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See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: the RendezBlue festival, running Thursday the 11th through Sunday the 14th at the Burchfield-Penney.

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.


Thursday, November 11 - Sunday, November 14

This is not your typical music and art festival. No need to pitch a tent or avoid poncho wearing hippies here, this is a classy occasion. On Thursday (tonight! Nov 11), the Burchfield Penney Art Center will kick off their second annual RendezBlue festival. An onslaught of writers, artists, and musicians will flood the art center, located on Buffalo State College’s campus, to display art of all sorts, including live music, poetry, workshops, and performance art. If you’re looking for some hip, local music then Friday is your night. Starting at 8pm, local alternative rockers Here Come The Comets will take the stage in the auditorium to debut their newest EP, That Good Old Fashioned Sin Volume One, an emotional set of indie rock tunes with a soul somewhere between Sparklehorse and David Bowie, and the musical presence of bands like Yo La Tango. Led by visual artist and musician Todd Lesmeister, the band formed in 2006 and quickly created 10 textural, guitar based tracks, that they call “post apocalyptic love songs,” on an album titled Falling Anvils: Love Songs for the Doomed and Secretly Happy. At 9pm is the real hip-hop of the Pseudo Intellectuals. Comprised of local mix masters Tone Atlas, DJ Cutler, and Nick Zero, their set should shift the crowd into a body-moving state just in time for a performance by the Verve Dance Studio at 10pm. Saturday will be a serious night of rhythm & blues featuring a soulful set by the Buffalo Select Chorus and Joseph Wooten at 8pm, followed by the Motown blues of Jony James. Sunday begins with an opera performance by Buffalo State’s Kendrew Heriveaux, and ends with this season’s premier performance of Burchfield Penney’s resident musical ensemble, A Musical Feast. And of course, each afternoon throughout the weekend will feature panel discussions, screenings, and workshops like the Studio Classroom Workshop where students will learn letterpress printing and bookbinding, or the Water Color Workshop where students will paint based on a variety of music. The festivities kick off at 7pm on Thursday with a showcase of Buffalo’s most talented writers at the Poetry and Spoken Word WAM Slam. ­—cory perla

7pm-10pm Thursday, 5:30pm-11pm Friday, 2pm-11pm Saturday, 11am-4pm Sunday. Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-6011 / FREE.

Friday, November 12


Buffalo’s enfant terrible, if it has one, would be actor/director/experimental music composer Vincent Gallo, who comes to Soundlab with his band RRIICCEE on Friday (Nov 12). Speaking somewhat obtusely, as those of us who’ve followed his career have come to expect, Gallo once told the Denver Post, “when I say experimental I don’t mean the cliche of experimental music…what I mean is that I’m looking for a musical vocabulary to get us beyond my own vocabulary.” Okay, but if you are looking for any vocabulary at all, don’t go see RRIICCEE because their music features very few vocals, if any, and there are no set lists for any of RRIICCEE’s shows. Nor does the band distribute any recordings or videos, blog, twitter, or otherwise promote their under the underground appearances. It’s difficult for Gallo to come through this town, however, without creating some buzz. Love him or hate him he’s still from Buffalo, about which he has nothing very nice to say. That hasn’t prevented a certain fan base from accumulating, though, whether it follows him out of a kind of confused fascination or genuine respect for his work. That’s pretty much how national reviewers feel about him too. After 1998’s Buffalo ‘66 was released to mixed reviews, 2003’s The Brown Bunny was nearly universally panned, leading to a legendary media spat between the director and Roger Ebert. With a well-documented disdain for anything he considers “mainstream,” Gallo seems much less scornful of musicians, even famous ones, and pledges deep respect for his bandmates in RRIICCEE although they’ve included those who’ve been touched by the mainstream, like Eric Erlandson (formerly of Hole) and Simon and Nikolas Haas (brothers of actor Lukas). But Gallo remains the only “official” member, and those founding musicians won’t be joining him on this tour. Instead he will have multi-instrumentalist and prolific film composer Woody Jackson (Ocean’s 12 & 13, The Devil Wears Prada, American History X) and Nico Turner (of the LA duo VOICEsVOICEs) along with him. But then again, Gallo likes to keep things obscure, so there’s really no telling who will accompany him on Friday, or what they will create. —katherine 0’day

8pm. Soundlab, 110 Pearl St. (440-5907 / $20.

Saturday, November 13

Sarah Harmer

From the Americana twang on songs like “I Am Aglow” or her rendition of the bluegrass standard “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” listeners might think Sarah Harmer hails from Appalachia. Those listeners couldn’t be more wrong though. The Ontario-native and singer-songwriter gracefully infuses her melodies with the poetic as well as the political. At times folksy, at times pop driven, Harmer’s music is consistently melodious and evokes the ambiance of rainy days as easily as it acquaints the listener with political and environmental issues. That’s no small feat for Harmer, who took time out from her successful music career to co-found Protecting Escarpment Rural Land, or PERL, in an effort to defend her corner of the Niagara Escarpment against commercial development. Harmer has used her music as a voice for PERL with songs like “Escarpment Blues.” Currently touring in support of her most recent album, Oh Little Fire, Sarah Harmer brings her toe-tapping performance to Town Ballroom on Saturday (Nov 13) with special guests Hey Rosetta!, a guitar-driven indie-rock ensemble. Tickets are $16 advance, $19 day of show. Doors open at 7 pm. —brian pietrus

7pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 / $16-$19.

