Saturday, April 28, 2007

TIWMANH vol. 2

THINGS I WON'T MISS ABOUT NEW HAVEN: YALE EDITION

SPRING FLING: As ivygate points out, Yale and its brethren--Brown notwithstanding--regularly churn out stunningly awful line-ups for their Spring Flings. For those of you who don't know, SF is a sort of nerdish simulacrum of an actual music festival, in which elite Northeastern schools hire bands to perform for the students. At Yale, this means everyone collectively plays "normal" for a day--the pale, scrawny student body breaks out their abercrombie cargo shorts, drinks forties, barbecues--before returning to their pitch-dark hovels in SML for the rest of reading period. And by "everyone," I mean me, of course.

Anyways, this year, the Yale College Council hired T.I., Sister Hazel, and the Format. I guess T.I. is kind of a big deal--the only song I've heard of is the one where he grunts, "WHACHOO KNOW BOUT BLAH BLAH" over and over--but, needless to say, the one-hit-wonder-ness and obscurity of the other two acts has caused a bit of an uproar. I'll defend the Format--they only cost the YCC about three g's, and they're from erc's hometown--but paying $17,500 for Sister Hazel is humiliating, to say the least.

With $17,500, the YCC could have paid 100 masseuses to walk around Spring Fling for an hour, giving deep tissue massages. They could have bought 250 kegs, or 4500 pints of Ben and Jerry's. They could have given the Flower Lady a semester's worth of a Yale education. The only way I'll feel okay about this is if T.I.--who appears to be some sort of thug--jumps onstage at the end of Sister Hazel's set (how can you play a "set" if you're a one-hit wonder?) and busts a cap on them. Then busts a cap on the YCC. Basically, I just want to see some caps busted, then I want to return to my hovel.

17 comments:

Beneficent Allah said...
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Beneficent Allah said...
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CHELSEA HODSON said...

Sister Hazel? Well, at least my mom would be excited... if she was currently attending Yale. God, that is one sad lineup. Maybe you can at least brag about how you used to see Nate Ruess from the Format at Modified, like, all the time. That's what I tell people at least. The only person truly impressed is my 16-year-old sister.

mr. wrongway said...

TI is amazing.

H.Bomb said...

For once, Wesleyan has a better Spring Fling. TV On The Radio, and two other bands for the hipsters to drool over. How can this be? Huge, huge booking error, I'm assuming.

Jim said...

i agree with liam. by far your weakest post.

elmrockcity said...

In my experience, Wesleyan has always secured much better acts than Yale. Still, I've learned my lesson: No more writing about rappers. Except in relation to semiotics.

Matt said...

I mean, agreed Sister Hazel is a new nadir even considering the traditional shittiness of Yale Spring Fling, but let's not feel too bad. Actually good/interesting bands would probably go over poorly at a college whose current Facebook top 9 is

1 Coldplay
2 The Beatles
3 Radiohead
4 U2
5 Jack Johnson
6 Bob Dylan
7 Red Hot Chili Peppers
8 Led Zeppelin
9 Counting Crows

And re Middletown: TVOTR's a snooze, and the other Wes-hip band, Deerhunter, has a similarly unstunning sound > song approach--but at least you have the chance of seeing the guitarist blow the lead singer at the end of the show.

H.Bomb said...

Bring it, matt.
(Un)fortunately I'll be missing both since I'm out of the country...but I think it's a general goal of all Wesleyanders to not be able to see anything at all by the end of the show.

Beneficent Allah said...
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i know i'm whatever said...

Re: Matt,

1 Coldplay
2 The Beatles
3 Radiohead
4 U2
5 Jack Johnson
6 Bob Dylan
7 Red Hot Chili Peppers
8 Led Zeppelin
9 Counting Crows

Isn't this EVERY school's top 9? Are there colleges where people only listen to the Television Personalities and have never heard Dave Matthews Band?

Matt said...

IKIW, I guarantee you that if we could get h.bomb to contribute the Wesleyan list, it'd be nothing but, like, Ligeti and Suicide.

I guess my point was that, mainstream being mainstream everywhere, Yale kids less interested in that mainstream (especially rap-hatin' ERC) shouldn't be overly hopeful for their representatives to pull together anything particularly daring or even interesting. And that's the right call: if you're making a playlist for a party that's going to have all kinds of people, and not just your (ok, my) Pitchfork-readin' hipster friends, you load up on rap and dance music and kill the mopey, dissonant indie rock, no matter how much you (ok, I) also happen to love that. If you take the attitude that you're not making a party playlist but curating a music festival, then you get something more interesting--which either costs a lot more or appeals to a much narrower audience.

But back to the top-10. Another blogging friend of mine covered the blandness (and whiteness) of FB-generated top-10s a year and a half ago when those statistics first started showing up. Unfortunately, it looks like I can't see the all-college list anymore, but here's the New York network's:

1 R&b
2 Coldplay
3 Hip Hop
4 Rap
5 Radiohead
6 U2
7 Reggae
8 The Beatles
9 The Killers
10 Rock

Fascinating, no?

elmrockcity said...

So it's not as accessible anymore now that Facebook Pulse is gone, but here's the Museum School in Boston's top 10:

Radiohead
Bob Dylan
The Beatles
Beck
Pink Floyd
Sublime
Nirvana
Tom Waits
Cake
Cat Power

Still pretty blandito, but Cat Power snuck onto the top 10!

Anyways, Spring Fling came and went, and T.I. gave a lackluster 20 minute performance. Which leads me to think...maybe the best line-up for a school like Yale wouldn't be the indie-rock melange that erc, matt, ikiw, etc. would prefer, or a hot-shot rapper, but an artist who would actually enjoy performing for a bunch of square, drunk white kids (Jack Johnson, etc.).

Ultimately, I think (and this might be, as readers will note, my recent strain of populist-thought talking) that Fling is more pleasant when the performers are engaged and having fun, and when the crowd is a sloppy, inebriated, singing-along mess. If I want to see a good concert, I'll take the train to NY.

The Break Up said...

"busts a cap IN", erc

busts a cap in

i lost my boy-virginity at spring fling, true story... plenty more where that one came from

Tony said...

let's face it:

This spring fling line up was a joke! If I had 100,000 dollar to spend on bands it would be epic! Sometimes Yale seems to have too much money - how can you spent 70,000 on a 40 minute show of a Rap guy I have never heard of?? It's ridiculus! And why was the whole thing show over by 8pm?? Is it because the freshmen had to go back studying??? How lame is that?