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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: comedian and actor, Bobcat Goldthwait at the Bear's Den Showroom at the Seneca Niagara Casino, on Thursday the 16th.

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.

Bobcat Goldthwait

Friday, July 16

I saw every Police Academy sequel solely for Bobcat Goldthwait, whose role as an anarchic, barely articulate biker-turned-cop was (at the time) about the weirdest thing I’d ever seen.

I will not attempt to defend my taste in this matter Instead, a list of Bobcat fun facts:

• Bobcat and I both attended St. Matthew’s grammar school, except that his was in East Syracuse and mine was in East Buffalo.

• His bizarre performing style began as a parody of stand-up comedians, and he claims to be baffled by the fact that he became something of a success at it.

• His second concert video was titled Is He Like That All the Time?

• Bobcat is to the Three Stooges as Andy Gibb is to the Bee Gees. Except for not being an actual relative.

• He was the commencement speaker at Hampshire College last year. (The students voted for him in what he suspects may have been a “F.U.” to their parents and faculty.)

• He was ranked as the 61st greatest comedian of all time by Comedy Central.

• When he appeared on the Today Show in 1994. his style upset host Katie Couric to the point that she kept asking him to calm down and relax.

• That same year, he set a chair on fire while appearing on the Jay Leno Show.

• As the director of Jimmy Kimmel Live, he’s the reason that show is better than it has any right to be. Or at least more interesting.

• His first film as a director, the cult classic Shakes the Clown, received one of the pithiest reviews of all time from the Boston Globe, which called it “the Citizen Kane of alcoholic clown movies.”

• His next film will be an adaptation of one of my favorite Kinks albums, 1975’s Schoolboys in Disgrace.

• He retired from stand-up a few years ago, but still tours anyway. Coming to the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls on Friday (July 16). Showtime is 8pm. —m faust

Bear’s Den Showroom, Seneca Niagara Casino, 310 3th St Niagara Falls (299-1100 / $30 & up at all Ticketmaster locations / 1-800-745-3000

Thursday, July 8 - Sunday, July 11

Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival

Hoping to entertain, feed, and remind al large percent of Buffalonians of their heritage, the Sorrentino Cheese Italian Heritage Festival will start once more this Thursday (tonight, July 15). Approximately half a million people came out to the festival last year, and with cooking demonstrations, heritage tents, replicas of famous Italian fountains, bocce, and an “Italian Idol” contest, the festival hopes to draw in even more people interested in the culture and history of Italy. Originally held from the 1930s-60s in St. Anthony’s Church, the festival was eventually canceled. Fortunately for Buffalo, the festival reappeared in 1975 on Conneticut Street and moved to the Hertel Avenue neighborhood in 1988. Ever since its rebirth, the Italian Festival has been a key event in Buffalo, bringing together every community to celebrate fine food, art, and culture. In coming out to support the festival, you will not only be learning about your heritage and enjoying some great food, but also supporting a great non-profit organization that has donated $60,000 to benefit community organizations and fund college scholarships. Bring the family, enjoy some of the best food in buffalo,listen to live music, and experience Buffalo in a whole new way.

—brendan karet

11am - 11pm from Thursday - Saturday, 11am- 10pm Sunday. Hertel Avenue between Deleware & Colvin in Buffalo. Visit

Friday, July 16

Genkin Philharmonic

Born from the stuffy practice rooms and all-nighters at the UB Music Department, the ten-piece electro/acoustic Genkin Philharmonic comes to Nietzsche’s this Friday (July 16) with their trademark repertoire that includes musical renditions of Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Captain Beefhart, King Crimson and Radiohead. Trumpeter, composer, bandleader, UB associate professor of music and Genkin Philharmonic brainchild Jon Nelson started the ensemble in 2000 as a for-credit course, and has since lead the group to dazzling performances at the 2002 International Trumpet Guild Conference, and at the 2003 Condesa Jazz Festival and Festival Centro Historico in Mexico City. Their current lineup boasts a membership of performers from the UB Music Department faculty, Lazlo Hollyfeld, What Would Mingus Do?, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. From jazz to rock, Latin mambo to chamber music, there’s no genre left untouched. The improvised solos from some of Buffalo’s best musicians is what gives Genkin Philharmonic their flare and depth, taking familiar tunes to new, unfamiliar heights, far beyond any preconceived notion of form or regularity. Nelson’s arrangements are as close to striking a balance between complexity and accessibility as you can get: technically challenging pieces that stay true to the spirit and energy of the original artist, but veer off course just enough to keep the audience guessing.

—jon wheelock

10pm. Nietzsche’s (886-8539 /

Sunday, July 18

Art, Music & Culture Fest

It’s time to lower the drawbridge and cross the moat, bohemia is entering the Historic Tonawanda Castle this Sunday (July 18). The Castle will host the first annual Art, Music, & Culture Fest. Poets, playwrites, and musicians will storm the walls in an all-day art bazaar. The 38,000 square foot fortress was built during the winter of 1896 and summer of 1897 and served as an armory for the 25th Separate Company of the Army National Guard. It cost $85,000 ($6.8 million today) to complete and has gone on to hold a place in The National and New York State Historic Registries. In 2004, the building underwent extensive restorations and given new life. Subsequently, in the City of Tonawanda, February 17 is declared Tonawanda Castle Day. There may be no more perfect place to host an event like this. WNY Theatre Alliance founders Andrew Spragge and Karen Eichler will perform as Deviant Monkey Improv. Prepare for poetry readings, performances of original plays, and live music provided by the Bloodthirsty Vegans, I Was The Scarecrow, and keyboardist Don Roth. Stay for the light refreshments, cash bar, and jewelry...and let’s not forget the nearby Niagara River and Erie Canal (Canal Fest, July 18-25, kicks off on this day as well). Spend your Sunday in a castle like King Arthur, Gandalf, or Harry Potter would.

