Jeff Miers - The Buffalo News

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Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


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For Buffalo musician and educator John Bacon, Jr., jazz icon Thelonious Monk's legacy is so indelible that he was moved to create a month-long tribute to the man. "Monktober in Buffalo," a multivenue affair spread throughout October, is a labor of love for Bacon in celebration of Monk's 100th birthday. "As time goes on, I think of myself more as a composer who happens …

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame dropped its initial list of nominees for the class of 2018 on Thursday, and took a few steps toward soothing some old wounds by compiling a fair and balanced roster Fans of the Moody Blues, Judas Priest and Kate Bush have been clamoring for their heroes' induction for years, and Thursday's announcement brought them to the cusp of such a …

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Take away Bon Jovi, and you've got the first-ever list of nominees for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame made up solely of wholly deserving artists and bands. Jon Bon Jovi & Co. came dangerously close to giving this list a bad name. Happily, not quite close enough. The roster of potential inductees for the Rock Hall class of 2018 was released Thursday, and in additi…

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The universe feels particularly cruel, cold and uncaring today. While the pop world was in full free-fall and reeling from the unspeakable horror of the Las Vegas concert massacre on Monday, it suffered a further blow late in the afternoon with the announcement, first that Tom Petty had been found unconscious and rushed to the hospital in full cardiac arrest, and later …

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Sometimes it seems to me that the music knows more than I do. Lyrics from a favorite Flaming Lips tune of mine had been popping into my head at random all through June and July, and I was simultaneously trying to ignore them and discern whatever it was they were trying to tell me. The Lips' song "In the Morning of the Magicians" pokes its finger into some serious exi…

Columns

Plant, Pretender Robert Plant's duet with Chrissie Hynde from forthcoming new album is delicious. Bobby D. Dylan's endless road trip comes to Shea's Nov. 18. Jazz supreme Kamasi Washington's new "Harmony of Difference" is a face-melter. https://open.spotify.com/album/1mFuFPBz9kBDdXylMNolu7 Beautiful Blue New Blue Note All Stars' "Our Point of Vi…

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How do we avoid thinking of this as a normal state of affairs? How can we walk into a concert setting – an arena, a nightclub, and now with this latest hate-fueled massacre, even an open-air festival setting – without admitting that we fear for our own safety? What happened during the Route 91 Music Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday evening has been labeled the deadli…

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It's not particularly distinguished-looking, if we're telling the truth. If you were visiting Buffalo from some other burgh, you'd probably blow right through it on your way to more welcoming environs. It's just concrete, really, and some scattered trees, the edge of a cemetery at the block's northernmost end, a few storefronts, some of them now empty, an abandoned nigh…

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A new mural has been unveiled in North Buffalo and its subject is that is near and dear to the hearts of Buffalo music lovers: the Tragically Hip and the band's dynamic poet-performance artist-singer, Gord Downie. The mural, depicting Downie in concert during the Hip's "Man Machine Poem" tour, adorns the side of the Hertel Liquor Library building, directly across from t…

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When Bruce Springsteen returned to Buffalo for the first time following the deaths of long-serving E Street Band compadres Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici, he knew that everyone in the room needed some healing. "We are missing some people tonight," he told the crowd at what was then known as First Niagara Center. "But if you're here and we're here, then they're here…

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I'm often asked what advice I have for young musicians. Sometimes I merely quip "Don’t quit your day job," half-kidding, though more commonly I've delivered a variant on "If you are even questioning that music is the main purpose of your life, then you should just forget it, because it doesn’t get easier; it gets harder." More recently, however, a simpler, more stra…

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In 2003, I took in a sparsely attended show at the Evening Star Concert Hall in Niagara Falls featuring a band called Hookah Brown – a fiery quartet led by erstwhile Black Crowes guitarist and co-founder Rich Robinson. I chatted with Robinson on the bus after that show, and found him to be exactly what, by every account I've come across, he is a mellow, down-to-earth, wa…

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Fresh from a string of dates in Ireland, the Kings of Leon - siblings Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and their cousin Matthew Followill - return for a show at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at Darien Lake PAC. The gig is part of the band's ongoing tour for its recent "Walls" album, and will feature support from the mighty post-blues collective Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats a…

Music

Billboard is reporting that Chester Bennington, vocalist with Linkin Park, has been found dead at a residence in Los Angeles. The cause of death is said to be suicide by hanging. Bennington was 41, and a father of six children by two wives. He reportedly struggled with alcohol, drug addiction and depression for many years. Bennington was a close friend of Soundgarden…

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Celebrating timeless values in a rapidly evolving and often harsh environment has always been reggae music's purview. As the scion of the most renowned family name in the Jamaican-born form's history, Ziggy Marley didn’t need to learn this – he was born with the understanding flowing through his veins. At Artpark on Wednesday, Marley proved himself more than worthy …