Introducing The Launch Music and Arts Festival

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On Saturday, April 26,  The Launch Music and Arts Festival will be taking over downtown Providence, and you’re going to want to be a part of it. This enormous outdoor event, open to all ages, will run from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Providence Rink at the Bank of America City Center just down the hill. Various live music acts and DJs, including 3LAU, Kevin Drew, Grand Theft and more, will be playing throughout the afternoon and evening. Guests will also be able to enjoy local performance art such as trapeze and stilt walking, and will be able to participate in live art activities like a graffiti wall, henna tattoos, and paint stations. The Launch is also a completely “GO GREEN” friendly event, and all concession venders will be using biodegradable materials and utensils.

Tickets are $25, all inclusive, and available for purchase here.

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A Cool Thing You Shouldn’t Miss: Brown Folk Fest

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Many of us are in need of music and festivity in order to cure very real post-Spring Weekend blues. Thankfully, tomorrow (Saturday April 19) brings the sixth annual Brown Folk Fest – a day of (hopefully) sunshine and (definitely) cool music. The festival will last from noon till 6 p.m. on Ruth Simmons Quad, and then from 6 p.m. until midnight inside Sayles Hall, meaning there are a lot of hours to hang out and look cool swaying to folk music on the Green. There will be both professional musicians and student performances.

There will also be local food and crafts vendors, which you can check out here. Jump for the full schedule and lineup:

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Students who do cool things: Musicians’ take on Chance the Rapper

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING! Put down your beer book and start watching that video. Right?! Holy crap, that voice is sultry as hell. And guess what: it belongs to a student here! In fact, all the members of this band go to Brown. A collaboration between top musicians such as Dolapo Akinkugbe (DAP) ’16, Clyde Lawrence ’15, and Bryn Bliska ’14, this impeccably shot cover of Chance the Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses” was conceived before BCA had even revealed that the mastermind of Acid Rap would be playing at Spring Weekend. As Clyde tells it, the group had played a cover of the song at a birthday party, and “once we heard he was coming, we decided we needed to make a video.”

But just look at them go! Chance must be proud. Tune in to this crew to finish your Spring Weekend right.

Here’s the entire list of folks rocking out in the cover:

Clyde Lawrence ’15 // Keys/Vocals
Dolapo Akinkugbe (aka DAP) ’16 // Vocals
Bryn Bliska ’14 // Organ/Vocals
Peter Enriquez ’14 // Guitar
Ana Gonzalez ’15 // Bass
Jamie Fried ’14 // Drums
Sumner Becker ’14 // Sax
Zach Levine ’15 // Trumpet
Filmed/Edited by:
Jordan Beard ’15
If you’re looking for more badass beats, go here for Clyde’s web site, here for DAP’s, here for Bryn’s and here for Jordan’s. You won’t regret it.

12 Days of Spring Weekend: Cloud Nothings

Hailing from good ol’ Cleveland, Ohio, Cloud Nothings are an up-and-coming indie-rock band founded by singer Dylan Baldi. In 2009, Baldi enrolled at Case Western Reserve University. During his first semester, he went home on the weekends to produce music, single-handedly recording his own vocals and instruments. Baldi used his homemade music to make different bands on Myspace (yeah, old school) and see which got traction. From there, Cloud Nothings was created.

Later that year, Baldi’s music was picked up by Bridgetown Records, and the first EP, Turning On, was released. Due to the success of the EP, Baldi was invited to perform in New York City, but was advised to find a band for the performance. In came drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke. Their performance was such a success that Baldi dropped out of college, informing his parents through a seven-page email. (Now that is dedication.)

Their fourth studio album, Here and Nowhere Else, was a success right from its release. Pitchfork gave it an 8.7/10 rating and the title of Best New Music. NPR Music described the album in saying, “[It] threads the needle just right, tightening and brightening Cloud Nothing’s sound in ways that never numb its blistering, careening forcefulness.” Top hits from the album include “I’m Not Part of Me,” “Now Hear In,” “Psychic Trauma,” and “Pattern Walks.”

Check out their music before you head to the Main Green at 3 p.m. today!


12 Days of Spring Weekend: Professors list their dream lineups

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We’ve already seen what lineups blog writers wished for this year, but has anyone ever stopped to think about what professors have to say? They have feelings too, you know! I asked a few professors to list three bands or artists that would compose their dream Spring Weekend lineups (some decided to list a bit more because they don’t play by our rules, man). While some responses were predictable, others revealed a side to them that was previously unknown. Ricky Martin, anyone?

William Warren, Chancellor’s Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences

  • Talking Heads
  • The Strokes
  • Modest Mouse

Ian Sampson, English Graduate Student

  • Beardyman
  • Matmos
  • Huun-Huur-Tu

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Enjoying Diplo responsibly

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It’s that time of year again. If the “Acid Rap“ blaring from dorm rooms is any indication, it seems like everyone’s been getting excited for the impending Spring Weekend of late. And rightly so; for the second year in a row, the BCA has demonstrated an uncanny ability to book artists who straddle the line between mainstream and genre music in not one, but three genres: electronic, hip-hop, and acoustic. This year’s electronic offering — Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo — brings both turntable skills to rival those of last year’s A-Trak and an accessible series of popular dance tunes, not to mention a string of remixes and production credits on projects ranging from southern hip-hop to Swedish synth-pop. His performance, much like that of fellow Friday performer Chance the Rapper, promises to be a genre-spanning experience for everyone visiting the Main Green on April 11. People will, and should, enjoy themselves at this concert.

But they should also bear in mind that Diplo’s music, in some ways, is not his.

To clarify: this piece is not intended to criticize Diplo, nor to defend him. It is not intended to make you feel guilty about attending the concert you’ve spent the past couple weeks anticipating, nor to convince those who have chosen not to attend that their objections are invalid. It’s not even intended as any set of guidelines on how you should approach Spring Weekend. It is intended as a reminder that, however skilled a musician and producer Diplo may be, his music is ultimately derived from cultures to which he does not belong.

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