The Oberlin Review

Electronic Musician and College junior Rachel Katz recently released her second EP.

On the Record with Rachel Katz, Electronic Musician

April 8, 2016

Rachel Katz, who makes music as Xuan Rong, is a junior Computer Science major from New York who released her second EP, Bushka, in March. Her first album, Myria, was released in May 2015. She has performed live at Sidewalk Café and Pianos in New York City. The Review sat down with Katz to discuss the inspirations behind her latest release, her involvement in the TIMARA program and the intersectionality between computer science and music production. Katz will perform live at Clubhaus on Saturd...

Performance artist and activist Tania Bruguera, who gave a lecture Wednesday at the Allen Memorial Art Museum.

On the Record with Tania Bruguera, activist and artist

April 1, 2016

Tania Bruguera is a political activist and performance artist hailing from Cuba. Her latest project, #YoTambienExijo (“I Also Demand”), involved the placement of a microphone in the middle of Revolution Square in Havana. The project, which is intended to give any interested person one minute of uncensored free speech on the microphone, is open to the public. Bruguera came to campus this week to speak on that project and on her concept “Political Timing Specific," a tool of self-explanation used to orie...

On the Record with Active Bird Community

Danny Evans, Arts Editor

February 26, 2016

Active Bird Community formed in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY — a quaint suburb outside New York City — when the band’s members were just 11 years old. Ten years later, the now New York City-based quartet is more active than ever. Its brainy, shoegaze-influenced take on indie rock has earned praise from publications like East of 8th, Cereal + Sounds, Showspark and IndieBeat. Active Bird Community performed at the ’Sco with fellow Hastings-on-Hudson indie-rockers Primate House last Friday, receiving a warm welcome from attendees. The show is one of many the band has played in support of its most recent release, I’ve Been Going Swimming, recorded at Salvation Recording Co. by Christopher Daly, who has also recorded cr...

Singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard, who played at the Cat in the Cream last Sunday

On the Record with Francesca Blanchard, Singer-Songwriter

February 12, 2016

French singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard has received praise from a number of publications, including Seven Days, for her signature brand of acoustic folk music, which incorporates influences of jazz and rock ’n’ roll. Fresh off her most recent LP, deux visions, released last October, Blanchard came to the Cat in the Cream for an intimate show backed by her current band. The Review sat down with Blanchard for a chat about writing lyrics in multiple languages, life as a touring musician and...

Feminist and activist Maria Miranda, who spoke at the Cat in the Cream Thursday

On the Record with Maria Miranda, Artist and Activist

February 5, 2016

Maria Miranda, a reproductive health activist from Cleveland, serves on the NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio board, works at an online reproductive health-oriented publication called RH Reality Check and has worked with other social justice organizations including Greater Cleveland Community Shares and Preterm. She has received numerous awards for her contributions to social activism. She has visited Oberlin twice before for reproductive health workshops and is one of three artist-activists who participated in ...

Singer-songwriter Kyle James Hauser, who performed in Fairchild Chapel Thursday, Nov. 12.

On the Record with Kyle James Hauser, Singer-Songwriter

November 20, 2015

Kyle James Hauser is a singer-songwriter, banjoist and guitarist currently based in Louisville, KY. Hauser studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music and has performed at such notable events as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, CMJ Festival in New York and the Toronto International Film Festival. Hauser’s recently-composed ballet, A Well Worn Path, follows up his two solo albums, 2012’s Oh Oh and 2014’s You a Thousand Times. Hauser visited Oberlin last Thursday to lead a songwriting workshop...

Jessica Hopper, music critic and a senior editor at Pitchfork, who gave a talk about her book The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic at the Cat in the Cream Thursday, Nov. 5.

On the Record with Jessica Hopper, Music Critic and Author

November 13, 2015

Jessica Hopper is a senior editor at Pitchfork, a featured writer in Best Music Writing 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011 and a writer at the online magazine Rookie. She inspired music fans at the Cat in the Cream on Thursday, Nov. 5 with a talk on her book, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic. The Review spoke with Hopper about musical elitism, women in the music industry and the dangers of self-doubt. In the beginning of your book, you include this beautiful introduction ab...

Jon Fine, OC ’89, guitarist and author of Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear), who came to Oberlin for a question and answer session Wednesday.

On the Record with Jon Fine, OC ’89, Guitarist and Author

November 6, 2015

Jon Fine, OC ’89, released his memoir, Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear) last May to rave reviews. The book explores the rise and fall of the boundarypushing, genre-defining indie rock scene he helped establish during his time with bands like Don Caballero and Bitch Magnet, which formed at Oberlin during Fine’s first year. This past Wednesday at the ’Sco, Professor of Sociology Rick Baldoz hosted a question and answer session with Fine, w...

Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Art and TIMARA Chair Peter Swendsen, who discussed his soundscape compositions last Tuesday.

On the Record with Peter Swendsen, assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts

October 9, 2015

Peter Swendsen joined Oberlin’s TIMARA faculty in 2007 as assistant professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts. Last year he released an album titled Allusions to Seasons and Weather, in which he captured his experiences in Norway almost 10 years ago. Currently serving as the chair of the TIMARA department, Swendsen gave a talk this past Tuesday about his soundscape compositions in relation to the field of ecoacoustics. You released your album Allusions to Seasons and Weather a year ago around...

Jinjoo Cho, new teacher of violin. Cho has strong ties to the Cleveland music scene as a performer and educator.

On the Record with Jinjoo Cho, new teacher of Violin

September 4, 2015

Jinjoo Cho, a violinist from Seoul, South Korea, is joining the Oberlin Conservatory faculty this fall. At age 26, she was the winner of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis after previous successes at the Aspen Music Festival and the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition. She has played with artists including Kent Nagano, Michael Stern, Yoel Levi and James Gaffigan, as well as numerous orchestras. Cho is also known for her community and outreach work and her engageme...

Steve Coleman, a renowned saxophonist and improvisational composer, who played at the ’Sco and gave a master class on Wednesday

On the Record with Steve Coleman, saxophonist and composer

May 8, 2015

Steve Coleman is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader from Chicago’s South Side. Coleman’s complex style, which emphasizes polyrhythmic meter and unorthodox tonalities, falls outside the realm of categorization. The Review spoke to Coleman on the phone just before his show at the ’Sco Tuesday night about everything from playing in Cecil Taylor’s big band to parallels between music and language. How did you develop your personal sound? Who are your early musical influences? My early m...

On the Record with Tom Knific, Jazz Bassist

April 24, 2015

Tom Knific is a bassist, composer and professor of double bass and jazz guitar at Western Michigan University. His four albums, Home Bass, Siena, Lines of Influence and The Muse, have all received critical acclaim. Knific visited Oberlin last week to teach a masterclass and perform alongside the Performance and Improvisation Ensemble at the Cat in the Cream. The Review sat down with Knific to talk about his passion for jazz, as well as some of the projects he’s worked on. What brings you to Ober...

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