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Category: buffalo

05/16/08 12:54 - 57ºF - ID#44363

TiTS SuCKS

Warning: Rant below. Stop reading now if you wish to avoid bad vibes about Buffalo, or if you are supersensitive about your taste in music and I am about to insult said taste.



All winter long, I have eagerly awaited the Thursday in The Square lineup for Summer 2008. Ice? Snow? Sleet? Icy wind off the lake? It matters not, because Buffalo has a fantastic summer concert series -- for free! -- with beer!! -- and really good acts!!! -- that make my Thursday evenings in June, July, and August a lot of fun.

Last year, there were some truly fantastic shows. Sam Roberts Band was great. The Old 97s, with frontman Rhett Miller dancing with girls from the audience, a total blast. Violent Femmes played to a huge crowd. Dropkick Murphys were pretty good. And there were some pleasant surprises like up-and-coming Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

I have been anticipating this year's lineup with bated breath. And finally, it's here! And... it SUCKS!!

http://www.buffaloplace.com/ereport/graphics/sponsor/THURSDAYATTHESQUARE.pdf

MAYBE the Gin Blossoms won't be terrible. And I guess it's sort of nice to have Jakob Dylan. But my GOODNESS, what of the rest of these lame acts?

"Galactic kicks off the 2008 season on May 29th with their unique blend of hip-hop, electronica, latin, rock, blues and jazz."

?????

"June 5th will bring straightforward, "almost earnest rock" with The Disco Biscuits."

I'm almost not falling asleep yet.

"Colorado natives Yonder Mountain String Band make their return to Buffalo on June 12th. This quartet is heralded for their "untraditional" bass/mandolin/banjo/guitar line-up and love of bluegrass music."

I heard good things about their show last year, but can't we get some fresh blood in the lineup?

"Grammy Award winning David Sanborn will bring his Grammy Award pop-jazz fusion to the Queen City on June 19th. If you don't already know this 22-solo album smooth jazz musician, we're sure you will leave Lafayette Square a fan."

Guess again!

"Syracuse native Martin Sexton will headline Thursday at the Square on June 26th. Influenced by the magical sounds of the 70's, the Boston Globe says Sexton is "ripe with... raw, expansive talent.""

I'm ripe with raw, expansive irritation. And we're almost into July already. Oh my. This is getting frustrating.

"Kick off the 4th of July weekend with the son of iconic folk rock musician and lead vocalist of The Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan & The Gold Mountain Rebels."

I probably will, but you gotta love when they use a singer's parent's reputation to justify his importance.

"Revered guitarist and founder of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughan rocks the stage of Lafayette Square on July 10th."


Revered, eh? Guess I'm not the only person in Buffalo with a shrine to Jimmie Vaughan in my living room. I'll be sure to keep a constant vigil until I get the opportunity to genuflect in front of his actual corporeal manifestation on July 10.

Somebody kill me... (so I can die and go be with Jimmy Vaughan for eternity.)

"July 17th will be an amazing evening with percussion master of the infamous Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart Band featuring Steve Kimock and George Porter Jr. Hart has composed numerous scores, soundtracks and themes for movies and television and written four books documenting his life."

Those four books should go a long way as credentials for this once-revered (!!!) now washed-up acid-addled jam-band. Surely he must put on a great concert if he wrote four books! Ugh.

"Alternative rockers famous for the 90's hit, "Hey Jealousy," Gin Blossoms will take the stage on July 24th. We think fans will "Follow Them Down" in droves to Lafayette Square."

Yes, but only because there are no other half-decent acts lined up for TiTS this summer. Hey, I'm jealous of cities that attract good bands!

"Canadian folk rockers, Spirit of the West, will play Thursday at the Square on July 31st. This outfit hit the scene in the 1980's before becoming one of Canada's most successful alternative rock bands of the 1990's."

Most successful, eh? What did you say their name was again? I'll need another Blue Light, please.

"Zappa Plays Zappa on August 7th. Need we say more?!"

Um, no. No, you needn't.

