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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.


Gusto

A recent CityLab story suggested we here in Western New York might become a “climate refugee-friendly destination,” delivering a line that somehow encapsulates the Buffalo experience: “With climate change, the world is going to suck, but Buffalo may suck less.” The business of “sucking less” over the last year involved an expanding arts and culture scene that provided a we…

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A slew of musician biographies and autobiographies saw release in the latter half of 2019, closing out a year that, earlier, found Buffalo’s own Ani DiFranco releasing one of the most astonishingly forthright entries in the history of the genre. While many of them boasted at least a bit of the tawdry, tell-all style that seems to be a prerequisite of getting such a book…

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“I don’t care/I know you’re gonna hate this song.” These are the first words you hear on the Who’s first studio recording in 13 years, the band’s 12th overall, some 11 seconds into opener “All This Music Must Fade.” As it turns out, these combative lyrics offer a window into an album that should not, if we are given to acknowledging the weight of entropy and the work…

Columns

As the Buffalo Sabres celebrate their 50th year as an NHL franchise in a city and surrounding environs rightly revered collectively as a serious “hockey town,” let's ruminate on the marriage of music and sport. This phenomenon might not be unique to Buffalo, but as Sabres in-game organist Curtis Cook points out, there are clear inherent connections between sports and th…

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It’s one of the more insufferable back-and-forths happening on Twitter of late. That’s truly saying something. Last week, noir-pop auteur Billie Eilish confessed during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel she is completely unfamiliar with iconic hard rock quartet Van Halen. A certain segment of the Twitter-verse absolutely lost it. Kimmel asked Eilish, who is widely co…

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The recent announcement of Billy Joel’s August 2020 appearance at New Era Field has gotten a lot of people talking about concert-related issues in the modern music industry era. Many readers have reached out to me, asking for information, insight or opinion on some of these issues. Here are some of the questions I’ve been most frequently asked regarding concerts in Western…

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For the first time in 18 years, the deafening roar of KISS 98.5-loving teens and preteens, pumped up with holiday excitement and passion for their pop idols, will not fill KeyBank Center in December. The Grinch has officially stolen KISSmas Bash. OK, there’s no grumpy, green, furry dude rubbing his hands with devilish glee as he steals KISSmas and dashes the hopes of ou…

Columns

When news of a news conference to announce a summer 2020 concert at New Era Field was announced, speculation ran high. “It’s gonna be Springsteen & the E Street Band,” many said on social media, apparently not knowing that Springsteen’s planned show at the stadium in 2003 was moved to the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center due to sluggish ticket sales. “Dead &…

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Friday, Oct. 30, 1992. On this night, which I'll assume was a blustery one,? I had a gig at Broadway Joe’s on Main Street. I knew my band was sharing a bill with Monkey Wrench, the Buffalo punk outfit known for playing loud, fast, booze-soaked shows. What I didn’t realize until I arrived was that a third band was also on the roster. It was called moe., and my good frien…

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I've been thinking lately about how music junkies like myself – and I know an awful lot of them around here – can fulfill a need for live music in an era where a single concert ticket can cost upward of $100 as artists have jacked up prices to accommodate for the lack of income earned from recordings in the streaming age and secondary sellers grab tickets so quickly that p…

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Some of my earliest musical memories involve music that filled me with a sense of wonder, gave me joy or soothed me in some fashion. Less often, but just as memorably, certain songs and albums scared me half to death when I was first exposed to them. In some instances, those songs that initially terrified me came to number among my favorites as I got deeper into musi…

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Yes, it’s a concert film. Oh, but it’s so much more than that, too. “Western Stars,” the at turns ruminative, jubilant and transcendentally beautiful film Bruce Springsteen co-directed with Emmy winner Thom Zimny, is not so much a highway movie as it is a study of what happens when that highway runs out, and the hero is left with nowhere to turn but toward the mirror…

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Music Director JoAnn Falletta's contract with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has been extended for five years, the organization has announced. The new contract positions Falletta to remain at the helm of the orchestra through the 2025-26 season. Maestro Falletta’s contract was set to expire at the end of the 2020-21 season. The announcement comes as the BPO embar…

Columns

"Taken, taken so easily/To pass into glass reality/Transform, to transfer, to energy/I am a camera" – Yes, from "Into the Lens." I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. Often, I lean toward the “hate” side of the equation. I feel like the thing runs my life. It urges me to work, even when I’m not supposed to be working. It beats me over the head with hor…

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its list of 2020 nominees Tuesday morning, and it didn’t take long for social media to be flooded with comments on the list, from the famous, the unknown and the infamous alike. My takeaway from all the digital hullabaloo? No one takes the Rock Hall particularly seriously. And yet, everyone seems to have a passionate opinion ab…