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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: Fourth of July Weekend.

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

Fourth of July

I’m struck by lightnin’, it’s frightnin’ So excitin’, on Independence Day

—david byrne

Where to get the thrills this July 4th? Whether you’ll be joining the masses or scoping out a private rooftop, don’t miss the fireworks this holiday.

Here’s a guide to when and where:

UB Baird Point Independence Day Celebration starting at 7:15pm. Music by LeeRon Zydeco and the Erie County Wind Ensemble. Fireworks at dusk.

Cheektowaga Town Park. Fourth of July Party starts at noon with a parade down Harlem Rd. Music by the Bedrock Boys from 2-6pm and the Boys of Summer at 7pm with fireworks at dusk.

Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf: Buffalo’s Official Fourth of July Celebration starts at 4pm with Cadenza of the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo; flag folding ceremony and flyover at 6:45pm; music by Tom Stahl & the Dangerfields at 7:45pm; performance by Lance Diamond at 9pm; fireworks at 10:15pm.

Friendship Festival at Riverside Park, Tonawanda, and Mather Arch, Fort Erie, Ontario. Binational celebration starts at 11am. Celtic Festival, Hands Across the Border event, entertainment, kids’ activities, and more. Fireworks at 10pm. (Call 905-871-6454 for information on Hands Across the Border)

Town of Lancaster. Party in the Save-a-Lot- Parking Lot and on N. Aurora St. from the bridge to Pleasant Avenue. Starts at 8am with a flag raising and interfaith service; kids activities until noon; Lancaster Town Band performance; parade at 2pm; music by Just Got Paid and Hit-N-Run from 4pm; fireworks at 10pm.

Lewiston Plateau, near Artpark. Fireworks at dusk.

Niawanda Park, Tonawandas. Music by Sugar-N-Jazz at 7pm; fireworks at dusk

Orchard Park Pavilion behind Orchard Park Middle School. Parade at 8pm at the Orchard Park High Schoolto the Pavilion behind Orchard Park Middle School. Fireworks at 9:45pm.

Outwater Park, Lockport. Music by Lockport Federation of Musicians from 4-6pm. Fireworks at dusk

Sal Maglie Stadium, Hyde Park, Niagara falls. Fireworks at 9:45pm

Wanakah Country Club. Fireworks at dusk

Thursday, July 1

Dustin Hoffman Film Series

Back in those halcyon days of the late 1960s and early 70s, when movies were made for adults, there was no bigger star than Dustin Hoffman. An unlikely surrogate in an uncertain era, he stuck a chord in the hearts of audiences whether they embraced change or feared it. The glorious Riviera Theater in North Tonawanda is devoting its summer film series to a retrospective of his films, beginning tonight (Thursday, July 1). Of course, the opening film is The Graduate (1967), director Mike Nichols’s satirical coming-of-age comedy that became an emotional touchstone for an entire generation. Along with all of the other reasons to see it (the performance that made Hoffman a star, Buck Henry’s witty script, the songs by Simon and Garfunkel), Nichol’s use of space in the widescreen frame makes this a different experience if you’ve only ever seen it panned and scanned for television. Upcoming films include Wag The Dog (July 8), Tootsie (July 22), Kramer vs. Kramer (July 29), Midnight Cowboy (August 5), Little Big Man (August 12), All The President’s Men (August 19), Marathon Man (August 26), and Rain Man (September 2). Admission is only $3, and that includes a pre-film concert on the theater’s Wurlitzer organ, so arrive early! —m. faust

Thursdays at 7pm, August 1-Sept. 2. Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda (692-2413 /

Friday, July 2

New Riders of the Purple Sage

For many, the appeal of New Riders of the Purple Sage, in both the current and multifarious past lineups, is certainly the band’s intimate association with the Grateful Dead and the San Francisco psychedelic rock scene. Fair enough, but that’s not what moves me. I’m more taken by the band’s parallel contributions to the burgeoning country rock of the late 1960s and 1970s, a movement that produced the Band, the Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and, most mindblowingly, Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. The band’s primary songwriter, John “Marmaduke” Dawson, left in 1997 and died last July, but the current Riders carry his legacy ably: guitarist David Nelson’s early gigs with Jerry Garcia established the band; pedal steel ace Buddy Cage replaced Garcia when the Riders and the Dead decided to forge separate musical units; guitarist Michael Falzarano cut his teeth with Hot Tuna; and the rhythm section comprises two more jam band legends, Ronnie Penque on bass and Johnny Markowski on drums. Don’t miss them at the Sportsmen’s on Friday (July 2). —frances boots

