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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Doin Dilla, a benefit for the J Dilla foundation, this Friday, February 8th at Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar.

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.

Doin Dilla

Friday, February 8

Seven years ago this month famed hip hop producer, James Yancey, better known as J Dilla, died of cardiac arrest after a long bout with Lupus and the rare blood disease TTP. He left behind a legacy as one of the most prolific hip hop producers ever. Aside from his outstanding solo albums like Welcome 2 Detroit, Ruff Draft, and Donuts, arguably his masterpiece—released on his 32nd birthday, three days before his death—Dilla was often the man behind the curtain. As producer he created tracks and sat behind the mixer for albums like the Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, Talib Kweli’s Quality, A Tribe Called Quests’ Beats Rhymes and Life and The Love Movement, several Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson records, Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun, tracks for Common, De La Soul, the Roots, Q Tip, the Brand New Heavies, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah, and remixes of songs for countless artists including Daft Punk and Four Tet. Oh yeah, and then there was that record he did with Madlib, and the records he did with Slum Village. The list is astounding and absolutely worthy of tribute. That’s where Buffalo’s Deep Thinka Records comes in. The local hip hop record label has been doing a series of hip hop tribute events that began with last year’s Being B.I.G., followed by Being Beastie—an event that raised $4500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. This time around the event is called Doin Dilla and 100% of the proceeds will go to the J Dilla Foundation. The J Dilla Foundation exists to help fund inner-city music programs and provide scholarships to students of progressive music schools. Founded by Dilla’s mother Maureen Yancey, better known as Ma Dukes, this is a legacy left behind by Dilla that could mean more than any record he’s ever written. “One of the things he wanted me to do with his legacy was to use it to help others... kids who were musically gifted but had little hope due to poverty,” said Yancey. Billy Drease Williams will be on the turntables and DJ Cutler will perform a special J Dilla breaks set. There will be a few well known local rappers on-hand picking the songs they will rap in tribute to J Dilla, but anyone with the guts to step on stage at Duke’s on Friday (Feb 8) may perform whichever Dilla song they’d like.

- cory perla

10pm Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St. (240-9359 / $5, 21+

Friday, February 8

Young Empires

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, electronic indie-rock band Young Empires have risen to success in a fairly short amount of time, and they’re only just getting started. The band’s first EP, Wake All My Youth was released in February 2012 and contains the singles “White Doves” and “We Don’t Sleep Tonight,” both of which have climbed alternative radio charts in the US and Canada. They attribute their multi-national popularity to the internet and online music sharing, but the truth is that these guys have a real knack for writing catchy, feel good, electronic rock songs. Members Matthew Vlahovich, Jake Palahnuk, Aaron Ellingson and Taylor Hill abide by the DIY approach, completing all of the work on their debut EP aside from the final mastering. Originally Young Empires set out to “get in a room and make noise” according to Ellingson, but have honed their skills in developing a unique live show that evokes energy from each crowd and venue. Palahnuk says, “We just want our music to be the thing that people can connect to and feel good about.” They will be bringing their music to the Town Ballroom on Friday (Feb 8) with special guest Royal Teeth.

- tom etu

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $12 advance, $14 day of show

Saturday, February 9

The Cure vs. The Smiths Transmission Dance Party

The Beatles vs. the Stones. The Sex Pistols vs. the Clash. Oasis vs. Blur. Jay-Z vs. Nas. There’s no saying that you can’t like BOTH, but in the end you simply have to pick one over the other. The same goes for the Cure vs. the Smiths. There are days where The Queen Is Dead must be played in its entirety on repeat. However, could there be a better song than “Boys Don’t Cry” or maybe “In Between Days”? It’s been a decade since Queen City DJs and music obsessives Bill Page and Jason Draper pit two of England’s mightiest post punk titans against one another for the benefit of Buffalonians in search of a little dancing mixed with just enough mope. In one corner we have the cherry-lipped and mascara-smeared Robert Smith—Cure frontman and a maestro of glowering goth rock bent and conversely infectious pop confeftion. In the other Morrissey—the overly literate and perpetually clever singer/lyricist with a sharp acid tongue who was simply at his best with guitarist Johnny Marr. In the end, the winner is always the denizens of the dance floor as Page and Draper duel it out on the decks putting “Cemetery Gates” side by side with “Six Different Ways.” What started off 10 years ago as something of a lark and work of passion for the two friends and DJs —along with their other quarterly Transmission Dance parties—continues to pack clubs. This installment finds home at the cozy but uber cool and cavernous basement confines of Soundlab this Saturday (Feb 9), which seems a perfect fit for all us who have taken comfort in a sort of subterranean cultural refuge with these two left of center genius Mr. Smith and the Moz.

