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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v5n38 (09/21/2006) » Section: See You There

Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke, a celebrated Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, writer and former Green Party vice presidential candidate, visits St. Bonaventure University this week to discuss environmental justice—the pursuit of the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards for people of all races, colors, national origins and incomes. LaDuke, a graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities, has spent her life championing environmental and Native American causes and has written numerous works concerning both issues. LaDuke combined the two when she founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project, whose mission is to facilitate recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation while strengthening the native communities’ spiritual and cultural heritage. Time magazine named LaDuke one America’s 50 most promising leaders under the age of 40 in 1994, the same year she was arrested for protesting the logging industry’s use of indigenous lands. Some may consider it a bit of a hike to St. Bonaventure, but this free lecture, open to the public, will be more than worthwhile for any person concerned for the environment or eager to listen to a woman who is actively shaping the future.

The Environmental Justice for All Tour

Of all the injustices that exist in our country and in our world, environmental injustice is one of the most flagrant and dangerous. While the general public may not be aware of it, scientists and environmentalists alike have known for years that minority and low-income populations suffer disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects. Take, for instance, Buffalo’s generally low-income Hispanic community, whose rates of asthma from Peace Bridge traffic are astronomical. Or the folks who moved into Hickory Woods in South Buffalo years ago. In many cases, the populations most impacted by pollution are least able to effect positive change for themselves, because they’ve been marginalized by their financial and social status. The Environmental Justice For All Tour is a collaborative attempt by more than 70 environmental, social justice, public health, human rights and worker’s rights groups to change all of that through direct action. For the week beginning September 24, three bus caravans will tour the United States, taking politicians, health researchers and activists to communities suffering from toxic pollution. This Sunday, the Northeast caravan kicks off its tour in Buffalo with an excursion to “the good, the bad and the ugly” of toxic waste sites in Buffalo, including 858 E. Ferry Street, Cheektowaga’s Toxic Triangle and Seneca-Babcock. The two-hour tour will begin and end at The Church on Delaware Ave., and will be followed by a speech about environmental justice, a panel discussion and a fair featuring community groups and activist organizations.

Nashville Pussy

After nearly a decade spent defiling hedonistic fans with their tongue-in-cheek adult dose of sex, drugs and raunch-n-roll, Atlanta-based sleaze-shock-porn-band Nashville Pussy is tighter than ever. Husband/wife team of Blaine Cartwright and Canadian-born lead guitarist Ruyter Suys lay down an often-hilarious mix of punk rock energy, Southern-rock attitude and heavy metal (mid)riffs as they tear through cuts like “You’re Goin’ Down” from their Grammy nominated 1998 debut Let Them Eat Pussy. Longtime drummer Jeremy Thompson locks down the rhythm with recently-recruited bassist Karen Cuda for this sweaty, no-holds-barred group—currently in the midst of a big tour in support of their latest release Get Some. The band took its name from some stage banter on a Ted Nugent live album, and their music is a mix of AC/DC crunch with Motorhead momentum. Opening is Montreal-based rock band Priestess—who bring their heavy sound back to town. Also on the bill is Rye Coalition, a New Jersey band that has generated respect from the indie rock crowd for first getting signed to Dreamworks/SKG, before being dropped to Interscope by Geffen after they’d merged with Universal/Vivendi, who’d previously purchased Dreamworks/SKG...this really requires a diagram. Bottom line: they quit Interscope and emerged with an album produced by Dave Grohl, having spent all the big label’s money to do it! Complete with sex-fiends, immoralists, and rock geeks, this is sure to be the kind of show your parents always worried you might one day attend.

Eddie Gale & The Dick Griffin Now Band

Hallwalls presents two legendary brass musicians at Soundlab next Thursday for a special off-site concert. Eddie Gale was a pioneering force in the jazz world in the 1960s and 1970s along with contemporaries John Coltrane and Jackie McLean, and he has also spent time with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra. Dick Griffin's way with the trombone has lead him into company with such greats as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Harry Belafonte and Michael Jackson—­and that's just the short list. Griffin's unique technique, called "circularphonics," allows him to breathe through the chords and has earned him a reputation as one of the best jazz trombonists in the world. The two band leaders will be backed by some of Buffalo’s finest talent (aka the Nucleo Polyglot), with Michael Hermanson on a second trombone, Steve Baczkowski playing baritone/tenor sax, Greg Piontek on contrabass, and John Bacon hitting the drums. Pictured above is trumpet master Eddie Gale.

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