TUFTS’ PREMIER JOURNAL OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC
THE IRONY OF REFLEKTOR DR. DOG A GUIDE TO BOSTON CONCERT VENUES TUFTS’ PRE-GAME COUNTDOWN
+ INTERVIEWS WITH
THE RARE OCCASIONS PROFESSOR STEPHAN PENNINGTON
WINTER ‘14 VOL 11.0
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mitch Mosk, A’14 ART & LAYOUT DIRECTOR Moira Lavelle, A’16 MANAGING EDITOR Rebecca Sinai, A’16 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Grant Fox, A’17 Nitesh Gupta, A’17 Noah Habeeb, A’16 Allie Kendall, A’16 Kevin Ngan, A’16 Jordan Rosenthal-Kay, A’17 Emily Schacter, A’16 Benjamin Silver, A’17 Miranda Willson, A’17 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS Anastasia Antonova, A’17 Joycelyn Chen, A’17 Leah Denison, A’14 Alex Goldman, A’14 Elias Jarzombek, A’17 Chelsea Newman, A’16
et’s assume you like music. I’m sure you’ve spent enough time this year catching up on Pitchfork and making sure your judgments of this year’s releases are spot on. You also probably started caring about the music you publicly “like” on Facebook
maybe even introduce you to your next favorite song. With a fresh new executive team and batch of writers, we’ve taken the time to sort through the muck and grime to bring you the best in college journalism. That means top-notch interviews, reviews, opinionated rantings, and much more about artists you may or may not yet know. This fall was even more exciting than normal for us, as we redesigned our website to
A special thank-you to Moira Lavelle and Rebecca Sinai for their hard work and dedication to the renewed publication over these last few months. Your efforts were extraordinary, and Melisma Magazine would not exist without you. Thank you as well to our writers, rest of 2014 has in store for us. Cheers,
Mitch Mosk Editor-in-Chief Find us online at www.melismamagazine.com
Interested in writing, art or design? Questions, comments, adulation or hatemail? email email@example.com
By Jordan Rosenthal-Kay
Tufts professor talks music, culture and concert scene
ON RELEASING MUSIC, OUR ATTENTION SPANS, AND THE IRONY OF REFLEKTOR
BEING A COLLEGE BAND
Featuring: The Rare Occasions By Mitch Mosk
GIVE LIFE BACK TO MUSIC
By Kevin Ngan
MELISMA MAGAZINE TALKS TO PASSION PIT
MORE THAN YOU THOUGHT
A conversation with Flume By Rebecca Sinai
GRAPHIC: TUFTS AND MUSIC
The student body on the student body By Moira Lavelle
By Grant Fox
By Benjamin Silver and Mitch Mosk
An opinion on the Tufts music scene
CATCHING UP WITH STEPHAN PENNINGTON
A JOLT OF DROP ELECTRIC
DC band talks music, videos and basketball By Nitesh Gupta
More than an album design By Noah Habeeb
WINTER 2014 VOLUME 11.0 ON THE COVER
BOSTON CONCERT VENUES
By Emily Schacter
Dr. Dog at Boston’s House of Blues credit: Leah Denison
TUFTS’ PREMIER JOURNAL OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC
THE IRONY OF REFLEKTOR DR. DOG A GUIDE TO BOSTON CONCERT VENUES TUFTS’ PRE-GAME COUNTDOWN
DR. DOG BRING THEIR OWN FLAVOR OF PSYCHEDELIA TO BOSTON By Miranda Willson
+ INTERVIEWS WITH
THE RARE OCCASIONS PROFESSOR STEPHAN PENNINGTON
WINTER ‘14 VOL 11.0
By Allie Kendall
MELISMA MAGAZINE’S BEST ALBUMS OF 2013
A SCREENSHOT FROM ARCADE FIRE’S “REFLEKTOR” MUSIC VIDEO
ON RELEASING MUSIC, OUR ATTENTION SPANS, AND THE IRONY OF REFLEKTOR
he recent release of Arcade Fire’s underscores a trend in the business of releasing music. Arcade Fire teased out their release with a series of tiny music videos, a lengthy live set punctuated by the likes of Bono and Michael Cera (amongst others), and ultimately the longest lyric video ever made: the entirety of the album played over Marcel Camus’ 1959 picture, . Is this emblematic of a troubling trend, watching artists desperately utilizing age,” or merely the evolution of a medium? If the former is true, there is much to make out of how Arcade Fire and others have gone about releasing their music recently. When MGMT streams their album over an apt acid-trip visualizer, or Kanye West releases ’ lead single on an interactive site, one can’t help but think that they’re trying to compensate for something. And that something isn’t their music. Perhaps what’s going on here is in essence a war between the artist and the anarchy of the internet. The digital age offers us unparalleled access to an number of tabs you have open. Each hyperlink leads to another thought, and suddenly an article on expands into an hour of research on Icelandic folklore. The appeal of sites like is that they can translate an idea into an accessible, hyperactive multimedia presentation that
one can absorb in a flash. Musicians, in the business of producing something relatively protracted, have to compete with the immediacy of the rest of the internet – and we do consume all of our media via the internet. For Miley Cyrus, this is great news. She can twerk reclaim her cover photo on . However, for those who create the same hype. It’s near impossible to demand someone to listen straight through a full album. You’ll be too tempted to click on that YouTube link your friend sent you or check your email. Unfortunately, the art of or wasn’t Often, artists make albums with the intention that they are consumed in full. The artist then faces a choice: to try to push their album through the frenzy of the internet or to compromise their vision and partition their work into something accessible. Miley pushes for the latter with great success. Arcade Fire’s super-hype campaign for attempted to capitalize on both options. The 30-second promos, bizarro live appearances, the attempt at building a
an album, and we want you to
MELISMA MAGAZINE listen to it!” MGMT’s stream of their album as a video was a similar attempt, demanding that you listen in full. It is a fair technique and it is a sad reality.
To Shamelessly quote McLuhan: ‘The medium is the message’ , in a sense, was about the issue of dealing with
and permanent art. The musician becomes of an artist, Yeezus isn’t just an Jimmy Kimmel. Thus, when we consider the quality of a new album, perhaps we shouldn’t solely focus on the music at its core, much effort is put into the world around an album, we should perhaps review accordingly. So what if some of the material on MGMT’s self-titled was a little dull? They still had one of live act danced with the absurd.
hilarious anti-performance on
notion of the “present age,” of art through the internet has precipitated a shift in media. They are forced to do everything possible to draw attention
now, we’re facing a new age where distinguishing music and
they are almost hypocrites, succumbing to what they see as a problem, promoting their album in the most attentionARTPOP bomb? Because it didn’t wallow in it’s own hype. Gaga didn’t sear it into the collective consciousness of the internet enough, and it faded away. Because of this, we may be witnessing the evolution of a medium. Not of music, but of music. Entertainment overall is becoming more homogenous: mediums blending
To me, what matters is what art provides. The artist of the beauty in the world, disseminate joy, and capture the impossible. That’s still happening. is a big important or implications of the modern era are, they certainly don’t hinder the goals of the artist.
