Joseph Popiolkowski, The Buffalo News - Page 55 of 62
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Joseph Popiolkowski

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Joseph Popiolkowski is a reporter for The Buffalo News covering Buffalo's inner suburbs, including the towns of Tonawanda, Cheektowaga and West Seneca.

On June 5, 2008, electronic-rock jam band the Disco Biscuits put on an "undeniably original" Thursday at the Square show, according to the review. Fast-forward one year and the band repeated the feat this season with an equally impressive set full of its trance-fusion sound.But what's new? How has that year of growth treated the Disco Biscuits (known colloquially to fans a…

"Gigantic" features two young people searching for what may be called the three A's of young adulthood: answers, attention and affection. This Herculean quest neatly references the movie's title.Paul Dano plays Brian Weathersby -- a reserved 28-year-old mattress salesman who harbors a lifelong desire to adopt a Chinese baby. He falls for Harriet Lolly -- a customer's daugh…

The college show atmosphere is unmistakable.A heavy vinyl tarp is placed over the basketball floor, an expensive light and sound setup is trucked in and the sports arena is transformed into a full-fledged music venue. A moderately well-known act flies into town and students can crowd-surf, mosh in the pit and toss water bottles high in the air. To some, the popularity of t…

Wanted: Audience members to sit in the front rows at a Lisa Lampanelli comedy show. Must be thick-skinned, a good sport and willing to endure every ethnic slur in the book.And, judging by Lampanelli's sold-out show Friday night in UB's Center for the Arts, gays, Asians, Jews, blacks and Hispanics are preferred.The so-called Queen of Mean -- known for her participation in n…

Lewis Black addressed head-on Thursday in Shea's Performing Arts Center the question every unoriginal interviewer is asking: What will he do now that comedic gold mine George Bush is out of office?"I'm just not gonna be funny anymore," he said with his well-known sarcastic wit. "I'm just gonna be wistful."But the recession has given Black plenty to work with. The Federal R…

When this reviewer was working the overnight shift at an area grocery store during his college years, the night crew watched a televised recording of infamous shock jock Howard Stern's radio show every night at 2 a.m.It appealed to us because of the sensational talk and zany antics of its frequent guests, including comedian Artie Lange -- who performed Saturday night at a …

For a guy who was part of Comedy Central's "Blue Collar Comedy Tour," Ron White has since scaled the social stratum. White said he drives a Range Rover, lives in a big house and flies in a private plane, which he thanked the ticket-buying audience for during the first of two sold-out shows Friday night in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts.He localized his act…

This bar's name reminds us of the MacGruber character from the popular "Saturday Night Live" spoof of the "MacGyver" TV series. Every time we drive by, we sing "Magruders!" in a sing-song voice. Where am I going with this? Well, speaking of sketch comedy, Magruders welcomes local improv group ComedySportz on the first and third Thursday of every month. It's just one exampl…

Mall security is serious business. There are shoplifters, loiterers and Christmas Day fights among teens at the movie theater (if you live in this area, anyway). And any place a large number of people congregate is a potential terrorist target, as Homeland Security has dictated.For these reasons, mall security guards are a skittish bunch and will pounce quickly (as this re…

While the foot of snow outside would suggest otherwise, the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall was transformed into a County Clare pub Saturday night when Celtic fiddler Eileen Ivers and her band wrapped up their Christmas tour by filling the space with sounds of the old country.The program, dubbed "An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas," after her 2007 release of the same n…

The holidays arrived early for a near-sold-out audience in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts on Wednesday night when banjoist Bela Fleck led his band through 2 1/2 hours of instrumental holiday tunes, mind-blowing bluegrass breakdowns and one "Synthaxe Drumitar" solo.The Nashville-based quartet entered the hall to rapturous applause. Most of the band's set …

"Punisher: War Zone" is the latest Marvel comic book to endure another stab at movie adaptation. Its cinema lineage is long. It's a sequel to 2004's "The Punisher," which was preceded by a 1989 film of the same name.It's the story of Frank Castle, aka the Punisher (Ray Stevenson), an ex-Special Forces instructor exacting revenge on all Mafia types like the ones that killed…

It is hard to manage simultaneous careers in music and academia. Hadji Bakara -- synthesizer and sound manipulator for manic but earnest indie rockers Wolf Parade -- knows this firsthand.When he spoke to us, Bakara was on a train from Montreal to Toronto, where his dance remix duo Megasoid would play a "mega dance party" until 2:30 a.m. Early the next morning, he would tak…

When did movies about rehabilitation and redemption go from guardian angel Clarence taking us on a tour of a George Bailey-less world in "It's a Wonderful Life" to using force and violence to extract change in a person's behavior? "Phone Booth," for example, taught us that the penance for infidelity is to let a sniper take pot shots at you. The price for not truly appreci…

Third Room, in developer Mark Goldman's Calumet building at the corner of West Chippewa and Franklin, is where it all started in 1990. It's hard to believe, but back then the Chippewa entertainment district -- the now-famous "Chip strip" -- was non-existent.Today, the building houses Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant and Latin club La Luna, with Third Room sandwiched between t…