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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's picks for the week: Jay Z featuring Timbaland, this Thursday, January 30th at the First Niagara 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.

Jay Z featuring Timbaland

Thursday, January 30

Hov, Jigga, Shawn Carter, whatever you like to call him, Jay Z is one of the wealthiest people in America. Part owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, owner of a chain of sports bars and even a fine bistro in New York, founder of Rocawear, perfume mogul, ad agency head, oh yeah, and famed rapper, Jay Z is the ultimate entrepreneur. So why is he still releasing records? For Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, releasing a new album is simply a brand extension. It’s an exercise in marketing and image control. It’s his last connection to the people who made him who he is today. His business life goes on and the millions continue to stream in whether he releases a record this year or next or never again. Perhaps that is why his latest record, Magna Carta Holy Grail has met such mixed reactions. Spin magazine called it “rap as transaction,” as in a business transaction—between himself and his fans; between himself and the other hip hop stars, like Frank Ocean, Rick Ross, and Nas, featured on the record; between himself and Samsung, the company that bought the first one million copies of the record before it was even released. But business transactions are what Jay Z does best these days, as evidenced by the sales of Magna Carta Holy Grail, which have already surpassed record sales of his 2011 critically acclaimed collaboration with Kanye West, Watch The Throne. That being said, Jay Z has released some of the most street credible hip hop albums of all time including his 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint (2001), The Black Album (2003), and The Blueprint 3 (2009), which features one of his biggest hits “Empire State of Mind,” a song he says “gave Frank [Sinatra] a run for his money.” A star this big is one worth seeing. Jay Z and his long time producer Timbaland come to the First Niagara Cetner as part of his Magna Carta World Tour on Thursday (Jan 30).

- cory perla

8pm First Niagara Center, One Seymour H. Knox III Plaza (855-4100 / $125, $99.50, $59.50 and $39.50

Sunday, January 26

The Detroit Cobras

What separates the Detroit Cobras from a million other cover bands is their seemingly bottomless depth. Their ability to flawlessly cover gender-switch covers, like Little Willie John’s “Leave My Kitten Alone” is a testament to the band’s range—their versions recast the sexes and sexualities, opening the song up to new and intriguing readings. They recast vintage R&B tracks with a fiery air to convey their own angular image; rough, hewn garage-revival rock n’ roll. The Cobras approach classic blues tracks, like Irma Thomas’s “The Hurt’s All Gone” as high-contrast ballads—they drip sleazy guitar licks, seething twangs and fuzz-box chord progressions. Frontwoman (and this decade’s rock n’ roll goddess) Rachel Nagy, attacks each song with aplomb like Janis Joplin crossed with Mary Wells. She snarls and wails with such vigor, tossing off tracks like she’s flicking dead butts on asphalt. The Detroit Cobras have too much fervor and talent to be tossed into the “cover band” category—their unparalleled conviction shows both a reverence for their source material and a distinct point of view. The Detroit Cobras will play at the Waiting Room on Sunday (Jan 26).

- kellie powell

8pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $12 advance, $14 day of show

Sunday, January 26

Psycho Beach Party

While Buffalo United Artists is busy looking for a new home, they’ve decided to take time to celebrate 22 years of the company. What better way than with a staged reading of one of their biggest hits, the 1987 Charles Busch camp classic, Psycho Beach Party! The event will bring back Chris Kelly as Chicklet, a beach girl with multiple personalities, joined by Jimmy Janowski who will take on the role of her monstrous mother. When poor Chicklet begins to experience inexplicable blackouts, she fears that she might be responsible for a series of mysterious murders in her beach-side town. Think of this as Gidget meets Alfred Hitchcock and you’ve got the idea. Also returning to Psycho Beach are Lisa Ludwig, who played Hollywood B-movie star Bettina Barnes in both previous BUA incarnations, and Caitlin Coleman as Chicklet’s nerdy friend. The group will be joined by Kevin Craig and Kurt Erb as best buds, Jessica K. Rasp as trampy Marvel Ann, Alan Trinca as beach hunk Starcat, and Michael Seitz as surfing guru “the Great Kanaka.” Matt Crane of the Albrights will perform on the guitar and bongos. Tickets for the event at 7pm on Sunday (Jan 26) are $20 reserved in advance and $25 at the door (cash only). The performance takes place in the new Evergreen Commons, a renovated church space at the corner of Prospect and Georgia Streets downtown. For reservations call 716-886-9239.

