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Jeff Miers: Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes butchers Pearl Jam on Fallon

Ugh. Night two of "Pearl Jam Week" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon didn't come close to night one's Chris Cornell/Avett Bros. performance, which was great. This - Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes singing PJ's "Corduroy" - is... limp. Singing these lyrics from disaffected hipster stance = epic fail. "Corduroy" in its Pearl Jam form is a song asserting individuality against the forces of commodification and homogenization. Pecknold sings it like it's a tune about having a mild toothache, or something. Lame lame lame. Let's hope tonight's edition, which finds PJ guitarist Mike McReady joined by Dierks Bentley and the Roots, livens things up a bit! (Remember, the real thing arrives for Thursday and Friday's shows.)  - Jeff Miers

A closer look: 'Color Segregation' by Robin Zefers Clark


Artist: Robin Zefers Clark // Title: 'Color Segregation' // Kenan Center, Lockport // Through Nov. 17

This painting, a tribute from watercolorist Robin Zefers Clark on view in the annual fall show of the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society in Lockport's Kenan Center, has a beautiful back story. It emerged this spring, when Clark reuinted with a childhood friend and fellow painter Brenda Morley after 50 years apart. The two painters brought their easels out to a field in West Valley, where their grandfathers also once painted side by side, and set about making their own plein air paintings.

In the process, something about Morley's palette of pastels caught Clark's eye. She took a picture of it and later used that photograph to produce a large-scale watercolor employing only three colors -- cadmium yellow, Prussian blue and alizaran crimson. "I feel that mixing the colors from such a severely limited palette gives the painting a cohesiveness," she said. Since's Clark's husband died in 1996, she added, she hides his initials in every painting. Try to see if you can locate them.

Clark's full narrative about the painting is posted after the jump.

--Colin Dabkowski

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Ian DeBeer and Max Collins collaborate on new mural

Earlier today, I caught up with Ian DeBeer and Max Collins, two of Buffalo's more active and visible street artists, to talk about a new collaborative piece they unveiled over the weekend. The work, sure to provoke strong reactions from the local art and graffiti communities as well as neighborhood residents, features a gargantuan DeBeer dressed in a Keith Haring jacket and scrawling his infamous tag "HERT" -- one of the city's most visible and widely despised tags -- across the side of a building at Elmwood Avenue and Breckenridge Street.

There's a whole lot going on in this piece. It comes across immdiately as an attempt by DeBeer, who not so long ago was released form prison after serving time for graffiti-related offenses, to declare his official arrival on Buffalo's art scene proper while simultaneously embracing his past as a tagger hated at home and celebrated by his national peers.

After completing a controversial mural dedicated to the comics artist Spain Rodriguez in Allentown earlier this year, DeBeer is out to prove he's legit. And he's borrowing some of that legitimacy from Collins, whose above-board commissions have been widely praised around the city. In turn, Collins gets to take a hit off of DeBeer's still-smoldering street cred, so it's a symbiosis that makes sense. And all of that is sure to encourage some, let's say, disparate opinions. In fact it seems explicitly designed to do just that.

Share your thoughts about the new piece and what the artists had to say about it in the comments.

--Colin Dabkowski

Video: 'The Front Yard' lights up Burchfield Penney Art Center

Don Metz, associate director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, says "The Front Yard" installation is an opportunity for the center to provide space and resources for artists.

Doc Severinsen blasts attorney's book on Johnny Carson


By Mary Kunz Goldman

Doc Severinsen, with his flashy suits and mighty trumpet blasts, has never been shy. The longtime bandleader on "The Tonight Show" is on his way to Buffalo -- and on the way, he paused for some honest talk about the new book on Johnny Carson by Carson's longtime attorney, Henry Bushkin. The book, widely described as a hatchet job, has caused a firestorm in the entertainment world.

“I know Henry Bushkin and I knew Johnny Carson,” the maestro said on the phone, choosing his words carefully. “And the idea that anybody would ask any single person to write a book about Johnny Carson and have it be Bushkin is beyond disgusting.”

Severinsen, still fit and handsome at 86, was speaking from a hotel in what he said was "some town in North Carolina." He is currently touring with his big band and winning rave reviews. ("Doc Severinsen Blows Out Auditorium," ran one recent headline, in Burlington, Iowa.)

He and the band are headed for Buffalo. Next Friday morning and Oct. 26, they will be joining the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans Music Hall for a show called "Solid Gold Doc."

“Johnny will figure to some extent to this show,” said Severinsen, who was the BPO's principal pops conductor from 1992 until 1999. “How could he not? You think for one minute I would do concerts any place – that I would be coming to Buffalo to conduct your beautiful symphony orchestra, if it weren’t for Johnny Carson? I’d be in a home somewhere.”

He pointed out that Bushkin left Carson's employ under a cloud. 

"I didn’t have any personal problems with him except it seems that he was released from Johnny's employ over a matter to do with some questionable behavior," he said. "There may have been an agreement, something like 'Sign this paper and go away.' I have no business going beyond that."

Severinsen went on to reflect: "I feel he might be desperate for money or something, or someone said to him, 'Did you work with Carson? You did? Why don't you write about it in a book?' That says it all."

Live chat at noon: Miers on Music

Thursday Theater Roundup

The Thursday Theater Roundup features currently running shows that received three or more stars from our reviewers. Here is this week's pick:

"The Kathy and Mo Show: Parallel Lives / The Dark Side," through Oct. 20 at O'Connell and Company. ★★★½

Pamela Rose Mangus and Mary Kate O'Connell star in "The Kathy and Mo Show."

Free BPO tickets for furloughed employees and veterans

By Mary Kunz Goldman

When the going gets tough... the tough turn to Mozart!

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is offering free tickets to this weekend's Classics concert to furloughed federal employees, veterans and military families.

Even if a deal is struck by this weekend to end the partial government shutdown, the BPO says, the offer still stands.

This weekend's concert features clarinetist Ricardo Morales playing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto -- the first time, the BPO points out, that the Clarinet Concerto has been played in Kleinhans Music Hall for 20 years. That is Morales in the video up above, performing the concerto in Venezuela. Music by Bartok and Ravel is also on this weekend's program.

The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Those qualified may present their federal employee, military or veteran IDs at the box office to claim a pair of free tickets. Seating is limited and reservations are suggested. Call 885-5000, stop by the box office of Kleinhans Music Hall, or just come to the hall the day of the concert. As at any concert, seating is based on availability.

For info on BPO events, call 885-5000.


Cheap Trick, Vanessa Williams to perform at Seneca Casinos over New Year's Eve weekend

(Vanessa Williams)

Cheap trick 1
(Cheap Trick: L to R, Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Dax Nielsen)

Event promnoters at the Seneca Casinos announced their lineup for New Year's Eve weekend today. Vanessa Williams takes over the Events Center at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls on Saturday, December 28th at 8 p.m.; and on Sunday, December 29th, Cheap Trick will perform a special early enagagement beginning at 5 p.m., at the Seneca Allegany Events Center in Salamanca.

Tickets for Vanessa Williams start at $60, and go on sale Friday at noon through Ticketmaster. Tickets for Cheap Trcik start at $30, and are on sale now, also through Ticketmaster. 

- Jeff Miers 

The Cult to play 'Electric' in entirety at Town Ballroom


(Ian Astbury of the Cult.)

Revered English alt-rock band the Cult will perform its classic "Electric" album in its entirety at the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St., on Thursday, December 12th, event promoters announced on Tuesday. Tickets for the all-ages show are priced $32 advance, and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. through, or at the Town Ballroom box office.

- Jeff Miers 

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