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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.


"Late Show with David Letterman" band director Paul Schaeffer, commenting on pianist extraordinaire Bruce Hornsby, offered the aside that the ivory-tinkling Virginian was one of the first musicians to use the piano to - I'm paraphrasing here - "get chicks."True, those in music in order to grab the attention of the opposite sex usually gravitate toward the guitar. Or they b…

Apparently, the "Can-Con" laws - edicts decreeing that a certain percentage of "homegrown" music be played on Canadian radio stations - haven't made the playing field level for everyone.Despite claiming a 2000 Juno Award - the equivalent of our Grammy - for Best Reggae Album, Canadian reggae artist Lazo (a k a Lazarus Jno Finn) has had to take his music to the streets hims…

And we wondered, yes we wondered, who'll stop the rain? Well, no one, in fact.But the rain, wind, and disturbingly non-summerlike temperatures -- it is, after all, mid-September now -- didn't prevent a packed "shed" and a half-full lawn section from making Incubus quite welcome.The enthusiastic audience, composed of what appeared to be primarily the under-25 set, went ball…

24 Hour Party People ****STARRING: Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Sean Harris, Danny Cunningham, Lennie James, Paddy ConsidineDIRECTOR: Michael WinterbottomRUNNING TIME: 115 MinutesRATING: R for strong language, drug use and sexualityTHE LOWDOWN: Irreverent take on the explosion of the Manchester, England music scene between 1976 and '92. "I will never interfere with …

What if you managed to move the art form of American song ahead and no one noticed?Like the time-honored philosophical conundrum concerning a tree falling in an empty woods -- does it make a sound or not? -- in the world of "popular" music, the gnawing question forever lurks: If you make great, meaningful art and few people get to hear it, does it lose some of its meaning?…

History is cyclical. Stop the presses.Any time a "movement" in popular music emerges, there are some who survive it and some who don't. In the case of the postgrunge nu-metal scene, it seems safe to bet that the majority of the bands who sought to fuse hip-hop to hard rock in the mid-'90s won't be around long enough to grow old, ugly and potentially irrelevant. But perhaps…

CD REVIEWSo Much Shouting, So Much LaughterAni DiFranco[Righteous Babe] *** 1/2 (Out of four) Don't expect Ani DiFranco to stand still for too long.Like her forebears - artists like Bob Dylan, maybe even the original train-track troubadour Woody Guthrie - DiFranco conducts a consistent wrestling match with her muse, seeking different formats within which to develop he…

From the book: "Why would the universe go through the trouble of evolving consciousness?" inquires Garcia. "If it wanted life that would succeed, just to create the most effective living thing, it could have stopped at bacteria. Or it could have stopped at vertebrates or sharks. But consciousness goes a quantum step further than just life. It might be that consciousness…

Man, you guys are all over the place.A few months back, in response to a rather dubious feature in an issue of Spin magazine titled "The 50 Most Influential Bands in Rock," I asked readers to send in lists of their own personal favorites, with corresponding supporting arguments.The response was varied and enthusiastic. Many artists one would expect to find on such a list a…

REVIEW Tragically HipCanadian rockers and local favorites.Sunday night at Six Flags Darien Lake. The Tragically Hip drew the curtain on summer 2002 with a stellar show before an adoring crowd Sunday at Darien Lake's Performing Arts Center.Though one final show remains on the roster at the venue -- Incubus on the 15th of this month -- Sunday's Hip show smacked of fin…

Jeff Miers: "Live Between Us" (1997). "It offers a great cross-section of material, and captures the group at its best - in concert. You get to hear Downie go off, the rhythm section is a well-oiled machine, and the guitars would make Keith and Ronnie proud."Scott Keller, Record Theatre buyer: "Road Apples" (1991). "Solid songs throughout. Extremely unique. Stoneslike, but…

Perhaps one of the finest "noir-pop" acts to emerge from the largely dismal 1980s, the Psychedelic Furs endeared themselves to the alternative nation and mainstream listeners turned on to the band by "Pretty in Pink," the title song from the Molly Ringwald teen epic.High school anthems aside, the Furs' greatest contribution to the rock vernacular may be the group's ability…

In the bustling metropolis that is MTV land, it's apparently an extremely short trip from the sublime to the silly, the vibrant to the vapid. Last night, the cabs and buses were traveling particularly fast.The 2002 Video Music Awards were difficult to sit through. They started strong with an inspired rain-drenched performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band but …

It was one of the great philosophical, if not epistemological, arguments of the 20th century. What is the definitive line-up of the Kings of Californian hard rock, Van Halen? Was it the original version, what's now referred to as the "classic" roster of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony? Or did, as some propose, the group actually improve …

"When the colour of the night/and all the smoke for one life/gives way to shaky movements/improvisational skills/a forest of whispering speakers/Let's swear that we will/get with the times/in a current health to stay/Let's get friendship right/get life day to day" - from "It's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken," the Tragically Hip"Be here now." - Baba Ram DassIf we are doom…