8pm. Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St.. (874-7734 / $40

Saturday, July 3

Gord Downie

On Saturday (July 3) Hard Rock at The Falls free summer concert series presents Tragically Hip lead singer Gord Downie. Aside from the Tragically Hip, the Toronto based performer has had quite an accomplished solo career. Along with releasing three solo albums, he’s acted in sitcoms, appeared with the rest of his band in Trailer Park Boys: The Movie, and is slated to appear as the lead role in a new movie called Sight Unseen. This month he released his third solo album titled The Grand Bounce. The album is made up mostly of shimmering pop-rock songs with layers of acoustic guitar and crisp vocals that reverberate vivid and colorful lyrics like “In the darkness there’s a tinge, the slightest streak of blood-orange. Like a drop of blood to the rusty door hinge,” off of his track “The Dance and It’s Disappearance.” Downie’s solo ventures are only complimentary to his work with the Tragically Hip, though, as their latest album has received significant critical acclaim, nominated for three Juno awards. The singer/songwriter will take the outdoor stage at the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls with openers Joshua James and Alison Pipitone. Later this month the Hard Rock Cafe will present several more free outdoor concerts including The English Beat, Soul Asylum and the BPO playing the music of Pink Floyd —cory perla

6pm. Old Falls St., adjacent to the Hard Rock Cafe, 333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls (282-0007 / FREE

Monday, July 5

Dream Theater

Though metal lost one of it’s gods, Ronnie James Dio, last month, his mortal offspring still inhabit the earth. Dream Theater returns to Buffalo to thrash the stage of Town Ballroom on Monday (July 5). Their latest album, Black Clouds and Silver Linings, released last year on Roadrunner Records, is their 10th studio album and is full of the same chugging guitar riffs, cryptic lyrics and blistering solos that Dream Theater fans are used to. “A Nightmare to Remember,” the epic 16 minute opening track on Black Clouds begins with the appropriate sound of a thunderstorm just before the band’s guitar virtuoso John Petrucci shreds a surgical solo. It’s not all lightening blasts and shredding guitar riffs though. “Tenement Funster” beings with the sound of a grand piano and eventually breaks into group vocals that sound more like Queen than Queensrÿche. It’s been 25 years since the original lineup of Dream Theater, then known as Majesty, got together to plot out their plan for world domination. Since then the band has stayed on the cutting edge of metal with their ever changing live sets and their penchant for new sounds and new ways to make them. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess recently developed an app for the iPad called Morphwiz, a touch screen instrument which allows the user to slide and mutate tones using their fingers. Rudess demonstrates his app on the bands website by playing an expansive version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”

Oh Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore. Glam rockers Z02 open the show. —cory perla

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $35/advance; $45/day of show at box office,, and Tops Markets

Thursday, July 8

Nobody Bangs The Drum

Exploring a multi-media mix of pounding instrumental electronica and dizzying visual accompaniment since its inception in 2003, the Dutch trio Nobody Beats the Drum makes their second ever North American appearance at Soundlab next Thursday (July 8) with fellow genre-benders C-Mon & Kypski. Featuring Sjam Sjamsoedin on the decks, Jori Collignon on keyboards and Rogier van der Zwaag working projections, the group described their sound on the South by Southwest (SXSW) website as: “Analog and/or digital saw, sinus or pulse waveforms oscillated, filtered, distorted and layered with sampled and/or wave-generated beats. Heavily [sidechain] compressed and limited to guarantee the full, blasting effect.” More succinctly, their official press statement describes NBTD’s music as a “fusion of breaks, electro, hip hop and every other form of music that whips a crowd up into a sweaty, writhing heap of body parts.” Similarly, C-mon & Kypski, described by Esquire magazine as “The hot shit in Europe right now,” began as a turntable-based electro act (featuring Dutch DJ champion Kypski), but has since grown to include keys, guitars and more. For a night of banging but largely indescribable Euro-turntablist-electro, get your ass down to Soundlab. Doors open at 10pm. —greg gannon

10pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (