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Jeff Miers

The News' music critic since 2002, Jeff Miers also compiles the "90 Minutes" series where he highlights things to do in various Western New York neighborhoods. Miers co-hosts the monthly Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour at the Sportsmen's Tavern.


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The NFL is reportedly considering having Maroon 5 perform for the coming Super Bowl halftime show. Just in case the prospect of watching another Super Bowl the Bills won’t be in isn’t depressing enough for you. The easiest course of action would be to simply skip the whole shebang. The entire affair is so over-the-top anyway. That’s probably part of its appeal for many …

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Let’s face facts – for music lovers around here, the whistle blows in mid-May, and then it’s a breathless race to Labor Day, the winner defined as the fan who has collected the most concert ticket stubs when the dust finally clears. When this flurry of purposeful motion ends, you feel like you’ve fallen into a bit of a vacuum, and a mild depression sets in. I’m here to …

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McCartney’s latest is brimming with imagination, experimentation and a palpable sense of joy. Working with co-producer Greg Kurstin, and playing most of the instruments himself, Sir Paul digs deep and finds some real gold. Here are my five favorites from a stellar addition to the Macca canon. “Dominoes” McCartney on acoustic guitar, his still potent falsetto tracing …

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Wait … what?!? Paul McCartney is 76. He need not do a single thing to ensure his rightful place as one of the most significant architects of 20th century popular music and culture. He could sit around one of his several homes, admire his lovely wife, and count his vault-loads of money for the rest of his days, and we’d quite likely still be talking about him 100 years h…

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It’s true that “sorry” seems to be the hardest word, but “farewell” can’t be far behind. After 50 years as the star-studded, sequined troubadour du jour, Elton John is making the rounds of every city he’s conquered along the way, stopping to say "So long, and thanks for the memories" as only he can – with a nearly three-hour show stuffed to the gills with evergreen pop …

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It’s a nightmare scenario a family man lives in fear of. In 2016, Every Time I Die vocalist and front-man Keith Buckley was on the road when he was alerted his pregnant wife had been rushed to the hospital. He left the tour and arrived at the hospital to find her connected to life-support machinery. The threat of losing his family stared Buckley directly in the eye. …

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Aging gracefully and knowing when it’s time to call it a day are not part of the purview of rock ‘n’ roll, generally speaking. Case in point: I saw the Who on what the band was calling its “farewell tour” in 1982. At the end of 2017, that band – what’s left of it – was still touring. Cher, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne – countless musicians have insisted they were kicking the who…

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Here's a playlist highlighting some of the artists among the hundreds performing at the Music Is Art Festival at Buffalo RiverWorks on Sept. 8. Mom Said No, "Welcome to the Losers Club" Buffalo indie-pop hopefuls know their way around a massive, meaty hook. Peelander Z, "Go Pz Go" Self-described "Japanese action comic punk rock." Yep, that sounds about righ…

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Robby Takac arrived at Buffalo RiverWorks looking like the world’s coolest dad. He’s got his daughter, Hana, with him, and his hair looks totally rock ‘n’ roll, sticking up in all the right spots in a way that would make Tommy Stinson proud. “I’m a little wiped out today,” Takac laughed. “Not much in the way of sleep,” a reference to the Music Is Art Festival warm-up sh…

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Whose Hat Is This?, "Hobo Gigolo Style" On a day off during a Berlin stop with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, members Tim Lefebvre, Tyler Greenwell, J.J. Johnson and Kebbi Williams hit a local club for an evening of extemporaneous creativity. They loved what resulted, and so do I. Pomrad, "Knights" Belgian musician Adriaan Van de Velde and his band conjure the outer-…

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As part of our "90 Minutes" series, I’ve been undertaking little reconnaissance missions in various local neighborhoods with enough time to park the car once, get the general gist of the neighborhood on foot. But I knew from the get-go that Hertel Avenue was going to require a different approach. There’s simply too much happening there. Old and new businesses are compet…

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Social media has come to feel like a necessary evil, with the emphasis increasingly on evil. It offers the illusion of connection and communication, but the reality often involves further divisiveness, an increase in nasty rhetoric and a “bunker down on your own plot of land” mentality. But for one Buffalo musician, a post on Facebook that resonated deeply with the area…

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In my teen years, I never left home without my music. At the time – the mid-'80s – that meant hauling a boom-box and a case of cassette tapes around to parties, bonfires and the like. More often, it meant carrying around an armful of vinyl records to be played at the home of whomever I happened to be hanging out with. Music was such a major part of my identity that I never…

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In the '90s, it was acceptable for male musicians to wear a vest with a tank-top beneath it. I know this to be a fact because last week, when I heard the news that Mister Goodbar, the venerable Elmwood Avenue watering hole and live music joint, was turning 50, I pulled out a box of old photos and found one that almost made me spit my beer out through my nose. In it, I’m…

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At long last, Prince’s 1990-2015 catalog has been made available on all digital streaming platforms. That’s 23 titles in all. Here’s five of my favorites from this unjustly overlooked period, just to get you started. "Y Should Eye Do That When Eye Can Do This?" (from “The Slaughterhouse”) This is funk of the lethal variety. "Chocolate Box" - Featuring Q-Tip (…