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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


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…

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 p…

Indie rebirthWednesday marks the debut of Puma, a group formed following the demise of two of Buffalo's higher profile indie-rock outfits, Blue Bullet Skater and Palomar Sky Survey. Band members -- vocalist/guitarist Erin Roberts, bassist Blaine Toney and drummer Renee Roberts -- are promising "a form of indie rock that is fully charged." Judge for yourself when they share…

Tom Waits walks his own path.That it happens to be one littered with the detritus and debris of human existence and riddled with the seedy undercurrents of Americana only makes the observations he offers along the way that much more idiosyncratically astute. Waits now boasts a body of work more literarily incisive and musically inventive than virtually any post-'60s songwr…

"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 …

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…

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…