Sunday, February 1, 2009

Who needs the Stupor Bowl when we have the Silver Chord Bowl?

Now in its 18th season, the Four Sundays in February Series has become a winter tradition in Northampton.
The series began today at 2pm with the annual Silver Chord Bowl; Collegiate a cappella at its best. All 2,000 seats are filled in John M. Greene Hall at Smith College year after year and today was no exception. As a member of the Northampton Arts Council I was a volunteer and served as an usher in black and white. This year's groups: Tufts Beelzebubs, McGill Effusion, Rutgers ShockWave, MIT Logarhythms, NYU N’Harmonics, Amherst College Zumbyes, and Smith College Smiffenpoofs with special guests the Northampton High School Northamptones. I shot some photos and some video but the video oddly was not on my camera when I got home nor were any pictures of the later groups.

Emcees; Smith College President Carol T. Christ and Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins
The Northamptones opened the show with a version of "Drive my Car" by The Beatles that conveyed the unexpected sadness of the song's lyrics.
Rutger's ShockWave did 4 songs that I did not recognize at all. They sounded like current pop hits and the subject matter was primarily unrequited love. Mariah Carey and Britney et. al. have ruined female pop singing. All that owwahhhHEYYhahahahhohohwayyyhoohaha
HOHOHOWayyoh gets to be a bit show offy and not really necessary. I wish these women had listened to a little more Phoebe Snow and Bonnie Raitt. Oh, and Diamanda Galas of course.MIT's Logarhythms were all about being crazy college guys and entered from behind the crowd, ran down the aisle, and jumped onstage. I think that Justin Timberlake has ruined male pop singing. All these guys were aping him whether they knew it or not. They included a guy named David who was in the Northamptones just last year as a senior at Northampton High School. That's him on the mic. Claire Higgins joked that ever since David left, the school hasn't been able to get any of the AV equipment to work. I guess he used to be the AV guy and Claire was implying that no one else had his mad AV skills. Either that or I suppose he may have vandalized all the equipment before he went off to MIT. These were my two possible interpretations of Claire's comment.
One of the ShockWavers reacts to the Logarhythms version of "Once in a Lifetime."
The Effusions, below, all the way from McGill University in Montreal. I totally forget what they sang. But I was at the Haymarket yesterday at the big common table downstairs reading Anthem by Ayn Rand and everyone at the table was apparently together except me. They were all really friendly and appeared to be local college students but something was off. They were almost too welcoming when I sat down. It was crowded downstairs and that was really the only seat. I was having the coconut curry with brown rice and they asked if it was good. It was good and I told them so. Three of them ordered it. One of the guys and I chatted about The Fountainhead. He said that Ayn Rand had led a very interesting life, getting ahead without kissing any ass, which is actually as good a condensation of her core idealogy as I've heard. I found Anthem was a good length for a book. I like being able to finish a book in a day. When they left we shook hands and said goodbye like old friends. So I'm watching the Effusions today and I realize it was a bunch of them that I'd met yesterday. The red-haired guy was the one I was talking with. People around here need to take some friendly lessons from Canadians I'll tell you. I'm planning a trip to Quebec this Spring.

I took this picture, a triptych of sorts utilizing the banner for their current show, at the front of the Smith College Museum of Art on the way home. "Thin and Girl Culture are two series of contemporary documentary photographs by Lauren Greenfield. Both deal with the complex ways girls and women relate to their bodies, though in very different ways. A number of programs, both for the general public and for Smith College students, will be offered over the course of the exhibition, including a visit from Lauren Greenfield on March 6." Lauren also made a documentary on this subject; Thin.
I stopped at APE for a little while for this poetry reading. I really liked Henry Lyman's poems. I also liked the grapes and cheese. Henry is kind of a big deal. I hope they do this again. It should be at least monthly.
I got home just as this engine went by behind my building where the new stretch of the bike trail will also run.
That was my afternoon and I'm sticking with it.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant - I forgot to ask!

marginalutility said...

Actually, she stayed ahead by forcing others to kiss *her* ass.
An interesting fictional treatment of Rand & (yuck) Objectivism is _Two Girls, Fat and Thin_ by Mary Gaitskill.

Mary E.Carey said...

I just realized what a great photo that is of the Smith College museum with the girl standing next to the photos of girls and the bicycle in the snow.

Anonymous said...

In response to your suggestion that ShockWave listen to Bonnie Raitt...they actually do an arrangement of, "I Can't Make You Love Me." Check it out on youtube: