Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ACRN's Pre-New Year's Bash: bustedBASS, Brothertiger, DJ Sweet Dee / November 14, 2011 / The Union

By: Cassie Whitt, Blogs Editor

This whole DJ/dance scene: not my thing. I'm not even sure to whom's set I walked in when I arrived around 10 p.m. with friends who had just left their "History of Rock" class, though all indicators point to its having been bustedBASS.

The ACRN crew nestled close in the back of The Union, perched upon its newly-added stools around tall tables as a crew of people who are into the DJ-and-dance scene flooded the lit-up floor...with props. They traded off, each--in turn--wielding a light-up hula-hoop and this strange stick-on-a-string rave contraption that looked as if it were floating as they spun it around their gesticulating selves.

But, for me, the dancing was not the point. Pre-New Year's, the long-standing ACRN tradition of celebrating New Year's early because we will all be separated (often far from this university) on the actual event, was and will continue to be about the friendships this organization builds.

Later in the night as Brothertiger played, it became about being comfortable enough with those people to lose inhibitions (even if slightly aided by various liquors.)

Brothertiger's set had the majority of the crowd standing within ten feet of a stage, moving in a strange closed-eyed cluster of in-unison sways and sighs at the electronic, blissful music.

Okay, maybe for a moment I did get it, the whole "music's got me feeling so free/we're gonna celebrate" thing...

But I'm never dancing again, just saying.

Following Brothertiger, there was a mass-exodus of sleepy, sweaty people into the storm outside and a few of us remained for DJ Sweet Dee, which was an excellent choice; as, he played a delicious mix of darkwave that I enjoyed and understood more than the music of the previous acts.

A few remained on the dance floor, but most sat back and observed.

I ended the night flanked by two of my friends singing The Cure's "Love Song."

So, it all closed with my being back within my element, sadly without confetti in my hair (The Union forbade our usual confetti-tossing tradition) and with a walk in the rain on an oddly-warm November night to look forward to.

Not bad, Pre-New Year's 2011/2012.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thomas Comerford, Dave Buker and the Historians, Emily and the Complexes / November 11, 2011 / Casa

By: Kyle Rutherford, Contributor

Though the night air was chilly, that didn’t stop many people from hitting up Casa Nueva for a folk night that consisted of Thomas Comerford, Dave Buker and the Historians, & Emily and the Complexes.

The crowd was noticeably small, though, making it hard to distinguish between concert-goers and bar attendees.

The first act, Columbus’ Emily and the Complexes, the solo project of Tyler Verhagen, warmed up the crowd with his plugged-in folk-punk style. Standing alone, he won over many with his soft, yet occasionally throaty voice. Playing many of his originals, like “Emily, You’re Right” and “If I Had Money," as well as covering Alkaline Trio’s “Fuck You, Aurora." Tyler was able to let the emotion in his voice and lyrics radiate through the crowd.

The next act, Columbus’s Dave Buker and the Historians, were one of the more interesting acts of the night. Their electro-folk sound could’ve gone easily unnoticed, possibly because a lack of their full band. The vocals of Buker and Paul Valdiviez went well together, but when it came to a bar setting, it lacked relevance.

The last act, Chicago’s Thomas Comerford, ended the night with his blend of folk instrumentals, a southern-inspired voice without the twang, and echoing vocals. His ability to keep the mood somber but still feeling good was riveting.

Unfortunately, by the time he started to play, much of the previous crowd had left. With softer songs, as well as epic rock songs, Comerford blended in well with the bar style and with those attending.