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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: the New Year's Eve Ice Ball at the Statler Towers.

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.

New Year's Eve Ice Ball

Thursday, December 31

It takes a fair amount of pluck to try to start a new tradition in this town, but Steve Poland and his partners have got a running start. Last year’s inaugural Ice Ball—a New Year’s Eve alternative to the city’s venerable bar and restaurant celebrations—absolutely packed the Marcy Casino at Delaware Park. So Poland has doubled down this year, moving the event to the resplendent and more capacious Statler Golden Ballroom. There are three ticket prices, ranging from $95 to $225, with appropriate accoutrements for each grade of admission. Everyone, however, enjoys a generous open bar, a buffet, music by the Michael Bly Band, free valet parking, and a host of other enticements. (Visit to learn more.) Needless to say, everyone gets champagne, and if the bubbly clouds your memory of the evening, never fear: Prom-like souvenir photos will memorialize the evening. for better and for worse. It’s a class act, the Ice Ball, the sort of New Year’s soiree this city has been sorely lacking. Move quickly—the event is nearly sold out.

—geoff kelly

Statler Towers, 107 Delaware Ave. / 7pm-2am /

Saturday, December 26

90's Style Xmas, w/Tone Loc, Big Balls

In 1989, With smash hits like “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” all over the airwaves, rapper Anthony Terrell Smith/aka Tone Loc became the second rap artist—and first black one—to top the Billboard charts at #1 with his album Loc’ed After Dark (The Beastie Boys hit it first in 1986 with License to Ill). Those two songs are probably his best-known—after recording his 1991 follow-up album, Cool Hand Loc, the singer put his raspy voice to work on TV and in film. But “Wild Thing” and “Medina” have had lasting power and remain two of the great party tunes of all time. Loc will host the Town Ballroom’s “Fifth Annual 90s Style Christmas Party” along with Buffalo’s foremost AC/DC cover band, Big Balls, who are also celebrating their tenth anniversary. Included in the price of admission are four hours of open bar, from 11am-3pm. So everybody get loc’ed with Tone and rock to your favorite AC/DC tunes, and who cares what decade it is anyway? Who doesn’t want to party like its 1999? Or ‘89...?

—alan victor

Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. / 10pm (doors) / $25 advance or $30 day of at Town Ballroom box office (852-3900) or (888-223-6000) /

Saturday, December 26


There’s a uniquely human urge to place things into categories, to classify them for our convenience, to store them in our memories so that when we pull them back out, they’re packaged and labeled just the way we like. And then there’s Thought, a five-piece outfit of 9 years that still refuses to be pigeonholed. After focusing their efforts in NYC the past 3 years, the group returns to Nietzsche’s this Friday (Dec. 26) to show you that sometimes you just need to listen, enjoy, and dance your face off. Thought brings a musical sensibility that is sometimes overshadowed at live events: spontaneity. The group blends fresh and inviting instrumentation of drums, bass trumpet, alto sax, electric bass, and guitar with parallel male/female vocals. You can insert buzzwords like “dance-rock” or “pop-funk” if you’d like, but for convenience’s sake, the band would prefer to call their sound “multiple personality music.” Show up and see these personalities vibe and feed off each other all night, and leave your definitions at the door. Earlier that night, at 7pm is the Thirds’ Holiday Reunion Show, an annual favorite.

—jon wheelock

Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. / 11pm / $7 / Ages 21+ /

Saturday, December 26

The Magnificent Seven! 7th Annual Tribute to Joe Strummer & The Clash

The 7th annual Clash tribute night at the Mohawk takes place this Saturday (Dec. 26), a benefit party for the Strummerville Foundation for New Music. Strummerville is a registered charity that aims to create new opportunities for aspiring musicians . It was set up by the friends and family of Joe Strummer in the year after his death in 2002, and the Mohawk’s Clash tribute night has been going just as long. This year the bands—tribute night founder Chris Malachowski’s Rebel Waltz and others—consist of various Buffalo musical greats doing sets of Clash/Strummer songs. Other acts include Girlpope, the Prisoners, and John Lombardo, as well as groups put together with artisits from the Great Train Robbery, Wolf Tickets, Doombuggy, Odiorne and many more.

frances boots

Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. / 10pm (doors) / $25 advance or $30 day of show at Town Ballroom box office (852-3900) or (888-223-6000) /

Monday, December 28

The Buffalo Shuffle: Defining the Buffalo Sound

There’s New Orleans, Kansas City, New York, and Chicago style jazz, or the Nashville sound in country music. Perhaps not as recognizable as these genres, but equally as important, was the Buffalo sound: a style of traditional rhythm and blues forged in Buffalo during the early 1960s by a local band Stan & the Ravens, led by pianist Stan Szelest. Inspired by the sounds of Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, and Chuck Berry, Stan & the Ravens worked the Buffalo bar scene perfecting their unique brand of blues. The Buffalo sound, sometimes referred to as the Buffalo shuffle, takes the typical drum shuffle beat and boils it down to give it a quality that former Ravens drummer Gary Mallaber describes as “gusty, earthy.” In short, it became ours. “The Buffalo Shuffle” night at the Tralf commemorates the lasting impression of the Buffalo style, featuring local Buffalo musicians Doug Yeomans, Mick Hayes, Pete Holquin, Jim Ehinger, Steve Sadoff, and Al Monti with special guest musicians weekly. Starting this Monday (Dec. 28) and continuing weekly, the event welcomes musicians to participate in the rediscovery and development of the Buffalo sound.

—jon wheelock

Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. / 7pm doors; 8pm show / 852-2860 /