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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


Frank Zappa's classical compositions were never given their critical or commercial due during the eclectic, enigmatic and disturbingly brilliant composer's lifetime.Zappa died after a long battle with cancer in 1993. He left behind an expansive and prolific canon of works in various idioms. He is perhaps best-known, however much that would have upset him, as a rock satiris…

Ouch. It's getting expensive, this music lover's habit.The summer concert season is upon us, folks. It's time to dig down deep for those extra few bucks, which you've undoubtedly already earmarked for your seasonal entertainment budget. Forget about sending the kids to college - it's tough enough to come up with the greenbacks to send them to see Britney Spears in concert …

The Dollar Canon's "Future Apartments" should be the one that puts this deliciously dark and knotty indie-rock collective over the edge. Melodic but edgy, this trio has the goods, unquestionably; it's time for the rest of the country to take note. So here's hoping the boys can take it nationwide. They'll celebrate the album's release Saturday in Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk …

Here's a list of venues, acts and ticket prices.Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center (599-4641).Saturday - Blink 182, Greenday. $32.50.June 8 - Foreigner, Bad Company. $45, $35, $25.June 9 - Alan Jackson. $55, $37.50, $29.50.June 16 Trey Anastasio. $35.June 20 - Kenny Chesney with Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vasar and Jamie O'Neal. $5, $35, $27.50.June 21 - Nickel…

Sure, Jimy Chambers, left, entered the underground rock elite when he kept time for the most important band ever to emerge from Western New York - no, not Spyro Gyra, silly - Mercury Rev! But Chambers isn't pounding the tubs with his new project, the brilliantly foggy Odiorne. Instead, he's playing guitar, singing and writing songs. No worries, however - the trap kit is be…

MUSIC REVIEWThe Eminem ShowEminem[Interscope] ** (out of four) To most of the music-listening public, Eminem is either hip-hop's fiery, hyper-charged pre-eminent talent, or he's a confused young man in a foul-mouthed bigot's clothing.The truth is, in fact, a far uglier prospect: He's both.On his new album, "The Eminem Show," the former Marshall Mathers takes his aggress…

"Let's just say I had some fishing to do."The year is 1987, and Warren Zevon is the guest on the syndicated late-night phone-in radio show "Rockline." Host Bob Coburn has just asked Zevon where he's been for the five years between 1982's "The Envoy" and the album Zevon was then promoting, "Sentimental Hygiene." The question is followed by an uncomfortable silence, broken w…

THURSDAY AT THE SQUAREWHO: Jennie Stearns, Suzanne Vega and the Cowboy JunkiesWHEN: Thursday nightWHERE: Lafayette Square Lafayette at the Square got off to a subtle start this year.Not exactly what you'd expect from a concert series built on the in-grown crowd ready and waiting for the summer concert season, and doubly impressed with the nonexistent admission price.The…

Memorial Day is almost here, which means that the annual Kiss the Summer Hello bash is upon us once again.This year, a host of Top 40 acts, running the gamut from R&B to dance to straight-ahead pop, will take the stage. Also scheduled to appear are '80s dance-rapper Tone Loc and local alternative rock act Seven Day Faith, perhaps the only unsigned Buffalo act able to claim…

Writing Neil Young's biography must have been akin to shovelling sand on a sand dune. The more you dig, the more you realize you'll never be able to stop digging. In the end, you're left spent, frustrated and devoid of any sense of accomplishment.Despite Young's well-earned reputation as a slippery slope of a subject, Jimmy McDonough has come about as close as any writer i…

Re-born in the U.S.A.Last Tuesday, a handful of industry folks were treated to an intimate preview of the first Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band recordings since 1984's "Born in the U.S.A." album. Manager Jon Landau hosted the event at New York City's Sony offices, playing five new tracks for the 50 or so folks in attendance. The tracks were "Mary's Place," "Nothing…

The Ramones never really sold that many albums while they were together, but their legacy isn't difficult to measure nonetheless.The band's three-chord mastery of early rock 'n' roll and pop archetypes, transfigured by an aggressive punk ethos, can be heard consistently at clubs in every city in the country today. Dumb lyrics, big hooks, a simple 4/4 beat and a buzz-saw …

You can take the girl out of the street, but you can never take the street out of the girl.Laura Nyro learned her craft on the subway platforms and street corners of New York City, where she spent her adolesence singing doo-wop and exploring the intricacies of vocal harmony. It's fitting, then, that this live release offers a telling glimpse into the depths of Nyro's stree…

Buffalo Place announced today the roster for this year's Thursday in the Square Concert Series. To call the list eclectic would be an understatement.Between May 23 and Aug. 29, downtown Buffalo will resonate with the sounds of folk, alternative country, jazz-based R&B, 1990s alterna-pop, jazz/rock fusion, old school blues, Celtic rock, jam rock, power pop, nerd rock, and '…

Plan to start your Fourth of July celebration a bit early this year. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are packing up the plantation and bringing it north for a show at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on July 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m., through ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster charge-by-phone - 852-5000. Tickets are pr…