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Worthstock and LSE Artists!

in Arts by

 

With only a few days to go, the Worthstock committee announced who will perform for Worthstock and LSE. The Worthstock committee is a group of students who undertake the responsibility of working with the administration to reach out and book artists for

Worthstock. For the freshman out there, Worthstock is a yearly tradition constituting a day of debauchery the Sunday after classes end in the spring semester. This year, THEY. and Father will be performing on Sunday, April 30 in Worth courtyard.

THEY. is a R&B and hip-hop duo that entered the rap scene in 2015, and appeared on ZHU’s album Genesis Series in 2015 as well as GENERATIONWHY in 2016. After spending early 2016 touring as Bryson Tiller’s opener, THEY,  made up of Drew and Dante,  released their first album, Nü Religion: Hyena in 2017. They’re most popular songs include U-Rite, Motley Crew, and Back it Up. The self-described “Grunge&B” duo has a highly danceable sound with influences spanning rock, R&B, and hip-hop. THEY. are currently on their first headlining global tour and quickly gaining steam.

Father is a rapper who originates from Atlanta. He hit the scene in 2014 by going viral with his song “Look at Wrist.” Father also runs the collective Awful Records. Father is an established figure within underground hip-hop, especially on the internet, and has gained a cult following. Father is best known for his viral song “Look at Wrist”,”Everybody in the Club Getting Shot”, “Heartthrob” which came out in 2016.

The LSE artist, DJ Luca Lush, was announced on Wednesday by the Worthstok committee. Luca Lush is a producer out of Chicago known for his genre-blending remix abilities. If you’ve never listened to anything produced by Luca Lush he recommends you listen to his songs “Cadillac w/Dirty Chocolate”, “I can tell”, “IT G Ma”, and “Get it on”.  

You can check out both Father and THEY. on Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud and see them live in Worth courtyard Sunday afternoon.

Transformational softball (No, really)

in Opinions/Staff Editorials by

This spring, we’ve seen an increase in events that we at the Phoenix believe legitimately build community, including the intramural softball league, Spring Fling on Saturday, and, we anticipate, the upcoming Worthstock-LSE combined event.

The intramural softball league has transformed the Sunday lawn from a desolate landscape to a welcoming social space for students lucky enough to be outside the library. Not only does the league change the nature of Swarthmore Sundays, it fills a gap in the social scene by creating a place for non-athletes to play team sports. For those who do not play on a varsity team or a club sport, intramural softball is an opportunity to continue (or begin) an experience of being on a low-commitment, low-pressure team. Thirdly, it provides a distinctly dry activity. While many dry events at the college host students who have been drinking substantially before attending, softball is not of this nature at all. Rather than being a dry party full of students who have been drinking, it is a dry event unassociated with alcohol. While students who choose not to drink for moral reasons may not object to being in a room with others who have been drinking, students who choose not to drink because they are survivors of trauma relating to alcohol may have difficulty sharing a space with their peers who have been drinking. Softball is part of a trend of spaces that have no association with alcohol and are distinctly dry social events.

On Saturday, students gathered on Parrish Beach to share dinner. The lawn has probably never looked so collegiate. While there are plenty of warm weekend days when students gather in small groups to be out in the sun, this particular event seemed to facilitate greater integration in the student body. Beach balls were tossed around, slack lines extended, and the big chair relocated several times. Perhaps the great number of students present was drawn out by the smoothie cart and table of snacks available outside Tarble, or, perhaps it was simply the organized and publicized nature of the event that led to the good turnout. Whatever the effective tactic, we commend SGO and the administration for its success in fostering a sense of community through the event.

The re-organization of the LSE-Worthstock weekend is likely to continue this trend of increased dry outdoor social life on campus this spring. In the past, LSE has taken place as a night-time event with no accompanying activities, making it much like any other major party. This year, instead of booking a major act for that Friday night, the college has arranged for food trucks and laser tag (which will take place on Mertz Field) to precede a performance by a secondary act, TWRK. With the allure of food, students are more likely to come out and enjoy the outdoor event not as a late-night party scene but as an opportunity to mingle with peers and classmates in a more authentic manner. Laser Tag promotes a similar dynamic as intramural softball by encouraging students to get outside and interact with one another in a fresh way.

