Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Cover Story

The Day the Music Died

by Donny Kutzbach

For almost a quarter of a century, this modest store has transcended retail to become something of a local institution. Now, sadly, the iconic record store that traded in garage, punk, metal, psychedelic, avant-garde, indie, electronic, power pop and just about everything in between is closing its doors.

Letters to Artvoice

I’m aware that most decisions made by bureaucrats, politicians and institutions comprise various tradeoffs. What is the AKAG trading off and what is Buffalo gaining in return? Strangely, the evolutionary name changes of the gallery over time might be prophetic. Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, now simply AKAG. Kind of reminds me of Kentucky Fried Chicken—KFC, Burger King—BK, McDonald’s—Mickey D’s, etc. So you get the picture. Basically, we’re trading off a gallery that always, reverently, id sparingly, recapitulated the artistic achievements of humankind from the earliest civilizations to the present. Now I’m told that the “core mission” is, and always was, to display contemporary art. I should believe, as do the board of directors, that the next 30 years would produce a body of artwork to match the last 3,000. I find that reasoning highly misguided if not brazenly arrogant.

Getting a Grip

Drinking the Mercury

by Michael I. Niman

Here’s a true story about a Pennsylvania college student who, while exploring a seldom traveled wooded area of campus, stumbled upon an old bottle filled with a glistening silver liquid. He brought it back to his dorm room and cleaned it up, but he still had no clue as to what this shiny fluid was. So he took a taste. Having never drunk mercury before, the flavor was alien to him, so he still couldn’t ascertain the identity of his newfound treasure. That is, until his digits removed themselves from his neurological landscape. With no feeling in his hands, he sought medical treatment and found out he had mercury poisoning.


The Rising Waters

by Jay Burney

Israel and Us, Part 2

by Bruce Jackson

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ To settle a discrimination lawsuit by transsexual men in October, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority agreed to open all of its restrooms on the basis of individuals’ “gender expression,” meaning that, for example, any man dressed seriously as a woman could choose the ladies’ room. And the New York City government is currently considering adopting a rule to permit people to switch genders on their birth certificates, regardless of whether they’ve had surgery, as long as they’ve lived in the new gender for two years and a physician and a mental-health counselor approve.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the ancient Hebrew text known as the Second Book of Enoch, the author describes his trip through the ten heavens and a meeting with God. He’s surprised to find that hell is here, located in the northern regions of the third heaven. Why is this relevant to you? Because I believe it might help you understand an apparent anomaly that will soon appear. While you’ll be having expansive adventures in circumstances that resemble paradise, there’ll also be a diabolical area nestled right in the midst of the beauty. It won’t be a big deal or terrible annoyance as long as you recognize it early and plot a course around it.


Wise Man's a Wise Move

by Anthony Chase

The opening night for the Studio Arena production of The 4th Wise Man by Kathleen Gaffney and Tom Fontana was unusually exciting. The show has been awaited with great anticipation, and Studio Arena made an effort to give the event the air of a special occasion. More people than usual lingered for the party afterward.

Design Matters

Overlapping Space

by Albert Chao & Meghan Fadel

Low recordings echo throughout Hallwalls exhibition space while one walks through the spotlighted oil paintings by George Hughes. His latest series of paintings, Social Predations, engages raw and seemingly unrelated images with violent and disturbing objects. His rich, painterly brushwork expressively unifies the images as he explores the power structure of relationships.

Book Reviews

Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith

by Jill Froebel

Espresso Tales is the second novel in a series by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, famous for The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. The novel is a continuation of the first book in a new series, 44 Scotland Street. Both works are a homage to the writer’s adopted home of Edinburgh, and McCall does his home justice, lovingly detailing the atmosphere and vibrancy of the streets and cafés, the people and the places that populate what seems to be a very fine city. The writing swirls in adoring gusts around the lives of the characters first created in this novel’s precursor, detailing their lives amidst brilliant and tantalizing description of the Scottish city.

You Auto Know

Honey, I Shrunk the Camry

by Jim Corbran

Hold this page out at arm’s length and try and tell me the new Yaris sedan in the accompanying photo doesn’t look like a mini-Camry. (Not a bad thing, marketing-wise, as the Camry is currently the best-selling car in America.)

See You There

Archer Prewitt

by Eric Boucher

The Things We Carried

by K. O'Day

Juini Booth & Pamela Plummer

by Geoff Kelly

Vicky Vogue

by Nikki Kozlowski

Film Reviews

Sex, Violence, and the American Way: This Film Is Not Yet Rated

by M. Faust

He's a Rhinestone in the Rough: Blood Diamond

by George Sax

Film Clips

Unaccompanied Minors

by M. Faust

Scanning the cast list of this holiday arrivals is sure to pique the interest of fans of television’s better comedy shows: It’s filled with two or three faces each from The Daily Show, The Kids in the Hall, The Office, Arrested Development and Freaks and Geeks. Paul Feig cut his teeth as a writer and/or director on the latter three shows, apparently making enough friends to fill up the cast of this, his first feature film. By that standard it’s a bit of a bust, as most of the familiar faces fail to distinguish themselves much in their cameo shots. For the most part they serve as icing for parents looking for a movie to take the kids to, and by that standard you could do worse than this comedy about five young teens stranded in an airport on Christmas Eve. It borrows liberally from The Breakfast Club and Home Alone without taking itself very seriously, stitching together some amusing moments that don’t really add up to much of anything. You might object, for instance, to Tyler James Williams’ role as the Urkel clone in this bunch of no-stereotype-overlooked kids, but it’s a pleasure to watch him in a dance sequence that recalls the tradition of great eccentric dancers. Unaccompanied Minors is a lot like the holiday it accompanies: Concentrate on what it gives you instead of what it doesn’t, and you’ll get along with it well enough.

Calendar Spotlight

The Hush Sound

by Caitlin Derose


by Lisa Cialfa


Vocalis Chamber Choir

by Caitlin Derose

Above the City

Catfish Haven