Jeff Miers - The Buffalo News

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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


Halifax, Nova Scotia, might not seem to be the power-pop Mecca that, say, London, is. But the endearingly innocuous quartet known as Sloan has all but single-handedly put that city on the map for folks who still think that Badfinger, early Todd Rundgren and the Raspberries are artists worth celebrating.Sloan's latest, "Pretty Together," is a pop feast made all the more del…

MUSIC REVIEWThe RisingBruce SpringsteenColumbiaRating: **** (out of four) There's a moment roughly halfway through Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's brilliant new effort, "The Rising," that sums up with goose bump-inspiring clarity the heart of both this record and Springsteen's entire career."Sometimes the truth just ain't enough/or it's too much in times like …

A homecoming of sorts takes place Saturday in the Langston Hughes Institute, 25 High St., when Buffalo natives bassist Juini Booth and poet Jay Ward present "Kultural Kafe: Ask Your Mama!"Booth, who now makes his home principally in New York City, has played with the cream of the crop in jazz artists, from Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers to Tony Williams' Lifetime, Sun Ra's A…

Lenny Kravitz has long been accused of simply rehashing the best rock and R&B music of the late '60s and early '70s.Hogwash, we say! Kravitz, despite his tendency to dress like some sort of parody of swinging '60s London chic, is the genuine article, an artist capable of channeling the greats through his own deeply honed songcraft.Lenny's eponymously titled latest bears th…

RockThe Flaming LipsYoshimi Battles the Pink RobotsWarner Brothers]* * * * Following up the complete masterpiece that is "The Soft Bulletin" can't have been easy for the Flaming Lips. After all, that album sounded like an offbeat cross between the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" and Yes' "Close to the Edge," all without falling into the valley of pretentiousness. The album was a…

Man, what a night.Saturday evening, the Dave Matthews Band offered a packed house a bit of the magic that informs the best of the best rock music.Magic. That would seem to be the operative word here. Matthews and band -- drummer Carter Beauford, violinist Boyd Tinsley, bassist Stefan Lessard and sax/flute man Leroi Moore -- are all about chasing the muse, seeking out those…

The AC-DC of alternative country is back, baby, and this time they definitely mean business.By emphasizing the rock in rock 'n' roll and refusing to be typecast by the No Depression generation, Slobberbone has managed to build a large cult audience equally at home with the pyrotechnics of Angus Young and the high-lonesome yodelings of the real Hank Williams. (Meaning, not …

The genius who came up with the blanket hipster-elite term "postrock" must feel like quite a fool these days. After all, the category of postrock -- where bands like Fugazi and Tortoise are more than likely filed -- was never one that could encompass much; sure, it served well enough as a sort of scrap heap for adventurous bands to be dumped upon when they had the audacity…

For the second year in a row, megaplatinum new-country act Brooks & Dunn is bringing its Neon Circus to big tops across the nation.Billed as an "event" more than a concert -- expect integrated video, confetti cannons, props and pyrotechnics -- the circus comes to town tonight when B&D turn the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, 9993 Allegheny Road, Darien Center, into a h…

Those were simpler days. They wouldn't be for long.In the summer of 1977, I was a fresh-faced 10 years old, newly relocated with my family from our hometown of Dalton, Mass., to suburban Albany.I hated it. I was used to living in a setting not unlike Walton's mountain. In Clifton Park -- roughly to Albany what Clarence is to Buffalo -- all the houses looked the same, there…

Some people call it the voice of God. To others, it's a way to tune out the ever-obtrusive outside world. Still others simply like to dance to it.Whether music is a vehicle of transcendence, a means of communion with something "bigger" or simply a pleasant diversion, one thing remains indisputable: Music plays a major role in the lives of a great many of us.For those willi…

Walk into Mohawk Place. Pete the owner smiles and gives you a hug before he takes your money.As you're reaching for your wallet, it occurs to you that he's genuinely glad you're there. Like clockwork, he starts telling you how great tonight's band is. They came all the way from Chicago, or Dallas, or Toronto, or hell, even Japan, and man, during their sound check, they jus…

A funny thing happened last May.Suddenly, Rush, the Canadian trio who had spent nearly three decades forging a course of its own design regardless of the prevailing musical taste of the day, was receiving positive critical reception in the mainstream press.Interesting, particularly if one considers the fact that the band - never the darlings of the music press, to be sure …

Buffalo's the Razzels are celebrating their 10th year together with a blow-out at Nietzsche's next Friday.The seminal power-pop/punk trio will be joined by their Get-Hip Records labelmates, the legendary Pittsburgh garage-punk outfit the Cynics, as well as our own eminently lovable Irving Klaws (also on Get-Hip) and the Coffin Bangers.The show begins at 11 p.m. Call Nietzs…

"Still waters run deep/So be careful I don't drown you..."-- John Entwistle, "The Quiet One." From the Who's "Face Dances."The Quiet One? I don't think so.As founding member and bassist with the Who, John Entwistle was the first virtuoso bottom-end man in rock. He was a player capable of blending subtle, intricate and deeply melodic lines with an aggressive attack unmatche…