Share this article

Music

print logo
Featured

Drake is the Bon Jovi of modern hip-hop. Which is to suggest that he marries rap to pop in a mainstream-pleasing manner, much like Bon Jovi makes watered-down pop-metal for folks who don’t necessarily want to deal with the real, “warts-and-all” thing. Sunday, the Toronto-born former actor offered an exuberant performance on an ornate, posh, futuristic stage set, before wha…

Music

R&BR. Kelly, Black Panties (RCA). The cover of R. Kelly’s 12th release, “Black Panties,” is the perfect advertisement for what’s inside. Depicted amid a sea of sprawling beautiful women adorned, naturally, only in “Black Panties,” our studly hero peers into the lens with a vacuous stare that can only be interpreted as downright creepy. Yes, folk, R. Kelly is apparently a s…

Gusto

This has been a great year for music, although if you followed only the top end of the Billboard charts, you never would’ve known it.As has been the case from time immemorial – with a few notable exceptions – the real story concerning movements in popular music took place elsewhere. Sure, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke and Kanye West and Jay-Z made the most money and fostere…

Featured

While foraging though a local record shop’s bargain bin recently, I ran across two Billboard compilation CDs from about a generation ago: 1989, to be exact.The first volume of Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits was hardly comprehensive. Covering the years 1935 to 1954, it comprised a mere 10 songs, nine of them instantly recognizable to anyone who’s ever spent a December in…

Featured

This year’s Holiday Pops drew gasps on Friday morning before the concert even began. The scene was just so magical.The hall went dark, except for twinkly lights. And voices came out of the darkness – girls’ voices, singing “Silent Night.”The singers were Immaculata Academy’s Vox Caeciliae (it means Voices of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music). They drifted down the ai…

Featured

The artists change every year, but the idea doesn’t.Kissmas Bash is a party for fans of Top 40 radio in general, and local Top 40 station KISS 98.5 FM in particular. KISS annually gathers in a package tour comprising artists on its playlist, and invites its listeners to convene in First Niagara Center to party in the name of largely forgettable pop music. It’s either one o…

Michele Ragusa’s homecomings are always memorable. With her Broadway experience, she can carry off a style all her own. Last April, playing the shrewish Kate in the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s treatment of “Kiss Me Kate,” she grabbed Associate Conductor Matthew Kraemer and actually spanked him. Four years ago, she starred in the best Holiday Pops concert I can recall.…

Music

PopBritney SpearsBritney Jean[RCA]Ω½When Britney Spears dropped an “open letter” declaring that her upcoming album would be “her most personal yet,” perhaps that should have been a red flag. One supposes that, when an artist is truly crafting something deeply personal to themselves, the art is likely to speak for itself. It’s not like Bob Dylan ran around telling every scr…

Garageland. 8 p.m. Dec. 27, tribute to Joe Strummer and the Clash. Waiting Room, 334 Delaware Ave. www.waitingroombuffalo.com. $12 advance, $17 day of show (box office, www.Ticketfly.com).Hard Rock Guitar Drop. 8 p.m. Dec. 31, featuring Living Colour with Breakerbox and Randle and the Late Night Scandals. Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls. 282-0007. www.hardrock.com/niagara…

“Pop long since ate itself, and this is what came out the other end.”Yes, I wish I wrote that. This snazzy little sentence was published on TheGuardian.com, via the U.K. paper’s music blog. On top of being very hilarious, and a little bit gross, the statement is also a reference to the just-announced “BBC Sound of 2014,” a list of “artists to watch for” in the coming year.…

By marrying a psychedelic twist to its alternative-pop core, Son of the Sun stood out on the regional music scene from its 2007 birth onward. The sound of the band, described as “melodically detailed rock,” rose above the din of vitriolic garage rock and the birthing pangs of various electro offshoots to suggest an affinity with the timelessness we often associate with roc…

The 1987 release of “Electric” marked a significant turning point in the career of British quartet the Cult. Prior to the album’s release, the band brought a hazy psychedelia to the alternative rock music of the 1980s, lending a post-punk sensibility to guitar-based rock. “Electric” was an entirely different animal, however. Here was a record bearing few markings of altern…

Buffalo

The big news surrounding this year’s Kissmas Bash involves the Jonas Brothers, who broke up despite already being booked to headline the yearly KISS 98.5 FM Top 40 fest, which takes place at 6 p.m. today in the First Niagara Center. So no, we won’t have three Jonas Brothers on hand at the gig, but we will have two – Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas will headline Thursday’s show.As…

Music

Aubrey Drake Graham – just plain Drake to mere mortals like us – is a bit of an anomaly in modern hip-hop. The former star of the Canadian teen soap opera “Degrassi” launched his career as a rapper relatively late in the game, and his style – a half-sung, half-slurred monotone – is far from the speed-centric dynamics and technical virtuosity so many of his peers espouse. Y…

Tuesday night, the Jasper String Quartet played a “sandwich program,” one with two easily digestible works surrounding a more “troublesome” piece. It was a method that the Juilliard String Quartet (among others) used as a way of introducing unfamiliar works by Elliott Carter, Arnold Schoenberg or Anton von Webern to folks attending their concerts, bracketing a less comfort…