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Round 2, Week 4: The Funky Beets vs. City of Kings

Congratulations to our Round 2, Week 3 winners: Coterie of Stern!

Congratulations to Coterie of Stern! They collected the most online votes this past week, earning themselves a spot on the bill at our next live battle of the bands at Nietzsche’s on January 14, 2011, along with Suffolk & Rain, Canoe and the winner of this week’s round.

This week features two more of the best original acts that have thus far submitted a photo, an original mp3, and filled out our rigorous questionaire (see below). Check out their sound and cast a vote for the act you prefer. Each week, the popular online vote decides who proceeds to the live show where four acts square off in a no-holds-barred extravaganza of local original music.

That night at Nietzsche’s (21+), each audience member will be given one ballot on which to cast his or her vote for his or her favorite band. At the end of the night, when the tally is completed, only one will have won the right to perform in the Artvoice BOOM Grand Finale—the battle royale, winner-take-all live blowout where one talented act will walk away with unspeakable prizes, a handsome wad of cash, and the eternal privilege to proclaim themselves Artvoice BOOM Grand Champions!

This week, we give you City of Kings and The Funky Beets. Take a moment to meet them on this page and listen to their music. Finally, cast ONE vote for the one you like best. Through the magic of the digital age, we will tabulate the voting and announce this week’s winner in the January 6 print edition.

A word of warning however: Bands attempting to stuff the ballot by submitting multiple votes will be rooted out using the most sophisticated intelligence software available on the black market. (Well, okay, that’s a bluff, but if you try to fool our IT guy you will be caught. Just ask the FBI…he’s that good. And if that happens, you will be disqualified with nowhere to appeal our decision.)

IF YOU’RE IN A BAND, AND WOULD LIKE TO ENTER BOOM, visit to find out how. In the meantime, check out this week’s contestants, and may the best band win.

The Funky Beets

City of Kings

You must have the latest Adobe Flash Player installed to listen to the BOOM! contestants.

You must have the latest Adobe Flash Player installed to listen to the BOOM! contestants.

Band members: Derrick Porter - bass / Mike Szczepanik - guitar / Steve O'Hara - guitar / Joe Vallone - drums

When/where did the band form? This has been a project starting back in 2005, with just two guitars. Derrick was added on bass around 2007. In 2010, Joe joined us on drums, helping to take the band to new dimensions.

You might like us if you like: Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath.

Best show played: We opened up for Rusted Root earlier this year as part of The Molson Canal Concert Series in Lockport. The sound was great, the crowd was having a good time, and we got to feel like professional musicians.

Why you should win the Online Battle of Original Music: We put a ton of focus on our live shows. The best gigs we have are the ones where the crowd goes home happy, and sweaty.


Band members: Angelo Ondras - guitar, vocals / Tom Olejniczak - bass, vocals / Dave Hensley - guitar / Joel Sikora - drums

When/where did the band form? Formed on the West Side of Buffalo in late 2007 as We Are Kings, renamed the band City of Kings in homage to Buffalo after a copyright dispute. Added Dave and Joel to make the final lineup in 2009.

You might like us if you like: Thrice, Circa Survive, Emarosa, the sports commentary of Sir Charles Barkley (the patron saint of City of Kings).

Best show played: This summer at Club Diablo with some other locals. Our friend Poughkeepsie Jon brought a giant picture of Charles Barkley and busted it outwhen we played “This is Our Year.” The club went nuts, as if Barkley himself was in attendance. Pretty sure there’s a video of it on YouTube.

Why you should win the Online Battle of Original Music: City of Kings keeps it original with an experimental style that doesn’t exactly fit into any one niche in Buffalo, which is a quality that defines our favorite artists and influences. CoK shows can be heavy, fast, wall of sound or slowed down and vocal all at once, always a step away from the trodden path.


(Band photograph by Brittany McCrone)

Click Here to Cast Your Vote Now!
(polls for this pair of bands open Dec. 23 - Jan 4.)

Special holiday note: There is no Artvoice printed the last week of the year - our next paper comes out January 6th. We'll be leaving the polls open for two weeks this time around and you'll have to wait until the first issue of the new year to find out our winner!

What did you think of this week's contestants? Feel free to discuss below - please keep it friendly - and remember, posting a comment in favor of a band doesn't count as a vote. Use the link above to cast your vote!

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