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Cover Story

The Negotiations End

by Bruce Jackson

The proposed downtown Buffalo gambling casino has been opposed by citizens’ groups and leaders in the business, education and arts communities. But, with few exceptions, there has been no resistance from Buffalo’s local government. Former Mayor Anthony Masiello was a strong casino supporter and his successor, Byron Brown, has never taken a strong public position for or against the casino.

Letters to Artvoice

I am an evangelical Christian, I am a premillennial dispensationalist and I attend a church that has an ex-gay ministry. I am not a Republican and I do not support the political/cultural goals of what Michelle Goldberg appropriately described as “Christian nationalism.” I’ll go even further and state my belief that the attempts by this vocal segment of American Christianity to take control of governments and social institutions is contrary to Christian faith and, in particular, contrary to premillennial dispensationalism.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ New York state Sen. Ada Smith, known to some as the “Wild Woman of Albany” for her temper, pleaded not guilty in April for yet another alleged outburst (accused of assaulting a staff member with hot coffee after a comment about Smith’s weight). According to Senate officials cited by the New York Daily News, more than 200 of her staff members over the years have either quit or been fired. Besides Smith’s previous run-ins with Albany police, New York City police and United Airlines, other former employees have claimed that she assaulted them (the latest being a woman who said Smith threw a phone at her). Smith has denied virtually every accusation, but her exasperated Senate party leader has stripped Smith of seniority privileges.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): A few weeks ago, eight-year-old Harrison Vonderau was playing golf with his dad on a course in Cleveland when he shot a hole-in-one. Father and son experienced an even more shocking delight 20 minutes later when the boy scored yet another hole-in-one. It was an almost unbelievable accomplishment for anyone, let alone a kid. Harrison is your role model for the coming week, Leo. I predict that a young part of you—either your inner child or your inner teenager—will score an unlikely and spectacular coup, the equivalent of two holes-in-one.

Good Eats

Come Home to Curry's

by Bridget Kelly

Curry’s has all the charms of a neighborhood bar—a homey, unpretentious atmosphere, friendy and familiar staff, affordable prices—with the unusual benefit of having good enough food for it to be a worthwhile destination in itself, even if you don’t live just around the corner. It’s home cooking, only better than you could actually cook at home. The service is excellent, and many of the staff have been here since the place opened in April 1995. Fred the bartender is an archetype of affable professionalism, and the crew of waitresses work together with the seamless ease that comes with long practice.


Falling in Love

by Cynnie Gaasch

There is nothing quite as satisfying as experiencing a substantial exhibition of works by a mature artist. It is still more of a treat if you find yourself falling in love with the artist’s work, and better yet if you have been loving the artist’s work for years. I predict most visitors to Petah Coyne: Above and Beneath the Skin, on exhibit through September 10 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, will find themselves lost and falling—into her world, and in love with it. I first fell for the sculpture of Petah Coyne in 1993, as an undergraduate student at Hampshire College, when I had the opportunity to visit her studio in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, New York.


The Buffalo Infringement Festival

by Anthony Chase

The Buffalo Infringement Festival came to a celebratory conclusion with a well attended closing night party at Nietzsche’s on Sunday night, including the distribution of the “Iffy Awards,” plaques fashioned from foam plates that comically recognized dubious festival accomplishments. Predictions for the festival’s success proved to be entirely accurate; more than 200 performances of diverse shows attracted good crowds, and the quality was impressive. Even the hottest weather of the year could not wilt enthusiasm.


Going Full Monty at Artpark

by Anthony Chase

Buffalo has been featured in a number of Broadway musicals. In 42nd Street, half the cast shuffles off to it. Mame laments, “How bleak was my puberty in Buffalo!” In A Chorus Line, we are advised that “Suicide in Buffalo is redundant.” In Gypsy, Tulsa tells Louise “All I Need Is the Girl,” in the alley of the Lafayette Theatre in Buffalo, New York.


Paper Dandelions

by Hope L. Russell

The air still


our breath

from all those

Happy Birthday


we inflated

and tied

to the banister,

the kitchen cupboards

the doorknobs.

