Every college student needs a spot on campus. You know the kind I mean; a spot where you can go whenever you need to get out of the dorm, a spot where you can get homework done but you don’t have to, a place that is comforting and safe, and is unquestionably yours (even if others go there too). For some this spot is a special nook in the extremely quiet music library. For others it is at the base of a certain tree on the President’s lawn. For others still it is a spot in a tree on the president’s lawn. For me this spot is The RezQuad Café. I go in most nights between 10 and 11 with my laptop and a pile of work. I order my skim chai latte to stay (it comes in a big mug but for the price of a small) and set up a work station in one of the comfy chairs.
The only time I’ve been south of the Mason-Dixon Line was to go to Austin City Limits in 2007 and, quite frankly, I barely count the liberal oasis of Austin, Texas as the South. In fact, I had never heard a real Southern accent until I went to Nateva this summer and met James. And, let me tell you, James is from the South. Hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana, he was the last person I expected to meet in rural Maine. But there he was, sitting at our friend Kelsi’s campsite on Saturday morning, and when we started to chat, his Southern accent is what admittedly drew me in, but his story is what kept me listening. (more…)
This week’s post is hopefully only one of many I’ll be writing about Tufts musicians over the course of the year. Last week I wrote briefly about DJ and his band Take Care. It seems, however, that I was way behind. They have actually released a new demo and two of their songs have already been featured on indierockcafe’s best new releases list alongside big-deal names like Sufjan Stevens and Belle and Sebastian. This new demo is really quite good; an immense improvement from the earlier album (NOT EP as I mistakenly suggested last week) and you should download it here.
This past Fourth of July weekend, I popped my music festival cherry. This has been a lifelong ambition of mine, due in large part to my desire to be Janis Joplin and roll around in the mud at Woodstock. Unfortunately, I never really had the resources or the wherewithal to organize and get myself to a music festival until this summer. (It’s ironic that wanting to be a hippie requires so much planning.) My friend Sam and I chose to go to the first-ever Nateva Music Festival in Oxford, Maine primarily because of its pretty amazing line-up: Furthur, Passion Pit, the Flaming Lips, George Clinton, She & Him, and Grizzly Bear, among many others.
About a month ago, a bunch of kids on my hall were all sitting around on the floor hanging out. Actually this happens every day (which means I never get any work done) but on this particular day we were talking about concerts. A bunch of people had just been to see Chiddy Bang at College Fest. Others had just come back from the Vampire Weekend concert at Bank of America Pavilion. My next-door neighbor Ali began lamenting the fact that she had bought two tickets to see The Tallest Man on Earth play at Somerville Theater but couldn’t find anyone else who liked him. As it turns out I am a fan of Tallest Man on Earth. I am a new fan; a fan, who up until recently, only had a handful of songs on her iPod but a big enough fan to be psyched for his concert. I love his distinctive voice, the poetry of his lyrics, and the fact that he’s a Swede but he plays Americana folk music.
Editors Note: This is the first of our weekly columns from our eager contributors. Every day during the week we will post one column, and you can expect to see the same author’s work every week after that unless otherwise noted. Ellen Mayer’s column is entitled “The Awkward Freshman Playlist” and will chronicle her experiences at Tufts and the music that goes along with it. -MD
For freshmen, most conversations during the first weeks of school go something like this: Nice to meet you, (insert name), where are you from? What dorm are you living in? Do you know what you want to study? This conversation is unsatisfactory on oh so many levels. To begin with, you know you’ll forget a solid half of the people you’ve met anyway. And then, if you’re like me, what you really want to know is not whether you’re new friend is from Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New Jersey, but rather what music does he or she like.