Jeff Miers - The Buffalo News

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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


The music of New Orleans has much in common with the city's pre-eminent culinary creation, gumbo. It's hot. It's spicy. It'll make you sweat. And it's a seemingly incongruous blend of ingredients that makes it so damn tasty.With Fat Tuesday just around the corner, Mardi Gras, the city's annual pre-Lenten carnival, is on the minds of people the world over. And in one form o…

Eileen Ivers may have first flirted with the spotlight in the massive commercial production "Riverdance" but her own musical inclinations don't run parallel to the mainstream."Crossing the Bridge," Ivers latest and fourth effort, offers a radical journey through indigenous musics of seemingly disparate cultures. That approach could have bespoken a sense of musical tourism,…

This Tuesday is Fat Tuesday, signifying the culmination of the pre-Lenten carnival known the world over as Mardi Gras. Artvoice is marking the occasion with its seventh annual Buffalo version of the Louisiana bacchanalia. They've enlisted 21 clubs and bars to host a live music festival beginning at 7 p.m. and lasting well past the witching hour.The observance of a carnival…

Minneapolis-based sci-fi pop-punkers Manplanet place style and substance on equal ground. The approach suits them. Picture Gary Numan, the Cars and Devo tossed in a blender and served over a frozen, cubed Knack. Got it? Then you'll get it.This is pop punk for modern lovers, those who don't mind the obvious irony that the predictions of early 1980s new wave artists Numan, D…

Riding the multi-platinum wave of success generated by the group's latest album, "Celebrity," 'N Sync will roll into Buffalo for an April 7 appearance at HSBC Arena.After nearly 30 weeks on the Billboard Top 50 Albums chart, the king of the boy bands is still making headlines, packing arenas and warming the hearts of young girls around the globe. The current leg of the gro…

Twenty-one years. Fifteen albums. Numerous world tours. More record labels than can be counted on one hand. Members leaving. Members returning. Worldwide success. Worldwide indifference.Australian alternative pioneer the Church has more in common with Spinal Tap than might be immediately apparent when listening to its dreamy, esoteric but hook-heavy music. Short of spontan…

Rock music has long been synonymous with social protest and a spirit of rebellion. It's not surprising then that, since Sept. 11, rock and patriotism have made strange bedfellows.There have been star-studded benefits. Albums with patriotic themes. And musicians suddenly wrapping themselves -- figuratively and literally -- in the red, white and blue.In a recent ceremony, Ge…

It's hard to believe that a band with two gold records (gold means at least 500,000 copies sold) could still be scraping to pay the rent.Welcome to the music business, 2002. If you have any doubts that the third record is the make-or-break one, just ask our own Goo Goo Dolls. They'd had success with "Superstar Car Wash" and "A Boy Named Goo," but were still in danger of ow…

Emo alert Baltimore Emo merchants Liars Academy play the Backstage Pub with Brandtson on Wednesday. Indie rock fans partial to the Get Up Kids and Elliot will find plenty to like about the band's debut effort, "No News Is Good News." Produced by Drew Mazurek, who has worked with Jawbox and Texas Is the Reason, the album blends earnest, aggressive vocals with melodic guita…

These days, it isn't unusual for pop artists to employ outside writers for an album. These writers-for-hire are employed, ostensibly, because they are well-skilled in the art of composition.In the contemporary pop world, artists from Britney Spears to Dave Matthews to Aerosmith have employed either co-writers or ghost writers on recent releases. It's been suggested, howeve…

YOU HAVE TO HAND IT TO TRAVIS TRITT- he knows his audience, and he gives them exactly what they want.Friday night, a packed and rambunctious Shea's Performing Arts Center welcomed Tritt and his six-piece band with all the Dixie spirit that could possibly be mustered by a late-January Buffalo crowd.Tritt took the stage with a swagger following an introduction tape that feat…

There is something deeply tragic about an artist whose legacy only flourishes after his death.The music of Townes Van Zandt is only now beginning to get its due among the world at large, though to some of the best songwriters of the past three decades and a devoted cult following, calling Van Zandt a genius is simply stating the obvious. Two recent releases - one a tribute…

Calling Waits' fansTom Waits, it has been argued, is an acquired taste. Once acquired, it is impossible to rinse from your mouth. Waits has been covered by a variety of artists, some more successfully than others. His songs, cinematic in imagery, grittily beautiful in execution, comprise one of the most dynamic, diverse and affecting bodies of work this side of Dylan. The …

PREVIEWWHO: Travis TrittWHEN: 8 tonightWHERE: Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St.TICKETS: $27.50 to $37.50INFO: 852-5000 Travis Tritt is a burr in the saddle of the contemporary country-pop machine.His name conjures fear in the hearts of the bigwigs on Nashville's Music Row. That long hair. That refusal to play the game by today's rules. That headstrong desire t…

It is not uncommon for poets to actively seek out the canonization of their work, as if they have written it with the very idea of encouraging its scholarly study.Not so Lucille Clifton, who will read, in benefit of Just Buffalo Literary Center, at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Allendale Theatre. Her writing screams to be heard aloud, to be felt, smelled, even tasted."In writing …