Share this article

print logo

Jeff Miers

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.


For rapper and entrepreneur Emmanuel Kulu, social consciousness came at a high price. Kulu's nephew, Dennel Baker, was murdered on Buffalo's East Side in 2014. His close friend and fellow artist Kenzel Fleming was killed four years earlier, in the same neighborhood.  The deaths devastated Kulu, but eventually hardened his resolve to shine a light on life in the streets …

Gusto

If you're hosting ex-pats over the Thanksgiving holiday, you need to hip them to the fact that, while  much has changed in Buffalo in their absence, one thing remains a constant - we've got a rich and vibrant music scene, one befitting a city at least twice our size. Our music scene has always been a useful barometer for ascertaining where we are as a city and a culture, a…

Gusto

Rock 'n' roll has lost some of its swagger. Malcolm Young, who co-founded, led, and provided the philosophical and musical core of AC/DC, the internationally revered Australian hard rock act, has died at 64. Like so many lovers of rock 'n' roll, I have many AC/DC-related memories. One in particular stands out, however. On May 25, 1991, I walked into Buffalo Memori…

Columns

Record Store Day began in 2007 as a way to support independent, community-based music retailers in a time when the collapsing music industry and the encroachment of corporate chain stores conspired to threaten their existence. How disturbingly ironic, then, that those very corporate stores are attempting to co-opt the Record Store Day idea and rob it of its central tenet. …

Gusto

Rick Rhodes laughed, shook his head, and placed the vinyl records he had been been shuffling through onto the counter. "It's millennials, mostly," he said, referring to the traffic coming through his store, Rick's Record Shack & Wifey's Closet, which opened three weeks ago, 10 minutes south of the city at 3348 Lakeshore Road in Hamburg. "I love that these younger…

Gusto

Following the 2015 death of their frontman and singer Scott Weiland, it seemed that Stone Temple Pilots was a goner. Weiland had a unique voice and, before drug addiction obliterated it, a riveting stage presence, of the sort that doesn't come along often. Though the surviving band members - guitarist Robert DeLeo, bassist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kertz - were res…

Gusto

What a freakishly joyful noise conjured by Massachusetts-born power-pop/psychedelic outfit The Sun Parade. The band's latest, "Shuggy Mtn Breakdown," has been described as "heavy hippie grunge," which is hilarious, but a touch misleading – what we have here is trippy, garagey, pop-inflected rock 'n' roll of the first order. The band plays at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 in Mohawk Place …

Gusto

The late Joe Strummer, frontman for Clash/Mescaleros, may not be solely responsible for injecting punk rock with topical, worldly concerns, but he certainly got the whole ball rolling. Strummer, for many, represents punk's expansion from straightforward pub-rock to a mélange of rock 'n' roll, reggae, ska, world music, and rampant experimentalism.  He also embodied the musi…

Gusto

I'm loving Kandace Springs' Blue Note Records debut "Soul Eyes," a stirring blend of jazz and soul driven home by the pure beauty and power of Springs' singing voice. She shares a bill with Lindsey Webster at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Performing Arts Center at SUNY Buffalo State. Visit buffalostatepac.org.    

Gusto

"Taylor turning off her phone was the equivalent of Leonard Cohen moving to a Zen monastery for five years," writes Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield in his breathlessly glowing review of Taylor Swift's new album. Except that Cohen moved to a Zen monastery for five years, and Taylor put her phone down for a few months. That's not really an equivalency, now is it? Taylor-…

Gusto

No, Brian Wilson, founder and principal songwriter, won’t be there. But the Mike Love-led version of the Beach Boys is by this point a well-oiled machine. That machine will be offering a tour through its immense catalog of sun-cooked, fun-soaked hits at 2 p.m. Nov. 29 in the intimate Riviera Theatre (67 Webster St., North Tonawanda). You can go, rock out, and still be home…

Gusto

My heroes are people who don’t fit the mold. When it comes to music, I've always been more attracted to and inspired by people who don’t resemble the stereotype of their chosen profession. I never respected any argument that suggested rock music couldn’t be taken seriously as deep and meaningful art. Similarly, it sickened me when a whole school of rock anti-intellectualis…

Gusto

Bob Dylan tours incessantly, and he stumbles through the Western New York region on nearly every tour cycle. He's been doing so for decades. You'd think by now another Dylan-in-Buffalo show – this one at Shea's Performing Arts Center on Saturday Nov. 18 – would be no big deal, something even a Dylan-head could sleep on without suffering any chinks in their fandom armor. …

Gusto

Not sure what your plans are for the rest of the day, but I'd recommend you take a minute to kneel, look toward the west, and bow your head for a moment of silence, in acknowledgement of the first-ever Morrissey Day in Los Angeles. You read that correctly. Today, Nov. 10 is Morrissey Day. Why is an American metropolis going to all the trouble of dedicating a day to a…

Gusto

Though it has been many things over many years – home to alternative rock, jam bands, hip-hop MCs, jazz players, even the odd tribute to a metal band -  Nietzsche's is at heart a folk music club. Famous for being one of the few places in town bands and artists specializing in original music could get a gig on a regular basis, the Allentown establishment also is ground z…