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Dylan Times Seven

by M. Faust

The standard career path for serious young filmmakers is to make an attention-getting short or, if they can raise the money, an independent feature; parley that into some big studio assignments; and then use their acquired clout to get back into making the kind of films that interest them. Especially in the last two decades we’ve seen lots of talent go through the first two parts of that formula, only to find that part three isn’t as easy as it seems.

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The Boys in the Band

by Brad Deck

It’s true that, to the untrained ear, the story of Hanson may seem like another tale of a late 1990s boy-band one-hit-wonder, a la L.F.O. or (dare I say it) the Baja Men. To fans of the group, just celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their debut album’s multi-platinum release, the good that the band has done all over the world cannot be discounted by naysayers who credit ‘MMMBop’ as Hanson’s only legacy. A partnership with charity shoe company Tom’s Shoes, a charity single release from their latest album, The Walk, and countless months logged in the hospitals of South Africa have made Hanson not only a currently successful independent rock band, but also a major philanthropic force in the third world. Hanson drummer Zac Hanson talks to ARTVOICE about the inspiration he and his brothers have garnered from their charity work, the evolution of their sound, and the challenges that accompany releasing new material in today’s changing music industry.


Blessed Are the Peacekeepers

by Leslie James Pickering

Two thousand six was a bloody year for Buffalo. Seventy-three homicides in a year is a horrifying statistic for a city whose population had dwindled to less than 300,000 people. No one can better testify to the magnitude of the gore than the leadership of the Stop The Violence Coalition (STVC). For three and a half years the coalition has been doing what they call “God’s work,” in its efforts to reduce Buffalo’s homicide rate.

Getting a Grip

Shopping at the End of the World

by Michael I. Niman

In a consumer culture life is all about you. What are your immediate wants and needs? How do you feel? Are you comfortable? Thirsty maybe? Mood okay? Happiness comes in a box from the mall. Or a pill from the doctor. Whatever. Just as long as you buy it. Forget about where things come from, who made them, under what conditions—or how the raw materials came to be in the manufacturer’s possession. And forget about where things go when you’re done with them. Leave those worries to the bleeding hearts, the tree-huggers and all the other America-haters. You work hard. You deserve creature comforts. End of story. Let’s shop.

Letters to Artvoice

I am writing in reference to the impending toll hikes by the NYS Thruway Authority. I cannot believe the NYSTA is proposing a 10 percent increase over the next two years. While they claim this increase is due to rising gas prices, it seems coincidental that as soon as we win the fight in Western New York to get the toll barriers on the I-190 taken down, we are facing another toll hike. The tolls were recently increased on the I-90 without an environmental impact statement, and even though that was illegal, here we are again.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ The Modern Mother: Style- and environment-conscious Canadian mothers insist on cloth diapers, especially designer labels of flannel, fleece or wool-knit, according to a November report in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Handmade embroidered diapers (perhaps in tie-dye or camouflage) are priced at up to $80 each (and some babies get to wear them only just after taking care of business in an ordinary diaper). And, in London, mothers can take babies for workouts, as several gyms recently reacted to warnings about childhood obesity by creating programs to shape up kids as young as 10 months (teaching galloping, “monkey jumps” and forward rolls), and in February, one gym will begin accepting 4-month-olds.

See You There

Loudon Wainwright III

by Buck Quigley

Susie Ibarra

by K. O'Day

The Whigs with the Redwalls & Johnathan Rice

by Donny Kutzbach


by Brad Deck

Calendar Spotlight

Gore Gore Girls

Rock for Food

Elisabeth Von Trapp

"Off the Beaten Path" Tour

The King Khan & BBQ Show


by Javier

If you haven’t been watching As the World Turns lately, you have been missing one of the hottest subplots in recent years: Luke and Noah. Van Hansis (pictured above) has been playing Luke Snyder in the soap since December 2005 and he is now making his New York stage debut in Charles Busch’s Die Mommie Die! The New York production, which also stars Busch as fallen pop diva Angela Arden (the part played by Jimmy Janowski in the BUA production), is scheduled to run through February 17.


