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Cover Story

Open House

by Geoff Kelly

A year ago the two-unit house at 15 South Putnam was hardly an anomaly on Buffalo’s Upper West Side. Vacant and essentially abandoned by its owners, the property was on track for demolition, marked to become another of the neighborhood’s many empty, weedy lots—the sixth such lot on its block, in fact, which runs one way south between Breckenridge and Ferry.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “’Don’t look before you leap!’ is a Zen saying that contrasts with what many in the West consider wise counsel,” writes Christopher Moors in his article “Magical Buddha Nature” at “If everything is premeditated, we never have the naked brilliance of a truly new experience. Though we might be able to temper fear in this way, we live at the minimum and have no room for the divine to enter our hearts. Love is above all things the freedom of expansion.” I’m passing on this advice, Aries, just in time for the most unboxed, unexpected, unprecedented phase of your astrological cycle. Rely on spontaneity to teach you all you need to know.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ In March, a jury in Los Angeles listened to nine psychiatrists testify, along with other witnesses who openly described their sex lives, before finally deciding that neither party in the shrink-vs.-shrink contest was all that emotionally healthy. Dr. David Martorano had sued the UCLA psychiatry department, blaming a loss of promotion on a failed affair with his supervisor, Dr. Heather Krell, who denied the affair, especially Martorano’s claim of oral sex in a parked car. Krell’s witnesses “diagnosed” Martorano with narcissistic personality disorder and being “addicted” to having women fall in love with him. The jury concluded that Krell did have the affair, but did not sexually harass Martorano or sabotage his promotion.

Getting a Grip

Know Nukes

by Michael I. Niman

A few weeks ago I was heading down to the National Conference on Organized Resistance at American University in Washington, DC with a vanload of college students. As we crossed the Susquehanna River, I pointed out the plume of steam from the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant—which suffered a near catastrophic partial meltdown in 1979. “That’s Three Mile Island,” I said.

Letters to Artvoice

Shopping cart art is so Spring 2000 (“Common Council Report,” Artvoice v6n14). I thought it was funny too when I learned about this concept when I was in my 20s. But it’s 2007 and we still don’t assert what is right and just in terms of corporate responsibility—including packaging and anything else that might become urban litter, like shopping carts.


Artspace Open for Tours

by Gabe Armstrong

Breaking down barriers though Art,” might come off sounding like one of those lofty mission statements that is easily dismissed as pretentious banter. But in true, literal form, this loopy phrase will soon mean a lot on Buffalo Near East Side.

Five Questions For...

Rick Smith

He’s the co-founder of Boom Days, an event that celebrates the annual removal of the ice boom from Lake Erie around about this time every year. Because that’s an imprecise date on any given year—it’s April 13-15 this year—the festival can be a little hard to plan. But when it gets here, it’s time to celebrate the passage of another winter and welcome spring.

The News, Briefly

Democracy in Action

by Buck Quigley

With Buffalo School Board elections scheduled for May 1, only a few weeks away, we thought it would be a good idea to publish a list of candidates in the interest of keeping voters informed.


Overstimulation: The Cell Phone Show

by Katherine O'Day

Having seen previous performances by Nimbus Dance Company, the first thing that springs to mind about The Cell Phone Show, from the point of view of a dance reviewer, is that the dancers’ skills are shown to a fuller extent. The choreography is more kinetic and seemingly more demanding, each dancer’s solo parts are more individualized, and stylistically and mechanically her attributes and expertise are more illuminated. Funny thing is, with this show it almost doesn’t matter. The four leads—dancers Beth Elkins, Jennifer Golonka and Kerry Ann Ring, and narrator/mistress of ceremonies Theresa Baker—could have worked their bodies like beached sea lions and the show would still have been spectacular.

Design Matters

A Look at China's Sacred Sites

by Albert Chao

This month two exhibitions, China’s Sacred Sites, currently at the University at Buffalo Anderson Gallery and the upcoming The Dawns Here Are Quiet by artist Bingyi, opening April 19 at the Center for the Arts Gallery, explore historical and modern-day issues in China.

