Michael Farrell

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Michael Farrell

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."


Its explosive ending abandoned its Bernard Malamud-authored source material. Its missed opportunities in character development have been panned by the likes of the late Roger Ebert; and obvious plot holes can be noted by even the most novice viewer. And is it really believable that an accomplished sportswriter would forget about the shooting of a top baseball prospectâ€â€¦

Philadelphia-bred singer/songwriter Amos Lee has a style complementary with his genre’s ilk. Buffalo-area music fans present for his June 2015 Artpark performance with David Gray can attest to this. But with a catalog full of acoustic ballads and percussive testimonials, Lee’s work can stand on its own, and is ideally suited for the type of seated, intimate evening …

The designation of “New Buffalo” is now commonplace among older residents or expats looking to succinctly classify the city’s ongoing metamorphosis from underwhelming upstate outpost to evolving proprietors of Rust Belt chic. But what’s become obvious is that there’s no renewed path for Buffalo that’s not built off its history and old properties that have pa…

Has there ever been a public outcry for more bands to merge punk-rock snarl with the vocal sway of a Morrissey-esque lounge singer? No—but that didn’t stop Chicago’s Smoking Popes from expertly delivering such strange bedfellows in the early '90s. Led by the unconventional stewardship of lead singer Josh Caterer, the quartet debuted with that stylistic merger on 1…

It’s one thing to hear Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” reinvented by prolific singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, reissued in the acoustic vein once favored by the song’s creator. It’s an entirely different thing to hear the tune recast with tip-toing keys, heavy guitars and the screamo-accented chorus accessed by Detroit rockers, I Prevail. The Brian Burkheiser-led …

The asphalt is poured to support a stage setup larger than at Canalside. Space has been allocated for green rooms, equipment storage areas will be converted to a craft beer enclave and a roof deck will eventually accommodate VIPs for myriad of music-related occasions that could bloom off Buffalo’s clandestine James E. Casey Drive. This ambitiously improvised concert s…

Over the past few months, South Buffalo’s Seneca Street corridor — once a teeming stretch of bars, shops and sidewalks crammed with Irish Catholics — has nudged its way into the city’s resurgence chatter. Whether with ongoing redevelopment of the former Shea’s Seneca Theatre and St. John the Evangelist Church, or the recently expanded Blackthorn Restaurant &am…

Performing amid sunset off the edge of Niagara Gorge can have a profound affect on visiting bands. It can be serene, spiritual--or in the case of Australia’s Atlas Genius, a possible reason for a quick return to Western New York. The percussive indie rock outfit—now fronted by brothers Keith and Michael Jeffrey—joined Arkells at Artpark for the summer’s last Edg…

Garbage plates. Bags of flour. Pitchers of Genny Cream Ale. Rochester’s known for lots of things. But cultivating an innovative dub reggae experience? Add that achievement to the list, thanks to the creations of its native sons, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Launched at the start of the aughts with an amalgamation of world, reggae and jam genre components, the colle…

Rock virtuosos waited for a call from Capitol Records. Generation X-born indie collectives hoped for a home on the Sub Pop label. And for musicians who identified with the jilted chords and choruses of emo dynamos Dashboard Confessional, the dream was to land at Drive Thru. New Jersey’s The Early November realized this goal in the early aughts, finding a home for its …

The sweltering festivals will soon be over. Draft beer hues will shift from light to dark. Tank-tops will be shelved for stylish flannel; and bands that have spent summer on open-air stages aside rivers and ravines will soon seek shelter inside Buffalo’s lounges, bars and rock clubs. And that’s just fine—because there are plenty of good shows headed under cover. …

The fruits of the emo boom of the late '90s weren’t so different than the darker, pop-punk or scream-enhanced bands that bloomed from their seeds. There were driving guitars, sad guys wearing glasses and songs about seemingly avoidable heartbreak—lots and lots of songs about avoidable heartbreak. In the case of Kansas City’s Get Up Kids, there was always an adequa…

When Sportsmen’s Tavern and its associated Americana Music Foundation hosted its inaugural music festival at Buffalo’s Riverside Park three years ago, the event was the perfect hootenanny from a roadhouse long known for its dedication to musicians championing the rustic beauty of roots music. But at its inception, the event—due for its third edition from 2 to 10 p…

William Ostrander has been a part of the Western New York community his entire life. Whether through high school in Lancaster, college at Canisius and a professional career throughout the Buffalo area, he knows the region. But with decades of experience in all facets of the radio business, there’s one thing the man known more commonly as Buddy Shula may understand bet…

No music fan with a love for evocative liner notes and quadrophonic sound would ever label the music of Pink Floyd as safe. It has endured through its complexity, whether via lyrical commentary of societal failings or instrumental arrangements so fantastical that some have been experimentally synced with the Emerald City adventures of a tin man and cowardly lion. So, in…