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A-Trak, Kendrick Lamar to headline Spring Weekend

BCA announces acts after a false lineup leak

DJ A-Trak and rapper Kendrick Lamar will headline Friday and Saturday night, respectively, for this year’s Spring Weekend.

The concert, scheduled for the weekend of April 19 to 21, will also feature Providence’s What Cheer? Brigade, New Orleans bounce artist Big Freedia, experimental rock band Dirty Projectors and indie standard Deerhunter. The lineup was announced Wednesday at midnight by the Brown Concert Agency.

The acts, which were booked unusually early this year, were announced several weeks ahead of schedule due to concerns about leaking, said BCA Booking Chair Emma Ramadan ’13. “We were thinking about announcing way earlier than usual anyway, and then there were a few rumors, so why not just do it?” she said.

Confusion mounted after a false lineup — which included The Postal Service, Grouper, Toro Y Moi, The Sounds of Capitalism  and two “more acts to be announced in March” — was sent in a fraudulent email to BlogDailyHerald. The lineup, which appeared to be sent from the student email account of BCA Publicity Chair Raillan Brooks ’13, was published on Blog and later retracted. It is unclear who sent the email, Brooks said, and whether “The Sounds of Capitalism” is or ever was a real band.

BCA members said they were confident in the choices for this year’s lineup. The festival will coincide with Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the third year in a row, The Herald previously reported.

“I think people will be really happy with the two headliners and the other acts. It was another tough year because we are on Coachella weekend again,” Ramadan said.

“We are just a group of students that are serving a function for the community,” she added in regards to how BCA selects each year’s lineup. “It really is for the students.”

Saturday headliner Kendrick Lamar, who finished eighth in a student poll conducted by the Undergraduate Council of Students to gauge interest in potential Spring Weekend acts, will perform just months after his debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” was released to high critical acclaim last October. Lamar performed as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in January.

“He’s blowing up right now,” Ramadan said. “The weekend before (his album) dropped, we put out a bid, we got it, and we’re really happy. … I’m very proud of that one.”

Canadian DJ A-Trak, who emerged on the electronic music scene when he was crowned DMC World DJ Champion at the age of 15, will headline a Friday night full of raucous energy. “We always try to get an electronic person because that’s what people want,” Ramadan said.

A-Trak, as part of the electronic duo Duck Sauce, has garnered a Grammy nomination for the track “Barbra Streisand,” which topped the charts in 13 countries. A-Trak has toured with Kanye West as West’s personal DJ, and he owns his own record label, Fool’s Gold.

What Cheer? Brigade, a brass band based in Providence, will reprise its abridged appearance at last year’s Spring Weekend. “We kind of shafted them last year because Childish Gambino’s flight was delayed. We had to push their set in order for him to do his sound check, so we wanted to bring them back this year as a gesture of good will,” Ramadan said. “Also they’re just so good.”

Big Freedia is the starlet of New Orleans bounce music — a high energy, hypersexual hip-hop genre with huge beats. She also has a day job as an interior decorator. “The shows are insane. It’s just people getting up there and shaking their asses and having a good time. It’s just going to be really crazy,” Ramadan said.

Dirty Projectors, a project of Yale alum David Longstreth, constructs songs with intricate guitar work and playful vocal harmonies. “They’re someone we’ve wanted to bring for a long time, and it’s just never worked out,” Ramadan said. “Now they’re finally big enough and available.”

Indie rock darling Deerhunter, whose 2005 album “Cryptograms” remains a critical favorite, combines classic rock, electronic and pop elements into a lush enigma the group calls “ambient punk.”

“They’re going to have an album come out 10 days before Spring Weekend, so it’s perfect,” Ramadan said. “There’ll be a lot of buzz around them, and it’s a notoriously good live show.”

What Cheer? Brigade, Big Freedia and A-Trak will perform Friday, April 19, and Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter and Kendrick Lamar will take the stage Saturday, April 20. Tickets will go on sale in early April.


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