Worthstock itself will host several new events, rather than the usual picnics and music in the courtyard. There will still be music — in fact, the primary act scheduled for the weekend will be performing on Sunday, rather than the Friday typical of the past. Ghostface Killah and badbadnotgood will be performing. Other entertainment will include outdoor activities (the much advertising rock wall, zip-line, waterslide, and inflatable combination). Notably, the event won’t begin until noon, which will perhaps serve to discourage the extremely early day drinking that has characterized the event in the past.

The new Worthstock, Spring Fling, intramural softball, and other outdoor weekend events this spring have encouraged students to interact with each other in new and positive ways. We are hopeful that these changes will continue to bring about the increased sense of community and social life that campus needs.

College plans security changes to LSE and Worthstock

in Around Campus/News by

This weekend, two of the college’s largest annual events, the Large Scale Event and Worthstock, will take place.

The two events have aroused speculation about potential changes to each event, including to alcohol policies. “Based on the size, scope and venue for the LSE, in consultation with student activities, the Dean’s Office and other college staff, we decided to hire additional event staff,” Director of Public Safety Mike Hill said. “This decision was largely based on the fact that this is an outdoor venue, which requires extra planning and security to ensure the event is safe for our community members..”

Hill, however, refused to say who the college would be hiring.

Mike Elias, the students activities coordinator, stressed that the college was trying to promote a safe space.

“The LSE is a community event and it is important that the committee considers the impact of the event on all of our campus constituents,” he said. “To help create a safe environment, we are also providing event fencing, hiring an EMS to be stationed on-campus, having adequate amounts of lighting on Sci Quad, walks provided by SwatTeam, having water available for guests, etc.”

Elias also declined to say who the college is bringing in to help staff the weekend events.

But Emma Sipperly ’14 wondered if using a security company will help achieve this safety.

“I think it makes sense, because it is such a busy weekend, but I wonder if this security company has the same idea of safe space as our student body does and how they will help provide it,” she said. “I think everyone’s main priority is keeping our party integrity at LSE. Hopefully the private company, who is not familiar with the campus or the student body, will encourage safe partying and not hinder it.”

Aziz Anderson ’17, one of the four students on the LSE committee, said the committee did not have any input on the decision to hire extra security. It is, however, involved in security decisions regarding Worthstock.

Christopher Fortunato ’14, another committee member, mentioned that Hill is concerned about underage drinking at Worthstock, an event that has allowed public drinking in past years.

“At a recent meeting between Mike Hill and the LSE committee, Mike Hill expressed concerns about underage drinking at Worthstock and the liability that entails,” he said. “The committee is interested in finding a solution that keeps both the students and the college happy. LSE, on the other hand, has usually been, and will continue to be, a dry event.

Fortunato said he did not yet know what stance Public Safety would be taking. Hill and Elias declined to comment on the topic.

Some students do not think this potential regulation will affect the amount of students’ drinking.

“I have heard some people mention that they plan to spend more time at Margaritaville or drink inside of Worth and Willets where their friends live, because they do not want to deal with the repercussions of drinking in Worth Courtyard,” Tally Erickson ’15 said. “I don’t think the policy will have that much of an effect on whether or not people will drink, but it will affect how they go about it. Overall, I think students who are aware of the Worthstock drinking policy changes are disappointed, because it alters the nature of an event many students cherish, especially as an end-of-the-year celebration.”

Erickson also discussed the lack of communication between the college and the students about this weekend.

“I think the overarching concern students have as it pertains to the upcoming weekend is how hiring an outside security company and implementing these changes will impact students who are unaware of the rules or do not follow them,” she said. “Many students have heard about the possibility of these changes, but have not heard anything official from the college, leaving students to wonder how strict these policies will be and what kind of punishments might be imposed if a student drinks publicly outside of Worth or gets in trouble at LSE.”

Either way, Worthstock will still have its traditional variety of musical acts.

This year’s Worthstock lineup will be as follows: Dirty Mike and the Boys, the Battle of the Bands winner and student opener; Grumby, a “chill electronica” duo from NYC; Boxed Wine, self-described as an “indie party pop band from New Jersey;” Cruiser, “chill rock” from Philadelphia; Brown Rice Family, a band that previously played at Swarthmore before and was interested in returning. Madmen, a local band from Carlisle, PA may also play.

Yuichi Iida, the drummer of Brown Rice Family, said he hopes students participate in the show by dancing and singing along. The band is multi-national, with members from Japan, Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria, South Africa and the USA and focuses on global solidarity and organic happiness.

“We will bring our stylish earth-friendly clothing, handmade organic soap and CD,” Iida said. “Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes.”

