The Oberlin Review

Adriana Vergara, Musician and Activist

Adriana Vergara, Musician and Activist

September 14, 2018

Incarcerated people launched a widespread strike Aug. 21, protesting the dismally low wages they are regularly paid for their labor. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, codified the prohibition of enslavement and involuntary servitude — with one key exception being incarcerated people. To this day, incarcerated persons are regularly forced to work for mere cents per hour. Often, this work is physically demanding and even dangerous — the State of California, for instance, le...

Imperfect and That’s OK: Deem Spencer Brings Introspective Rap to Oberlin for Orientation

Gabriella Spielberg

September 7, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

Deem Spencer put on an entertaining show at the ’Sco Saturday night, with his jerky and frenetic dancing and many bottle-flip attempts. His work is introspective and powerful, and his music high quality; however, his performance fell a little short. The show got off on an awkward foot — when it started at least half an hour late, the audience had already begun to dwindle. When Spencer did appear on stage, a beat started, and then stopped, and then started again, and then stopped, before he requested that the stage lights be dimmed and the audience be quiet, saying something to the effect of, “I’ll wait.” “He wasn’t like ‘ah, love you guys’ like the way you’d expect, but I kind of appreciated...

Mourning [A] BLKstar Impresses With Soulful Orientation Show at the Cat in the Cream

Sophia Zandi

September 7, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

The Cat in the Cream hosted Mourning [A] BLKstar, a future-soul band from Cleveland, on the first Friday night after orientation. Not sure what to expect, students slowly trickled into the cozy coffeehouse and hesitantly sat on couches near the walls. Although the show started with no line and tentative entries, soon about 250 people were dancing around the stage, while dozens of others sat enjoying tea and cookies. One of the three lead vocalists, Kyle Kidd, had remarked earlier that he was excited for the performance because there would be a lot of first-years. He wanted to make sure everyone felt welcome, given that his own college experience wasn’t always a great time. Mourning [A] BLKstar was created by...

Solarity Sunset Event Takes Over Wilder Bowl

Victoria Albacete, Production Manager and Interviews by Jude Fernandes

May 11, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music, Recent Stories

The Science Center Atrium, Heisman Field House, North Quad, Mudd parking lot, the Root Room, Wilder Bowl, Hales Gymnasium. What do all these places have in common? They have all hosted various iterations of Solarity, the closest party Oberlin has to a rave. Originally co-sponsored by Solarity coordinators and the now-defunct Royal Thread Collective, these party-type semesterly events have taken place on Oberlin’s campus since spring 2011, when the first Solarity event, Neon Garden, rocked the Science Center Atrium. As an event-management organization, Solarity was founded in Winter Term 2011 by several students who were “fed up with nightlife at Oberlin.” (“Solarity Seeks to Revitalize Social Scene,” The Oberlin Re...

Lord Huron Launches Sound Skyward in “Vide Noir”

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

April 27, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

Editor’s note: This review mentions death and suicide. Imagine an oversaturated ’60s television screen broadcasting a garbled advertisement for the services of a fortune teller. This approximates the feeling of listening to Lord Huron’s latest album, Vide Noir. This is not an analogy pulled from the void — the album’s first single, “Ancient Names (Part I)” literally stars a fortune teller, complete with crystal ball. Her domain is, however, just one stop on the nameless protagonist’s journey through time and space, which will take him from life to death and back again in this narrative-driven concept album. Whereas Lord Huron’s first two albums — Lonesome Dreams (featuring radio hit “Ends of the Earth...

Lamar’s Pulitzer Reminds Us There’s More Work to Do

Daniel Markus, Managing Editor

April 20, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music, Recent Stories

There are a lot of things I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Most of them have not happened yet, which is good, because I hate to be wrong — humanity has yet to colonize Mars, time travel has not been invented (thank the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle for that one), and the Cleveland Browns haven’t gotten any better. One of the things on my list did happen recently, however: Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for music. It’s about time. The prizes for music, established in 1943, have never before been awarded to a composer or artist outside the classical or jazz genres. Awards for jazz have only been given out twice, and it should come as no surprise that classical and contemporary classical are l...

Fairchild Chapel Welcomes Cellist, Composer, Teacher Tomeka Reid

Chloe Falkenheim

April 20, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

Tomeka Reid is a Chicago-based jazz cellist whose improvisatory style sits between — and beyond — jazz and classical music. With her debut album Tomeka Reid Quartet available from Thirsty Ear Recordings, she displays her trademark penchant for novelly introducing the cello into musical spaces where the instrument is not typically featured. The quartet, featuring Reid on cello, Jason Roebke on bass, Mary Halvorson on guitar, and Tomas Fujiwara on drums, will take the stage in Fairchild Chapel at 8 p.m. tonight. The Foster/Bennett Duo, a saxophone and percussion duo from New York, will open the show. “Everyone in that group is just such a sick musician, improvisor, and composer,” College senior Danilo Powell-Lima, an ...

Duo Violão Brasil Stages Varied Brazilian Guitar Performance

Duo Violão Brasil Stages Varied Brazilian Guitar Performance

April 6, 2018

Editor’s note: Quotes attributed to Rogério Souza in this article were translated by Edinho Gerber and Lucas Ashby. Brazilian guitarists and members of Duo Violão Brasil, Rogério Souza and Edinho Gerber, stopped in Oberlin Tuesday night for a performance of Brazilian guitar, or violão, as part of Oberlin’s Performance and Improvising series. The guitarists, accompanied by D.C.-based percussionist Lucas Ashby, are currently touring the U.S. Their performances showcase the many styles of 20th-centu...

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...

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