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December movie guide

12/07/17 4:40am | By DAVID TUNIS-GARCIA

The holidays are a time to stay home and spend time with family and friends. It’s also a time to trek to the nearest movie theater and pay to sit in silence with a bunch of strangers for a few hours.

At first glance, December appears to be a light month for releases but a closer look reveals a few gems hidden among whatever dad-movie Steven Spielberg is putting out these days. Oh, and the biggest movie of the year.

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Free flow: Sade Cinco brings no restraints to the rap game

12/09/17 6:36pm | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

Oren Sadeh took the stage in front of a crowd of 800 people over the summer. It was his first time performing for a crowd.

The senior exercise science major and SoundCloud rapper wasn’t nervous. He barely broke a sweat.

Sadeh embraces spontaneity. His carefree attitude is reflected in his infectious hooks and carefree persona.

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Holiday blues: a playlist for coping with sadness around the holidays

12/08/17 3:54pm | By MADDY FOWLER

Memories of Christmas spent with the person I thought I would spend every holiday with for the rest of my life. A friend stolen away from me in her youth. The death of a grandmother who practically raised me. An aunt and godmother lost to early-onset Alzheimer’s. The ever-present absence of a father who didn’t know how to love me.

I carry this pain with me always, but the holidays bring it into sharp, unavoidable focus –– and I think the sadness I feel at this time of year is often exacerbated by the idea we’re supposed to be cheerful.

I know I am not the only one who struggles with feelings of sadness during the holiday season. So, I made this playlist to say it is OK to be sad at Christmas time. I hope these songs can help to soothe your holiday blues.

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A discussion with Snoh Aalegra

12/07/17 5:08am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Aalegra dropped her debut and second independent project “Feels” on Oct. 20. Her self-described “romantic soul record,” executively produced by Grammy-nominated producer No I.D., is already making waves.

Aalegra will open for rising R&B star Daniel Caesar from Dec. 16 through Dec. 20 at Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall. The soul singer spoke with The Spectrum about her upcoming shows, her debut album and her friendship with the late, great Prince.

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Underrated holiday hits

12/07/17 4:49am | By SPECTRUM EDITORIAL STAFF

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, unless your family insists on forcing “White Christmas” and “The Christmas Song” down your throat.

We at The Spectrum believe that holiday music is a sacred art that shouldn’t be soiled by repetition or unavoidable air-play. Here are our picks for the season’s best underrated classics.

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Archie Shepp looks back on rich past at UB

12/04/17 10:57am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

Jazz great Archie Shepp arrived at UB in 1969, with very few references for his ethnomusicology course.

The class, “Revolutionary Concepts in African-American Music,” marked the beginning of Shepp’s career in college education. Shepp, known for albums like “Four For Trane” and “Mama Too Tight,” taught a performance course and an ethnomusicology class at UB from 1969-1971.

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Q&A with Olivier Pasquet

11/30/17 3:13am | By EMA MAKAS

Pasquet is a world-renowned music producer, sound and visual artist. Pasquet recently arrived in Buffalo as a visiting artist part of UB’s Creative Arts Initiative. He’s making his return to the Queen City to work on a project for June in Buffalo, a festival that honors contemporary music and artists.

Pasquet talked to The Spectrum about his previous work, preparation for his current project and his personal inspirations in the arts.

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UB Choir and Chorus under new management

11/30/17 3:01am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

The UB choral program is under new direction for the first time in 20 years.

Claudia Brown, a clinical assistant professor of voice and choral music, began directing the program this semester after the previous director, Harold Rosenbaum, stepped down from the role. The program consists of UB Choir and UB Chorus and ­­explores a myriad of choral works both new and old, sharing their musical conversations in rehearsal and on-stage.

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Behind the keys: UB instructor George Caldwell's storybook career

11/30/17 2:56am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

Caldwell’s held numerous musical director roles for nationally touring plays and played with some of jazz music’s finest groups, including the Count Basie and Duke Ellington orchestras. He’s learned from jazz composers like Wendell Logan and Frank Foster.

