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Saturday night on Allen Street

Here's a little nighttime Infringement scene from Allen Street, featuring Charles Quagliana on guitar and Ted Reinhardt (sorry!) Ryan Campbell on percussion, shot around midnight yesterday:

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement picks: day four

A typical scene from the College Street Block Party, shot during the 2007 Infringement Festival. Robert Kirkham / The Buffalo News.

Yesterday's Infringement Festival was off the hook, with at least 58 separate performances and dozens of art installations running concurrently. Today, things are a little bit lighter (but only a little) on the Infringement scene. Check out today's schedule, and alos these picks for today's Infringement events not to be missed:

The 9th Annual College Street Block Party, which kicks off at 2 p.m, has become one of the most popular events during Infringement week in Buffalo. The party takes place in the middle of College Street where it meets Allen, and features a lineup of seven bands, includin the always popular Global Village Idiots and Ramforinkus.

In the Manny Fried Playhouse at 2 p.m. until 3 p.m., the Western New York Playwrights Alliance presents "10-20-30," three short plays by Melody Von Smith, Donna Hoke and Gary Earl Ross.

If you happen to be moseying down Elmwood Avenue this afternoon, you'll want to catch the avant-garde solo sax serenading of Steve Baczkowski, who'll be playing outside El Buen Amigo from 3 to 5 p.m.

"Taste This Voice," a glitch poetery performance from Geoffrey Peters, the man behind the popular one-man-band Shapes of States, gets going at 8:30 p.m. at Filigree's.

Aaron Water Piepszny, the wildly eclectic dancer whose style ranges from ballet to b-boying, performs his show "ThisIS: Dance/Being," in the Manny Fried Playhouse at 5 p.m.

--Colin Dabkowski

A video roundup of Infringement

This afternon, venues across town are hosting a huge variety of Infrgement events and warming up on a lazy afternoon for the crowds that will be heading their way come evening. I took a quick trip to The Vault, Wasteland Studios, Merge and Filigrees to get a sense of how this early Infringement day was shaping up. Here's some of what I ran across:

At The Vault, Steven Myers was performing his "4 D Art" (books could be written about the one-man bands at Infringement). Here's a sample:

Next door, an African drum circle was going strong:

And upstairs in Wasteland Studios, a band was setting up, so I took a minute to check out the rockin' graffiti on the wall from this event:

Meanwhile, over in the Merge parking lot, an Infringement circus was going on, and these dudes were performing increasingly improbably feats of juggling to the strains of what may have been The Devil in Love:

And finally, I caught up with Filigree's owner Melissa Campbell for a rundown of what's happening at her venue this evening and a bit about her wildly multidisciplinary art space:

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement: picks for day 3

It's a big day for the Buffalo Infringement Festival, which is hosting in the area of 58 separate performances (and that's not counting the myriad ongoing visual art installations) in venues across the city. Here is stab at five, among many, that I can recommend as worth your while:

From 12 to 9:45 in The Vault (702 Main St.) will showcase some of the Infringement Fest's coolest musical acts, including one of my personal Infringement faves, the indomitable Jack Toph. His description at the Infringement site is shockingly accurate: "Jack Topht raps super hard, he does rap and punk better than everyone else too, his air-horn sample gets people wicked pumped." I can attest to at least some of that. Topht, who plays at 6 p.m., will be joined by nine other acts well worth checking out, including Charles Quagliana and Ted Reinhardt.

At the same time as The Vault show, the neighboring Wasteland Studios (700 Main St.) hosts a daylong slate of bands and art itself, for which more details are here. (There also huge concerts at Merge, Nietzsche's, DBGB, SP@CE 224, Filigree's and Soundlab today, among other venues. Seek the Infringement schedule for details. The volume of local music you can hear today within the city limits has got to be unprecedented.)

From 5 to 5:45 in Rust Belt Books, Franklin LaVoie performs his story "Incident at Deer Lick" as Mark Twain. Having seen this production at last year's Infringement Fest, I can hugely, whole-heartedly recommend it.

It would not be Infringement without Shakespeare in the Parking Space, Ron Ehmke and Brian Milbrand's interactive Shakspeare project that gives a whole new meaning to street theater. it's one of the longest-established, most creative and best-loved parts of the annual festival.

From 8:30 to 11 p.m., 464 Gallery hosts an outdoor movie night, the highlights of which will be Jeff Maciewski's documentary "The Loft ... Riding Into the Sunset," Jason Klinger's "The Empire Strikes Bank," followed by a showcase of local DIY docs.

There's way too much to do at Infringement today. Hope you all have a great time doing it.

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement day two: warming up


That would, for those who were wondering, be the Western New York Book Arts Center, which tonight hosted its opening party for a trio of exhibitions running during Infringement in the way-cool arts space and print shop.

That space made up for about 1.5 (more on that later) of the five Infringement events I set out to see today, but wasn't able to pull off, for reasons having not exclusively to do with the vagaries of the Infringement frenzy.

A snippet of Subversive Theatre Collective's presentation of "Guillotine: Heads Will Roll," which I previewed in today's Gusto cover story on the fest. That show, which promised to transport the struggles and terrors of 18th century France to 21st century Allentown, was reduced to clip-show mode today because a central actor was under the weather. So I caught up with its visiting director, Joe Siracusa (who also co-conceived a prodcution of a quasi-musical "Hamlet" last year), after the short performance in the dying light of Friday night in Days Park. Here he is:

I'll be catching up with "Guillotine" later during the festival and will post a mini-review here. Meanwhile, look for my picks (bound to be wildly ambitious once again, but why not shoot high?) in this space tomorrow morning.

