly band the Tombstones, Stevie spent much of his career rocking hard and often before the band separated in the 1990’s. Taking a more serious approach to songwriting in his solo pursuits, Tombstone is all about bringing it back to where it started, and his newest album, Greenwood, is roots Americana from the perspective of a true rock journeyman. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Tombstone renders gut wrenching blues, folksy country, and straight up rock n’ roll with unrivaled passion and emotion. Weathered roots rocker Stevie Tombstone takes the stage at Nietzsches tonight (Dec 12), along with special guests the Andrew J. Reimers Country-Punk Extravaganza.

- jon wheelock

9pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5, 21+

Saturday, December 14

Sound & Re-Vision: A Buffalo Bowie Tribute Show

David Bowie: a face-painted legend with pronounced cheekbones, who glows with glitter. He held undeniable significance during the 1970s glam-rock era, and changed the scene of music when his productions crossed the pond. “Heroes,” “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” and “Ziggy Stardust,” are only a few of the undying classics that still live in our stereos or our headphones. Psychological depth and schizophrenic experiences inspired David Bowie, both musician and actor, which eventually led him to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Homage will be paid, to the man of enchantment and alter egos, on Saturday (Dec 14) at Nietzsche’s for Sound and Re-Vision: A Buffalo Bowie Tribute show. Local acts including but not limited to Cowboys of Scotland, Finster, Alaysa O’Ballzy, Small Smalls, Wooden Cities, Jimyn The Singing Mime, the Ifs, John Peyton Project, Tony Derosa, D.D. Kinsman, David Kane, and Fredtown Stompers will play covers throughout the night. Admission is $5 and proceeds will go toward the Lifeline Foundation of Erie County Medical Center. The Lifeline Foundation Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation that helps obtain equipment necessary for medical emergencies. There will be a Bowie costume contest and prizes will be awarded; so break out your pastel paints, glitter, metallic and spandex. “Ground control to Major Tom,” see you there.

- alicia greco

8:30pm Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5. 21+

Saturday, December 14

Squeaky Wheel's Dys(Fun)ctionl Holiday Meltdown

That’s right folks it’s that time of year again. Christmas will be here faster than you can say, “Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!” It’s time to set aside your holiday woes and get down to the Foundry for Squeaky Wheel’s 13th annual Dys(Fun)ctionl Holiday Meltdown. As always, this year’s party is patently dysfunctional, with an emphasis on fun. Notoriously littered with eclectic visuals, avant-garde performances, and plenty of photo opportunities, supporting this local media resource is simply an unbeatable treat—it’s undeniably the gift that keeps on giving. In addition to the expanded flurry of visuals, Squeaky Wheel will be auctioning off exquisite gift baskets, featuring locally made commodities, guaranteed to fulfill all of your last-minute holiday needs. The theme this year is “MELTDOWN,” whether it’s the snowman on your starchy neighbor’s perfectly ornamented yard, or straight-up Clark Griswold-style (“Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”). Squeaky Wheel’s annual Dys(fun)ctional holiday affair is truly Buffalo’s capstone of holiday parties. The Squeaky Wheel’s 13th annual Dysfunctional Holiday MELTDOWN will be held at the Foundry on Saturday (Dec 14)

- kellie powell

8pm The Foundry, 298 Northampton St. (884-7172 / $10 general admission, $30 MegaParty pass, $25 MegaBasket Raffle Ticket, $7 Squeaky Wheel members and students.

Saturday, December 14

Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun Honky Tonk Holiday

Widely hailed as a guitar legend on the roots rock scene, Bill Kirchen also possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of hardcore honky tonk music. In what’s become an annual affair, he’ll be drawing on both those qualities to deliver a rollicking seasonal roadshow to the Sportsmen’s Tavern on Saturday (Dec 14). The extravaganza is sure to be packed with vintage chestnuts like Hank Snow’s “Reindeer Boogie,” Buck Owens’s “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy,” and “Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas”—which Kirchen originally recorded in the 1970s with his old band Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Expect some Christmas lights, some Santa hats, and a ton of good-natured holiday fun interspersed with signature performances culled from his vast repertoire. A master of every lick and tone that can come out of an electric guitar, his performance of “Hot Rod Lincoln” is a crowd favorite as well as a hilarious ten-minute tutorial on rockabilly, bluegrass, country, rock and roll, blues, surf, R&B and punk styles. At press time, a limited number of tickets were still available to this festive celebration of holiday Americana. Don’t miss out.

- buck quigley

8:30pm Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $20

Sunday, December 15

Catwalk For Charity VII: Cirque Du Sabres

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller not only has a reputation for making crucial saves on the ice, but he’s also got a reputation for helping save lives off the ice. Miller and the Steadfast Foundation, an organization that supports local pediatric cancer patients through Carly’s Club at Roswell Park, will continue their annual charity event this year—an event that has raised over $1 million since its inception in 2007. Catwalk For Charity VII: Cirque du Sabres is more than just an opportunity to support the emotional and social needs of children with cancer; it’s also a star-studded spectacle. This year’s theme is A Masquerade Twist, so keep an eye out—you never know who your favorite Buffalo Sabre will be masquerading as. Kevin LoVullo, who is host of Speil the Wine on WGRZ, and Jackie LoVullo, who owns Zenjoy handmade whimsical wreaths in Williamsville, will serve as honorary chaircouple for the event that will feature live music by Les Femmes de Nick and the Heritage as well as a live auction. There will also be an open bar and cuisine from some of the city’s best restaurants. Miller and all of his teammates will be on hand for this on-of-a-kind event, Sunday (Dec 15) at the Town Ballroom.

- cory perla

6pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $200, 21+

Monday, December 16

The Wooten Brothers

The Wooten Brothers may or may not ring a bell when it comes to music. In some circles it is a highly recognized and respected name, while in others, completely unknown. One thing is for certain though and that’s that the four men who make up this family band are all incredibly talented in their own right. The most well-known, Victor Wooten, is one of the best who have ever picked up a bass. He developed the foundation that would soon lead to his dominance over the instrument at the age of two when brother Regi began to teach him. Victor’s most popular outfit, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones showcases his virtuosic chops alongside his brother Roy who plays drums in the band. Roy doesn’t just play the drums though as he’s developed what he calls a drumitar, an instrument that is shaped like a guitar, but features buttons that trigger various drum sounds. It’s a unique experience to see in action. The last brother Joseph may not be immediately known, but he’s been the keyboard player for the Steve Miller Band for two decades now. This Monday (Dec 16), the brothers will make an appearance at the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo. The lucky folks who grab a ticket will be treated as Buffalo was one of only 13 dates selected for the short family tour. Given the rarity of the four teaming up, there are sure to be treats dispersed throughout night that only a group of brothers could pull off.

- jeremiah shea

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $29 advance, $34 day of show