In the Margins

The Living Breath

by Michael Kelleher

Buffalo’s poetry roots run deep. Poet Ann Lauterbach once dubbed it “Poetry City,” a moniker that has not taken hold of our imaginations in the same way as have “City of No Illusions,” “City of Good Neighbors” or “Queen City.” But the claim is not without merit. Buffalo has been a hotbed of poetic experimentation for nearly half a century, and continues to attract a steady, if modestly proportioned, stream of young poets devoted to poetry as something more than a parlor game for the idle rich or a therapeutic outlet for the mildly insane.

Puck Stop

An Extraordinary Year

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Wow. Has this season been an amazing ride? From pole to pole this has been a year for the ages, starting from the early winning streak in October and culminating this past weekend, when the Sabres clinched their first ever President’s Trophy.


by Javier

Tony Award winner John Glover (pictured above) joins the Broadway company of The Drowsy Chaperone on April 17. Glover replaces original cast member (and co-librettist) Bob Martin, who will re-create his performance in the upcoming West End production. Martin was nominated for a 2006 Tony for his performance and won the Tony for Best Book of a Musical. Now known to TV audiences for playing Lionel Luthor in Smallville, Glover won his Tony award for playing the dual role of John and James Jeckyll in Love! Valour! Compassion! A North American tour of The Drowsy Chaperone begins in the fall, making a stop at Shea’s in March.


The Tricky Part

by Anthony Chase

Between the ages of twelve and fifteen, Martin Moran had a sexual relationship with an older man, a counselor he met at Catholic boys’ camp.” Years later, as an adult, he set out to find and face his abuser. So runs the story of The Tricky Part, the one-person play opening this week at Buffalo United Artists, starring Louis Colaiacovo as Martin Moran.

Film Reviews

Oh No, There Goes Seoul!: The Host

by M. Faust

The Poet and the City: Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place

by Michael Kelleher

Film Clips


by Greg Lamberson

Hollywood has long been fascinated with voyeurism, from the sublime (Rear Window, Peeping Tom, Blue Velvet) to the ridiculous (Body Double, Bedroom Eyes, I Saw What You Did). The filmmakers behind Disturbia assume their teenage audience is unfamiliar with those films, which frees them to plunder what they wish from all of them.

Left of the Dial

Remastered on the Sly: Sly and the Family Stone: Remastered Editions

by Joe Sweeney

The Grammy Awards have never been a bastion of good taste. Hell, “My Humps” won one. But last year the show reached a new low when it “paid tribute” to Sly & the Family Stone. First, a medley of Sly songs was soundly butchered by such artistic luminaries as Fantasia,, Maroon 5 and the throatily atrocious Joss Stone. Then, out came a hapless, 63-year-old, blond-mohawked Sly, who looked uncomfortable and scared as he pretended to play the keyboards to “I Want to Take You Higher.” When he sang, his voice seemed strong, but his mic was almost inaudible in the mix. Imagine J.D. Salinger trying to give a reading, only to be drowned out by Tom Clancy. Before the song ended, Sly jumped off his raised platform, gave an awkward salute to the crowd and ran off stage. You could practically see the words “What was I thinking?” running through his mind. Chances are, this shameless exploitation of Sly will be the last time we see him on a major stage, which is depressing to say the least. Luckily, a series of beautifully remastered Sly & the Family Stone records have arrived to wash out that bad taste in your mouth.


Girl Talk

by Donny Kutzbach

Was the First Cut the Deepest?: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

by Joe Doherty

See You There

Lucinda Williams

by Donny Kutzbach

Short Story Record Co.; Hinkley, Jr.; Ellen West

by Caitlin Derose

Mono, with World's End Girlfriend

by K. O'Day

The Wailers

by Shaun Smith

Calendar Spotlight

The Legendary Dukes

Sweatin' Like Nixon

Gym Class Heroes

Jana Hunter

The Advice Goddess

by Amy Alkon

My boyfriend, who shows signs of narcissism and misogyny, enjoys your column, and no wonder, as you often indirectly side with men by making women look like jealous shrews. Even if you are right, maybe these women who write you need somebody to be nice to them. As for my boyfriend, his mom is a lifelong nut job, which has to affect how he sees women. It probably doesn’t help that I didn’t have very positive role models growing up, either. He can be a real jerk, but he’s hot, sex can be great and we both enjoy going to alternative rock venues. I guess I’m in a love/hate thing with this “piece of work,” as an astrologer called him. Maybe he’s my karmic payback for not wanting kids?