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Modest Mouse, Hudson Mohawke to headline Spring Weekend

Pusha T, Kelela and one unannounced performer to join headliners at anticipated concerts

From ’90s rock to multiple Kanye West proteges, this year’s lineup for Spring Weekend will make both decades and genres converge. Brown Concert Agency announced the much-anticipated roster just after 12 a.m. Tuesday, revealing Scottish electronic producer Hudson Mohawke and American rock band Modest Mouse as this year’s headliners for Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Friday lineup will also feature Waka Flocka Flame and another unannounced performer. BCA will announce one remaining artist in the coming week, said Daniel Sobor ’15, publicity manager for BCA. Spring Weekend regular What Cheer? Brigade will kick off Saturday’s performance, followed by Kelela and Pusha T.

Though BCA’s choices this year range from hip-hop to electronic to rock, the artists are united through a common thread: Each has recently released or is in the process of releasing new material.

“If you look across the board at the artists we have, they ride the line between having a ton of critical acclaim and maintaining mass popularity,” Sobor said. “The whole lineup has something for everyone.”

BCA confirmed Waka Flocka’s presence in Friday’s roster in a blog post Wednesday, after Google search results revealed that the rap artist had a performance scheduled at Brown April 17.

“Waka Flocka’s name holds so much weight, and he’s incredibly fun,” Sobor said. The Atlanta-based artist is known for hit singles like “O Let’s Do It” and “No Hands.”

Hudson Mohawke, an electronic DJ and half of the trap music duo TNGHT, will perform as Friday night’s headliner. Mohawke, born Ross Birchard, has also produced a number of Kanye West songs, including “Mercy” and “Blood On The Leaves,” the latter of which features segments of TNGHT’s “R U Ready.” Mohawke is currently signed to Kanye West’s record label GOOD Music.

Mohawke is known for his distinct industrial sound and a proclivity to sample tubas and other brass instruments. He has been widely lauded both as a part of TNGHT and individually for bending genres.

Sobor said Mohawke was “recently written about in the Guardian as one of the premier producers of pop and hip-hop at the same time” and that he is “completely changing the sphere of music.”

Mohawke will fill the EDM role previously held by Diplo in 2014 and A-Trak in 2013 at past Spring Weekends.

What Cheer? Brigade will start off Saturday’s performances, making its fourth consecutive appearance on campus. The Providence-based band consists of 19 members wielding exclusively brass instruments and drums, blasting styles as varied as Bollywood to hip hop.

Kelela, a genre-defying songwriter who blends R&B and electronic music, will perform after What Cheer. Kelela has generated critical adoration after the release of her mixtape “Cut 4 Me” in 2013. Pitchfork Media described her debut as both “ambitiously catchy” and “aesthetically ambitious.”

Her juxtaposition of brooding beats and a vibrant, expressive voice appears again on her new single “A Message,” which will arrive on the upcoming EP “Hallucinogen,” due out May 5.

“She’s an up and comer,” Sobor said. She is “someone who I think has terrific music. She’s a lesser-known name right now, but in the coming years, we don’t think she will be.”

Virginia-raised hip-hop artist Terrence Thornton, better known as Pusha T, will precede Modest Mouse Saturday. Thornton comprised one half of the critically acclaimed hip-hop duo, Clipse, which made its debut in the industry in 1993. Thornton signed onto Kanye West’s label GOOD Music in 2010 as Pusha T, subsequently releasing a solo album in 2013 called “My Name is My Name,” on which Mohawke produced the song “Hold On.”

“Pusha T is a legend in many respects,” Sobor said, adding that Thornton’s work as half of Clipse represents an influential older sound, while his work with Kanye West and as Pusha T displays his more innovative work.

Modest Mouse will headline Saturday’s  show. The band’s new album, “Strangers to Ourselves,” comes out today and features the single “Lampshades on Fire.” This is the band’s first release since 2007’s “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.”

Comprising Isaac Brock, Jeremiah Green and Eric Judy, Modest Mouse hails from Issaquah, Washington and was a major touchstone for developing the Pacific Northwest indie rock sound after their formation in 1993.

While their first album, “This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About,” was released in 1996, the band achieved widespread critical acclaim with their major label debut, “The Moon and Antarctica,” in 2000.

Modest Mouse developed into one of the major independent crossover artists during the mid-2000s, achieving consistent commercial success while maintaining an identifiable and original sound. “Good News for People Who Love Bad News,” released in 2004, went platinum thanks to its hit single “Float On.”

The 2015 lineup features artists from various genres that have had an impact on the music industry at different points in time, making it “appealing to the most diverse tastes we could while still maintaining a lineup with mass popular appeal,” Sobor said. “It’s fun music. It’s stuff people can dance to.”


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