As Valentine’s Day approaches, two opposite poles emerge on Vassar’s campus: those who are wrapped up in romance, and those who reject the notion entirely. The Valentine’s Day Concert, presented by ViCE Student Music, will bring music ranging from garage punk, indie pop, to even some electronic music. Regardless of your predilection, the concert aims to satisfy either crowd.
On Feb. 14th, Thursday night, the Valentine’s Day Concert starts at 9pm in the Aula. The activity is free and open to all of the Vassar campus.
“As of right now, we’re planning to have one student musician performing solo, two different student bands, and a band from outside Vassar,” Marissa Lorusso ’13, one of the organizers in the concert, wrote in an emailed statement.
“The three bands have pretty distinct sounds, from funk to punk to post-rock, so there will be a little of something for everyone,” she added.
According to the organizers, most of the music performed will be original songs. “ViCE Student Music tries to support artists who write their own music, which most of these acts do,”Max Goldstein ’15, the drummer of punk/funk/jam band Mamojam, wrote in an emailed statement.
His band is very excited to perform in the show. The band consists of four people and has been together for five years. They will be performing all original pieces, with one special surprise cover featuring sophomore musicians Ben Parra ’15 and Jack Rowland ’15 on trumpet and tenor saxophone.
However, because the members of Mamojam all attend different schools, it is difficult for them to practice and perform together.
“Sam Brivic (guitar) and Andrew Jones (bass) go to Clark University and Boston College respectively, so they are situated close enough that we can sometimes get together to play a few times a semester,” Goldstein wrote in an emailed statement.
In fact, those three musicians have performed as an instrumental trio on campus twice this past semester, once in The Mug for VC Punx, and once at Ferry House with Andrew Cedermark.
However, the vocalist and guitarist of Mamojam, Skyler Lloyd, attends the University of Southern California, so it is much more difficult to practice with him during the academic year.
Despite the geographical separation, they are trying their best to get together to practice and rehearse rigorously for the show on Thursday.
“We will all be together Thursday morning, so we will probably spend most of Thursday rehearsing for the concert that night,” Goldstein wrote.
“Ideally, we’d like to spend more time dusting off the cobwebs, but we think it will still be good,” she added.
Goldstein has great confidence in the upcoming concert and their band’s past performances.
“Both times we played here last semester, the concerts were very well organized and put together. The other bands on the bills have always been very impressive and talented, and the audience has always been very large and supportive,” he said.
Jaclyn Neudorf ’13 is also going to perform in the concert, with band members Talbot Schmidt ’13 on drums, and Kaylee Knowles ’13 on bass.
“Our sound has been described as poppy post-punk influenced rock, or alternatively teenage romantic angst music,” Neudorf explained.
Similar to Mamojam, Neudorf’s band will mostly play original songs, but they will feature one cover, their take on a song by the Indie cult favorite, Neutral Milk Hotel.
Neudorf wrote that she has enjoyed preparing for the concert ver4y much. “It’s nice having an event like this to look forward to give our practices a direction and goal to work towards, and the process of tailoring a set list and making it sound tight is fun. Because of course performing live is what it’s all about, and we only played a couple small shows last semester. We’re hoping to get this semester off on the right start and play many more shows,” she said.
In the past, ViCE has hosted annual activities like Film League and ViCE Student Music; the Student Band Union has also put on Valentine’s Day shows, usually in Lathrop. It becomes a tradition that people want to follow.
“This year we decided that instead of our usual lovelorn whining we would throw a bigger event that’s actually for a good cause.” Joel Auerbach ’15 wrote in an emailed statement.
It was Emily Bernstein ’13, who ran Special Events, that approached the group with the idea of having the concert also encourage social awareness. at the behest of Lily Sloss ’14
Auerbach wrote, “We are putting on this concert in support of the One Billion Rising movement, which aims to raise awareness for and fight violence against women by gathering large groups of people to dance together in solidarity.”
The movement considers the disturbing fact that one third of women around the globe experience violence. This means that a striking one billion women will likely be affected.
As such, it calls for women to come together in response to this malady, regardless of socio-economic status, race, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other potentially divisive facets of identity.
The V-Day movement as a whole has expanded greatly in the past few years. V-Day is a nonprofit organization, with locations in over one hundred and sixty countries in four different continents, that allocates resources to a plethora of organiztions that all strive to end the violence against women. Since its founding fourteen years ago, V-Day has raised in excess of $90 million.
Lorusso also considers it good to make the concert have a cause of social responsibility: “We wanted to raise awareness about violence against women and take a stand as a community against it.”