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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.


'This ain’t no Mudd Club or C.B.G.B.': David Byrne plays at the CFA

03/07/18 1:44pm | By DAN MCKEON

After taking their bows following a lively performance of the Talking Heads’ “The Great Curve,” David Byrne and his backing musicians headed back on stage for one last number: Janelle Monáe’s 2015 protest song “Hell You Talmbout.”

The song lists the names of African-American men and women killed in acts of racial violence and was a powerfully stark and unexpected ending to a night that covered Byrne’s over-40 year career.


Bass in yo’ face!

03/05/18 12:40am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

The world knew Casey Abrams was different when he stepped onto the “American Idol” Hollywood stage with an upright bass.

Through his journey on “American Idol” in 2011, Abrams came off as different and his journey through jazz and soul continues to separate him from his peers.


English department launches global film minor

03/01/18 4:20am | By EMA MAKAS

This fall, the English department launched a global film minor for students interested in the arts and cinema, following long-existent strides in the area of film studies. The minor is not exclusive to students in the department and opens doors to anyone interested in the interconnectedness of film and global issues.


Fowl play: Andrew Bird rocks the CFA


Andrew Bird did just about everything one can do with a violin on Saturday night. He bowed, strummed and plucked the strings, played it clean and distorted with pedals, and looped his own sound back to build on himself.

The genre-bending virtuoso made every note count.

Bird took the audience through the evolution of his music career that started when he was just four years old.


Showcasing and celebrating black excellence

02/26/18 2:09am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Saturday night’s Black Explosion was more than a fashion show; it was a celebration of art, culture and black excellence.

This year’s show, “Chateau Noir,” or Black Castle, was named in honor of the Black Student Union itself and the work it does, in commemoration of its 50th anniversary on campus.


Living in “F.E.A.R.”: a discussion with Marillion’s Steve Rothery

02/25/18 1:22pm | By BRIAN EVANS

After 18 studio albums, Marillion shows no signs of slowing down.

The band’s latest full-length offering “F.E.A.R.” is hailed by fans and critics as its best work in years, while also reaching number four on the UK album charts.

The Spectrum sat down with lead guitarist Steve Rothery to discuss the new album, its influences and the next steps for Marillion.


Melodies for days: Q&A with singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird

02/22/18 5:14am | By HANNAH STEIN

A glockenspiel, violin, guitar –– Andrew Bird plays them all.

Bird, a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter will perform at UB’s Center for the Arts on Saturday as part of his “Echolocations: River” national tour.

The Spectrum spoke with Bird before the concert about his latest album, “Echolocations: River” and his extensive music career that began when he was four-years-old. Bird has 14 albums and “Echolocations:River” is his second installment in his “Echolocation” series, where he takes inspiration from various landscapes.


February movie guide

02/19/18 1:31am | By DAVID TUNIS-GARCIA

February is traditionally known in the film industry as a dump month, the time in which studios take a steamy, hot, collective crap on the proverbial chest of theatergoers around the world.

With Oscar season in full swing and winter weather keeping people indoors, studios put out unmemorable dreck and the movies they secretly hope nobody will see with only a handful of exceptions.

Lay down the Seran wrap and avert your eyes, because this month is already prairie dogging.


Pushing boundaries: An interview with Lights

02/19/18 1:30am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

In an industry where some regulars don’t write their own songs, Lights can write her own comic book series.

The award-winning Canadian pop star is no stranger to venturing outside of the norm. Lights’ pure electronic pop sound has seen all four of her studio albums land on the Billboard 200. She’s won Juno Awards and pushed boundaries for what’s expected in the industry.


Highlighting what’s important

02/08/18 4:34am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Arthur De Araujo has improved on pen and paper with his most recent iOS application, Lecture Buddy.

The app translates the lecture into text by using a continuous speech recognition program. Students can enter keywords to look for in the text, such as “important,” “remember” or any word of choice.


Welcome back, Aaron.

02/05/18 12:27am | By BRENTON J. BLANCHET

Selling 10 million albums worldwide is an accomplishment not many can celebrate.

But at 15 years old, pop star Aaron Carter did just that. He had magazine spreads, concert films, his own doll and of course an unforgettable “Lizzie McGuire” appearance.

Carter, now 30, is making his way back into the music industry after a 15-year studio album hiatus. With the release of his upcoming record “Love,” Carter hopes to incorporate his new look and EDM sound into his comeback album.