Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

New Art Exhibit Opens at the College of Wooster

Haley Huett

Arts and Entertainment

Have you ever wondered what Wooster’s mummy really looks like? Are you curious about the face underneath the wrap?

The Ebert Art Center opened its new exhibit, About Face this week. The pieces explore the ways artists depict the human face, which is especially relevant after months of hiding them. The College of Wooster Art Museum (CWAM) features artwork from Ebert’s permanent art collection, including works on loan by William Thomas Paul and CT scans reconstructing the face of the Wooster Mummy. 

About Face opened Monday, Sept. 7th and runs through the fall. Ebert Art Center is free and open to students and the public. CWAM is open Tuesday through Sunday while the college is in session. You can visit the mummy and the many other works from 11am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday and 1pm through 4pm on weekends. 

Visit About Face at Ebert Art Center, located across from Kauke in the Oak Grove, to explore our understanding and experience of the human face.

Listening Guide for Party on the Green

Ellen McAllister, Staff Writer

Gabby Gadjos, Contributing Writer

With Party on the Green on Saturday, Sept. 11, many are curious about who is playing at the event and the artists’ top hits. The three bands performing are listed below along with some of their best songs, so you can prepare to sing along! The event begins at 6 p.m.

The Wooster Activities Crew (WAC) is hosting the event to kick off the semester and welcome students back to campus. For Party on the Green, WAC invited Rat Queen, a campus favorite, HDBeenDope and Lawrence to perform. 

Rat Queen, whose members graduated from Wooster in 2020, will open the event. Originally, Rat Queen was supposed to open for Springfest in 2020, which was canceled due to COVID-19. The band released its first EP, titled “Clear Ghost Party Host in spring of 2019. Some fun songs on the album include “Northeast Ohio Rocks,” “Other Wonders,” and “Bugs.” All of Rat Queen’s songs can be found on Bandcamp. Check out their Instagram @ratqueenband for more. 

Darius Henry, known as HDBeenDope, a New York City-based artist, will perform after Rat Queen. His music is a combination of trap and hip-hop. “BrokeN Dreams” was released in 2019 with hits  “Die with Me” and “I Love Me Too Much.” He released a single, “Best Out,” earlier this year. You can follow HDBeenDope on Instagram @hdbeendope.

Headlining Party on the Green, is Lawrence, a brother-sister duo who began singing and performing together when they were young. Their music style can be defined as soul-pop with hints of other styles. Currently, they are on tour playing across the U.S. Lawrence’s most recent album, “Hotel TV”, released in July 2021, features hits “Freckles,” “Hotel TV,” “Don’t Move,” and “The Weather.” Their music is on Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services. The mix of different instruments used to create their songs gives the band a funky and fun sound that makes them stand out.

If you enjoyed listening to these bands, then stop by Party on the Green for an evening full of music and fun!

 

UG: Back in Business

Micah Morrow

Contributing Writer

After closing over a year and a half ago due to the pandemic, the Underground (UG) has finally reopened. Open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays evenings, the student-run bar and event space has returned with a slow start. Many students have never stepped foot in the UG due to the time of its closure, so a number of students are unaware that the space exists. Despite the lull the UG has endured, it continues to host a variety of events and programs to hopefully restore it to its former glory that only current seniors have truly experienced. Even current seniors were only able to enjoy the UG for a brief semester, ultimately interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I loved bingo nights when my senior friends hosted. Popcorn is great. Drinks are cheap. I definitely didn’t take advantage of it while I could,” says Jenna Smith ‘22. “I went my sophomore year, so I had to be sober. It was a date with my ex-boyfriend. We broke up,” says Shelby Jones ‘22. 

So far this semester, the UG has hosted a myriad of events in the hopes of bringing all Wooster students into the space. These events included Just Dance Night, Decades Night, Meet WAC, and New Student Orientation. 

