Arts & Culture

Snapshot reviews from a whirlwind weekend

By
Arts & Culture Editor
Monday, April 20, 2009

Fabulous frats

Living on Wriston Quad can be dingy and unpleasant sometimes, but not on Spring Weekend. Why? Ignore the broken bottles, the beaten-down plots of grass and the sticky-sweet smell that seems to be everywhere, and what do you have left? Lady GaGa, blaring from the southern wing of Chapin House. So, Thete, here’s to you, for using your (somewhat unexpected) love of techno remixes to make the lives of your fellow Patriots’ Court residents a little more fabulous.

 

Soul to spare

It’s hard to produce self-respecting soul about the enslavement of Africans and the genocide perpetrated against Native Americans in the United States. Unless you’re Sharon Jones, in which case you mix together some utterly uninhibited dancing, a killer voice and a communicative impulse so unfettered and sincere that listening to your story becomes everyone’s top priority, no questions asked. Irony would have killed this, so past atrocities were incorporated into a biography written in movement, an ecstatic celebration of the body — feet, knees, hips, arms, neck and head. That doesn’t account for the soul, but never mind — this performance had soul to spare.

 

Fox Frustration

The conservative establishment has not been kind to this campus. Just two weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh accused some Brown students of having “spoiled, rotten little skulls full of mush with brains that represent the arid expanse of the Sahara Desert.” And don’t even get us started on Bill O’Reilly. So thank you, Nas, for helping us release years of built-up tension and resentment as we sang along to “Sly Fox” on Friday night. Trust us, we’ll watch what we’re watchin’. That’s why we have MCM.

 

Santi-golden

Leading off with driving performances of “You’ll Find a Way” and “L.E.S. Artistes,” Santigold’s performance was miraculous from the start. Her undefinable music deftly evades labels, but its essential nature is, quite simply, irresistible, as we all learned firsthand on Saturday. Santi White (to use your real name): The jumpsuit made of money was fierce, but perhaps superfluous. Don’t deny it — you are money.

 

Masterful music

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But everyone with half a brain expected Of Montreal to deliver a Boschian fever dream of a performance that would at once perplex, freak out and exhilarate its audience. Hypersexualized and so completely post-gender binary, they’ve always been one of the Brown-iest of bands around — who else would sing about falling in love with a girl because she could “appreciate Georges Bataille?” And, oh, Benefit Street homeowners? That caterwauling you heard on Saturday — that was hundreds of college students vainly attempting to produce the magnificent, cathedral-worthy chords in “Gronlandic Edit.” Sorry. We’ll send you a fruit basket.