The Oberlin Review

Blac Rabbit Showcases Delightful Beatles Covers

Blac Rabbit Showcases Delightful Beatles Covers

April 6, 2018

Thanks to the excellent music and good vibes of Blac Rabbit, a self-described psychedelic rock band beloved for their covers of Beatles songs that performed at the Cat in the Cream Wednesday night, all my thoughts about the cold, my homework, and my Cat in the Cream cookie melted away for 45 minutes, replaced by a sense of celebration, admiration for the band’s excellence, and pure musical fun. Blac Rabbit, a band from Rockaway Beach, Queens, was formed by identical twin brothers Amiri and Rahiem ...

Emma Lee Toyoda Stages “Madgrrlrock” Show at Fairchild Chapel

Ananya Gupta, Arts & Culture Editor

March 2, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music, Recent Stories

Seattle-based rock artist and founder of Make Fart Records, Emma Lee Toyoda — also known as Emma Tsuruko — is bringing their eccentric and charming musical performance to Oberlin at 8 p.m. tonight in Fairchild Chapel. Toyoda released their debut album “sewn me anew” in 2016, and performs both solo and with a band, featuring drummer Zeke Bender and bassist Khyre Matthews. They describe their music as nocturnal “madgrrlrock” or “sadgirlrock.” Pieces include a wide variety of instruments from saxophones to banjos, bringing a unique take to a classic sound. “I feel like there’s a little bit of classic rock and roll, drums, shredding on the electric guitar, but there’s also ... a dreamy carnival aspect [...

Soul Session Kicks Off Celebration of Black History Month

Soul Session Kicks Off Celebration of Black History Month

February 16, 2018

“A talent show with much more soul.” So described by College sophomore and organizer DaQuan Williams, Soul Sessions is an ABUSUA, Oberlin’s Black Student Union, initiative held in the Lord Lounge of Afrikan Heritage House on select Friday nights. These sessions are a significant part of A-House’s cultural tradition and involve a night of showcasing talent — Black talent in particular. It is a time for the Africana community to gather and celebrate their culture through any medium of the...

Duterte, Sridharan Perform Innovative Indie Pop Tunes

Duterte, Sridharan Perform Innovative Indie Pop Tunes

February 16, 2018

The Cat in the Cream hosted California-based pop singer-songwriter Melina Duterte, performing as Jay Som, Saturday night. Duterte is known for kaleidoscopic dream pop and personally crafting all the sounds on her records. She has been featured on Pitchfork, NPR, and Rookie. Out Magazine described Jay Som as “the New Queer Voice of Indie Rock,” and Vice featured Duterte in a 2017 article titled “The Defiant Sound of Asian-American Women in Indie Rock.” Her Oberlin performance, which was co-spo...

Alum’s Pulitzer-Winning Opera Presents Dark, Twisted Plot

Alum’s Pulitzer-Winning Opera Presents Dark, Twisted Plot

February 9, 2018

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of human trafficking, violence, sexual assault, and suicide, as well as spoilers for the opera Angel’s Bone. Pulitzer-winning opera Angel’s Bone, which ended its Oberlin run on Wednesday after five sold-out performances, offers no easy answer for complex social issues. The opera follows a struggling suburban couple, Mr. and Mrs. X.E. (Conservatory sophomore Shawn Roth and double-degree sophomore Alexis Reed, respectively), who discover two angels ...

Typhoon’s Fourth Album Boasts Wrenching Narrative, Charged Politics

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

February 9, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

“Listen. Of everything that you’re about to lose, this will be the most painful.” This sentence is spoken with slight variations — not sung — exactly three times in eight-piece indie rock band Typhoon’s latest album, Offerings. The words bear the distinct voice of frontman Kyle Morton — tinged with desperation, approaching tears. It’s an appropriate affectation given the trauma of a severe teenage case of Lyme disease that led to multiple organ failures. Here, this history lends Morton a deft touch for handling the possibility of death with unique aromanticism. That sensibility is lucky for listeners; across the album’s nearly 70-minute sprawl, there is consolation in the quiet moments, when the swellin...

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...

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