"Bass player and vocalist of the improvisational rock band Phish, Mike Gordon will take the stage on August 14th. Gordon has written 17 Phish original songs and 22 Phish tracks."

He's also eaten 2,342 pints of Phish Food ice cream. Ergo, he will put on a Phistastic concert! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

"Post-grunge rockers, Saliva, will make their way to Lafayette Square on August 21st. Their single, "Ladies & Gentlemen" made it to #2 on Billboard's U.S. Mainstream rock charts and has been used by Sony in commercials for PlayStation 3 as well as the theme for NFL Network's NFL Total Access show."

Arrive early to catch opening acts 'Expectorate' and 'Hocking Loogie'!

"Modern rock icons, Candlebox, will play Lafayette Square on August 28th. Their self-titled debut album went platinum four times and the hit "Far Behind" reached the pop Top 20 Chart."

Um... icons? I suppose I do own Candlebox's entire catalog, which I acquired for $6.52 from the CD bargain bin at the almost-dead New World Record. But then again, not everyone has a homemade Candlebox tribute jacket made from black stonewashed denim. Oh, and did I mention, Candlebox's drummer is a retread from 'Ugly Kid Joe'? The talent pool runs deep, my friends. Can you believe these guys have a "Best of" album? Is it an EP?

Candlebox
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"Big Head Todd and the Monsters will close the season on September 4th. These indie/alternative rockers are known for their powerful live performances and their 1993 album, Sister Sweetly."

Fifteen years later, we shall enjoy their indie/alternative stylings in Buffalo, New York -- which is just about right: 15 years behind the times.

Thursday evenings in downtown Buffalo should be a great time -- in principle. For some reason, this year I think for once I'm actually looking forward to the moment at which the concert engineers flip the switch to Petula Clark's "Downtown". Or maybe I'll just stay at home and listen to some DECENT music.

  • sigh*

It's not that I don't love Buffalo. I'm just disappointed by it.

This concludes my rant.



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Category: food

04/30/08 08:56 - 43ºF - ID#44196

Falafel Bar II in Allentown?

Some potentially great news for Allentowners and Roswell (e:peeps)... looks like the business space at 69 Allen St (near Franklin) is going to be a new Falafel Bar! (If someone else has already posted this as news, I am posting only as my own personal celebration of this development). The relative dearth of inexpensive ethnic food joints in Allentown (no, Jim's Steak-Out doesn't count) is something that A and I were just bemoaning, and then, lo and behold, as if from our mouths to God's ear, here is the sign announcing a new Falafel Bar. Sweet! And we have it on pretty good authority that it's the same owners as the fabulous Falafel Bar on Elmwood. Can anyone confirm that?

Mmmm I can taste the Lebanese deliciousness already...
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Hope I'm not jinxing this place by posting. It would be a horrible mind-f--- for them to tease me and then start up a really lousy falafel joint.
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Category: weird science

01/23/08 05:45 - 19ºF - ID#43003

Filthy Lying Robots

A friend from NJ sent me this link to a story about an experimental complex system of robots that, by the 50th generation or so, evolved to communicate and even to brazenly deceive each other in order to survive. Crazy.



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Category: travel

01/16/08 09:56 - 30ºF - ID#42919

Paris -- Eiffel Tower

(e:joshua)'s posts from San Francisco (e.g., (e:joshua,42887) ) have inspired me to post some pics from my recent trip to France and Belgium. I'll start with a few highlights from my walk up the Eiffel Tower.

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12/31/07 04:26 - 32ºF - ID#42696

happy new blahhhh

hey peeps -- long time no post.

happy holi-daze... i'm feeling a little dazed myself today.

let's see, what's new(s)...?

great christmas gifts from ami... grey ribbed Calvin Klein sweater and... wait for it...

