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'Buffalo: America's Best Designed City'

Buffalonians gathered earlier this evening in Larkinville to watch the premiere screening of John Paget's short promotional video "Buffalo: America's Best Designed City." Take a look:

--Colin Dabkowski

A brief look at City of Night

On Saturday afternoon, I caught the very start of City of Night, the mammoth arts festival sponsored by Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo. Like last year's version, it was packed with interactive art installations scattered around the post-industrial site and inside its endlessly photogrpahable, out-of-use buildings. Word from organizers is that the second festival attracted some 12,000 people -- about 4,500 more than expected -- though it's unclear exactly how they counted. Here are some pics:

A sculpture by Scott Bye:

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Infringement Daily Planner: Day 11

Well, that was quick.

We've reached the end of this year's Buffalo Infringement Festival, which wraps up today with a series of events in and around Allentown. Here are five suggestions to help you close out the festival:

• Pac-Man Park, an interactive Pac-Man game in Days Park organized by Jose Rodriguez, will have its final outing from 2 to 4 p.m. Read more about it here.

• You might still be able to find a spot for Car Stories, the long-running theater experience that takes place inside a car in the NIetzsche's parking lot. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

• The Infringment Festival closing parade gets going around 6:30 at Old Wondermoth and will wind its way through the streets of Allentown.

• The grand finale of the festival are the Closing Ceremonies and Iffy Awards, which get started in Nietzsche's at 8 p.m. and run through at least 1 a.m. The event features performances from Crows and Jays, Erin Sydney Welsh, Greengage, Savannah King, manawi thorn, Jen Whitmore, second trip, Sara Elizabeth and Wise Medecine.

• If fire-dancing is your thing, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to close out the fest in Days Park around 9 p.m., when A Buffalo Pyromance gives its final performane.

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 10

Today is the penultimate day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. If you're looking for something to do this afternoon, check out the day's busy schedule. Here are five potential highlights:

• At 1 p.m., Squeaky Wheel hosts its Second Saturday Film Festival, featuring eight short films by local filmmakers.

• At 1:30 p.m., Allentown Music will host several hours of music during its Rock on the Porch event, with performances from SIC SIN, Legal the Lifesaver, the Left Hand of Darkness, Warren Daniels and Jupiter Jefferson.

The Foundry, over on Northampton Street, is throwing a Pirate Party starting at 6 p.m. with plenty of performances and more than likely some hilarious costumes.

• "The Cashier's Manifesto," a theater piece derived from cashiers' true stories about their experiences on the job, runs from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. in Casa De Arte.

• The Hell's Harlots Burlesque troupe performs a half-hour set in El Museo at 9 p.m.

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 9

Some tips for the third-to-last-day of the Infringement Festival:

• At 5 p.m. in Burning Books, Infringement Festival co-founder Donovan King will present his 'Critical Report form the World Fringe Congress,' which is sure to be amusing and informative.

• In years past, the Hutchinson Faily Revival has impressed festivalgoers with their old-timey harmonies. This time around the group has dwindled to a single Hutchinson Temperance Songster, who performs at 5:30 p.m. in El Buen Amigo.

• All kinds of gallery closing parties are also happening tonight, including one at Big Orbit, one at Coming Home Buffalo, one at The Dress Shop and another at the Gallery Next Door.

• Pausa Art House is hosting an evening of music and film starting at 7 with new works for solo cello followed by "I Can Hear You Calling," a film about eight New York City museums and their bands.

• Nietzsche's hosts the Friday Infringement Fiest starting at 10:30 p.m., with performances from Andrew Biggie, The Telltale Signs, Lesionread, Look, a Fang! and Eppo. Sounds like it's going to be an awesomely weird time.

--Colin Dabkowski

A look at the final weekend of Infringement

The Buffalo Infringement Festival, the city’s annual compendium of underground arts activity, kicked off a week ago and is entering its final days.

The festival’s last weekend is shaping up to be perhaps the biggest in its eight-year history, with a full slate of theater productions, live music performances, public fire dancing, film screenings and impromptu parades through Allentown. Here’s a look at some of the possible highlights, selected from the full schedule posted at www.infringebuffalo.org:

Today at 6 p.m. in Rust Belt Books (202 Allen St.) and again at 8 p.m. in El Museo (91 Allen St.), gifted local playwright and actress Annette Daniels-Taylor will present her latest project, “Write Out of Here: Voices from East Ferry.” The piece is described as a “gritty theatrical report” from forgotten Western New York teens that Daniels-Taylor works with as a teaching artist with the Erie County Youth Detention Center on East Ferry Street. It attempts to capture the voices and aspirations of the kids Daniels-Taylor has met in her difficult but rewarding work.

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Infringement Daily Planner: Day 8

The final days of the Buffalo Infringement Festival are upon us. For the eighth day of the fest, here are a few suggestions: 

• The Left Hand of Darkness, a band familiar to many Infringement veterans, will play from 7 to 7:45 p.m. in Casa de Arte. The outfit features Ted Reinhard on drums and Charles Quagliana on a unique "Krappy Touchstyle 10 and 12 string guitar/bass."