Boxed Wine vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Nova agreed that he hopes students will be willing to dance along.

“Swarthmore can expect some catchy songs to be played by a band who’ll be exhausted waking up so early that morning to get there in time, but who are likely to give as much as they get from the audience,” he said.

Tyler Zon ’16, a member of Dirty Mike and the Boys, said playing at Worthstock has been a long-term goal for the band. He expressed that the band wishes more student performers had the chance to play at the event.

“Worthstock is more of a Swarthmore thing, so we think more bands from Swat should be involved,” he said. “We were all at Worthstock last year, so we know it’s about celebrating the end of the year and having a good time.”

Fortunato expressed excitement about the lineup, as well as about the amount of money spent on the event.

“I’m pleased with how much production we’re keeping in-house,” Fortunato said. “This year, we’re on track to save thousands of dollars by making use of Swaudio and Tarble Tech.”

He did not know what this saved money will be used for, however.

DJ duo White Panda to perform at LSE

in Around Campus/News by
The White Panda, the DJ duo who will headline LSE.
The White Panda, the DJ duo who will headline LSE.

This spring, the college will host its first ever Swatapalooza: a weekend of festivities beginning with the Large Scale Event (LSE) on the night of Friday, May 2 and ending with Worthstock on Sunday, May 4. The LSE, which will take place outdoors in the Science Center Quad, will feature a performance by the DJ duo The White Panda, while Worthstock will occur as an all-day event in Worth Courtyard.

“We wanted to provide a better experience for the student body,” said Aziz Anderson ‘17, a member of the LSE committee, which plans both Worthstock and LSE. “When Worthstock and LSE are on separate weekends, the campus just gets this burst of energy that doesn’t last very long. When the whole weekend is dedicated to big events, though, it amplifies the worth of both events.”

Combining the events into one weekend was also somewhat necessitated by the college’s busy spring calendar, which is dominated by the Swarthmore College Spring Arts Celebration (SCSAC). As a part of the college’s sesquicentennial festivities, SCSAC was extended from its normal length of a weekend to last throughout the month of April. This year, it involves a number of Saturday events, including a Rhythm n’ Motion performance, the Spring Dance Concert, and various recitals in the Lang Performing Arts Center. The LSE committee worried that scheduling the LSE on any of these nights would significantly reduce student attendance.

“By the time the LSE committee came together once the semester started, it seemed like March and May were the only times that worked,” said Mike Elias, student activities coordinator for the college. “When we tried to secure a date, however, March didn’t work with White Panda’s schedule.”

Worthstock, which historically takes place the weekend before reading week, was already scheduled for the weekend of Saturday May 3. Combining both events into this weekend seemed to be the best option across the board for the LSE committee.

“It’s also more efficient to make both events part of one whole weekend in terms of resources,” said Anderson. “There are a lot of things for both events that overlap. If you’re going to buy port-a-potties, stages, sound systems, and food and water for Worthstock and LSE, why not buy them once to use for both events?”

The resource demands for both events are so similar because, for the first time in four years, both Worthstock and LSE will take place outside. After receiving repeated criticism from the student body about the poor sound quality of last year’s LSE in the Lamb-Miller Field House, the LSE committee started exploring new venues, particularly the possibility of having the event outdoors.

“We weren’t sure whether or not the community would want that,” said Elias. “Initially, we talked about having LSE in the amphitheater, but that would ruin the grass for graduation. Finally it came down to Parrish Beach or the Science Center Quad, and we chose the quad because there are a lot more natural boundaries that make facilitating the event easier.”

This was a top priority for the LSE committee, which spends a majority of their time planning the provision of food, water, bathrooms, security, and medical personnel around the quad. According to Elias and members of the committee, this is where a majority of the event’s expenses come from.

“The overall budget for LSE is $60,000, but we’re only paying White Panda $15,000,” said Elias. “The rest of our budget goes to other costs to facilitate the event.”

“People don’t take into consideration the extra money for security, transportation, hotel fees, and backstage hospitality stuff,” said Ryan Greenlaw, who chaired the LSE committee last semester. “The small costs start to really add up and don’t allow you to pay talent.”

Despite budgetary constraints, however, the LSE committee was able to narrow their search down to three performances that they felt the student body would enjoy. When these options were presented in an online Moodle poll, they appeared so compelling that voter turnout within the first four hours of the poll’s operation exceeded that of StuCo’s most recent election.

