Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Live chat at noon: Miers on Music with The News' pop music critic

Start your weekend with GustoTV

This week's GustoTV features interviews with Jessica Wolfrum of River North Dance Chicago and Jeff Miers about starting times at local live music clubs.

Brooklyn indie rock outfit DIIV to play Tralf in April

DIIV's "Oshin" made many a critic's "best of" list last year. Now, the Brooklyn-born indie rock outfit has launched a tour that will include an April 26th stop at the Tralf Music Hall. Tickets go on sale Friday morning, through or at the Tralf Music Hall box office. Here's a little taste of the band. - Jeff Miers


New band Random Order plays progressive classics at Brunner's on Saturday

A new, young Western New York quartet has emerged in the form of Random Order. The group has dedicated itself to performing the most challenging works of progressive rock giants like King Crimson and Pink Floyd, as well as more recent prog fare from the likes of Porcupine Tree and Tool. The group performs at Brunners Tavern, 3989 Main St., on Saturday at 9 p.m. Here's the band offering up its version of the King Crimson classic "Red". - Jeff Miers

Jonathan Richman added to Waiting Room lineup

Buffalo's newest concert venue, the Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave.), welcomes Jonathan Richman  for a performance at 7 p.m. June 19.

Tickets are $16 advance, $19 day of show and go on sale at noon March 22 through, at the Town Ballroom box office (681 Main St.) and through the After Dark box office (630 Elmwood Ave.).

This is the newest concert announced for the Waiting Room, which opens April 1. Previously announced shows include: Polar Bear Club with !Outernational!, Anchor Me Down and Cedar Kites, April 1; The Slackers with B Side Bastards, Uncommonly Smooth and DJ Ruben of Culture Clash Soundstystem, April 4; Shane Sweeney (Two Cow Garage) and Todd May, April 11; a CD release show for Head North with Knockout Kid, Rescue Dawn, Casey Bolles, Lo & Behold and Friends U Cant Kill, April 12; and Andrew WK, April 15.

For the full lineup and more information, visit

Replay Critics' Corner with Miers & Dabkowski

Flogging Molly plays the Outer Harbor

Flogging Molly, joined by Lowest of the Low, will perform at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Outer Harbor Concert Site, 325 Fuhrmann Boulevard.

Tickets are $30 advance, $38 day of show and go on sale at noon March 22 through Ticketmaster, the Town Ballroom box office or charge by phone at (800) 745-3000.

For more information, visit

Thursday Theater Roundup

"Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy," through Sunday in Shea's Performing Arts Center. ★★★

From the review: "If you take offense to the use of the word 'sex' within 500 yards or so of the word 'nun,' 'Sister Act' is not the show for you. But take it from a lapsed Catholic who spent his share of time in the confessional: Seeing this show –prancing altar boys, pelvic-thrusting sisters and all – is likely to be worth whatever penance your priest can dream up." --Colin Dabkowski

Michael Blasdell, Luther Nelson, Maria Droz and Jimmy Janowski star in Buffalo United Artists "L'Imitation of Life."

"L'Imitation of Life," through April 6 in the Buffalo United Artists Theatre. ★★★★

From the review: "The latest Janowski-Warfield camp-tasia is perhaps the greatest achievement in the eye-roll-inducing, pun-laden, innuendo-ridden brand of camp that BUA and Janowski have been honing for much of the past two decades. I don’t think there was a two-second stretch during the entire production during which the sold-out opening night crowd did not sound like a particularly exasperated Hollywood laugh track." --Colin Dabkowski

Jacob Kahn and Arin Lee Dandes star in Theatre of Youth's "The Borrowers."

"The Borrowers," through March 24 in Theatre of Youth's Allendale Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: " 'The Borrowers' is a clever mix of action, love and loss, family and some fright. TOY’s audiences know an interesting story when they see and hear one and except for some talky moments here and there, causing a few cases of the fidgets, they were mostly rapt at a recent matinee. Director Meg Quinn’s technical crew -– the ingenious set designer Kenneth Shaw, sound and music creator Chet Popiolkowski, lighting designer John Rickus, puppeteer Adam Kreutinger -– deserve high honors for their wizardry. It even snowed once. Seems that there is no challenge too large for this inventive team." --Ted Hadley

James Ivey plays the title role in "Clarence Darrow" in the Manny Fried Playhouse.


"Clarence Darrow," through March 30 in the Subversive Theatre Collective's Manny Fried Playhouse. ★★★½

From the review: "The production, directed by Tom Loughlin, provides a breathless tour through Darrow’s life and landmark accomplishments. It ranges from Darrow’s stunning performances, perhaps the most notable of which is his widely re-enacted defense during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, to his troubled relationships with the unions whose members he worked tirelessly to defend." --Colin Dabkowski


Tod Benzin and Pamela Rose Mangus in Donna Hoke's new play "Seeds," running through Marc 24 in the Road Less Traveled Theatre. Photo by Charles Lewis / The Buffalo News.

"Seeds," through March 24 in Road Less Traveled Theatre. ★★★★

From the review: "Simply put, the instructional, observant and insightful “Seeds” is Hoke’s best work to date..." --Ted Hadley

The latest troubled orchestra


Michael Tilson Thomas, former music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, is finding the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the continent. Thomas has for a long time been the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. And the San Francisco Symphony is up to his neck in labor problems.

The orchestra had to go so far as to cancel its concerts at Carnegie Hall. The concerts were supposed to take place today and tomorrow, and were to feature the celebrated pianist Yuja Wang. Also canceled were concerts at the Kennedy Center and the New Jersey Center for the Performing Arts.

What a mess!

With luck the orchestra's problems will be worked out soon.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


A singer's professional suicide

ShockedI am fascinated by the situation involving Michelle Shocked, who appears to have committed professional suicide. I mean, she seems to have completely torched her career.

Apparently she was giving a show on Sunday night at Yoshi's, in San Francisco, when she came out with a speech about how if Proposition 8 is overturned ... wait, let me quote her directly because there is already too much second-hand quoting going on. According to the Guardian in England -- Shocked has, or had, a lot of fans there -- she said: "When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilisation, and Jesus will come back."

She said this in San Francisco, of all cities! Well, in Oakland. I have been at Yoshi's. I saw Dizzy Gillespie there, a wonderful night of music. I also have been a Michelle Shocked fan at certain times in my life. I like  "Arkansas Traveler" -- that picture at left is from that album -- and I was happy to notice her signature on the ceiling of Nietzsche's.

Shocked became a born-again Christian 20 years ago, and the word has been out about that. This review of a show she gave at the Tralf years ago suggests that she has always been kind of a loose cannon. Still she had never dropped a bomb like this. She is no right-winger either. She was arrested while participating in Occupy Los Angeles, she toured with Lilith Fair and she hated George W. Bush, everything you would expect from an artist the Guardian calls "an alternative-music icon." 

Anyway. Whatever you think of Proposition 8, this is a great human drama. Shocked emerged after intermission appearing to be nervous and agitated. That is how you would behave if you had resolved, say, to throw yourself off a bridge. She knew the reaction was not going to be good. But she had just promised herself she would do this. She faced her audience and she did it.

Continue reading "A singer's professional suicide" »

« Older Entries Newer Entries »