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3 can't-miss shows: Inspiration Thursdays, Cobblestone Live! and Stay Gold

Inspiration Thursdays featuring heave, 8 p.m. Jan. 9, the Cave (71 Military Road), $5.

The Cave, Black Rock's intimate new venue, will be hosting the start of a new concert series that focuses on musical inspirations.

Presented by the arts collaborative Into Fruition, the monthly series titled "Inspiration Thursdays" will see a local artist/band perform a set of songs by a fellow musician/group that heavily influenced his or her work.

For the inaugural installment, Emily Finlan of the bedroom folk act heave will be stepping up to perform a collection of tracks from the French group Phoenix. Those familiar with the local singer-songwriter's brand of bare-bones, confessional folk may be curious to see how she will tackle the slick, synth-driven music of the pop band, but that's why you show up.

Finlan's set, which also will selections of original material, will be preceded by playlist of Phoenix and related artists to lead into her interpretive performance. Keep up with Into Fruition for future installments in the interesting new series.

Cobblestone Live! concert series, 7 p.m. Jan. 9, Buffalo Iron Works (49 Illinois St.), $5.

Throughout January, Buffalo Iron Works is hosting a winter series of five shows, each featuring sets from a pair of local/regional acts. All of the participating bands will have an opportunity to grab a choice spot in the lineup at this summer's Cobblestone Live!, set to go down on July  31 and Aug. 1.

After kicking off the short series with performances by Celtic rock act McCarthyizm and alternative rock group Marque Grand on Jan. 8, the Jan. 9 installment will see psych-rock outfit Grub and industrial jazz band the Finality Complex hit the Iron Works stage.

Future dates in the series will feature Wolf of Waltzer and Digital Afterlife on Jan. 15, A Girl Named Genny and Cypher on Jan. 22 and Sara Elizabeth and the Buddhahood on Jan. 23.

Stay Gold, 4 p.m. Jan. 10, Burchfield Penney Art Center, (1300 Elmwood Ave.), free.

The Burchfield Penney's annual Stay Gold celebration is returning to the Elmwood Village art gallery. Now entering year four, the event remains dedicated to presenting the artistic community and creativity that operates within the City of Buffalo. The free event is part of its free M&T Bank sponsored Second Fridays.

"The idea behind Stay Gold was to provide a space to showcase the extremely diverse and eclectic tapestry of the Buffalo Art Scene," says Assistant Production Manager John Smigielski. "By blending a mix of early-stage and established artists, many of who are creating site-specific work for this event, we hope to engage the community, and expand the definition of what is typically seen in a gallery setting."

Like previous Stay Golds, this year's lineup of musical artists aims to present the diverse, multigenre talent that is helping to build the city's rich scene. Acts including Cooler, MEDUSA, the Burkharts, TVMTN and Tough Old Bird will all be performing throughout the art center in unique and out-of-character spaces.

"The goal in curating the music for Stay Gold was to showcase a diverse cross section of the local scene," Smigielski said. "Each of these artists are truly unique, and represent the incredibly talented music scene in Buffalo. In addition, many of these artists would typically perform in other venues, and are atypical of what many people would expect to hear in a gallery setting.

"My hope is that bringing these artists together will highlight how richly creative and diverse the musical community is, while simultaneously exposing listeners to bands they may never have gone to see."

For a full details and lineup of this year's Stay Gold event, visit the Burchfield Penney's website.

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