WVBR 93.5 FM Ithaca’s “real rock radio” is out and “Ithaca’s Alternative” is in. This change of genre for the independent, Cornell student-run radio station comes after increasing confusion as to what constitutes “real rock.” In the recent years, the station has failed to focus its efforts on any particular decade or subgenre, leading to a lack of consistency within their sound. With the new alternative format, the station will play songs from the ’90s, classic alternative if you will, to the present. Under the genre of alternative, artists like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Cold War Kids and Tame Impala coexist with only one thing to bind them: a willingness to experiment with non-traditional sounds and stage antics. What is most interesting about this is that the station is trying to escape an unfocused format by switching to an incredibly broad format.
What did you do in the 24 hours starting from Friday at 6:30 p.m.? A group of students were creating something incredible from scratch. Festival 24, which started in 2008 with only theatre productions, recently added film and dance performances to showcase the work of other students in the Performing and Media Arts department. Festival 24 challenges students to produce a story from a one-word theme in 24 hours. Playwrights stayed up all night to write a 10-minute play.
Last semester Cornell was witness to a potential hate crime in Collegetown, continued overzealous behavior by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a display of rank anti-Semitism and the abrupt end to the once-promising political career of a graduate of Cornell in a precursor to the #MeToo movement.
Cornell is not a university specifically reserved for the STEM disciplines. We were founded under a proud cosmopolitan banner of “Any Person, Any Study,” and we differ from MIT or CalTech in that we claim to offer the highest possible level of instruction in any field a person might choose. As a former PMA/English major I can say I was never belittled on campus, but I noticed an unquestionable lack of interest in funding arts departments and activities, compared to the hard sciences. This comes with the territory — the arts students tend to be far fewer in number than the STEM ones — but there is a very real danger that eventually, History, Philosophy, Comp Lit and Comm majors will have a far less rigorous education than the name of Cornell promises. The Schwartz Center has seen this with its extensive budget cuts passed seven years ago, and with its folding of three majors into one.
If there is one word that is overused when describing concert experiences, it’s “magical.” Experiences and emotions are subjective, yet everyone seems to come back to that word. I agree that there is a certain atmosphere to be found at concerts that can’t be found anywhere else, but I believe that the affects found in a Girlpool concert are in a category of their own. Girlpool’s music takes emotions that are difficult to describe and puts them in an accurate, concise form of music that makes one think, “Wow. Why couldn’t I think of that when it’s so straightforward?” Taking those sentiments to a small venue like The Haunt makes the experience personal by forcing one to address neglected, bottled up feelings, creating a truly magical experience. Girlpool opened their show with “123,” the first track off their newest album Powerplant.
Local and national artists came together Saturday at the first Cayuga Sound Festival, delivering quality music to the unique Ithaca community and creating a one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found here in Ithaca. There was something special about the laid-back attitude of the Ithaca community, the musicians, the familiar location at Stewart Park, and the local businesses selling food. The familiarity and friendliness added comfort to the experience, breaking the stereotype of chaotic music festivals. There were two stages set up next to each other and artists alternated between them. Businesses and radio stations had tents set up along the park, with food trucks serving most of the local food found at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market.