Guster Plays Free Concert On Campus

April 24, 2009 by · Comments Off 

By Taylor St. Eve

For a couple hours Thursday night, students gathered in the quad of Clements and Maguire halls to listen to alternative rock band Guster.

The dedicated fans, mostly of SMU students, brought their friends and blankets along to sing songs that brought back memories of the past.

The concert is part of Guster’s Campus Consciousness Tour to help raise awareness about recycling and was sponsored by SMU’s Program Council.

“I used to listen to Guster in high school and really liked them,” junior Brianna Letzelter said. “I was just really surprised when I found out they were coming here and playing for free.”

The opening band to Guster was Wild Sweet Orange from Birmingham, Ala. The band, also known for their alternative rock style, opened with their hit single “Ten Dead Dogs.”

“I’ve never heard of the opening band before, but I thought they were decent,” junior Chris Senner said.

Before Guster came on stage, there was a silence amongst the crowd that rose to cheers when the vibrant lights and loud music went up.
The show opener was “Careful” from the bands 2003 single album, Keep It Together. Soon after, they performed the popular song, “On and On.”

From that point on, the band jammed to songs such as, “Happier” and “Red Oyster Cult,” while students blasted out their favorite lyrics.
Senner said he was really excited when they played “Red Oyster Cult,” and insisted that, “we need more cow bell.”

The crowd of students quickly gathered around the front of the stage as the music and lights filled the quad.

“Both bands did a great job and the outside venue really added to the success of the whole show,” Program Council Committee Chair Brooke Morin said. “I really want to try to do more outdoor concerts next year, but glad this was such a success.”

Arts Blog: Throat Singing Attracts Crowd

March 18, 2009 by · Comments Off 

When I first heard that “Alash,” a Tuvan throat singing group from Central Asia, was coming to SMU, I thought instantly about “The Simpsons Movie” and Homer’s encounter with an Eskimo woman who initiates the throat singing. Of course, “The Simpsons Movie” was presented to be humorous, but throat singing is actually very beautiful and interesting.

The group Alash made a stop at SMU on March 18 before going to Austin for their appearance at the 2009 SXSW festival. I’m glad I did not miss this experience because it is indescribable.

The music was peaceful and reflected much on nature. The instruments were made of wood and emphasized the precense of nature in the Owen Arts Center lobby.

When the four men sang, it sounded as if the instrument took on a human-form. It was unreal and it seemed impossible. It sounded like whistling simultaneously from multiple throats, and it sounded painful. According to the group’s translator, it is not painful because the technique allows them to make multiple pitches simultaneously by relaxing the throat muscles.

Experiencing this interesting performance made me want to learn about other cultures, made me want to discover new music, and made me want to expand my horizon beyond the popular culture in the United States.

–Posted by Laura Vasquez

Arts Blog: Dallas Welcomes Cut Copy at the Granada

March 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Laura Noble

Cut, copy… and paste? No, we’re not talking about a chain of techie commands. We’re talking about the Australian band, Cut Copy.

With a style considered by many to be indie dance with electronic influences, this trio of Melbourne cuties is coming to Dallas this weekend at the Granada Theater.

Their songs have swept stereos from frat parties to posh, Uptown night posts. This is one show that’s bound to be a hit for both the Urban Outfitters and Ralph Lauren crowds.

For those not yet familiar with the boys of Cut Copy, think Daft Punk and Fleetwood Mac meet Bloc Party.

Finally, now’s an excuse to don your most utterly ’80s apparel and dance all night.

Here’s to hoping they blast their biggest hit: “Lights and Music.”

Best $15 I’ve spent in a long time

October 3, 2008 by · Comments Off 

Lead singer Mike Eli serenaded swooning sorority girls Thursday night.  Note the Chi Omega pin on his guitar strap. (PHOTO BY MORGAN PAISLEY/ THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Lead singer Mike Eli serenaded swooning sorority girls Thursday night. Note the Chi Omega pin on his guitar strap. (PHOTO BY MORGAN PAISLEY/ THE DAILY MUSTANG)

Posted by Caitlin Myers

Despite the new ban on Thursday night parties, I had a great time last night. SAE hosted a performance by the Eli Young Band at The Granada, and it was the best $15 I’ve spent in a long time (I got my ticket early. Those not-in-the-know had to pay $20 at the door.)

