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Cathedral Torn Over Paper Issue


Buzz was corresponding with St. Paul's Cathedral and found ourself cc'd on a chain of emails, from a few different cathedral folks, all of them working to fill The Buffalo News in on what music an organist would be playing in an upcoming recital.

One email bore this preachy postscript we are used to seeing: 

Help the environment and don't print this email unless you really need to!

But another email goes on a different tear:

Notice: It's OK to print this email if you need to. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of Americans. Working forests are good for the environment and provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. Thanks to improved forest management, we have more trees in America today than we had 100 years ago.
The Value of Print -- Renewable, Recyclable, Effective
Paper consumption also keeps printing and bindery companies in business and employs over 65,000 in NYS alone!
Keep jobs in NYS!


Buzz swiftly printed out the chain of emails. As a newspaper gal, we know whose side of this issue we are on.

Feel free to print out the Buzz Blog!

Singing Nun Is More Than a Wonderful Download


Remember what Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra guest pops conductor Matt Catingub said the other day, wondering how you would describe a great recording now? He jokingly suggested: "It's a wonderful download."

He's been topped.

We refer you to Page A6, in today's Buffalo News, the story about the singing nun Sister Cristina, pictured above. In paragraph 4, the producer of a TV show expresses his enthusiasm in words even Catingub could not have dreamed up.

The producer says: "It's a very good piece of content."

How do you beat that? You don't.

The producer adds, eloquently: "It just is."

Johnny Rzeznik Bus Mystery Solved


Today's Buzz column intrepidly probes the mystery of what bus, exactly, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls used to ride when he lived here in Buffalo. In Jeff Miers' interview Rzeznik is quoted as saying it was the No. 7 bus. However the No. 7 is the noble Richmond/Baynes route, not the bus Rzeznik rode, which he said went along Broadway.

Luckily our friend Joan Blum, nee Jaworski, who knows her East Side Metro Bus history, wrote in. She believes Rzeznik may have been misunderstood, that he was actually saying No. 17. 

"Johnny lived off of Memorial Drive near the Central Terminal," she writes. "He would have taken the number 17 Central Terminal Bus to get downtown. That bus ran down Broadway, turned on Memorial Drive, traveled down Memorial to Paderewski, then turned from Paderewski onto Fillmore and then made a left onto Broadway.  How do I know ... I used to take the same bus!!!! That was the inbound route that Johnny would have taken to get to City Hall. Johnny's sister was in my class at McKinley High School and Johnny was two years behind me. So I took that bus many times both in the morning and after school. I would get off before it turned onto Fillmore on the outbound route."

She adds: "The number 17 doesn't run anymore."


Good to have that straightened out!

Meanwhile, that classic vintage bus pic at the top of the page comes to us courtesy of General Motors, via this cool page on Buffalo-area transit history.


It's a Wonderful Download


Matt Catingub, one of the conductors whose names are being floated as the possible next Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Pops Conductor, conducted the "Big Band Salute" on Saturday and his sense of humor, at times, could kind of remind you of the last person to hold that job, Marvin Hamlisch. He has the same love for big bands, the same humorous disdain for music technology.

Hamlisch was hilarious with that. He once told one kid in the audience: "We're so happy to see you at Kleinhans Music Hall. It's so nice that you're here dot com."

Saturday, Catingub was describing a recording he loves, Ella Fitzgerald's "Live in Berlin."

"It's a wonderful record," he said.  "Or, with CDs, I guess you would say a wonderful disc. What do you call it now?" he said. "Wonderful download?"

The crowd burst out laughing.

Let's hear it for old times!

The Dyngus Diaries

Buzz is fine the morning after Dyngus Day but our computer has a hangover. It will not let us post our pictures! 

Pictures will have to come later. Meanwhile enjoy The News' gallery of pictures! And here are highlights that stand out from last night:

Politicians in the parade being freely booed by the crowd.

Handsome Polish cop directing huge fire trucks and other pieces of heavy equipment around the tricky turn. Other duties included keeping crowds back and removing drunks from the path of the parade.

Polka band at Mickiewicz Library doing a number on the Beatles' "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight."

Buzz being admonished for sipping our shot of Krupnik as opposed to downing it in one gulp the way you are supposed to when someone buys you a shot. We love to savor the taste of it and for that the Polish were mocking us out. "Go from the wrist," we are told.

At St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, a huge tower of Zywiec cans reached yards into the air. Nearby was a fortress of cans, topped by a wine bottle and a cross.

Also at St. Stan's, you had to watch where you sat because certain seats had pools of beer on them.

You knew at St. Stan's that the night has gathered momentum when people had to be escorted out. Buzz saw a half dozen or so in that predicament. Ha, ha! Shame!

