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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: Buffalo's Small Press Book Fair on Saturday the 27th at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum at Porter Hall.

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.

One Loud Voice: Buffalo's Small Press Book Fair

Saturday, March 27

This Saturday (March 27) marks the return of the fourth annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, bringing booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, DIY crafters, regional cultural workers, and everyone in between together in Buffalo’s Karpeles Manuscript Library to share ideas, promote their trade, and sell their work.

With three fairs under his belt and a fresh grant from the WNY Book Arts Collaborative, organizer Chris Fritton hopes to set a new attendance record after selling out vendor slots in a few short weeks. This year, the event has attracted nearly 90 vendors—the most in its four-year history—from Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago, Washington DC, and across the country.

“Its growth means greater visibility for Buffalo on the national literary scene,” says Fritton. “People see this amazing event and how it brings together such a diverse cross-section of cultural workers, and they take that home with them. I like to think of the fair as an impetus for personal growth too, not just community growth—each fair is a chance for artists and writers to produce something new.”

Visitors can expect to find a plethora of materials ready for tender: small press poetry and fiction, comics, print-on-demand novels and nonfiction, local interest, letter press and book art, antique collector’s editions, zines, gig posters, binding equipment, bookmarks, and bookplates. Some of the vendors setting up shop at the fair include Allentown’s own Rust Belt Books, BLAZEVOX, Blowfish Bookbinding, Amy Greenan Art and Design, and Spruce Tree Press, among many, many others.

In addition to the open bazaar aspect of the fair, workshops in comic book making, zine assembly, and other skills will be held throughout the day in the upper room of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. One workshop slated for the fair is a presentation/forum hosted by comic book artist Peter Lazarski, inviting newcomers and enthusiasts alike to discuss the craft of making comics, as well as the tumultuous process of self publishing.

Just Buffalo will kick off the weekend with the Small Press Poetry Fest—a poetry reading working in conjunction with the Small Press Book Fair—on Friday at 7pm (March 26) at the WNY Book Arts Collaborative (468 Washington Street, corner of Mohawk). This year the Small Press Poetry Fest will feature writers from BLAZEVOX, Habenicht Press, Earth’s Daughters, Book Thug, House Press, Outside Voices, and many others.

“Buffalo has always had a strong independent literary community, and it has a long history of small press and self-published work as well,” Fritton says. “But what really makes this event work here is the grassroots mindset. We build everything in this city from the bottom up. Whether it’s the music scene, the poetry scene, or the art scene, in Buffalo it’s an emergent system. It’s the amalgamation of a thousand tiny actions instead of the directive of one loud voice.”

jon wheelock

Noon to 6pm. Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, Porter Hall (453 Porter Avenue). Free.

Thursday, March 25

Magik Markers

On Thursday (March 25), Magik Markers will bring their sonic weirdness to the Soundlab. Sometimes sounding like a church choir on acid in the Sixties, sometimes like the Velvet Underground, weaving dense musical patterns that invoke lava lamps and modern art on a projection screen. Their website ( urges visitors to appropriately “catch the freakout fever.” The Connecticut-based band is currently comprised of Elisa Ambrogio (guitar, vocals) and Pete Nolan (drums). The group gained much attention for their chaotic live shows and an opening slot for Sonic Youth, leading to countless releases on various labels and different mediums, some released only on vinyl, CD-R, or digitally. Massive file-sharing efforts caused the band’s rare releases to be readily available online. Their 2007 album BOSS was produced by Sonic Youth kingpin Lee Ranaldo and was crowned “Best of the Month” for September in Vice magazine. Magik Markers was chosen as one of the “Best New Bands” of Connecticut by the Boston Phoenix. Supporting on Thursday will be Ronallo/Baczkowski and Bare Flames. Let the freakout commence

—peter vullo

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. ( $10.

Friday, March 26

The Stay Lows

Following a bleak Buffalo winter, it’s appropriate that one of the Queen City’s finest bands is celebrating spring with a sonic rebirth. The Stay Lows’ third release Signature Bridge is being unveiled and proves their most ambitious and realized work to date. It’s a breath-taking mix of ethereal and dreamy soundscapes, droney shoegaze, and tempered post-rock. The boundary-pushing quintet of guitarist Eric Kendall, cellist Rick Wright, bassist/keyboardist Jeff Delmerico, guitarist/vocalist Jim Schiffert, and drummer Brandon Delmont have crafted a record tinged in psychedelia, angled pop, and experimental dashes with a nod to soundtrack music while never losing sight of the end result: Making great, engaging songs. This Friday (March 26) night at Mohawk Place the Stay Lows will play selections from Signature Bridge with like-minded bands Wooden Waves and Pennsylvania & Gold. $8 gets you in the door plus a copy of the CD.

