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Infringement Daily Planner: Day 1

Today is the first day of the 8th annual Buffalo Infringement Festival, a city-wide event that showcases the vast creative underground of this region and gives local artists a chance to showcase their work. Every day in this space, we'll be listing five recommended activities. But the festival is so vast -- with hundreds of performances, theater productions, visual art shows and street parties to choose from -- that you should also check out the full schedule at Infringebuffalo.org.

Here are today's picks:

A stretch of sidewalk in front of the Antique Man shop at 234 Allen St. will become a stage for the amorphous Infringement Busking Collective, an eclectic group of musicians and other performers who will serenade pedestrians with a series of performances ranging from straight-ahead acoustic guitar performances to experimental noise rock. (This performance from the 2011 festival, for instance, was one of the latter.) The collective performs from 12 to 6 p.m. today and returns on Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and next Thursday.

Anyone who has not experienced the true weirdness of Infringement might want to amble past Picasso Moon at the western edge of Allen Street between 7:30 and 8 p.m. tonight. There, they'll be able to catch an artist by the name of Andrew Biggie mounting a strange bit of performance art. Here is the show's very Infringey, very cryptic description: "Attempts to find stillness. Images of death, and reoccurring dreams hum open. They discuss duality as I lose friends. I fill my head with teenage junk. I will sing on sidewalks rearranging mundane rituals and become a plastic bag." OK, then.

I have not yet seen the Slyboots Drum Ensemble, but word on the street is that they are unmissable. It's made up of students from Buffalo's Slyboots School of Music, Art and Dance and promises a "powerful showcase of complex rhythms from around the world and infectious grooves that force your body to move." You can catch the first of many Infringement performances from the ensemble at Old Wondermoth, otherwise known as the Nickel City Co-op, at 208 North St.

The Slyboots ensemble will join the Infringement Festival Opening Parade, a sure-to-be-strange group of pot-banging, kazoo-playing, ridiculously costumed Infringers which will make its way from Old Wondermoth into the center of Allentown (and possibly back again) sometime between 6:30 and 8 p.m. It's a perfectly strange way to kick off the festival.

Today's absolute not-to-be-missed event is, as usual, the Infringement Festival Open Ceremonies, which get started in Nietzsche's at 7 p.m. and runs into the wee hours. The $5 show features a roster of 12 Buffalo bands and is a good chance to meet and hang out with Infringers from around the city.

Follow my Infringement coverage here and at @colindabkowski.

--Colin Dabkowski

The Gusto Blog is Infringement central through Aug. 4

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Buffalo beat-boxer Scantron will give several performances during this year's Infringement Festival.

On Thursday, the weird, wacky and altogehter unpredictable Buffalo Infringement Festival kicks off its 11-day run. For the length of Infringement, keep your browsers pointed to this blog, which will host a daily Infringement planner, reviews, video interviews, commentary and, hopefully, some pointed opinions from Infrgers and audience members.

(Check out last year's bloggy Infringement coverage for an idea of what to expect.)

Also, I can't stress strongly enough that this is meant to be a space for community discussion and engagement, so please don't hesitate to chime in about your favorite Infringement acts, or to disagree with me, or to offer up any kind of Infringey opinions or information. You can do that in the comment section at the end of each post, or you can find me on Twitter at @colindabkowski. (In past years, engagement from Infringementgoers and blog readers hasn't been as high as I'd like, so it would be extra-awesome if we could get a bigger and better conversation going on the blog this year.)

Also, be sure to follow the official @infringebuffalo Twitter feed for updates throughout the festival.

Come back tomrrow morning for the first list of Infringement recommendations, a new grouping of which will be posted every morning until the festival winds down on Aug. 4. Happy Infringement!

--Colin Dabkowski

Forty-five minutes with Kevin Cain

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Kevin Cain, former director of The Vault, in a portrait by local artist Julian Montague. (Photo courtesy of Montague)

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with local musician, artist and curator Kevin Cain to talk about the closure of The Vault. That Main Street art space, which shut down at the end of June, gained a reputation as an indie art and music hot spot in its four brief years of existence.

