The Oberlin Review

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...

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...

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