A First Look at the Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands

The Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands provides a great opportunity for local bands to play on a big stage--and for you to discover their music!
The Rites of Spring Battle of the Bands provides a great opportunity for local bands to play on a big stage–and for you to discover their music!

It’s that time of year again at Vanderbilt.  The Student Alumni Board is passing out free shirts at Rand; there are dozens of garbage bins lounging pell-mell on Alumni Lawn; the fraternities are gearing up for their crawfish boils and pig roasts; fierce debate regarding 2 Chainz’ arraignment echoes across campus.  What else could it be but Rites Week?

Love it or hate it (and, as always, there’s been a lot of both emotions in reaction to this year’s lineup), the week of Rites of Spring is the best time for music at Vanderbilt every year.  Though the main event will be an epic spectacle that should trump last year’s in terms of debauchery and Dionysian life force–after all, NEEDTOBREATHE probably played before the most sober Rites crowd ever–my favorite part of the week is the Battle of the Bands, which will take place this Thursday at 7:30 PM in Rand Lounge/Dank New Rand.  The Battle of the Bands is easy to overlook, especially with the winners’ prize being the chance to play on Friday afternoon before most students will want to arrive, but it’s a great showcase of some local talent (including a number of Vanderbilt-based acts) and winning would be a tremendous affirmation for any of the competitors.  And this year, you as an audience member have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in determining the battle’s victor, as the crowd’s vote will account for two-fifths of the final decision (alongside the three judges).  The idea seems to be that the winner should be able to draw a crowd to Rites as early as possible, with the ability to do this on a Thursday night supposedly predictive of the ability to follow suit the next afternoon.  So if you are friends with one or more of the contestants, the most important thing you can do for them is to show up at the battle on Thursday night and bring a pack of friends along for the ride.

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The Faces Behind The Songs

Tin-Pan-South-Logo1

My favorite week of the year is quickly approaching, Although every week in Nashville has it’s fair share of loaded writer’s nights and stellar concerts, one week has a special place in my heart. Songwriters Festival, Tin Pan South, takes place at local venues in Nashville, for a week, every March. The lineup never ceases to disappoint as they utilize 10 of the most intimate venues in Nashville and host two shows a night.  Every night attendees get to watch the songs they all know come to life in a somewhat backwards way. There is something magical about hearing a song stripped down, as it was originally written, and learning the stories behind them. The only way to understand is to experience this yourself! This is my advice and the shows you don’t want to miss (all in my opinion of course).

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A Spring Break Playlist to Get You Excited for Coachella/Bonnaroo

Photo courtesy of bodyworker.org
Photo courtesy of bodyworker.org

Alright, so maybe Bonnaroo and Coachella are a bit far off in the future, but it’s never too late to get excited about their imminent arrivals! With Elton John, Kanye West, and Jack White headlining Bonnaroo; Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire headlining Coachella, and many more amazing musicians/bands showcasing their talents at the two festivals, there is much about which to be excited. Bonnaroo is a little more than 100 days away; Coachella is just 40 days away; and spring break 2014 is happening right now. As many people are parading off to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the beach for a week of relaxation and wild festivities, I’m sure they would appreciate a playlist to get them to where they’re going and make their trips more enjoyable. So, wherever you’re going for spring break, whether flying out or road tripping, or simply going home for some much-needed R&R after a stressful week of midterms, here is a playlist of catchy tunes by some of the artists who will be performing at this year’s Bonnaroo and Coachella to spice up your spring break!

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Life On The Farm: Bonnaroo Lineup Analysis

Image courtesy of Stereogum

The Coachella lineup gave us a taste of festival season.  For Vandy students, a quality Rites lineup with heavy-hitting headliners kept the hype train rolling.  And last night’s Bonnaroo lineup announcement after a mid-February day that felt like mid-spring has me feeling like festivals should be starting tomorrow.  Bonnaroo, a four-day music festival that is among the nation’s best, is only a one hour drive from Vandy’s campus in Manchester, TN.  It is a must-go for anyone staying in the Nashville metro, and really the greater southeast United States, in the summertime (and a must-go for anyone with the necessary funds to travel from further away).  True to its reputation, this year’s lineup didn’t disappoint, although it does come with one head-scratching omission.

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