Between the choices of Breathe Carolina, Joey Bada$$, and The White Panda, The White Panda was the clear winner, with Joey Bada$$ in second and Breathe Carolina in third. Greenlaw explained that instituting the entire voting procedure was an effort by the committee to better reflect the desires of the students.

“Whether or not they voted for White Panda, people can look at the performance and say, ‘This is who the students chose,’” Anderson agreed. “There is definitely a sense of empowerment in that.”

Still, some students were upset with The White Panda’s win.

“I would rather have a kid from Brooklyn come play at Swarthmore College than two engineering majors who don’t know anything about music,” said Louis Lainé ‘16, alluding to the different backgrounds of both artists. “I think Swarthmore is afraid of a different sound. The Moodle vote just gave Swatties the opportunity to choose a musical genre they are already familiar with.”

Lainé’s concerns were echoed by Anderson, who expressed concern that the voting system may not be the best way of choosing performers. While using a Moodle poll increases student involvement in the decision making process, Anderson explained that in his experience, the committee and the student body do not necessarily have the same intentions while choosing a performer.

“As a committee we are thinking about so many other factors than the average voter,” he said. “The average voter might make their decision for any reason — who their friends are voting for or what genre they want — without the interests of the whole campus in mind. The committee is thinking about things like ‘are they worth their cost? Are they a good sound for the community? How will they engage with the community?’”

Lainé also emphasized the importance of the artist truly being a sound for the entire community. He explained that he felt the performance should expose the audience to new ideas, sounds, and experiences to have a more meaningful impact on the community.

“I think its important for Swat to get some sort of new perspective in terms of the music played on campus,” he said. “That’s one of the main reasons Joey Bada$$ should have come. He’s refreshing. His lyrics actually mean something. People are just not familiar with that type of music.”

While the performance by The White Panda may feel like a return to the familiar for some, Swatapalooza represents a significant change to the operations of the college’s spring social calendar. As more details about the festivities of Swatapalooza come to the fore, Anderson urges students above all else to embrace the modifications being made.

“Swatapalooza will be a great event as long as students make it great,” said Anderson. “We’re still at Swat. We’re going to have a really good time.”

LSE options announced

in Around Campus/News by

Voting opened yesterday for students to select their desired performer for Swarthmore’s Large Scale Event on May 3rd. The options posted online consist of Joey Bada$$, The White Panda, and Breathe Carolina.

All three artists have confirmed their availability to perform at the LSE, but the final decision will be based on a community vote.

Joey Bada$$ is the stage name of Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott, a rapper from Brooklyn, New York. He co-founded the sixteen-person rap collective Pro Era with the late Capital STEEZ and has released three mixtapes, 1999, Rejex, and Summer Knights. He is now working on his debut studio album B4.Da.$$.

The White Panda is an electronic music duo known for their mash-ups of popular hits. Composed of Tom Evans and Dan Griffith, the group will release their fifth full-length album this June. The duo has toured with Mike Posner and Ghostland Observatory and has performed with Benny Benassi, MGMT and Gym Class Heroes, among others.

Breathe California is an electronic rock band from Denver, Colorado. The group has released three albums and two EPs and is about to release their fourth studio album, Savages.

Some students expressed disappointment over the choices. “I heard Chance The Rapper was coming,” said Cosmo Alto ’16. “He has unique style and collaborates with tasteful musicians (i.e. James Blake). He should definitely come to Swat.” When asked about the existing options, Alto responded, “I guess Joey Bada$$, but no one really sparks my interest.”

Others were more enthusiastic. When asked about the LSE options, Dane Fichter ’14 responded that “I literally eat, sleep and breathe Breathe Carolina.”

Many students seemed torn between Joey Bada$$ and The White Panda. “I really liked their Seven Nation Army remix,” said Cyrus Newlin ’16 of The White Panda, “so I think it’ll be cool.”

Imoleayo Abel ’14, when asked about the choices, said that “to be honest, I had actually never heard of The White Panda before the polls and I had to Google them. Most of the videos I found of The White Panda were mashups or covers. Joey is not necessarily better, but I’d rather have him perform — Joey is an artist of his own, more reputable, if you ask me. This is music; no noise, no naked women, no money, no bottles, no blings, no lights. Just pure poetry and lyricism!”

