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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


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…

If you've spent any time listening to WBNY-FM 91.3 over the last month, odds are you've been exposed to the twisted charms of Les Savy Fav. The Buffalo State College station spins tracks from the band's platter du jour, "Go Forth," pretty much hourly.The buzz around this Brooklyn-based art-punk quartet is palpable. Its upcoming Buffalo appearance - Tuesday in Mohawk Place,…

Music ReviewSilver LiningBonnie RaittCapitol]Rating: *** Don't let her age fool you.Bonnie Raitt's timeless blend of sass and class might serve as a model for singers who've logged only half her 53 years on the planet. "Silver Lining," her 16th album in a career that spans more than 30 years, is perhaps her strongest and most varied set to date.With nine Grammys lining …

The snobbery of some jazz lovers is legendary.At the tail end of the 1960s, heavyweight critic Stanley Crouch branded Miles Davis a sell-out after he urged jazz to hop into bed with rock on legendary albums such as "Tribute To Jack Johnson" and "Bitches Brew."Earlier, others had accused John Coltrane of throwing away his talent when his music took a turn toward the avante-…

If you've followed this column over the last few months, you know that a new British invasion is afoot.Following the lead of Radiohead, a host of UK acts - Elbow, Starsailor and Clinic among them - have immersed themselves in all things arty, progressive and textural, forging a sound as dense and layered as anything Pink Floyd pulled off in the early 1970s.Trouble is, not …