A SCREENSHOT FROM DIE ANTWOORD’S “FATTY BOOM BOOM” MUSIC VIDEO
CATCHING UP WITH STEPHAN PENNINGTON
TUFTS PROFESSOR TALKS MUSIC, CULTURE AND CONCERT SCENE GRANT FOX
tephan Pennington is an assistant professor of music at Tufts. This spring semester, he is teaching a class on queer pop. In the past, he has taught a wide variety of courses dealing with music and identity, including History of African American Music, History of Rock’n’Roll, American Music, Black Divas, and Interwar Transatlantic Jazz & Cabaret. He occupies a unique position within the Tufts music scene. Apart from teaching music, he also produces music, playing the banjo and creating avant-garde electronic music in his spare time (he received his undergraduate training in composition working with a Moog synthesizer). He lives in Houston Hall this year as a resident professor, a status which brings him closer to the student population than anyone else in the music department. We met up one evening to talk about everything music related. Professor Pennington’s passion and excitement about the future of the music business was surprising. “Everyone says the Internet is killing the radio stations and the record companies and everything will die, but all the record companies we had before the ‘50s died too [when they didn’t adapt to rock & roll], and we still have a music business,” he told me. When I asked him what he thought could be improved about the Tufts music scene, his main concerns were space and community. “Granoff is great, but not for music with rhythm. I don’t know where the venues on campus are where you can actually do those sorts of performances. The fact that you don’t have the best venues and everyone here is good performances,” he said. He found the amount of money that goes toward events like Spring Fling to be disconcerting. “That’s a lot of money to spend on someone that’s huge and won’t necessarily put on a great show. I feel like there’s a real inequality there and you’re not necessarily getting the bang for your buck,” he told me. We continued to talk about everything from how to survive as an independent musician to what Spring Fling means to the Tufts music scene. The highlights from the interview follow.
Melisma: 2013 has been such an album year that it’s hard to keep up with everything. Pennington: Right, because how much money does everyone have to spend on albums? And then it’s such a short cycle. People stop caring about albums a week after they come out. Some guy made a website chronicling the best songs of all time—which is already problematic—but he used the criteria of songs that had stayed on the top 100 singles chart for more than 10 weeks. There are only two songs between ‘55 and ‘91 that have that chart longevity. But once we hit ‘91, the lists changed: Instead of relying on radio stations self-reporting airplay, the barcodes on records were tracked. Then Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men and all these artist hit the charts and just soared. So I wonder if there’s been a reverse of that trend now that we’re in the Internet age. Are we back to where songs are turning over more? Do you think the Internet is contributing to a shorter and shorter attention span and a short hype wave? This is going to sound super cynical but part of it is that it doesn’t behoove the record companies to have a certain kind of long-term artist. In some ways its better for record companies to have a string of mid-length stars rather than some long-term stars. Long-term stars are great because they give you dedicated money but then they want more of it. When the hype cycle is moving faster and faster, I wonder how much of it is fueled by record companies. In the past, record companies would do artist development and take someone who wasn’t actually famous and work with them. Now it’s the Internet that does that. They push people to the top and the record companies just skim off the top and pick who the Internet has chosen. Record companies are really risk averse. They won’t come to you with a contract until you don’t need them anymore. And didn’t billboard change the way they count plays because they’re taking into account Internet streams now? That’s right. What’s really interesting is that the hot 100 has always been problematic because it’s always been a mix of sales and radio play. But with radio play, they kind of bribe the stations to play the songs. There was a story big breakout album. That was actually a problem because her record company was not expecting that to happen so they paid off all the country stations but not the pop ones. Luckily her company had the resources and she eventually became Shania Twain but think if they didn’t have the money and they couldn’t have paid the pop stations.
And now you have streaming services where anyone can get on. The problem is nobody is getting paid that much from them unless you’re one of the huge pop stars. But it’s not like anyone was getting paid from radio plays anyway. Money is being made off of those albums. It’s just not being given to the artists. So we should question why exactly it’s working that way. TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) approached Chance The Rapper. but he turned them down and chose to stay independent. That’s really interesting; I wonder how viable that is now. What were you going to do in the past, have 5000 CDs in your garage? Now I think CD Baby will house your merchandise for you. It’s very exciting.
Maybe the record company of the future won’t be a record company at all. But if you’re an independent musician and you’re trying to get the most percentage, your best bet is touring. Actually, your best bet is to own your own record label. People have done surprisingly well by selling lower volume but keeping more of the money. I’m really fascinated to see the ways in which the Internet changes things.. I think there will be places for people to fund other ways to create. The way people have done things through Kickstarter has been successful. It’s interesting to see what model we’ll make. I think it’s interesting when well-established people choose to go through Kickstarter. The Kickstarter founder was talking about how these famous projects will bring more money to Kickstarter because people who get introduced to Kickstarter through the famous people will donate to other things, too. I think if Kickstarter could allow a transformation of the major area, and not just of the minor, that could be very good. If major record studios think there is no market for a certain type of music and there were ways for Kickstarter to say, “Actually, no - the public at large is interested in these other kinds of music,” that could be a way to transform the larger industry... But I don’t
know if that will happen. Maybe the record company of the future won’t be a record company at all; it could be a promotion company. What are your impressions or experiences with the Tufts music scene? A lot of the music people don’t hang out in the music department. I know quite a few of the acapella people. It’s a long tradition here. But why do you guys spend so much money on Spring Fling? It’s ridiculous. It is an insane amount for one concert. I’m on AppleJam and Concert Board and the amount of money Concert Board had to spend on food for the roadies and all the volunteers for Grouplove was the AppleJam budget for the whole year. I’m a little bit opposed to spending a lot of money on someone who’s not really going to give a great show. Isn’t that more of the responsibility of Concert Board than anything else? Yes, but no. It’s a cultural thing where Tufts expects to have someone big. Someone big can’t put on a great show? You just end up getting people who don’t care so much about the single show. To them, they’re doing just another college show. I think someone smaller and hungrier would put on a better show.
Do you think cutting the budget would force us to get someone better? The smaller person might appreciate the show more. I think it’s cool that you actually have Tufts bands open. But I wish there was a way to put more Tufts people on. A lot of musicians have come out of Tufts. I wish there was more space and more honoring of the local talent. I know I’m being mean, but it seems like there’s a good scene here. You have a lot of stuff going on musically. I was at BU this past weekend and they have their own concert venue where they put on free shows for students. They’ve had some big people come like Cults, Questlove, Bo Burnham, Das Racist. I suppose the question is how much support is there amongst the student organizations to build a space for music making and community building similar to how 3Ps and Torn Ticket are for theater. I don’t know if there’s anything like that for music outside of acapella and concert booking. That’s the thing about institutional support versus community support. I don’t know if having the institution run things is always the best. If people can create their own community without oversight you sometimes get better things. It’s a tough balance between the two. I think bands are very individual focused rather than theater which is group focused. The a capella groups support each other and do shows together but I don’t know if that’s here for other music makers. I hope it is. Students really are too busy here. It’s really a problem. They do too much so it’s hard for some of that stuff to happen.