The UG is most excited to bring back one of Wooster’s highly anticipated events: Covers. Covers, an event where students showcase their musical talents, had been operating through Microsoft Teams for the last year due to the pandemic. This year, however, Covers is back live and in person at the UG and will no doubt become Wooster’s favorite monthly event once again. The Goliard, the organizer of the event, recently sat down with the UG’s advisor, Sarah Toby, and set dates for the upcoming year. 

Though the UG is predominantly known as the campus bar, it is a space for all students 18 and over. Alcoholic drinks are not the only thing available; soda and popcorn are free! For those who want to drink, the most expensive option is $2.50. The UG is a space for more than just drinking, which opens the space up to a much larger portion of the student body. The only requirement to get into the UG is to be 18 or over and present both a CoW Card and state ID. However, that rule has led to troubles for new international students who have not yet obtained their state IDs. In the interest of being accessible to everyone, the UG is trying to organize some sort of programming to help students get their state IDs. This is a space for everyone, so any bit of inaccessibility has to be addressed. 

The Underground is back and better than ever. They will continue to host a wide variety of events like Emo/Punk Night (9/8), Paint and Sip (9/29), Latinx Music Night (9/15), Pumpkin Carving (10/27) and more. The UG is meant to bring students together, and this year they plan to fulfill that mission. 

Cruelty Squad starkly critiques capitalism

Andy Kilbride

Contributing Writer

 

The creation and dissemination of video games under capitalism makes it nearly impossible for indie projects to find success by word of mouth alone, regardless of how good they are. Yet somehow, Cruelty Squad, developed by Finnish artist Ville Kallio under the moniker Consumer Softproducts, has accomplished precisely this over the last three months. While still in the early release phase, and thus constantly being updated by Kallio, Cruelty Squad feels so aesthetically and conceptually fleshed out that its praises, even in the game’s unfinished form, are absolutely deserved.

While most contemporary games prioritize realistic and pristine graphics, Kallio makes the

valiant choice to design his world and its characters as jarringly as possible with horrifically bright colors and distorted pixelations that downright hurt to look at sometimes. Perhaps the easiest way to describe its aesthetic is the video game equivalent to the artwork for a vaporwave album, but even this is an overgeneralization. It simply needs to be seen to be believed. The game seems to break every single rule of graphic design on purpose in its attempt to create a surreal nightmare world.

Then, of course, there’s the story and setting. The game’s unnamed protagonist works for an

Uber or Doordash-esque gig-economy corporation called the Cruelty Squad, who hire hitmen to assassinate various figures that threaten the financial interests of the company itself or

capitalism in general. Each level is conceptually simple — you kill the required targets and find an exit, much like the early Hitman series games — but there’s so much room for exploration and experimentation that Kallio encourages and rewards replaying levels. One of the reasons for this is that the missions are littered with level-specific, non-player characters who offer surreal and unique insights into the game’s capitalist hell-world, including a character you meet at a rave who has an “artistic take on finance” and a “black suppositories and debased” internet user. Moments like these, along with the level briefings, reinforce how great and uniquely hilarious Kallio is.

 

Another reason for revisiting missions is the unlockable weapons and purchasable

augmentations which add new ways to explore levels and reach targets. This

makes speedruns incredibly fun and viable for those willing to practice using unlockable items. It should be noted, in typical Cruelty Squad fashion, that these aren’t the sleek body modifications of Cyberpunk. For instance, the fittingly named “Grappendix” allows you to use your intestines as a grappling hook, while the “Gunkboots” allow you to eject disgusting waste from your feet in order to get an extra jump. Appropriately, getting better at killing increasingly makes the protagonist less human as they mutilate their body more and more in the effort to please their capitalist overlords. While their boss, a red gelatinous blob in a trucker’s hat who looks like Jabba the Hut, describes the Cruelty Squad HQ as “an oasis of love and friendship,” your character is always at the mercy of the status quo which they consistently preserve through bloodshed.

