April 6, 2006

Ben Folds for Slope

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The Sun has confirmed that this year’s Slope Day performances will include the talented pianist and songwriter Ben Folds and the lyrically gifted hip-hop MC Talib Kweli. The rising indie band Acceptance will open.

“There’s really something for everybody,” said Jon Bellante ’06, chairman of the Cornell University Programming Board. “We’re really, really excited about our line-up.”

Folds is best known for his work with bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee in the band Ben Folds Five. With that Chapel Hill trio, Folds released a series of instant classics including Naked Baby Photos and Whatever and Ever Amen. After the band broke up due to reported divergent musical interests in November 2001, Folds pursued a successful career beginning with the more the slightly resigned Rockin’ the Suburbs. Although Folds’s music seems to sorely miss the backbone of his former trio, he is still known to put on an incredibly lively show that includes antics like showing up drunk, encouraging audience three-part harmony and throwing a piano stool at a mint Yamaha piano.

An unlikely compliment is the veteran underground M.C. Talib Kweli. A native of Brooklyn, Talib Kweli might be most easily recognized as Mos Def’s partner in the incredible hip-hop project Blackstar and their legendary title album released in 1998. Although far from commercially popular, Kweli’s solo releases, Reflection Eternal, Quality, which includes the single “Get By,” and most recently The Beautiful Struggle are highly critically acclaimed for their thoughtful social commentary.

“Acceptance has really shown great promise,” said Bellante. “And it is on the urge of breaking.”

Gates are set to open at noon, with Acceptance playing at 1:30 p.m. and Talib Kweli kicking off at 2:45 p.m. Ben Folds is set to take the stage at 4:30 p.m.

All Cornellians have free admission with their Cornell I.D., and guest tickets will be available for $25 each starting April 19. Students may purchase up to two guest tickets.

The official Slope Day announcement is due to be made today at the Student Assembly meeting at 4:45 p.m. in the Straight Memorial room.

Managing Editor Michael Morisy contributed to this story.

Archived article by Elliot Singer
Arts & Entertainment Editor