Michael Farrell

Contributor

Buffalo News contributor Michael Farrell is the author of two novels--Running with Buffalo (2007) and When the Lights Go Out (2015)--and has had work featured in several publications, including Buffalo Spree, WNY Craft Beer Magazine and The Boston Herald, where he worked as a reporter from 2004 to 2011. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University (B.A., Journalism) and Pine Manor College (M.F.A., Creative Writing), he enjoys dark beers and corner bars; and owns multiple copies of Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love."

Sometimes, a band’s style of music doesn’t mesh with its host surroundings. Singer-songwriters often sound best against a muted backdrop, and a heavy metal act couldn’t be contained in a jazz club. As for Dallas, Texas rock outfit Thieves of Sunrise, it will find no such environmental conflict when the unleash their wailing southern rock ricocheting against the ru…

Parliament-Funkadelic icon George Clinton is now 75 years old. He boasts such accolades as membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; steering boogie classics like “Flashlight” and “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Rook Off the Sucker)”; and leading a kaleidoscopic collective whose conceptual style strived to look like, according to Clinton, “pimps from outer spac…

In 1964, the incomparable Nina Simone performed before a sold-out Kleinhans Music Hall amid a harrowing time of political and social unrest. More than five decades later, the High Priestess of Soul’s civil rights-fueled compositions still reverberate with listeners now navigating their own servings of present-day tumult and suppression. That’s one reason that Buffa…

For those of a certain age and classic rock-steered predilection, introduction to Windsor, Ont.’s Tea Party via opening single “The River” off 1993’s “Splendor Solis” was a memorable revelation. The guitar and bass sounded like Black Sabbath. The drums sounded like Led Zeppelin. And the voice of lead guitarist/vocalist Jeff Martin? A haunting reincarnation …

When CBS broadcasts its annual coverage of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the network’s aim is to entertain legions of golf fans with the tourney’s play, personalities and the setting’s stunning Pacific Coast vistas. Unfortunately, an unintended consequence of the early February telecast’s Monterey, Calif.-set backdrop is the imagery can seem cruel torture fo…

It’s fairly rare for a young rock band to err on the side of responsible decision-making. But when Queen City indie-quartet Head North had the choice between rushing the release of its planned full-length debut “The Last Living Man Alive Ever in the History of the World” last summer or taking a pause, the band pulled back.  Drummer Ben Lieber said the band wanted…

When you’ve occupied as many characters as actor Kiefer Sutherland, you earn a reputation for performance dexterity. Whether as a leather-draped vampire in “The Lost Boys,” a quick-draw cowboy in “Young Guns” or as indestructible counterterrorist agent Jack Bauer on the long-running television stress test “24,” the grizzled Californian has proved game for…

No one would ever accuse the Buffalo area of being short on bars. As detailed throughout our ongoing series on sports bar, the region hosts an ever-growing slew of them, catering to any type of diner, drinker and thirsty derelict that would ever consider sidling a leather-wrapped barstool and screaming at a Samsung flatscreen. But before the Pegula family-owned 716 F…

Most music fans understand and respect the laser-accented showmanship of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees – and Friday night’s KeyBank Center headliner – the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But for anyone who thought R&B icon Charlie Wilson would follow the aforementioned act at KBC on Saturday and politely perform in their Buffalo wake doesn’t know the tricks up…

It’s understandable if there’s a decades-wide gulf between longtime and recently introduced fans of R&B icon Charlie Wilson. Many know the 11-time Grammy nominee as the co-founder of the iconic Gap Band, the funk trio behind such club thumpers as “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and the tender “Yearning for Your Love.” But thanks to material from and previews…

R&B stalwart Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has filled a variety of roles throughout his soulful career. But for the artist behind such meteoric '90s hits as “When Can I See You” and memorable collaborations with Mariah Carey, his top job has always been as one of his era’s silkiest singers, as should still be evident when he performs at 8 p.m. Feb.  11 at the Sen…

Italian-Americans can claim a litany of proud athletic moments from its ethnic brethren, from New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio to champion boxer Rocky Marciano, to Danny Zuko unexpectedly notching a varsity letter for track in the 1978 film, “Grease.” Have these legends and their impressive feats provided motivation for a widespread fleet of Italian-inspired sports …

Watch a television, read a newspaper or browse the Internet and one thing is clear: We’re living in a time of harrowing disorder. Climates are shifting. Football teams are moving. A reality show host is now the president of the United States. The uncertainty and projected danger of it all can be disturbing—but all disorder should not be feared. Take the jazz-flavor…

Tennessee native Will Hoge has plenty of big-room material. Amplify any number of runaway country tracks off his 2015 release “Small Town Dreams” or the Chevy truck anthem “Strong” in a large club or outdoor festival and a fleet of Americana-draped costumed cowboys is sure to follow. But when delivered in the manner his stripped-down “Solo & Live” CD, t…

If you and your friends decide to play a Buzzword Bingo-style drinking game with the lyrics of country crooner Josh Thompson, here’s a tip: Make sure you’re not planning to drive home. One swilling round through the Wisconsin native’s 2010 hit “Way Out Here”—packed with mandatory genre references to guns, John Deere and dogs, all while sounding like the back…