SPRING FLING 2011 // COURTESY TUFTSOBSERVER.ORG
MELISMA MAGAZINE TALKS TO PASSION PIT BENJAMIN SILVER AND MITCH MOSK
ver the years, Boston has been an incubator for hundreds of pop acts, including Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys, New Kids on the Block and, of course, the arena-rock head bangers, Boston. The thriving music scene in Boston can be attributed to both the uniqueness of Boston itself as well as the “wealth of bands in the area that continue to generate both local and national attention,” according to Brian Appel, co-founder of the Boston Calling Music Festival. Perhaps that is why Appel intends to grow his festival by adding more show dates and venues in future iterations of Boston Calling. In fact, Boston Calling will feature three days of music this spring on May 23rd, 24th, and 25th with even more local acts. According to the festival producers, “It’s shaping up to be an unforgettable weekend of music”. We interviewed Ian Hultquist, the founding guitar/ keyboard player of Passion Pit, to learn about how his band came together in Boston and why Passion Pit proudly asserts their headlining Boston Calling performance as a “homecoming gig”. Melisma: Boston Calling is a great example of Boston’s appreciation for music. I’d love to here from you how the Boston music scene brought Passion Pit together. Ian: The members of Passion Pit all went to different colleges around Boston (Berklee College of Music and Emerson College) and we met because we were playing in different bands together. We started Passion Pit in 2007 as a combination of the indie rock scene and the underground dance scene, which were really popular at the time. I think that one of the reasons why people first got into the band was because they were able to connect with elements from both upbeat styles of music.
There are a lot of memorable venues in the Boston area. What has been your favorite place to play? We played Great Scott a lot. We were always there. We also liked playing The Middle East downstairs. That was a favorite of mine. Gossamer was produced in a very appealing way. It’s very bright and crisp and features wide-ranging instrumentation. How did you and the rest of Passion Pit go about translating studio recordings into a live setting? Since recording the album, we have performed everything live with no pre-recorded tracks. But to get there, it took a lot of hours. [laughs] Our singer Michael was the only one in the studio for Gossamer. He arranged the songs with the live show in mind. Michael sent the rest of the band the individual tracks from the recording sessions and we learned them all by ear. We were able to break all the songs down into chunks. We all have our own roles of what we play in the band. If there is a synth lead line, it is more likely that our keyboardist Xander Singh will play that. Or if there is a piano part, I’ll probably take over. We spent a full month working on our keyboards and other instrument arrangements. It was a lot of work, but so far has been extremely rewarding. In so many ways Passion Pit is both a local and national act. You guys have gotten so big over the years and at the same time, you’re just a bunch of guys that met up in Boston. It’s great. We all met up and started the band in Boston and although now we have since moved out of the city, wherever we perform, we always say, “Hi, we’re Passion Pit from Boston.”
BEING A COLLEGE BAND FEATURING: THE RARE OCCASIONS
s many a Tufts student can surely attest, college life isn’t easy. Beyond academics, one has to factor in a social life, eating schedule, chores and errands, downtime, sleep, and more. In point of fact, college is a gigantic balancing act. It should come as no surprise, then, that the number of college bands seems starkly lower than that of high school bands; after all, being in a band is a serious commitment, both in time and effort. Regardless of this notion, the band scene is undoubtedly on the rise at Tufts. The past two years alone have seen the emergence of over half a dozen new bands, running the gamut in terms of genre and style. While Tufts has long been a hub for artistic creativity, this fresh onslaught of music-makers is slowly turning the once-desolate Tufts band scene into a lively community with a tangible presence on campus.
Applejam Productions, which is one of two student-run shape the changing campus culture. Known primarily for bringing indie and alternative ‘up-and-comers’ to campus, it recently began catering to the local talent, hosting multiple student band-centric concerts this past semester. Sophomore Sam Worthington, a member of Applejam, noted that the change in focus has enabled Applejam, which has a limited budget, to host more shows per semester and expand the scope of the Tufts music scene: “It’s easy for us to put on shows for student bands. Everyone is super into it, so we’ve been doing it more frequently. [Previously] Tufts had no outlet for student bands to play, so we started letting them on shows.” Applejam is not alone in molding the ever-developing Tufts music scene, but it has certainly made a major
contribution. Regardless of the ‘why’ and the ‘how,’ the fact remains that Tufts’ band scene has a lot more going on these days, and that’s exciting. But what is it like to attend a top research university while being in a college band? To answer that question, we sat down with The Rare Occasions, the amalgamation of Tufts students Brian McLaughlin and Peter Stone and Berklee College of Music students Luke Imbusch and Jeremy Cohen. In short, it sounds pretty great. The Rare Occasions have been together for four semesters and counting. In terms of college bands, that just might make them veterans.
apply it… [But] when I was doing the extra music stuff, I was just so busy that I didn’t have time to work it into a way I could use it.
Melisma: Give us a little history of the Rare Occasions: How long have you been together, and how would you characterize your sound? Jeremy: For the four of us, it [was] two years in January.
Jeremy: I love my college shows. College students are the best audience members. I definitely think we’re a college band; that’s definitely the most support we get in terms of having a fan base. Being a college band is hard in Boston if you try to play the club scene, because all
my freshman year, and it disoriented my ears… I was way too fond of cadential 6/4s and German sixth chords and think they threw me off more than anything, but once I had time to digest the music, I was able to use it better. So this brings up the next point, which is being a college
found us on Tuftslife; we had posted a couple songs online, we’re very well-read in terms of music and we listen to a lot of different things. Solid songwriting is the foundation of our sound, so it’s combining a songwriting focus with the Berklee ‘jam’ sound. your music. Have you felt a change in your music since you began playing together? do the same thing all the time. I’ve been writing a lot of guitar-centric songs, and am getting pretty bored of that, so we’re going to be trying something new. Our demos are sort of chaotic, and I think our new stuff has calmed down, and is more balanced. Jeremy: Like Brian said, Applefork [our newest EP] was a lot more guitar-centric. Our demos had a lot of keyboards on them. You’ll still hear some organ in the background nowadays but it’s more textural than primary. Applefork, so we were able to fuse our different backgrounds and pay attention to being a unit, rather than four guys coming together. a lot about musical maturity? Luke: Yeah, just the influences from around the world at Berklee have definitely influenced me in my drumming. I’m always trying to change it up, rather than playing a straight beat. Would you Tufts guys say the same for your experience at school? Peter: I did jazz improv my freshman year, and some other ensembles with people who were so amazing. Just to have them listen to me and critique the way that I played over a song was very helpful. I’m trying to take what I learned and
Places like SoGo, where 100 people come to see live music and are there specifically for the music, are a lot more supportive. a sizable crowd, it’s not worth it. A lot of the college shows we play have built-in crowds, so we’re getting our music out there in that sense. People at college shows just want to party and have fun, but people at bars want to hang out with their friends and don’t want to put up with a loud college band the music, are a lot more supportive. Brian: It changed a lot last year. I think this - Applejam - is two years at Tufts. A big shift happened when Applejam started booking shows with student bands because people
in the audience got to see other bands playing and thought, “Hey, we should start a band.” Then a lot of bands started forming. Peter: There are just so many musicians at Tufts… Maybe it was just some individuals in the 2016 grade taking the initiative, but who knows? There’s a positive shift going. Brian: Our only other gig at Tufts this semester was orientation. I wanted to do an orientation gig. I remember my freshman year, I saw a bunch of a cappella groups and student groups offering involvement, but there wasn’t any push to be like, “Hey you can start your own band.” At the orientation show, I encouraged the new class to do just that. What’s been your favorite venue so far? Jeremy: The Crafts House, because they’re right up there in of 120 people who just want to party and have fun. It was October 20th, 2012 and it was sweaty and packed. They gave us a lot of love. We also had an amazing show at the Middle East downstairs.
