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Oops! Britney did it again! Or did she?

So the Bellamy Brothers have gotten their knickers in a bunch over Britney Spears' brand spankin' new iTunes smash single "Hold It Against Me," claiming that the ditty - penned, naturally, by Brit's producers, Dr. Luke and Max Martin, who have also worked with Katy Perry - owes more than a friendly nod to their schmaltzy 70s dreck-fest "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me".

Judge for yourself. Here's one of the many clever "mash-ups" concerned citizens have created over the past few days. UPDATE: The video has been removed by YouTube at the request of Sony Entertainment

Johnny Weir to zip through Buffalo

Johnny Weir at a benefit in October, 2010. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Johnny Weir -- the reality television star, connoisseur of avant-couture, eschewer of labels, fierce defender of flamboyance and sometime figure skater -- will make a pit stop in Buffalo on Sunday morning to sign copies of his new book "Welcome to My World."

In a one-hour stop beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday at Talking Leaves (951 Elmwood Ave.), Weir will briefly descend from his idling tour bus and greet what is likely to be a large throng of adoring fans. The stop was organized somewhat at the last minute, according to a Talking Leaves release , which also stipulates that "purchase of the book is required to participate in the signing."

Weir, for my money, ranks as one of the more fascinating pop culture personalities to emerge in the last few years. Like a lot of people, I think he initially struck me as incurably obnoxious but pretty quickly grew on me when -- in interviews and other TV appearances -- he emerged as a smart, engaging and insightful guy who nonetheless makes arguable fashion choices.

These comments, which Weir made after he was ridiculed during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, have earned him plenty of respect and have stuck with me and a lot of his fans:

The fact that he's dropping by Buffalo's Talking Leaves for a single hour, signing books, and then zipping out of town, is somehow very Weir. Catch him while you can.

--Colin Dabkowski

Thursday Theater Roundup

Welcome back to the Thursday Theater Roundup, which took a bit of a break over the holidays and is now back to help you decide which shows to check out each week.

This first Theater Roundup of 2011 features just one play, but it's a safe bet to say there'll be more entries next Thursday (as the Irish Classical Theatre Company's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" opens today, along with Subversive's "I Am a Man," to be followed in short order by O'Connell and Company's "Nunset Boulevard," Buffalo United Artists' "Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins," ALT Theatre's "Gutenberg: The Musical," and many others.)

On to this week's one-shot roundup:

THIRD Press Photo
Eileen Dugan and Patrick Cameron in "Third," running through Feb. 6 in the Kavinoky Theatre.

"Third," through Feb. 6 in the Kavinoky Theatre. From the review (coming Friday): " The production is solid, moving at a quick pace with a short intermission and it's over before you look twice at your watch. Wasserstein died of cancer at age 55, not long after finishing this play, and you can't help making assumptions of how her illness may have affected her writing. [Protagnoist] Laurie has a 'therapy session' monologue to help anchor the play, but other scenes seem out of place, even unnecessary -- especially a feel-good ending that could be excised with no harm done at all. But the actors carry it off splendidly, handling the smart dialogue with finesse, although everyone does sound a lot like Wasserstein." --Melinda Miller

Vincent O'Neill on 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

Tonight, the Irish Classical Theatre Company opens its production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Late last year, we sat down to talk about the production with Vincent O'Neill, the Irish Classical's co-founder and artistic director. Here's what he had to say:

--Colin Dabkowski

Goo Goo Dolls featured on

Buffalo's John Rzeznik discusses seeing his first concert at The Aud and former band manager Artie Kwitchoff -- who now runs Funtime Presents and a partner in the Town Ballroom -- among other topics on

You can also watch performances of new Goo Goo Dolls songs "Not Broken," "Home" and "As I Am" here at

David Lamb on 'Third': 'It's all about autumn and death'

Over at the Kavinoky Theatre, Wendy Wasserstein's play "Third," her final published work before her death in 2006, is running through Feb. 6. Last year, News videographer Joseph Popiolkowski and I sat down with David Lamb, the Kav's founder and artistic director to talk about the show, which was directed by Peter Palmisano. Here's what Lamb had to say (sorry about the disembodied head effect -- next time we'll ask him to wear something lighter):

--Colin Dabkowski

Dreishpoon on the art market

ALBRIGHT local Albright-Knox exhibit Cantillon 11

Albright-Knox Chief Curator Douglas Dreishpoon in 2009. Buffalo News / Sharon Cantillon

Last week, in talking with Albright-Knox Art Gallery Chief Curator Douglas Dreishpoon about an upcoming collection-based show at the gallery, the topic of the art market arose. When the economy crashed in 2008, there was a lot of speculation that the art market boom of the preceding decade would go away. The latest indications, however, are that the wild and roiling currents of the speculative art market haven't been as deeply affected by the fincancial crisis as some predicted. Something Dreishpoon said from the interview stuck with me, so I thought I'd reprint it here:

I have to say every time I think about the art market, I am completely depressed. Why is that? Because it’s a completely different universe from the world of creativity.

Food for thought.

--Colin Dabkowski

Remembering Janine Pommy Vega

Over the recent holidays, we learned of the passing of poet, activist, and memoirist Janine Pommy Vega on Dec. 23rd at her home in Willow. She was 68.

Ms. Vega was perhaps best known as one of the "women of the Beat Generation," a group of women poets and writers -- including Joyce Johnson, Carolyn Cassady, Hettie Jones, Joanne Kyger, Diane DiPrima and Anne Waldman -- who gravitated toward the the beatific and countercultural impulses of the Beat movement, but resisted elements of its male-driven ethos and the prevailing  sexism of the late 1950s and early 1960s in the culture as a whole. Later, they would come to identify more closely with feminism and the women's movement.

A native of Union City, N.J., Vega read Jack Keroauc's "On the Road" in 1957 at age 15 and promptly set out for Greenwich Village with a high school friend to explore the Beat scene. Through a remarkable set of circumstances, she was able to meet the then-27-year-old Gregory Corso, who in turn introduced her to his friends Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. Within weeks, she found herself accepted into the Beats' inner circle. 

Continue reading "Remembering Janine Pommy Vega" »

News photographer to discuss Sabres pictures at Albright-Knox tonight


Visitors check out the "Forty: The Sabres in the NHL" exhibit earlier this week. Photo by Derek Gee / Buffalo News

The News' Bill Wippert, who has shot Buffalo Sabres games since he was in high school, is among the photographers whose work is featured in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's "Forty: The Sabres in the NHL" exhibit, which runs through Sunday. (Read Colin Dabkowski's piece on the show here.)

At 7 tonight, Wippert will be at the gallery -- showing photos and telling some stories about photographing the Sabres for 36 years. Admission to the gallery is free tonight, as part of the M&T Bank First Fridays series.


Live chat on music with Jeff Miers

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