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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: the Tokimonsta, performing at The Waiting Room on Monday, October 6.

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.


Monday, October 6

It is always exciting to hear female producers make epic sound waves in the EDM world. Claimed to be one of the best indie electronic DJs in LA, Tokimonsta (aka Jennifer Lee) drifts away from the typical tension-builds-until-the-drop rollercoaster that is popular EDM music today: She refreshes our ears with the cool down-tempo of hip-hop and R&B, then speeds it up with elements of Jersey Club, while maintaining a playfulness in her music by adding poppy melody loops. Her upbringing in classical piano allows her to construct intelligent and varied soundscapes. She is not afraid to play with rather unconventional sounds such as wooden xylophones and African drums, and yet she is also capable of abducting you into an ambient space with alien bleeps that create a psychedelic experience. She is multi-talented and experimental often incorporating new technology and multimedia gear at her shows. Tokimonsta is definitely an up and coming artist, featured on major stations such as BBC Radio 1, NPR, and covered by the likes of Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. She is currently on the road to promote the release of her latest mini-album Desiderium. Tokimonsta performs at The Waiting Room on Monday (Oct 6).

- Adele Jackson-Gibson

8pm The Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (852-3900 / $15

Friday and Saturday, October 3 & 4

Margaret Cho

Margaret Cho is many things. She’s an author, an actress, a fashion designer, and an LGBT activist, but this weekend you can see her doing what she’s best at — standup comedy. Much of Cho’s sense of humor comes from growing up in San Francisco in the 1970s, which she called “different than any other place on Earth.” She began performing standup comedy at age 16 as a way to cope with being bullied throughout her childhood. The empathy instilled in her from being bullied led her to become one of the most outspoken gay rights and anti-bullying activists in American culture. She rose to prominence as a comedian when she began opening for Jerry Seinfeld in the 1990s. She has since made appearances on Sex and the City, Kathy Griffin’s Bravo series My Life on the D-List, and has released a number of albums and DVDs. You can see Cho this Friday and Saturday, (Oct 3 & 4) at Helium Comedy Club.

- Jonny Moran>

7:30pm and 10:30pm, Friday and Saturday Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211/ $27 general, $34 reserved

Saturday, October 4


Hailing from Hamilton, ON, five-piece rock band, Arkells has been a hit at home since their in-ception in 2008, winning two Juno Awards on their debut and sophomore albums, amongst other accolades. Their latest album, High Noon, has been called “their most unabashed effort yet.” Produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, M83), they’ve managed to usher in a sound that’s familiar, yet more experimental. Written on the second floor of a vacant night club in downtown Hamilton, large bay windows kept them in constant contact with the historic buildings that tower over downtown Hamilton. Their vintage landscape must have inspired them because High Noon is filled with anachronisms, both lyrically and structurally. For example, “What Are You Holding On To?” fuses serious lyrics to upbeat, danceable melodies, playing in the same vein as The Clash. Other tracks are peppered with nods to 1970s-style pop-rock, reminiscent of ELO, while others have a Springsteen-style lyricism. Their innovation is fueled by raw, creative talent that’s constantly striving to sound even better. Arkells will play at the Town Ballroom on Saturday (Oct 4).

- Kellie Powell

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $18 advance, $22 day of show

Tuesday, October 7

The Weather Underground: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn speak at Burning Books

It might be surprising to some that a man who has written books with titles like To Become a Teacher: Making a Difference in Children’s Lives, A Kind and Just Parent, and Teaching For Social Justice: A Democracy and Education Reader has also claimed responsibility for politically motivated bombings of the United States Capitol building and the Pentagon in the 1960s. Or that a woman who was a professor of law at a Children and Family Justice Center has been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List and once, decades ago, spoke the words “I’m going to read a declaration of war. Within the next 14 days we will attack a symbol of American justice.“ These individuals are Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, husband and wife, former leaders of the radical activist group the Weather Underground, and folkloric figures of 1960s counterculture. The group, also known as The Weathermen, appeared on the FBI’s radar after a series of bombings in Chicago beginning in 1969. Most of the bombings were in protest of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War or as statements against racism. In 1970 the group were also responsible for smuggling psychedelic guru Timothy Leary out of prison after he was sentenced to 20 years for possession of marijuana. Some have considered Dohrn and Ayers domestic terrorists and in 2008 conservatives condemned president Obama for his casual friendship with Ayers, but the pair has never been convicted of any crime. On Tuesday (Oct 7) Dorhn and Ayers will present an evening of dialogue and discussion at Burning Books where they will speak about achieving social justice and the effect of violent activism.