How have you seen your perception at Tufts change over the years? the last Applejam show we did, the people in the audience knew our songs, and that was really cool. Any last thoughts? Brian: Just for others to realize that there’s amazing music going on at the top tier of the industry, and there’s also pretty amazing music going on in a lot of other places, like right here, right now at Tufts.
The Rare Occasions will be heading to Austin, TX over spring break to play at the SXSW music festival. Their Applefork EP is currently available for download on their Bandcamp site, http://therareoccasions.bandcamp.com, where you can also check out their previous work and link to their social media.
With some members graduating soon, how do you see your band continuing? Jeremy: We still have to have the talk. I think three of major at Berklee so he’s going to be in LA eventually. We’ll play it by ear. We might follow Luke toward his dreams. Peter: If geography allows, then I think we will absolutely continue. Brian: I know I couldn’t stop writing songs. It’s gotta come out somewhere. You won the Tufts Battle of the Bands two years ago and opened for Lupe Fiasco, and you recently won the Berklee Groove’s 2013 ‘In the Groove’ songwriting competition with the song “Scarlet Lies.” Brian: These things seem big to us, but they’re still away just yet. Jeremy: I think the big thing is to take in those victories, help it support us, but to make sure that’s not the sole purpose for why we do this. Why do you guys play? Jeremy: Music is something everyone can relate to. Luke and I are at Berklee, and we’ve been training for the past three and a half years to become professionals in this field. The one thing that is just awesome about music is that you don’t need to go and pay a $200,000 education to listen to music and know what sounds good and what doesn’t sound good. To be able to provide [good music] to people is very rewarding for me and I’m proud of what we’ve done. We’ve done good things, so as a group I think that’s the biggest thing. ALEX GOLDMAN
DR. DOG BRING THEIR OWN FLAVOR OF PSYCHEDELIA TO BOSTON
B-Room Be the Void B-Room
GIVE LIFE BACK TO MUSIC
AN OPINION ON THE TUFTS MUSIC SCENE KEVIN NGAN
sk your average Tufts student about the Tufts music scene, and you’ll probably hear something along the lines of:
frat party, the DJ is all but invisible, furiously working away at maintaining an acceptable ambience, except when the music
Perhaps you may even stumble across the particularly egregious response, “You mean like Spring Fling?” Regrettably, the state of affairs of the Tufts music scene Yes, there is a plethora of a cappella groups, and yes, we do have a modern music center with brand-new equipment and a growing focus of a cappella and the student orchestra is covers, whether it’s a Billboard Top
might be surprising to some people that Spring Fling actually has a Tufts student band to open for the opener (which might also be surprising), considering that they play to a nearlyJay Roth, last year’s Spring Fling opener, played to a crowd of fewer than 50 people, most of which were the Concert Board own talent, and you’ll hear a variation of the following response: “Sadly, the student band usually plays to an empty
Student-driven creative output Students are not concerned so much for the music, but and foremost a research university and not a school, so it isn’t surprising to see artistic achievement as place at Tufts, and those who do perform occupy a very, very Yet, for a student body that is so passionate about sustainability and the environment, equality for all, and politics, it seems that the arts have been pushed into
and knowledgeable about music they could put a Pitchfork
clean water, has suffered the unfortunate fate of being
Tufts’ music booking collective, attracts crowds of 200 at
It’s the equivalent of white noise – it would be a little strange to walk into a Starbucks without being serenaded at least once
such as Spirit of Color and Sarabande often sell out Cohen
no one enters Starbucks for the music, but for a coffee (or to Instagram the pre-game feels incomplete without Juicy J or 2Chainz
simply a byproduct of the fact that students here are motivated
MELISMA MAGAZINE It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to observe the lack of support for student music here at Tufts. Compared to similarlysized institutions such as SUNY Purchase or Wesleyan, Tufts does not offer widespread support for musicians, whether from students or from the university administration. For the most part, the two main groups responsible for organizing shows at the Crane Room or Sophia Gordon are Applejam Productions and Midnight Café, DIY booking collectives that showcase Tufts talent or from the local community. Although Applejam has been able to book critically-acclaimed bands such as Parquet Courts, its operation is often handicapped by a lack of funding. We get about $4,900 for the year,” says Sam Worthington, Applejam’s de facto booking agent. “Midnight gets a little bit more this year, but compared to Concert Board’s budget of over $200,000, we’re underfunded.” According to the TCU Senate, Applejam and Midnight received $4,500 and $3,700, respectively, for 2012-2013. In comparison, a cappella groups such as the Amalgamates received around $7,000, and Concert Board received $264,000. Be prepared to be met with blank stares if you ask a friend about Applejam or Midnight. Or perhaps, in my experience, this gem: “Dude, the bands you listen to on Spotify are wack.” The low budget, less than $1,000 per show, for these DIY artists. And combined with a general ignorance and apathy towards student bands by the student body, it makes shows who don’t already have some connection to the organizers or the bands playing. Thus, the struggle for recognition and visibility on-campus is perpetuated by a cycle of low budget performances and low turnout. Nevertheless, Applejam has been able to reel in Pitchfork-acclaimed artists such as Parquet Courts and Swearin’, with Speedy Ortiz lined up to play in the upcoming semester. On a similar note, the administration has been reluctant to offer support for student bands, especially when it comes to the use of Granoff’s facilities. Of the three practice rooms meant for band practice, two are reserved for ensemble members and only one is open to all students. To make things two hours at a time, twice a week. “As far as the availability of practice rooms, Granoff tends to do whatever they can to give preference to students in the music department and tends to turn away other music groups/bands” says Zach Sogard, a sophomore member of Jay Roth, last year’s Spring Fling and stuff put on by the music department.” Tufts’ longstanding reputation for students who care deeply for various causes such as social justice and responsibility has only gotten stronger in recent years, with the foundation of “active citizenship” programs and other initiatives. But it seems that the progress made in turning students into civic leaders and critical thinkers has yet to translate to music and the arts. In order to change administrative attitude towards student-led music groups, we have to show an active engagement