• The description for this event should be enough to entice any curious Infringementgoer: "Tree of Liminality" is an interactive performance where participants can engage in existential conversation with a visionary being who lives amongst the trees enchanted branches. All thats required is to come as an alternate version of yourself: who you were, or might have been, or could be." It gets started at 6 p.m. in Days Park and repeats at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

• Local actor and playwright Anette Daniels-Taylor will present her piece "Write Out of Here: Voices from East Ferry," at 6 p.m. in Rust Belt Books and again at 8 p.m. in El Museo. The play is inspired by Daniels-Taylor's work with the young residents of Erie County Youth Detention Center.

• There's been some buzz about Noise Night at Night House, and especially about performer Fe Vajen. That gets going at 7 p.m. 

• At 7:30 p.m., Burning Books presents an evening of films, including "Buffalo by Bicycle," "Hidden Homeless," "Behind Buffalo" and "Political Rallies."

--Colin Dabkowski

Infringement Daily Planner: Day 7

If you're looking for a few suggestions for getting your Infringement on during the seventh day of the festival, I've got some:

• At 6 p.m. in Nietzsche's the Waiting Room, the "Wham Bam Thank You Slam III" gets started. It's an insane evening of slam poetry, burlesque and music. And judging from the last two versions of it at Infringement Festivals past, it seems like a pretty sure bet.

• At 7 p.m. the new Allentown space The Loop hosts a "queer-centric" poetry reading featuring work by Amy Upham, Gary Andrews, Lovely and Marek Parker. As good an opportunity as any to check out the new digs for Michael Rizzo's ambitious new venture.

• Uncle Vanya, reviewed here, gets going at 7:30 p.m. in the Dnipro Ukranian Center, and it's well worth the trip down Genessee Street.

• If comedy is your gig and you've already checked out the gifted duo behind Babushka!, why not check out Brainless Improv, which performs at 7 p.m. in El Museo and again at 7 p.m. Sunday in Main Street Studios.

• And if you missed Blue Lazer at last night's Sentman Spectacular at Milkie's, no worries, because the band is playing again today from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Filigree's Gallery and Boutique.

Infringe on, everyone!

--Colin Dabkowski

A 'Dazzlingly Inappropriate' night at Infringement

Earlier tonight, I caught Sebastian Black's show "Mind to Mind" in a new venue I'd never ventured into before, Coming Home Buffalo: The Gallery Next Door.

Black, who recently moved to Buffalo from New York City and who I suspect we'll be seeing a great deal more of, is one of at least two mentalists participating in the festival this year.

His show is all about audience participation and psychic tricks, two things I don't ordinarily go in for. But his presence stage presence, and the fact that he was dead-on in his predictions (including guessing the name of my boyfriend and Marilyn Monroe, which I had scribbled on a card and inserted into an envelope that was as far as I could tell opaque) made the show engaging from start to finish.

I caught up with Black after the performance for a short conversation about his talent, his plans for Buffalo and, perhaps most importantly, his philosophy for dealing with skeptics like myself:

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Infringement Daily Planner: Day 6

Today marks the sixth day of the Buffalo Infringement Festival. If you haven't ventured out into the streets and sampled at least a little taste of this citywide cultural phenomenon, today -- more than halfway through the festival -- is as good a time as any to do it.

Also, as of today, the official Iffy Awards box is now at Rust Belt Books, so if you've seen any Infringement acts you've particularly enjoyed, please feel free to scribble an invented award category and winner on a paper plate and drop it in the box. The Iffy Award ceremony takes place on Sunday, the last day of the festival, in Nietzsche's.

Here are some suggestions for today's leg of the fest:

• The one and only Tim Stentman (well, there are probably other Tim Stentmans, but this is the only one I know) performs his own poetry and short stories at 4:45 outside of Picasso Moon. Having seen a performance from his band Blue Lazer with his brothers Mike and Chris last year at the late and lamented Vault Arthouse, I can say that Mr. Stentman is a gifted performer, even though I cannot exactly vouch for the quality of his poetry or prose. 

• Speaking of Blue Lazer, the band, whose slogan is "Blue Lazer will melt your face!" and whose frontman performs as an alien from another planet with a very convincing Arnold Schwarzenegger accent, will give a show at 10 p.m. in Milkie's. That show is part of the Sentman Spectacular, which also includes performances by the brothers Stentman in their separate muscial projects,  the hilariously named Bolognatron and Dirty Couture.

Babushka!, the comedy project of Don Gervasi and Todd Benzin, is an Infringement staple. I've seen these dudes perform, and they're hilarious. They're on tonight at 6:30 in El Museo and repeat on Wednesday at 7 to 8 in the same space. Check out this interview I did with the guys during last year's festival.

• A couple of very cool readings are taking place at Coming Home: The Gallery Next Door, starting at 7 tonight. They are "Prattletales," a spoken-word and poetry reading by the person who runs this fascinating blog and "Reading R. Crumb: A Memoir," descrbied cryptically as "an elaboration of the visual contexutalization of" the famous comix artist.

• I have been personally instructed in no uncertain terms not to miss, under any circumstances, tonight's performance of "Dazzlingly Inappropriate II: Double Dipping," featuring Infringement mainstay Janna Willoughby-Lohr and Cat Sinclair "doing and saying things that are dazzlingly inappropriate." It runs from 7 to 8 p.m. in Rust Belt Books. And judging from the last, incredibly moving reading that I saw Willoughby-Lohr give, it is likely to be an Infringement must-see.

--Colin Dabkowski

 

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