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See You There!

See you There?
MON. 1

25th Annual
Artie Awards

8pm 710 Main Theatre, 710 Main St. (847-0850 / $10 for students with ID - $15

The 25th Annual Artie Awards, Buffalo’s celebration of local theater, will be held on Monday (6/1 @8pm) at 710 Main Theatre. The event will be hosted by actors Charmagne Chi and Amy Jakiel with this writer, Anthony Chase, Artvoice theater editor. After the traditional red carpet with glamorous wardrobe and pre-show mingling, the Arties will feature the handing out of awards in 19 categories; career achievement and Katharine Cornell Awards for visiting artists; and numbers from this year’s nominated musicals. This year’s career achievement award recipients have long ties to the Artie Awards and to the Artvoice publication: “Stagefright” columnist / founder of Buffalo United Artists Javier Bustillos and Artie Music Director Michael Hake. The Cornell Awards go to two native daughters who have left the region but who return to perform locally very frequently, Rebecca Elkin and Kate Loconti. Over the years, the event has raised significant sums for various HIV/AIDS related charities. This year, the Arties will raise funds for the Immunodeficiency Clinic at ECMC.

> Anthony Chase

Tommy Davidson

Thursday 5/28: 8pm / Friday 5/29: 7:30pm & 10pm / Saturday 5/30: 7:30pm & 10pm Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. (853-1211 / $18-$33

The actor, stand-up comedian, musician and singer, Tommy Davidson will be bringing his hilarious routine to Helium Comedy Club this weekend. You might recognize him as one of the original cast members of the hit television series In Living Color. Since his early days of acting in family sitcoms, he’s built an impressive film resume and has been cast in movies such as Strictly Business, Woo, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. He’s currently working on the just-renewed second season of his show, Black Dynamite, Adult Swims #1 top-rated show. His exceptional range of material has made him a must-see act in the entertainment industry. His brand of comedy runs from making fun of every day occurrences to spot-on impersonations (he’s also knows for doing the best Sammy Davis Jr. impression anyone has ever seen). You can expect an unforgettable show full of incisive wit, high-energy antics and shocking banter. Get your tickets fast, this one is sure to sell out.

> Jeff Czum

MAY 28-30
FRI. 29

Lil Dicky

7pm Town Ballroom, 681 S. Main St. (852-3900 / $15-$19

The rap industry thrives on being “cool.” It’s a commodity that’s the backbone for most mainstream artists who constantly show off their collection of expensive cars and exotic women, but for David Burd AKA Lil Dicky, he couldn’t care less. “If we’re evaluating cool to the way other rappers appear to be cool,” he says. “Then I’m not cool at all.” Lil Dicky is definitely self-aware of where he stands in the “rap game,” but that’s what makes the artist so fun to watch. Paired with his mop-top “Jewish curls,” as he calls them, and haphazard outfits reminiscent of a college student that just rolled out of bed, his rhymes are very unconventional. His lyrics contain a lot of comedic value, which is exactly what he was going for from the start when he launched his career as a performer less than 2 years ago. Ranging from topics like the advantages of “being a white dude in the suburbs,” to the disadvantages of having a small penis (hence the name), Lil Dicky’s approach to a genre of music that is dominated by stereotypes and braggadocio comes off as refreshing to his fans. “I love rap, and part of hip-hop culture is being excessive and absurd,” Dicky said. “I can’t be excessive and absurd without sounding corny. So I have to do it in a very truthful, weird way.” You can catch Lil Dicky as he makes his way to Town Ballroom this Friday night (5/29 @7pm).

