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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of events to watch out for the week, including our editor's pick: Miles Davis' On The Corner, performed by a collective of Buffalo musicians this Friday at the Town Ballroom.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our new and improved events calendar on-line for complete event listings, a location guide to find your way about the city, restaurant reviews, and more.

Miles Davis' On The Corner

Friday, December 18

It’s been 27 years since the late trumpeter/composer Miles Davis straight up freaked the jazz world out. With 1972’s On the Corner, the Prince of Darkness—as he has been dubbed—unleashed a groundbreaking funk-jazz fusion that he was unlike any of his previous work. Taking a page from George Clinton’s Funkadelic and composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, Davis created a set of songs that were almost seamless in that they had no beginnings or endings, endless mind-melting groove-oriented funk and psychedelia.

Both reviews and sales of the record were the poorest of Davis’ career. Jazz critics and purists derided is as Miles’s attempt to “go pop,” a laughable notion considering how out there the music was then and remains to this day. Miles—as ever—was just way ahead of his time. In the years since. not only has On the Corner grown to be considered a classic, it stands as a benchmark in the exploration and stylistic growth of jazz as well highly influential in styles as disparate as post-punk, breakbeat/electronica, and hip-hop.

This Friday (Dec. 18) a collective of Buffalo musicians who love On the Corner will celebrate it inside the Town Ballroom, the Queen City venue that Miles once played in its days as the Town Casino, with his classic quintet which included John Coltrane. Among the local musicians playing this show are Eric Crittenden, Jeff Miers, Nelson Starr, and Corey Kertzie. The album’s open-ended nature will let this talented group of players dive into it for a while, pay their respects, see what they can find, party for a while, and clean up their mess before they leave. Special guest support comes in the form of Peanut Brittle Satellite. Keeping in the holiday spirit, a donation of a new, unwrapped toy for the City Mission will cut $5 off the price at the door. Even the ever grinchy Prince of Darkness would have approved of that! —donny kutzbach

Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. / Doors open at 7pm / $15 or $10 plus a new toy donation / 852-3900 / / all ages

Friday, December 18

Dysfunctional Holiday Party

Santalopes. A Christmas Disaster Generator. Holiday-inspired videos and performances from local artists. Last minute shopping ideas. Gift auction and raffle. A visit from Santa, with photo op. A magic show. Treats and drinks and much, much more. Sounds like a fully functional party, actually, and it will be attended by the best and the brightest of Buffalo’s media mavens: Mike Baron & Annie will make magic; Brian Milbrand will play Santa (with help from Holly Johnson); Andrew K. Erdos will show his latest “Santalope” (pictured), a video/light installation on display in the upstairs gallery. You can see holiday-themed artwork by Jody Lafond, Carolyn Tennant, JT Rinker, Anna Scime, Neil Terry, and others, try out Jason Nelson’s Christmas Disaster Generator, which sounds frightening, get gifts from local vendors—like handcrafted jewelry and knitwear by Lily Pickford Designs (Jan Nagle), Dana Saylor Design, and Tamaran Design—and toast the season with the gang at Squeaky Wheel. The Dysfunctional Holiday Party & Screening happens this Friday (Dec. 18) at Squeaky headqarters, and unlike a real dysfuctional holiday gathering, it should be loads of fun.

