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For me, Kanye West’s greatest hit will always be his real-time appropriation of a television spot that found him paired with comedic actor Mike Myers, in support of post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Here, in a live television format during the broadcast of the “Concert for Hurricane Relief,” West went rogue, tossed the script aside and stared straight into the camera as …

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LEWISTON – Summer and nostalgia go hand in glove. And when that perfect combination means enjoying well-crafted songs played by a legendary band whose legacy spans over four decades, that marriage doesn’t get much sweeter. The capacity crowd of 10,000 strong at the Artpark Amphitheater in Lewiston witnessed rock veterans Chicago play the Western New York venue for the firs…

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Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis brought the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to Artpark on a warm and muggy summer Monday evening.Almost all of the musicians wore matching outfits; their shoes, socks, suits, shirts, ties and suspenders were sharp in their similarity. The only exceptions on stage to this confluence of conformity were the garments of bassist Carlos Henriquez and d…

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It’s easy for music “purists” to pan the Zac Brown Band’s pandering breakout hit “Chicken Fried” for its admitted catch-’em-all checklist of things that make you go, “Cheers!”But get to know the north Georgia septet a bit better and the song becomes more of a means to an end mission of just making people feel good, which the band did brilliantly at Darien Lake Performing A…

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Psychedelic SoulVarious Artists, “Soul Goes Psychedelic” (Goldenlane). Like so many pivotal comminglings in the history of popular music, this one happened in the late ’60s, and carried through the first half of the ’70s, before being consumed by the insatiable cocaine-addled beast that was disco. Yes, dear reader, I refer to the marriage of soul music with the expanded c…

Funny thing about intimacy – it’s all warm and fuzzy until someone snaps and says they need space. Pop prince David Cassidy has good reason to be afraid of intimacy, having been the object of affection of millions of screaming teenyboppers across the globe since his starring role in the early 1970s hit sitcom “The Partridge Family.” But despite having sold out the world’s …

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For the first truly beautiful evening of the series, the Thursday at Canalside crowd was treated to a truly transcendent display of pop songcraft. Steven Page, founder and former co-frontman of Barenaked Ladies, brought his solo band to the harbor and offered the assembled a tour through pop history that stopped in the land of the Beatles, doffed its cap to XTC, reminded u…

The new psychedelia came to Artpark on Wednesday. MGMT played a sold-out show at the Lewsiton venue, and an air of spacey euphoria prevailed. Interestingly, the night after classic rock band REO Speedwagon played Artpark, the youth took over the park. The majority of the crowd appeared to be 20 years of age or younger. MGMT, a duo comprised of Andrew VanWynGarden and Ben G…

Spiritualized. 8 p.m. July 14, with Guy Blakeslee. Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave. www.waitingroombuffalo.com. $25 advance, $27 day of show (box office, www.Ticketfly.com).Jason Aldean. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17, with Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett. Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, 9993 Alleghany Road, Darien Center. http://darienlake.com. Tickets are $59.75 reserved, $30 lawn and …

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Let there be no weeping and wailing at this precise moment because the great days of the Artpark Jazz Festival are long gone. Yes, it’s tragic and beyond lamentable that it’s true – and that, at the same time, a truly great jazz festival is just down the Thruway in Rochester this June – but there is huge jazz at Artpark this summer after all.Namely, the Jazz at Lincoln Cen…

At 8 tonight, Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.) presents a program that goes a long way toward certifying that some of the most progressive musicians in modern jazz are living and working in the Buffalo area.What Would Mingus Do? is a rotating collective of prime musicians led by alto/tenor saxophonist Kelly Bucheger. The group plays original jazz compositions, all of the…

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RockWillie NileAmerican Ride[Loud & Proud]4 stars“It’s a ride, alright. One of the great guides to the mystery that is America.”So reads the quote from U2’s Bono that graces a sticker attached to the cover of Willie Nile’s just-released “American Ride.” Yup, the Buffalo-born and raised Nile has some pretty famous fans.“American Ride” captures the full-frontal assault that …

Following the publication of my review of the Joan Jett & the Blackhearts show at Artpark last week, I received an abundance of feedback. Most of it was positive. Some of it was far less so.The majority of the letters, comments and posts regarding my review were not particularly concerned with Jett & the Blackhearts. After all, the band delivered a strong, incredibly tight…

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Matching the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens in terms of beauty is no easy feat. Even before you enter the gardens themselves, you’re treated to the sight of the stately, white greenhouses and expansive front lawn, all with the great dome of the Our Lady of Victory Basilica towering in the distance. However, Sara Bareilles did just that at Wednesday’s Starry Night …

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The 2013-14 season of BPO Rocks! promises to be a yearlong tribute to power voices of rock. The fun kicks off in September with the songs of Queen. The season ends next April with one of the great voices in rock, live and in person: Foreigner founder Lou Gramm.In between come a couple of shows back by popular demand: an ABBA tribute and a Beatles tribute. The songs of Amer…