Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Art Amongst the Pig Slop

The Music is Art Festival brings together a diverse spectrum of music and dance and is the brainchild of Goo Goo Dolls bass player and Western New York native Robby Takac.

Originally part of the Allentown Art Festival, due to local politics and in-fighting that is symptomatic of anything done in Western New York, the festival got bumped into the livestock, pig slop, beer tents, and race-tracks of the Erie County Fair.

So is that a reason to feel bad? No way!.... Sorry, but the Allentown Art Festival, with it's runway of tents and out-of-town craft-vendors selling crappy art, fried dough, things on a stick is really not that much different from the Erie County Fair. It's nothing but a racket for a bunch of out-of-town hobbyists who congregate on this circuit to supplement their annual income. The geezers that run Allentown don't realize that only real "art" and/or local boosterism was at the MIA festival anyway.

To be fair, Robby loves Allentown, considers it his home, owns a business in the neighborhood and plans to build out his studio to attract national musicians to Buffalo. If he wants to host a music festival that benefits the entire region with scholarships, instruments, and music education, those sad-sack fuckers should roll out the red carpet. Instead, Old Buffalo personified by the boring old-farts known as the Allentown Village Society looks down their collective noses at him and gives him a load of pig slop.

But let's take a look at the Erie County Fair.... white trash tattooed carnies, fat-assed bikers eating their fried dough and washing it down with some beer, pig slop, horses, ferris wheels, roller coasters, freak shows, motorcycle racers, hopped-up funny cars and demolition derbies. Come on.... that's a little more "rock n' roll" than a bunch of geriatric oil painters selling cheesy landscapes or some big-assed old lady selling her cute little mobiles for decorating the bathroom.

Don Keller, the festival's visual arts organizer, said that work from at least 20 Western New York artists will be shown, along with a pair of live art installations that will take place throughout the day. Karl Kotas, a Buffalo - born artist now working in New York City, will paint a pair of "20-foot high Kabuki totem poles" that will be erected on either side of the festival's main stage.

For Keller, the symbiotic relationship of MIA and the Allentown Art Festival will be replaced by something possibly even more revolutionary.

"The synergy from the fair is a whole different kind of synergy," Keller said. "There's going to be a lot of people exposed to this that would never have even ventured down to Allentown."

Robbie Takac says, "We've started what seems to be at this point an amazing partnership with [America's Fair] that hopefully we can maintain and keep going for a long time."

The Music Is Art Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at the South Park gate entrance of America's Fair, better known as the Erie County Fair. The festival will feature performances by local musicians on two stages, including appearances by

Agent Me
Steam Donkeys
the Juliet Dagger
Yellow Delicious
Terry Sullivan
Lazy Groove
Still Fighting It

source material
Buffalo News
Buffalo Geek
Buffalo Dork