--Colin Dabkowski

The movie game

Chariots Today they let me do Live Chat with News Arts Editor Jeff Simon., posted below. It was an adventure! It is not as if I am going to be brave enough to watch it, but I know there is tons of footage of me saying, "Do I click here?" and "What do I do now?" Also I think I talk too much!

But it was also fun, especially the video part where you did not have to do all this typing.

The best thing was, we got into a wonderful discussion when one correspondent asked Jeff what he considered to be the best movies of the 1970s, '80s, '90s and oughts, or whatever you call the first decade of the new millennium.

Jeff said, and I agree, that it is too momentous a question to be settled in that kind of forum, without time to think. But it was hard not get into the spirit of things -- especially when people wrote in suggesting "Dirty Dancing" and "Jaws."

Jeff and I got thinking, it would be fun to continue this discussion, with time to think.

With which...

Let me get the ball rolling.


1970s: "The Exorcist." Either that or "Annie Hall." Now that would be a strange double bill.

1980s: Wow, this is depressing me, seeing how old all these movies are! "Field of Dreams," can you believe that movie is that old? I will say "Chariots of Fire." That movie was gorgeous. What about foreign films? "Das Boot" would be a contender. It was so vivid, so claustrophobic, it sticks with you. I was talking with one of my friends about it just the other day.

1990s: I'm sorry, I'm a chick, I loved "The English Patient" and "Shakespeare in Love." I nominate them in that order. Oh, but wait, what about "Speed," about the bus and Sandra Bullock? OK, this is really apples and oranges.

The '00s: "The Passion of the Christ."

There you go, those are mine. I think Jeff should give us his list.

Anyone else?

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


Review video chat with Simon, Kunz Goldman

News Arts Editor Jeff Simon and Classical Music Critic/Buzz Columnist Mary Kunz Goldman hosted a traditional live chat earlier today before shifting in front of the camera and continuing to answer your questions live.

Download podcast of chat

Pics from last night's mini-flash mob

Last night in Allentown, a mini-flash mob hepled to kick off the Buffalo Infringement Festival. Here are a couple of pics from News photographer Morgan Walker:


Above: Infringement participant and flash mob organizer Bonnie Jean Taylor. Below, right, co-organizer Leslie Fineberg.


--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement picks: Day 2


Today marks the second day of the sprawling Buffalo Infringement Festival and the start (in earnest!) of our daily Infringement Blog, where we'll be offering up all sorts of Infringement Festival tidbits, including reviews, interviews, videos and all manner of hitherto unimagined Infringey miscellany.

To kick off day deux, here are today's picks (sometimes based on knowledge, though more often probably based on educated guesswork) of the five things I plan to check out today. It should be noted that at Infringement -- not unlike in Las Vegas, I am told -- depending on what sort of roving madness catches your eye while you amble down the street from one venue to the next, best-laid plans are almost certainly bound to change.

Today's picks, in no particular order:

"In the Belly," a play performed by the Columbus, Ohio-based troupe Insurgent Theatre (sort of a punk-rock counterpart to our own Subversive Theatre Collective, no slouch itself in the insurgence department) at Filigrees (1121 Forest Ave.) at 5:15 to 6 p.m.

The opening reception at the Western New York Book Arts Center (468 Washington St.), which features: "Recto/Verso," a collection of artists' books presented by the 31 Prince Street Collective, comics by local artist Sal Sciandra; storytelling by Bryn Farnsworth and art by Amy Lynn Duengfelder; and music by Tim Sylvester. That gets going at 6 p.m. and runs till 9.

Sean McGill, a poet "inspired by the likes of Robert Creely, William Carlos Williams, Charles Bukowski, and a plethora of digital poets such as Jean-Pierre Balpe," performs material from his work "Manager of the Backdoor Speakeasy" at 7 p.m. in the SP@CE 224 courtyard -- something of a backdoor speakeasy itself -- at 224 Allen St.

"Volume Vault," an indie and alt rock showcase featuring local bands Big Casino, Coterie of Stern, The Merchants and The Intelligent Gunmen in The Vault (702 Main St.) gets started at 7, with four art installations (see the bottom of this page) also on view in the space.

"Creepshow part 4," a show of work by local artists irresistibly described as a collection of "pictures and projects that often resemble a combination of old comics, bad tv and guerilla theater," will be on view in Filigrees through Aug. 3.

If you've got your own suggestions or thoughts on what's pleased you at the Infringement Fest, feel free to leave 'em in the comments below. And don't forget to follow my Infringement musings on Twitter @colindabkowski, and Tweet yourself silly with the hashtag #infringebuffalo.

--Colin Dabkowski

A postmortem on the Infringement Fest flash mob

Part of what gives the flash mob its status as an ongoing cultural phenomenon worth paying attention to is its hush-hush nature, its air of quasi-exclusivity -- and thus its potential to surprise. But sometimes can be they a mite too exclusive, as demonstrated by the high-spirited and super-fun but not exactly well attended mob du flash (p.s.: not an actual French term) that helped to kick off the seventh annual Infringement Festival earlier tonight in Allentown.

Still, it was an appropriately strange beginning to the area's most defiantly strange festival. After the end of the short event, which took place in the vicinity of Nietzsche's parking lot, co-flash mob coordinators and dedicated Infringers Leslie Fineberg and Bonnie Jean Taylor took a minute to deconstruct the event. Here they are: 

--Colin Dabkowski

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