Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

OINC Showcases Unconventional Improv Performance

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

December 1, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

When I went to attend the Oberlin Improvisation and New Music Collective’s latest performance at the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space on Wednesday night, I had no idea what to expect. I had never seen the OINC before, and when I thought of improv shows, I imagined fast-paced jokes on a dimly-lit stage or silly songs composed on the fly — the sorts of things that friends sometimes do together when everyone is bored and has had a little too much to drink. The OINC’s performance was unlike anything I had imagined. The show consisted of two main acts. The first improvisation was carried out by two musicians, who used synthesizers to engineer a variety of innovative sounds together. These were not songs ...

Grandbrothers Return with Stunning Second LP

Grandbrothers Return with Stunning Second LP

November 17, 2017

If you asked me what I think the most beautiful music in the world is, I would probably mention a Dvorak symphony, Bon Iver’s “For Emma,” or a piece from an obscure folk recording session held by PBS, depending on the day. It’s time to add Grandbrothers to that list. The German and Swiss experimental duo of pianist Erol Sarp and engineer Lukas Vogel recently released its sophomore LP, Open, after signing to City Slang — the label of Broken Social Scene and Sinkane, among others — ov...

Chicago Boricua Resistance Presents Puerto Rico Teach-In

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

November 17, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

Largely due to the damage wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico has been frequently featured in the news this year — in fact, according to the data that Google Trends has collected since 2004, searches about Puerto Rico peaked this October by a wide margin. However, hurricanes are not the only crisis that are affecting Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the diaspora; Puerto Rico has a high unemployment rate and debt that has been increasing throughout a decade-long recession. These economic and humanitarian conditions inspired the creation of the Chicago Boricua Resistance, a group of individuals and organizations that came together last August to advocate for Puerto Ricans and their diaspora. Two...

“Voice of the Lake” Highlights Musicianship, Environmental Advocacy

Kate Fishman, Staff Writer

November 17, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

Voice of the Lake, an oratorio for Lake Erie composed by former Director of the Composition Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music Margaret Brouwer, OC ’62, exists at the intersection of environmentalism, musicality, technology, and community. The piece, written in collaboration with poet and Cleveland native David Adams, highlights both the beauty and the problematic nature of living in concert with Lake Erie. “Voice of the Lake … brings to life the struggle between the recreational and natural joys of Lake Erie and the commercial, agricultural, and political issues that threaten its ecological health,” Brouwer writes on her website. For the premiere performance, which took place Sunday afternoon at ...

“Through The Night” Strikes Warm, Thoughtful Tone

“Through The Night” Strikes Warm, Thoughtful Tone

November 10, 2017

As the audience filed into Fairchild Chapel last Friday night and filled up the pews in groups of twos and threes, a peaceful ambient track filled the space. Viewers murmured with anticipation as they waited for Derick Evans — hosted in Oberlin by the Asian American Alliance — to take the stage. Perhaps people had chosen to see Evans perform because of the eye-catching, color-saturated posters for “In The Chapel” that had appeared around campus, or because they were intrigued by the event...

Student Musicians Deliver Original Take on Britney Spears

Student Musicians Deliver Original Take on Britney Spears

November 10, 2017

The phrase “It’s Britney, bitch!” — though iconic — seems out of place for the “Britney Showcase” performed at the Cat in the Cream Tuesday night. Directed and orchestrated by College junior and Musical Studies major Alex Ngo, the showcase took a musical theater, opera, and jazz framing to Britney’s music and covered her hits with hyperbolic elegance. Donning sexy vintage costumes and personas, double-degree sophomore Celine Opdycke and Conservatory first-year Georgia Heers, as we...

“Voices Against Human Trafficking” Combines Education, Performance

“Voices Against Human Trafficking” Combines Education, Performance

November 3, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of human trafficking. Voices Against Human Trafficking, which combined musical and poetry performances with education about human trafficking, drew a large crowd to the Cat in the Cream for its fourth iteration last Friday night. Project Unbound, Oberlin’s anti-human trafficking advocacy group, organized the event and raised $480 in donations for the Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County. Project Unbound’s work addresses an issue that has...

“Figaro” Explores Gendered Power Dynamics With Comedic Flair

“Figaro” Explores Gendered Power Dynamics With Comedic Flair

November 3, 2017

The operas presented by the Conservatory have long been a campus highlight, drawing students, faculty members, and community members to one knockout performance after another. This semester looks to be no different, as evidenced by Oberlin Opera Theater’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, which opened Wednesday night in Hall Auditorium. However, in the wider world, questions continue to be raised about the sustainability of opera as an art form. On Thursday night, Resonanz Opera presented a pa...

Performance Highlights Identity, History of Indigenous Musicians

Performance Highlights Identity, History of Indigenous Musicians

October 27, 2017

Oki Kano, professionally known as OKI, began singing before the applause died down from the packed audience in Fairchild Chapel. The Ainu performer, along with protegé and friend Nate Renner, came to Oberlin as part of The Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment grant that the College recently received. The two musicians participated in an informal chat at Cowhaus Creamery on Monday, performed their music in Fairchild on Tuesday, and gave a lecture at the Adam Joseph Lewis Center on Wed...

Post-Punk Band Big Ups Returns to the ’Sco with Halloween Special

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

October 27, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

Big Ups, a post-hardcore punk band, will bring a holiday-themed performance to the ’Sco on Halloween. Its four members — Joe Galarraga, Amar Lal, Brendan Finn, and Carlos Salguero Jr. — formed the band at New York University in 2013. Their ’Sco performance is a pit stop between their recently-concluded fall tour with METZ and Toronto’s Dilly Dally. Their next tour starts in St. Louis, Nov. 2. Tough Love Records describes Big Ups’ music as a “blend [of] punk, post-punk, metal and indie rock into a salty mash that gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.” Big Ups has released two albums so far. Their debut, Eighteen Hours of Static, was followed by Before a Million Universes. The title of their second al...

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

October 6, 2017

“Exploring Beauty and Truth in World of Color,” a conference which took place over last Friday and Saturday, highlighted new and groundbreaking work on the subject of race and aesthetics from Oberlin academics and scholars from many other institutions. The two-day conference, which had wide community appeal, explored essential conversations about the role of Blackness and Black aesthetics in diverse art forms. For Associate Professor of Africana Studies Charles Peterson, the driving organizin...

Dead South Brings Dark Punk Folk Music to Cat

Kirsten Heuring, Staff Writer

September 29, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

When I saw, “Honk if you love rhubarb” written in dirt on the back of The Dead South’s trailer, I knew that Wednesday night’s concert was going to be interesting. Though I arrived half an hour early, the Cat in the Cream was already more than half full with people from not just Oberlin, but as far afield as Houston and Columbus; the band had performed in Columbus Tuesday night, and some audience members had followed them to Oberlin to see them perform a second time. By the time the concert started, there was standing room only. The Dead South came out looking like a group of punk Amish, dressed in distinctive dark clothes. The lead singer, Nate Hilts, was sporting the largest hat I had ever seen. The band, ...

Established 1874.