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Cover Story

Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man

by Geoff Kelly

Thank you, Ralph, for the Iraq war. Thank you, Ralph, for the tax cuts. Thank you, Ralph, for the destruction of the environment. Thank you, Ralph, for the destruction of the Constitution.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia (Africa’s smallest country) has long believed he had mystic powers, but he said a vision received on Jan. 18 makes it possible for him to personally cure AIDS and asthma, though only on certain days and for a limited number of people. The vision gave him recipes based on seven herbs mentioned in the Quran but authorized him to treat no more than 10 AIDS sufferers, on Thursdays and Mondays, and not more than 100 asthma patients, on Fridays and Saturdays. (Not surprisingly, the government self-reports success.) Jammeh’s previous visions included making Gambia rich by exporting oil, but so far no deposits have been found.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Native to Africa and Australia, baobab trees are oddly beautiful, with thick, bulbous trunks that can grow partially hollow and thus serve as shelters for people and animals. They have an enormous capacity for storing water, allowing them to survive during draughts. Humans carve and paint their fruits, making them into ornaments, and also use their leaves, fruits and bark for food and drink. The tree’s large white flowers open only at night and are pollinated by bats. In all these ways, you remind me of a baobab right now, Pisces. You’re freakishly gorgeous, have enormous staying power and hundreds of uses, are a rich source of nourishment and comfort and bloom under the moonlight, when you do your best collaborative work.

Puck Stop

Amerks West

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Dainius Zubrus is now a Buffalo Sabre. Farewell to Martin Biron, the last player to wear the original blue and gold. Trade deadline day came and went Tuesday, and it was a very busy one for the Buffalo Sabres. By noon, Biron was gone to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for their second-round 2007 draft pick.

Letters to Artvoice

What a disgrace for Buffalo Councilmember Bonnie Russell to act as a cheerleader for Rural Metro Ambulance at the last City Council meeting (“The News Briefly,” Artvoice v6n9).

Design Matters

Perfect Parking Spots, Perfect Curves

by Albert Chao

The Elmwood Village, home to a unique pedestrian avenue with storefronts, restaurants, bars and apartments, has simple but effective solutions for parking. The John C. Gallagher, Sr. Parking Ramp, a parking garage located behind the former Pier 1 at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street, is an interesting look at the intersection between a bulky concrete structure with surrounding storefronts, restaurants and apartments along Elmwood Avenue. The Gallagher Parking Ramp, despite its physically domineering nature, is effectively hidden from view.

Book Reviews

Daze by Matthew Cooperman

by Victoria Brockmeier

The book that you are reading,” announces one of the first poems in Matthew Cooperman’s new collection DaZE, “is a building with eyes”—and how it stares. From directly addressing the reader, to meditatively observing as a spider picks its way over the detritus in a bathroom sink (“a blind man whirling/amberite canes”), to pointing out that “From space we gather a sense of immensity/but no one’s seen it,” these poems play through vision’s possibilities and limitations. Of course, what you can see depends on where you stand, so they also explore problems of location, time and perspective, with pieces like “Seen and Felt Watching” and “From the Corner of My” particularly riffing on those notions. In the sequence called “Channel Town,” material reappears from poem to poem, transformed each time, but carrying its past with it into each new present; part collage, part recurring dream, part recycling program, the technique weaves the text around and through itself freely, without confinement.


Dance in March

by Jennifer Golonka

The University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts is bringing yet another exciting dance company to town. This time it’s Ronald K. Brown and his New York-based company, Evidence, which has been providing unique topics and methods of expanding the art of dance for over 20 years. The company will be here for a month-long residency, March 5-23. Brown as well his dancers will be teaching at UB and giving master classes and lecture demonstrations at many Buffalo public schools. This outreach program is part of the Center for the Arts’ commitment to nurturing interest in and giving access to dance. Schools receive these programs at no cost, which is a fantastic gift considering how little funding is allotted for arts programs in public schools.


by Anthony Chase

Playwright Donald Margulies, whose play Brooklyn Boy is currently being featured by the Jewish Repertory Theatre of WNY, has had a varied career. A highlight would certainly be his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Dinner with Friends. Other plays include Sight Unseen, which won an Obie, about a famed artist who returns to a former love to retrieve an early painting; The Loman Family Picnic, which starred Christine Baranski, about a bar mitzvah that gets out of hand; and Collected Stories, a play about a celebrated writer who is betrayed by her young disciple. A frequent theme of Margulies’ work is the compromise between self-interest and self-sacrifice and the moments when that balance is violated.


Lauren and Leonardo

by Tom Dooney

Embody, by Lauren Gunderson, which opens at New Phoenix Theatre this week, depicts 24-year-old Leonardo, the most famous citizen the town of Vinci has ever produced.


by Javier

Buffalo born and a Buffalo State alum, Paul C. Vogt (pictured above) is currently making his Broadway debut playing Edna Turnblad in the musical Hairspray, which is now on its fifth year at the Neil Simon Theatre. Known to TV audiences for his performances on MADtv and The Rerun Show, Vogt most recently played Edna in the Las Vegas production, taking over for Harvey Fierstein. The Broadway production also stars Isabel Keating (known to WNY audiences for her performances in Brockport many years ago) and the one and only Darlene Love as Motormouth Maybelle.

You Auto Know

Bring It On!

by Jim Corbran

Some of you may remember the infamous Blizzard of ’77—the storm that forever placed Buffalo at the top of the Worst Weather Anywhere charts for all time.


On the Trail of Zodiac

by M. Faust

Like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the unsolved Zodiac killings that horrified America in 1969 have been fiercely discussed and argued by theorists for years. And like Oliver Stone’s JFK, David Fincher’s mesmerizing new film Zodiac throws its weight behind one solution while holding out the possibility that by fueling the debate it may bring new evidence to light, even evidence that disproves its conclusions.

Film Reviews

Lost Boys, But No Wendy: God Grew Tired of Us

by George Sax

Angelina Jolie wasn’t at the Oscar rites in Los Angeles the other night. She was in Chad, in northeast Africa near the border with the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan on a United Nations-sponsored visit to the refugee camps filled with tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees.

Film Clips


Black Snake Moan

Got Live If You Want It

Mohawk Place

Like the music inside, Mohawk Place islocated just a little off the beaten path. Tucked into a one-block section of E. Mohawk Street between Washington and Ellicott, the bar contains many of the original elements of an early 20th century gin mill, including tin ceiling. Owner Pete Perrone brought the place back to life in 1990 when he started scheduling blues acts. A few years later, the bikers who came for the blues began to mingle with younger rockers as more and more alternative acts began filling the schedule. Today, songwriter/musician/bartender/booking agent Bill Nehill strives to continue the ‘Hawk’s tradition of locating acts that are just off the radar of the mainstream, and waving them in for a landing on the large back-room stage.

See You There

Natalie Macmaster

by Caitlin Derose


by K. O'Day

Baby Steps 8 Year Anniversary Show

by Shaun Smith

Packway Handle Band

Left of the Dial

Peter, Bjorn and John: Writer's Block

Yoko Ono: Yes, I Am a Witch

Calendar Spotlight


by Caitlin Derose

The Ryan Montbleau Band

The Common Kings

Benefit for Eric Rawski

From Autumn to Ashes