7pm Burning Books, 420 Connecticut st. (881-0791 / free, donations accepted

Tuesday, October 7

Shawn Phillips

Those familiar with Shawn Phillips’ bone-chilling talent, may be unnerved to find the 70-year old, rock legend single-handedly hauling his own concert equipment onto and off of his RV. But if you were to ask him why he doesn’t use a road crew, his response would be that he’s paid to load and unload, but playing music is just for him. Passion is Phillips’ most endearing quality, but the cornerstone of his music is his hauntingly beautiful voice. Emerging from the early 1970’s singer/songwriter boom, his ability to range more than four octaves with such ease has distinguished him in the world of rock music. Unearthly melodies and poetic lyrics run through his shape-shifting music, which crosses between folk, rock, jazz, progressive, and classical. Between 1970 and 1972 he released four rock records featuring tracks that were structurally more akin to Beethoven than to any of his contemporaries. These complex, multi-layered songs defied standard structure, demanding a perceptive ear and reflection. As times changed, technological advances allowed Phillips to play and create (in real time) classical sounds on stage. Though many songs are simply Philips and his ethereal 12-string guitar, he creates another world that induces goosebumps and reminds you that music is about the pursuit of love, health and clarity—the three words he uses when signing copies of his records. Shawn Phillips will perform at the Tralf Music Hall on Tuesday (Oct 7).

- Kellie Powell

7pm The Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $15-$30

Thursday, October 9

The Buffalo International Film Festival presents Modworld

If you spent any time wandering through Manhattan’s East Village in the past 15 years, before it got gentrified into the tourist corridor it is now, you likely stopped into an overloaded shop called Modworld, or It’s a Mod Mod World. Part gift shop and part art boutique, it was a sales outlet for artists with a bent perspective on pop culture. If you wanted pieces that would forever ruin your favorite childhood cartoon icons, this was the place to shop. (S&M Barbie, anyone? How about a Ronald McDahmer doll?) The new documentary Modworld, directed by Jeffrey Turboff (senior editor for ABC’s “Nightline”) examines the peculiar culture of this beloved shop by focusing on artist/owner Rick Smith, artist John Ross, and clerk Chloe Sweeney, who among them have enough drama for a year of soap opera plots. If the film inspires you to visit the shop, you won’t have to wait until the next time you’re in Gotham: Smith is a native Buffalonian and recently relocated it to Allen Street. Smith will be present for the screening of Modworld at The Screening Room on Thursday (Oct 9) which opens the eighth edition of the Buffalo International Film Festival. Look for a full BIFF preview in next week’s Artvoice.

- M. Faust

8pm The Screening Room 4524 Bailey Avenue, Amherst (

Thursday, October 9

Esperanza Spalding

As the only Jazz artist ever to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, the career of bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding has been characterized by a continual exceeding of expectations. From becoming a concertmaster of her community orchestra at age 15 to being named the youngest ever faculty member at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Spalding’s musical accomplishments epitomize the progressive, heartfelt nature of her art. Since beginning her solo career with the release of Junjo in 2006, the singer has earned tremendous respect among jazz fans for both her virtuosic command of the bass and her effortless vocal delivery that incorporates elements of soul, pop, and r&b. This eclectic approach contributed to the success of her sophomore LP, Esperanza, which spent nearly 70 weeks on the Billboard contemporary Jazz chart and featured the vocalist performing songs in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. From appearances at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, the 84th Academy Awards, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Grammy wins, Spalding’s still young career has been defined by a rare combination of artistic vision and unadulterated musicianship. In celebration of her upcoming birthday, Esperanza returns to the stage at the University at Buffalo’s Center for The Arts on Thursday (Oct 9).

- Steven Knapp

7:30pm UB Center for the Arts, 103 Center For The Arts (654-ARTS / $47, $37, or $27 for students of any school