Rumors of LSE location and lyricists loom over campus

in Around Campus/News by

The months leading up to the college’s Large Scale Event (LSE) are always ripe with speculation. The Roots, Earl Sweatshirt, Macklemore and The Weekend are just some of the performers whose names have been circulating since the semester started. But while the LSE committee has selected an artist, nothing is final. And after the excitement surrounding the rumored performance and later cancellation of Solange last spring, it appears no predictions can be taken too seriously.

“The committee is aware that we are dealing with artists, and there is no guarantee that they will be here until they actually arrive,” said Ryan Greenlaw ’15, head of the LSE committee. “Even after the contract has been signed, it’s still possible for the performer to find a loophole and back out.”

Last year, Solange found such a loophole when she managed to negotiate out her contract when another venue offered her more money.

With a limited budget and the logistical challenges of organizing a large event on a small campus, planning the LSE is not a simple task for the committee. According to Mike Elias, the new student activities coordinator and advisor to the LSE committee, the committee must coordinate with Facilities, Public Safety, production management companies, and Sharples as well as organize hotels and transportation for the performer.

Covering these overheads takes up a significant portion of the budget allotted to the LSE committee at the beginning of each year by the President’s Office, leaving even less to pay for a big act. According to Greenlaw, the committee has been further constrained by a decreased budget to compensate for Big Boi’s pricey performance last spring.

Nevertheless, Greenlaw, Elias, and the rest of this year’s LSE committee are planning an innovative LSE that they believe has the potential to be the best one yet. According to Greenlaw, the committee this year is focused on both showcasing the artist’s talent and creating a performance with a more meaningful impact on the community.

There are plans underway that involve a collaboration between the artist and Chester Sound, a community group where Swarthmore students work with Chester youth to raise awareness through hip-hop, and the artist would also have a significant presence on campus through workshops with the student body. The committee is also pursuing having the concert take place in an undisclosed outdoor venue, something that has not happened in years.

Such drastic changes in the organization of LSE have come in the wake of the arrival of Elias, who has extensive experience organizing student events from his time at Dickinson College, where he served as residential community director.

“Being able to assist students with all of these pieces of the event planning process is truly a passion of mine—and  it’s something I’ve been doing for several years,” Elias said.

According to Greenlaw, who described Elias as “very responsive,” “really fun to work with” and “accommodating,” he is doing a great job.

Greenlaw also has transformative visions for this year’s LSE committee and LSE committees in the future.

“Something I think would be cool would be asking the student body what they think about having smaller concerts. Maybe if we didn’t pay so much money for production we could have more big acts but in smaller venues like Olde Club.”

Greenlaw also wants to make the LSE committee more transparent and more responsive to the student body, possibly conducting surveys of student music tastes or impressions of previous LSEs.

“Feedback is very helpful,” Greenlaw said. “Last year, LSE was in the field house, and we heard that acoustically that wasn’t the best, which began our search for alternative venues.”

The committee is currently in the process of getting permission from Facilities to stage the performance outdoors.

In terms of the chosen artist, neither Elias nor Greenlaw could give a name for fear of generating false hype during the contractual process. This year, they have agreed on another rap artist.

“Though we’re not going to have Kanye anytime soon, its going to be a great event for the community,” Greenlaw said.

Big Boi 101

in Around Campus/Campus Journal by

With the announcement last week that Big Boi would headline this year’s Large Scale Event came some surprise, relief that we actually have LSE this year, and at least a couple blank stares and hesitant comments: “Who?”

A grunted “He’s one half of Outkast” usually clears up any uncertainties and appropriately shames the questioner, but only stresses how popular recognition for BB’s recent solo work — that is, recognition beyond an “Oh, that song” as the bassline of “Shutterbugg” kicks in — remains elusive. Strange, for the first line on BB’s new album — “If y’all don’t know me by now / Y’all ain’t gon’ never know me” — should, at this point, be more statement of fact than boast. In preparation for BB’s April 6th show, here’s an inventory of some of the essential tracks from his two solo albums.

 

Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty: Released July 5, 2010

 

Shutterbugg ft. Cutty

 

Big Boi’s only real “hit” as a solo artist, “Shutterbugg” is compressed, reverberating drum machine, a stuttering vocal bassline, intermittent stabbing space-synths, chicken-scratch guitar work, and not much else, leaving Big Boi space in the dense future-funk to do his thing. Cutty croons the simple R&B hook at the song’s core, but otherwise BB is left home free.

