Mark Sommer - The Buffalo News

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Mark Sommer

I have worked at the Buffalo News as an enterprise reporter, and as arts editor, for the past 17 years.


HILLARY'S CHOICEBy Gail Sheehy Random House 389 pages, $23.95Maybe, sometime in the future, a writer will come along and write a measured, factually-based and insightful biography of America's fascinating first lady. If so, they will do well to avoid the pitfalls found in Gail Sheehy's highly-touted "Hillary's Choice."Expectations for the book were high for the long-time…

Calendar listings are tricky. Ask a handful of people how they choose to use them, and you're liable to get almost as many different responses.We recently redesigned and consolidated the Gusto calendar listings to make it more concise and easier to use. One area that readers have told us still needs fine-tuning, however, is the listings for bars and clubs. So beginning wit…

Koko Taylor is blues royalty -- they don't call her the "queen of the blues" for nothing. The suspected 71-year-old blues belter (she ain't saying) has walked off with 15 W.C. Handy Awards for top female blues artist, one Grammy and strutted her stuff for presidents. Not bad for a girl who grew up on a cotton farm in Memphis and worked as a cleaning woman before making a c…

Yoko Ono is on the phone from the Dakota, the New York landmark she and John Lennon called home. It's also where a bullet slayed the former Beatle and pierced the hearts of millions around the world nearly 19 years ago.Ono is talking about Lennon's artwork that is going to be on display this weekend at the Four Points Sheraton Rochester Riverside Hotel in Rochester. She ha…

Hank Greenberg was a great baseball player. You can look it up.From 1934 to 1947 -- with 4 1/2 years lost to the service -- Greenberg walloped 331 home runs and batted .313. He knocked in a whopping 183 runs in 1937 -- one shy of the American League record -- and reached the seats 58 times in 1938, just two behind Babe Ruth's record of 60.But there's far more to Greenberg…

Paul Jensen never outgrew monster movies. "The so-called horror or monster film ultimately motivated me into my current profession teaching film history and film appreciation," says Jensen, a professor at the State University at Oneonta.When he's not teaching about them, Jensen may be found chronicling the lives of those who make or star in monster movies. His first book w…

I've never stopped scouring the surviving Beatles' albums for music I'll really dig. With Paul McCartney's "Run Devil Run," I didn't have to look hard.The album -- and notably the title cut -- is a blast. Paul's simple intent was to record music that long ago crossed the Atlantic and shook his and the other Fab Four's world. And he wanted to record the album quickly withou…

AS YOGI BERRA once said, it's like deja vu all over again.I'm referring to the political firestorm that has been raised over the Brooklyn Museum of Art and its current show, "Sensation." In the mid-1980s, I unexpectedly found myself in the center of another arts cyclone. I was manager of the Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge, Mass. The movie was "Hail Mary."It began with a …

In Jethro Tull's heyday, Ian Anderson was one of rock's most dynamic performers. With a wild mane and a penchant for long overcoats, frilly blouses and knee boots, rock's un-Donovan-like minstrel and First Flautist stalked concert stages with a commanding presence. Fans took notice of the band with its 1969 debut, "Stand Up," but it was Jethro Tull's fourth album, the clas…