The Oberlin Review

Scouts and Streak Amuse Parents, Demonstrate Wit

Lucy Weltner

November 16, 2012

The annual Parents Weekend improv showcase opened to an audience of curious families and excited students, sprawled around the Cat in the Cream’s few tables and over most of its floor. Guitarist Andrew Gombas, OC ’12, introduced the show with charming, witty stage banter and a few cutesy but skillfully played original songs. The songs — dealing with such issues as falling in love with a jellyfish and becoming romantically snowbound in a cabin — ranged from endearingly silly to annoyingly trite. Fortunately, Gombas mitigated any potential for obnoxiousness by radiating genuine friendliness, speaking with candor about his love for a high school girlfriend, which “hit him in the face like a dead fish,” and enthusiastically...

Wilder Maker and PEAKS Warm Hearts at the Cat

Sally Decker

September 28, 2012

A large crowd showed up for the show at the Cat in the Cream this past Sunday night, many people either knew the bands personally or had heard about the show from the buzz on campus. Everyone in the audience seemed ready to take a break from work, buy a warm cat cookie and sit down together to hear some good music. PEAKS, the opening band, is composed of College juniors Tom Kearney, Peter Hartmann, Rachel Ishikawa, College senior Duncan Standish and double-degree junior Nate Mendelsohn, and it emerged two years ago under the name. At Sunday’s show they were accompanied by College junior Adam Hirsch on sax. The group, originally called Beyoncé Knows Best changed its name after releasing an impressive first EP, Young...

Fire Code Violation Not That Big A Deal

Lexie Sharabianlou

September 28, 2012

I would like to congratulate one of your numbers for her courage in publicizing a heinous violation of Oberlin law. Alice McAdams had the gumption to draw attention to the appallingly overcrowded Cat in the Cream during two-time National Individual Slam Poetry Champion Anis Mojgani’s performance last Saturday. I was one of the guests and I arrived 45 minutes early. I too watched with growing shock as the Cat swelled to bursting with students. What McAdams did took bravery because, although her article identifies the culprits only as “the Cat staff,” we all know who they really were: fellow students. Some people might call her article the work of a tattle tale, but it takes moral fiber of steel to do so. What were...

Cat in the Cream Fire Code Violation No Laughing Matter

Whitman Barrett

September 28, 2012

Lexie Sharabianlou’s sardonic letter last week (“Fire Code Violations No Big Deal,” The Oberlin Review, Sept. 28, 2012) managed to both belittle the danger of violating safety regulations and advance a principle that, if applied more broadly, would nullify 150 years of progressive safety regulation. Sharabianlou argues that safety regulations are nice in theory, but that they shouldn’t be allowed to impede efforts to improve people’s lives (say, by allowing unlimited numbers of people into the Cat in the Cream to experience an enlightening evening of slam poetry). If this is so, should the proprietors of the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Kentucky have faced any sanction, legal or moral, for the 165 deaths that...

Lauded Poet Mojgani Entertains Packed Cat

Willa Rubin

September 21, 2012

The Oberlin College community came out in droves to the Cat in the Cream last Saturday night to see slam poet Anis Mojgani, packing the entire venue with the sweaty bodies of poetry enthusiasts. Some were lucky enough to grab a table or a spot on a lumpy couch with friends, but plenty of less fortunate fans waited just outside the door, hoping to be let into the already overcrowded coffeehouse. Improvised overflow seating included comfy patches of floor on the stage itself, as fans encircled poet Anis Mojgani physically and with their rapt attention. Associate Professor of Creative Writing Kazim Ali opened for Mojgani without having had much time to prepare, but he still captivated the audience with his performance....

Words Without Music, Music Without Words: Title TK and Bill Orcutt Perform at the Cat

Words Without Music, Music Without Words: Title TK and Bill Orcutt Perform at the Cat

April 27, 2012

Three guys looking vaguely like 30-year-old “Oberlin types” hopped onstage at the Cat in the Cream on Saturday, April 21, and approached their guitars. Then they evidently thought better of it and went to the microphones without guitars in hand. So began the unorthodox performance of the “band” Title TK, featuring TIMARA department alumnus Cory Arcangel, OC ’00, guitarist and composer Alan Licht and curator Howie Chen. When the members of Title TK took to the mikes, they began talking...

Performer Takes Risks with Social-Reformist Spoken Word at Cat

Alice Shockley, Staff Writer

March 16, 2012

Award-winning poet, actor and playwright Carlos Andrés Gómez performed a spoken word poetry production at Oberlin’s Cat in the Cream on March 12. Entering center stage, Gómez immediately captivated the crowd with his honesty and raw emotionality and kept them engaged throughout the show with his wit, passion and charisma. With his questions, stories and satirical commentary on our modern culture, Gómez succeeded in eliciting a radical reaction from the audience. Gómez began as a social worker for disabled children in the Bronx and Central Harlem, and through his work as an HIV/AIDS advocate he raised $40,000 for the cause. As a poet, Gómez has continued his involvement in these causes, using them as the building...

Moldy Peaches’s Kimya Dawson Serves Farm-Fresh Melodies

Moldy Peaches’s Kimya Dawson Serves Farm-Fresh Melodies

September 30, 2011

In Swahili, Kimya means “silent” — and on Sept. 22, the Cat in the Cream was just that, save for a single voice and the picking of an acoustic guitar. Oberlin students swayed to and fro as the melodic wave of Kimya Dawson’s music washed over the crowded Cat last Thursday. Dawson has been working as a solo artist since the 2004 hiatus of The Moldy Peaches, a folk duo most widely known for its work on the Juno soundtrack. After a full month of shows in the Northwest, her stop in Oberl...

Breathe Owl Breathe Brings Silly Sincerity to the Cat

Lizzie Conner, Staff Writer

April 22, 2011

The night started off rough, with feedback issues followed by a dead DI box followed by a broken monitor. These minor technical issues aside, Michigan folk act Breathe Owl Breathe nonetheless managed to pull off a wonderfully entertaining show at the Cat in the Cream last Wednesday, April 13. As soon as the band took the stage, frontman Micah Middaugh adopted his trademark bizarre stage persona, introducing his first song with the quip: “This one goes out to all the dog-walking enthusiasts.” His quirky banter reflected the band’s similarly idiosyncratic musical stylings: The stage was set with instruments that one wouldn’t typically expect from a folk band, including drum pad-triggered samples and a toy synthesizer. From...

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