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Jimmy Eat World at the Town Ballroom

Jimmy Eat World heads to town for a performance at 7 p.m. June 1 in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.).

Tickets are $26 advance, $30 day of show and go on March 18 through the box office, www.Tickets.com or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000. For more information, call 852-3900 or visit www.townballroom.com.

Spend an 'evening' with Al Pacino

Award-winning actor Al Pacino will appear at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort (6380 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, Ont.) in June.

Al Pacino 103712019 "An Evening with Al Pacino" showcases the actor in a candid interview setting followed by a question and answer session with the audience. The event takes place at 8:30 p.m. June 2 and at 9 p.m. June 3 in the casino's Avalon Theatre. Tickets start at $90 and go on sale at noon March 18 through the box office, online at www.Ticketmaster.ca or charge by phone at (877) 833-3110.

For more information, call (888) 836-8118 or visit www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com.

Hip-hop's Big K.R.I.T. to perform at Club Infinity

Big K.R.I.T. is joined by Freddie Gibbs, Smoke DZA, Chosen 1 ss and Mad Dukes for a show at 8 p.m. April 12 in Club Infinity (8166 Main St., Williamsville).

Tickets are $15 and are on sale through www.ticketweb.com, charge by phone at (866) 468-7619 and through the After Dark office (630 Elmwood Ave.)

"Side Man" to be staged at UB

The University at Buffalo Theatre & Dance Department will present  "Side Man" April 13-17 in UB Center for the Arts Drama Theatre, North Campus, Amherst.

Written by Warren Leight and the winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play, "Side Man" follows Clifford, the only son of a skilled jazz trumpeter and an alcoholic mother, as he relives three decades of key moments in  his family's life.

Tickets are $18 general and $10 for students and seniors through the box office, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. For more information, call 645-2787 or visit www.ubcfa.org.

Drive-By Truckers roll into Buffalo

The Drive-By Truckers return to Buffalo for a concert at 7 p.m. June 12 in the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). Tickets go on sale March 18 and are $24 advance, $28 day of the show through the box office , at www.Tickets.com or charge by phone at (888) 223-6000.

For more information, visit www.townballroom.com, call 852-3900 or check out the bands website at www.drivebytruckers.com.

Bok brings Conceptual Poetry to "BIG NIGHT!"

Somehow, the words "experimental poet," "conceptual poet," and "sound artist" seem inadequate to describe the work of Christian Bök.  Perhaps the terms "syntactic futurist," "phonological engineer," and "genomic auteur" might equally apply.  What's indisputable is that Bök (pronounced "Book") is one of only a handful of contemporary artists and thinkers who have demonstrably expanded our ideas of what the "field" of poetry is, and given us a glimpse of how poetics might be encoded in our planetary future. 

Bök, who is the featured guest of Just Buffalo's March "BIG NIGHT" event tonight beginning at 8 p.m. at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. (at Mohawk St.) in Buffalo, is perhaps the leading exponent of what might be called a "post-humanist" poetics -- one not bound by the constraints of genre or cultural convention, but rather which projects its formalisms beyond the Humanities onto the fields of chemistry, physics, information science and biochemistry.

A Toronto native who is now professor of English at the University of Calgary, he first came to prominence for his book “Crystallography”(Coach House Press, 1994), a “pataphysical encyclopedia” nominated for Canada's Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and his subsequent critical study "Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science" (2001), in which he revisists proto-Surrealist Alfred Jarry's coinage of the term to describe "the science of imaginary solutions," or "that which is above metaphysics." 

In the former book, Bök writes:

Crystallography, the science of crystals, literally means 'lucid writing,' a metaphor for science, if not the conceit of science, for science strives in its writing to clarify the ambiguities of language in order to fortify the contiguities of language. Science in effect yearns to create a system of reference without interference, a system in which the diffracted meaning of the very word "crystallography," a word whose pun means what science is, might vanish before science, leaving behind an undiffracted meaning -- a music without noise in a jewel without defect...Science begins with the parapraxis of poetry. Language, like a virus, lives in the form of a crystal...Reference is the tragic flaw in the characters of language.

Bök is best known, however, for "Eunoia" (Coach House Books, 2001), his tour-de-force exercise in constraint-based poetics, which takes its title from the Greek term for "beautiful thinking," was the optimal condition of friendship in Aristotle's "Ethics," and is the shortest word in the English language to incorporate all five vowels.  The book consists of five chapters, each of which is limited to words using a single, identical vowel per chapter, producing such sentences as "Hassan can, at a handclap, call a vassal at hand and ask that all staff plan a bacchanal" or 'Enfettered, these sentences repress free speech.”

The book, which won Canada’s top poetry award, the Griffin Prize for Poetic Excellence, and became an improbable best-seller, "demonstrates the flexibility of the English language" and Bök's assertion that "each vowel has its own personality."