During our talk, Cain's thoughts ranged into some fascinating areas that I wasn't able to include in 18 column inches, so I'm posting the audio of our conversation below for anyone who's interested. Cain had some important things to say about the direction of development in the city, the nature of creative art spaces like the one he ran and just what makes Buffalo's art scene and its underground tick. Here he is:

--Colin Dabkowski

Buffalo awards grants to cultural groups

Today, at long last, the City of Buffalo annouced a series of grants from its newly established $200,000 cultural and anti-violence fund that it had been slow to release. Here is the list:

Organization

Program Name

Awarded

100 Mighty Men Ministry

Mighty Men Street Clean Up & Peace Initiative

$1,000

African Cultural Center of Buffalo, Inc.

Educational Cultural Enrichment

$7,500

Alleyway Theatre Inc.

2013-14 Season of Live Theatre

$4,000

Back To Basics Outreach Ministries, Inc.

Youth Strengthening Program

$7,500

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc.

Project Empower

$2,500

Buffalo Arts Studio

General Operating Support

$5,000

Buffalo Christian Center

The Merge

$5,000

Buffalo Fine Arts Academy / Albright-Knox Art Gallery

2013 Art Alive!

$2,500

Buffalo Inner City Ballet

Dance Enrichment Program

$5,000

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame

Comprehensive Music Database and Archival Project

$2,500

Buffalo Naval Park Committee, Inc.

Inner City Overnight Program

$1,000

Buffalo Niagara Concert Band, Inc.

USS Little Rock Summer Concert

$1,000

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Celebration of Music

$2,500

Buffalo United front, Inc.

Family Fishing Day 2013

$5,000

Burchfield Penney Art Center

Tours & Art Education Workshops

$2,500

Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art, Inc. (CEPA)

CEPA Gallery/Big Orbit Gallery Merger

$2,500

Central Terminal Restoration Corp

Bricklayers & Allied Crafts Workers Local 3 and Job Corps Security Remediation

$4,000

Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo, NY, Inc.

Queen City Jazz Festival

$5,000

Community Action Organization    of Erie County Inc.

Sports P.L.U.S.

$7,500

Community Music School of Buffalo

Outreach Concert Series

$2,500

El Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, Inc.

Visual Arts Exhibitions for Artists of Color

$5,000

GIRLS Sports Foundation, Inc.

GSF/ NICYO 2013 Slam Jam & Cultural Expo

$2,500

H.E.A.L. International

H.E.A.L. Weekend Recreation Program

$4,000

Hallwalls, Inc. (Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center)

Year-Round Public Cultural Programing in the Contemporary Arts

$5,000

Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY

Hispanic Heritage Month Main Event - Restauracion Cultural

$5,000

Irish Classical Theatre company, Inc.

General Operating Support

$2,500

Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy

Cultural Preservation

$2,500

Juneteenth Festival Inc.

Sankofa Days

$5,000

Just Buffalo Literary Center

Babel

$5,000

Latin American Cultural Association, Inc.

Cultural Extension

$2,500

Mad DADS of Greater Buffalo

Youth Basketball

$5,000

Martin House Restoration Corporation (MHRC)

General Operating Activities

$2,500

Metro CDC Delavan Grider Community Center

Nonviolence for Youth Program - "Acting In"

$7,500

Michigan Street Preservation Corp.

Nash House Museum

$5,000

Music is Art

Music is Art Festival

$2,500

National Inner Cities Youth Opportunities, Inc. (NICYO)

Safe Structured Youth Sports

$7,500

New Phoenix Theatre on the Park

Pay-What-You-Can Thursday Performance Series - lower West Side Johnson Park Neighborhood Revitalization

$2,500

People United for Sustainable Housing

Grant Street Neighborhood Center

$5,000

Road Less Traveled Productions

Ongoing Organizational Programming

$2,000

Shakespeare In Delaware Park, Inc.

Shakespeare In Delaware Park

$2,500

Squeaky Wheel / Buffalo Media Resources

Youth Education Programs

$2,500

Stop The Violence Coalition, Inc.

Youth Intervention Project

$7,500

The Friends of Vienna

Three Chamber Music Concerts

$1,000

The National Federation for Just Communities of WNY, Inc.

First Time/Last Time Program

$7,500

The Western New York Artists Group

General Programing

$2,500

Theatre of Youth Company, Inc.

