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Letter: Most popular, not the best

To the Editor:

Anish Mitra's '10 suggestion in his recent column ("The best we'll ever have," Sept. 28) horrified me so much that I had to take time out from writing two essays to respond to it. Topping his own previous record for bad advice given in an opinion column (last spring, when he suggested that Brown cultivate exclusionary elitism on campus to compete with schools like Princeton), Mitra complains that featured artists at past Spring Weekends haven't, in effect, been Top 10 pop stars, or as he puts it, "A-list performers." Setting aside the huge and relevant distinction between an "A-list performer" in commercial terms and artistic ones, the acts who have been featured at Spring Weekend have almost all been accomplished, talented, and thought-provoking artists with interesting and inspiring approaches to music and lyrics. I don't think artistic and commercial success are by any means mutually exclusive, but it would be a shame to pass over more original, thoughtful and creative musicians in favor of an actor-turned-singer whose claim to fame is a Number 2 hit record that boasts all of one note, uninspiring auto-tuned vocals, a sterile, unsexy beat, and lyrics such as "We can do it real big/Bigger than you ever done it" and "I want this forever, I swear I can spend whatever on it." I agree with Mitra that we "need somebody with true talent. Brown is certainly a place of eclectic tastes, and thus, we need a versatile performer that all Brown students can enjoy, regardless of musical preference." This is precisely why we should not pull out all the stops to "lock Drake in" to a Spring Weekend performance. I certainly hope that we don't spend whatever on it.

Michael Bleicher '11


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