The Oberlin Review

Ariana Grande Should Not Be Your White Queer Icon

Aly Fogel, Contributing Writer

May 3, 2019

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

 A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for the Review about queer tropes in the music video for Ariana Grande’s song, “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” (“Ariana Grande’s Music Video Perpetuates Queer Stereotypes, Tropes,” March 8, 2018). Writing under the assumption that Grande was straight, I criticized the video for utilizing Grande’s kiss with a girl as a “plot twist.” This portrayal, I argued, fed into a common trope that delegitimizes and fetishizes queer women. The article was written a month after the video was released, prior to any sign of Grande coming out. Then, at the beginning of April, Ariana released a song titled “Monopoly” with her friend Victoria Monét, who is bisexual....

AAPR Recommends Structural Changes to Con

AAPR Recommends Structural Changes to Con

April 19, 2019

One of the primary areas of recommendation to come out of the Academic and Administrative Program Review concerns structural changes to the Conservatory. Specifically, the steering committee has supported the creation of a revamped Musical Studies major and minor, and recommended that Oberlin increase College enrollment by 100 students while simultaneously decreasing the Conservatory enrollment by 100 students over the course of four years. This recommendation was made partially in response to d...

Open Mic Culture Provides Performance, Community

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

February 15, 2019

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Music

The lights go dim and the night begins with the sound of the emcee announcing the first act — welcome to the open mic. Here, you’ll see the creative headspaces of students come to life on the stage through slam poetry, diary readings, a capella covers, instrumental pieces, and original songs. Deep down, everyone is nervous to share their work — yet they still summon the courage to do exactly that.  The open mic is a positive atmosphere in which people can exercise their right brains, and where artists of all backgrounds can perform in a safe, low-pressure environment. Oberlin is lucky enough to have one held at the Cat in the Cream every month or so, with other themed nights springing up around campus sponsore...

’Sco Seniors Reminisce, Appreciate Campus Community Space

’Sco Seniors Reminisce, Appreciate Campus Community Space

February 15, 2019

The Dionysus Disco — or as it is best known, the ’Sco — is one of the most notorious and beloved spaces on Oberlin’s campus. Dionysus was the Greek god of the grape harvest, fertility, theater, wine, ritual chaos, and religious ecstasy. I don’t know about harvesting grapes or fertility, but anyone who has turned out for a Wednesday night Splitchers has participated in a kind of ritual chaos and can attest to the religious ecstasy of this hallowed ground.  It follows, then, that the energy behind the ...

Indie Group Preacher & Daisy Releases “Over Lake Erie”

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

November 30, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Music

Preacher & Daisy, an Oberlin student folk group, will be releasing its debut EP Over Lake Erie next week. College senior Sam Bailey released his solo record Preacher & Daisy in the summer of 2017. Soon after, he began playing with College sophomore Eva Hilton to form an electric guitar and bass duo. Over time, Cody Edgerly, OC '17, and Conservatory senior Maddy Baltor filled in on the drums and electric guitar, forming the indie-folk-rock group, Preacher & Daisy. Bailey found the name for his fledgling group after reading a short story titled “The History of Rodney” by environmental writer Rick Bass. “In the story, Daisy, is an old woman who has dedicated her life to waiting in the Mississip...

Student-Athletes Shine at Sharing Stages

Student-Athletes Shine at Sharing Stages

November 16, 2018

Saturday night in the William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space, I realized what I love most about Oberlin: its tendency to foster creativity and collaboration, and the way people can express their diverse backgrounds, interests, and talents. I am regularly in awe of and inspired by the bright and energetic students on campus. Last weekend, students of the College and the Conservatory, athletes and non-athletes, parents, and administrators came together to celebrate som...

Scuffles Between Musicians and Politicians Highlight National Divide

Levi Dayan

November 9, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Music

Another election season means, as always, another round of politicians being told to stop using artists’ music without permission. Most recently, Pharrell Williams issued a cease and desist letter to President Trump after rally organizers used his song “Happy” at a campaign event in Indiana. In his letter to the president, Williams’ attorney Howard King denounced the song choice in the wake of October’s fatal shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. “There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose,” King wrote. The same week, after “Don’t Stop The Music” played at another rally, Rihanna...

New Legislation Helps Established Musicians

Carson Dowhan, Staff Writer

November 9, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Music

There’s been a lot of discussion recently around the impact of streaming music on how artists are compensated for their work, given the overwhelming rise of services like Spotify and Apple Music. In a new development, the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act was signed into effect Oct. 11. It stands as one of the most important pieces of legislation regarding entertainment and copyright law, but the legal jargon can be difficult to follow for those who are unfamiliar with music industry standards. The bill, which received bipartisan approval in Congress, impacts all creative rights holders and those who create music — but it affects industry giants much more than small Oberlin bands with music...

Kishi Bashi Duo to Play at Cat in the Cream

Carson Dowhan, Staff Writer

October 12, 2018

Filed under Uncategorized

American singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kishi Bashi will perform at the Cat in the Cream this Saturday, Oct. 13. He will be showcasing songs from his critically-acclaimed 2016 album Sonderlust, described as “frantic, unpredictable, digital, and danceable” by NPR. In an interview with Bandcamp, Bashi said Sonderlust “chronicles the life, death, and possible re-birth of a relationship.” The whimsicality behind the album title comes from John Koenig’s blog Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, the title of which captures the theme of the album perfectly. His work takes an eclectic approach to the indie-rock genre, with noticeable inspirations from ’70s pop. Hints of influences behind Sonderlust ra...

Oberlin Band Blankat to Open for Laura Stevenson

Carson Dowhan

September 28, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

Indie folk-rock artist Laura Stevenson will appear at the ’Sco tonight at 10 p.m., featuring Blankat, Oberlin’s very own shoegaze group. Stevenson has been perfecting her craft since 2006, when she released Laura Stevenson: A Record. The album showcases a poignant voice, dynamic percussion, and distorted rhythmic guitars — all of which Stevenson has worked to develop as her signature style. Some of her influences include The Lemonheads, Liz Phair, and The Replacements. Not one to stray away from genre exploration, some of Stevenson’s early tracks, like “Baby Bones,” feature harmonizing vocals led by a fingerpicked guitar, segueing into eclectic compositions featuring brass and strings sections. Stevenson’s lyrici...

Ari Lennox Delivers Powerful Performance

Carson Dowhan

September 14, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Music

The line to enter the Cat in the Cream wrapped around the hallways of Hales Annex before R&B artist Ari Lennox’s show Saturday, Sept. 8. “Over 100 people were in line by 7:30,” manager and College senior Hanne Williams-Baron said. “At 330 people, we reached full capacity.” The sold out house was quite an impressive turnout for an artist not particlarly well known to the Oberlin community. Lennox launched her music career in 2012 and released her first EP Ariography in 2013. She signed to J. Cole’s record label Dreamville in 2015, and gained major traction with the release of her 2016 EP, PHO. While she has yet to present a full-length album, she has already garnered a national following, speaking to t...

Established 1874.