The Oberlin Review

On the Record: The Mysterious Daniel Johnston

Beatrice Rothbaum, Editor-In-Chief

April 15, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music, On the Record

There are a lot of compilations of your work, like the Story of An Artist box set that was released last year. Are you still fond of your earlier recordings? I don’t really listen to it that much, but when I’m with friends sometimes and they put it on, it’s not bad to hear it. Then I think, ‘Wow, I write pretty good, I wonder if I can still do it.’ Then when I’m writing, I think, ‘This is a bit more advanced. And it’s gonna be better than that on real records with good production.’ So, for the most part it’s still the same, except I’m recording in a real studio. You have a new comic book coming out— Yeah, Space Ducks. Can you tell me a little about it? It’s about the adventures ...

On The Record: The Vivian Girls

Beatrice Rothbaum, Editor-in-Chief

April 6, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music, On the Record

Perhaps the most significant lo-fi act to emerge from the Brooklyn scene in the last few years, the Vivian Girls followed their 2008 self-titled debut with Everything Goes Wrong in 2009. The trio’s songs tend to consist of two or three chords apiece, the vocals are often off-key and the lyrics are repetitive and simplistic. While this may be a typical punk rock formula, the Vivian Girls take that rudimentary noise blueprint and twist it into a storm of passion and anguish. The band inspires fierce dedication and just-as-fierce disdain because that’s how rock music should be — edgy and exciting and evocative on a gut level. For a seeming straightforward punk band, the Vivian Girls’ influence is visible in a gro...

On the Record: Roni Horn

Jimmy Hagan, Arts Editor

March 11, 2011

Filed under ARTS, On the Record, Visual Art

You’re going to be doing a critique this afternoon. As art students, we do critiques all the time. Do you have any advice for students on how to critique their peers? I’m not really good with advice but the way I like to run critiques focuses on the experience of the audience. I like to encourage the audience to speak about what their experience of the work is. I like to restrict the author of the work so that it’s not a [situation] where the creative individual is basically standing up and saying what they did. It’s really more about letting the work speak for itself. … In a setting like a college, it’s a really great opportunity for an artist to have an audience with no agenda other than to develop ...

On the Record: Carolina Chocolate Drops

Ian Seeley, Managing Editor

February 25, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music, On the Record

What was your most memorable experience at the Grammys, other than winning? [Laughs] I was really sick, so it was all kind of a blur. I mean, it all was memorable. I have to say probably seeing Bobby McFerrin and Esperanza Spalding — who later won the Best New Artist — seeing them do a duet at the beginning of the non-telecast portion. It was amazing. The Carolina Chocolate Drops have a live show with a lot going on, such as dancing and the group giving the historical backgrounds of songs. When you record, do you take any special approaches in addressing the recording studio’s limitations? It’s hard to capture a live feel in the studio. We know what we’re doing this next time, we are recording...

Interview with the JACK Quartet

Interview with the JACK Quartet

February 25, 2011

Why “JACK”? Ari Streisfeld: It’s an acronym — John, Ari, Chris and Kevin. We specialize in contemporary music, and one of the first pieces we played together was the third string quartet by Helmut Lachenmann, the German composer. It’s called “Grido,” which means “scream” in Italian. But it is also an acronym for the members of the Arditti Quartet, for whom [the piece] was written. While we were working on it, we were joking around saying, “If this piece was written for us, ...

On the Record: Guest Director Barney O’Hanlon

Jimmy Hagan, Arts Editor

February 18, 2011

Filed under ARTS, On the Record, Theater & Film

Can you elaborate on the production’s usage of the Viewpoints method (an acting technique developed by Anne Bogart, the founder of the renowned New York based acting institution, the SITI Company)? Did you see the training in the Viewpoints technique pay off onstage? The cast trained in both Suzuki and the Viewpoints method. Suzuki is an intensely rigorous practice to hone in on concentration, focus, body awareness and intense listening. Viewpoints is also about … listening, but is more about getting in touch with impulse and intuition. Both trainings help cultivate ensemble sensibility, awareness of the others and a very strong presence. I couldn't do any of the shows I do without them. They are part of my c...

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