Author: Christopher Treacy

Christopher Treacy

Christopher John Treacy has been an ongoing contributor to The Public since the paper's beginnings and was the voice behind the celebrated column, 'The Grumpy Ghey' as well as the Editor in Chief of Loop magazine's newsprint edition. A Buffalo transplant from Boston (by way of a two year layover in Austin), he was formerly the lead music critic at the Boston Herald and has written for alt-weekly newspapers throughout the country. Now a Buffalo resident for over six years, he spends much of his time hoarding vinyl LPs and devising ways to survive that don't involve suits or cubicles. Wish him luck, he always needs it.

It’s been an uncertain time for Ann and Nancy Wilson regarding the fate of their band Heart, which is touring again this summer after a hiatus stemming from an unfortunate family dispute (details here). Two summers might not seem like a long break for a rock outfit that’s been around for 45 years, but Heart fans were left wondering if the Wilsons’ musical partnership could survive the rift. Since then, Ann Wilson has toured solo for the first time (The Ann Wilson Thing), performing a smorgasbord of cherry-picked covers that also resulted in an album, ‘Immortal,’ which dropped last year.…

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Looking back, it seems like Linda Ronstadt was the first artist associated with the singer-songwriter movement to get in front of an orchestra, and she certainly had the pipes to carry it off. Since then, it’s become something of an industry rite of passage for singers and songwriters to adapt their voices to fronting orchestras and string ensembles. Naturally, the results vary. When Joni Mitchell did it, she spoke about the great power of having that ‘big band’ behind her, and it gave her a chance to show off a sexy, elder husk that’d developed in her alto. For Sarah…

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On the surface, it seems pretty straightforward: it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. In that light, this summer is a perfect time to reflect on all the challenges overcome by LGBTQIA+ folks in the years since — and there’s no shortage of them. But while the symbolism of ‘Stonewall’ is undeniable and remains a hugely significant milestone in the collective fight for freedom of sexual identity, the story is actually much more complicated than that one much-heralded uprising. And that’s especially true in smaller, less metropolitan cities like Buffalo. In response to those ideas, The Buffalo-Niagara History Project…

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But by the mid-1980’s, McDonald had become a pop star thanks to songs like “Sweet Freedom,” “Yah Mo B There” and “I Keep Forgettin’.” He was a sought after session singer, and for a time it seemed like he was everywhere, crooning on records by Christopher Cross, Kenny Loggins, Aretha Franklin… even Joni Mitchell sang a duet with him. Comedian Rick Moranis poked fun at his seeming musical ever-presence in an amusing SCTV skit. It was a far cry from his first taste of major success with the more album-oriented bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers. Five Grammy awards…

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Seven years ago when John Venezia huddled together with three longtime friends to launch the first East Aurora Music Festival, his partners were leery… but not for long. Venezia’s hope was merely to break even that first year, yet they ended up with $19,000 in profit. Thing is, none of the founders were looking to bank any money. The intention was always to fundraise for charity. “The idea got started from a conversation I’d had with a coworker about the Hamburg Music Festival, which is a charity-based not-for-profit, just like us,” Venezia recalled over the phone earlier this week, immediately…

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The annual celebration of Pride has evolved substantially over the years, from a march to a parade, from a weekend to a weeklong roster of activities. In many cities, Pride now encompasses the entire month of June. The barrage of events can be overwhelming, and there’s a temptation to forgo the entire shebang rather than taking the time to focus on one or two things to attend. That said, a lot of effort goes into planning for Pride, and it’s a great time of year for relevant communities (and supporters) to remind themselves of how far they’ve come. In the…

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It’s difficult to summarize what my first Pride Parade meant to me without any context, so here are some snapshots of what came before. As I near the age of 50, I can’t say I love every little thing about the annual LGBTQ+ celebration, but I think it’s very important for folks — particularly young folks — running low on hope. There’s really no arguing with the safety and strength experienced in numbers. All it takes is one affirming experience to turn it all around. That’s why we celebrate. “Brian wants to take me to California.” I stood behind my…

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The Scottish-born singer-songwriter reached an impasse with her music career after releasing the mournful-but-gorgeous Invisible Empire//Crescent Moon in 2013. Recorded with Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb at Wavelab Studios in Tucson and released on Blue Note, Tunstall had strayed mighty far from the thoughtful pop that characterized her 2004 multi-platinum selling debut, Eye to the Telescope. It’s biggest single “Black Horse and Cherry Tree” is permanently etched on mass consciousness thanks to a ton of radio airplay, and its other big single, “Suddenly I See,” got memorable placement in the film, The Devil Wears Prada. Now, five years since her desert…

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Finding the sweet spot between innovation and preservation can be challenging. But the reality is that a city cannot grow to accommodate new residents (and their cultural interests) without finding ways to make room. New living spaces, new businesses and, yes, new parking structures need to be introduced in order to keep the momentum going. As one reader pointed out this week, “planning for cars” seems counterintuitive to environmental concerns. But as another responded, not planning for them isn’t grounded in reality. It’s healthy to dream about positive, environmentally-minded changes to urban landscapes – and Buffalo is working on becoming…

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We are nothing if not a diverse community of free-thinkers, and our weekly content is meant to represent that fact. Backing up a few for a macro-view of the Buffalo Rising posts from any given week, we see a city in transition — something we wholeheartedly celebrate as a local media presence for 20+ years. In other words, the one thing that remains constant about our content is that Buffalo is ever-changing. Sometimes the story ends up being less about a post itself and more about the opinions of readers, who often help us illuminate the devilish details with their…

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