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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

A sneak-preview of Saturday’s Springfest

Published: April 20, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Springfest is happening Saturday on the Great Lawn. New Brandeis Policy: Beer for over-21s with proper id (wristbands will be issued so no beer garden). Concerts start at 12pm, should end by 6pm.


A jazzy, Spanish-speaking band in some instances, a rapping, politically-motivated group in others, Ozomatli comes to Brandeis Saturday bearing a message of peace and justice. The band has been together for twelve years, through thick and thin according to their Myspace. All of us are on this road of being more responsible in our own lives, becoming happier human beings, healthier in our lives outside of the band. In the process of making the record, people were really deep in the process of getting their lives together. It made a big difference. People growing up, people taking care of their own lives. The healthier people get, the better the music gets.” The band is an amalgamation formed during a local labor protest and which continues its growth, inspired in part by current events, including the pro-immigration marches in Los Angeles in 2006 and the laborious response of the Bush administration to the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.

Dr. Octagon

A multi-aliased, sometimes critical, disjointed rapper, Dr. Octagon, also know as Kool Keith (real name: Keith Matthew Thornton) performs with a stream-of-consciousness style that has earned him props in the underground hip hop community for the past decade. Originating in the Ultramagnetic MCs, Thornton has performed with some fourteen different groups, aliases and solo attempts. He has produced, worked on, soloed, created and somehow affected some thirty-plus hip hop albums since the initial disbanding of Ultramagnetic in 1998. Thornton has been credited with developing the initial strains of acid rap, with cryptic lyrics, described as abstract, trippy, spacey and dark, showcased in the landmark album Dr. Octagonecologyst. Thornton also produced Sex Styles, an album fascinated with sex and pornography. Thornton's newest effort will be produced as a sequel to the 1999 Dr. Dooom album. Another album, under alias Tashan Dorsett may come out this fall.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

An indie band with a message, the Nocturnals feature Grace Potter as vocalist with something of an updated, young-Joplin tone. The group backs up Potter with a B-3 and a bluesy sound that reminds listeners of the blues without sticking wholly to the genre;

folk hits the occasional Zeppelin chord. The band's influences are wide-ranging, from Taj Mahal's early blues records to Neil Young to The Band to J.J. Cale, and the depth of their knowledge shows;

the music is pleasantly layered with simple depth. The band is starting its summer tour, playing gigs internationally, all over the East Coast and at the invitation-only Bonnaroo Festival June 14-17 in Manchester, Tenn. Their next album will be released independently through their own imprint, Ragged Company Records May 23.

MC Paul Barman

MC Paul Barman will perform, and is a self-defined Jewish dork, an extremely underground hip-hop artist. Known for witty lyrics and skillful rhyme, his fan-base is strong and dedicated. Often times, people form bonds over their common interest of Barman fan-dom. While his lyrics in The Joy Of Your World are self-loathing, If you want sex with me be prepared for bad sex and slapstick / Even Chapstick won't help my chapped dick, his lyrics are often self-aggrandizing, as exhibited in How Hard is That?: This white rapper might insight your tight snapper despite my slight stature. His poetic abilities are not just limited to self-oriented topics. From the song N.O.W., he takes the voice of an abortion advocater,RU486ing injustice?


A cute, poppy band from Canada, illScarlett thinks it's punk-reggae;

it's light-punk and just a little bit emo besides. Influenced by Nirvana, No Doubt, Beck and Sublime, the band is well-suited to its target 16-24 audience. Self-released, self-promoted and independently successful, the Canadians seem to have cornered the market on something that high school and college kids love. The band's guerrilla tactics have earned them props from the mainstream music labels– an impromptu concert using generators in the parking lot near the entrance to a stop on the Vans Warped Tour. The band earned the opportunity to play for bands on the tour, and eventually was signed to Warped 2005 and 2006. Tour dates are scheduled throughout Canada through May;

the current schedule is capped with a performance with The Killers May 21 in Vancouver.

When: 12pm – 7pm
Where: Great Lawn
Free beer, burgers, and hot dogs
Sponsored by WBRS and Student Events