Local artists diversify music scene

Lizzie Martinez

Senior reporter

Music at Linfield is going local. The Seattle-based Blue Scholars kicked off this year’s with a rousing concert in the Oak Grove on Sept. 5. The Portland band Weinland followed up the successful act with an indoor jam Sept. 11.

From professional to student concerts, the theme for the year is keeping it local.

“Blue Scholars set the tone,” senior Kasey Richter, ASLC vice president of programming, said. “Outdoor concerts are challenging because you need a lot of people to make it a great event, but it was very well-attended.”

Richter estimated 400 people gathered on the lawn to enjoy the hip-hop beats of the local duo. Stretching across the lawn, the students danced to the rhythm of the band throughout the concert.

“I’d never heard of [Blue Scholars], but it was a good time,” senior Julia Barrett said. “I’d like to see more outdoor concerts.”

The duo was the first of four professional bands to come to Linfield this semester as part of the once-a-month professional Cat Cabs. As the Linfield Activities Board Musical Events Chair, senior Renata Tirta has been working since last semester to find new bands to play at Linfield. Drawing from college conferences and local talent around Portland, Tirta has lined up a diverse fall schedule.

On Sept. 11, the Portland band Weinland entertained audiences Fred Meyer Lounge with their folk-rock sound. On Oct. 9, solo artist Kristin Diable will perform.

“We’re going for a different sound,” Richter said. “Not the usual Jack Johnson.”

This year, Tirta is focusing on inviting local bands from the Pacific Northwest who will showcase a variety of sounds. Though the first concert was hip-hop, the next four months will be a mix of folk-rock, blues and more. She said she is trying to escape the pattern of only bringing in singer/songwriters who tend to fall in the same genre.

“Overall, I want to provide a variety of music that would appeal to the whole student body,” Tirta said. “I’m trying to bring in more bands that fuse different genres
together.”

Local music has its benefits. When students find a band or musician they enjoy, they also have the chance to attend other concerts in the Portland or Seattle areas.

Tirta also coordinates the weekly student Cat Cab performances. Coming performances will feature junior Joy Nelson, sophomore Patrick Stauffer and the improv club, Awkward Moose.

On Sept. 18, Nelson will perform a completely new set. Playing acoustic guitar and piano, she will debut a set of original songs she has written.

Nelson said she prefers to play original songs and draws her inspiration from interactions with friends, experiences and heartache. She encourages students to hear what their fellow students are producing and enjoy her music.

“[Cat Cab] is really one of the only midweek events,” Tirta said. “It’s a good way to relax.”

Several slots this semester and next semester are still available for performers. Freshmen and sophomores are particularly encouraged to apply, Tirta said. E-mail rtirta@linfield.edu for more information.

Because Tirta cannot accommodate every student’s preference in music, she is also trying to revive the practice of offering low-cost concert tickets through LAB.

“It’s a good way of providing opportunities for music not offered on campus,”
Tirta said.

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