Scrolling Headlines:

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

Regina Spektor a “Far” cry from a normal artist

Regina Spektor is flexible.  From writing style to influences, the singer-songwriter and pianist never ceases to surprise listeners with impressive displays of vocal acrobatics and a smile that lights up any stage.

The ever-grinning star is set to perform at Northampton’s Calvin Theater on Monday, Oct. 12 to spread some of her piano-pop cheer throughout the Pioneer Valley.

Opening the occasion is the fellow Brooklyn-based group Jupiter One.  The five-piece band is the sum of their wide array of influences, culminating into a synth-driven whole.  Much like Spektor, the band comes out of New York’s “anti-folk” movement and has recently stumbled upon media success with several of their songs being featured in EA video games.

Born in Moscow and raised in New York, Spektor had the advantage of a diverse musical upbringing. With a music professor for a mother and a father who dabbled in violin, her childhood was constantly full of sound. 

Young Spektor was just as much influenced by Ella Fitzgerald and the Beatles as she was classical and Jewish music.

Her first collection of songs, “11:11” was self-released in 2001.  She remained rather unknown outside of Brooklyn for several years, self-releasing another album aptly titled “Songs” in 2002.

Spektor’s third studio album, “Soviet Kitsch” gained quite a bit of momentum for the songstress.  “Us,” one of the more popular tracks, was featured on several commercials and “Somedays” on “CSI: NY.”

In 2006, Spektor released “Begin to Hope,” and her career took a turn for the best.  With the début of the single “Fidelity,” she was no longer an indie darling but a widespread phenomenon. 

“Fidelity” is a tasteful combination of highly melodic piano pop and lyric sensibilities, with Spektor bending her voice to make beautiful intricacies of the simplest words.

The songwriter released the piano driven “Far” earlier this year.  Drawing from both “Soviet Kitsch” and “Begin to Hope,” her latest effort  combines the usual quirky characters and classical influence.

Tracks like “Eet” and “Dance Anthem of the 80’s” exemplify her unusual vocal stylings, featuring Spektor’s take on beat boxing and highly original phrasings.  Her music makes a point of defying genre classification.

Spektor is often associated with the “anti-folk” movement, which embraces a number of styles and artists, all of which verge on the experimental side and draw heavily from the 60s folk movement. 

Some of the more notable artists under this blanket include Devendra Banhart, Kimya Dawson and Dufus, one of Spektor’s favorite live acts. 

Still, Spektor refuses to pigeonhole her music. “I have this fear of getting stuck and doing the same thing over and over again I’m always trying to push the dexterity thing,” said the siren in an interview with WomanRock Magazine.

That being said, the artist makes a point to diversify the subjects of her songs as well. With Spektor, every song is a story. 

In reference to her writing style, she reveals that, “I relate it much more to short stories or little cinema pieces and making up characters rather than songs.”

Spektor’s music even has a conscience.  In 2007, she participated in “Instant Karma,” a compilation of covers by modern artists that went to benefit Darfur.  She also took part in “Songs For Tibet” to support the rights of Tibetan citizens.

Spektor’s songs are instantly recognizable with their classical flare and warm vocals.  Whether she is performing as a heart-wrenching songstress or a whimsical teller of tales, Spektor is always serious about her love of music.   

Calvin Theater is the perfect environment for Spektor to spread her wings and show off some new tunes.

Regina Spektor will be performing at Calvin Theater in Northampton at 8.pm.  Tickets range for $28.50 to $38.50.

Angela Stasiowski can be reached at astasiow@student.umass.edu.

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