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The 10: Jesse Williams, Buffalo Artisan Market, Takashi Murakami

1) UB Distinguished Speaker Series: Jesse Williams, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in University at Buffalo's Alumni Arena, North Campus. Tickets range from $18-$42 and may be purchased here.

Commentary: This visit by the undergraduate student-choice speaker is a big deal, even if the character he plays on "Grey's Anatomy," Dr. Jackson Avery, cannot be trusted because he has two first names.

Williams is a modern champion of civil rights and social justice - he claimed the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award - as he's been outspoken through several media platforms, telling the stories of people who've rebelled against bigotry. The actor is co-producing "With Drawn Arms," a film about the 1968 Olympic protest, with musician John Legend, BET wrote in October.


2) Buffalo Artisan Market, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). Admission and parking are free.

Commentary: The 10 is eager to inform about places to find locally crafted gifts during the busiest shopping season, and the Buffalo Saturday Artisan Market's holiday special in RiverWorks is a wise move, especially because, unlike the other two on this list, it's free to attend. A full lineup of entertainment - both live music and dance - should keep things jolly.

From candles to jewelry to soap to glass, there are enticing items available, many with a Buffalo bent. (@BuffaloBent might be my future Twitter handle. Think about it.)


3) Takashi Murakami's "The Deep End of the Universe," 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17-19 in Albright-Knox Art Gallery (1285 Elmwood Ave.). Special admission is $15 for adults, $11 for seniors (62+), college students and veterans, while kids ages 6-18 get in for $9.

Commentary: We were remiss to leave out Murakami from the previous two versions of The 10, as the Japanese contemporary artist's eye-catching work has hit the area for the first time. "The Deep End of the Universe" is both inane and thought-provoking, with traditional Japanese techniques woven together - and at times turned on their heads - with anime influences.

The News' Colin Dabkowski will have an interview with the artist that will publish Friday morning on If you can't make it this weekend, that's OK - the exhibition will be on display until Jan. 28.


4) Bob Dylan, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.). Few tickets remain, and they range from $79.50 to $116.50.

Commentary: News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers can write circles around me when it comes to Bob Dylan, and he did just that in his post about Dylan's remarkable cultural value and why he's still worth seeing live, even though the seemingly ageless artist stops by the area with stunning regularity.

Dylan hits town amid a flurry of new works devoted to him


5) Semicolon Event, noon to 10 p.m. Nov. 18 at Cow Pok (177 Elmwood Ave.), and noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Cow Pok (5651 Main St., Williamsville). Semicolon tattoos are $40, with half the money benefiting Crisis Services.

Commentary: Instead of appointments, both locations of tattoo parlor Cow Pok will raise money for suicide awareness with walk-in art for a cause. Tattoos of semicolons - in two sizes, dime or quarter-sized, in black-ink only - will be the artists' sole focus throughout the day. The symbol refers to continuation, a powerful message of endurance in the midst of personal strife. Read more about Project Semicolon here.

Lloyd Taco Truck will serve outside the Elmwood location between 5 and 8 p.m.


6) New Order vs. Depeche Mode Dance Party, 10:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Admission is $5 at the door.

Commentary: In the same vein as the Cure vs. the Smiths Transmission Dance Party, this old-school British dance party will roar late into the evening.

Given the theme of the event, there's significant debate between which band was superior; fierce advocates for each still exist more than 20 years after their heyday. News contributor Mac McGuire led off his "3 can't-miss shows" piece with this event, so it's one worth taking seriously.

3 can't-miss shows: New Order vs. Depeche Mode, Hollerado, 'Last Waltz'


7) Christmas at Knox Farm Arts and Crafts Show, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19 in the main house of Knox Farm Estate (437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora). Admission is $5, while kids 10 years and under get in free.

Commentary: The regal Knox Farm Estate welcomes more than 70 vendors for a two-day local shopping event in East Aurora. From desserts to pet-themed gifts to pottery, the smorgasbord of treasures is worth sifting through. If you're craving festive cheer, as you can tell from the Smiles gallery last year, there's plenty at this event.


8) New York Beer Project's '70s Righteous Anniversary Party, 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at 6933 S. Transit Road, Lockport. No cover charge, but attendees are asked to bring a canned good for the Food Bank of WNY.

Commentary: Zoom to Lockport for the brewery's second anniversary party, which immediately gets credit for (and sets high expectations by) calling itself "righteous." The second-floor party bar will boast music by Disco Duck, and attendees are encouraged to sport big hair, tie-dye and bell-bottoms.

Beer Notes wizard Alex Placito wrote about the two special-edition beers brewed for the milestone, which you can read more about below.

Beer notes: Five & 20 Barrel Room Jam, NYBP's Righteous Dudette


9) Christmas at the Castle, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Tonawanda Castle (69 Delaware St., Tonawanda). Cost is $5, but there are perks to buying presale tickets at two locations: Sweet Jenny's in Williamsville at 56 E. Spring St. off Main Street; Golden Light Center at 5451 Southwestern, Hamburg. Children 16 and under get in for free.

Commentary: How many different ways can I write about holiday markets? Already running out of ideas, and it's only mid-November. Yikes.

With the purchase of presale tickets comes $6 in Castle dollars for use at any vendor, plus free treats from Paula's Donuts and quick entry into the venue. The emphasis of the Castle's market is on handmade local items; the Smiles gallery to the right should tease the event nicely.


10) Light Up the Electric Boulevard, 3:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at Grand Island Town Hall (2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island). Free to attend. A section of Grand Island Boulevard will be shut down for the festivities.

Commentary: Get shiny, Grand Island. The annual holiday lights display comes to life with a series of related events, all put together by the GI Chamber of Commerce, from the Rudolph Run at 5 p.m., the Electric Parade shortly thereafter and then a tree lighting and vendor market until 7 p.m.


BONUS: Lloyd Taco Factory opens in Williamsville, 11 a.m. Nov. 17 at 5933 Main St. Free to attend.

Lloyd Taco Factory sets opening of Williamsville restaurant


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