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Jeff Miers

The News' music critic since 2002, 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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Summertime in the Cobblestone/Canalside neighborhood is tough to top for anyone who loves live music, craft beer, good food and the ability to walk to a wide variety of venues in a mere matter of minutes. For the latest installment of "90 minutes in…" series, I bent the rules a bit and decided to plan an afternoon's activities that would lead up to a Canalside Live! con…

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John Kent has carved his place in the rough and beautiful Ellicottville hills. "Thirty years ago, I came here and plowed the ground for this myself," Kent said, while gesturing toward the large rodeo ring enclosed by what looks like a few miles of steel piping. "It has grown every year." A tall, imposing man with a penetrating gaze, Kent is owner and architect of…

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Last week, my column lamented the suggestion of tension between the United States and Canada, and focused on the fact that, for so many of us in Buffalo, Canada in general, and Toronto in particular, are part of what we consider to be the "local" music scene. Many of you agreed, and shared your own thoughts on the subject. A few of your comments and letters stopped me i…

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There's something genuinely soulful about '90s R&B. Back before hip-hop completely swallowed the form and regurgitated it in the wholly transformed state we have today, the genre was still laser-focused on grandiose balladry, emotive, coloratura-laced singing – everybody wanted to be Whitney Houston or Boyz II Men – and a more liberal sense of groove that incorporat…

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Some old-school soul is heading your way this weekend, as what is being predicted to be a scorching hot day will find some scorching hot R&B filling a festival roster at Canalside – where it's always a little bit cooler, thanks to the breeze coming over the water. On Saturday, the Summer Soul Festival at Canalside has a lineup that will have you moving, no doubt: Fa…

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I've been going to Lewiston regularly since moving to Buffalo in 1990. Yes, it was Artpark that drew me first, its broad roster of concerts appealing to my eccentric musical taste, running the gamut from jazz to heavy rock, R&B to folk, and nearly everywhere in between. It didn’t take me long to ascertain a sort of "sub-vibe" in the region, however. On its surface, …

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I’ve often wondered why Cheap Trick takes on tours opening for bands unfit to tie any of the band-members shoelaces. At the mid-point of the group’s set opening for Poison at Darien Lake on Tuesday, it occurred to me that perhaps the band is taking subversive pleasure in, say, performing an edgy, alt-punk Velvet Underground tune for a hair-metal crowd, which is what it …

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Last week, my son wanted to take the car and drive to Toronto with a friend – primarily to visit the one-day pop-up store that would be selling the Kendrick Lamar line of Nike products, but also because he grew up in Buffalo, where day-trips to Toronto are part of the rich cultural pastiche that is our birthright. For the first time, I worried. I wondered if he'd be has…

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Paul McCartney, "Come On To Me/I Don't Know" That Paul McCartney is still releasing new music at 76 is impressive. That he's releasing music this strong, all of it performed by himself on a variety of instruments, is a minor miracle. https://buffalonews.com/2018/06/25/jeff-simon-paul-mccartney-shines-in-greatest-carpool-karaoke/ Gang of Four, "The Complici…

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I asked the Buffalo contingent of my Facebook friend group to tell me who, in the world of local music and the arts, has been a major influence on their approach to their own art, and on their lives in general. The response was immense, informative, and often, deeply moving. As I had hoped, dwelling on those major influences brought out the respondents' better na…

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R+R=NOW, "Collagically Speaking" A super-group of jazz and r&b musicians, featuring Robert Glasper, Terace Martin, Christian Scott, Derrick Hodge, Taylor McFerrin and Justin Tyson. Funky, beautiful neo-soul and future-jazz. Kenneth Whalum, "Make It Out Alive" Nephew of jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum and erstwhile Frank Ocean collaborator makes haunting, ofte…

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The bus came by and I got on. That's when it all began. No, Neal Cassady was not at the wheel, and Ken Kesey was not on board. But the yellow school bus that pulled out from the parking lot of the Snyder Bar & Grill on Tuesday afternoon bound for the Dead & Company show at Darien Lake was full of folks I'd happily describe as Merry Pranksters. The Snyder cont…

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In early May, word leaked about a festival in East Aurora slated for the tail-end of the summer, and as such things tend to go around these parts, mythology and hyperbole rapidly moved in to stake their claim. Folks with no inside track on the actual event seemed to believe they had some scoop on the lineup, and artist names started being whispered in hushed tones. Meanwhi…

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His story is not unlike that of countless other music-obsessives of a certain age. In the early 1970s, as a wee brat, Greg Sterlace heard the Beatles, and his world changed, his imagination expanded, and in many ways, his future course was set. Several decades after that first brush with the Beatles, Sterlace is the author of two books about the band – "The Beatles: Hav…