Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

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...

Dead South Brings Dark Punk Folk Music to Cat

Kirsten Heuring, Staff Writer

September 29, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

When I saw, “Honk if you love rhubarb” written in dirt on the back of The Dead South’s trailer, I knew that Wednesday night’s concert was going to be interesting. Though I arrived half an hour early, the Cat in the Cream was already more than half full with people from not just Oberlin, but as far afield as Houston and Columbus; the band had performed in Columbus Tuesday night, and some audience members had followed them to Oberlin to see them perform a second time. By the time the concert started, there was standing room only. The Dead South came out looking like a group of punk Amish, dressed in distinctive dark clothes. The lead singer, Nate Hilts, was sporting the largest hat I had ever seen. The band, ...

Xenia Rubinos, Bémbe Deliver Standout Performances

Xenia Rubinos, Bémbe Deliver Standout Performances

September 22, 2017

Forget casually strolling in at 8 p.m. — if you arrived any later than 7:40 p.m. to the Cat in the Cream last Saturday, you had to follow the line of over 100 people down the hall, around the corner, down a flight of stairs, and straight into the bathroom spaces. Eager Xenia Rubinos fans began lining up at the doors as early as 7:20 p.m. and flooded the space when it finally opened, filling it to capacity within minutes. Energetic conversations made for a bright ambience to start off what woul...

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...

Jay-Marie and Friends are ‘Here, Queer & Staying’

Jay-Marie and Friends are ‘Here, Queer & Staying’

April 21, 2017

Jay-Marie and Friends, who performed Sunday night at the Cat in the Cream, delivered a show that celebrated Black and queer identities. Musicians Jay-Marie Hill, Britt Baker, Suyá Nascimento and surprise guest Wriply Bennett showcased powerful protest anthems with unambiguous, unapologetic lyrics like “Here, Queer & Staying” and “Keep it marchin, marchin, placin, Raging, gracing / As we stagin liberation.” The performance represents part of a long tradition of Black art and activism ...

Students Get Hyped for Princess Nokia ’Sco Show

Samantha Spaccasi, Staff writer

April 7, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

“My name is Ms. Destiny / I go hard in everything / I bring out the best in me / And do what is best for me,” Destiny Frasqueri raps in “Excellent,” the eighth track from her 2016 mixtape titled 1992, her first release under the name Princess Nokia. Frasqueri is one of the most refreshing and eclectic artists in modern underground hip-hop and has a devoted fan base in Oberlin, one that has only grown since a scheduled performance at the Cat in the Cream last spring had to be cancelled due to a missed flight. That concert, originally organized by College sophomore Sky Davis, was expected to be packed and would have been a highlight of last year’s concert season, so Davis and Cat in the Cream staff tried to boo...

Acclaimed Poet, Musician Jamila Woods to Perform at Cat

Samantha Spaccasi, Staff writer

March 3, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Music

The first time College junior Athena Matsil heard Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment’s song “Sunday Candy,” she remembers being struck by the track’s lead vocalist, Jamila Woods. “I was really moved by the beauty, quality, and purity of the timbre of Woods’ voice,” Matsil wrote in an email to the Review. Woods, a Chicago-based musician and poet who has worked alongside popular artists such as Kweku Collins, Noname and Chance the Rapper, will perform at the Cat in the Cream at 8 p.m. tonight. Many of Woods’ fans first came across her extraordinary voice on “Sunday Candy,” one of 2014’s biggest hits, which prompted listeners and publications, such as music website Pitchfork, to take a closer look. ...

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

February 24, 2017

A unique blend of stand-up comedy, poetry and storytelling awaits guests at the Cat in the Cream Sunday as actor and comedian D’Lo brings his touring variety show, D’FaQTo Life (pronounced “de facto”) to Oberlin. The show will be his first in Oberlin since 2013, when he performed as part of Colors of Rhythm, and he’s since gone on to perform roles in HBO’s Looking and the Netflix original series Sense8. Co-sponsored by the South Asian Students Association, International Students’ Organi...

Femme Musicians of Color Confront White Male Industry Dominance

Femme Musicians of Color Confront White Male Industry Dominance

February 24, 2017

When people think of electronic music, their minds often go reflexively to a handful of middle-of-the-road, white male DJs and producers such as Diplo, Calvin Harris or David Guetta. One group on Oberlin’s campus, Femme Artists Breaking Boundaries, founded last year by College juniors Rayna Holmes and Hannah Halpern, is looking to subvert the norms of electronic music culture by showcasing women, people of color and queer people who are doing innovative work in the field. According to the gro...

On the Record: Jennifer Hoock, OC ’83, Cat in the Cream Founder

May 6, 2016

Jennifer Hoock, OC ’83, aided in the re-establishment of the Cat in the Cream with roommates Charissa Smith, OC ’82, and Cheryl Serrone, OC ’83. She graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine and earned her MPH at the University of Washington. In addition to being associate director at Group Health Family Medicine Residency in Seattle, she is a founding member and director of development at Guatemala Village Health, a nonprofit organization that promotes education, better health car...

Alum Ishikawa Returns as Solo Artist

Paul Mehnert

April 8, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Music

Upon returning to Oberlin, a place she once called home, touring electronic musician and 2014 alumna Rachel Ishikawa felt the bittersweet taste of self-realization and towering student loans. “I learned a lot at Oberlin and met some of the most wonderful people,” she said. “I am grateful that [the school] is bringing me back as a paid musician, but at the same time, I will be paying money to Oberlin forever.” Ishikawa, also known by the stage name Shakai Mondai, will perform at the Cat in the Cream on Monday with supporting act Uxvie. Students may be familiar with Ishikawa from her work in the band Peaks. The indie and alternative rock quintet was a staple of the Oberlin student music scene before its members...

Established 1874.