—gordon cole

12-6pm. Historic Tonawanda Castle, 69 Delaware St. (743-8544 / $3

Monday, July 19

Green Jelly Fan Appreciation Show

There’s nothing better than free stuff! Especially on a usually boring Monday night!

This Monday (July 19), Green Jelly will be rockin’ Club Diablo with a FREE fan appreciation show. There will be puppets and lots of crazy costumes on stage as Bill Manspeaker and crew come to town to see friends and family. If you have had a Green Jelly song ringing in your ears lately, it’s probably because their “Bear Song” is currently in a Shell Oil commercial, playing repeatedly on your television. You know the one where the little Japanese kid is rockin’ out on his guitar, and his dad comes in and turns off the power? Yep…the song that is playing is Buffalo’s own Green Jelly! (If you thought it sounded familiar, that very same song was also used in the movie Dumb & Dumber.) The band will undoubtedly perform this fan favorite with a special guest appearance by former band member, Joe Cannizzaro, who co-wrote and sang the song on the CD, 333. Joe has since relocated back to Buffalo and is now a senior producer at WNED. Opening the show is local act Johnny Revolting, and the Fabulous Miss Wendy, who is also playing guitar in Green Jelly. She rocked last time they were in town with a great set of her own music before Green Jelly took the stage. Come on out and party with the rock-n-roll puppet show!…and remember, its FREE!

—rose mattrey

8pm. Club Diablo, 517 Washington St. (842-0666 / FREE

Wednesday, July 21


If anyone could put a spin on dream pop it’s Calexico. Actually they put a bunch of spins on it. Their mixture of post-rock, Southwestern country and indie rock represents not only the melancholy emotions in vocalist Burns’ lyrics but also the region that they come from. Tucson, Arizona is home to the six piece and it’s not too difficult to tell from their music.“ Victor Jara’s Hands,” the opening track of their latest album, 2008’s Carried to Dust, packs in all the southwestern charm the band could fit. With shakers, horns, Spanish lyrics, acoustic guitar and a refrain of “olay olay/olay olay” the song could have served as the anthem to Spain’s World Cup victory. But the album takes a quick turn, as the next track, “Two Silver Trees,” sounds like it might fit just as well on a Sufjan Stevens album with whispered vocal melodies and gentle tapping percussion. The guys in Calexico are also avid collaborators. In 2005 they joined with Iron & Wine to write and record seven tracks which became the In The Reins EP. Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam returns to lend his folk proficiency to the bands already overflowing sense of musical variation on Carried to Dust, which alsoincludes the rhythmic expertise of Tortoise bassist Doug McCombs. Calexico will take the stage of the Tralf on Wednesday (July 21st) with indie folk rocker Elliott Brood.

—cory perla

7pm/doors; 8pm/show. Tralf Muisc Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / www.tralfmusichallcom). $17 presale; $20 day of show at all Ticketmaster locations / 1-800-745-3000

Thursday, July 22

Infringement Festival Kickoff

It’s coming. A hard sweat-and-confetti rain will fall on Buffalo’s Allentown from July 22 to August 1. That’s right, it’s the 2010 Buffalo Infringement Festival beginning next Thursday, “11 days of art under the radar” as all the banners read. Since its humble beginnings in 2005, the festival has only grown in leaps and bounds. This year’s festival will see 350 diverse projects filling the streets, from poets to cabaret acts, to musicians and puppeteers. Buffalo’s rich art scene will be busting at the seams, spilling over pure beautiful chaos wherever it’s welcome or not. Community members are opening up their homes and couches to house an assortment of bearded young men with guitars. Last year’s festival saw an estimate 8,000 people flock to the street corners and gutters where bands and/or actors crammed to fit and share this unique artwork. The Infringement committee has worked tirelessly for months to craft a schedule in which everyone’s voice has a chance to be heard. The ‘Fringe Fest left no stone unturned and no venue unopened for possibilities—even the rooftop of the historic Broadway Market will be infiltrated on the event’s final day (August 1). Kicking it off will be the opening ceremonies at Nietzsche’s on Thursday (July 22) at 7pm.. And it’s just the very tip of the proverbial iceberg (for a complete festival schedule visit: The beast of the 2010 Infringement Festival is stomping across the city to your front door. Let it in.

—peter vullo

7pm. Nietzsche’s (886-8539 /

Thursday, July 22

Bill Kirchen

Dieselbilly King Bill Kirchen is rolling down the blacktop again on his way to that little honky tonk in Black Rock next Thursday (July 22) in support of his new release Word to the Wise (Proper American). The record was recorded in London, and features duets with a number of artists he has worked with over the years, including: Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks, Kevin “Blackie” Farrell, Chris O’Connell, George Frayne (aka Commander Cody), Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack, and Elvis Costello. The impressive lineup of collaborators is testament to the level of respect Kirchen has earned in his 40+ year career—ever since his lightning-fast picking drove “Hot Rod Lincoln” onto the charts for Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, that band played an unsung role in making country and American roots music hip to a new generation in the early 1970s. While California bands like the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers got the lion’s share of the credit for blending country with rock, they never captured the essential hairiness of both musical forms the way the Lost Planet Airmen did. Anyone who’s seen Kirchen live lately will agree he hasn’t lost that edge.

—buck quigley

7pm. Sportsmen’s Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (874-7734 / $20