- donny kutzbach

10:30pm Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $5, 18+

Saturday, February 9

Dopapod with UV Hippo

Dopapod have pretty much never stopped touring since their formation in 2007. To look at Dopapod’s touring schedule is to get a taste of every major city on the east coast and mid west and some smaller ones too. The four piece experimental funk band has played major festivals like Camp Bisco, Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo, Burning Man, and more. They’ve shared the stage with similar acts such as Lotus, EOTO, Papadosio, and Zach Deputy. But none of this matters if you’re not into their sound; an intricate combination of technicality and improvisation, funk and rock, electronic and organic. As they say on their website “Dopapod is not so much a jam band as they are a band that improvises. They are an electronic band without computers. They are a metal band with groove and soul.” Joining Dopapod at Nietzsche’s on Saturday (Feb 9) will be the aptly named Ultraviolet Hippopotamous. Now how is it possible that UV Hippo have a name that actually reflects their music, you might ask? Well, their sound is big and colorful. The five-piece jam band mix dance beats with meaningful lyrics, and a brilliant light show with psychedelic sound effects. Buffalo’s Funktional Flow open this dynamic show presented by MNM Presents and ECE.

- cory perla

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

Sunday, February 10

Sera Cahoone

In between performing “Last Time” and “Baker Lake” during a live set in Seattle early this September on KEXP, Sera Cahoone responds to the crowd’s applause with a warm smile and a gracious thank you. Courtesy wins over some people, but this next move caught my attention. She then checks to make sure her guitar is in tune. After looking back, there is a point toward the end of the song where her face is determined to understand why a certain chord in her progression just wasn’t sounding quite right. She turns her top three string tuning pegs a minuscule amount and begins to play her next song. With a radio full of auto-tune and magical producers that can turn your Joe Anybody into a one-hit-wonder, seeing an artist catch her guitar slip a semi-tone out of her preferred tuning is quite refreshing, not to mention the live performance sounded great. And it is that ever-so-slowly dying relationship between the artist and the music that makes for this show to be an experience. Performing in support will be local musician Savannah King. King first picked up the guitar at the age of 13. She has since performed at local venues Babeville, Nietzsche’s, and Merge as well as venues in San Diego, Nashville, New York City, and West Virginia. If I had to pick one word to describe King it would easily be diverse. Take “Oh My Eyes” for example, the intro lures you in with its almost dark melodic presence; the verses take an interestingly syncopated rhythm. The chorus brings it all home, musically as well as lyrically. Her cover list ranges from “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath to “E.T.” by Katy Perry, to the timeless “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. Musicality. It’s missing, but not on this night. Cahoone and King will perform at Babeville’s Ninth Ward on Sunday (Feb 10).

- brett deneve

7pm Babeville’s Ninth Ward, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / $10 advance, $12 day of show

Tuesday, February 12

Allstar Weekend with Cute is What We Aim For

Shot into fame after a run in with the Disney channel, Allstar Weekend spins poppy dance numbers that will be stuck in your head for days. Nathan Darmondy and Tom Norris began writing songs together in high school and caught the attention of drummer Michael Martinez after posting their original tunes on MySpace. The line-up was complete with the addition of Cameron Quiseng on bass, and the foursome set out to play music and have a good time. The band has since moved on from Hollywood Records, in order to explore different themes and pursue a new direction all of their own. They will be joined by power pop rockers Cute Is What We Aim For. Originally from Buffalo the band has achieved national popularity with their energetic pop punk music. The group’s song “There’s a Class For This” off of the album The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch was even featured in the video game NHL ‘07. After splitting circa 2006, they recently reunited and will be bringing their live energy to Club Infinity on Tuesday (Feb 12). YouTube sensation Tiffany Alvord will also be joining in on the fun.

- tom etu

6pm Club Infinity. 8166 Main St., Williamsville (565-0110 / $20 advance, $25 day of show

Wednesday, February 13

The Punch Brothers

Let’s say your two favorite musicians are Igor Stravinsky and Ralph Stanley. Well, you’ve got an eclectic taste, and I applaud you for it, but perhaps you’re looking for an act that combines your two loves. If so, I would highly recommend the Punch Brothers, who combine the spontaneous fun of bluegrass music, but performed in the style of modern classical music. Formed in New York City in 2007, the band has gained critical acclaim and a considerable fanbase over the course of three studio albums, one EP, and several fantastic live shows. Their most recent EP, Ahoy! was released in November, and it quickly soared to the top of the bluegrass charts. In 2011, the band was willing to give fans a glimpse behind the scenes in the documentary How To Grow A Band, which focused on the clashing styles and talents of the musicians, along with the ups and downs of touring life. This Wednesday (Feb 13), the Punch Brothers will be heading to the Town Ballroom. For bluegrass fans, classical fans, and any music listener with an open mind to new ideas, this performance comes highly recommended.

- john hugar

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $20 advance, $23 day of show