By Angela Liao
The 10th annual Mr. Spring Weekend contest last Thursday, sponsored by the Women’s Independent Living Group, kicked off a series of Spring Weekend events that entertained students while benefiting many local charities to the tune of over $7,000.
“Mr. Spring Weekend went great this year. We doubled last year’s donation to Boston Rape Crisis,” said M. Josie Ammer ’97, coordinator of the contest.Mr. Spring Weekend 1995 himself, Arturo F. Rosales ’96, won the title by impressing the audience in a talent competition, a “non-conformal” evening wear competition, and a short question-and-answer session.
Other Spring Weekend events included a concert by Sonic Youth, a Lecture Series Committee presentation of “Hoop Dreams,” the annual Alpha PhleaMarket, Las Vegas Night/Bachelor Auction, Chi Phi’s Earth Day Carnival, and the East Campus Spring Picnic.
Market, bachelor auction draw crowds Sonic Youth and the cover bands Mistle Thrush and Helium drew a crowd of about 1,500 to the Johnson Athletic Center Saturday night. “A fair amount of people from other schools showed up, along with local commercial and college radio stations,” said Chris S. Schnyer ’96, who coordinated the concert.
“I was really impressed by Mistle Thrush, who played at MIT before. Helium and Sonic Youth were not as energetic as I had hoped, but generally [it was] a pretty good show,” Schnyer said. “Sonic Youth played some new stuff and that was nice.”
Featuring special guests Mistle Thrush and Helium.
MIT Student Center Committee Spring Concert.
Johnson Athletics Center.
April 22, 8 p.m.
By John Jacobs
Sonic Youth’s style recently, it seems, has been not to grab its audiences with stellar performances. That is, if one were to generalize based on Friday night’s performance at SCC’s Spring Weekend concert.
They didn’t play enough familiar songs (a mistake in any industry) for the audience to get into. Instead, they chose to introduce songs from their upcoming album. In fact, although I consider myself a “solid” fan, I only recognized four songs: “Schizophrenia,” “Bull In the Heather,””Self-Obsessed and Sexxee,” and “Candle,” all of which were enthusiastically welcomed by the audience, dying as we were to hear some familiar SY songs. “Bull In the Heather,” SY’s hit (by SY standards, of course) single from their last album, Experimental Jet Set Trash and No Star, went over particularly well. And I was psyched to hear anything off of Sister, which competes with Daydream Nation for the title of SY’s best album ever. And, I wouldn’t have minded if they’d played a few songs off of Dirty (the album on which they backslid into traditional rock conventions – power-chord riffing, etc.), songs which I had always imagined would sound better live.
Of course the unfamiliar songs didn’t exactly fall flat. They were simply harder to relate to. What SY intended to do while unintentionally alienating their fans is unclear, in typical SY style, but the songs had the unmistakable SY “aura” about them, and it wasn’t difficult to pretend I was listening to a better version of songs from Experimental Jet Set Trash and No Star. It is difficult, however, to imagine a version of that album that I would enjoy listening to.
All in all, their performance bordered on lively, perhaps because they had played a more energetic show that afternoon in Bridgewater; but it’s, though, that their best days really are behind them, and fans like me are having trouble finding (or fabricating) evidence to the contrary. Celeste Winnant ’95 noted that the band “looked a little dweeby in their cotton polo button-downs.” I was disappointed to note that she was right. As our invited guests, the band had no right to make us feel underdressed.
As for Helium’s performances, I don’t think is worth commenting on. Mistle Thrush, on the other hand, put on a surprisingly good show for such a new band (they only have one release, an EP). Mistle Thrush’s exuberance onstage during their last song – with four band members playing drums while the fifth used a bottle as a guitar slide and revelled in five minutes’ worth of feedback – redeemed their tendency toward the self-pitying style of the Cranberries.
So, in closing, we must hold SCC in high esteem for bringing such a revolutionary and influential band to our campus. They really had no way of knowing that Sonic Youth had tired of vivid performances.