“A Space for the Freaks”: Pile/Palehound/Therm/Shore Acres Drive/Teencat at the Haunt

Ithaca Underground has long been lauded as one of the few music and art collectives in Ithaca that truly keep their ears to the ground and deliver the locals exactly what they want to hear. With that being said, last night’s concert was a dream come true for those who love to let the music visibly shake them up and down, those who feel not fear but exhilaration from the prospect of a mosh pit and those who like to keep their face down and, as Jimi Hendrix famously put it, “wave their freak flag high.”

Last night’s show was kicked off by Ithaca cat-pop group Teencat, whose energetic basslines and straightforward, if dark, riffs were topped off by the optimistic lyrics and strong lead vocal performance delivered by Kari Aldrich. They were followed by local favorite Shore Acres Drive, a three person-collective that blends emo, punk and post-hardcore and first debuted their music at the Ithaca Underground stage of the 2014 Ithaca Festival. Shore Acres Drive consists of Cornell students Charlie Fraioli on guitar and vocals, Jake Burchard on the drums and Ithaca College student James Manton on bass. Shore Acres Drive started as a solo acoustic project, with their music written exclusively by front man Charlie.


Guerilla Toss, Therm, Eagle Daddy, What Nerve Slay at Cayuga Lodge

On Thursday, Cornell’s Fanclub Collective organized yet another fantastic line-up for a sweet night of trippy light shows and punk and noise music at Cayuga Lodge. Up first was Nicki Duval of What Nerve. Unfortunately, I could only listen from several stories up in the building as I was hurriedly finishing school work so I could head to the show. Luckily, their glitchy dance-noise beats shook the whole house. I only heard positive things about the performance.


Creativity and Corn Nuggets: WVBR Takes the Nines

I always thought that The Nines was just a place to get pizza and corn nuggets. At least, that’s what my friends do when they go there. Little did I know, this assumption was way off. On April 15, Cornell student radio station WVBR hosted bands PYSMON SPINE, Pilgrims and rapper Paulitics at The Nines. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect.


Young and Reckless: Young Thug Fails to Impress at Barton

Young Thug might be notorious for his unique style of incoherent rapping, but he certainly falls flat as a performer. Over 3,300 people came out to Sunday night’s show at Barton Hall expecting a hype concert from the rapper. Slightly disappointed from the Urban Outfitters artist selections for this year’s Slope Day, Young Thug’s arrival was highly anticipated by many Cornell students who hoped to turn prelim season into Slime Season. Young Thug’s eccentric personality certainly produced some moments of humor amongst the group of Ivy League students. As a cannabis enthusiast, Thugger entertained the crowd with questions like “how many of y’all smoke weed?” His styrofoam cup posse served as his background dancers throughout the show as Thugger performed smoker anthems like “Hookah” and “Stoner.”


Jake Shimabukuro Brings Ukelele Mastery to the Hangar

It’s not often you get to hear the world’s foremost ukulele prodigy. That is, of course, unless you’re Jake Shimabukuro, in which case you get to hear yourself every day. At the Hangar Theatre last Friday, ears on both sides of the equation united to witness his artistry firsthand. The Honolulu-born star has singularly redefined the capabilities of this humble four-stringed instrument for new generations of listeners and, as evidenced by the handful of fans waiting to get their ukes signed after the show, players as well. As Shimabukuro himself said at one point between songs, “I bet you’re not having as much fun as we are up here.” To be sure, he gave back two parts passion for each of appreciation lobbed from an audience that was smiling ear to ear.

Beau Mahadev '18 playing to the crowd at Ithaca Underground's Naked Noise #7

Get Lost: A Review of Naked Noise by an Art Virgin

My boyfriend knew never to discuss with me the possibility that “noise” music could take any talent to create; he knew I’d say there was no kind of artistic value in a bunch of sounds that I could easily reproduce. He knew that I equated noise to contemporary art that consists of a blank canvas or an empty room or a single red dot painted with a shaky hand. And he knew very well that I was absolutely determined to stay ignorant. So I understood his shock when I notified him that I would be going to Ithaca Underground’s Naked Noise #7 on Saturday night. What changed my mind was basement duty.


Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet Baffle at Bailey

Wu Man is a peerless virtuoso of the pipa, a Chinese lute-like instrument rarely heard stateside in close quarters, much less in the hands of its greatest living master. On Sunday night, the Shanghai Quartet paired it with classical strings, closing out the Cornell Concert Series with an adventurous program. The results, however, were inconsistent and, at times, baffling. The Shanghai headliners began with three Chinese folksongs — “Yao Dance,” “Shepherd’s Song” and “Harvest Celebration” — beautifully arranged by the quartet’s second violinist Yi-Wen Jiang. The last two songs in particular, both from the southwestern province of Yunnan, varnished the grain of their arranger’s relationship with the music of his homeland, further showcasing the superb technique, dynamic control and finesse that have earned the quartet high regard.


Wavves Crash at Bailey Hall

I remember when Wavves’s King of the Beach came out in the summer of 2010. Wavves was the perfect band for me at the time: they had all the melody and fun of bratty pop-punk, but balanced snotty singalongs with trippier, psychedelic haze. They were somewhere between the critically-lauded experimental indie rock that I wanted to love, and the three-chord power-pop bands that I really did love. I thought they were the peak of careless cool. Based on their performance at Bailey Hall on April 8, they’ve lost this quality.


The Sun’s April Concerts Preview

Ithaca Underground Presents: Naked Noise #7
Saturday April 9, 9 p.m
at the Community School of Music and Art
It’s no secret that Ithaca is home to a thriving underground music scene. We’ve got hip-hop, punk rock, indie darlings and everything in between, all just crawling out of the woodwork. One of this town’s strongest areas, however, is noise music. Abrasive to some, vital to others, there’s little arguing that noise music is something to talk about, especially what’s churned out on a constant basis by Ithaca’s own luminaries of the scene. This Saturday, April 9, Ithaca Underground will hold its seventh annual celebration of this town’s staggering strength in the genre of noise.


You’ll Always Be a Loser: Titus Andronicus at the Haunt

Titus Andronicus play their own music to warm up the crowd. This is fitting; Titus Andronicus don’t seem scared of over-indulgence. Their breakthrough album was 2010’s The Monitor, an hour-long kitchen-sink explosion of punk riffs, honky-tonk piano, a bagpipe solo and lyrics that used the American Civil War as a metaphor for personal strife and alienation. Their latest album manages to surpass The Monitor in grandiosity; 2015’s The Most Lamentable Tragedy runs an hour and a half long with several intermission tracks and two tracks titled “No Future Part IV: No Future Triumphant” and “No Future Part V: In Endless Dreaming.”

Luckily, Titus Andronicus balance the pretension of their album formats with unpretentiously great songs. At their best, they meld arena-rock riffs with a ferocious punk attack.