The Polish Heritage Dancers had their own bus! (Tod Kniazuk of the Arts Services Initiative said: "I know bands that don't have their own bus.") And when they arrived at St. Stan's they were like rock stars.

More to come, along with pictures.

Ah, the memories!


Ringo Reminds Us Of When a Beatle Visited Cheektowaga

Hearing about Ringo Starr's upcoming visit to Artpark, Buzz was swept up in nostalgia for 2001, which is when we went to see the one, the only, the great Pete Best. Best, in the above 1982 David Letterman clip, was said to have given up music. Wrong, wrong, wrong! In 2001 he was playing T-Birds in Cheektowaga.

All we could think -- we wrote about it at the time -- was that he knew the answer to one of music's big mysteries. He told The News' Jim Heaney he didn't know why the fledgling Beatles had fired him. He knew, all right.

So we remember that. A visual image also sticks with us. In the hall, when you walked in, T-Birds displayed a huge mural of the Beatles' faces - and over Ringo's, someone had taped a 9-by-12 Xeroxed photo of the young Pete Best. 

Another rosy memory: On stage, Best introduced "Love Me Do" by saying: "This song made me a few bob as well, so that's why we've got to play it." That was pretty funny, you know, especially in that charming Liverpudlian accent.

Wow. That was a unique occasion, you know?

That's why Ringo isn't playing Cheektowaga. Because out there, he would always be ... Second Best.

A Stirring Sight By the Peace Bridge


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Your heart starts beating faster when you are on the 190 right around the Peace Bridge, and you see this dramatic flag. An American flag, on a flagpole, blowing in the wind, so magnificently tattered that it looks triumphant.

You couldn't take a picture this morning, what with the traffic and the poor visibility -- so just take Buzz's word for it, it looks just like the picture above.

All we could think of was Renee Fleming's dramatic singing of the lines from "The Star-Spangled Banner" about giving proof through the night that our flag was still there.

It starts the workday off on a high note! 

BPO Pianist's Rachmaninoff Above Par At Golf Resort

Bianconi2By Mary Kunz Goldman

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is returning from its Florida tour with lots of dramatic stories to tell. The stories are extra epic considering that the orchestra and JoAnn Falletta have been touring with French virtuoso Philippe Bianconi, who has been playing the tumultuous Rachmaninoff Third. 

Bianconi rocked Kleinhans Music Hall with the Rachmaninoff almost a fortnight ago and Florida audiences, too, have been thrilled by him.

Perhaps most thrilling of all was his solo piano performance at a PGA golf resort 20 minutes outside St. Augustine. We would assume that to be the World Golf Village.

As Buzz understands it, the resort was the only place that could accommodate the orchestra for its Daytona and St. Augustine concerts. Plus, they had a piano where Bianconi could keep his chops up. As board member Cindy Letro reports, the hotel's rooms tower over a central atrium with a piano bar in the center. The focal point of the cocktail bar is a baby grand piano with a flat lucite cover and a tip jar in the corner. The sound of the piano wafts up to rooms high above it.

It was at this piano that Bianconi seated himself to run through his Rachmaninoff.

"Imagine this elegant, self-effacing world-renowned pianist pounding out the Rach 3 for hours on end with the chords resonating to the floors above," Letro marvels. "One couple seated at the bar stayed for the entire session."

Later, the couple commented to a BPO musicians that they had thought Philippe was the hotel's scheduled entertainment. Ha, ha!

Letro recognized the glory of the occasion.

"A great moment!" she marveled.

Buffalo Musician Had Unique View of the Ed Sullivan Show Magic


Everyone is talking today about the magic that happened on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago last night. And with good reason.

There is simply no topping the greatness of magician Fred Kaps, who demonstrated his craft on that unforgettable night. Kaps, who shared the bill with actor (and friend of Buffalo) Frank Gorshin and -- who else? oh, right, British rockers the Beatles -- is a particular figure of fascination to Buffalo musician Bob Davis, pictured above, who does magic on the side. He told Buzz how, when he was able to nail a video of the episode, he didn't bother with the Beatles. "I haven't gotten around to watching them," he confessed. "I've only seen Fred Kaps. He was great."

On Facebook yesterday, Bob Davis joined in the wave of awe regarding the show 50 years ago.

"Fred Kaps," he wrote, simply.

Further words are unnecessary.


Renee Fleming Thanks WNY For Preparing Her For Super Bowl Gig


Buzz gets this from the New Jersey Star-Ledger: At a press conference, opera diva Renee Fleming, pictured above, thanked Western New York for readying her for her Super Bowl gig, where she might face dicey weather.

“I want to thank Rochester for preparing me for singing in the cold,” she said. Fleming is from Rochester, where her mother still teaches at the Eastman School of Music.

She added: “As we’re fond of saying, we Upstaters … ‘Oh, this is nothing.’”

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