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‘Endless’ journey of perfection for Frank Ocean

04/17/18 11:47pm | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

The word "perfection" is corny. Nothing is truly perfect – especially art. Everything comes with its faults.

I tried to find fault with the recently-surfaced CD-quality version of Frank Ocean’s “Endless.” I listened from a critic’s perspective several times over. I removed my personal feelings for Ocean’s craft and just listened as if it meant nothing to me. And I’ve come to a conclusion.


The Weeknd gives R&B the time of day again

04/05/18 5:55pm | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Album: “My Dear Melancholy,”

Artist: The Weeknd

Label: XO

Release Date: March 30

Grade: A-

When The Weeknd rose to underground fame in 2010, much of his appeal revolved around mystery.

The singer, also known as legal name Abel Tesfaye, uploaded to tracks to YouTube under his stage name, absent of any information about his identity.


The grapevine

04/05/18 3:15am | By BRIAN EVANS

With winter weather sticking around through April, stepping out can be difficult.

As we approach the end of the semester and finals, The Spectrum compiled a list of events and shows across campus and throughout Buffalo to get you out and moving this April.

The Zodiaque Dance Company Spring Program

Thursday, April 5 - Sunday, April 8

In its 44th season, the Zodiaque Dance Company will take the stage at the Center for the Arts April 5 through April 8.


From 'SNL' to Broadway: A conversation with Colin Quinn

04/05/18 3:07am | By BRIAN EVANS

Behind and in front of the camera, Colin Quinn finds resonance in all forms of comedy.

Whether it’s starring in one-man shows on Broadway directed by friend and fellow comic Jerry Seinfeld or his tenure as a writer for “Saturday Night Live,” the comedian brings experience and influence that have helped span a 30-year career.

Quinn spoke with The Spectrum about his “One in Every Crowd” stand-up tour, experiences working the comedy circuit and his upcoming shows at Buffalo’s Helium Comedy Club on April 26-28.


Funches brings the punchlines

03/31/18 11:09am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

When Ron Funches hit the Center for the Arts stage Friday night, it only took him a few moments to make the crowd erupt with laughter.

The comedian claimed he thought the movie “Hidden Figures” was based off his love for women in winter coats, yet he said he was disappointed when he found out it was “just a bunch of b----s doing math.”

The punchline caused the largest laughter of the Student Association’s 2018 Comedy Series, with one audience member laughing for an entire minute.

The 6 p.m.


Q&A with SNL writer Anna Drezen

03/31/18 10:47am | By HARUKA KOSUGI

SNL writer Anna Drezen appreciates being called “funny,” but the former blogger turned SNL writer deserves distinction.

Drezen started the blog “How May We Hate You?” about her time as a hotel concierge and leveraged its success into a book and television sitcom pilot in development by ABC. She writes for popular television show “Saturday Night Live” and is the editor-at-large for the satirical feminist website, Reductress.


A change of seasons: The Spectrum’s March Playlist

03/16/18 2:31pm | By BRIAN EVANS

While the cold weather may not want to let up, spring is on the horizon. With warmer weather comes a change of pace in every facet, from clothing to daily routines. Music is no different.

For the transition into spring, the editors at The Spectrum picked their favorite tracks for the change of climate.


'Weird Al' gets original at CFA

03/15/18 2:35am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

After a night of deep cuts and non-singles, “Weird Al” Yankovic gave the Center for the Arts a taste of what makes him so weird.

When Yankovic’s band opened its stripped-down version of “Eat It,” the audience didn’t make too much noise.


Buffalo artists bring Nina Simone’s music to life

03/13/18 5:40pm | By TANNER MCGOWN

An intense performance of “Strange Fruit” filled Albright-Knox with a sense of poignancy on Thursday night, as Drea d'Nur and Roostock Republic made Nina Simone’s music feel just as relevant as Simone herself did in the 1960s.

The musicians collaborated on March 8 at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for the premiere of d'Nur and Juliette Jones’ latest production “Dear Nina: a Sonic Love Letter to Nina Simone”.

The performers covered some of Simone’s canonical works through vocals from d’Nur and a classically-trained six-piece string ensemble, Roostock Republic.


Spring Awakening blossoms at Shea's 710

03/12/18 1:00am | By MADDY FOWLER

MusicalFare’s “Spring Awakening” takes place in 19th-century Germany, but it tells a story that rings true for modern audiences.

The energetic rock musical about teen sexuality takes place in the repressive Victorian-era rural Germany and earned the Tony award for Best Musical in 2007.