Jeff Miers, The Buffalo News
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Jeff Miers

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Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.

"We're back in the pop era. The rock era is over. It ain't coming back, at least not the way it was. Rock 'n' roll has gone underground again."Little Steven Van Zandt -- guitarist with the E Street Band, artistic foil to its leader, Bruce Springsteen, renowned solo artist and producer, and cast member of HBO's "The Sopranos" -- isn't one to mince words.Discussing the …

Tony Levin's resume is beyond belief. Though he is widely renowned for his work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, he's also toured and/or recorded with John Lennon, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Anderson/Bruford/Wakeman/Howe, Alice Cooper and James Taylor, among others. Nice portfolio!Levin is one of the most profoundly unique bass players in rock history. He was pivotal in t…

Like your rock 'n' roll with plenty of six-string swagger? Thank Steve Wynn. With the Dream Syndicate, Wynn helped return the electric guitar to the forefront of the alternative rock movement at a time (the early 1980s) when it was far from in vogue. The band went on to influence a generation of songwriters, along the way winning fans as diverse as Kurt Cobain and members …

The Band is the most significant Canadian musical export of the last 30 years.Yes, Canadian rock is alive and well and continues to be a wellspring of variegated talent. But no rock act currently making noise to the north packs the sense of musical history, deep-rooted chops and near-mythic mysticism that the Band did.Last week, a remixed and refurbished four-disc box set …

"The Canadian sound is eclectic," says Jim Creeggan, bassist with the Barenaked Ladies who will be in town May 12 with his side project, the Creeggan Brothers. "There are many influences. The big cities here - Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver - are very influenced by outside factors and that makes the music very influenced by world culture."That said, it is becoming increas…

If true jazz is about living in the moment, then Thursday night, Bobby Previte's Voodoo Orchestra West offered a primer in the seemingly limitless potential of the genre.The fact that Previte and his 12-piece band were delving deep into the inner recesses of one of the most controversial collections of songs in jazz history only made their collective victory that much swee…

Peter Murphy seems to live wholly in a world of his own making.In that world, there is no battle between art and commerce; there is simply good art and then there's everything else."I firmly believe that the music guides us where it wants us to go," says the one-time frontman with Bauhaus, whom many credit as the impetus behind the "goth" sub-genre of the alternative movem…

In Canada, the Tea Party is rock royalty. In the United States, it's a band without a record deal.One of the most sophisticated and astute hard rock bands to emerge from any country in the last 10 years, the band - vocalist and guitarist Jeff Martin, bassist Stuart Chatwood, drummer Jeff Burrows - has perfected, over the course of five studio albums, a sound cinematic in s…

Goos on tourAfter breaking the 100,000 sales mark within the first week of the release of "Gutterflower," the Goo Goo Dolls have taken to the road. No Buffalo date as of yet, but we'll keep you posted. Concert dates and info are posted on the band's official Web site www.googoodolls.com in addition to Ticketmaster. Here are some of upcoming dates: May 28: State Theatre, De…

"Let's get as far away from the charts as we can. That's where we'll find the magic."Bobby Previte sits behind his drums in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center's Black 'n' Blue Theatre, surrounded in a half-circle by 11 of Buffalo's finest jazz musicians. As he speaks, he leans forward over his bass drum, his sticks clenched in his left hand as his right hand gesticulates, …

Now is not the time for donning rose-colored glasses.Layne Staley, who gave voice to Alice in Chains, the most diverse and compelling metal band of the early 1990s, died alone last week, surrounded not by family and friends, but by his heroin kit. That Staley was an immense talent whose deep musicianship and haunting voice transcended the brash heavy metal he was weaned on…

Come sail awayMTV's "Campus Invasion Tour" rolled into Buffalo State College's sports arena on Monday, despite weather more fitting late December than nearly May. Yes, we know the main draw was Nickelback, with Default and Injected coming in a close second. But we're enamored of Starsailor, that oh-so-young band of soulful UK songsmiths led by deeply emotive singer and son…

At last, the album that Reprise records refused to release has hit the racks.Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" has been famous for the better part of a year. The band completed the record last summer and gave it to its label, but the brilliant minds at Reprise didn't "hear a single." Wilco was left with little choice but to "buy" the record back and make it available to fans …

MUSIC REVIEWOnly a Woman Like YouMichael Bolton[Jive]Rating: * (Out of four) "Only a Woman Like You," Michael Bolton's first album of new material in nearly five years, imagines what Otis Redding might have sounded like if he fronted a 2002-era boy band.Bolton is, on the surface at least, a versatile and soulful singer. This does nothing to prevent his latest offering f…

Our most innovative artists invariably end up operating from the peripheries of popular culture. Pop music might be the art form such a notion is most applicable to.In pop, the better you get - the further you disappear into a world created by your muse, the more willing and able to experiment you become - the more the mainstream begins to feel like a constricting artery.A…