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Buffalo Place helped turn Lafayette Square into a popular music venue. Now it's time to rock the harbor. 10,000 Maniacs, the Violent Femmes and the Fabulous Thunderbirds along with a host of other bands will play a free concert, sponsored by Buffalo Place, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday at the inner harbor, near the foot of Main Street by the Naval and Servicemen's Park. Also appearing: Michael Civisca, Lance Diamond, Billy McEwen, and the Rockin' Highliners.

1. Dixie Chicks: Tuesday at 7 p.m., Waterfront Festival, LaSalle Park. The three young women are shaking up Nashville. Natalie Maines and sisters Martie Seidel and Emily Erwin supply three-part harmony and a down-home country style.

2. Vinnie Barbarino Experience: Saturday at 11 p.m. in Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St. Vinnie and the boys bring back the '70s with some polyester rock.

3. Big Dave and the Ultrasonics: Saturday at 10 p.m. in the Lafayette Tap Room, 320 Pearl St. Progressive blues band with Big Dave and company.

4. Marah: Wednesday at 9 p.m. in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St. Rock band from Philadelphia with a unique and diverse sound.

5. Sweet Fancy Moses: Saturday at 11 p.m. in Mr. Goodbar, 1110 Elmwood Ave. Original local rock; 53 Days is also on the bill.

It's fall, time to go back to school and the record stores. Record companies are set for a stream of major releases from now until December including: Hootie and The Blowfish and Marilyn Manson, Sept. 15; Goo Goo Dolls and Lyle Lovett, Sept 22; Sheryl Crow, Sept. 29; John Mellencamp, Oct. 6; Seal, Oct. 13; Beck, Oct. 20; R.E.M., Byran Adams, Oct. 27; Alanis Morissette, Nov. 3; Metallica, Jewell and Sugar Ray, Nov. 17. These release dates are subject to change. Also, look for greatest hits or live albums from Garth Brooks, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Mariah Carey and Depeche Mode.

The Barenaked Ladies are hot. The Toronto band's current album, "Stunt," is in the Top 10. The group will play Marine Midland Arena on Oct. 9. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. at all Fantanstix outlets. . . . Buffalo songstress Ani DiFranco will appear on VH1's "Hard Rock Live" tonight at 7. . . . Superstar Elton John plays Marine Arena Tuesday at 8 p.m. . . . Scene Sports Report: Rockster Bruce Springsteen recently turned up in the New York Yankees' clubhouse at Yankee stadium. The Boss autographed a guitar for the Yanks' Bernie Williams, who plays classical guitar. Wrote the Boss: "To Bernie, if you ever get tired of baseball." . . . Top Ten, Aug. 28, 1992: "Life Is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane.

Turns out wrassler Stone Cold Steve Austin is a real headbanger. Scene's favorite matman is about to release a CD of his favorite metal hits. Among the list of bands on the CD: Kiss, Deep Purple, Ratt and Ted Nugent. Yanni will not appear on the CD. . . . Bobo, featuring ex-Goo Goo Doll George Tutuska, plays tonight at 9 in the Cellar Bar, 76 Pearl St.
. . . The wit and wisdom of Dave "The Bear" Bubar on the announcement that two of the Spice Girls are now expecting. "The President had nothing to do with it," said the Bear. . . . Comic Bobby Collins plays the Funny Bone in the Boulevard Mall, Thursday night through next Sunday. . . . Scene Quiz: Who said, "If I hit an opponent and his eye fell out of his head, I'd eat it before he could pick it up and put it back in." Was it: Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper or Bobby Czyz? Answer: Boxer Bobby Czyz. . . . Top Ten, Aug. 28, 1982: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.

Vanilla Ice lives. The white rapper (remember "Ice, Ice Baby" in 1990?) is back in the studio working on a new album with a hard, punk rock sound. Said Vanilla, 29, whose real name is Rob Van Winkle: "No one's going to expect the Iceman to come up with something like this." . . . The Fibs return to Nietzsche's tonight at 6 for a happy hour gig. . . . Greg Piccolo and Heavy Juice play the blues tonight at 10 in the Lafayette Tap Room. . . . Top Ten, Aug. 28, 1967: "Light My Fire" by the Doors. . . . Jony James plays original music tonight at 10:30 in Mohawk Place. . . . This week's words to live by, courtesy Queen: "She leaves me in a cold, cold sweat/I gotta be cool, relaxed."

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