On the Boards

Movie Times

Now Playing


A Journey Through the Past Right Up to the Present

by Donny Kutzbach

How do you pick just a handful of songs from the 40-year career of rock’s most esteemed, chameleon-like, oft-copied (never duplicated), guitar-thrashing icon? You do what Neil Young himself has done through the decades: Throw caution to the wind and go with your heart.

In the Margins

Three Flash Fictions

by Thom Ward

A man had almost finished tiling the Chinese dragon when he ran out of dreams.

Book Reviews

Our Last Best Perfect Day: Poems by Barbara D. Holender

by Linda Benninghoff

Aging, death and grief form the backdrop of “Our Last Best Perfect Day” by Barbara Holender, a remarkable collection of lyric poems to which the reader will want to return again and again. In the title poem, Holender describes her grandson’s death--a horrible, untimely event--with grace and compassion seasoned by insight and understanding. In the poem, the vividly drawn grandson seems very much alive as he devours his lunch.

Chew On This

by Peter Koch

I’d like to start by tipping my hat—the wide-brimmed variety, of course—to Earl’s Drive-in (Rtes. 16 & 39, Chaffee, 496-5125), “Home of the Original Fruit Jar Drinkers,” which closed its doors for good last week. The iconic diner that Earl (the restaurant’s namesake) and Marilyn Northrup originally opened as a hotdog stand, has served up home-style food that “sticks to your ribs” to locals and road-weary travelers alike for 52 years. In a word, Earl’s is idiosyncratic: the “legs” of the tables were jeans and cowboy boots; there’s a cinnamon roll on the menu that’s “as big as Earl’s hat”; a section of the restaurant that’s been converted to a country music hall of fame is packed with odd Nashville paraphernalia like Bashful Brother Oswald’s overalls and a letter from Patsy Cline written to Jimmy Dale, and the drinks are served in Ball wide-mouth jam jars. It’s the kind of place that people return to. Even as the rumbling traffic of freight trucks and road trippers abandoned the two-lane highways in favor of superhighways, Earl’s has remained a repeat destination for multiple generations. The glue of the whole operation, the heart and soul that’s held the quirky, imperfect enterprise together all these years has been the hard-working, big-smiling, one-of-a-kind, muttonchop-wearing, tell-it-like-it-is Earl. He was the restaurant. And Marilyn was his glue, and things just plain haven’t been the same since she died in 2002. And now, sadly, the locals will also lose a lifelong partner in Earl’s Drive-in. But there’s still a glimmer of hope for them; Earl says he may open a smaller operation, something similar to the original roadside stand. We’ll keep you updated on that.

Puck Stop

The Northeast Division Gauntlet

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Have you had enough of Northeast Division opposition for a while?

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): On Jupiter’s moon Europa, there is an absolutely straight narrow line about 125 miles long. NASA’S photos show it clearly. Commenting on this improbably regular feature, renowned author and inventor Arthur C. Clarke says he finds it hard not to conclude that it was constructed by intelligent life. “I’m beginning to think the unthinkable,” he writes. Make that sentence your watchword in the coming week, Sagittarius. Be ready to imagine the unimaginable, see the unseeable and think the unthinkable. And I mean that you should do that with the most optimistic attitude possible. According to my reading of the astrological omens, the almost unbelievable prospects coming into your sphere are interesting and invigorating.


Wrap Up

by Buck Quigley

November 24 was another great night for local original music at Nietzsche’s, as the club played host to the fourth installment of the Battle of Original Music (BOOM). It was close, but when all the ballots were counted, hip-hop rappers Fresh Guac carried the day. With the win, they get some recording time from Robby Takac’s Trackmaster Studio and CDs of that session courtesy of ESP CD and DVD Manufacturing. They also join Dali’s Ghost, Constant Climax and London vs New York in the BOOM Grand Championship—which will be coming up in January. That night, one of the four bands will win $5000 cash. Get to know their music right here, and come out the night of the big show in support of the local music scene.