Rites of Spring began in the 1960’s with the goal to connect students to the greater Nashville community. The festival is put on by Music Group, a branch of Vanderbilt Programming Board. While many universities hold on-campus music festivals, Rites of Spring is unique due to the major acts that have graced the stage as well as the festival being open to the Nashville community. Some of these acts include Red Hot Chili Peppers (1989), Phoenix (2005), Spoon (2008), Drake (2010), and many more you can see here. This year Rites will be held April 20th and 21st and tickets are available at Sarratt Cinema or online. While there is still one more act to be announced (hopefully an alternative act since that genre is still lacking), the line-up already features a variety of acts from all different corners of the music scene.
Today we’ve got the spotlight on Youtube series COLORS- a series of live performances recorded at a Berlin studio with new videos uploaded weekly. COLORS first grabbed my attention during my semester abroad last spring in Chile. Inspired to understand the novel beats and lyrics of Spanish speaking artists, I found myself in different nooks and crannies of Youtube than ever before. Already a lover of music videos produced by the likes of Young Thug or the US Soundcloud rap scene, I enjoyed getting to know the rappers and trappers out of Spain who credit these US artists as their inspiration. Two brothers from Barcelona, Pimp Flaco and Kinder Malo, performed their song “Chemtrails” in the first COLORS video I ever saw, bopping Spanish verses back and forth over an antagonistic and droning chorus. This is currently the most viewed session on the COLORS channel, sitting at about 21 and a half million views.
It’s finally spring here at Vanderbilt. The air is brimming with pollen, day parties have commenced, and everyone’s excited for Vanderbilt’s annual spring music festival. This year’s lineup is incredibly diverse: from electronic beat-maker Porter Robinson to comedic rapper Lil Dicky, there’s bound to be an artist for everyone’s tastes this year. With Rites of Spring just around the corner, it’s always a good idea to get to know the artists a bit in advance. So, check out the synopsis of this year’s lineup below.
Following the release of the Rites lineup, one of the most common complaints I heard was that Future had no business being invited to perform. Many of these critics complained that his lyrics left something to be desired. Others found the songs repetitive. Even then, others found him too simplistic and not deep enough. People have a right to their opinion, but in this instance I think many critics of Future and trap music in general are doing themselves a disservice by ruling out the genre. All the things that give trap rap a bad name are the same things that give it a valid place on the musical spectrum. Let’s take a look.
If there are two things that we at WRVU care about more than music, they’re chicken wings and tortilla soup. Luckily, the guys in Portugal. The Man feel the same…
At the end of every Vanderbilt academic year, on the verge of finals, anticipation starts to boil over for the annual Rites of Spring music festival. Recent years have seen EDM juggernauts, hip hop stars, and stadium rock bands alike take their shot at Alumni Lawn glory. So what has The Music Group brought us this year? We asked WRVU DJs for their favorite tracks from this year’s Rites artists, and here’s what they had to say.
Artist: Young the Giant
Set-time: Saturday 11pm-Midnight
Key Track: “Apartment”
“What did you think of the Rites lineup?”
This question has reverberated around Vanderbilt’s campus since February 11, 2015. Rock purists celebrated the appearance of Young, the Giant at the top of the bill. Fans of psychedelia and indie rock were surely excited to see Portugal. The Man make the trip. Music fans of every walk of life are singing the praises of T-Pain’s inclusion.
However, the first name on the bill has generated the most buzz. Chancelor Bennett, known to the world as Chance the Rapper, whose profession, as it turns out, is in fact rapping, has taken the hip-hop community by storm over the past two years. His rise to fame has been exponential, and his headlining position at Rites should not come as a surprise.
It’s rare that you find a prodigious band coming out of Vanderbilt. Vampire Weekend met at Columbia and Tom Schulz met his Boston bandmates at MIT, but here the music scene centers around singer-songwriters—Belmont produces the bands, they say.
With Kid Freud, though, Vanderbilt may have these rock titans’ future equals on its hands.
Despite forming only four months ago, the three-piece outfit is taking its place at the head of the burgeoning music community on West End, regularly packing venues like The End and fresh off earning the opportunity to open Rites of Spring after winning the festival’s Battle of the Bands.
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.
In 2011, I predicted that Kid Cudi would headline Rites of Spring, based on the similar success he and Drake were having at the time and Drake’s performance the previous year. In 2012, I predicted Wiz Khalifa would headline, again based on his break-through hip-hop success that was similar to Drake and Cudi. I further predicted that MUTEMATH would be coming that year, albeit not as the Friday-night headliner they ended up being, based on their fall, winter, and spring tours all circumventing Nashville while traveling through the southeast (they had to come here sometime). On the other hand, I failed marvelously at predicting what the 2013 Rites lineup might look like, following my previous trend of looking at breakthrough rap success to peg Kendrick Lamar, who ended up coming for Quake this past fall. In short, over my four years at Vandy, making Rites artist predictions has become a hobby of mine, much in the same way that people make predictions for Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and so many others of the festivals that have become so popular throughout the country.
Of course, all of these predictions and guesses were made in the relative comfort of my friendgroup, where no one would give me too much grief if I was wildly offbase and drinks would be had in my honor if I happened to be correct. They’re much more forgiving than the scores that swim the internet waters, but this year I decided to up the stakes by sharing my predictions in a public forum. Please note that I hold no affiliation with the Music Group or any other arm of the Vanderbilt Programming Board, and that I have no sources for my predictions other than the reasoning presented in my own words to you. These are a couple of my personal hopes, dreams, and deductions presented to a wide audience, for glory or for shame.