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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.


Gusto

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its list of 2020 nominees Tuesday morning, and it didn’t take long for social media to be flooded with comments on the list, from the famous, the unknown and the infamous alike. My takeaway from all the digital hullabaloo? No one takes the Rock Hall particularly seriously. And yet, everyone seems to have a passionate opinion ab…

Gusto

About halfway though his performance at KeyBank Center on Friday, Phil Collins pulled the chair he’d been sitting on throughout the show right to the edge of the drum riser at the rear of the stage. He bowed his head, placing it inches away from the bass drum, his foot keeping time with the hi-hat, his arms flailing in air-drummer ecstasy to the ride cymbal groove. Collins…

Gusto

Adventurous programming is reflected in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 20th anniversary celebration of JoAnn Falletta, including an October world premiere of a piece commissioned by Falletta. That would be University at Buffalo Distinguished Professor David Felder’s “Die Dammerungen,” a four-movement work Falletta calls “very challenging, incredibly imaginative a…

Gusto

When JoAnn Falletta arrived to assume duties as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999, hope was in short supply. Vacant businesses seemed to outnumber thriving ones all over the city. Suburban sprawl was decimating downtown. People were leaving in greater numbers than they were arriving. The exterior of Kleinhans Music Hall, home of the BPO sin…

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Since it closed its doors in 2008, the Showplace Theater has been my "Memory Motel," to borrow a song title from the Rolling Stones. Now it’s open again, and I’m looking forward to making some new memories there. Less than two years ago, the Showplace was for sale. An article in Buffalo Rising suggested “the 6200 sq. ft. theater could be yours for $450K,” which, conside…

Gusto

Live Nation recently purchased a large portion of the music festival portfolio held by Townsquare Media – the marketing, media and entertainment company that owns 321 radio stations in 67 markets across the country, among them Buffalo's WYRK-FM country music station. Initial reporting on the purchase by InsideRadio.com – based on a transcript of an August earnings call …

Columns

“Save the life of someone you’ll never meet.” This isn’t exactly the sort of between-tune banter devout attendees of rock concerts are accustomed to hearing. But beginning in 1998, if you were attending any of the various post-Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead-based shows that included bassist Phil Lesh in the lineup, you heard these words just prior to the encore. Lesh was…

Gusto

Oteil Burbridge has a serious resume. In fact, it's about as serious it gets in the world of improvisation-heavy music. A founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit under the direction of the late, great Col. Bruce Hampton, Burbridge spent six years as the band’s bassist, before the Allman Brothers Band came knocking. He became a major factor in that band’s later-caree…

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Beneath the guidance of Music Director JoAnn Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has become a bit of a touring machine. In 2018, Falletta led the orchestra on its first international tour in more than 30 years, a jaunt through Poland that included a stop at Warsaw’s legendary Beethoven Easter Festival, where she became the first woman American conductor to lead…

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After an intense final round of concert performances, the judges in The Buffalo News’ Battle for the Borderland have determined a winner. This was no mean feat, as all three bands that progressed to the finals – Two Hills Reloaded (Sportsmen’s Tavern), the Greg Klyma Band (42 North Brewery) and Uncle Ben’s Remedy (Buffalo Iron Works) – put on killer shows at their respe…

Art

The 17th annual Music Is Art Festival takes over the grounds of Buffalo RiverWorks and the adjacent River Fest Park beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. More than 150 bands, 140 DJs, 50 exhibiting artists and live artists, and assorted dancers and dance troupes spread across 21 stages and various performances spaces will represent what founder and Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby …

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Thirteen years. An eternity, in a world where we worship the instantaneous, stuck in a Sisyphean holding pattern where what is desired is received and all but instantly abandoned in favor of the next object of desire. We are told nothing lasts, and we take a course of action seemingly set to prove the truth of such a maxim. Seek. Find. Abandon. Repeat. In a world …

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Nearly everyone who finds themselves involved in a race for the prize says, “It’s an honor just to be nominated,” and of course, it is. That said, most people would probably concur it’s an even bigger honor to win. I’ve gone on the record repeatedly – some might even say ad nauseam – regarding my feelings about talent contests, particularly of the televised, "presided o…

Columns

I’ve become an immense fan of "Couch Tour," which, according to UrbanDictionary.com, is what happens “when you and a group of friends ... stream a live concert from the comfort of your home on the couch … (this) generally applies (to) bands like Phish, Dead and Company, etc.” The reasons for embracing "Couch Tour" strike me as obvious ones, and include the following: …

Gusto

When organizers finally succumbed to the series of unfortunate (and likely avoidable) events that led to the wheels coming off their planned Woodstock 50 festival, fans and music industry insiders let out a collective sigh-groan hybrid. Here in our town, we might not have heard it, so giddy were we in the wake of the announcement that, instead of performing at what woul…