and concern for its success. Divestment and the recent late-night dining pilot program demonstrate Tufts’ willingness to create changes – but only if we show interest. population, whether or not you actually like a particular band. Musicians are inspired to write music because someone likes their music and attends their shows. Musicians are inspired to write better music when someone attends their show and
But it seems that the progress made in turning students into civic leaders and critical thinkers has yet to translate to music. writes a review that says, “Damn, this band sounds like garbage.” And I’m not referring to the band Garbage. Involvement fuels development, just like competition fuels innovation. And for musicians, there doesn’t seem to be very much interest in music here at Tufts. “The environment simply doesn’t facilitate any extreme involvement in music,” says Soubhk Barari, frontman for Indian Twin. Authors don’t write novels so that they can be stored away in a dusty corner. They’re meant to be read. Musicians write songs so that they can be heard. Who wants to play if no one listens? This isn’t meant to be a guilt-trip for students to run (or click, rather) over to Bandcamp and buy the new single from a local band, or rack up hits on someone’s Soundcloud. It’s meant to ask for some form of involvement, like attending an Applejam show or a Crafts House event. I’m not asking for students to go forth and start their own bands, or even anything remotely close. Many of us are far too busy for such an endeavor. But if ignorance isn’t an excuse for not being socially responsible and politically correct, the same should apply for music and the arts. Show your support by showing up. Try something new. Bands don’t form and immediately sign to a Big Four record label. Most of them start from some dingy club or bar with an audience you could count on both hands. Upcoming talent isn’t reserved for hipsters-only or the artistically talented. One day they might be playing at TT and the Bear’s Place, and the next you may be seeing them at the TD Garden.
TUFTS AND MUSIC
THE STUDENT BODY ON THE STUDENT BODY How do you feel about Miley Cyrus?
Favorite pregame song? IGNITION REMIX M I RITE? also I always get fired up about Work Out by J.Cole Disgusting rap music (Ex: Tyga) Juice - Chance the Rapper Crazy - Britney Spears The Titanic theme song: My Heart Will Go On Céline Dion Any song by Destiny’s Child
Who is your DREAM Spring Fling Performer? Two Chainz feat. President Monaco singing “I’m Different” for 2 hours
Ballin’ Out by Waka Flocka Flame Gas Pedal by Sage The Gemini Any song by Macklemore
Childish Gambino Katy Perry Beyonce
How many concerts have you attended this semester?
Chance the Rapper Major Lazer Kanye West Vampire Weekend
Icons by Roger Castillejo Olan, Vicente Sledz, Michael Martin-Smucker
What would you change, if anything, about the Tufts Music scene? MORE OF IT
Make it more accessible to those less involved/less exclusive
More concerts feature student bands across more genres More cowbell!
Which professor would you most like to see perform at an open mic night?
Book Lil B. Jesus Christ, itâ€™s not that hard
Better distribution of funds (concert board gets a ton of money, Applejam cultivates an entire music scene on barely anything)
Glaser Proctor Kryatov Sobieraj Pennington
What parts of the Tufts music scene are you involved in?
MILEY CYRUS RELEASES BANGERZ OCTOBER 4, 2013
t is fair to say that Miley Cyrus has received a lot of attention in the last few months. From her raunchy performance at the VMAs with Robin Thicke to the debut of her most recent album Bangerz, Miley has experienced a great deal of scrutiny and criticism. However, she has also been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, starred in her own documentary, “The Miley Movement,” which aired on MTV, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and had multiple Billboard Top 100 hits, just to name a few of her recent accomplishments. Whether Miley’s new image positively or receiving publicity – both good and bad – and at the end of the day, it is indisputable that the press and attention helped the debut of her new album. Many people forget that Miley’s radical outbreak is not
ALLIE KENDALL new to the business. Britney Spears (featured in Miley’s upcoming hit, “SMS”) ventured down a similar path that led to a stronger comeback with the release of her Blackout album. Eminem debated whether or not to revive his music career after allegedly threatening the president in his song “We As Americans.” To this day he produces chart-topping songs and records. Demi Lovato even suffered through eating disorders and depression and, after therapy, released her well-received album, Demi. Miley has yet to reach any of these extremes, and despite some odd costume choices, excessive tongue usage, and inappropriate twerking, she began as a singer and will continue to be one. Her personal image should not affect how we listen to her music. “We Can’t Stop” was an interesting choice as the debut single, as Miley notes in her documentary. Combining the
MELISMA MAGAZINE introduction of the song with the release of the music Miley and erases any resemblance to her previous childfriendly Hannah Montana persona. The song will not win any awards for its creativity, but its catchy hook will stick in hit, “Wrecking Ball.” This song shows a completely new side of Miley that is both unlike her former child-star image
she no longer relies on the opinions and suggestions of others to form her career. and also very different than her initial Bangerz image. The dramatic gut-wrenching lyrics demonstrate the darker side of her struggle with love, something we did not expect reminds us where her success originated. “4 x 4” featuring Nelly brings Miley back to her roots. The authentic western instruments and formulaic country “Wake Me Up.” Miley also partners with other major
My favorite track on the album is “On My Own,” independence. The song speaks to her transformation, as she no longer relies on the opinions and suggestions of others to form her career. The guitar adds an alternative/rock sound to tone. The song is, overall, a jam that even those who
message demonstrates that Miley is human, just like everyone else. Her reception to love, emotions, and feelings
Bangerz has allowed Miley to experiment with different styles and genres, while reinventing her image. Though the events surrounding the release of the album have prompted continue to produce hits regardless of criticism or contempt.
