The Oberlin Review

Original Student Musical “The Odds” Plays with Tropes, Humor

Original Student Musical “The Odds” Plays with Tropes, Humor

November 3, 2017

Fun, cliché Hollywood tropes about high school find a new face in Conservatory sophomore Jacob Britton’s jazz musical, The Odds. Overall, the performance feels like two Zac Efron movies melded into one: a feel-good, low-budget take on High School Musical and Seventeen Again. The musical, set in the 1950s, engages with the struggles and anxieties faced by high school freshman, Aaron Baker (College first-year Tom Lovoi). Aaron ditches class for the first time, develops a crush on a nerdy girl, an...

Post-Punk Band Big Ups Returns to the ’Sco with Halloween Special

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

October 27, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

Big Ups, a post-hardcore punk band, will bring a holiday-themed performance to the ’Sco on Halloween. Its four members — Joe Galarraga, Amar Lal, Brendan Finn, and Carlos Salguero Jr. — formed the band at New York University in 2013. Their ’Sco performance is a pit stop between their recently-concluded fall tour with METZ and Toronto’s Dilly Dally. Their next tour starts in St. Louis, Nov. 2. Tough Love Records describes Big Ups’ music as a “blend [of] punk, post-punk, metal and indie rock into a salty mash that gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.” Big Ups has released two albums so far. Their debut, Eighteen Hours of Static, was followed by Before a Million Universes. The title of their second al...

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

October 6, 2017

“Exploring Beauty and Truth in World of Color,” a conference which took place over last Friday and Saturday, highlighted new and groundbreaking work on the subject of race and aesthetics from Oberlin academics and scholars from many other institutions. The two-day conference, which had wide community appeal, explored essential conversations about the role of Blackness and Black aesthetics in diverse art forms. For Associate Professor of Africana Studies Charles Peterson, the driving organizin...

On the Record with Ian Blanchard

On the Record with Ian Blanchard

October 6, 2017

Ian Blanchard is one of the founders of Maya Universe Academy in Nepal. He graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2008 and spent the next several years working as a mushroom farmer, traveling the United States, and learning about sustainable agriculture before deciding to open a school. Maya Universe Academy is a nonprofit organization that works alongside communities to provide free education to children in villages across Nepal. It currently runs three schools in different districts, where the childr...

Fantasy Coffin Maker Paa Joe Celebrates Dead With Style

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

September 29, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Visual Art

In Ghana, death is not just about grief, pain, and suffering. Paa Joe — or Joseph Ashong — and his son and apprentice Jacob Ashong, are fantasy coffin makers. They bring style, celebration, and positivity into some of the darkest times for a family. On Monday, they visited Oberlin to give a talk, “Paa Joe and the Fantasy Coffins of Ghana.” Since 1950, abebuu adekai, or proverbial coffins, have been deeply ingrained in Ghana’s cultural traditions, and are a great spiritual and economic asset to the community. Fantasy coffins are often personalized according to the occupation, position, or interests of the deceased person. The price Ashong quoted for Paa Joe coffins starts at $4,000, and they can take anywhere ...

On the Record with Fabian Almazan

On the Record with Fabian Almazan

September 22, 2017

Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Fabian Almazan performed at the Cat in the Cream Thursday night with his band Rhizome, featuring Camila Meza on voice and guitar, Linda May Han Oh on bass, and Henry Cole on drums. Almazan, originally from Cuba and currently based in New York City, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and was voted “#1 Rising Piano Star” by the Downbeat Magazine critics’ poll in 2014. Almazan has also composed several film scores for ...

Safia Elhillo Delivers Sharp, Candid Poetry Performance

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

September 15, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

“As usual, I was thinking about race; I wrote a poem.” said Sudanese-American performance poet Safia Elhillo as she delivered her sassy wit in a soothing voice last Friday at the Cat in the Cream. Author of the full-length poetry collection The January Children, Elhillo is an acclaimed slam poet who has performed at the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and at TEDxNewYork, and has competed nationally with the New York University collegiate championship slam poetry team and the DC Youth Slam Poetry Team. Having earned accolades including the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize (co-winner) and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Elhillo, though young, is truly...

Courtnie Brings Welcome Warmth to Cat

Courtnie Brings Welcome Warmth to Cat

September 1, 2017

Courtnie, a neo-soul R&B artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY, showcased her alluring, sensational vocals Sunday evening. Performing onstage at the Cat in the Cream, Courtnie sang about love — not just love for a partner or a friend, but also the “love experienced in passion and simply loving life.” While she treated the audience to a few numbers from her upcoming album I Feel Like Color, scheduled to be released later this month, the audience was particularly delighted with some of her mor...

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