The Oberlin Review

Feature Photo: Parents Weekend Improv Showcase

Feature Photo: Parents Weekend Improv Showcase

November 13, 2015

College senior James Koblenzer (center) gestures toward College senior Ben Hyams (far left) alongside fellow Kid Business members College senior Annie Peskoe (left), College first-year Jon Krakaur and College sophomore Max Freiman. Kid Business, Oberlin’s short-form improv troupe, teamed up with two long-form troupes, Primitive Streak and Sunshine Scouts, for the Parents Weekend Improv Showcasepalooza at the Cat in the Cream Friday, Nov. 6. The show was well-received by parents and students alike....

Positive Lyrics Centerpiece of Odwalla88’s Empowering Set

Danny Evans, Arts Editor

November 13, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Music

Odwalla88 challenged the pillars of noise music and performance in a powerful, unsettling show at the Storage art gallery Friday night. The Baltimore duo, made up of Chloe Maratta and Flannery Silva, imparted political and emotional messages through their nostalgia-laden lyrics, refreshing musical content and authoritative stage presence. A small but energetic audience responded warmly to Odwalla88 as well as their opener, mid Atlantic rift, cheering throughout the harsh and experimental — yet surprisingly accessible — sets. While noise music is associated with activist discourse, the genre is dominated by male-identifying performers, rendering its theoretically radical nature questionable. These performers often...

McCrae Depicts Survival, Self-Doubt Through Verse

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

November 13, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

Director of the Creative Writing Program Kazim Ali and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Shane McCrae gave a reading together at Afrikan Heritage House on Thursday, Nov. 5 that featured works from their new books, both published this year. McCrae, who went first, read the poem “How You Are Owned” from his book The Animal Too Big to Kill. “Growing up black white trash you grow up / knowing there are / Two kinds of white in the world one black / the / White like the crayon / You grow up calling flesh / that colors everything the color of imaginary peaches / and the white like every other white thing / Lord and the black like what your skin is like the / Black like what bad guys wear,” he read. Much of McCra...

On the Record with Jon Fine, OC ’89, Guitarist and Author

On the Record with Jon Fine, OC ’89, Guitarist and Author

November 6, 2015

Jon Fine, OC ’89, released his memoir, Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear) last May to rave reviews. The book explores the rise and fall of the boundarypushing, genre-defining indie rock scene he helped establish during his time with bands like Don Caballero and Bitch Magnet, which formed at Oberlin during Fine’s first year. This past Wednesday at the ’Sco, Professor of Sociology Rick Baldoz hosted a question and answer session with Fine, w...

Eosphoros, Durham Organize Villainous Halloween Showcase

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

November 6, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features, Theater & Film

During the opening act of Oberlin Musical Theater Association’s Villains Showcase, presented last Friday and Saturday in a Kahn Hall lounge, College junior Julia Redden threw open the doors of the closet she was hiding in and began belting “Miss Baltimore Crabs” from the musical Hairspray. As Velma Von Tussle, a racist and body-shaming producer, Redden introduced the night of villainy to follow. The Villains Showcase, a revival of a similar event from 2013, was envisioned as a way to get more people involved in musical theater on campus, especially those with little prior experience. Showcase co-director, College junior and the Review’s Online Editor Cyrus Alexander Eosphoros explained how the original Vill...

Feature Photo: Wedding Band

Feature Photo: Wedding Band

October 9, 2015

In Alice Childress’ Wedding Band, set in 1918 during World War I, College sophomore Chandler Browne plays Julia Augustine, a Black woman who has recently moved to a South Carolinian neighborhood with Herman, her white, German significant other, played by College junior Shane Lonergan. Their landlady, Fanny, played by College junior Tiffany Ames, looks on, while Julia’s new neighbors Lula and Mattie, played by College sophomores Deja Alexander and Daniella Pruitt, respectively, discuss her interracial...

Hong’s Language Gives Poetic Sound New Meaning

Louise Edwards, Arts editor

October 9, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Features, Literature & Poetry

Cathy Park Hong, OC ’98, opened the first poetry reading sponsored by the Creative Writing department last Friday with “Roles,” the first piece from her book Dance Dance Revolution. “Opal o opus, / behole, neon hibiscus bloom beacons! / ‘Tan Lotion Tanya’ billboard . . . she / your lucent Virgil, den I’s taka ova / as talky Virgil . . . want some tea? Some pelehuu?” she read. In a foreword to the book, Hong writes in the voice of one of her characters, a historian, who explains the context of the following poems, which are written in a new creole language created by Hong. The historian says, “In the Desert, the language is an amalgam of some three hundred languages and dialects imported into th...

Zadie Smith Lectures on Ethics of Writing

Zadie Smith Lectures on Ethics of Writing

October 2, 2015

Renowned novelist, essayist and author of short stories Zadie Smith met with loud applause from an audience in Finney Chapel at the beginning of her convocation Tuesday evening. “You don’t know what I’m going to say yet. You might hate it,” Smith responded. Yet clearly many audience members had read her work, and that was proof enough that Smith’s talk would be interesting. Theater and Africana Studies Professor Caroline Jackson Smith said that she first encountered Smith’s work when...

Duo Delivers Imaginitive, Inclusive Multimedia Performance

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

October 2, 2015

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

Spoken word artist Alixa Garcia beatboxed on pan flute while her audience at the Cat in the Cream clapped along enthusiastically last Friday night. Pan flute music is part of Garcia’s Colombian heritage, and she played upon notions of traditional rhythm by altering the way she blew into the pipes. Naima Penniman, who performs with Garcia is the other half of spoken word duo Climbing PoeTree, danced to Garcia’s music. The multimedia performance included spoken word poetry accompanied by music, photography and video in the background. Garcia and Penniman’s interdisciplinary work focuses on themes of social justice, and the duo seeks to inspire audience members to create change within the environments and systems...

Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club

Songwriters Benefit from New Exco, Club

September 25, 2015

College sophomore Lilah Drafts-Johnson cradled her guitar as she prepared to perform for an audience at the Cat in the Cream last Friday. Before singing, she told the crowd she’d be performing her favorite original song, but that it was unlike many of her other pieces, which share similarities with Taylor Swift’s nostalgic love songs. Draft-Johnson’s song “Compliment” addressed the problem of street harassment, including lyrics like “With your legs you know you look fine,” and “Didn’t...

Community Artists Pay Tribute to Radiation Victim

Community Artists Pay Tribute to Radiation Victim

September 18, 2015

70 years ago this month, a 2-year-old Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 80,000 people instantly and at least 70,000 more due to radiation poisoning within a year. She died of radiation-contracted leukemia 10 years after the 1945 bombing, but not before attempting to fold 1,000 origami paper cranes that represented her wish for peace and wellness. According to Japanese folklore, a crane will grant the wish of anyone who completes a senbazuru, or ...

New Record Label to Support Marginalized Musicians

New Record Label to Support Marginalized Musicians

September 11, 2015

On a weekend night last year, the Harkness House basement was crowded with students excited for a night of music performances. Guitarist Claire Kotarski plugged her instrument into an amp. A man working tech for the show approached her and said, “You’re not supposed to do that. That’s not the right amp to plug into.” While this man was simply frustrated and short with the musician, he didn’t think twice about the power dynamics involved in this interaction. Such statements can make women...

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