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Toni Ruberto

Toni Ruberto is the editor of Gusto who also likes to write about movies and music. When the South Buffalo native isn't walking her dog, she is listening to mopey British music or watching Syfy or TCM.


WBNY, 91.3-FM They go by names that conjure intriguing images to go with their voices: Dr. Derby, Tiny Elvis, Pimp of the Airwaves, Ben Dover and the Kingpin. They're really just five friendly college students with a passion for music and a penchant for craziness that seeps through the airwaves of Buffalo State College's WBNY, 91.3-FM, especially on the station's Thursd…

some dripping blood from fingers and mouths -- walked across the ground that was shaking from thundering noises as flashes of white light struck out across the darkness.The apocalyptic scene, complete with a matching soundtrack, was really a harmless purging of angst and frustration during a seven-hour feast of metal, hardcore and punk served in "Metal Meltdown '99."Fear F…

Sweaty, exhausted, half-clad men -- some dripping blood from fingers and mouths -- walked across the ground that was shaking from thundering noises as flashes of white light struck out across the darkness.The apocalyptic scene, complete with a matching soundtrack, was really a harmless purging of angst and frustration during a seven-hour feast of metal, hardcore and punk s…

What's the price to start a "Pop Revolution"? About $10,000.That's what the pop trio Plaster Sandals spent to complete its second compact disc in 1997. The band isn't together anymore, but the bills from "Pop Revolution" are still being paid.So is the five-year, $7,500 small-business loan taken out last year by singer-songwriter N.S.S. for "Do You Know Edna?," and the $3,0…

THE HOTTEST concert ticket this year turned out to be for one of the unlikeliest comebacks in a long time -- Vanilla Ice.The much-maligned former rapper and teen idol came out leaner and much meaner with his new hardcore image Wednesday at the Showplace Theatre. The demand to get into the sold-out concert was so heavy, signs were posted outside the Showplace as crowds mill…

"A CAMPAIGN FOR NONVIOLENCE" Musician Bob James received a bonus when he purchased a John Lennon box set a few months back.Lennon's messages of peace and goodwill sparked an idea for James, who had been seeking a way to bring awareness -- and ultimately a solution -- to the growing violence he witnesses in schools as a trainer in educational reform and director of Futur…

The hottest concert ticket this year turned out to be for one of the unlikeliest comebacks in a long time -- Vanilla Ice.The much-maligned former rapper and teen idol came out leaner and much meaner with his new hardcore image Wednesday at the Showplace Theatre. The demand to get into the sold-out concert was so heavy, signs were posted outside the Showplace as crowds mill…

GO, DOG. GO! From the moment Michael Oliver formed the band Go, Dog. Go! in a South Buffalo basement three short years ago, it was obvious the novice songwriter was a veteran talent.His songs were overwhelmingly greeted with positive response right from the early four-track tape that led to the award-winning, full-length debut "How Does This Work?"The appeal is multilay…

LEON AND THE FORKLIFTS Leon and the Forklifts faced an exciting and challenging role as the opening act for the Mighty Blue Kings, one of the hottest acts on the swing circuit, and did more than hold their own last week.Smartly dressed and infectiously charming, the lively quartet entertained with an invigorating set that had a bit of the blues and a bit of funk, and wa…

JEROME L. FERRELL Jerome L. Ferrell watched his dream grow out of the tiny confines of his living room into a self-standing business this week with the opening of the international gospel recording company Diversity Records Ltd.Yet the "Soul Train" award nominee and pastor of the Greater New Hope Church of God in Christ is happy not for himself, but for the good he says…

VARIETY ROCKS The Variety Club Telethon is still rolling with youthful vigor after nearly 40 years -- thanks to "Variety Rocks." The fourth annual benefit concert, taking place tonight at the Tralfamadore Cafe, showcases an electrifying lineup of modern rock talent -- the Conservatives, Animal Planet, Michael Oliver and Go, Dog. Go!, 53 Days and the Tails -- in an effor…

MICHAEL BANNISTERMichael Bannister left Buffalo and found the sky wasn't the limit. It was a beginning.The former drummer for the Desires (a band also featuring guitarist Jim Whitford), Bannister has spent more than 20 years performing pop and rock music, including time touring with Peter Case and Lucinda Williams. But it was a chance meeting with two Arizona musicians in …

MICHAEL SHEFFIELD Procrastination has been a muse for songwriter Michael Sheffield.His debut album, "The Worried Well," contains songs with verses written years apart with the insight gained through experiencing life."There were songs where I wrote the first verse in college and the last verse in my 40s. Procrastination worked. It gave me a whole new perspective," Sheff…

PLASTIC SOULThe past two years have been a whirlwind of extraordinary exposure for young rockers Plastic Soul.From the moment the teen group formed, the four musicians tackled the challenge of performing all original material, playing out almost immediately and releasing a five-song EP, "Extraordinarily Exposed.""Right off the bat, we decided to do our own songs. We always…

ANGELS and mortals, beauty and the beast. Monsters and romance have always been married in literature and film, a perfect coupling of darkness and light leading to the ultimate salvation.In "Bram Stoker's Dracula: The Film and the Legend," screenwriter James V. Hart recounts an experience watching Frank Langella's Broadway opening of "Dracula" where he heard a woman loudly…