1. English singer, songwriter and producer Nick Lowe is the epitome of a certain strand of '70s New Wave rock 'n' roll cool. His biggest American hit, "Cruel to Be Kind," shows his keen ear for a catchy melody. The propulsive "I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'N' Roll)" demonstrates his fierce sense of driving rhythm. And then there's "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," which became an anthem for Elvis Costello and reveals his deeply ironic idealism. Now in his 60s, he has mellowed, but only slightly. He comes to play a solo acoustic show tonight in Asbury Hall at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave. Opening at 8 is adventurous Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell. Tickets are $24.
2. Fredonia State College's weeklong celebration of the inauguration of its first female president, Virginia S. Horvath, continues today with a keynote address by feminist author, speaker and filmmaker Jean Kilbourne. Internationally recognized for her work on the image of women in advertising, Kilbourne will deliver her address, which she has titled "Deadly Persuasion: The Power of Advertising," at 3:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall.
3. If you hear people rolling their r's today and sprinkling words like "avast!" and "aye, aye" and "scurvy bilge rat" into their conversations, that's because it's the 10th annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The whole point, according to the organizers on their website, is just to have fun, a premise that teachers, librarians and pubkeepers are beginning to embrace across the nation as they celebrate by telling pirate stories, encouraging swashbuckling costumes and offering special grub and grog.
4. Squeezing the last drop of joy out of summer is the Live at Larkin concert series in the new Larkin Square at Seneca and Swan streets. It opened with a flourish when the season began back in June with an appearance by 10,000 Maniacs. Now, as the only free outdoor music program still playing, it's coming to a close this evening with autumn just around the corner. Presiding at the finale from 5 to 8 p.m. are the Ragbirds, a rock, folk and world music group from Ann Arbor, Mich., and the innovative local group the Chilharmonic Orchestra.
5. A neglected figure in landscape architecture will be spotlighted at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College. Judith Tankard, one of the nation's leading authorities on landscape history, will be speaking in the American Spirit of Landscape series organized by the Graycliff Conservancy. Her subject is Ellen Biddle Shipman, renowned a century ago as one of the originators of the gardens of the Arts & Crafts movement. Her work includes the Longue Vue Gardens in New Orleans and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Graycliff Estate in Derby, which is under restoration. Tickets are $10, $5 for Graycliff and Burchfield Penney members.
6. Abusive behavior over the Internet will be the topic of a daylong conference at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. "Understanding and Addressing Cyberbullying" is sponsored by the University at Buffalo's Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention and the Western New York Foundation. It will feature in-depth sessions on cyberbullying, led by Sameer Hinduja, co-director at the Cyberbullying Research Center and an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida Atlantic University. The conference begins 8 a.m. and concludes at 3 p.m.
7. The last of three public forums to help determine the needs and priorities of low- to moderate-income residents in Erie County will be held at 7 p.m. in the community room of Boston Town Hall, 8500 Boston State Road. The forum is specifically for those residing in the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Consortium, which comprises 34 municipalities, excluding Buffalo, the towns of Amherst, Cheektowaga, Hamburg and Tonawanda and their villages.