The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Spring Concerts lineup released

Last Saturday night, soft blue light lit Gardner Lounge as Chicago-based singer-songwriter Sen Morimoto took the stage. Standing at a keyboard, Morimoto crooned, rapped and saxophoned into the microphone while his drummer kept the beat. What started out as a small and quiet crowd slowly grew in size and enthusiasm as the music began to get faster and more emotionally charged. Morimoto punctuated his act with questions for the audience: “Do you guys feel like you do a lot of work here [at Grinnell]?” and a declaration of love for his drummer: “I really love you, did you know that?”

Next up came Lala Lala, a four-person group whose bassist is the aforementioned drummer for Sen Morimoto.

The lead singer, Lillie West, clutched the microphone close to her mouth as she thanked the College and her bandmates for making the night possible. Lala Lala featured drums and an electric guitar. Their sound was fast-paced and the audience quickly began to stomp and dance to the rhythm.

Sen Morimoto and Lala Lala are the first bands to perform in Grinnell College’s Spring Concert series. Looking back on the event, Student Government Association Concerts chair Cassidy Christiansen ’20 thinks the show went well and is excited for the upcoming artists in the spring lineup.

Christiansen said this semester will feature more student band openers, including Prairie Dogs (Rachel Eber and Lily Dawson, both ’21), Pictoria Vark (Victoria Park ’21) and Marco (Saffold ’20).

Though Christiansen acknowledged that the College generally does a decent job bringing in racially and gender diverse groups, they said that they also see a “real absence of diversity in the music industry.”

Generally, Christiansen said, the groups that contact the College and ask to perform are “white indie bands.” While last semester featured many of these bands, this spring’s lineup, Christiansen said, doesn’t include any bands that feature “cisgender heterosexual white men.”

Although Christiansen gets the final say in the matter, the Concerts Committee and the general student body have a say in who they book.

Christiansen, who was on the concert committee for two years before becoming chair, said they haven’t always felt they had much influence over which artists the Committee brought to Grinnell. In an attempt to make the artist selection process more democratic, Christiansen relies on their committee to suggest bands and utilizes Facebook to get input from students. Their goal as Concerts chair is to “take into account as many different opinions as possible.”

Christiansen acknowledged that not everyone likes their band choices.

“The thing with this job is that people are never going to be completely happy with my decisions,” they said.

However, Christiansen stands by the artists they pick, and has tried to support smaller, more local artists this semester instead of bringing in big names.

“I just wish Grinnell students would give artists they don’t know more of a chance.” Christiansen said. “I know if people actually listen to the artists on the lineup they’d find some music they really like.”

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