The Oberlin Review

New Pinegrove Album Re-Opens Questions on Separating Art From Artist in Wake of Controversy

Carson Dowhan, Staff Writer

October 5, 2018

After nearly 11 months of silence and confusion following a provocative Facebook post by Pinegrove lead singer Evan Hall, the indie band independently released their third album, Skylight, on Bandcamp. Pinegrove’s activity came to a halt in November of last year, after Hall made a Facebook post that revealed allegations of sexual coercion made against him by a fan. Pinegrove’s tour and album release were cancelled, and they parted ways with their label Run for Cover. Hall’s post had come without warning — the lengthy announcement was accompanied by apologies and claims that the singer was beginning to recognize the power dynamics that exist between male musicians and female fans. He claimed that when he pro...

Oberlin Band Blankat to Open for Laura Stevenson

Carson Dowhan

September 28, 2018

Indie folk-rock artist Laura Stevenson will appear at the ’Sco tonight at 10 p.m., featuring Blankat, Oberlin’s very own shoegaze group. Stevenson has been perfecting her craft since 2006, when she released Laura Stevenson: A Record. The album showcases a poignant voice, dynamic percussion, and distorted rhythmic guitars — all of which Stevenson has worked to develop as her signature style. Some of her influences include The Lemonheads, Liz Phair, and The Replacements. Not one to stray away from genre exploration, some of Stevenson’s early tracks, like “Baby Bones,” feature harmonizing vocals led by a fingerpicked guitar, segueing into eclectic compositions featuring brass and strings sections. Stevenson’s lyrici...

Calcagno and Leva Shine in Off-Campus Performance

Calcagno and Leva Shine in Off-Campus Performance

September 21, 2018

It’s not often that Oberlin students venture off campus for music, despite the multitude of local performances happening almost every day. Saturday, though, College junior Riley Calcagno and partner Vivian Leva made a surprise appearance at Riverdog, a quaint outdoor venue a few miles outside campus. Established only five years ago, Riverdog has hosted local and traveling Americana artists, welcoming folksy and acoustic performances. It has a large light-strung canopy, extending above the tables...

Palm, Julia Julian to Hit ’Sco Stage with Experimental Rock

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

September 21, 2018

The Philadelphia-based rock band Palm will be returning to Oberlin this weekend to perform at the ’Sco, with student band Julia Julian opening. The show, hosted by the Student Union Programming Committee, promises fresh and innovative music coming to the stage at 10 p.m. tomorrow night. Bridget Conway, College sophomore and booker for the ’Sco, is excited about the eclectic nature of Palm. Regardless of whether students previously knew of the band, she thinks they will have an enjoyable night. “They reached out to us, actually, wanting to play a show in Oberlin,” she explained. “They have a really unique sound that I think a lot of Oberlin students would be into, especially [Conservatory] kids, or just...

Ari Lennox Delivers Powerful Performance

Carson Dowhan

September 14, 2018

The line to enter the Cat in the Cream wrapped around the hallways of Hales Annex before R&B artist Ari Lennox’s show Saturday, Sept. 8. “Over 100 people were in line by 7:30,” manager and College senior Hanne Williams-Baron said. “At 330 people, we reached full capacity.” The sold out house was quite an impressive turnout for an artist not particlarly well known to the Oberlin community. Lennox launched her music career in 2012 and released her first EP Ariography in 2013. She signed to J. Cole’s record label Dreamville in 2015, and gained major traction with the release of her 2016 EP, PHO. While she has yet to present a full-length album, she has already garnered a national following, speaking to t...

Concert Commemorates Anniversary of World War I’s End Through Music

Heather Do

September 14, 2018

Although the first World War ended 100 years ago, a lot of emotions still permeate our collective memory of the monumental conflict. These emotions were channeled through music when Oberlin Conservatory hosted the two-day public event “Creative Arts and Music in the Shadow of War: Commemorating the Centenary of World War I.” The event included several activities around campus to memorialize the end of the war, including four concerts, a panel presentation at the Conservatory, and an exhibition at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Commemorating the Centenary was the brainchild of Professor of Violin Sibbi Bernhardsson, OC ’95, whose favorite period of music is the early 20th century — especially the music written...

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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