[youtube id=”rWsvkW6rKkQ” width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

General Patton ft. Big Rube

 

Massive, Verdi-sampling beat brings out the Southern hip-hop breakdown lingering dormant in (one can only imagine) all Romantic opera, but Big Boi’s here for more than just the ride, touching on everything from the power of Christ to (this is most of it) how shitty his competitors are. “Another battle won,” Big Rube confirms as the song winds down, and the General “rides off into the horizon of infinite regression, victorious.”

[youtube id=”h_1ivdW8Yj4″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

Be Still ft. Janelle Monae

 

Janelle Monae delivers one of the most memorable hooks on SLLF over sparkling, twangy synths and laid back snare claps and plodding piano chords and cheesily cascading MIDI effects. Big Boi only delivers one verse — precise and inventive but deliberately modest, yielding the floor to the momentary star of the show.

[youtube id=”GvkaDW-OfUU” width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors: Released December 11, 2012

 

Apple Of My Eye

 

The kind of insistent funk that wouldn’t be out of place on, well, an Outkast album, with blistering horns, guitar curlicues, and a strangely infectious hook. It’s a moment of familiarity before a plunge into territory more foreign to Big Boi — even Wavves makes a guest appearance, albeit not one you’ll really want to listen to — and one to return to after some of the weaker attempts fade away.

[youtube id=”swWT2UcDv2c” width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

In the A ft. TI and Ludacris

 

Rumbling, insistently serious horns drive this unapologetically anthemic beat, with sinister digital strings and plunging synth bass, while T.I., Big Boi, and Ludacris deliver uniformly ridiculous verses in honor of their shared hometown, Atlanta.

[youtube id=”ROlKx7PG6sY” width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

Thom Pettie ft. Little Dragon & Killer Mike

 

One of the odder tracks on VLDR, with virtually every branch of the album’s dizzying eclecticism compressed into three and a half minutes, strung together with the core refrain “Thom Pettie that ho ho ho ho,” an undulating synth bass loop, and essentially non-stop moaning from Swedish electronic group Little Dragon. LD also contribute a slinky pop chorus, both utterly out of place and weirdly natural, which fades into an overdriven guitar solo before Killer Mike tears it all down.

[youtube id=”ZiBR1deSnAo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

A Note From the LSE Committee

in Around Campus/Campus Journal by
The rapper Big Boi, formerly of OutKast, will play LSE this year. (Image courtesy of trendland.com)
The rapper Big Boi, formerly of OutKast, will play LSE this year. (Image courtesy of trendland.com)

If you’re pressed for time, here’s the summary. I’m pleased to announce that Big Boi will headline this year’s Large Scale Event on April 6th in the Lamb Miller Fieldhouse. Opening for the Grammy-winning hip hop artist will be the New York natives, EMEFE. We’re hoping that the pairing of these two acts in this year’s show provides a balance between an incredible live music experience with a famous artist and a seamless blend of hip hop, rock, and funk. End of summary: I genuinely hope you share my excitement.

I’ve been involved in the LSE Committee for several years now, and never before have I seen such a successful campaign pulled together in this short of time. While literally working since June to book this show, the committee was hit with blow after blow after blow by some ethereal higher being, who, for the sake of this article, we will call the Supreme Fascist (see the wikipedia page on mathematician Paul Erdös). Now, whenever progress would be made with plans for LSE–whether it be with an artist, a venue, a date, you name it–this Supreme Fascist would ball up all of that intangible progress in his callous hands and gently pet that misty, airy ball until, “Oh I’m sorry, you wanted those plans?” The Supreme Fascist’s hands are stained with the blood of good ideas (I’m getting some weird Of Mice and Men imagery here).

But those days are over. The Supreme Fascist, it turns out, has a soft spot for peppy, dedicated, hardworking Swarthmore College employees. That’s right; Rachel Head, Dean of Housing, Being-a-Boss, and other Wizarding Affairs, saved the day. She, along with Satya Nelms and many others in the Dean’s Office, as well as Susan Smythe from Facilities & Services, stepped into what looked like a possible cancellation of LSE 2013 and turned the whole thing around. Because once LSE gets cancelled, who’s to stop the Supreme Fascist from cancelling Christmas? Or summer vacation? Or Game of Thrones Season 3 (Gods be good…forget LSE, that show comes out in 2 weeks…)? Long story short, if it weren’t for the dogged determination and incredible organizational skills of the staff from Dean’s Office, the President’s Office, the Athletics Department, and Facilities & Services, it’s safe to say that this school and most of eastern Pennsylvania would have burned down (angry sophomores who got placed into Strath Haven and a cancelled LSE? I don’t even…).

