The Oberlin Review

Calvin Johnson and Friends Lead Audience Down Long, Winding Road

Lizzie Conner

February 18, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Music

Calvin Johnson croons un-amplified into the ceiling of Fairchild Chapel, barely skipping a beat when he swings his classical guitar to his back and reverting to a speaking voice to address the audience candidly. About 40 people showed up to celebrate Valentine’s Day with K Record’s “Ring Leader” (his official title at the label), many of whom came to indulge their love for one of his previous bands — Beat Happening, The Halo Benders, or Dub Narcotic Sound System. Johnson is known primarily for these projects and his involvement in the founding of K Records. Until very recently, he has been writing and performing as a solo artist. Despite lacking the rest of his new “band,” The Hive Dwellers, nothing...

Jazz Collective Makes Friends in Beijing

Jazz Collective Makes Friends in Beijing

February 11, 2011

Improvisation was, and always has been, one of those things in life that never came easily to me. As a jazz musician, I always struggle against the urge to solidify everything that ever comes to mind before I get up onstage to play. But if jazz music can teach us anything about life, then improvisation, in all forms, is about as important as respiration. With no exception, this story begins with a toss of the dice. In the summer of 2009, I had the opportunity to study Chinese language in Beijing,...

Super Blown: The Super Halftime Show Disappoints Yet Again

James Blankenship, Sports Editor

February 11, 2011

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, SPORTS, Sports Editorials & Features

Every time the overhyped monstrosity that is Super Bowl week graces us with its presence, a nation is left wondering, “Can this halftime show really be worse than last year’s?” In the last five years, a spectacle that has become more celebrated than several national holidays (I’m talking to you, Columbus Day) has failed to produce a mistake-free halftime show, let alone one that’s actually entertaining. At this point, it’s difficult to think of a 30-minute event that isn’t more deserving of our time. Even a re-run of Friends provides an opportunity to appreciate the acting repertoire of a young Jennifer Aniston. That being said, the people who consistently treat their Super Bowl viewing parties more lik...

An Epic Eight-Bit ’Sco Show

Kara Brooks, Staff Writer

December 11, 2009

Filed under ARTS, Music

Saturday, Dec. 5 began as a day of no distinguishable significance. It was not Halloween, it was not the first weekend back from a break, nor was it the last Saturday of the semester. It was an ordinary Saturday night, but many Oberlin students decided to forget their workloads and let the good times roll. New York City-based chiptune punk band Anamanaguchi had an epic performance at the ’Sco that night. Chiptune, more commonly known as eight-bit music, is a genre in which sounds are synthesized in real time by a computer or video game console sound chip, rather than with sample- based synthesis. In other words, chiptune music is purely awesome. College junior, Review staff writer and ’Sco staff member Jimmy Ha...

WhiteFlag Project Opens Dialogue

Elise Shulman-Reed, Staff Writer

December 11, 2009

Filed under ARTS, Music

Although the Israelis and Palestinians continue to fight in the Middle East, WhiteFlag Project, a musical group composed of both Israelis and Palestinians, showed that music trumps violence during its visit to Oberlin on Dec. 8. According to its website, “WhiteFlag Project is a core group of Arab and Jewish musicians, motivated by the desire to continue this unique musical dialogue and invite other likewise-minded musicians from all over the world to help create peace through their music.” Many musicians in the group hail from Gaza and Tel Aviv, two locations heavily affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hosted by the Oberlin Zionists, Oberlin Peace Activists League and J Street U, this event included...

Moffitt Woos Feve Crowd

Will Roane, Staff Writer

December 11, 2009

Filed under ARTS, Music

The stars in the Oberlin sky shone brightly onto a chilly South Main Street on Sunday as jazz vocalist Nina Moffitt, OC ’09, set up her amplifier to play a special show with Feveband at The Feve. After sorting through some feedback from her microphone, she and Feveband played two diverse and radiant sets, filled with classic jazz standards made all the more vital by distinctive arrangements by Moffitt and College senior and Feveband leader Rafiq Bhatia, as well as some staggering Feveband originals. The night began quietly, with Feveband’s interpretation of “Equinox” by John Coltrane seeming to summon people from their textbooks and papers. The slightly empty bar suddenly filled and bustled by the time...

Aakash Mittal and Feveband Push Jazz Boundaries

Will Roane, Staff Writer

December 4, 2009

Filed under ARTS, Music

Under the dim illumination of a bare lightbulb in the corner of the bar upstairs at The Feve on Sunday, Nov. 22, Feveband and special guest saxophonist Aakash Mittal began their first set with an erratic melody, jerking and bobbing to the rhythms as fingers flew to get to the notes on time. Throughout the night, the band amazed a crowd of College and Conservatory students alike with music that eschewed classification, with each band member offering a musical palette that seemed to at once remind one of home and of places never seen or heard. With songs highlighting thework of distinctive Asian-American composers as well as Mittal himself, the music on display at this particular show was certainly eclectic, if not...

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