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Jeff Miers

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Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.

"I went to the bar and I saw you standing thereI bought you a beer and sat down by youI said my name was Mike and you said you were MollyWent for a ride and it seemed like all night" It's nearly midnight on a Saturday, and the packed, sweaty crowd at Molly McGuire's Irish Pub is stomping its feet and swaying to the raucous, Celtic-infused rock of Jackdaw. The song is "M…

Much has been made over the years of Prince's seemingly difficult persona. Already a controversial figure based upon his irreverent lyrics and inability to sit still artistically, Prince's lambasting of the music industry and insistence on changing his name to an amorphous symbol in the '90s further alienated him from fans who wished he'd keep remaking "Purple Rain" ad inf…

Listening to Jackdaw's two releases - 2000's "Armed & Legged" and the recent self-titled sophomore effort - it's impossible to miss the Celtic influences. The melodies - part country, part bluegrass, all Irish - the lyrical content, the four-to-the-bar drum figures all bespeak a healthy familiarity with traditional Irish music.Don't accuse Jackdaw of hopping the Celtic-roc…

REVIEWWHO: Neil DiamondWHEN: Thursday nightWHERE: HSBC Arena Let's get something out of the way right off the bat; Neil Diamond is an over-the-top performer whose songs, when they aren't flat-out courting lovers of Las Vegas excessiveness, are treading the tightrope between the kitschy and the just plain cheesy.That said, the sold-out crowd that packed HSBC Arena last n…

A night on the tilesLast Friday, we took to the streets in search of a healthy dose of rock, Buffalo-style, and caught top-notch acts the Alex Lynne Band, the Gifted Children and Astronaut Lost. The experience begged the question - why the heck would any music-lovin' soul sit home on a Friday night in Buffalo? Lynne and band offered a powerful set of her country- and folk-…

"Ain't gonna' record no gospel songs, Johnny."So spoke Sun Records founder Sam Phillips to a tall, dark, striking stranger who strode unannounced into his Memphis recording studio one afternoon in 1954, all but demanding to be recorded.The stranger was Johnny Cash, and though he heeded Phillips' advice - gospel music wasn't commercial enough to make a splash, the producer …

Wake me when its over.Viewers would've been forgiven for uttering these words during Wednesday night's 44th Annual Grammy Awards show.When the music had ended, the elaborate stage sets had been packed up, and the industry mega-stars were on their way to the after-parties, we were left with one indelible impression: Wednesday night was nothing special.The reasons are many, …

MUSIC REVIEWUnder Rug SweptAlanis Morissette[Maverick Records]Rating: ** (Out of four) Perhaps some things belong swept under the rug."Under Rug Swept," the third and latest studio effort from Canadian banshee-diva Alanis Morissette, comes across like a self-help guide set to a richly layered, psychedelic soundtrack."Do you see everything as an illusion/but enjoy it eve…

Let's face it, the Grammy Awards have become a bore.The gold gramophone statues were once, at least theoretically, handed out based on artistic merit. Now, it seems, all you have to do to take home a Grammy is sell a few million albums.The "art for art's sake" concept has gone the way of the 8-track tape, and over the past decade the ground between music industry award sho…

Like your Telecasters slung low, your rhythm section cruising like a runaway train, your gee-tar solos drenched in slap-back reverb, your songs short, sweet and to the point? Then you'll love the new live album from Scott Carpenter & the Real McCoys.Though we know Carpenter and the boys as one of Buffalo's most reliable whiskey-soaked bar outfits, these boys are brothers o…

Broadway Joe's is dimly lit, not much bigger than a three-car garage and sparsely furnished. Glamorous it isn't. People come for the music, the conversation and the beer specials.On Thursday nights, they also come for Baby Steps, the city's only weekly hip-hop showcase.Broadway Joe's is a long-standing Buffalo landmark known for appealing to mostly white hippie-ish youth a…

Yes, folks, Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show is rolling through town once again!To the uninitiated, Neil Diamond's appeal - one part schmaltz, two parts sequined shirts, the rest solid songcraft - may be hard to understand. Well, get on board or get outta the way, because Diamond fans mean business! Few artists have encouraged the sort of fan loyalty that Diamond, t…

While the Baby Steps showcase attempts to put Buffalo on the hip-hop map, the fiercely independent Buffalo-based Deep Thinka Records label is carving a niche for itself as an up-and-coming indie collective.A communal gathering point for local MCs and DJs, Deep Thinka boasts a sizable roster and a staff of enthusiastic folks dedicated to the zeitgeist of independent, old-sc…

Jackdaw gives backThe mighty Jackdaw, one of the most ferocious live ensembles we've had the pleasure to catch in many a moon, will salute their native South Buffalo when they perform in the Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday. The show is a fund-raiser for South Buffalo Alive, a grass-roots organization dedicated to improving the quality of life fo…

Miles to Go: The Lost YearsAn Intimate Memoir of Life on the Road With Miles Davis 1973-1983By Chris MurphyThunder's Mouth Press250 pages, $24.95Miles Davis loved to greet people with the oldest and saltiest of Anglo-Saxon epithets.In his life and work, Davis -- perhaps the boldest trailblazer in the history of jazz, and certainly the man responsible for the music's most s…