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we're fresh out of buffalo wings."

-- St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, to an angelic bison

in a New Yorker cartoon

When ZZ Top played the Aud, we rushed to see them. And on Thursday, when Leon Russell plays the Calumet Arts Cafe, we're going to rush to see him, too. Why the urgency? Because by Friday, if all goes according to plan, we will have seen three of the great beards of our time. We have a few to go: Fidel Castro, for one (not super-long, but politically significant); Burl Ives (an American legend, like the blue-tail fly); and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (an old-country beard reminiscent of great beards we missed, such as Tolstoy's or Brahms'.) But chin up! We're on our way.
In the '70s, the Washington Post's Watergate writings brought down a presidency. In the 19th century, the cartoons of Thomas Nast sank Tammany Hall. But it took The Buffalo News to bring about the most awesome social reform -- the refurbishing of the Nietzsche's bathrooms. A year ago, we boldly exposed these facilities, pronouncing: "The john at Nietzsche's gets a lot of use and shows it in every way." And lo, on Sunday at 8, it's "The First Nietzsche's Bathroom Benefit." Performing will be Susan Rozler, Rosaleen Marion. . . "and others too shy to mention." The cost? Only $3 a head, so to speak. (We think it should be more like $50, considering the job ahead.)

The other day, we stumbled on a cache of yellowed "Love Is" cartoons -- remember, those silly drawings featuring the naked little boy and girl. And wow, how love has changed since the '70s. "Love is. . . letting her watch Tom Jones," one cartoon gushed. And another: "Love is. . . letting her keep a photo of Tom Jones." Tom who? Wait, there's more: "Love is. . . paying for the cleaning of her maxicoat." Make that "Love was. . .

Clubs collapse and cuts loom -- but meanwhile, the Sunday jazz session at the Elmwood Lounge has quietly been becoming an institution. The cute, camp bar, which resembles a '50s Holiday Inn lounge, was soul man Lance Diamond's turf before the Goos made him hip, and he still plays here many weekends. On Sunday nights, singer Diane Armesto presides over a ever-changing band and an audience ranging from jazz fans to winos. Pretention is pretty much absent -- Ms. Armesto sings softly from a barstool, hair falling over her face. Noted names drop in: last week, Tom Schuman, from Spyro Gyra, played piano. After introducing the band, Schuman beamed at the small crowd. "And who are you?" he asked. Obediently, we all went around the room, saying our names. "Good," said Schuman. "Now we're all family."


Mixmaster that we are, we can't wait till 5:30 tonight, when the American Women in Radio and Television invites the public to join local media biggies for a Spring Thaw Media Mix. It's at Hutch's, 1375 Delaware Ave., and it's free! Buzz is going to network and nail a job on the air. . . . Those funding cuts are driving the creative set batty. Last week, Artpark got a postcard from an ambitious artist picturing -- uh, a part of the male anatomy. The card read, "Now that I've got your attention. . ."

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