Let me tell you what you need to know about this weekend:
a) It's Fred Fest.
b) It's going to be 76 degrees and sunny on Friday (the forecast as of press time).
Photo by Justin Goetz
B.J. Warshaw of Shooting Spires will be performing tonight at BJ's in Fredonia.
It's either the recipe for disaster or the recipe for a really, really good time. I suggest you adopt an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude or just beat it.
Fred Fest 2010's headliner is Brand New and the fest will be held in the Steele Hall Field House on the SUNY Fredonia campus starting at 3 p.m. Vendors, including sweet, delicious Dinosaur BBQ (you need to buy tickets ahead of time for that), will be outdoors behind Steele Hall in tents. For tickets - while limited supplies last - you need to either be a student, faculty, staff, alumni, or you must know someone who meets that criteria and accompany them as their guest. Admission details too complicated to include in full here, so I recommend you visit www.fredonia.edu for more information or call the ticket office at 673-3501 or toll-free at 1-(866)-441-4928.
If you can't get into the "official" Fred Fest (or just don't feel like it), do not fret. Much of the Fred Fest revelry will be taking place in the vicinity of downtown Fredonia. Each year, I warn readers to watch carefully while driving through downtown in order to prevent running over boozy revelers and again, I urge you to heed this warning. It is much easier than you think to accidentally commit vehicular manslaughter on Fred Fest weekend - yours truly has narrowly avoided doing so on more than one occasion.
If you seek further information on various Fred Fest trivia from years past, visit unofficialfredfest.blogspot.com. The blog was created a few years back in a journalism class taught by Elmer Ploetz and contains articles by myself, John Mackowiak and several others.
In the spirit of celebrating the end of the school year, BJ's will be hosting BJ's Fest. This two-day event takes place Thursday and Friday and features nine bands.
Tonight is headlined by solo projects from the members of Brooklyn's Parts & Labor. Parts & Labor guitarist Dan Friel uses old keyboards and effects pedals to create a wonderful mix of noise and melody. B.J. Warshaw, the band's bass player, releases music under the name Shooting Spires. Warshaw describes the Shooting Spires sound as "the sweet embrace of agoraphobia and insomnia." Also playing tonight are Longitude, Sleep Close Death and Wooden Waves.
Friday night features a wide variety of bands. This includes the indie rock stylings of Nate In Public, the feel good jams of Summer People, the 8-bit sound manipulations of Zen Albatross and the instrumental post-rock of Lazerwaltzer.
The cost is $1 a day for over 21 or $5 for 18 and up. Both nights start at 10 p.m.
41 West will have Trio from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Billy McEwen on Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m., as the bar celebrates their anniversary and welcomes new partners "Chubs" Fadale and Mark Brenecki.
Jamestown Community College will hold a Native American Film Festival today through Saturday at the Jamestown campus. The first film will actually be shown at the Fredonia Opera House tonight from 7 to 9 p.m., "Incident at Ogala: The Leonard Peltier Story," free and open to the public with a Q&A session to follow. Also during the festival at JCC, there will be music by award-winning act Shenandoah Friday at 7 p.m. For more information, call 338-1223.
Too many suspects, so little time - what to do? Why, throw a dinner party and invite them all! That is how you solve a murder Nick and Nora style. I recently discovered why "The Thin Man" series of films was so popular in the '30s and '40s they're fantastic! The high society duo dabbles in detective work - they're wealthy due to Nora's inheritance - and spend the rest of their time getting sauced, lovingly bickering and looking oh-so-fabulous while doing so. The fourth film in the series, "The Shadow Of The Thin Man" (1941), will be on Turner Classic Movies Wednesday, May 5 at 8 p.m.
More Bear Grylls? Count me in! In the Discovery Channel's new six-part series "Worst Case Scenario," Grylls shows us sissy viewers at home how to handle a life-threatening situation with finesse. Learn how to deftly avoid getting eaten by a shark, how to safely escape a fire in a high-rise building (apparently, a necessary skill for Dunkirk/Fredonia dwellers) and much more. The show premieres Wednesday, May 5 at 10 p.m.
DRINK OF THE WEEK
The margarita, in honor of Cinco de Mayo next Wednesday. Ay dios mio! For those who vomit at the mere mention of tequila, substitute rum.
WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
I love getting out of town from time to time but there's something a small town in Chautauqua County has that a big city doesn't - cheap drinks. I took a weekend trip to Toronto last weekend and was appalled when the bartender (a man? a woman? I couldn't tell) charged us $13 per vodka soda with lime. In this economy?! Ill-prepared for this outrageous fee, we actually didn't have enough money left over to tip (although we tipped on the first two more reasonably-priced drinks). The bartender tried to argue that by giving us exact change, she/he owed the bar money. We didn't quite understand that logic, we certainly didn't order any more drinks and I arrived at the conclusion that when it comes to boozing affordably, there's simply no place like home.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Give her the dish on what's happening at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 366-3000, Ext. 482.