The Oberlin Review

Rabbi Shais Taub Delivers Spiritual Take on Stress, Self-Care

Ananya Gupta, Arts & Culture Editor

December 8, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features

In this particularly stressful time of year, various groups on campus are organizing events oriented around self-care, some of which include inviting visiting speakers to bring their perspectives to the topic. On Wednesday, Pittsburgh-based Rabbi Shais Taub was invited to Oberlin by Chabad to offer insights on creating a healthy environment within one’s own mind, and ignoring that which distracts you from your purpose. Rabbi Taub, a scholar, teacher, and author who NPR has referred to as “an expert in Jewish mysticism and the Twelve Steps,” provides spiritual guidance to people facing stressful situations in their lives. After studying at the Central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, he combined his relig...

Blood, Lineage Play Significant Roles in Pixar’s Coco

Ananya Gupta, Arts & Culture Editor

December 1, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for Coco. Though the idea of blinking out of existence once forgotten by the living is terrifying, Pixar presents it with cute skeletons and masterful, vibrant animation in Coco, which was released Nov. 22. Co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco is the story of a Mexican family broken apart by a father who chose to follow his musical passion over his wife, Imelda, and daughter, Coco. Heartbroken and angry, Imelda develops a hatred for music that spreads throughout generations of the Rivera family, banning it from their home and lives for centuries to come. The protagonist of the film is Imelda’s great-great-grandson, 12-year-old Miguel, who harbors a se...

Elf Antics

Elf Antics

December 1, 2017

Renowned Poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib Slams at Cat

Renowned Poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib Slams at Cat

November 17, 2017

“I think public affection is one thing that will save us — as long as it’s, you know, consensual with the person who is also down to be publically affectionate with you,” poet, cultural critic, and essayist Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib said Monday. “Please clear that hurdle first.” Willis-Abdurraqib, who has been published by The New York Times, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The Fader, as well as poetry journals such as Muzzle, Vinyl, and PEN American, writes about grief, joy, and heartbrea...

Student Musicians Deliver Original Take on Britney Spears

Student Musicians Deliver Original Take on Britney Spears

November 10, 2017

The phrase “It’s Britney, bitch!” — though iconic — seems out of place for the “Britney Showcase” performed at the Cat in the Cream Tuesday night. Directed and orchestrated by College junior and Musical Studies major Alex Ngo, the showcase took a musical theater, opera, and jazz framing to Britney’s music and covered her hits with hyperbolic elegance. Donning sexy vintage costumes and personas, double-degree sophomore Celine Opdycke and Conservatory first-year Georgia Heers, as we...

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 ...

Established 1874.