Michael Farrell - The Buffalo News

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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."


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Scan through the annals of Buffalo-born bands and it’s hard to find one that’s generated more fervor, loyalty and fury than '90s hardcore heroes, Snapcase. Conceived in a West Seneca basement, galvanized by wild gigs inside now defunct clubs like Mercury and Showplace theaters, and popularized by seemingly omnipresent skateboard and window decals scooped inside Home of …

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Sections of Buffalo's Washington Street can seem desolate in the winter. Parking garages and transitioning storefronts dot downtown blocks. Blackened snow piles along sidewalks. Lakefront winds numb walkers or deter workers from venturing outside. And after the 5 o'clock whistle wails, the mass exodus of employees can paint the stretch lonely and dark, even as the illum…

Food and Drink

Bars can cultivate perception. They can add lines of elaborate tap handles for area hops hounds; concoct Spotify playlists to please the indie-pop sensibilities of millennial drinkers; or decorate interior with photography conducive to an established theme. What these locales can’t do is concoct authenticity. It either exists in the honesty of the room, the nature of it…

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Sam Roberts Band doesn’t need a holiday season date to pack Town Ballroom. The Montreal quintet could draw a crowd in the frozen darkness of February or dead heat of July, with denim-draped fans calling for the litany of hits that have made the band perennial Buffalo favorites. But to play a pre-New Year’s Eve show for entrenched locals, Canadian neighbors and roaming B…

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Tremendously popular Canadian quartet. Walls of throttling guitars behind the arena-ready wail of a plaintive, stylish frontman. Deliveries of diesel-powered tracks that complement the fist pumps of black-clad rock droves. These specifications may lead some to match The Trews with its country’s famously divisive brethren, Nickelback. But for those familiar with the latt…

Food and Drink

Despite the Buffalo area’s national perception as the state’s answer to Antarctica, there is an idyllic side of winter, one cherished by locals and natives who return home for the holidays. The city’s numbing cold isn’t a detriment; it’s simply a reason to huddle closer with family and friends you haven’t seen in months. The piling snow isn’t a nuisance; it’s cinematic,…

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The pre-Christmas trio of Alternative Buffalo 107.7 FM shows continues to roll along, as Night Two of the Kerfuffle Before Christmas begins at 6:15 (doors) Dec. 6 in Buffalo RiverWorks (359 Ganson St.). The Nov. 30 Night One set a high standard for the remainder of the shows, as New Politics, Bishop Briggs and Barns Courtney delivered a balanced, three-pronged show at…

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One of the lures of the modern sports bar is its uniformity. Patrons know what to expect—whether its domestic draft specials, games on the televisions or pennants on the wall—and there’s a comfort in that. Does Rookies Sports Bar & Grill adhere to this homogeneity? Absolutely. The former East Aurora Pour House boasts Budweiser deals during Sabres action, hosts colle…

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After the success of its first cacophonously named Kerfuffle summer music festival in 2014, the radio team at Alternative Buffalo knew there was enough local interest to accommodate an annual winter holiday sister show, dubbed “The Kerfuffle Before Christmas.” But set around a Yuletide occasion that boasts 12 days, a single night of Fenders, drum machines and hook-laden…

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The visual comparisons between “Gris-Gris” architect Dr. John and Georgia-born Victor Wainwright are easy to make. They’re both Southern-steered piano players. They each have scraggily beards, wear cool hats, and could understandably be the inspiration for a Muppet (although only the former has that distinction). But it’s in the their performances—as musicians that abso…

Food and Drink

When Irish immigrants came to claim their piece of America in the early 19th century, they were not exactly welcomed with parades. They were discriminated against, marginalized and, in some cases, siphoned into street gangs that claimed city blocks by force. One of these gangs, Forty Thieves, provided inspiration for the 2002 Martin Scorsese film, “Gangs of New York.” I…

Food and Drink

Rain cascades down windows facing a still-developing city block. A Seattle-based musician performs in a wood-hewn corner conducive to introspective songs about longing. Patrons huddle at attention, soaking in the lyrics while cradling a locally distilled spirit. This is the romantic scene on a recent evening inside Black Button Distilling, Rochester-based booze purveyor…

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Back in the early 1980s, Buffalo Music Hall of Fame guitarist Doug Yeomans piled into one of two musician-packed cars headed to Woodstock, N.Y. Around midnight, his car pulled into the driveway of a rustic spread tucked within the forest, and was soon met by a diminutive silhouette, illuminated by porch light. “How you doing?” said the man with an Arkansas-bred twang. “…

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Should the ebullient power pop of Ottawa, Ont.'s Hollerado be confined to small venues? Depends on your preferences. If you enjoy contact-free dancing space, elbowroom to hoist Molson Canadian drafts, or the freedom to endlessly swirl to the quartet’s 10 years of work, then inhaling its performance within close quarters might not be for you. However, if you’re down f…

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If you’re not from Boston, Mass. or hail from any corner of New England, you may not have heard of singer/songwriter Adam Ezra. Over the course of his now decade-plus career, the hirsute folk rocker has been as omnipresent on the Hub music scene as Dickey Barrett stories or Peter Wolf sightings. But just because you never wandered into the Paradise Rock Club, Brighton M…