...a new Islanders jersey!! SWEET. she gave it to me early so i could wear it to the isles-sabres game on 12/12/07. isles lost but it was fun getting hostile looks at Irish Times and at the arena, ha.

went to long island to see the 'rents and g'rents and spent down time with my sisters. my youngest sister Jessica and her bf Dan met me in NYC and we saw the tree. we also went to the east village, ate in a fantastic tiny little Mexican restaurant and drank Christmas ales at Hop Devil, a beer bar.

after a few days on LI i actually missed buffalo. bizarre.

anyway back now and ami and i are trying to pack in some good times before i head off to europe for a few days (strasbourg, paris, brussels). we've succeeded so far but today is kinda blah.

the only interesting thing that's happened today -- save for a nice catching up phone call from chica -- is that i got mildly gay-bashed on the metro. maybe my fashion sense is too allentown, but i got called a fag and a fruit-cup on the train this afternoon. nice.

stay classy, buffalo.

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Category: food

11/15/07 10:11 - 41ºF - ID#42153

888 Main

Yesterday Ami and I checked out 888 Main, the new restaurant/bar on Main between Allen and Virginia. It's just a few doors south of Hyatt's art supply store. It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, stopped by for a beer after work and stayed for a pizza. Lo, and it was good, my peeps. I definitely recommend it. Dan, the bartender (and owner-operator?) told us about using premium-quality ingredients for the pizza, etc. I don't doubt it because it was the tastiest Buffalo-city-style pizza I've had in Buffalo. If you don't know what I mean, it's that not-quite-deep-dish, way-too-thick-for-New-York-City-style-thin-crust pizza that seems to dominate around here. If Buffalo itself is somewhere between New York and Chicago, so is its local pizza. Anyway, I digress. We had a hot-sausage white pizza and it was delicious -- a perfectly baked, crispy-edged pie with sliced sausage, peppers, and onions. It tasted fine with a cold PBR on tap. Other tap beers included Hefe Weissen, Anchor Steam, Southern Tier IPA, Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, and a few others. The decor is stylish, tall ceilings and a big blood-red wall behind the bar, and the tables looked potentially cozy. Ami took a couple of camera-phone pix:
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A little slice of 888 Main

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The whole shebang (drooling...)

Tried to go back tonight with (e:chica) for after-work beers and snacks but to no avail. Doors were closed and locked at 5:50 p.m. Hmmm. But I'd guess this is an anomaly. I was disappointed because there are a bunch of other pizzas I want to try, and there are appetizers that sounded tempting, plus I think they do a couple of pasta dishes or something. I liked the stylish-but-not-over-the-top bar, low lighting, and good-noshes-at-good-prices vibe of the place. Plus Dan was playing some mix tape his gf made that had a pleasantly odd mix of tunes.

Only problem is that the facade does really identify the place very well, and there are no sidewalk signs or anything either. Look for the Southern Tier neon bar light in the window. For now it's dinner-only, but we were told that if it catches on with people at the medical campus that lunch was a possibility.

Oh, and apparently mine was the very first credit card transaction that the bartender processed (ever!), so that was kinda cool I guess. If you go, post and let us know how it was for you...

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08/10/07 11:35 - 71ºF - ID#40473

tribute to kookcity2000

Just wanted to post a belated thank-you to (e:kookcity2000) for the free oldy-school stereo [see (e:kookcity2000,39165) ]. Here's a pic of the stereo with some goofy/fabulous speakers i picked up for six bucks at a garage sale on the West Side.

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(Sorry for the poor photo quality, it was taken with an old cell phone.)


In other, more disturbing news, looks like (e:joshua,40409) 's post on Jim Cramer's freakout session a week ago was rather prescient.


World stock markets tumbled on Friday and central banks in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere continued an unprecedented infusion of cash into the financial system, as concern spread about the state of the U.S. credit market and the complicated array of investments it supports.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industial Average was down nearly 200 points after the first hour and a half of trading on a day that was expected to add to Thursday's 387-point drop. Though still up for the year, Thursday's decline was the second-worst of the year and knocked nearly three percent from the index's value. Other U.S. indexes were down as well...

It was much the same overseas, as benchmark indexes across Asia and Europe shed upwards of three percent on Friday. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 406 points, a decline of 2.37 percent, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong lost 2.88 percent.