- tony chase

7pm Evergreen Commons, 262 Georgia St (886-9239 / $20 advance, $25 at the door (cash only)

Tuesday, January 28

Buffalo Film Seminars

Despite ongoing uncertainty over the future of the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center, the new season of the Buffalo Film Seminars will continue to screen vintage and new classic films there through May. Now in its 15th year, the series has only increased in value: having exhausted the store of obvious classics over the years, UB professors Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian dig deeper with each new season for often unheralded films to challenge and entertain local film buffs. You may be less likely to recognize any given title they’ll be screening, but the simple fact that they are presenting it makes it worth your attention. And what better way to discover a new film than in the company of thoughtful hosts who introduce it and an intelligent audience who discuss it afterward? If you have enjoyed the Buffalo Film Seminars but haven’t attended much in recent years, this is a very good time to go back and show your support for the Market Arcade, which is in serious danger of being shut down. The Seminars have been a wonderful venue for local film lovers, but don’t take it for granted that they will be here forever. The Tuesday night series opens this week with Josef von Sternberg’s 1927 gangster drama Underworld, a silent film with live piano accompaniment by Philip Carli. After that: Feb. 4: Orpheus (Jean Cocteau, 1950); Feb. 11: The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952); Feb. 18: Charulata (Satyajit Ray, 1964); Feb. 25: Dry Summer (Metin Erksan, 1964); March 4: Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971); March 11: Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes, 1976); March 25: Vagabond (Agnes Varda, 1985); April 1: Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987); April 8: Vanya on 42nd Street (Louis Malle, 1994); April 15: The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001); April 22: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones, 2005); April 29: Elite Squad (José Padilha, 2007); May 6: The Dead (John Huston, 1987). For more information visit

- m. faust

7pm Market Arcade Film and Arts Centre, 639 Main St. ( adults $9, students $7, seniors $6.50

Wednesday, January 29

Sportsmen's Americana Music Foundation Kickoff Concert

Over the past several years, no music club in town has undergone as radical a transformation as the Sportsmen’s Tavern—both in its brick and mortar appearance and in the caliber of regional and national acts consistently booked there. Now, owner Dwane Hall is looking to kick it up another notch with the formation of the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation, “a non-profit organization that kicks ass,” according to its still under-construction website. The group was founded in September, has already named board members, and is set to officially launch later this year with a mission statement that reads as follows: “To foster, promote and expand community appreciation for Americana music from Buffalo and Western New York through the production and sponsorship of performance and broadcast events and presentation of seminars and workshops on Americana music.” Wednesday (Jan 29) the club will host a pre-inaugural event featuring an auction and music by Stone Country (pictured), The Informers, Mr. Conrad, and Fair Forgery to help raise some needed seed money to pay for Foundation set up costs. Expect to enjoy great food, people and live music at this exciting event. Visit for more information.

- buck quigley

6pm Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $20

Thursday, January 30

Digital Assassins Tour: Datsik with Herobust and Getter

Datsik, Canadian-native, producer, and DJ, is not a stranger to Town Ballroom. In 2012 he took the stage for Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Deadmeat Tour. Datsik as the headliner, along with Delta Heavy, Bare Noize and AFK, hit the venue again in October of that year for the Firepower Tour for his self-made record label, Firepower Records. His most recent drop-in was in April of last year, with support from fellow producers Getter, Mayhem and Bone Loc. Ever-growing in just a couple years, Datsik is back again, with Getter by his side and with heRobust as a fresh addition to his supporting lineup. During an interview after Insomniac events themed music festival Beyond Wonderland, which takes place in the California Bay Area, Datsik said he is making his way going down different music avenues; that he wants to “keep it dark, keep it dope and gangster, but still crossover into a different realm.” Datsik signed California-based dubstep producer Getter to his label; as a young gun, Getter began touring the United States at 17-years-old. HeRobust was raised in ATL before gaining attention from the eyes of major artists, publications and record labels, like Mad Decent. The show on Thursday (Jan 30) is part of Datsik’s Digital Assasains Tour with the vortex lumen video lighting system as icing on the cake. This visual enhancement, which will take up the entire stage, is an expansion of what he previously schlepped— more giant pillars and more lighting that coincides with the projected visuals. Local support will be from Jamestown’s hometown hero Ryan Sinatra, otherwise known as Notixx.The event, brought by MNM Presents, is surely to be a packed house.

- alicia greco

8pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $24 advance, $29 day of show

Thursday, January 30

Crisis! Film Series: Bonfire of the Vanities

The most recent financial crisis that wracked the global economy bears a striking resemblance to crises of the recent past (and, most likely, to the next crisis, which some economists warn is not far off): Very few people have gone to jail for the damage their actions caused. Next Thursday (January 30), Buffalo State College hosts the first in a series of films and panel discussions about the finance industry and the origins and consequences of the crises it often has a hand in provoking. The first film is Brian De Palma’s 1990 film version of Tom Wolfe’s 1987 best-selling novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, a gleeful portrait of 1980s Wall Street excesses and malfeasance, race and class conflicts, and political corruption—in short, a portrait of an era that bears a great resemblance to our current predicament. The panelists include Buffalo State professors Albie Michaels, Bruce Fisher, Ted P. Schmidt, and yours truly. The panel talks breifly first, then the film.

- geoff kelly

6-8:30pm Burchfield Penney Art Center (878-6011 / Free