Concert Review: The Metropolitan Opera’s Barbiere di Siviglia

By Lilyanna D’Amato

On this twentieth day of quarantine, I have grown weary of watching. I spent the first few days happily catching up on Succession, the next few binge-watching every episode of Tiger King, and now, a week and a half later, I’ve resorted to fruitless channel surfing. On Sunday, I spent a whopping six hours on my phone. So, at 7:30 last night, when I propped my laptop on the edge of my bed and nestled myself under the covers to watch The Metropolitan Opera’s March 24th, 2007 stream of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, I was anticipating another few hours of mind-numbing screen time. But, fortunately, the performance far exceeded my watch-weary skepticism. 

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Nixon in China — MET Opera Review

By Jason Kreloff

On Wednesday, April 1st, the Metropolitan Opera streamed its production of Nixon in China. Composed and conducted by John Adams, the three-act opera is based on President Richard Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic in 1972 after the country had been under isolation for decades. 

The story follows the twists and turns of relations between Chairman Mao Tse-tung (sung by Robert Brubaker), his wife Chiang Ch’ing (Kathleen Kim), Richard Nixon (James Maddalena), his wife Pat Nixon (Janis Kelly), Premier Chou En-lai (Russell Braun), and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Richard Paul Fink).

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Hook: Concert Review

By Amari Newman

On November 21, 2020, Hook and BKTHERULA appeared at the Dionysus Disco for the first night of WOBIE Fest, a three day music festival organized by student union booking organizations at Oberlin College: OHOP, F+ABB and SUPC, and its radio station, WOBC. The festival curates events that cater to all types of students, and encourages them to become involved in college radio.

Hailing from Riverside, California, Hook is a 21-year-old female rapper who hasquickly gained recognition throughout the underground as one of the most exciting artists on the scene. BK, who is from Atlanta, shares Hook’s buzz. Both artists collaborate on songs, appear in each other’s music videos, and perform together. 

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TIMARA Faculty Recital: Sound in the Round

Facilities: Irene and Alan Wurtzel Theater | Oberlin College and ...

By Tyler Smith

Long before Oberlin Conservatory’s TIMARA faculty began their Sound in the Round performance on the evening of March 8th, Wurtzel Theatre was bustling with activity. TIMARA students had set up various installations around the lobby showcasing their work. Third-year Drew Smith made their “Child of [Electronic] Tree” installation available to peruse on one side, while alum Helen Hé showed off their “Octowaver” on the other side for people to explore. The concert itself, one of the most enthralling of the semester, marked the end of the 50th anniversary celebration of the TIMARA program.    

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Russian Renaissance — Concert Review

By Quentin Zimbalist

It would be hard to believe that anybody left Finney Chapel on Friday night, February 28, without a smile on their face. Russian Renaissance, a folk fusion band sporting traditional Russian instruments, provided an unforgettable evening of music for people of many walks of life The quartet captivated the audience with repertoire ranging from traditional Russian Folk pieces to modern American pop music, and mashups of everything in between.

From left to right sat Ivan Kuznetsov (balalaika), Anastasia Zakharova (domra), Alexander Tarasov (button accordion), and Ivan Vinogradov (bass balalaika). The group opted to change the order of the program, making it difficult to figure out their opener, which began with a fierce 4×4 groove and felt like the background music in an intense movie. Tarasov took the melody, pressing the accordion’s buttons with incredible speed and precision.

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Prisoner Of Mind — Album Review

By Amari Newman

In Prisoner Of Mind (released July 2018), King Carter speaks on the state of being Black in a way that is painfully eye-opening and relatable. The 21-year-old Brooklyn-native touches on his troubled familial relationships, the impact of white supremacy on the Black community, and his battle with depression.

A large portion of the album’s lyrics focus on Carter’s relationship with his mother and father, with one of them being mentioned on every track. Many of the mother-related bars are quick references to her incarceration. In “Sacrifices” Carter raps “The judge wanna give a nigga life my momma.” While other lyrics exhibit the inspiration he has garnered from his mother’s sacrifice. In “My Pain,” he notes “You gave your all in an attempt to give us something better, just know that I’m grateful forever.” The father-related lyrics typically consist of stand-alone bars that touch on his absence throughout Carter’s life, and his son’s continued love for him despite that.

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Blow. – Album Review

By Tyler Smith

Two years after working with David Bowie on his final album, Blackstar, saxophonist Donny McCaslin has returned with his new ambitious project, Blow.

 Originally from Santa Cruz California, McCaslin attended the Berklee College of Music and began his career in New York in the late 90’s. His heavy collaboration with Bowie later on in his career helped pave the way for the saxophonist to start experimenting with different styles and work with many artists, culminating in Blow in late 2018.  

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Modern Music Guild Presents: TAK Ensemble + David Bird — Concert Review

TAK+group+19-20.jpg?format=2500wBy Tyler Smith

On Tuesday February 18th, Oberlin’s Modern Music Guild hosted the New York-based chamber group TAK ensemble, featuring guest composer and Oberlin Alum David Bird. After giving two clinics earlier in the day, the ensemble presented an exceptional performance in the evening that reinforced WIRE Magazine’s description of a group that “combines crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex.”

The program comprised pieces composed during the past decade for various combinations of flutes, clarinets, violin, percussion, and voice.

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BKTHERULA @ The ‘Sco — Concert Review

 

By Jason Kreloff

In a small town like Oberlin, it’s not often you get the chance to hear a queen of underground rap. So when it was announced that BKTHERULA would perform on Friday, February 21 as a part of WOBIE FEST 2020 at the ‘Sco, devoted fans such as myself were quick to secure a ticket. 

BKTHERULA is a blossoming Atlanta artist with hundreds of thousands of streams and tens of thousands of listeners who tune in every month. Her breakout hit, Tweakin’ Together, had the internet buzzing, giving her the coveted title of the “female Duwap” — a serious responsibility, but one which BK won’t let box in her art. At the time of this review, Tweakin’ Together had 370,000+ views on YouTube alone. 

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The Bad Boys of Blues: Concert Review

By Maisie Sheidlower

The self-proclaimed “vintage Cleveland establishment” has two sections: a wine bar and a dive bar. Though each space has its own entrance, some patrons opt to walk beyond the twee singer crooning in the wine bar to access the dive bar, which is decorated not unlike a dorm room. Jack Daniels labels and crude paintings of Jimi Hendrix clutter wall space not taken up with fairy lights and sports jerseys. This is The Brother’s Lounge.  

The bar boasts nightly performances, and February 13th offered up The Bad Boys of Blues. The group ascended the stage, and wished a vague “happy birthday” before launching into Fire on the Bayou by The Meters. Mike Barrick, donning a top hat that looked like it had been hit with a mallet, gave a fun yet overindulgent bass solo before goateed, greasy poney-tailed drummer Jim Wall took a turn. Luke Pernicci then slightly pursed his lips as he shredded his blue and white guitar, gently shaking the instrument to indicate the notes he wanted us to nod our heads to. 

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