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Cover Story


by Bruce Jackson

Barry Snyder and his Seneca gambling operation made two huge PR moves in Buffalo last week, both of them designed to shore up the Seneca Gaming Corporation’s claim that a Buffalo casino is a done deal and that all opposition is, therefore, pointless.

Letters to Artvoice

Bruce Jackson’s comments on the Seneca Gaming Commission buying advertising on Newstalk 1270’s airwaves (“Casino Chronicles #11,” Artvoice v5n22) were remarkably ill-informed for a man who has spent so much time teaching about the importance of integrity in journalism. Instead of relying on the very public statements we made on the air, or even contacting me directly, he instead chose to rely on third-party interpretations. Far from doing “exactly what the SGC told it to do,” we are the only media outlet supporting an ongoing debate about the casino, allowing all voices to speak, before, during and after the ads ran on our station. Bruce, like other folks from Erie to Toronto who listen to our “tiny” radio station, was welcome to call on-air and challenge the statements in the ads. As for why the Seneca ran their pro-casino ads on Newstalk 1270, one of the primary reason’s they cited was because we offer Native Americans of all political stripes a place where they can speak both to themselves and the wider community (on Native Views, for example, which can be heard every Wednesday at 9-10pm). Bruce may not like that we carried those ads, but that’s no excuse for his lack of homework on how we’ve approached the issue.


International Security: Bush Wants the Best of Both Worlds

by Kat Brady

The Buffalo Niagara region is taking another big hit from the Bush administration, a 50 percent cut in federal homeland security funding, amounting to about $3.6 million. The funding typically goes to training programs for first responders (e.g. fire, police and EMTs), border security and other preparedness programs. On top of that, there has been serious talk in Washington about requiring those crossing the US-Canada border to present a passport or special ID card. The change, scheduled to take place in January 2008, could make it costly and downright inconvenient to visit our friends, families, and everything we love about our sister community across the river, Ontario. To the binational tourism industry, the change in policy could mean the loss of millions of dollars in revenue. We went to the streets to find out what Western New Yorkers think.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): It’s Makeover Season, Gemini. This would be a perfect astrological moment to get your whole body tattooed, start wearing wigs of varying color and length and have a cosmetic surgeon reshape your face to resemble that of your favorite celebrity. JUST KIDDING! I was exaggerating. The omens do suggest it’s a good time to experiment with your physical appearance and make adjustments in your persona, but not as drastically as I first suggested.


Lend a Hand

by Lee Andress

This used to be a blank sheet of paper

Some scrap of limb in a distant forest

pulped and processed for your liking.

Please, pick your poison:

Red or black cover, pink or white tint,

metal barbed spiral or choked string bound.

Book Reviews

The Year Is '42: A Novel by Nella Bielski

by Jill Froebel

When remembering times of war, there is often a tendency to fixate on the big losses—the vast numbers of dead soldiers, the devastated cities…that, or the tendency to cling to the literary memoirs of actual lives, such as those of Anne Frank or Eli Wiesel. Nella Bielski has done neither in her newly translated The Year is ’42, instead constructing a work of fiction; a novel deeply entrenched not in the overwhelming horrors or fools-glory of war, but fitted with the moments and small triumphs that comprise the everyday lives of two separate and compellingly realistic characters, ordinary in every way save for the fact that their countries are at war.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Wheelchair-confined Richard Paey committed almost exactly the same violations of Florida prescription drug laws that radio personality Rush Limbaugh did, with a different result: Limbaugh’s sentence, in May, was addiction treatment, and Paey’s, in 2004, was 25 years in prison. Both illegally possessed large quantities of painkillers for personal use, which Paey defiantly argued was (and will be) necessary to relieve nearly constant pain from unsuccessful spinal surgeries after an auto accident, but which Limbaugh admitted was simply the result of addiction. (In fact, if Limbaugh complies with his plea bargain, his conviction will be erased.) Paey’s sentence now rests with a state Court of Appeal.

Getting a Grip

An Inconvenient Movie

by Michael I. Niman

An Inconvenient Truth, the new global warming documentary starring Al Gore, promises to be more than a simple film. Like it or not, this debut of a retooled Al Gore seems destined to be one of those cultural moments, like the introduction of tailfins or Italian names for coffee. The online reviews started to amass before the film ever opened—and, I suspect, before any of the supposed reviewers ever laid eyes on it. Predictably, it usually earned either all or none of the available stars, with reviewers essentially echoing the current “debate” on global warming.

