Michael Farrell
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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."

Some young bands can make an impactful first impression. And then there’s Colorado indie outfit, Slow Caves. According to The Denver Post, the Jakob and Oliver Mueller-orchestrated act was so amped during its first appearance at Fort Collins-based Spokesbuzz’s annual Underground Music Showcase in 2015 that its bounce broke the venue’s plywood stage. Shoddy const…

Any band in any genre cannot expect to be all things to all fans. But if an alt-country outfit can seamlessly toggle between chicken-wired rockers, whiskey-drenched weepers and an entire album that elicits poignant echoes of Chris Isaak, that band is certainly trying to do just that. Does Boston’s Girls, Guns & Glory pull it off? Those who have surveyed its catalo…

The Struts have all the makings of a big-time rock 'n’ roll band. Its frontman has the voice of Freddie Mercury and the moves of Mick Jagger. Its arena-accommodating singles are overstuffed with addictive choruses and hooks; and its on- and off-stage image seems inspired by a mix of Mötley Crüe and multiple readings of Stephen Davis’s “Hammer of the Gods.” …

Before opening last year’s “Live at St. Pancras Old Church” album with a sublime take on 2008 single “You’ll Only End Up Joining Them,” notably prolific singer/songwriter Kevin Devine clarifies the volume of his work for those who may have just discovered it. “I have a lot of records,” he said. “I’m only 35, but I have, like, a 70-year-old’s amount…

When the sprawling and spectacular RiverWorks first opened its doors on the Kelly Island banks of the Buffalo River more than two years ago, the question most asked about the entertainment complex was how to get there. Thousands of visitors and hundreds of eclectic sports events within its 5,000-capacity expanse later, the main inquiry is no longer how to find it. It’…

If you closed your eyes to envision a popularized image of punk rock, you likely wouldn’t conjure up an image of bassist Mike Watt. The former flannel-clad Minutemen architect has never rocked florescent liberty spikes or a Ramones-issued leather jacket to fit some genre caricature. But his career, message and live mayhem are genuine articles of the art’s ethos—an…

Through his lifetime in the music industry, former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm has seen his enormously popular catalog of work enjoyed in myriad of ways. On AM radio or live in concert. On cassette, through burger commercials or as the hot-blooded inspiration for an Adult Swim cartoon. Even as he prepares to officially retire from touring at the end of this summer, the…

Cleveland quartet Cloud Nothings has a career arc of which young musicians can relate—and yearn to emulate. Create relatable indie tracks in your bedroom. Promote them on social media; garner the attention of more established genre brethren; and eventually, carve out a sonic path that evolves with every electric release. This is a seemingly viable plan for countless c…

If baseball is still believed to be America’s beloved pastime, one of the reasons it has endured through generations is its adherence to tradition. Sure, some things have changed, whether with stingier pitch counts, instant replay and this season’s change to the intentional walk. But on any given day, it’s still largely the same game your father, his grandfather a…

There are things that need to be seen in person to truly appreciate their jaw-dropping greatness. Niagara Falls and a perfectly prepared plate of Bar-Bill chicken wings are two of these items. The guitar playing of Marissa Paternoster is another. As leader of New Jersey punk metal trio Screaming Females, Paternoster has proved plenty commanding both vocally and instr…

Musicians capable of creating their own content don’t need to do covers. Take the Americana-focused Davey O. The Buffalo-based singer/songwriter boasts a nationally renowned roots reputation (see 2014’s “No Passengers”), seemingly endless miles of touring, and his recently released “A Bright Horizon Line.” But at the tail end of the latter’s succession of …

Country music maestro Marty Stuart has stories to tell. Buying his first Fender with money he earned from mowing lawns in Mississippi. How he's joined with the likes of BB King, Steve Earle and the Staple Singers for memorable duets. And then there’s the time he joined Johnny Cash’s backing band—just a few years before he became the Man in Black's son-in-law. Y…

If a musician moves to Nashville in search of stardom, sits for interviews with Rolling Stone Country and cuts tracks with the same producer as Keith Urban, it’d be understandable if his prospective listeners had specific genre expectations. But based on the available work of Buffalo-born singer/songwriter Marc Scibilia -- set to appear at 8 p.m. April 18 inside Iron …

The company a band keeps is not always indicative of its current stature or ultimate potential. Jimi Hendrix once opened for The Monkees, as one example. But in the case of The Districts — an indie rock quartet that shares Philadelphia lineage with The War on Drugs and Dr. Dog, and label representation with past Andrew Bird and Black Keys releases — its company may …

Based on artist bios and big screen biopics, pop musicians travel a sensible trajectory toward professional success. Each has its nuances, but most usually include a linear path of practice, road-tested patience and popular discovery before the artists’ ages enter their fourth decade. But not for Anthony Casuccio and Lana Marie, a Buffalo-area duo whose road to record…