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A decade later: A conversation with Aly & AJ

06/07/18 4:47pm | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Aly & AJ is still the sister-powered pop rock group from the golden age of Disney, but Aly and AJ Michalka are no longer under anyone’s creative control.

They make their own decisions.

Last year marked an entire decade since the duo’s last album, “Insomniatic,” an appropriate time for Aly & AJ to release their first independent project “Ten Years.”


The Grapevine

10/19/17 11:28am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

The weekend before “Hallo-weekend” can be pretty lame. Nobody’s dressing up, nobody’s handing out free snacks and worst of all, nobody’s playing “Monster Mash” all night at their headache-provoking basement party.

But who needs “Monster Mash” when you can listen to other songs for an hour and a half?


'Bob Dylan was not booed'

10/16/17 11:20am | By BRENTON BLANCHET

It’s hard to dismiss a 52-year-old story but Professor Bruce Jackson isn’t afraid to try.

When Bob Dylan played his first-ever electric set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, legend insists that the crowd booed him.

Dylan’s decision to go electric infuriated the crowd, according to this popular belief.


Research, rehearse and rock

10/12/17 11:29am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Bobby MacDonell attended a narcotics anonymous meeting.

The performer didn’t need help with an addiction; he went to prepare for the lead role in an upcoming musical.

MacDonell, a senior music theater major, is working hard to develop his characterization for the UB Theatre and Dance production of Green Day’s “American Idiot”musical.


Bill Murray enters new territory with 'New Worlds'

10/12/17 11:15am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

It's never “Groundhog Day” for actor and comedian Bill Murray.

When the legendary 67-year-old actor wakes up every day, he’s always doing something different.

He’s starred in films of different genres and worked with many types of creatives, so it was no surprise when he explored new territory at Kleinhans Music Hall Wednesday.


Coates’ 'We Were Eight Years in Power' examines Obama presidency, his own writing

10/12/17 1:41am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

Author Ta-Nehisi Coates draws parallels between the end of the Reconstruction era and the Obama administration right off the bat.

“We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” begins when Coates quotes South Carolina congressman Thomas Miller and his 1895 address to S.C.’s constitutional convention.

“We were eight years in power. ... We had reconstructed the State and placed it upon the road to prosperity,” Miller said.


Kelela forms a sonic forestry of breakups, makeups on “Take Me Apart”

10/12/17 1:33am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

Forward-thinking dance music is a hard sound to achieve, especially for a 34-year-old singer who has yet to peak.

Kelela’s debut full-length project, “Take Me Apart,” makes the task look effortless.

The album pushes heavy futurism in the form of R&B. It’s the first big-time record since the singer’s mixtape “Cut 4 Me” in 2013. Four years later, she takes her past work’s basic elements and builds them up to skyscraper heights.


Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Marcus Yam returns to UB

10/08/17 11:56pm | By ALEX MOSKOWITZ , WANLY CHEN

Yam presented his collections in the Student Union Theater on Friday. His collection featured photos of California wildfires, mass shootings in America and the battles between the Iraqi forces and Islamic state. His work led him to win numerous awards, including an Emmy and two Pulitzer Prize-winning articles for breaking news reporting.


Best small art galleries in Buffalo

10/06/17 10:16am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

The Buffalo art scene is no joke. Galleries like the Albright-Knox and Burchfield-Penney host some of the best international and national artists around.

But there are smaller galleries in the city that are just as noteworthy as their large-scale counterparts.


If the kazoo fits

09/21/17 10:52am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

There’s a local buzz surrounding an American-made wind instrument.

In nearby Eden, New York, that buzz is heard from a kazoo.

The Original Kazoo Company, established over a century ago, is deeply engrained within history, and it shows through its museum, gift shop and currently operational factory.


“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” inspirits Buffalo

09/19/17 10:41am | By BENJAMIN BLANCHET

Over 300 attendees took to Shea’s 710 Theatre on Thursday for the opening performance of “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.” The play, which completed its Buffalo run on Sunday, delighted audience members with the fluctuating, entertaining relationship of widow Lily Harrison (Loretta Swit) and dance instructor Michael Minetti (David Engel).