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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


Dig If You Will the Picture: Funk, Sex, God and Genius in the Music of Prince By Ben Greenman Henry Holt 286 Pages, $28 If you fall from that highwire bridging the chasm between fanboy love letter and sturdy critical inquiry, it's a long, lonely fall, and there will be no one there to catch you at the bottom. Journalist Ben Greenman loves Prince, and through…

Since moving to Buffalo in 1990, I have never felt such extreme ambivalence entering a summer concert season. I've always been pumped for it all to start, eager to get on the train of sometimes as many as six shows a week for three months, in thrall to the majesty of so much activity in such a short period of time, patiently scribbling each notable date into my calendar…

Buffalo News Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers selects the 10 shows he's most excited for this summer, independent of venue and in no particular order. Tears for Fears June 14 at Artpark The intelligent, melodic alternative-pop of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith has aged incredibly well. The duo's songbook – spanning from early gems like "The Hurting" through the lush, Be…

Today would have been Prince's 59th birthday. My takeaways, when I think about him a little more than a year after his death, are not that different than my takeaways were during his lifetime. They run something like this: Think hard. Work hard. Make music every day. Engage in disciplined thought. Don't deny the power of the intangible. Don’t be inte…

Record Theatre, once a chain of six record stores and the focal point of the Western New York music scene and a mecca for anyone looking for an album – or a cassette a CD or even an 8-track tape long ago – is going out of business. The news that the flagship Main Street location of the area's longest-serving independent record store would close its doors for good in…

U2, perhaps the greatest of the remaining arena rock bands, has confirmed a Buffalo date as part of its expanded "The Joshua Tree 30" tour. The Irish band will perform Sept. 5 at New Era Field. Tickets are $39.50 to $295.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. June 12 through livenation.com, ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000. A priority presale for U2 subscribers at…

U2 might be coming to Buffalo. The unconfirmed reports are linked to the fan-based site tours.atu2.com suggesting that Live Nation will be announcing four additional shows, including a Buffalo date. Local media sites have joined social media in reporting the unconfirmed information of Sept. 5 at New Era Field. http://buffalonews.com/2015/08/25/10-biggest-stadium-s…

Drea D'Nur's soulfulness and vocal prowess are impossible to ignore. Just ask Blur/Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn. He heard D'Nur sing once. That was all it took. When Gorillaz – the "virtual" band led by Albarn and given graphic representation by artist  Jamie Hewlett – released "Humanz," its first album in seven years, it's fair to wonder how many of the 140,000 p…

Let me get this out of the way: I don’t consider "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to be the Beatles finest album. I would give that honor to "Abbey Road," and I would point to the almost absurd amount of masterful diversity that fills the double-record we know and love as "The White Album" as a worthy contender for runner-up. And yet, there is simply no denying…

One day before Roger Waters releases his first new material in over two decades, the English rock star - and a founding member of Pink Floyd - has announced a tour stop in Buffalo, slated for Sept. 9 in KeyBank Center. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 9. Prices range from $55 to $199.50 and can be purchased at the KeyBank Center box office, Tickets.com or by calling 8…

What makes Chance the Rapper stand out in a hip-hop field that often seems over-crowded with much-hyped "next big things" is his ability to reconnect the form with its roots as street music. His massive success with his mix tape "Coloring Book," which became the first album to win multiple Grammys as a digital-only effort earlier this year, was a double-edged sword of a…

All you really need to know about Gregg Allman, who died from complications involving liver cancer on Saturday at the age of 69, is in his achingly soulful singing. Allman was, in my estimation, the greatest white soul-blues singer of the past 50 years, if not the finest ever. He could melt your heart with his sultry, languid phrasing, make the hair on the back of your …

"It’s not #Rachmaninoff – it’s #RockLobster!" Kudos to whoever on the BPO's publicity team came up with this, because it's brilliant, and it makes me want to go. The B-52's, who put Athens, Ga., on the map with the wonderfully goofy "Rock Lobster" before R.E.M. had even formed, is really the first American alternative rock band to bring a '60s dance-pop aesthetic to …

The boogie just never gets old, does it? Particularly when it's being laid down by ZZ Top, two dudes with big beards and one beardless dude whose last name is Beard. (Confusing, I know, but very much in keeping with ZZ Top's sense of humor.) The key to the band's enduring popularity is not difficult to discern. Take Billy Gibbons' raunchy double-stops, wiry leads and so…

"Yo, y'know, Detroit and Buffalo are kinda like long lost cousins/That's why, to me, it makes sense – Shady and Griselda," – Eminem's intro to Westside Gunn & Conway's "Machine Gun Black" (Just Blaze, producer) It went viral. And then it started showing up in the form of fan-created murals all over the world from Indiana and Arizona to Paris and Hong Kong. A sm…