Dave Binder, legendary Brown Spring Weekend performer and BlogDH superfan, has videotaped one of his most recent performances in Florida—”an evening of great interpretations of great singer songwriters”—and put it on YouTube for the world to enjoy. The backdrop is no Wriston Quad, but the way he covers his usual favorites, such as Van Morrison, Jimmy Buffett, The Eagles, and James Taylor, among others, is completely familiar. If he’s selling paradise, the combination of palm trees, acoustic guitar, and “Margaritaville” sure do the trick. But we also think taping and sharing a Sunday Binder Spring Weekend performance would have equally done the job, too—nothing screams paradise like sunshine, song, and dance on Wriston Quad.
The following post might seem like a joke, but I promise it’s not. I mean it 100% seriously. Agree or disagree with the merits of my argument that Dave Binder is deserving of an honorary degree from Brown, but please don’t use this campaign as a chance to make fun of him.
Every year Brown gives out honorary degrees to a number of fantastically successful people. In the past couple years alone, Diane Sawyer, Congressman John Lewis, Morgan Freeman, and Nelson Mandela were granted this honor. Offering these unquestionably important individuals an honorary degree is a fantastic way to recognize excellence in society. I would like to propose a different kind of person to receive an honorary degree in 2014, though. I will be nominating Dave Binder to receive an honorary degree. Binder, through 27 CONSECUTIVE appearances at Spring Weekend and a ton of Senior Week performances as well, has a real and profound connection to Brown’s campus culture that perhaps no one else can demonstrate. While the amazing and inspirational recipients of recent honorary degrees are unequivocal, vital contributors to the world as a whole, I am not sure they have done anywhere near as much to profoundly affect the Brown University community.
The 2013 cohort is another magnificently impressive group of people. The problem I have, though, is that the folks we are recognizing, with one notable exception I will address below, have basically no connection to our University at all. Ben Affleck is a worldwide celebrity who has done some fantastic acting and directing, and other recipients are brilliant academic minds whose work has no doubt deepened scholarship in their own fields and bettered the world in general. But Affleck has done very little, as far as I know, to better Brown University specifically, and I suspect the same to be true of many of the other recipients. Continue Reading
The slip and slide on Wriston has soapy foam on it: Simple, but now that we know we are definitely rinsing off before class/bringing a towel. The foam party was so two years ago…
Marching bands are sick: I didn’t think there would be much excitement around opening acts, but getting to the concert early on Friday meant dancing like a maniac for a solid half hour or more. Students got down on the cement with the drummers and pretended they were at Mardi Gras. They made eye contact with the trumpeter and almost got decapitated by the chick with the cymbals… and it was worth every minute. What Cheer? Brigade should come back every year. They are that brassy beat that’s missing from our lives.
If you think Spring Weekend only encompasses what takes place on the main stage, then you’re
probably a freshman in for the biggest treat of your Brunonian life. The Spring Week festivities reach their absolute height on Sunday afternoon: after hours of hanging out with friends on Wriston Quad, Dave Binder takes the stage to strum his guitar and sing his heart out for the remainder of the afternoon.
Dave Binder is a mystical creature who defies Brunonian understanding. He has been working his musical magic here since 1987 and has returned every year without fail. Year in and year out, rain or shine, Binder transforms a seemingly simple concert at a simple venue with simple music—classics like “Brown Eyed Girl,” “No Woman No Cry,” and “Piano Man,” among others—into an interactive and euphoric spectacle of rock-concert proportions.
BlogDH had the opportunity to get to know the legend himself. In our interview with the one-and-only, Binder impersonates James Bond and sheds light on his take on the Brown-Binder experience, how he got into music, and, most importantly, his spirit animal. Binder’s full of wisdom…after the jump. Continue Reading
On Tuesday night, you watched the shit show that was the second presidential debate. You’ve done your job, and now, once again, it’s time to do ours.
Hall of Fame:
During last week’s commencement ceremony, Academy Award-winner Jack Nicholson accepted his honorary degree from President Simmons, along with other honorees including Nicholas Kristoff. Though he hadn’t planned on speaking, some student heckling brought him to the podium for a few witty words and a big thank you. Now he can finally check Doctor of Fine Arts off of his bucket list…
And as promised, Binder calling the class of 2011 a bunch of “crazy shits,” after the jump