School Children Access Program

$5,000

Torn Space Theater

Main Stage Production Activity

$2,500

Tru-way Community Center, Inc.

Tru-way Community Center, Inc.

$2,000

Ujima Company, Inc.

General Operating Support

$5,000

Western NY Book Arts Collaborative

Free Family Workshops

$2,500

Young Audiences of WNY, Inc.

Out of School Time Programs

$5,000

 

Total Amount

$200,000

The full press release from the city is here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Video chat replay: Critics' Corner with Jeff Simon and Jeff Miers


ASI releases its annual report

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Tod A. Kniazuk, executive director of the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, in his office in December, 2011. Photo by Robert Kirkham / Buffalo News.

In 2012, the the Arts Services Initiative of Western New York, under the direction of Tod A. Kniazuk, has been working on a number of projects aimed at improving the health of the region's cultural vitality. It's tough work, but according to the organization's 2012 annual report, released this week, ASI (still in desperate need of a better name) has been making progress. Check the report out here.

--Colin Dabkowski

Small Press Book Fair expands to two days

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The 2011 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. File photo by Charles Lewis / The Buffalo News.

The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, launched in 2007, will expand its schedule frome one to two days this year, according to fair co-founder Chris Fritton.

"The growth of the fair continues, and its incredible pace made it necessary to extend the event," Fritton wrote in a Facebook post. "It's my sincere hope that this will give more artists and more visitors a chance to experience the fair."

The fair will be held on April 6 and 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum at 453 Porter Ave.

--Colin Dabkowski

Library releases list of most popular materials in 2012

Last week, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System released its annual list of the most popular materials of the year. Here it is:

Adult fiction

1. "The Litigators," John Grisham

2. "Private Games," James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

3. "The Innocent," David Baldacci

Adult non-fiction

1. "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resistance, and Redemption," Laura Hillenbrand

2. "Killing Lincoln: the Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever," Bill O'Reilly

3. "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin," Erik Larson

Young adult / teen

1. "Catching Fire (The Hunger Games)," Suzanne Collins

2. "Mockingjay (The Hunger Games)," Suzanne Collins

3. "The Hunger Games," Suzanne Collins

Children's fiction

1. "LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary," Simon Beecroft

2. "The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary: How Greg Heffley Went Hollywood," Jeff Kinney

3. "The LEGO Ideas Book: Unblock Your Imagination," Daniel Lipkowitz

Fiction ebooks

"Explosive Eighteen," Janet Evanovich

Non-fiction ebooks

"Too Close to the Falls," Catherine McClure Gildner

Most requested books

1. "Fifty Shades of Grey," E.L. James

2. "Gone Girl," Gillian Flynn

3. "Fifty Shades Darker," E.L. James

--Colin Dabkowski

The man in the white suit

I am looking forward to Tom Wolfe's new novel, "Back to Blood," coming out this fall. Above is a documentary, or a trailer for a documentary, I found about him and this new book, which is set in Miami.

Line I love: "You'd think he would be conspicuous in that white suit, but somehow he manages to blend into the background."

Hahahaa. I believe that!

It is funny to think of people in Miami chewing on what it means to have Tom Wolfe write a book about them. What if Tom Wolfe ever wrote a book about Buffalo?

Anyway. I loved Tom Wolfe's last book, "I Am Charlotte Simmons," which came out -- yikes -- eight years ago. It kind of bugs me that, in their coverage of the new book, journalists are disparaging "I Am Charlotte Simmons," using words like "disappointing." It is hard to think of where exactly I have read this but it has been in at least three or four different places.

Googling around I find it in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and on this book site. I found those two just in two minutes so I know I am not imagining things.

How many of these writers actually read "I Am Charlotte Simmons"? I bet none of them. I think they are just parroting someone else. Me, I thought it was an excellent book. I passed it to my brother George and he agreed. We talk about that book to this day.

Anyway, do check out "I Am Charlotte Simmons." It is a magnificent book.

Here's hoping this next one will be, too.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

Infringement Festival schedule now online

Later this week, look for my Gusto story on the upcoming Infringement Festival, which runs in an estimated 72 venues from July 26 to Aug. 5. In the meantime, check out the festival's full (and very much subject-to-change) schedule, just posted at infringebuffalo.org.

--Colin Dabkowski

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