Special Event: City Newspaper's Best Busker Contest will take place tonight, 5-9 p.m., on the sidewalks of the East End between Chestnut and Alexander Streets. Hand-picked musicians will compete for votes (guitar picks) from you, and the chance to win gift certificate prizes. Neighborhood merchants will offer ridiculous deals on food, drink, goods, and services. Participation is entirely free! For more information, head right here!
Music: Yup, you heard me right. Shwayze will be coming to town, so head on over to the Montage Music Hall (50 Chestnut St., themontagemusichall.com, rochesterentertainment.frontgatetickets.com). Doors open up at 7 p.m., tickets run $15-$17.
Lecture: UR undergraduate students will present research in a broad area of African/African American Studies at The Frederick Douglass Institute Conference, held 12:30-2 p.m. today in Morey Hall, room 321, at the University of Rochester River Campus. The event is free to attend. For more information, call 276-5744 or email email@example.com.
Music: Are you old enough to eat at the adult table, or are you still stuck at the kids table? Ska punksters Big D & The Kids Table have been at it long enough (since 1995) to earn its stripes, so get ready to throw down, brass and reed style at Water Street (204 N. Water St., waterstreetmusic.com) tonight. Rochester’s own Mrs. Skannotto opens up. Music starts at 6:30 p.m., tickets run $12-$15.
Music: Brooklyn, Pennsylvania is not that far from the (in)famous New York borough in the grand scheme of things, but the Still Hand String Band sound has put a significant distance between this Pennsylvania four-piece and the skinny-jean wearing, hipster-indie-rockers that have been pouring over the Williamsburg Bridge. Jimmy Dee (guitar), Dee Maple (bass), Dee Kid (banjo), and Sunny Dee (mandolin) make knee-slappin’, boot-stompin’ music for the modern world. The band has created a distinctive species of Appalachian roots rock by expertly mixing elements of jam, jazz, folk, bluegrass, pop, and country into a gloriously frenzied genre it has deemed “spazzgrass.” Still Hand String Band performs tonight, May 2, 9 p.m. at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way. $7-$10. abilenebarandlounge.com.
Dance: Sankofa African Dance and Drum Ensemble will perform tonight at 7:30 p.m. at SUNY Brockport College (350 New Campus Dr., Brockport). Tickets are $8-$15 and performances continue through May 6. For more info, visit brockport.edu/finearts.
Music: Codes wants to know if you can get down. Can you get down, Rochester? He’s been hanging out in Brooklyn, and clearly the atmosphere is electric. He’s got a steady mix of house, and knows when to give you the bass. By most of my estimates, it’s pretty bouncy all over so it should be good times. Almost makes me wish I had hydraulics in my car, but I suppose "Grand Theft Auto" will suffice. As always, upstairs and downstairs will be fully stocked in the finest blend of electronic goodness Dubland has to offer, with a whole lot of DJs, including Papi Chulo and Sita!Tronn. (whose name seems to be getting more and more unreasonably complicated). Codes performs tonight, May 2, 9 p.m. at Dubland Underground, 315 Alexander St. $7-$10. 21+. 232-7550.