—k. o’day

Squeaky Wheel, 712 Main St. / 8pm / $6 public or $4 members / 884-7172 /

Friday, December 18

La Luna 10th Anniversary

Restaurateur Mark Goldman is due a lion’s share of the credit for rejuvenating Chippewa St. The days of rundown buildings and abandoned storefronts are but a dim memory for those who are old enough, and must seem an impossibility to the twentysomethings who comprise the majority of the strip’s clientele. Goldman opened the first upscale joint ever on the “Chip Strip,” the Calumet, on the corner of Pearl St. nearly 20 years ago. That risk paid off, leading him to expand his empire with two more enterprises in the same building: The Third Room and La Luna. Conceived as a salsa joint during the height of the swing dance craze, La Luna was an immediate success, with guaranteed crossover appeal in a city with such a high Latin population. With the hottest DJs in the house and dance instruction provided for those in need, Buffalo’s clubgoing population was soon moving to Latin disco—salsa and meringue, bachata and reggaton—as a welcome change from the techno scene. La Luna remains the only Latin-themed dance bar in the city, nestled among the ever changing clubs du jour that seem to be the bulk of Chippewa businesses these days. On Friday (Dec. 18) Mark and his son/partner Charlie invite the public to celebrate. Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Bacchus (the restaurant now housed at the former Calumet location), Latin drink concoctions will flow freely, and the music—provided by DJ JO-El and friends—will make everybody want to dance. If you don’t know how, instruction will be provided. Its just like riding a bike, and so fun its addictive—which keeps the customers coming back for more.

—k. o’day

La Luna, 42 W. Chippewa St. / 6pm / 855-1292

Saturday, December 19

Tough Stuff From The Buff:
Experimental and activist vide from the fringes of Buffalo, NY

Tough Stuff is coming home on Saturday (Dec. 19), finishing up the “Bike Tour 2009” which cycled this DIY film program all over the country and parts of Canada. Brought to us by Buffalo ex-pats Mark Moscato, David Gracon, and Julie Perini, Tough Stuff From the Buff highlights the city’s media arts community, which is hopefully seeing a resurgence somwething like its heyday in the 1970s. Attempting to bring national attention to Buffalo’s media makers and avant garde artists, this collection of films reflects the city’s struggles while showcasing its talent, with work by artists including Chris Ernst, Tony Conrad,, Meg Knowles, Critical Art Ensemble, Terry Cuddy, Kelly Spivey, Stephanie Gray, and many more. The release last year of Buffalo Heads: Media Study , Media Practice, Media Pioneers, 1973-1990 (MIT, 2008) has renewed interest in the city’s arts community, recognizing as it does the difficulty of making art and media in an economically challenged rust belt town like ours.. Co-curators David Gracon and Julie Perini will be on hand to discuss theproject during and after the screening. Visit

—k. o’day

Sugar City, 19 Wadsworth / 8pm /

Saturday, December 19


The ‘First Annual Saturnalia” at Soundlab will be celebrated on Friday (Dec. 18), close enough to the traditional Saturnalia date of December 17. The ritual is based on the ancient Roman holiday and feast to commemorate the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn. The event was marked by excess and the reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters “switched,” with often hilarious results. The problem began in keeping the festivities to one day: once Saturnalia kicked off, the party began lasting up to a week, despite emperors Augustus and Caligula’s vain attempts to reign it in. Soundlab’s gonna have to keep it to one night though—there are laws now—so they’re packing in a whole lot of fun. DJs will include (in no particular order): Dopestar (deep house), Mario Bee (electro house, remixes), NSFW (electro house and self produced electro, and Medison (electro house, dubstep, remixes). This event doubles as a benefit for the City Mission, so admission is as follows: Free admission with a canned good before midnite; $5 without canned good after midnite; $2 with canned good after midnite.

Let the pagan games begin!

—frances boots

Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. / 9pm / $2-$5 after midnight, free admission before midnight with donation /

Saturday, December 19

McCarthyizm's Annual Holiday Benefit Party

On Saturday (Dec. 19) recent Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductees McCarthyizm presents their annual party to benefit the Friends of Night People, an organization established to heighten public understanding of homelessness and poverty issues snd to provide basic and essential support services. Located on Wadsworth right around the corner from Nietzsche’s, Night People has been serving the community for 40 years— since 1969—providing meals, clothing, medical care, and—in the words of executive directior Joseph Heary—”hope.” A new satellite kitchen has just opened on Buffalo’s east side, called the Urban Diner, so Night People has expanded its realm and can use all the help it can get. At the show, continuous music will be performed on two stages. Playing with McCarthyizm are A Potter’s Field, Michael Meldrum, Nelson Starr & the Benjamins, Paul Weisenburger, Poor Ould Goat, Nebs & the Particles, and the Stay Lows. Bring non-perishable food or a donation of winter clothing and get a discount at the door. This event is sponsored by the Left Bank.

—alan victor

Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. / 8pm / 866-8539 /