The Fall 2021 semester marks the return of many musical programs at Bowdoin that have been on hold since the beginning of the pandemic, and, despite new restrictions and uncertainty, the Department of Music has still looked forward to the opportunity to perform for the Bowdoin community once again.
Those who have stopped to read the sea of fliers peppering first-year dorm doors and Thorne’s atrium may have noticed one promoting a band called En Jamb. The group, which has become one of Bowdoin’s most prominent student-led bands, began with three students playing music together this past summer.
While pandemic restrictions at the College have limited the number of in-person gatherings on campus, Bowdoin’s tradition of live student bands has continued performing into the fall semester. Last Friday, student-run band Mistaken for Strangers performed for the first time in front of a live audience at MacMillan House and plans to continue performing on campus.
After a long year without the chance to sing in person, the Bowdoin Meddiebempsters, Bowdoin’s oldest a cappella group, are back on stage. When COVID-19 cases surged last March, the Meddiebempsters had just started their annual tour and were prepared to sing at colleges and venues all over the northeast.
Although COVID-19 has prevented Bowdoin from holding Ivies weekend, several student bands have been working to ensure that students will be able to attend distanced, outdoor concerts as the semester comes to a close. The College’s outdoor concert series began on Saturday with a performance by student band Lady and the Tramps on the steps of Baxter House.
As remote learning has become the new global norm, college communities have been searching for ways to stay united while physically apart. At Bowdoin, student performance groups are channelling their creativity to bring the College’s community together with virtual performances.
How can singing be used as a form of power? The answer, for the singers and instrumentalists in the Women’s Cabaret, is to reclaim women’s identities from historically misogynistic songs, through a process of optimistic reappropriation and celebration of female identity.
The line between a good show and a great show is largely undefinable. How can you quantify fun? M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, a genre-blending band whose music draws from a broad swath of influences spanning from cumbia to psychedelic rock, played a set at Ladd House on Saturday evening.
On Tuesday night, local musicians and music lovers gathered at Frontier to hear a medley of songs and vocals in the cozy theatre tucked into the old mill at the end of Maine Street. Michael Gilroy opened Frontier in Fort Andross in 2006, with a mission to “connect the world through food, arts and culture.” The business strives to do this through its restaurant, coffee bar, event spaces and theater, used for a variety of community gatherings.
“A party for the people.” That is what the Latin band MAKU Soundsystem promises its audiences. This Saturday night, the New York-based band will be bringing that party to Ladd House in a performance organized by WBOR in collaboration with the Latin American Student Association (LASO).
Them Airs, a band from New Haven County, Connecticut, played a set in Brunswick this week unlike any show I have attended during my time at Bowdoin. No combination of adjectives can properly summarize the band’s style—if one had the arduous task of assigning Them Airs a genre, a mix between art punk, shoegaze and math rock would be the best way of describing them.
A guitar, harmonica and foot drum—somehow Willie Thrasher plays all three at once to produce lively and multilayered folk melodies. Last Wednesday, donning a cowboy hat and Rolling Stones T-shirt, Canadian Inuit musician Willie Thrasher performed in Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill for an audience of students and Brunswick locals.
Temperatures in the high 40s beg the lingering piles of snow to sink back into the earth, and bare legs to begin to peek out below shorts and dresses. With spring break over and many students’ closets swelling with newly thrifted overalls and bucket hats, murmurs begin to wind their way through dorms and dining halls: so, how close is Ivies?
I showed up to the show at 10 p.m. on the dot, hoping to catch the opener. When I arrived, there were give or take, 30 people there. The opener, Sweet Anne and the Milkmen, played a fun set, but there were clear issues with the acoustics immediately.
The grand finale of the suite of events celebrating the opening of the Roux Center will be a concert by indie pop band MisterWives in Morrell Gymnasium tonight. As an email from President Clayton Rose noted, the concert was suggested by David and Barbara Roux as a fun way to close out the week’s celebrations.
Amelia Meath opened Sylvan Esso’s set at the Portland State Theater with a song about songs. “Sound,” the stripped-back opener of the duo’s 2017 album “What Now,” hears Meath at a near whisper, “All you’ll hear is sound, and / All you’ll feel is sound, and / All you’ll be is sound.” The lines aim to unify the natural and the artificial, as Meath sings note for note beside a lone synthesizer.
In an industry where artists are usually discovered on a streaming platform rather than onstage, building a live show or even having stage presence seems no longer necessary to “make it.” But for this series showcasing artists with upcoming concerts in the Portland area, we are lucky to have Hippo Campus, a Minnesota indie band that rose to fame mainly due to a knack for electrifying live performances.
Memorably eccentric and effortlessly endearing, the Tufts-bred band Crumb was an instant hit at Quinby House last Saturday night. The performance, featuring songs from the quartet’s latest EP “Locket,” wrapped up the final installment of WBOR’s fall concert series.
Xenia Rubinos’ music is refreshingly bold and authentic. An up-and-coming singer and composer, Rubinos recently released her album “Black Terry Cat.” Brought to campus by WBOR, she performed a sampling of her music at Ladd House this past Saturday. Rubinos emphasizes the creative capacity of individual experiences and self-expression. Her work documents an ongoing exchange between her state of mind and the exterior world. She describes her style as soulful, with a lot of energy and love.