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The moon looked full Wednesday night, and Kleinhans Music Hall was brimming with nervous energy.It was the gala opening of the season, and Yo-Yo Ma was in the house. The concert, conducted by Music Director JoAnn Falletta, packed the place to the rafters. From the start, there was a sense of suspense. And the evening delivered.There is something affecting about Yo-Yo Ma. E…

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If you ever wonder what Robby Takac did with his Goo Goo Dolls royalties, you needn’t look far for your answer. You can see the tangible results right here in Buffalo.There’s GCR Studios, in the building that once housed Trackmaster Studios, where a young Takac cut his teeth learning the language of studio recording well before he was part of a platinum rock band. GCR is a…

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If you ever wonder what Robby Takac did with his Goo Goo Dolls royalties, you needn’t look far for your answer. You can see the tangible results right here in Buffalo.There’s GCR Studios, in the building that once housed Trackmaster Studios, where a young Takac cut his teeth learning the language of studio recording well before he was part of a platinum rock band. GCR is a…

There’s a scene from an episode of the beloved TV sitcom “The Office” in which the petulant, irascible Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is deeply bummed out about something or other, storms out of the workplace to the parking lot, hops in his car, rolls down the window and cranks R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts.”The Jim character runs to the car window in an attempt to talk Dwight …

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s first concert this fall, which takes place Wednesday at Kleinhans Music Hall, hints at an unusual season ahead.It’s rare to have a midweek opening gala. Adding to the novelty, the guest artist, superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, is joining the BPO and Music Director JoAnn Falletta not for a tried-and-true crowd favorite, but a contemporary pie…

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FolkBob Dylan, “Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10” (Columbia/Legacy, two discs). It tells us an awful lot about Bob Dylan that his “Bootleg Series” releases are often much stronger, more cogent, and more coherent than the original albums he culled their raw materials from. The latest in the series, “Another Self Portrait (1969-1971),” is the 10t…

This past Friday night as I left the Kavinoky Theatre, I checked to see if the doors were still intact. They were, but just barely.I should explain. “The Big Band Theory: When Swing Was King,” Jim Runfola’s paean to the Swing Era, those golden years in America and around the globe, had just finished reinventing Count Basie’s famous arrangement of “April in Paris.” The audi…

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A lot has changed for Aaron Carter since beginning his performance career as a pop music-focused 7-year-old in 1994. He found platinum success with a trio of Disney-approved albums. He became a reality television star (“House of Carters”), dancing star (“Dancing With The Stars”) and Broadway star (“The Fantasticks”). And, in between, he became old enough to legally drive a…

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Scott Freilich stood outside his attic workshop Friday and ran his fingers along a vintage Magnatone lap steel guitar.Unlike most of its kind, it doesn’t have tuners (you have to use a wrench) and it’s built into an adjustable stand, which is itself built into an amp.“It’s stuff like that, that’s my reason for continuing in this business,” he said. “I find stuff I’ve never…

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WASHINGTON – Carlos Santana, the Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter who pioneered the genre of Latin-infused rock, and Billy Joel, the New York-bred piano man who became one of the best-selling musicians of all time, are among the five artists to receive the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.The honorees, announced Thursday by the Kennedy Center, also include opera singer …

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RockNine Inch NailsHesitation Marks[Columbia Records]2½ stars“Hesitation Marks” is Nine Inch Nails’ first album in five years. In that time, Reznor, the group’s founder and sole recurrent member, has focused on film scores with collaborator Atticus Ross (“The Social Network,” “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) and his How to Destroy Angels project with Ross, Rob Sheridan a…

Can you really have a comeback tour when you’re only 25? If you started performing when you were 7, then yes you can.Singer Aaron Carter first sang with the band Dead End at age 7. By age 10, he had made his first solo appearance on quite a large scale – opening for his brother Nick’s band, the Backstreet Boys. He quickly released his self-titled debut disc and then went o…

Randy Houser. 1:30 p.m. Sept. 28, part of the UB Tailgate Concert Series. UB Stadium parking lot, North Campus, Amherst. Free.Pablo Francisco. 8 p.m. Oct. 3, 6:30 and 10 p.m. Oct. 4 and 5. Helium Comedy Club, 30 Mississippi St. 853-1211. www.heliumcomedy.com. $20-$25.Kool & the Gang. 1:30 p.m. Oct. 5, part of the UB Tailgate Concert Series. UB Stadium parking lot, North Ca…

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Classics season is starting Wednesday with a gala concert featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma. JoAnn Falletta is conducting, the tickets are going fast, and it seems as if the season is getting off to a promising start. Yo-Yo Ma is playing “Azul,” written for him by Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov. It was commissioned by the Boston Symphony…

At precisely five minutes to set time, an official Rascal Flatts countdown clock appeared on two screens at either side of the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center stage. Previously, song requests and pitches for moving up to the front of the stage streamed live and large on the screens. It was social media sharing at its best. The superstar country-western trio Rascal Flat…