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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: The Christmas Party at Pearl Street at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery on Thursday, December 25th.

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 Christmas Party at Pearl Street

Thursday, December 25

It’s not just another Christmas Party, It’s THE Christmas Party. From it’s roots as a friends only underground celebration to an all out party featuring some of the best Buffalo DJ’s, the Christmas Party at Pearl Street Grill has been one of the city’s biggest holiday extravaganzas since the early 1990’s. This year it’s back and better than ever for it’s tenth year at Pearl Street. Over 15 DJs will be scattered throughout three rooms for a night of dancing, holiday cheer, and heavy bass with music ranging from funk, disco, and hip hop. MC Braka D, DJ 3PO, Big Basga, Swagglerrock, and Stuntman ft. Mic Excel are just a few of the notable acts performing throughout the night. The drinks be flowing and friends be dancing, so head over after you’ve finished your holiday dinner on Christmas night. (12/25 @ 10PM)

- Jeff Czum

10pm Pearl Street grill & Brewery (76 Pearl St. / $15 Advance $20 Day of / Ages 21+

Friday, December 26

Kurt & The Loders Ugly Christmas Sweater Show: 1994 Edition

Kurt & The Loders is not your average tribute band. Usually, the phrase “tribute” band would make you think of a band that performs the songs of one group on a regular basis. K&TL however, pay homage to different bands at different shows. Specifically, they recall the glory days of 1990s rock, when grunge ruled the airwaves. They’ve been known to host nostalgic shows in which they’ll play the songs you loved from bands you listened to growing up. Last year, the group delved into the Weezer catalog and was met with rave reviews. This Thursday (12/26 @ 9pm), the group will be putting on an Ugly Christmas Sweater event at Nietzche’s, for a show that will focus on the great alternative music released in 1994 (“It was 20 years ago today... Sgt. Pepper told the band to play”). This past year marked the 20th anniversary of some incredible albums from our youth such as, Green Day’s, Dookie, Nine Inch Nails’, The Downward Spiral, Weezer’s self titled album, and Definitely Maybe, by Oasis. Any fan of 90s rock/alternative/grunge that made 1994 an extraordinary year for music, should definitely come to this show.

- Jeff Czum

Kurt & The Loders Ugly Christmas Sweater Show: 1994 Edition, 9PM Nietzsche’s, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 / $5

Wednesday, December 31

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Nobody does Christmas bigger than the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Since 1993, TSO has been performing their epic brand of progressive-rock in arenas across the country. Lasers, pyrotechnics, and synchronized lights make this an unforgettable holiday experience. The band, formed by composer Paul O’Neill, is known for their trilogy of over the top, Christmas based rock-operas, The Christmas Attic, the Lost Christmas Eve, and their original 2006 album Christmas Eve and Other Stories, featuring recognizable tracks like “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” and “A Mad Russian’s Christmas.” The bands 2009 release, Night Castle, is a two hour long double disc album that strays away from their Christmas trilogy yet still preserves the band’s signature orchestral, wintery tone. On Tuesday (12/30), the band will be taking the stage at the First Niagara Center for two epic performances at 3PM and 8PM. With countless musicians on stage, playing extremely complex numbers at top volume, it’s truly a winter spectacle you won’t want to miss.

- Jeff Czum

3PM & 8pm First Niagara Center, 1 Seymour H Knox III Plaza (855-4100 / $31 - $61

Wednesday, December 31

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Over the past 30 years The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have played thousands of shows, survived major line-up changes, a hiatus, and became knows as the originators of the ska-core genre. Melding together punk, ska and hardcore, the Cambridge band started their venture into the music scene in 1984. The debut of their first album in 1989 led to a period of intense touring and recording through the 90s. In 1997 the band’s album Let’s Face It went platinum, and the single “The Impression That I Get” became an instant hit. It was the first time the ska-core genre made it into mainstream music. The Bosstones were a major influence on the “Third Wave” ska scene that surfaced in the mid-90s. A few years later after the band’s commercial peak, they took a break in 2003 only to reunite in 2007. The group toured and recorded, finally producing their eighth studio album The Magic of Youth in 2011. In a world where few bands rock out with trombones and saxophones, the show at Town Ballroom on Wednesday (12/31) will be a great way to end the year.

- Jeff Czum

7PM Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $32-$35

Wednesday, December 31

New Year's Eve Party featuring Rusted Root

Rusted Root has become one of the most enduring jam bands in the world, as well as a legendary live act. Their ability to blend American roots music with African, Latin American, and Indian influences has won them an extensive following over the years. The group has been a relentless touring machine over the course of their 22-year career. Buffalo is one of their most frequently visited stops, and they will be heading here again to Rapids Theatre on New Year’s Eve. (12/31 @9PM) Like many other jam bands, Rusted Root’s music takes on new life in the concert setting, as songs like “Welcome To My Part,” and “Back to the Earth” often become extended, where the band is free to add whatever improvisations they choose, making no two shows alike. Appearing with Rusted Root the night of the show will be the Boston band, Hypnotic Clambake and the Australia acoustic rock band, SkyPilot.

- Jeff Czum

9PM Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St. (205-8925 / $15

Thursday, January 1

Bryan Johnson & Family

Buffalo’s self-described “surf-lake-pop” group, Bryan Johnson & Family is set to take the stage at Mr. Goodbar next Thursday (1/2 @ 10PM). The band just released their debut EP, Cool Your Jets back in November and Cool has so far received a hot response. People like it. We all know what a great surf town Buffalo is, at heart at least. The group displays catchy surf riffs with appealing vocal melodies that showcase vocalist Bryan Johnson’s talent as a songwriter.The ablum’s first single, “Dead Fox,” sets the tone for the EP as clever melodic lyrics blend with the playful structure of a very well produced rhythm section. Music lovers of classic Beach Boys, Ramones, Vampire Weekend, and Jimmy Buffet can find something they admire in BJ & Family. Joining the four-piece the night of the show will be the local indie/alternative/rock band Humble Braggers and Rochester’s Indie Pop group Buffalo Sex Change.

- Jeff Czum

10pm Mr. Goodbar, 1110 Elmwood Ave. (882-400 / $3

Wednesday, January 7


Haiku has earned the reputation of becoming Buffalo’s favorite super group. The boundary blurring jazz-influenced progressive rock band features some high profile local musicians including Jim Wyne, Hugh Arthur, spencer Bolden, and incomparable George Puleo, who has not only been awarded Best Guitarist in Artvoice’s Best of Buffalo survey in the past, but is also a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Last year the band, which formed in 2005, released Haiku, a six-song EP on vinyl that takes you into the heart of jam-rock bouncing between bluesy jamming on “Diamond Butterfly,” and epic rock shredding on their track “Chasing Jeff Beck Down A Dark Alley With A Loaded Guitar.” Haiku is meant to be heard live, as Puleo struts around the stage effortlessly shredding while Wyne stands with his five string bass strapped to his chest switching effortlessly to and the keyboard in front of him when needed. Percussionists Arthur and Bolden lay down the groove as steady as the tracks on the Orient Express. Catch the band next Wednesday (1/7 @ 7PM) at Sportman’s Tavern.

- Jeff Czum

7PM Sportsman’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $5