Share this article

print logo

Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


The Oxford Dictionary defines something as "timeless" if it can be described as "everlasting" or beyond the effects of "the passage of time."Popular music by its very nature is rarely timeless. More often than not, it's of its own time, directly reflecting the confluence of certain events, a snapshot of a moment in history. And most of it doesn't age well.The music of the …

Joanna Connor has been paying her blues dues for nearly 20 years, ever since she hopped off a bus in Chicago as a young girl and cut her teeth in the city that made the electric blues famous.Simply put, Connor's got the goods.Her slide guitar playing is searing, biting in tone and languid in phrasing. Her voice is rough-edged but gorgeous, feminine and swanky at once. Her …

"The White Stripes are OK, but they definitely ain't garage rock," says Little Steven Van Zandt, host of "Little Steven's Underground Garage," heard Sunday evenings on WBUF 92.9-FM. "I don't like 'em, and if I don't like 'em, I ain't playin' 'em!"Now, the Shazam - there's a band. They're one of the best things I've heard in 20 years!"Van Zandt doesn't need much prodding to…

"Talking to Strangers" is blues-belter Shemekia Copeland's newest, and man, it's a real corker.Produced by legendary Cajun soul man Dr. John, the album reveals Copeland to be one of the finest blues vocalists of her generation, a fiery singer whose considerably passionate, dark-hued alto blurs the edges between old-school blues and juke-joint boogie.Few folks playing the b…

CD REVIEWBrainwashedGeorge Harrison[Dark Horse/Capitol]Rating: **** (out of four) Throughout his life, George Harrison's music offered a light to the world. And it is a testament to Harrison's enduring passion that, with his final album, "Brainwashed" - out today - his light shines equally brightly in death.When Harrison died on Nov. 29, 2001, it seemed to many as if a …

The Musical Box elevates the concept of the "tribute" band to a new level, as anyone who witnessed the group's two-night run in the Tralf a few months back will testify.Performing the canon of the original incarnation of legendary British art-rock band Genesis - Peter Gabriel, Michael Rutherford, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks and Phil Collins - the boys in the Box have sought …

Yes, Buffalo native Peter Case is known as the man behind the Plimsouls. Such a fact must frustrate the man immensely, as he's done much more as a solo artist than his former band ever dreamed. Since the demise of the Plimsouls, Case has released more than a dozen albums, scored a Grammy nomination, won props from such luminaries as Bruce Springsteen and fostered a well…

Buffalo boy Billy Sheehan is widely held to be the best rock bassist of his time. With Talas, he picked up where seminal virtuoso bassists like Jack Bruce, John Entwistle and Tim Bogert left off, adding a startling blend of chops, technique and low-end swank.Next came stints with David Lee Roth's Mr. Big, for which Sheehan toned down the more "outside" edges of his playing…

"Well maybe it's the time of year/Or maybe it's the time of man/I don't know who I am/But life is for learning" - Joni Mitchell, from "Woodstock" In recent years, it has become fashionable for female songwriters to cite Joni Mitchell as an influence.In truth, however, Mitchell's influence is not readily apparent in the modern music landscape. She's a tough act to follow…

Pearl JamRiot Act[Epic]Rating: **** (Out of four) The best minds of a generation? Or, a slew of talented but misguided musicians whose downfall was drug-related?In the decade that has passed since the the explosion of the Seattle post-punk scene (which earned itself the redoubtable sobriquet "grunge"), we've lost nearly every leading light of the movement.Nirvana's Kurt…

It's late. You're driving home. Ahead, you see flashing lights, stalled traffic, strewn metal and scattered glass, cops everywhere. An ambulance, a stretcher, badly damaged cars signifying a serious accident. You idle in traffic, parallel to the scene.Do you turn your head and look?If you answered yes to the above query, then you might find the posthumous publication of Ku…

It just didn't need it.Walking away from Kleinhans Music Hall last night, that's the thought that ran rampant through my head.Why mess with a good thing?The music of Pink Floyd was well-orchestrated in the first place.When Messrs. Waters and Gilmour -- and going back further, Messrs. Barrett and Wright, and whoever the hell else wanted to contribute to the band's acid-fuel…

I first heard the majestic tone of Pierre Bensusan's guitar playing in an unlikely location - a smoke-filled, alcohol-sodden house party in the dead of a Buffalo winter in 1991. Even in that environment, Bensusan's artistry broke through. His tone was the thing: Blending French folk music with the harmonic intelligence of jazz, Bensusan burst through barriers at will, his …

Postmodernism.It's a word you're more likely to encounter during a graduate course in James Joyce's "Ulysses" than in, say, the pages of your favorite music rag.Trying to discuss the merits of Icelandic "it" band Sigur Ros without invoking the dreaded term is a bit like attempting to discuss the genius of Jimi Hendrix without employing the word "guitar."So let's get it out…

PREVIEWWHAT: BPO and the music of Pink FloydWHEN: 7:30 tonightWHERE: Kleinhans Music HallTICKETS: $21 to $42; discounts availableINFO: 885-5000 When the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by guest conductor Brent Havens, tackles the music of the legendary psychedelic-progressive rock outfit Pink Floyd tonight in Kleinhans Music Hall, it will enter into a long-running …