MORE THAN YOU THOUGHT A CONVERSATION WITH FLUME A table, a laptop, some cords and a projector screen replaced the drums, guitars, and microphones. But the amps were still there. This transition on Day 2 of Boston Calling marked a new movement in the festival—all of the indie/rock acts were over, and the day of electronic performances commenced with Flume. Flume is the electronic music project of 21-year-old Australian producer Harley Streten. Streten, who has been making music since age 13, is one of the most successful electronic musicians in Australia, and his recent success has come along with a wave of experimental electronic “bedroom producers” from all over the world. Flume’s set consisted of tracks from his debut selftitled album, Flume, released in the US this past February, his project with Australian electronic producer Emoh Instead, called What So Not. Beginning with his track, “More than You Thought,” Flume incorporated enough bass and downtempo electronic melodies to distinguish himself from earlier performances at the festival. Tracks like “Insane (feat. Moon Holiday)” and his remix of “You and Me (feat. Eliza Doolittle)” by Disclosure made his set seamlessly easy
music of Flosstradamus, Wolfgang Gartner, and Major Lazer that followed. Although playing under less than ideal circumstances (his sets typically revolve around a beautiful light show that is best seen in an intimate nightclub setting), Flume’s performance dazzled the thousands of young adults who came to party at City Hall Plaza on Sunday, September 8th. Melisma got an exclusive phone interview with Flume a few days after his Boston Calling set, and I spoke to Harley about his tour and what he hopes to accomplish in the next few years. Melisma: How do you adapt to playing in a daytime festival environment? we have a venue, like [September 11, 2013] at Webster Hall, we have the whole lights, the prism, and the show is not really just music, but it’s based around the lights as well, in a sense that, the lighting we’re in, the prism and our visuals intertwine with the beats. If I take the drums out you’ll be able to see that, so it’s all intertwined, and I have a lot of power, not just with the music, but the visual stuff as well.
In Australia, [the audience] is more crossed over. It’s a younger audience than in the US, where it’s still considered underground, lots of hipster kids.
I’d like to check out a TNGHT show; I’ve never seen them. I saw Kendrick [Lamar] in Boston, which was pretty fun.
I’m looking for something new at the moment, I’m always on the hunt and I’ve got a lot of nice music that I’ve been listening to recently, but nothing that’s been taking it to the next level, you know genre mixing stuff. For example, when TNGHT released their EP last year, stuff that when you hear it you’re like “holy shit, what is this?” At the moment, I’m still on the hunt for something fresh, something new.
Writing for other people is something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s just been a matter of whether I want to do it right now, but I don’t want to start doing that until I’ve got a really strong brand with Flume. Once I’ve set down two or three records and have got a super established name, which might take 2-3 years, that’s when I’ll want to start writing for other people. I really want to do this stuff now, but I’m holding it off, there’s a lot of heat and momentum on the project now, and it would just be silly to waste that working on other people’s stuff.
Yeah, that should be really cool. I like playing in the UK; it should be a nice tour. It will be weird to be a support act, but I’m a big fan of Disclosure, so it will be interesting.
it’s funny how the reason we get the spotlight is that we like spending time in dark rooms.
I want to write huge pop records. Writing a song for Beyoncé or Kanye West, anything that challenges me to write a different style of music. I know how to write Flume music pretty well, that’s easy for me, so what I like, is a challenge—to write a pop score, which I’m not used to, I’d have to think differently, or if I wanted to write for TV ads, because you have to write with a visual, there are boundaries, and boundaries tend to make me creative. I’d like to see myself producing music for other people,
but ideally, a gig a week would be awesome. If I can just chill the whole week, write music, and on the weekends just do a gig, that would be killer. Since I’m all the way in Australia, I can’t just do a festival on the weekend and go back and do another festival, because I’ve done basically everything touring in Australia.
It’s pretty easy to get along with the “bedroom producer” type. and Tokimonsta as well, just how there are so many kids from the suburbs coming out now, writing music on their laptops and then all their songs go onto the internet and their careers start there. Generally they’ve been saying that it’s funny how the reason we get the spotlight is that we like spending time in dark rooms, writing beats by ourselves, and then all of a sudden, as soon as we get successful, people are like, “Okay, let’s go play in front of a crowd of 1000 people,” and then the next night, we’re doing interviews and so many things that
don’t need to spend money to make music. If you’ve got a laptop that can handle what you’re doing, get some headphones and some speakers and that’s all you need. Apart from that, it’s important to get your own sound, and making your own sound isn’t that easy—but the way it happens is kind of unintentional, and to get to that point you basically just need to write every style of music, all genres, write a hip-hop beat one day, write a little techno tune, an alternative score, next day write indie/new disco. Therefore, what you do is understand how each genre works, and then once you’ve mastered several different genres, genre, and that becomes your sound.
UNKNOWN PLEASURES MORE THAN AN ALBUM DESIGN
ou don’t have to go to a concert to buy a band shirt. Perusing the aisles of a department store or scouring a local mall
of bands. The quintessential Ramones shirt, for example, showing the presidential seal sardonically emblazoned with the band members’ names, can be bought at department stores like Target for less than ten dollars. In a sense, what was once a symbol for the Ramones has become a walking cliché with little connection to the original purpose that it served. Like the Ramones’ presidential seal, the Rolling Stones’ exposed red tongue has become a cultural meme, trite to the point that it is has ceased to be a “band shirt,” and become the kind of shirt you can buy at Wal-Mart or Target. The same phenomenon has befallen Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, and a handful of other bands with iconic graphics and album art. For some, the bands’ legacies live on through the music, but for many they are summarized by a logo, a graphic, or a simple name. It seems that the next music-based cultural meme might be the album art to Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division’s has begun to sell t-shirts and sweaters emblazoned with the iconic Unknown Pleasures album art. More and more people seem to don the logo, yet outside of the music community, Joy To be clear, there is nothing wrong with wearing a Joy Division shirt. The design is phenomenal. Peter Saville, the in-house graphic designer for Joy Division’s Factory Records, has produced dozens of album covers, but none as iconic as Unknown Pleasures Kanye West acknowledged the superiority of Saville’s talent, asking him to design his new brand upon the release of Yeezus. Created from an image of the waves of a pulsar, the design’s colors were reversed to create a stack of white mountainous lines across a black background. The back offers no tracklist, departing from the norm and leaving the viewer with nothing
else by which they can judge the album. Beautifully simple, melancholic and bleak, the Unknown Pleasures artwork is foreboding in an effort to explain what is to come. its way onto clothing and other products, but the extent to which it has done so is remarkable. Even Disney released (and quickly unreleased) an augmented Unknown Pleasures shirt that warped the radio frequency lines into the face of Mickey Mouse. Needless to say, the remaining living members of Joy Division were unaware and uncompensated. While it could be seen as a harmless homage to a great album, the commercialization of the album art misses the point. Album art, after all, is a symbol for the music within the album. Like so much in our culture, Unknown Pleasures for consumption and merchandising, the iconic image has been commercialized, disassociating the album art from the music. Stripped of the original meaning, it has lost all power. Inspired by the Sex Pistols, childhood friends Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook formed Joy Division in Manchester in 1976. Soon after, Stephen Morris and Ian Curtis joined the band to round out the lineup. After undergoing a few name changes and playing local shows, the band began to achieve regional success. Joy Division later signed with RCA Records and performed a string of television appearances, but they soon debut album on independent label Factory Records, Joy Division began recording sessions in April 1979. While achieving success, like a front cover story in NME, lead singer Ian Curtis struggled with a recent diagnosis of epilepsy. Despite Curtis’s illness, the band joined the Buzzcocks for a nationwide tour. Suffering more and more epileptic seizures, sometimes during rehearsals and performances, Curtis became tour, and two months before the release of their second album, Closer,