The pianist plays stride music with a smile on his face, achieving tonal excellency and exquisite form. He’s completely engrossed in his performances, conveying an original style and striking keys with an effective groove.

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The Spectrum's November Playlist

11/16/17 2:07am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

October has passed, Halloween is over and just about everyone has created a playlist with multiple entries of “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

But we still have a month before it’s socially acceptable to get festive with Mariah’s five octave vocal range.

Instead of jumping on the holiday bandwagon, check out these fresh November-ready tracks.

N.E.R.D ft.

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The best of both worlds

11/16/17 2:01am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

The UB Concert Band, led by music department Professor and Director Jon Nelson, joined the Genkin Philharmonic for their annual fall performance at Slee Hall. The two groups came together to present “A Young Person’s Guide to the 20th Century.”

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Bill Maher offends and excites at Shea’s

11/13/17 7:34pm | By BRIAN EVANS

Comedians such as Tom Segura or Anthony Jeselnik are characterized as extremely dry comics. Bill Maher is often saddled with this description, but is in a category all his own.

The political personality and stand-up comedian provided theatergoers with an evening of controversial comedy at Shea’s on Sunday night. Maher discussed everything from sex to politics, showing that no topic was too off-color.

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“reputation” is Taylor Swift’s most intimate and lyrically stunning album to date

11/13/17 1:34pm | By MADDY FOWLER

The death of Taylor Swift’s reputation led to the birth of her most impressive artistry yet. 

Swift’s new album, “reputation,” draws you in immediately with the fast-paced and edgy “...Ready for It?” Swift declares on the song he “knew I was a robber / first time that he saw me, / stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry.” 

The lyric is a half tongue-in-cheek, sly jab at the tabloid media’s portrayal of Swift as boy crazy heartbreaker and half smugly self-aware. 

Rather than completely shirking the public’s perception of her, Swift displays a huge leap in maturity by acknowledging her flaws and mistakes.

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Toni Morrison delights during career review at Kleinhans

11/10/17 12:12pm | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

All the makings of a historic night were visible at Kleinhans on Thursday night.

Renowned author Toni Morrison took the stage in another installment of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s 2017-18 BABEL series. Morrison, speaking on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s address in the same venue, discussed her lengthy career and discussed each of her 11 well-read novels.

Before the main event, singer-songwriter Drea d’Nur opened the evening with a dose of soul. The artist played a deep ranging rendition of “A Change is Gonna Come” met with thunderous applause.

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A psychedelic smash comes to downtown Buffalo

11/09/17 9:18pm | By Chris Yang

Turkuaz had barely ran through their latest album “Digitonium,” three hours into their set.

The group ended the show with their hit song “The Generator.” Lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Brandwein thanked the crowd, signed off and the rest of the group followed off stage. The show ended without Turkuaz performing their most popular song, much to the crowd’s disappointment. Some clapped for the end but most hollered for an encore.

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A vintage soul: Q&A with Haley Reinhart

11/09/17 10:39am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

The ’60s haven’t ended yet, at least not until Haley Reinhart puts down the microphone.

The “American Idol” alum and Postmodern Jukebox singer just released her third studio album, “What’s That Sound?” on Sept. 22. The record is a classy and tasteful collection of cover songs and originals, all featuring Reinhart’s golden voice.

At 27 years old, Reinhart’s career is just beginning. “American Idol” gave her the tools for success in 2011, but Reinhart is embarking on her own journey to the past.

The singer discussed her musical adventure, new album and touring the world in an exclusive interview with The Spectrum.

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November movie guide

11/06/17 11:01am | By DAVID TUNIS-GARCIA

Well this one snuck up on me.

November holds two of this year’s biggest releases in the first two weeks, along with a few other curiosities to fill in the back end of the month.

Let’s dive right in because I can’t wait to talk about...

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