As August draws to a close, it's common to feel the urge to pack a few more events into the summer schedule. Did we fit in enough time outdoors before it starts snowing sideways? Now that Canalside concerts are done, the school year approaches and the sun begins to set before 8 p.m., be discerning in how you spend your precious free time.
Here's the 10:
Commentary: The label "dream-pop" may take some getting accustomed to -- think Lana del Rey, MS MR and Purity Ring -- but duo Beach House is the new hot name in the genre. Read Kris Kielich's interview with the band's Victoria Legrand to learn more about the style and Beach House's approach.
2) Lloyd Taco's fifth birthday party, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday in Artisan Kitchens and Baths (200 Amherst St.). Tickets are $15 available at the door.
Commentary: You can read Andrew Galarneau's ode to Lloyd surviving five years, plus a description of some of the specialty tacos at Friday's birthday party. I expect the Tennessee Hot Chicken to be the favorite of the group. Over 350 people have clicked "attending" on Facebook, so it would behoove you to arrive early.
3) The Erie County Fair, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (5820 South Park Ave.). General admission for adults is $10, while children under 12 enter for free.
Commentary: I could do a 10 on the Fair alone (or with friends!), but I'd get distracted by predicting the swine races. It's really tough to tell if those squeals are gleeful or threatening, but those burly pigs are certainly fierce competitors. Anyhow, plan out your trip by perusing the Fair schedule, and if you haven't checked out our comprehensive breakdown of the food options, go here. [Or just paw through our photo gallery of the Fairgoers' 12 favorite #ECFare foods.]
4) Darius Rucker, 7 p.m. Friday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Tickets begin at $30.50 and can be purchased here.
Commentary: It's hard to avoid mentioning Hootie & the Blowfish in a paragraph about Darius Rucker, and it's equally as hard to believe seven years have passed since the lead singer went solo. Expect a little more pep from Rucker on Friday, as his Thursday show in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was postponed due to a water main break. Plus, I haven't met one person yet who despises "Wagon Wheel." There must be a country contrarian out there somewhere. Read Theresa Donnelly's concert preview to dig deeper.
5) Insane Inflatable 5K, 7:30 a.m. through mid-afternoon Saturday at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora. Registration is still open but close to selling out. Cost is $64 on Friday, and rises to $75 on-site Saturday. Don't plan on spots available day-of, though.
Commentary: A bouncy, slightly less brutal alternative to the Tough Mudder or Dirty Girl Mud Run, the Insane Inflatable 5K includes 11 inflated obstacles sprinkled throughout the course. After a quick skim, it sounds like "Big Balls" is the most amusing
independent presidential candidate challenge -- not because of its name.
6) Yelp Without Borders, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the International Institute of Buffalo (864 Delaware Ave.) It is free to attend, but a $10 donation to support the IIB is suggested. Also, you must register and RSVP on Yelp.
Commentary: An abundance of new ethnic restaurants has swarmed Buffalo -- especially the West Side and Black Rock -- over the past few years. Several will be available to sample at Yelp Without Borders, including Lin Restaurant, La Gourmet Empanadas, Teton Kitchen, Michelle's Caribbean Cuisine and Oshun (a bit of an outlier, but hey, whatever), to be washed down with local spirits from Community Beer Works, Flying Bison and Chateau Buffalo.
7) Spikes for Tykes, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Woodlawn Beach State Park (3580 Lakeshore Road, Blasdell). $40 general admission includes a five-hour open bar, which begins at noon. The volleyball tournament begins around 9 a.m.
Commentary: After raising $25,000 for the Kelly For Kids Foundation last year, Spikes For Tykes Volleyball Tournament returns to Woodlawn Beach with 60 teams registered. While it's too late to sign up to compete, the five-hour open bar, food from Blasdell Pizza, charitable cause and balmy weather could combine for an enjoyable afternoon.
8) Blondes vs. Brunettes football game, 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Nichols School (1250 Amherst St.) It costs $10 to watch; proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association of Western New York. Children 12 and under get in for free.
Commentary: Sunday's all-women flag football game will be played in memory of local college and high school football coach Charlie Dingboom, who died last fall after suffering from dementia. As usual, the proceeds from the event benefit the local Alzheimer's Association; nearly $300,000 has been raised since 2009, the year Buffalo joined the national fundraiser. The after party will be held at Buffalo Iron Works in the Cobblestone District. Here's a throwback highlight reel:
9) Fifth Harmony, 7 p.m. Sunday in Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Tickets range from $26.50 to $46.50.
Commentary: Two points to note first: I haven't decided my favorite Fifth Harmony member yet, and if I hear "Worth It" one more time on the radio I am going to snap. But, read Jeff Miers' short piece on how the band formed out of "X Factor," and hold your breath for Tim O'Shei's interview with a member of Fifth Harmony coming this weekend.
10) Buffalonians on HGTV's "House Hunters Renovation," 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday in room Buffalo (1400 Hertel Ave.). Free to attend, and there will be snacks from Joe's Deli and a visit from the mayor before the 10 p.m. air time.
Commentary: Head over to room on Hertel to see a Buffalo-based episode of "House Hunters Renovation" on HGTV, which features locals Matthew Redpath and Leslie Stucky, the couple trying to find a Queen City home near the Elmwood Village with "strong bones," Hunt Real Estate's Robert Blake and room's own Michael P. Design (the project of Michael Poczkalski). Read all of Mary Kunz Goldman's preview of the episode, then check out the Facebook event page. Then, congratulate room on its 10th anniversary.
Email Ben Tsujimoto, who is still passive-aggressively annoyed at Darius Rucker, at email@example.com
Story topics: Blondes vs. Brunettes/ Darius Rucker/ Fifth Harmony/ HGTV/ Hootie and the Blowfish/ House Hunters/ IIB/ Insane Inflatable 5k/ International Institute of Buffalo/ Kelly for Kids Foundation/ Lloyd Taco/ lloyd taco trucks/ Room Buffalo/ Spikes for Tykes/ The 10/ Woodlawn Beach/ Yelp Without Borders