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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Santigold and Theophilus London to Perform at Fall Concert

Published: September 14, 2012
Section: Arts, Etc.

At the Student Events Wake and Shake on Wednesday morning the artists for this year’s fall concert were announced: popstar Santigold and rapper Theophilus London. Though these artists are unknown to many students, even a cursory examination of their histories and discographies reveal that they’re both very talented performers. Following last year’s performance by Guster, expectations are high for the Sept. 29 concert, but Santigold and London seem to be up to the challenge.
Santigold, known as Santi White when offstage, grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Wesleyan University. She began her professional musical career in 2003, when she was the lead singer for punk rock band Stiffed. From there she launched her solo career, originally using the stage name “Santogold,” changing it to “Santigold” in February 2009 due to a possible lawsuit from director Santo Victor Rigatusco over his film “Santo Gold’s Blood Circus.” Her music thus far includes a number of singles and two albums, “Santogold” (2008) and “Master of My Make-Believe” (2012). Both of her albums received critical acclaim, and have led to a number of concert tours.
Despite her relative inexperience, Santigold has performed with a number of famous artists, including Coldplay, Jay-Z, the Beastie Boys, Kanye West and Red Hot Chili Peppers. She has also performed at Lollapalooza, a world-renown music festival that is known for exposing unknown artists to the general public and producers. Santigold’s musical style has often been compared to that of M.I.A., though she has stated that her music wasn’t influenced by the that of her fellow artist. Rather, she believes her music is composed in a way that’s unexpected and genreless, according to 2008 interviews with and Independent Television News.
Given the recent release of Santigold’s album, “Master of My Make-Believe,” her performance will certainly contain a large portion of songs from the album. When looking at the track list, three songs stand out above the rest: “Big Mouth,” “Disparate Youth” and “The Keepers.” “Big Mouth” contains a bongo-sounding drum line that helps to drive it forward, as well as distinguish it from the other pop-inspired tracks on the album. Likewise, the keyboard in “Disparate Youth” helps to make the song memorable, as well as one of Santigold’s most popular. In contrast to both of these, “The Keepers” provides haunting melodies, as well as grimmer subject matter compared to her other songs, discussing how “while we sleep in America, our house is burning down.”
Even newer to the music scene is Theophilus London, who’s first EP was released in February of last year. He has performed previously, but it was this EP that started to garner him more widespread attention. He also gained substantial fame with a slew of performances in June of 2011. An article by the Montreal Gazette stated, “Theophilus London is going to be big. Very big.” Rolling Stone called his style a “hipster-rap” fusion in a review of his first album, which is called “Timez Are Weird These Days,” a name that seems to fit his style. Others have described his music as “genre-bending.” Hopefully he and Santigold will successfully complement each other.
London’s only album, “Timez Are Weird These Days,” was released on June 19, 2011. It only received moderate ratings from critics, but occupied the No. 21 spot on the Rap Albums chart during the week of Aug. 6, 2011. The song “I Stand Alone” was widely acclaimed by critics, and showcases angst and anguish on London’s part, a change from other songs such as “Girls Girls $,” which as the title suggests focuses on a more lighthearted subject. A review on stated, “the overall package is fresh, moody and energizing,” and rated the song a 3.9 out of five stars. “Love is Real,” provides a more techno/electronic sound when compared to “I Stand Alone,” and is one of London’s better-known songs.
The fall concert will take place in the Shapiro Gym in the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center on Saturday, Sept. 29.