Europe followed suit: near the end of the trading day, London's FTSE 100 had fallen 184 points, a decline of nearly three percent; France's CAC 40 was down around three percent and Germany's Dax 30 had shed nearly 1.4 percent.

To calm the markets and meet a surge in demand for cash, central banks on Friday continued pumping money into the financial system -- adding to the more than $150 billion that authorities in the U.S. and Europe released on Thursday...

"What we have at the moment is just an all-around sense of panic," Marc Ostwald, a bond analyst at Insinger de Beaufort in London, told the Associated Press. "Quite clearly there's a lot of deep-seated fear out there and it's going to take a while to resolve this."

The sell-off overseas represents the expansion of a problem first glimpsed through rising default rates for U.S. home mortgages -- particularly among riskier "subprime" loans to less creditworthy borrowers. It has evolved into a global credit crunch, with borrowing costs for corporations and global dealmakers on the rise, and investors urging policymakers to help.
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08/07/07 04:27 - 79ºF - ID#40428

Letchworth Hike, 08.04.07

chica and I went hiking at Letchworth State Park for the first time on Saturday. We hiked nearly half of the Gorge Trail, enough to see the three sets of waterfalls and some nice woods. The trail was very easy overall for being rated "moderate".

Here are some photos, mostly taken by chica. If you haven't been to Letchworth, go. It is a beautiful park.

trailhead
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thanks random Asian tourist for taking this shot!
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perched turkey buzzard that chica snuck up on
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random trash i picked up--people are such savages...is it so hard to understand "pack in, pack out"?
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Category: food

07/26/07 11:49 - 78ºF - ID#40261

Burgers at Sterling Place Tavern

  • Fantastic* hamburgers and good draft beer at Sterling Place Tavern on Hertel Avenue.

Had heard the burgers were "best in the city" and beyond, and while I've had some fine burgers here in B-lo, I'm inclined to agree. The burgers are big, thick, juicy (well, mine was medium-rare, but even medium-well looked juicy to me) and utterly delicious. (sorry, no pic)

Service was a bit slow at times, since there was just one bartender to cope with a modest bar presence and probably 7-8 tables of people ordering drinks and/or food, but the bartender was nice and apologetic, and the owner, John, was very personable and pleasant.

Beers on tap included some of the Great Lakes Brews out of Cleveland ("Eliot Ness" and "Burning River"), Newcastle Brown Ale, Flying Bison's Oatmeal Stout, a fine wheat beer or two, Stella Artois, Pilsner Urquell, and two or three other brews I'm forgetting.

Anyway, it's not much to look at from the outside, and the service may be slow, and (rumor has it) that the tavern is sometimes closed on non-obvious nights (Friday, Saturday) for seemingly no good reason, but if you're on Hertel Ave and have a ravenous appetite and a hankering for red meat and good beer, check out the Sterling Place Tavern. If it's open, get your butt in there and ask to order up a tasty burger.

Yum.


also, thanks to my partners in crime, Amy M and Ami... :-)
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Category: buffalo

07/12/07 03:39 - 76ºF - ID#40082

one more reason to love Buffalo

Check out this article from the New York Times about the $225,000 parking spot.


Yes, you read that correctly, $225,000 for a PARKING SPOT.

I know there are some days in early February in Buffalo, after driving around the neighborhood for 30 minutes looking for an open space, when we'd all consider paying through the nose for a spot.

But $225,000????

I know it's Manhattan and all, and you just can't beat New York City, it's an amazing city, yadda yadda yadda.

But $225,000? Really? Really??

Here's what $225,000 will get you in B-lo today:

293 Highland Avenue (near Norwood)
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Victorian 4 bedroom house, 2 full baths, 2760 sq ft
w/deck, fully fenced yard, 7-person hot tub, shed, porch, fireplace, full attic and basement, driveway (aha! parking space included!), laundry room, inlaid hardwood floors, pocket doors.
(MLS# 287216)

New York City is fine, but you gotta love Buffalo!

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