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Virtuoso bassist Victor Wooten will play the Tralf on December 16th

 Virtuoso bassist, music educator, band-leader, author, and erstwhile member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Victor Wooten will bring his band to the Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St., on Monday, December 16th. Tickets, priced $29 advance, $34 day-of-show, go on sale on Friday at moon, through Ticketmaster, the Tralf Music Hall Box Office, and Doris Records.

- Jeff Miers 

A closer look: 'Cape of Stars' by Felice Koenig

Cape of Stars (Side Detail)

A detail of Felice Koenig's sculpture "Cape of Stars," on view in the Nichols School Gallery through Jan. 13.

Title: "Cape of Stars" // Artist: Felice Koenig // "Felice Koenig: Meditations," through Jan. 13 // Nichols School Gallery

The paintings and sculptures of Felice Koenig -- like three-dimensional cousins to the obsessive drawings of Katherine Sehr or Fotini Galanes -- are about the meditative process of making art. Koenig painstakingly builds up the surface of her work with layer upon layer of painted dots in a process that takes days. The final product is like a strange reptilian skin, a bubbly layer of camouflage designed for a landscape that exists only in Koenig's imagination. She described her sculpture "Cape of Stars," a detail of which is shown above, as an exploration of the human impulse to wrestle the idea of nature down to some manageable form. The piece, she wrote, "gets at "the idea of trying to contain and hold something as large as nature, as large as the universe."

After the jump, Koenig explains a bit about the meticulous and meditatiuve process behind her paintings and sculptures.

Continue reading "A closer look: 'Cape of Stars' by Felice Koenig" »

Three cheers and a camel: It's time for 'Amahl'

Amahl7 (1)
By Mary Kunz Goldman
Hump Day is approaching at the Riviera Theatre, where Nickel City Opera's "Amahl and the Night Visitors," complete with its tremendous trademark papier-mache camel, takes to the stage at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, at at 3 p.m. Sunday. (Do not look for the camel in the picture above. It must be seen in person.)
Performed in English, "Amahl" was written by Gian Carlo Menotti for 1950s television and is suitable for the littlest fledgling opera fans. This is the fourth year that Nickel City Opera is staging "Amahl," and company chief Valerian Ruminski says it will be the last. He plans to branch out next year with a Halloween-themed opera, "Night of the Living Dead."
Meanwhile, this year's "Amahl" promises to be a dandy. Amahl is being played by Gabriel Gough, who played the part last year very well. It also features Rosemarie Serrano as Amahl's mother, Gregory Sheppard as King Balthazar, David Macadam as King Kaspar and James Wright as King Melchior. Luis Clay is the Page.
Presented in English to the creative accompaniment of the Mighty Wurlitzer -- which even supplies King Kaspar's bird song -- "Amahl" is directed by Ruminski and features dancers, a full chorus, set and lighting. 
For info on the Riviera performances, call 692-2413. For info on the Springville Center for the Arts, call 592-9038.


Albright-Knox launches new interactive tours and timelines

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Last week, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced the launch of four new interactive projects designed to bring its work to a wider audience.

The gallery, which has been working diligently to expand its digital presence in recent years and seems poised to continue doing so under director Janne Sirén, has built two extensive timelines on its 150-year history and its 11 directors using the online tool Tiki-Toki. The gallery also put together two walking tours of its collection of outdoor sculpture and the architecture of downtown Buffalo from 1816 to 1940, based on a 1940 gallery exhibition on the evolving downtown streetscape.

--Colin Dabkowski

Carnegie Art Center releases architectural plans


A rendering of the new Carnegie Art Center from Goundry Street. Courtesy of the Carnegie Art Center and Flynn Battaglia Architects.

Last week, the North Tonawanda's Carnegie Art Center released plans for a new entrance as part of a $343,000 federal grant to make its 1904 building more accessible. Above is an artist's rendering of the renovated Carnegie as viewed from Goundry Street. Click here to check out some other renderings of the proposed project, produced by Flynn Battaglia Architects.

--Colin Dabkowski

The Buffalo Bon Jovis? The Bon Jovi Bills?

We don't know what to make of reports that rock star Jon Bon Jovi might be interested in buying the Bills. (Although "from Ralph Wilson to Bon Jovi" would be a great update on "from soup to nuts" as a way to explain the gamut.)

What we do know is that if he does buy the NFL franchise that has been a part of the fabric of this community for more than 50 years, the answers to many of his questions about how we feel about the Bills eerily match up with many of the songs he and his bandmates have made.