-donny kutzbach

9pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (855-3931 /

Saturday, March 27

Suckers, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers

Spray the Talking Heads or Tears For Fears with a little bit of laughing gas, dress them up like flower children, tack on about 20 more years of new wave music for inspiration and you’ve got Suckers. Formed all of two years ago in Brooklyn, Suckers have already planted their feet with their debut self-titled EP, which was produced by Anand Wilder of Yeasayer and released last April by Frenchkiss. Glimmering guitar, reverberated piano lines, and plenty of vocal layers paint their simple, slow and shimmering songs with all sorts of psychedelic colors. The last song on their EP, titled “It Gets Your Body Moving,” is more likely to melt your mind away than get you dancing with its delicate composition of shoegazing guitar layers and a whistle solo mid song. They will hit the stage of Soundlab on Saturday (March 27), with fellow Brooklynites Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers. Its hard to pigeon hole Shilpa. Their sound is part blues and part punk mixed with the violent but beautiful crooning of front-woman Shilpa Ray. Though the band is unsigned they’ve made a big splash with their live show at SXSW. Shilpa frantically belts out her swinging vocals as she plays a harmonium (basically an accordion sitting on a table), while the rest of the band tightly lays down their brand of fast rock and roll. Both of these bands are riding a SXSW tide right now so catch them while you can still get a spot in the front row.

cory perla

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. ( $10-$12.

Sunday, March 28

Passion Pit

Electric indie-pop band Passion Pit has taken a ride through the blogosphere. Their debut EP Chunk of Change (French Kiss) spread infectiously through a web of indie blogs in 2008, eventually being noticed by hip-hop authority Kanye West, who praised the fat beats on their track “Cuddle Fuddle.” Passion Pit will take the stage at the Rapids Theater in Niagara Falls, for their second appearance in WNY on Sunday (March 28). The band, based out of Boston but fronted by Buffalo native Mike Angelakos, paid their first visit to Buffalo last June to play in front of a sold out crowd on the cramped stage of Mohawk Place. By the end of their set fans were hanging from the ceiling—literally. Since then, Passion Pit’s debut LP Manners (Columbia), with it’s 1980’s influenced drum pad tones and higher than falsetto vocals, has made many critic’s best of 2009 lists. The album goes beyond just catchy beats, as Angelakos belts out ironic and personal lyrics about down-low drug use, same-sex curiosity, and depression cloaked by choruses of children singing and thick, sometimes Cure-like synth lines. This time around their live set list will not deviate far from favorite tracks on Manners and Chunk Of Change, with perhaps the exception of a cover of the Cranberries’ song “Dreams.” Their cover of that song will appear on the reissue of Manners, available April 13, along with stripped-down versions of “Sleepyhead” and “Moth’s Wings.” L.A.-based hip-hop beat-maker Mayer Hawthorne will join Passion Pit for their highly anticipated return to the Nickel City.

cory perla

7pm. Rapids Theater, 1711 Main St. Niagara Falls (205-8925). $16-$18.

Monday, March 29

An Horse

An Horse will undoubtedly rock some ratty Converse off when they play Soundlab this Monday (March 29). The Australian duo of Kate Cooper (vocals, guitar) and Damon Cox (drums) writes the most darling indie-pop songs, with a golden ear for melody and undeniable songcrafting skills. Their songs are anthems for the young and they pen lyrics that hit like bricks. The two met in 2007 while working at an independent record store in downtown Brisbane, Australia. The Aussie sweethearts forgot their vinyl-pushing duties and started jamming in-store, leading to their eventual success as An Horse. (The record store has since closed). Take opening track “Camp Out” from their 2009 album Rearrange Beds: “This is a song for the one that I love. I haven’t met them yet, but I’m quietly confident.” With opening slots for Tegan and Sara, Death Cab For Cutie, and song placement in a major car commercial, it seems people are catching on. Monday’s show at Soundlab starts at 9pm with support from local boys Here Come the Comets.

—peter vullo

9pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. ( $10.

Wednesday, March 31

The Budos Band

On Wednesday (March 31), the ten-piece “afro-influenced” Budos Band will bring their brand of soul and funk to Nietzsche’s. This Staten Island band, whose original name was Los Bardudos (the bearded ones), uses an army of instruments including a wide and wild array of horns and percussion to flesh out their sound, which is like a badass soundtrack to a car chase scene in a 1970’s heist movie. The rhythm is solid and the groove is ever-present for your pleasure. The band’s origins are rooted in a deep love for soul music and ferry rides to Manhattan to hear acts like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings perform in smoky basement clubs late into the night. Those magical nights at the No Moore Club led to a deal with Daptone Records, home to some of the very same acts the band finds influential. The Budos Band is on tour in support of The Budos Band EP and their second full-length, The Budos Band II, on what they are deeming the “Anti-Spring Break Tour 2010.” Wednesday’s show at Nietzsche’s kicks off at 9pm. Give your soul what it needs...more soul.

—peter vullo

9pm. Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. (886-8539 /