The News, Briefly

Good News About the Blues

by Peter Koch

Of all the police stations I’ve spent a Thursday night in, this one was by far the weirdest. It was dank and poorly lit, with the metal skeletons of bicycles pouring out of every room, hallway and closet. The dust looked like it settled on the place 30 years ago and nobody ever decided to sweep it away.


Weaving Between the Lines

by Gerald Mead

John McQueen is a revered American craftsman, most often referred to as a basket maker, whose works have been described as “hovering, with great humor, in the gap between craft, sculpture and Conceptual art.” It is fortuitous that a significant body of his highly acclaimed work should be on view here in Buffalo due in part to the artist’s longtime association with Nina Freudenheim Gallery, where he has shown his work periodically since 1976, just one year after Freudenheim founded the gallery.


by Anthony Chase

The heart of the theater community skipped a collective beat as word began to filter out that Saul Elkin, beloved founder of Shakespeare in Delaware Park and longtime member of the University at Buffalo theater faculty may have sustained a stroke. Word from the man himself, widely disseminated by email is: “It turns out I did in fact have a small stroke in a very vulnerable area of the brain, finally detected after a third MRI. Thankfully there have been no residual physical symptoms except great weariness…I am a little weak in the knees, and I have a ton of new pills…and I guess I’ve got to change my eating habits…and some other stuff…but onward…maybe one project at a time hereafter…more to follow…all my love, Saul.” The Jewish Repertory Theatre production of Old Wicked Songs, in which Saul was to star, has been postponed until next season.

You Auto Know

Timing Is Everything

by Jim Corbran

Honda recently introduced what is presently its smallest sedan in the North American market. Critics of oversized American vehicles were quick to point out how smart those Honda folks are, always coming up with just the right vehicle at just the right time. And those critics would have a pretty good point.

Puck Stop

No Hollywood Ending for the Sabres

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

The last straw was Jay McKee going down. On a bizarre and freak infection in his shin, no less. Now the Sabres were down four defensemen. How much more could this team bear?

Film Reviews

From Beautiful Downtown Saint Paul...

by George Sax

Cave Heller

by M. Faust

Picking Up the Pieces

by Girish Shambu

Junior Noir

by M. Faust

Doing Business As Satan & Son

by George Sax

See You There

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Hell's Kitchen Dance

by K. O'Day

Nietzsche's Music Fest

by Katherine Brady

Murphy's Law

by Tracy Morrow

Remembering the Forgotten City

by Tess Nowadly

Left of the Dial

See You on the Moon

by Donny Kutzbach

Frank Black: Fast Man Raider Man

by K. O'Day


The Wynne Band

Anything else you would like our readers to know about the band…Wynne is a heavy, jazz-based, rock quintet. The Wynne band is known as a “musician’s band” because of the sheer talent that comprises each band member. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, each member brings high-caliber musical talent and originality to the stage. We pull the audience into our show and leave them wanting more.


Symbiotic Circus

by Buck Quigley

You know it’s festival season in Buffalo when you get to the second weekend in June. That’s when the King of the Hill, Big Kahuna, Grand Poobah, Grand Dame of them all—the Allentown Art Festival—rolls around, claiming the territory bordered by Elmwood to the west, Virginia to the south, Main to the east and North to the, well, north. Presented by the Allentown Village Society, the festival is in its 49th year. And this year again it will run simultaneously with both the Allen West Festival (on Allen between Elmwood and Hudson), presented by the Allentown Association, and the Music Is Art Festival (on Franklin between Allen and North), brainchild of Goo Goo Doll Robby Takac.

Calendar Spotlight

Jazz Manouche, or Gypsy Jazz, is a genre that is enjoying a lot of popularity these days—as much for its sophisticated soloing a la Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli as for its energetic rhythm. Whit Smith’s Hot Jazz Caravan marries this musical strain with the dexterous and driving sound of Western Swing—made famous by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and arguably the wildest stuff ever to land in the Country & Western bin. The Austin, TX band—comprised of Whit Smith (guitar and vocals), J.D. Penley (guitar), Mike Montgomery (fiddle), Jake Erwin (bass) and Jon Doyle (clarinet and sax)—plays a mixture of originals and snappy covers that include the 1926 chestnut “Birth of the Blues” and the 1936 Johnny Mercer hit for Bing Crosby “I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande”. Smith and Erwin spent seven years playing in the Hot Club of Cowtown—a trio similarly devoted to jazz and swing —and opened for Willie Nelson (a well-known Django devotee) and Bob Dylan on their 2004“Field of Dreams” Tour This is a rare area performance, en route to the Rochester Jazz fest, at the Sportsmen’s Tavern, Friday (June 9) at 9:30pm. —buck quigley