The last concert I went to was Snoop Dogg and 311 this summer– a hard act to follow considering my deep love for both.

However, last night’s concert was nothing short of amazing. The band sang the perfect mix of fan favorites like “When It Rains” and “Small Town Kid,” along with songs off their new album Jet Black & Jealous.

What made it truly great, though, was the small crowd. I got there probably 20 minutes before the band went on, yet I was still able to stand right up against the stage. Granted, I did have to push my way through some drunk sorority girls, but it was well worth the battle.

Speaking of sorority girls, the night quickly turned into a contest to see which sorority could get the most buttons emblazoned with their letters onto one of the band members. Girls wildly waved the multi-colored buttons in the air, begging lead singer Mike Eli to pin himself with their Greek letters. A little annoying, yes, but I guess it’s better than throwing bras and panties on stage, right sorority advisors?

Buttons aside (and I admit I did feel pretty victorious to see quite a few Chi O ones up there), I had a very successful night. For those who missed out, don’t fret. The band has shows scheduled for Oct. 10 at the American Airlines Center and Oct. 31 at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.

Arts Beat: More full-length concerts on the way

October 2, 2008 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Russ Aaron

What’s the deal with this recent surge of full-album concerts? It seems to have started a few years back when Sonic Youth performed epic “Daydream Nation” from beginning to end.

Then everyone decided to follow suit. At this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, Public Enemy, Sebadoh and Mission of Burma all played sets of full albums. Now, Van Morrison will be performing his 1968 album “Astral Weeks” in its entirety at the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 7 and 8.

There’s even talk of a Jimmy Eat World “Clarity” tour. However, one must wonder if the emo rockers turned mainstream still have the ability to revisit the days when they were actually good.

Symphony Orchestra Embodies Earth with Sound

September 19, 2008 by · Comments Off 

By Lauren Atkinson

All eyes are on conductor Dr. Paul Phillips as he directs the practice of the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. An untrained ear may not hear the problems he is fixing. The artistry of instruments fills the air full and rich, engulfing the emotions of a listener. But Phillips picks up on the trumpet’s eight note and stops the orchestra to correct the problem.

In practices like this, tedious attention to detail is crucial to create the mesmerizing performances that the orchestra has given in the past. Each section is broken down, leaving no note untouched—thus proving practice makes perfect. But despite the constant constructive criticism, the atmosphere is lighthearted.

“You get a golden star today,” Phillips jokes to one musician who kept eyes on him through an entire movement. For a brief moment, laughter erupts in the auditorium. Order is quickly restored as Phillips announces, “No talking. We are working.”

The orchestra’s fall season opens Friday at 8 p.m. with another performance Sunday at 3 p.m. Each fall concert features works associated with one natural element. This first concert is “earth.” The second, in October, is “water” and the third, in November, is “fire.” All performances will be staged in Caruth Auditorium.

Phillips, who has conducted the orchestra since 1996, created the elements idea by considering a number of potential performance pieces. He hopes to convey the music’s inner meaning to the audience.

“The repertoire changes from concert to concert,” Phillips said. “So, we are constantly changing our artistic and musical presentations.”

The orchestra is made up of undergraduate and graduate students with roughly 70 to 80 students performing at a single time. They utilize a variation of 20 different instruments, and each instrument receives immense attention.

Senior cellist Brian Magnus practices at least 20 hours a week outside of the required, two-hour rehearsals every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

“I practiced Bach’s fourth all summer long,” the cello player said. “After awhile the piece starts teaching you.”

The 11-year orchestra veteran credits his middle school teacher Mrs. Mollering for his musical passion.

“She changed my life,” he said.

However, not all students had as much backing as Magnus.

“I wanted so badly to play the flute,” orchestra member Kathryn Vinod said. “But, my mom wanted me to play the French horn.”

Eventually, her mother relented, and Vinod has been a flutist for the past seven years.

“Being able to practice with such great players makes me practice more,” Vinod said.

Vinod and the rest of the orchestra will display their hard work at Friday and Sunday’s performance “The Elements: Earth.” For tickets, call 214-768-2787. $13 for adults; $10 for seniors, $7 for students, faculty and staff