One final order of business is an apology. I had personally kept pushing the idea that the student body would vote on the opener of LSE this year, but clearly this didn’t happen. Though I hope that students involved in LSE in the future will continue to try to incorporate student voting in the planning process, this became impossible this year. There simply was not enough money for the kind of opener that would generate massive appeal to the voting students. But out of this budgeting problem, we were able to book EMEFE, an incredibly talented band that has a substantial student following here at Swarthmore. Expect more information about the band as we get closer to the show. And expect these guys to make it big in the music scene very soon.

Okay, I’m done. Thanks for the patience, frustration, suggestions, and help that you all have had this year in planning this show. A campus-wide email will be sent out soon with information about ticketing. We are excited to deliver a terrific Worthstock to you, and again, if you have anything to say to the LSE Committee in the form of complaints, comments, or suggestions for Worthstock, send them to swarthmorelse@gmail.com. Worthstock will be on May 5th in Paces. I mean, Worth Courtyard.

And now, here’s stuff I didn’t write (courtesy of Big Boi and The Redding Group):

A 20-year career as a Hip Hop artist is rare. A 20-year career as a Hip Hop artist who gets better with every album is unheard of. But in the case of Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, it’s no surprise.

As one half of Outkast with his partner in rhyme Andre 3000, Big Boi blazed trails and broke blueprints with three certified classics; 1994’s Southerplayalisticadilacmuzik, 1996’s ATLiens and 1998’s Aquemini. The duo then brought in the new millenium by selling four million copies of their genre-defying fourth studio album Stankonia only to follow it up with the diamond-selling opus Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

 Now, nearly a decade later Big Boi continues to break ground on his own with his second solo album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. The follow up to 2010’s critically-acclaimed  Luscious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, Vicious Lies… seeks to bring the truth in an era where anything but is accepted as the real.

“I borrowed the title from my Grandmother who passed away,” explains Big. “She beat cancer twice and the family said she needed to make a movie about her life. She said she would write a book instead and call it Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors because she was going to tell it how it is. So to me the title is a search for the undisputed truth. We’re living in the information age with everything at your fingertips. But at same time, with social media you can take something and it will spread whether if it’s true or not.”

Describing the album as “one-half Outkast, one whole of me,” Big Boi takes sole possession of the wheel behind the Cadillac that is the Outkast legacy and cruises into unchartered territory with his thirst to expand the rules of music serving as the navigation.

The rap veteran known as General Patton shows off his rank on the lyrical exercise “The Thickets” and later leads the charge on “In the A” featuring fellow Atlanta troops T.I. and Ludacris. Futuristic funk is explored on the digital jams “Objectum Sexuality” and “CPU,” both featuring indie pop duo Phantogram. Then Big opens up the soul basket and talks about the gain and pain of relationships on “She Hates Me” featuring Kid Cudi.

Even while being established with six Grammy Awards and 25 million records sold worldwide Big Boi proves that he can still spar with the new jacks when he recruits A$AP Rocky for the Organized Noize-produced “Lines” and sprint with the current stars on the adrenaline-pumping “Shoes For Running” featuring B.o.B. Also a master of melody, Big displays his “funk throat” on the playful “Raspberries” featuring long time collaborator Scar and bounces over in-house producers The Flush’s pulsating pianos on the lead single “Mama Told Me” featuring Kelly Rowland.

 “I’m a student of music, I always looked at myself as a young Luke Skywalker,” says Big, insisting that none of the special appearances or production came from phone calls but from serendipity and surprise visits. “I always want to learn about the music and use all different genres. I don’t even look at the cameos on the album as multiple features. I see them all as pieces that go together.”

Keeping the Outkast artistic tradition alive, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors’ album art is presented as a pocket-sized art gallery with customized paintings to accompany each track. The Rolling Stone-esque logo with the clinched teeth featured on the CD represents how in these times you have to be careful about what you say. Big has made a name for himself being selective with his words, which is why each one he says to this day means something special.

“Today’s trend is that you come in, get hot and disappear,” says the living legend. “You’re not supposed to come out, get hot, do the biggest album ever and then keep cruising to where it’s undeniable. If you don’t like this album, you don’t like music.”

Written by Brennan Klein ’14, LSE Committee Chair

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