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Michael Farrell

Buffalo News contributor Michael Farrell is a freelance writer, novelist, and graduate of St. Bonaventure University.


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Singer/songwriter Jillian Eliza knows country music. She appreciates its feel-good vibe; understands its nuances outside of lyrics reciting the calamities of broken hearts, cases of beer and double-cabs; and celebrates the genre’s Buffalo-based community that’s both close and supportive. But within this community of fans and performers, she also noticed an untapped oppo…

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Parochial Buffalo can be a humble place, full of residents raised to understand that nothing they’ve ever done should be boasted as that big a deal. It’s a working-class mentality, and in these exhausting look-at-me times, such reservation can be a refreshing thing. However, there are times that locals cultivating impressive operations would be doing a service to all of…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Resting aside a roaring fireplace. Lounging on the back deck, cigar smoldering in a ceramic tray. Smiling in contentment amid the rotating echoes of an acoustic quartet. All are homespun scenes of enjoyment, and all can be enhanced by a two-ounce pour of a balanced, well-rounded bourbon. Each is idyllic, albeit outside the assisting confines of your neighborhood tavern …

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Buffalo’s never been a city to shy away from a drink. From its bawdy Erie Canal days to its colorful brewing history and modern imbibing, every local hour can tend to be a good time for a Happy Hour. But since Prohibition reigned in the early 1900s, Nickel City distilling had been dry until 2012. Loosened state laws on farm distilleries allowed craft spirits to flow and…

Buffalo Magazine: Food + Drink

Finding a seat at one of Buffalo’s finest cocktail bars can summon the opportunity to sip on some seriously delicious bourbon concoctions. But sometimes, things get in the way. Work. Kids. Actual responsibilities that don’t pair well with a few belts. Or any plans that prevent you, your friends and a significant other from trading rounds amid the rustic or ribald scenes…

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Craft brewing and distilling have become serious business in Buffalo. The proliferation of both have given birth to homegrown tastes and brightened previously dormant addresses. Drinkers with sophisticated palates can explore their favorite tastes, then weigh each on their locally sourced ingredients, mouthfeel and magnitude within their given designation. But aside …

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Folk music has never been known to sit out tumultuous times. Whether with its poignant lyrics or acoustic presentation, it's involved and, often, emblematic of the concerns of its time. The work of Peter Mulvey is no different. On Sept. 6, the Ani DiFranco-produced artist delivered a career’s worth of poignant words and concerns over a 90-minute set inside the 9th Ward …

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Think of blues-based hard rock and heavy metal as sounds that rattle dashboards in their own separate ways. Hear the deliberate and dynamic guitar forays, the undercurrent of bass and barrage of snares and cymbals. Envision the musicians behind these separate forms of nuanced mayhem, and you may see the lineups of the pulsating Deep Purple and Judas Priest. The English-bor…

Buffalo Magazine: BufFYI

Carolyn and Bill Panzica know how to operate a bakery. For over 20 years, the couple created and cultivated Butterwood Desserts, which they grew in West Falls and sold for relocation to Buffalo almost 10 years ago. But to turn their former fire hall-turned-bakery space into a rustic performing arts center? It wasn’t something they intended, but now five years since firs…

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New wave hits that colored a decade. In-band drama and sexual ambiguity that was a “Behind the Music” waiting to happen. An aging lead singer with an ever-youthful stage name; and an appreciated reunion after years of estrangement. It’s all happened over the more than 35-year history of Boy George & Culture Club—but somehow, they’re still tumbling for fans across all c…

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A neighborhood tavern can’t construct history. It either exists in the walls, floorboards and foundation, or it doesn’t. This is not some revelation. It’s been noted in this space on maybe too many occasions, but seems applicable for reiteration as Buffalo’s bar scene continues to be enhanced by new and renewed locales. For the latter, the trick seems to be to update…

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Hot dogs are not a health food. They don’t seamlessly fit into any food pyramid, nor are they recommended to be a part of any diet that doesn’t induce night sweats. You can boil, grill or charbroil them, and dependent on your level of desperation, thaw and eat them raw. None of these cooking methods affect the street meat’s nutritional value, so if you’re looking to …

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Fat Bob’s Smokehouse doesn’t need a business rebranding. The Allentown favorite boasts a Texas roadhouse vibe; sauce-slathered ribs, beef and brisket for Buffalo’s barbecue tastes; and a craft draft and bottled beer list as competent as its contemporaries. If you already love hunkering down in the joint for a hot slab and cold stout during the city’s fall and winter,…

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Over the past two summers, Larkin Square’s weekly Food Truck Tuesday affair has gone from a deviation away from traditional dining to full-blown culinary carnival, with fleets of vehicles selling everything from kettle corn to Korean barbecue. The event has grown so gargantuan that even the most-seasoned sampler might seek shelter from the sometimes-sweltering chaos of the…

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Frustration with life's particulars doesn’t cease with age, nor does the simmering angst that accompanies the feeling. It’s always there, somewhere in the stomach or recesses of one’s memory, begging to be relieved by a savior or a sound. For many, both can be found in punk rock. And for those who understand the genre’s potency at its adolescent best, there’s the cheris…