MELISMA MAGAZINE Ian Curtis took his own life. The remaining members would go on to form the more commercially successful band New Order, but Joy Division would always be their crowning achievement. The personal tragedy and gloom of Curtis’ life has long colored the music of Joy Division as depressing and dark, like the best romantic literature. Independent of the poetic tragedy, however, Unknown Pleasures is a truly remarkable album. The bass is melodic, driving, and aggressive. The guitar is incising and clear, yet modest, leaving just enough sonic space. Sparse in the best sense, Morris’s simple percussion compliments Sumner and Hook perfectly. And then there is Ian Curtis’s voice. An acquired taste, and certainly not the most virtuosic of singers, Ian Curits is known for his baritone voice, stark honesty, and gothic tinges. As important as the vocals and instrumentation, the strong production makes the Joy Division sound. More expansive than previous punk and post-punk records, Unknown Pleasures occupies vast sonic space with as little effort as possible. It is simultaneously sweeping and sparse. The driving drums and bass of the opening track “Disorder” foretell the album’s originality. The lyrics enter with the haunting lines that encompass the album and unfortunately, in “I’ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand/Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man/These sensations barely interest me for another day/ I’ve got the feeling, lose the spirit, take the shock away.” The following tracks convey the same brilliance and ingenuity. Classics like “New Dawn Fades” and “Shadowplay” offer striking melodic guitar solos and introspective yet ambiguous lyrics, while later tracks like “Wilderness” and “Interzone” Gothic sounds, similar to contemporaries like Bauhaus, also exist throughout. Without a doubt, future Goth rock acts have evoked the sound of Joy Division. In concert, the band featured more forceful guitars and rarely interacted with the audience. Most noteworthy, however, was Ian Curtis’s unique dancing. Alternating between awkwardly standing at the microphone and spasmodically dancing, his unique stage presence has become renowned. With his jarring oscillating arm motions, he created an identity that was purely his own. The originality, musicality, and honesty of Unknown Pleasures have been appreciated for decades by a successful and diverse body of musicians. A search for covers of Joy and U2 have all performed Joy Division songs live. The list of indie superstars that have covered Joy Division is endless, but most unique is Sufjan Stevens’s twelve-minute original Christmas song, “Christmas Unicorn,” that ends with an entirely unexpected medley of the Joy Division track, “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” intermingled with chants of “I’m the Christmas Unicorn!” Even more bizarre is a cover by Caribbean steelband Steel Harmony. In a video showing the band driving through Manchester, England during a parade on an inexplicably long indistinguishable vehicle, the mostly dreadlocked band gives a spot-on rendition
of “Transmission.” Titled on YouTube, “best joy division cover version in the world,” it is certainly up there. the picture. Again, an abundance of indie heavyweights have expressed their love for Joy Division, but other musicians are more surprising. In a recent interview with the Village Voice, rapper Danny Brown listed Joy Division as his favorite rock band, saying, “I could talk for hours about [Joy Division].” Within the last few months, One Direction member Louis Tomlinson was music certainly is far from that of Joy Division, he apparently has an appreciation for the band - or at least their album art. But it doesn’t take this much effort to see how important Joy Division is. Just listen to a few hip bands from the last couple of WMFO is a good place to start). Savages, one of the break out aggressive bass and complementary guitar of Joy Division with their forceful post-rock revival. New York based DIIV, started as Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith’s solo project, also embraces the polyphonic melodies and driving bass of Unknown Pleasures. Trouble Will Find Me, the chart-topping release from The National this year, has drawn Joy Division parallels, too. Matt
Unknown pleasures occupies vast sonic space with as little effort as possible. Berninger’s brutally honest baritone voice, and the dark nostalgia of Trouble Will Find Me evokes the unmistakable voice and lyrics of Ian Curtis. Like learning a new word, once you are aware of Joy Division, you hear it everywhere. Unknown Pleasures is so much more than a brilliant album design. It is a musical force, a masterpiece, and a reduction of Unknown Pleasures to a commercialized, literally a truly great band, but also to all great music. It is as if the Clash was reduced to the album art of London Calling, or if Led Zeppelin were known by the artwork for their eponymous debut. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wearing a Joy Division shirt, a Rolling Stones shirt, or a Ramones shirt. What is disconcerting is not this individual choice, but the process by which the symbol overtakes the idea that it is supposed to convey - when the music becomes so disassociated from the symbol that it loses its original meaning. A nice design will quickly become a cliché, its only power being perceived power. I can only hope this misfortune doesn’t befall Joy Division’s legacy, but it quickly seems to be the case.
MELISMA MAGAZINE’S BEST ALBUMS OF 2013 OLD by Danny Brown
ACIDRAP PURE HEROINE by LORDE
by Chance the Rapper
DAYS ARE GONE by HAIM YEEZUS by Kanye West
MODERN VAMPIRES OF THE CITY by Vampire Weekend
BEYONCÉ by Beyoncé
THE ELECTRIC LADY by Janelle Monáe
BOSTON CONCERT VENUES EMILY SCHACTER
have lived outside Boston my entire life, and I must say that the most exciting part of going into the city for me is when I am attending a concert. Whether I am with my friends or with my family, I love the experience of entering a venue and feeling the energy of the crowd. I am always entertained watching the opener and being exposed to new music. And, of course, listening to the artist that you so desperately want to see is amazing. Additionally, Boston is home to a diverse range of venues that attract many different genres of music. This means you can surely find a performance you’re interested in attending at a reasonable price. When deciding to attend Tufts, I was so thankful that I would not have to give up the thrill of venturing into Boston to have these experiences. I now share my concert adventures with new friends that enjoy the performances as much as I do. I hope that everyone here knows about the various concert opportunities at a very diverse range of venues all over Boston so that they can take advantage of seeing great artists and making unforgettable memories.
Upcoming Concerts: Ellie Goulding, March 17
TD Garden (Boston - North Station)
are multiple bars inside, along with a connecting restaurant by the lobby. The concert feels like a huge party with all of your friends, and since the artists performing aren’t huge names, the tickets will be cheap. Upcoming Concerts: Mayer Hawthorne, March 1; Young the Giant, March 2; Broken Bells, March 5; Dropkick Murphys, March 13-16; Childish Gambino, March 30; Pentatonix, April 5-6; The Wanted, April 14; Christina Perri, April 20; Chromeo, April 20; HAIM, May 13
T-Stop: North Station (Green Line/Orange Line) Seating or Standing: Both Description: The Garden is host to some of the greatest acts that come to Boston, so each performance isn’t just a concert: It’s an experience. With thousands of people in the audience, the venue is full of excitement. That being said, sometimes the sound quality is lacking. This space is certainly not an intimate setting for a concert. Upcoming Concerts: Justin Timberlake, February 27; Kings of Leon, February 28; Sting & Paul Simon, March 3; The Avett Brothers, March 8; Miley Cyrus, April 2; Cher, April 9; Lady Gaga, June 30; Justin Timberlake, July 19
Agganis Arena (Boston - BU area) T-Stop: St. Paul Street or Pleasant St. (Green Line, B train) Seating or Standing: Both Description: Similar to the Garden, the Agganis Arena at Boston University provides the audience with big name artists and a big concert feel. It is not as nice as the Garden, and the sound quality isn’t as good. Tickets are not outrageously expensive, though, so you can typically see big names for a reasonable price.