> Jeff Czum

The Early November

7pm Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (853-5483 / $17-$20

If you were labeled as an “emo kid” back in your high school days, chances are The Early November was one of your favorite bands. But that doesn’t mean the New Jersey band’s existence has slipped into the nostalgia circuit. The quintet just released their fourth LP, Imbue earlier this month and it hits harder than anything they’ve ever done in the past. After coming back from their 2007-2011 hiatus, they’ve reunited the right way: same lineup, new label, and heartfelt music. At the end of Imbue, the band ties things up with a song titled “Nothing Lasts Forever,” a theme that the band’s mythology has been cemented on. It plays out like a best-of episode of the band’s career, a chorus that is both catchy yet shows Ace Enders’ voice in apoplectic yelling, marching guitars that can hypnotize a crowd to existentially jump while drenched in sweat, and the purposeful quietness the band is known for. The song progresses and Enders’ lyrics become much more dangerous and meaningful while the music builds. In their world, at a moments notice, anything can fade away; feeling can become immediately distant as time ticks forward. Don’t miss out when they come to the Waiting Room on Saturday evening (5/30 @7pm). Lydia and Restorations will also be performing.

> Brian O'Conner

Sat. 30
SAT. 30

The Primate Fiasco

9pm The Studio @ Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave (853-5483 / $10-$13

The Primate Fiasco is something else. Is psych-Dixieland an established genre yet? Banjo played with a spacey touch, funky tuba and sax, a groovin’ accordion, and a washboard and drums to hold it all down. Whether you’re watching them perform in the streets or from a stage, these guys keep the dance party pumping. With influences from Mozart to Radiohead to Grateful Dead to Duke Ellington, TPF has something for just about anyone. No one in the audience feels out of place on the dance floor, not even the people who are dancing for the first time in their life (their music might have that affect on you). While listening to the band’s recordings, you’ll find clever musicianship, experimentation, and an adventurous spirit that just wants to make fun, funky music. They’ve been known to create wacky renditions of entire albums such as Sgt. Pepper, Zeppelin IV, The Wall, Appetite For Destruction, and countless other stage antics that are unexpected from a wild brass band. Come check them out this Saturday night (5/30 @9pm) at the Studio @ Waiting Room with Brownsugar.

> Johnny Tran

Nikki Hill

8pm Iron Works, 49 Illinois St. (200-1893 / $8

If you’ve ever seen Nikki Hill sing, you’d probably agree that she isn’t just another newcomer to hit the scene. She’s an explosive fireball that will have you asking yourself why you haven’t heard of her before. Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, she has a true ‘deep south’ soul that was developed while singing gospel in choirs at church as a child. Nikki and her band (who she deems The Pirate Crew) are rapidly climbing to the top of the roots music scene and leaving jaws on the floor along the way. They take all the flavors of Americana music with roots in gospel, soul and blues to deliver a sound that will make you believe in rock n’ roll again. Nikki’s gritty voice is powerful and soulful and her band backs her up perfectly. With driving guitar from her husband Matt Hill, and a tight rhythm section provided by Ed Strohsahl and Joe Meyer, Nikki Hill and The Pirate Crew will be sure to make an impact this Tuesday night (6/2 @8pm) at Iron Works.

> Deckard Shaw

WED. 3

Hurray for the Riff Raff

8pm Asbury Hall @ Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave (852-3835 / $15

Not too long ago, Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff was just another street musician on a dingy post-Katrina New Orleans corner. Before her success, Segarra and longtime fiddler/drummer Yosi Perlstein would hop trains, hang out with scruffy activist punk kids, and perform an annual queer and trans music festival held in rural Tennessee. After leaving her home in the Bronx at age 17, Segarra settled in the city of New Orleans, where she hooked up with a circle of local musicians who call themselves Dead Man Street Orchestra. They were a ragamuffin jug outfit that busked on the streets by day and drank by the train tracks at night. Eventually, she formed Hurray for the Riff Raff and it became a vehicle for Segarra to administer her own voice. “Writing songs is my way of communicating with the world,” she says. These are true American folk songs with attitude. The quivering emotion Segarra injects into her somber prose is accessible and contagious: “There’s a young man running but he don’t know why. He just knows he’s been born a bullseye.” With such a radical setting, you know she’s going to give a killer performance this Wednesday (6/3 @8pm) at Asbury Hall.

> Jeff Czum