Saturday, November 13

Trailer Park Boys

Besides some so-so beer and Neil Young, our neighbors to the North, Canada, have given us the Trailer Park Boys. Even if you haven’t heard of them, if you’re into “mockumentaries” or even if you’re just trying to get two birds stoned at once, their upcoming gig may be for you. Basically the story goes like this: some white trash-y dudes live in a Canadian trailer park and get into all kinds of misadventures. Those three gentlemen are Julian, Ricky, and the man for all seasons, Bubbles. The Trailer Park Boys are taking their whacky, politically misinformed performance, known as the Drunk, High, and Unemployed Tour, to the Performing Art Center at Rockwell Hall on the Buffalo State College campus this Saturday (Nov 13). Tickets range from $28-$35 in advance, two bucks more day of the show. This is sure to be a classy event so don’t forget to wear your wife-beater, clutch your glass of liquor, and laugh through the night. —peter vullo

8pm. Performing Art Center at Rockwell Hall Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (878-3005) All Ages. $28-$38.

Tuesday, November 16

Medeski Martin & Wood

Propulsive, contemporary hip-hop beats that swing as hard as jazz rhythms, full of improvisation and harmony. That’s how Medeski Martin & Wood describe the sound they’ve spent the last 19 years fine-tuning. From their humble beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, to the formation of their own record label, Indirecto Records, MMW have always stayed true to their founding principles. “In the beginning, as it is now, we went by gut instinct,” bassist Chris Wood said. The trio, consisting of John Medeski (keys), Billy Martin (percussion), and Wood (bass), blend funky rhythms and energetic staccato melodies with the sometimes electronic pulse that drives the band through uncharted waters, opening strange new doors of jazzy funk. Equally at home at jazz festivals as they are on the jam band circuit, MMW provide a perfect synthesis of practically every musical genre, dipping their talented fingers into world rhythms, folk, funk, and of course, jazz. Medeski Martin & Wood will play an intimate performance at Babeville’s Asbury Hall on Tuesday (Nov 16). Tickets are $25 advance, $27 day of show, available at all outlets or at the Babeville box office, or charge by phone by calling 888-223-6000. —brian pietrus

7pm. Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave. (852-3835 / Tickets are available at all outlets or at the Babeville box office, or charge by phone by calling 888-223-6000. $25-$27.

Tuesday, November 16

Hot Cha Cha

Hailing from Cleveland, this quartet have fashioned a living out of melting faces and hearts with a unique blend of art-punk energy and pop sensibilities. Going strong since 2007, Hot Cha Cha are on the road again in support of their latest effort, Fantastic Static, a jaw dropping EP that brings to mind what it would sound like if Patti Smith fronted the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. High soaring, delay-heavy guitars mingle with fuzzed-out bass and deep driving rhythms, which lend themselves nicely to the downright sultry, yet intense singing of Jovana Batkovic. This, coupled with a vigorously hectic and confrontational live show, gives an all-encompassing example of everything right with rock n’ roll at this moment in time. Graceful fury at its best. Kicking things off will be local showstoppers and all around dashing gents, The Fucking Hotlights, who’s M.O includes being viciously raw and captivating in every way. Take the overdriven swagger of the Stooges and cross it with the musical complexities of the Blood Brothers and you’re getting close. Arguably one of the hardest working bands in the city, they’ve spent most of the fall extensively touring the Midwest and Northeast in anticipation of their soon to be released full-length record. Rounding out the bill will be the moody and melodically organic departures of (AT SEA), with singing-saw and saxophone in tow. Prepare to be haunted after their set. Mohawk Place is where you want to be and Tuesday, (Nov 16) is when you want to be there. Doors are at 9pm. $5 will secure you a night of fun like no other. —eric kendall

9pm. Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. (465-2368 / $5.

Wednesday, November 17

Cannibal Corpse

A band so metal they have been banned in entire countries. Spanning a career of over 20 years, their songs have earned international cult status. What place could breed such a colossal death metal band other than Buffalo? Full of heavy guitar chugging and guttural yells, Cannibal Corpse’s songs tell stories that your mother probably wouldn’t want you to hear. Take their tale of necrophilia, “Cum Blood”, a song with lyrics that have given censors a rise world wide. In response to the band’s questionably violent lyrics bassist Alex Webster said, “it’s good to have anger-music as a release.” Joining the band on their headlining tour are death metal shockers Dying Fetus and black metal veterans Vital Remains. So if you’re boss is up your ass, or the cold weather is just pissing you off, check out Cannibal Corpse at Club Infinity on Wednesday (Nov 17) to blow off some steam and mosh your fucking face off. —pat dowd

7pm. Club Infinity. 8166 Main St., Williamsville (565-0110 / All ages. $17-$20.