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Cover Story

Join in the Artvoice 13th Annual Mardi Gras Madness

by Geoff Kelly

Best of all, the whole affair is for a good cause. Every dime of your five dollars, or however much you choose to give, benefits Hospice Buffalo. The Artvoice Mardi Gras is one of the largest philanthropic Mardi Gras events in the country—and growing.


Grand Finale

by Matthew Quinn

Check out video of the winners and also-rans at the $5000 BOOM grand finale.

The News, Briefly

A Silver Lining

by Geoff Kelly

This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

by Buck Quigley

Letters to Artvoice

Editor’s note: The coming battle over the proposed new Peace Bridge plaza is taking shape; as new alliances and enmities form, old ones are turned on their heads. New York State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, once a hero to Columbus Parkway residents for opposing the measure that gave the PBA power of eminent domain, is now a scourge for supporting—or at least not visibly opposing—the current plaza proposal, which calls for the acquisition and demolition of between 80 and 120 properties, depending on who you believe and when they’re talking. Former State Senator and Common Councilmember Al Coppola took the opportunity to light into Hoyt last week, in part because before the holidays Hoyt had taken Coppola to task for threatening to demolish the historic Pan-American Exposition house he owns at 1950 Delaware Avenue. (Coppola said he was going to tear it down in retaliation for what he considered ill treatment of a restaurateur friend by city government.)

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez (Alice, Texas, pop. 19,000) and her twin sister were indicted in January for hiding evidence in a dognapping case. Saenz-Lopez had agreed to baby-sit a shih tzu but, alarmed by the dog’s sickliness, she kept it and lied to the owners that it had died. When it was spotted at a local grooming service, Saenz-Lopez and her sister allegedly began a cover-up that included the mayor’s once pretending to be her sister. The mayor told her lawyer that if not for her husband, she would go to jail “for the rest of (my) life” rather than give the dog back. Most recently, Saenz-Lopez reported that the dog had run away, but many of her constituents are skeptical.

See You There

The Big Easy in Buffalo - Mardi Gras Jam

by Eli George

The Gifted Children CD Release Show

by Donny Kutzbach

Noa Bursie

by Buck Quigley

Paczki Day

by Carol Christman

Calendar Spotlight

First Friday at the Castellani Art Museum

Mardi Brawl

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble


Dollar Store


by Anthony Chase

The acting in the New Phoenix Theatre Company/Subversive Theatre Collective production of Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty is thrilling. Originally performed by the legendary Group Theater in 1935, during a golden age of American acting, the play is brimming with opportunities for actors to strut their stuff. In this production, no opportunity is wasted.


On the Boards

Movie Times

Now Playing


Woody Allen's Base Motives

by M. Faust

What is so rare as a day in June? How about a day in September when Woody Allen holds a press conference?


Beethoven Marathon Weekend

by Jan Jezioro

Attention all local classical music lovers: What do we have in Buffalo that music lovers in New York, Boston, L.A. London, Paris, Vienna, Rome and just about every other major metropolitan area in the world do not have? If you even begin to think the word “snow,” please step to the front of the class and prepare yourself to receive a sharp rap on the knuckles. The correct answer, of course, is that this year, as in every year since 1956, the lucky residents of Western New York will have the opportunity to hear all the string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven in a series of six concerts, known as the Slee/Beethoven String Quartet Cycle. Naturally, most major metropolitan areas have seen their share of complete performances of the Beethoven string quartets over the years, but Buffalo is unique in the world in having a complete performance of all the Beethoven quartets every year—now for over 50 years.


In on the Joke

by Lucy Yau

Members shows tend to be a hodgepodge of quality and talent. They allow the work of fresh amateurs to mingle in the company of work created by seasoned professionals.

Flash Fiction


by Stephen Boyd

God sat on a rock, head in heavenly hands, and looked down at the ground. “I’m bored,” he muttered to no one in particular, for, as he came later to realize, he had not yet Created, thereby rendering non-existent the act of conversation. (God was lonely. A supreme loneliness, the first of its long and vaunted history.) “How absurdly boring this all is,” he whispered. His mouth suddenly turned itself into an unknown shape. He had never frowned before and found that he liked it less than smiling and laughing, of which he had previously done much.

Book Reviews

Peeping Tom's Cabin: Comic Verse, 1928-2008 by X.J. Kennedy

by Laura Polley

It’s hard to find fault with X.J. Kennedy. Winner of multiple prestigious awards, including the Guggenheim, the always-metrical Kennedy is widely credited for helping revitalize appreciation of form. His well-loved children’s anthologies, bestselling textbook, and highly regarded teaching have done much to secure a place for poetry in future generations.

Vine by Line

The Riesling Is

by Paula Paradise

What follows is my modest plea for sloughing off your comfortable, hand-knitted cardigan of a white—e.g. Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio—for just a few bottles of what might be the greatest white wine on this earth.

You Auto Know

Understanding the Concept

by Jim Corbran

If the just-concluded North American International Auto Show proved anything, it’s that America still doesn’t get it. While the Frankfurt, Germany show this past fall seemed to focus on the greening of the European auto industry, the big stars of the Detroit show seemed to be the restyled Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram pickups, Chevy’s 600-hp, $100,000 Corvette and Cadillac’s new 500-horsepower CTS-V. Hardly the news we’ve been waiting for as we face higher and higher gas prices.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You’re reading a horoscope column that’s designed not only for the benefit of true believers, but also for people who don’t necessarily buy into the validity of astrology. If you’re one of those who enjoys my writing even though you’re skeptical of my attempts to divine oracles from the planetary positions, I thank you for being willing to find value in an approach that your rational mind may regard as questionable. And I thank you for evaluating the information I present here on the basis of its usefulness rather than on where it originates. By the way, Aquarius, the attitudes I just described will serve you in good stead in your dealings with the whole world during the coming week.

Ask Anyone

For the past six months I’ve been dating a woman I work with, and it’s great for about 16 hours of the day. From nine to five, however, it’s a terrible distraction. I feel that I must constantly be tending to her, when I have work to do; if I don’t pay attention to her, she gets frustrated with me.