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Cover Story

Yo La Tengo

by Mark Norris

Lately things have been pretty bleak for fans of the original indie rockers who achieved a much publicized rise to musical power in the mid-to-late 1990s: Guided by Voices made its final bow a few years back, Liz Phair has been flirting with mainstream production values for so long it’s starting to seem like she’s not joking anymore, and Pavement—the group who seemingly defined the sound, ethos and attitude of 1990s indie rock—has left the building. Happily, ringer-tee-wearing, record-store-dwelling denizens still have one band that they can count on.

Letters to Artvoice

A few months ago, I read with interest your articles about transforming the Niagara Falls Airport into a hub for Asian air traffic and cargo. I believe this is an excellent idea, and could possibly be a boon for the region.


Minimum Wage: Democratic Policy or Ploy?

by Rob Metzler

A recent Buffalo News series and increasing Congressional debate have brought the working poor in America into the spotlight, but far too often they live in a sort of media blackout. As Congress debates increasing a stagnant minimum wage—it has stayed at $5.15 for nine years now, meaning full-time workers earn a astonishing $10,712 annually—members of both houses can expect to see a “cost of living increase” of $3,300 added on to their $165,200 salary starting in January. As the media focuses on wedge issues such as gay marriage and flag burning, are more important problems being brushed aside?

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

CANCER (June 21-July 22): This will be an excellent time—maybe one of the best weeks ever—to try herding cats, coaxing hermits to do karaoke and getting anorexics to eat veggie burgers with all the fixings. In other words, Cancerian, the once-inconceivable may become likely. The adventures you swore you would never have the courage to attempt are suddenly within your capacity. You can at least partially dissolve the one fear you’ve always believed would hobble you forever.

The News, Briefly

The Buffalo News Pimps the Casino

by Geoff Kelly

On Monday, July 3, Buffalo News staff reporter Sharon Linstedt typed up another in her ongoing series of press releases for the Seneca Gaming Corporation. (On June 1, Linstedt transcribed a press release hailing the SGC’s “cutting-edge design” for its downtown Buffalo “gambling campus”—never bothering to suggest that the plan was really just a drawing, or to ask why the SGC’s drawing required the city to cede Fulton Street, or to talk to people who might think the plan was not as great as the press release she was cribbing from said it was.)

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ The “indecent” CBS drama “Without a Trace” for which the Federal Communications Commission is proposing a $3.3 million fine of the network and affiliates was apparently complained about by only two (at most) actual viewers of the estimated 8.2 million who watched it that December 2004 night, according to FCC records that CBS cited in a June filing to the commission. Those two (and 4,209 complaints from people who apparently only heard about the show) did not start arriving at the FCC until 12 days afterward, which coincidentally was the day that a family watchdog organization began alerting its members about the show. The same CBS program had aired in 2003, with no complaints.

Still Life

by Rose Mattrey

If you have a funny or interesting photo you’d like to share, send it and a caption to, and we might just run it in Artvoice. Photos should be recent, taken locally and be submitted as high-resolution jpegs or tiffs can be submitted. Photos submitted as prints (glossy works best) can be sent to Artvoice, attn: Rose Mattrey, 810 Main St., Buffalo, N.Y. 14202. Photos cannot be returned, so make sure it’s not your only copy.


Gravitational Flow

by Gerald Mead

There is a visitor behavior in art galleries that I’ve heard described as the “art museum dance.” Confronted with an abstract artwork, the viewer will look at the piece at normal viewing distance; lean forward to read the title, in the event that the title will help them comprehend it more; step back to view again; and then lean in again to reread the title. This back-and-forth behavior may repeat—hence, “the dance.” Since the artwork is devoid of representation, it is hoped that the title (not applicable if it is simply labeled Untitled) may serve as a way to “get into the head” of the artist who created it.

Lit Feature

A New Kind of Champion

by Gabrielle Bouliane

Though hockey season is over, Buffalo is not done selecting its champions. This Friday Buffalo will determine its first ever Buffalo Poetry Slam Team to represent the city on the stages of the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. Buffalo’s team will compete against 80 other teams—roughly 300 poets of all ages and styles.

You Auto Know

If Hot Wheels Got in the Real Car Business

by Jim Corbran

If you feel you need to blame someone for the new FJ Cruiser, point your fingers at Chrysler and VW for starting this whole “old is new again” retro design philosophy with the PT Cruiser and the New Beetle, respectively.

Film Reviews

Class Reunion

by M. Faust

One of my favorite films of 2003 was L’Auberge Espagnole, which followed a year in a Barcelona apartment inhabited by more students than it was meant to hold. All were doing post-graduate work as part of a program designed to encourage cross-European cultural fertilization: The students came from France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, England, Belgium, Spain and probably a few places I’ve forgotten.


I'll Be Damned If It Did Not Come True

by Donny Kutzbach

At that mysterious rock-and-roll expiration date of 26 years old, singer-songwriter Gram Parsons jumped from this mortal coil after overdosing in a motel near Joshua Tree National Park in California. Within days, the body would be stolen at LAX by Parsons’ friend Phil Kaufman and returned to Joshua Tree to be burned, which Kaufman insisted were Parsons’ final wishes.


Knife Crazy

Best show the band ever played...Brighton Bar in Long Branch, New Jersey along with the 3rd & 17th worst bands (respectively) in the history of the world. Fen sold his 1992 Reba McEntire tour t-shirt to a dangerously inebriated gentleman for 100 big ones. Note: No kitten sweaters were sold at this show.

See You There

Asylum Street Spankers

by Peter Koch

3rd Annual Niagara Motorcycle Rally

by Buck Quigley

Don Caballero

by Tracy Morrow

The Weakerthans

by Joe Sweeney

Calendar Spotlight


The Irving Klaws

by Buck Quigley

The Impossible Shapes

by Tracy Morrow

Ron Hawkins

by Michael A. Colucci

The Buzzcocks

Infringement Festival

Easy Action

Icy Demons