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Karate Squids Plug in at “Page Unplugged”

On Wednesday night, September 17th, Carleton students gathered outside Page House East under the night sky to enjoy the “chill” vibes of Carleton’s popular student band, The Karate Squids. In a new effort to create a place for Carleton students to share and appreciate one another’s music, Page East is continuing 2013-2014’s Page Unplugged series into the 2014-2015 school year.

The Karate Squids, the sophomore band which includes Nate Grein, Sanders McMillan, Cyrus Deloye, and Eli Ruffer, formed midway through fall term of last year and has performed various times on campus, including the Spring Concert, Battle of Bands semi-finals, and shows at the Cave and Farm House. The band writes all of their own music and describes their musical style as “upbeat, danceable, indie pop-rock.”

The band received a warm response from the crowd of roughly one-hundred and fifty attendees. Band member Sanders McMillan described Wednesday’s concert as “a totally different venue… conducive to people mingling and having a good time.” Both students who had heard The Karate Squids perform previously and students who are new to Carleton’s music scene felt connected to the comfortable, relaxed atmosphere of the performance.

Freshman Simón Gutkin described the concert as a “great experience for Carleton students to come together and appreciate the music that other Carleton students create.”

The concert provided an opportunity to “get out and explore the Carleton social scene,” commented freshman Bolu Johnson.

More experienced Carleton concert-goers, juniors Ian Mercer and David Pickart, felt that Page East is “the perfect scene for young musicians making music together.”

Page House residents and concert organizers Evan Rothman and Jackson Bahn, juniors, will coordinate Page East musical events as a continuation of last year’s “Page Unplugged” shows, which occurred at Page West.

Most of the previous shows involved single musicians playing acoustic songs in a relaxed, indoor setting, accompanied by a small audience. This year however, the shows at the new venue Page East are larger acts outdoors, if weather permits.

Rothman describes planning the musical events as “a collaborative process” between the bands and the two organizers. For Bahn these concerts are appealing because “it’s a middle ground between going out to a party and staying home.”

Rothman sees the value in adding a new musical venue to campus because “before ‘Page Unplugged’ there wasn’t a lot of variety. You could go The Cave on select Friday or Saturday nights, and at the end of the term there were concerts for orchestra and jazz band, but besides those, there weren’t many places you could go to listen to live music.” With the addition of Page East concerts, Carleton students will have more opportunities to enjoy music together.

Following the resounding positive feedback of Wednesday’s event, Rothman and Bahn plan on arranging about four concerts per term. As for The Karate Squids, they will learn new material and prepare to record later this term. According to Nate Grein, the band may “play a celebratory show at the end of the term” to honor the release of their new music.

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