See for yourself.

“Livin’ On A Prayer” - Pretty much covers what it’s like to be a sports fan in Buffalo.

“Have A Nice Day” - What we’d like to say to Tom Brady as he leaves the Ralph after a humiliating loss.

“Wanted Dead or Alive” - A present-day Bills quarterback as good as Jim Kelly was.

"Runaway” - Marshawn Lynch on Chippewa Street?

“You Give Love A Bad Name” - We’re looking at you, Willis McGahee!

"Shot Through the Heart" - How we feel right around 4:30 p.m. most Sundays between September and January.

"Come Back" - How we refer to a certain playoff game in 1993 or what we'll be yelling if you ever take our team away.

"The Hardest Part is the Night" - What we say when the Bills play on Monday and Thursday.

"I Believe" and "Keep the Faith" - Do we need to explain these?

"In and Out of Love" - Ditto.

"All I Want is Everything" - If everything includes a win in a game that comes with a Roman numeral.

"Open All Night" - AKA The Ballad of Stevie Johnson.

"When We Were Beautiful" - How we refer to the teams of the early '90s.

 "I Love This Town" - What you should say when you also announce that you will never, ever move our team.


New Bruce Springsteen album will drop in January: Listen to the title track here.

 Clearly, the guy doesn't sleep much, if at all. 

Bruce Springsten will release a new album, "High Hopes," on January 14th. This is his seventh release in in a little more than ten years, during which time he has also mounted several full-band and solo tours.

The album is comprised of 12 songs, many of them new renditions of what Springsteen calls in the album's liner notes "some of our best unreleased material from the past decade". "High Hopes" features fomer Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello on 7 of its tracks. Morello joined the Springsteen & E Street Band as a substitute for Steven Van Zandt, who was prevented by a previous commitment from participating in the band's Australian tour last March. The other members of the E Street Band, as well as producers Brendan O'Brien and Ron Aniello, are also members of the new record's recording ensemble. 

The full tracklisting is as follows: 

1. High Hopes (written by Tim Scott McConnell) - featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry's Place - featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) - featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (written by Chris J. Bailey) - featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole 
6. Heaven's Wall  -featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game  -featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad - duet with Tom Morello
11.The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (written by Martin Rev and Alan Vega) - featuring Tom Morello

- Jeff Miers


Burchfield's words on a bleak November day

Watercolorist Charles Burchfield was particularly sensitive to the change of the seasons. Burchfield Penney Art Center curator Scott Propeack posted a quote from one of Burchfield's journals on Facebook today in which the tortured artist complains about his day job in terms that should be familiar to many working artists today. The excerpt, as gloomy and forlorn as one of his overcast scenes, seems particularly appropriate for this snowy November afternoon. Here's the quote:

Nov. 8, 1925 – 
A futile day full of bitter thought and unsuccessful attempts – 
How I despise the Americans who prefer 18th century French landscapes to healthy American 20th century scenes – How I hate the architects who put themselves on the bucks for making literal copies of English architecture- 
The firm I work for contemplating a literal copy of a French landscape wall-paper, a venture that requires that I go the N.Y. and copy the color scheme-
How I despise those dealers that trade in “art objects” of the past forcing the artists of the day to do all manner of work that they should not do –
How I scorn and + loathe myself because I cannot ignore these debasing influences in American art and paint with bold lusty disregard of their false and weak standards – paint the raw crude healthy aspects of nature that I love – Because they are the dominant power I must earn my own + my family’s daily bread doing work that is directly opposed to my ideals in art – but were I a really strong character I should struggle thru with a few great things in spite of everything – 
It is a raw crude November day – menacing layer clouds with occasional flurries of snow –

--Colin Dabkowski

Live Video: White House ceremony honoring CEPA Gallery

White House to stream video of Arts and Humanities awards


Jose Lagares and CEPA education director Lauren Tent look over some of his photographs at CEPA in Buffalo Tuesday, November 19, 2013. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)
Today at 2 p.m., will stream live video of its 2013 Arts and Humanities Youth Award ceremony, during which representatives from CEPA Gallery will recieve the nation's top honor for after-school arts programs from first lady Michelle Obama. CEPA Eduacation Director Lauren Tent and Lafayette High School student Jose Lagares will be on hand to accept the award. Read more about the award here.
--Colin Dabkowski
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