Book Reviews

I Wear a Figleaf Over My Penis: Poems by Geoffrey Gatza

by Peter Conners

There is a strange and ambiguous phrase often referred to as a Chinese curse, but in truth an American creation given a Confucian back-story to add wisdom and gravity to the deeper rooting in irony from which the sentiment stems: “May you live in interesting times.” Geoffrey Gatza—without bothering to note its negative connotations or bastard origins—uses this curse as the epigraph to his poetry collection, I Wear a Figleaf Over My Penis, which is appropriate; nothing in Gatza’s world is as it seems. Buffalo’s own Gatza doesn’t write about interesting times; Gatza’s writing is interesting times. In this collection, comic titles such as “Our Lady of Perpetual Chicken McNuggets®” nestle next to opaque poetic statements such as “Truth languishes in jail, convicted of orchestrating/the murder of the daughter of time. Life is purring/over something that doesn’t want you, or your cow.” But Gatza does want your cow. And your “Mouse Deer.” And your “Quilted Giraffe.” And your “Mastodons of Macedonia.” But mainly, he wants to write about dragons and heroes and the ways mythology and meditation lose out to Wal-Mart, Starbucks and war all the time. Gatza’s poetry is in constant motion between politics and the politics of passivity; surrealism and flat-out absurdity; romantic parables and animal stories for twisted children—the “interesting times” are present everywhere, and they are always both positive and negative. In “The Cats of Baghdad,” when Gatza writes, “With the poor people of this earth, I want to share my fate” you believe the poet because he has proven himself to have shrapnel and flowers in his eyes. When he writes, “There is no such thing as free kittens” at the end of the same poem, you better believe that, too.

Play Ball!

"It Has Not Been an Easy Year"

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

For baseball fans following the Bisons during this unprecedented era of success, this is usually the time of year that fans here start penciling in post Labor Day playoff dates. Just look back at the past 11 seasons and the team’s affiliation with the Cleveland Indians, and the stats tell all…nine playoff appearances, six division championships, three league championships.

Film Reviews

The Future Unplugged

Downtown Again, But Not to Wall Street

Film Clips

Favela Rising

by M. Faust

In Brazil, a “favela” is a slum area on the outskirts of the city, usually squatter-occupied. They are home to an enormous number of people: Rio de Janiero alone has more than 600 favelas, the largest housing about 80,000 people—more than many cities, though in considerably poorer conditions. There is probably a fascinating documentary to be made about the factors that spawned these slums, where ganglords and drug dealers hold total sway, but this is not that film. Rather, filmmakers Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary were on the lookout for a story about a community that was succeeding, and found it in the favela of Vigario. In 1993 Vigario resident Anderson Sa and a group of friends decided to form an organization that would appeal to young people and offer them an alternative to a short life as a gangster. That group is AfroReggae, which uses musical performances and workshops as its public side. Zimbalist and Mochary followed Anderson and AfroReggae for several years, documenting its studied development as a force determined to arise out of communities rather than one that would be imposed upon them. Despite the filmmakers’ search for positive messages, though, the most compelling parts of Favela Rising are downbeat, the footage of gang and police violence captured by teens to whom Zimbalist and Mochary had given cameras. These scenes are the ones that validate this documentary as a needed window on an area of overwhelming human distress that the mass media can’t find room for.


A Child in Time

by Donny Kutzbach

March 7, 1971—Packed to the walls with screaming fans was a dump called Gilligan’s, a beatup old airplane hangar desperately pretending to be a concert venue, on Walden Avenue, not far across the Buffalo city line. An explosive set of blues-imbibed, loud, hard, British rock and roll had the crowd in rapture. What would come to be known as the “classic lineup” of pioneering British hard rockers Deep Purple was heading toward a defining moment. One of the stepping stones along the way was the Queen City.

See You There

The Rizdales

by Buck Quigley

Adrian Belew

by Buck Quigley

Rogue Wave

by Eric Boucher

Smoking Popes, Criteria

by Donny Kutzbach

Left of the Dial

Tom Petty

by Buck Quigley

Willie Nelson: The Complete Atlantic Sessions

by Donny Kutzbach

Calendar Spotlight

Que Sera

by Matt Quinn

The Flying Luttenbachers

by Brian W. Wright

Last Days of Radio

Miss Abigail

The Randies

by Kat Brady