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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


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…

In 1990, if you happened to walk into the Cabaret Club on Franklin Street, odds are you might've been lucky enough to catch a set by the budding funk/soul outfit Moon Boot Lover (formerly the Groove).If so, you might've noticed, behind guitarist Peter Prince's estimable six-string prowess, the drummer-keyboardist team of Alan and Neal Evans. It would have been hard to miss…

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…

Reunited ... Three, two, one - that's three bands, two friends and one rhythm section - will grace the stage in Nietzsche's on Saturday in a makeup date for the snowed-out show of a few months back. Bassist Tom Fischer and drummer Jim Celeste are Buffalo rock royalty - together, they laid down the groove for the Pine Dogs, the Riddlers and the Outlyers. All three bands …

Tuesday night, before a capacity crowd in Kleinhans Music Hall, Bonnie Raitt proved that she could teach a thing or two to the current crop of female pop stars.Raitt, who donated proceeds from a few designated tickets to the New York Public Interest Research Group-centered efforts to regulate the dissemination of pesticides in the Buffalo area, highlighted the line between…

Sixteen albums. Thirty years. Drug addictions. Fading popularity. Rebirth. More lives than a cat.It's not surprising that Aerosmith, following last year's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, started being referred to in the press as America's greatest rock 'n' roll band. In fact, the Boston band's story could be seen as the archetype for the oft-melodramatic "VH…

The Dave Matthews Band is much more interesting as a musical ensemble than as a pop culture phenomenon.Saturday night's sold-out show in HSBC Arena made it clear that Matthews and his six-piece band have endeared themselves to a diverse and loyal fan base. It also made it plain that, despite the best intentions of this fine band, there exists a bit of a disconnect between …

Last night, the Moody Blues brought their baroque pop to a packed and enthusiastic Shea's Performing Arts Center.The show had its moments of profound beauty, but was plagued by a fair share of weaknesses as well.Moody Blues fans, many of whom have been with the group for a healthy portion of its 35-plus year career, are a passionate lot. Apparently they're also a forgiving…

Success breeds contempt.A cliche, yes, but one the veracity of which is borne out time and again in the music business.The Goo Goo Dolls, despite years spent slogging it out in the trenches of the cult-rock club circuit, have drawn the ire of a segment of the music-loving public given to the belief that what sells in big numbers can't possibly be any good.Initial reviews o…

If the Who was comprised of heartland American drunks, the band more than likely would have sounded not dissimilar to Guided By Voices. Not that the members of the Who were particularly sober, mind you. But as any Guided By Voices fan will tell you, few acts in the history of rock have taken the beer-swilling, devil-may-care stage persona to such an exaggerated degree as G…

Let's clear something up straight away: The Mahavishnu Project is not the original Mahavishnu Orchestra reunited. Nor is it wholly a tribute band. Rather, the Project is a collective of prominent jazz players who have dedicated themselves to mining the depths of possibility in the recorded catalog of perhaps the greatest jazz-fusion outfit in history.Led by guitarist John …

She's got everything she needsShe's an artistShe don't look back.- Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me" The Little Folksinger.That's how Ani DiFranco has described herself for more than a decade. During that time, she's gone from cutting her teeth in Buffalo bars to commanding a sizable underground following that spans the world.DiFranco is the rarest of artists. She's "made…

McCartneyism?If you're planning to head north to Toronto's Air Canada Centre to catch Paul McCartney on April 13, you might want to warm up with a stellar set of pop-based rock this Saturday in the Tralf. The recently reformed McCarthyizm will play tunes from last year's "Pair O' Docs" album during an opening set for Canadian avant-pop freak Hawksley Workman. Alex Lynne is…