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Spring Concert 2011 Preview

<ong>The headliner: Blue Scholars

Performing since: 2002
Members: MC Geologic and DJ Sabzi
How formed: Students together at University of Washington
Not to be confused with: Rhodes Scholars, Fulbright Scholars
Sounds like: Jurassic 5 and Atmosphere, with an emphasis on catchy beats and politically-aware lyrics

Have shared the stage with: Kanye West, De La Soul, Nas, Common

Self-described as “cinema art rap,” Blue Scholars have built up a loyal fan base all over the country due to their prolific and longstanding dedication to touring. As a testament to this, they recently raised over $60,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of their newest album, Cinemetropolis. The hip-hop duo takes great pride in their home state of Washington, representing the Pacific Northwest in songs such as “Southside Revival” and “North by Northwest.”

The superstar DJ: RJD2

Performing since: 1993
Member: Ramble John “RJ” Krohn
How formed: Started out with a set of used turntables
Not to be confused with: R2D2
Has produced tracks for: Cunninlynguists, Cage, MF DOOM

RJD2 has been producing beats and collaborations since 1993, when he was just a high school student in Columbus, Ohio. Since then, he has appeared in numerous groups and put out albums on various record labels including El-P, Definitive Jux, Rhymesayers Entertainment, and XL Recordings. Upon relocating to Philadelphia, RJD2 founded his own label, RJ’s Electrical Connections, which has paired him with various up-and-coming artists around the country. His newest full-length studio album, The Colossus, received favorable reviews from various media outlets.

The new old-schoolers: Dawes

Performing since: 2009
Members: brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Wylie Gelber, and Tay Strathairn
How formed: from the remnants of Simon Dawes
Not to be confused with: brother bands Kings of Leon, Hanson
Has performed on: The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Show with David Letterman, The View

Hailing from Los Angeles, Dawes has been compared to older LA-based bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This four-piece band was created after the fold of the punk-rock band Simon Dawes, which included current Dawes members Taylor Goldsmith and Wylie Gelber, and has now found its niche in the indie folk rock scene. In recent interviews, Dawes has hinted at a new album set to drop in June of this year.

The Canadian rockers: Yukon Blonde

Performing since: 2005
Members: Jeff Innes, Brandon Scott, Graham Jones
Also known as: Saskatchewan Blonde, Nunavut Blonde
Sounds like: Fleet Foxes and Local Natives, with a Canadian accent

Yukon Blonde is a three-piece band from the Canadian province of British Columbia. With music described as “melody-based rock ‘n’ roll with harmonies,” Yukon Blonde cites some of its musical influences as Tear for Fears, The Rolling Stones, and My Morning Jacket. Their rise to spring concert stardom began in 2005 as the aptly-named Alphababy. With two EPs already produced, and more on the way, Yukon Blonde is not a band to miss this year.

The folktronica duo: yOya

Performing since: 2010
Members: Alex Pfender, Noah Dietterich
Hometown: Corvallis, Oregon
Not to be confused with: Yo-Yo Ma, The Go-Go’s
Sounds like: falsetto of Jeff Buckley, mix of guitar and electronica like Radiohead

yOya is a new band from the West Coast that combined its love for classic folk music with the hip-hop beats and electronic rhythms found upon being transplanted to Los Angeles. Labeled as “folktronica,” yOya has thus far released one album, Nothing to Die, which has been described as “perfectly suited for a road trip soundtrack.” Thus far, yOya has toured almost exclusively on the West Coast, though it made its SXSW debut earlier this year and has more tour dates extending into the heart of the US. Expect big things from this duo.

The student bands:

Ova Yonder

Performing since: 2011
Members: Matthew Adams ’13, Ebuka Amaefuna ’12, Zachary Baquet ’13, David Kornfield ’11, Ray McGaughey ’11, Reid McMurry ’13, David McNeil ’13, Hai Nguyen ’13, Matt Rathkey ’13
Not to be confused with: Over Yonder, Ova Yonda, Over Yonda
Position awarded at Battle of the Bands: First

Throwin’ Bones

Performing since: 2011
Members: Jack Frechette ’11, David Tullis ’12, Will Tynan ’11, Jerry McIntyre ’11
Not to be confused with: Bone Thugs n’ Harmony
Position awarded at Battle of the Bands: Second


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