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion formerly known as Bank of America (Boston - waterfront) T-Stop: Silver Line Way Seating or Standing: Seating Description: The Pavilion is right next to the harbor, so you’ll have a great view of the water. It is covered but open on the sides, and really is a great spot for summer concerts when it’s warm outside. This venue still attracts fairly big in an ideal location! Upcoming Concerts: OneRepublic, June 25
House of Blues (Boston - Fenway) T-Stop: Kenmore or Fenway (Green Line) Seating or Standing: Both Description: This venue is one of the best in Boston. Directly across from Fenway Park, the House of Blues has
The Royale (Boston -Tremont St) T-Stop: Tufts Medical Center (Orange Line) or Boylston (Green Line) Seating or Standing: Both Description: The Royale feels more like a trendy club than anything else, perhaps because it turns into one after the concert is through! It attracts a young crowd, so it’s the perfect place for college students. The acts are small, so it’s cheap, and you’re bound to get fairly close to the stage, as the standing room isn’t huge. Upcoming Concerts: Rhye, February 20; Brett Dennen, February 28; Delta Rae, March 1; Switchfoot, March 22; Bombay Bicycle Club, May 6
Icon by Hum
Orpheum Theatre (Boston - Downtown Crossing) T-Stop: Park St. (Red Line or Green Line) Seating or Standing: Seating Description: The Orpheum is certainly not a nightclub, but rather a classy theatre in which concert-goers sit and listen to amazing acoustics in a beautiful hall. Tickets can be a bit pricy, but the venue makes it worth it. Upcoming Concerts: Austin Mahone, March 7; Lorde, March 14
Brighton Music Hall (Allston) T-Stop: Harvard Ave. (Green Line) Seating or Standing: Standing Description: This venue is small and intimate, which is perfect for the rock acts and comedic shows typically featured there. It’s a lot of fun for not a lot of money, which is pretty ideal for college students. Upcoming Concerts: Shaggy, February 27; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., March 20; Dum Dum Girls, March 27; We Are Scientists, April 19
The Sinclair (Harvard Square) T-Stop: Harvard Square (Red Line) Seating or Standing: Both Description: The Sinclair is host to great small acts in an intimate setting, and is even better as it has a “kitchen,” or conjoined restaurant! This venue is perfect for dinner and a show, and is close enough to campus that it will not take up your whole night. Upcoming Concerts: We Were Promised Jetpacks, March 5; Sam Smith, March 25; Okkervil River, March 29
The Middle East (Central Square) T-Stop: Central Square (Red Line) Seating or Standing: Both Description: The Middle East is a restaurant and nightclub, with performances both upstairs and downstairs. The bands are mostly local and the tickets usually run less than $20. This is a great local place to get food, see a few bands and hang out in Central Square! Upcoming Concerts: see website for day to day shows
TT the Bears (Central Square) T-Stop: Central Square (Red Line) Seating or Standing: Standing Description: Located right next to the Middle East, TT the Bears is a very small venue with local acts. There is a bar, a stage, and room to stand - it’s a pretty low-key place. They have live music every night of the week, so you’re bound to find something you like there. It’s a very reliable concert venue and doesn’t cost much at all.
Upcoming Concerts: see website for day to day shows
Somerville Theatre (Davis Square) T-Stop: Davis Square (Red Line) Seating or Standing: Seating Description: Located in the heart our very own Davis Square, the Somerville Theatre is a great old fashioned concert venue that hosts many acoustic concerts as well as some rock ones. If you’re looking for ultimate convenience, this is the place to go! Upcoming Concerts: Asaf Avidan, February 22; Band of Horses: A Special Acoustic Performance, February 25; Josh Ritter (acoustic), March 5-6; Johnny Clegg Band, April 4
Wilbur Theatre (Boston - Tremont St.) T-Stop: Tufts Medical Center (Orange Line) or Boylston (Green Line) Seating or Standing: Seating Description: While the Wilbur Theatre is famous for hosting comedians, it is also a great place to see live artists. Located in the middle of Boston, it is a historic venue that is small enough so that it doesn’t feel crowded but big enough so that it attracts fairly big names to perform. Upcoming Concerts: see website for shows
Great Scott (Allston) T-Stop: Harvard Ave. (Green Line, B train) Seating or Standing: Standing Description: Great Scott hosts great rock concerts in a small setting, but it is known to be extremely loud, so be prepared! It’s a little farther out than other small venues, as it’s located in Allston, but for a cheap rock concert, this is the place. Upcoming Concerts: see website for day to day shows
Paradise Rock Club (Boston - Pleasant St.) T-Stop: Pleasant St. (Green Line, B train) Seating or Standing: Standing Description: This venue may be small inside, but you’re sure to get close to the artists on stage. It is a really fun place to see your favorite rock, indie, or electronic bands. Once again, the Paradise Rock Club is farther from campus than some of the other listed venues, but it is also on the cheaper side and will definitely offer you a great concert in an intimate setting. Upcoming Concerts: London Grammar, April 11; The War On Drugs, April 17
A JOLT OF DROP ELECTRIC
DC BAND TALKS MUSIC, VIDEOS & BASKETBALL NITESH GUPTA
ave you ever yearned to be on an island, dancing around
You named your previous album “Finding Colour in Ashes.” And now your new album is “Waking Up to the Fire.” I’m sensing a common theme. Is there a progression here? [laughs] Melisma: Tell us about yourself.
Without using any genre names, how would you describe your music?
We also live in a really political city, so a lot of what we talk about is what’s happening in the world around us. I really dig every part of your latest music video “Waking Up to the Fire”--the masks, the fire, the dancing, the painting, everything. Can you tell me how you came up with the idea for it?
Describe your recording process.
Introducing an all new umbrella organization for all things â€œmusicâ€? at Tufts As you may already know, the music scene at Tufts is scattered and lacks a unifying force. We hope to provide Tufts music groups, musicians and music enthusiasts with a single outlet through which they can access everything the university, our surroundings, and the Through bi-weekly meetings, an email list and, in the future, a website, we will give every music organization and individual musician the opportunity to reach out and be in touch with students at Tufts. an opportunity to share and access weekly announcements with members of the Tufts Community.
For questions, please email Mitch Mosk and Nitesh Gupta at JumboMusic.Tufts@gmail.com
PHOTO BY ALEX GOLDMAN
Tufts Universityâ€™s Melisma Magazine