More recently, Bök has has created artificial languages for two television series, and earned many accolades for his conceptual artworks and virtuoso performances of sound poetry (especially the work of Dadaist/Surrealist poets Kurt Schwitters and Hugo Ball).   His most recent projects include "The Cyborg Opera," a long poem-in-progress Bök describes as a "linguistic soundscape that arranges words, not according to their semantic meanings, but according to their phonetic valences doing so as a literary response to the ambient chatter of technology," and perhaps his most celebrated venture to date: a plan to to encode a poem into bacterial DNA and have that life form generated and replicated by genomic scientists.

The "genomic poetics" project is a bit complicated to explain here, but involves injecting a series of 26-character coded nucleotides into the DNA of the bacteria Deinococcus radiodurans (the so-called “world’s toughest bacterium”) to form an intelligible poem, and then, in turn, having the constituent amino acid genes of the protein the bacteria manufactures also forming their own meaningful poem (or poems) within limited syntactic and genetic parameters.  Were the project to succeed, the line of bacterium Bök participated in creating would likely persist until the hardy species itself goes extinct, presumably propagating billions of encoded poems in human language long after humankind itself disappeared from the planet.

Joining Bök on the BIG NIGHT program will be "A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker," a presentation by video and media artist Stella Marrs that mashes together multiple readings of Parker's short story by that title, music by Poverty Hymns, and food creations by gourmet chef and Blazevox Books publisher Geoffrey Gatza. Admission is $5, free to UB students with a valid ID and members of Just Buffalo and its affiliate organizations.

--R.D. Pohl

New Event: EerieCon returns to Niagara Falls

The international convention EerieCon 13, featuring best-selling authors in the fantasy, horror and science-fiction genres, will take place April 29, 30 and May 1 in the Days Inn at the Falls (443 Main St., Niagara Falls).

Presented by the Buffalo Fantasy League, this year's event will feature Larry Niven, author of the award-winning "Ringworld" series, and Derwin Mak, author of "The Siren Stone" and "Transubstantiation."

The event includes panel discussions, autograph sessions, writers' workshops, a concert by Reimei Tenkai Daiko, a masquerade, as well as other events and activities.

Memberships are $40 until April 15 and $45 after that and at the door. Children age 12 and under are just $1.

For more information and online registration, visit www.EerieCon.org.

New Event: Great Blue Heron Music Festival

Donna the Buffalo, big Leg Emma and La Krema are among the acts announced for the 20th Great Blue Heron Music Festival, taking place July 1-3 on the grounds off of Wait Corners Road in Sherman.

Also performing at the event, which features three stages of entertainment, are the Horse Flies, the Town Pants, the David Bromberg Quartet, Slo-Mo, the Sim Redmond Band, the Hindu Cowboys, Jimkata, the New Aliens, Smackdab, Tiger Maple String Band, the Amazing Dr. Zarcon's Breathing Machine, Buffalo Zydeco, Thee Audience, Northern Railroad Bluegrass, Cindy Haight and Marla Harris, Ken Hardley and the Bogarts.

Early bird weekend passes are available for $60 through May 5 and $70 after May 5. Weekend gate price is $80 and one-day gate passes are $30 for July 1, $35 July 2 and $30 July 3. Youth tickets are $40 (with family order only) and free for children under age 12.

Order online at www.reglenna.com. Tickets are also available through the Reg Lenna Civic Center box office, 116 E. Third St., Jamestown; Hollyloft Ski and Bike, 600 Fairmount Ave., Jamestown; Terrapin Station, 1172 Hertel Ave.; Grasshopper, 2518 Peach St., Erie, Penn.; and the Green Tea Room, 12 Park St., Fredonia.

For more information, call 761-7190 or visit www.greatblueheron.com.

New event: Old Fort Niagara War of 1812 symposium

"Symposium -- 1812: A War of Many Faces" will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 11 at Old Fort Niagara (2 Scott Ave., Youngstown). The event features lectures by the nation's top 1812 scholars including Donald R. Hickey, Donald Graves, Major John Grodzinski, Dianne Graves, Darren Bonaparte and William S. Dudley.

The event is free, but you must pre-register by April 30. For more information, call 745-7611 or visit www.oldfortniagara.org/events.

Free Henry! wins first in Hard Rock battle

Free Henry! won top honors in the Hard Rock Cafe Battle of the Bands held in Niagara Falls Thursday night. Colors in the Air took second place, followed by Ransomville in third.

A video of Free Henry! will be sent to the Hard Rock International corporate offices for final judging; the Top 10 bands from North American cafes will be posted at www.HardRock.com on or around April 12 for the online voting to begin. The winner of the online voting will win a trip to the Hard Rock Calling 2011 where it will perform along with the likes of Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks.

Last year's winner from the Niagara Falls competition, More Than Me, went on to win it all with a spot on a bill that included Sir Paul McCartney in London, England.

 

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