Wooster-born Rat Queen scores recording

Chloe Burdette

Editor in Chief 

 

Through Springfest, Covers and other on-campus opportunities, The College of Wooster is no stranger to popular student-formed bands that are loved for years after they graduate. One of these beloved bands is Rat Queen — including alumni Eleanor Linafelt ’20, Robyn Newcomb ’20 and Kate Bertrand ’20. Although most bands disintegrate after they leave campus, Rat Queen worked hard to keep blessing the ears of their fans for as long as they could.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced 2020 graduates to head home prematurely, the bandmates moved away from each other, crushing any hope for them to create more music together. Rat Queen’s dreams almost felt out of reach until a surprising stroke of luck hit the band’s email inbox. “[Newcomb] accidentally checked our Rat Queen email, which we had stopped checking since we thought we were over, to find an email from an engineer/producer Jackie Milestone, who works at Headroom Studios,” Linafelt explained. “They had seen my name pop up on Instagram, listened to our EP and were interested in recording music with us if we had anything in the works. They had no idea that I was about to move to Philly (and literally a block away from them) or that we had just started talking about wanting to record an album together.”

The band didn’t want to record with just any studio, but with people they appreciated and were comfortable around. “If we were to record professionally, I would want to find a producer who wasn’t a cis man, which is extremely hard to find,” Linafelt added. “I knew from working with men in music situations in the past that working with a producer who wasn’t a cis man would likely make us feel more comfortable, understood and able to ask questions and share ideas.”

Headroom Studios was perfect for Rat Queen’s recording, as some of their favorite albums had been recorded there. “The way the universe lined up for us, it really seemed like fate,” Newcomb said.

To pay for recording costs, the band launched a Kickstarter campaign selling limited-edition merchandise. Kickstarter also allowed the band to accept donations. Over a few weeks, many Wooster students found the Kickstarter link, and with the help of friends, family and hardcore Rat Queen fans, the band raised over $4000 for a five-day recording session at Headroom Studios. “We were shocked by how quickly we raised the money. We feel so lucky to have such supportive communities from Wooster to our hometowns, families and friends,” said Linafelt. “We just hope everyone will be happy with the final product!”

The band recorded nine songs for their official debut album, and the release date is unknown. Linafelt said, “We are planning to send the album around to labels to see if anyone would be interested in putting it out. If we can’t find a good match, we will probably self-release it.”

Rat Queen knows nothing would be possible without their college roots in small-town Wooster, Ohio. “In my opinion, no band or artist is truly self-made — every artist is shaped by, and owes something to, the community that supported them from the start,” Newcomb said. “We owe so much to everyone who’s supported us even way further back: everyone who came to our Common Grounds performances when we first learned our instruments and sounded terrible, every program house whose basement we practiced in, every older musician who told us good job after our songs at Covers, every D.J. who played us on their radio shows, every band who let us open for them; it really did take all of that, too, to bring us to Headroom in April.”

Though Rat Queen is unsure of their band’s future, they are excited for the road ahead. “Man, this album is just so much stronger than our EP — I can see so clearly how much we’ve progressed, and I want to see that trajectory continue,” said Newcomb. “After we were able to pull off this album against what felt like impossible odds, it feels like we can do anything.”

You can listen to Rat Queen on Bandcamp at rat-queen.bandcamp.com, and their music is currently available on Spotify and Apple Music.

100 gecs leaves 100 questions about hyperpop

Geoffrey Allen

Contributing Writer

 

Has the music medium truly progressed over the years in terms of quality? With the accessibility of production equipment, the convenience of sharing tracks online and the ability to create new voices, new music is popping up just about every second. One genre that stands as a testament to this is the alternate electronic sound of ‘hyperpop.’ Popularized by artists like the Charli XCX and the late Sophie, as well as social media exposure on platforms like TikTok, hyperpop has gradually taken the world by storm. It’s hardly a surprise that this experimental sound has made its way to The College of Wooster, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s limitations. However, the way this unique artform was introduced to the student body through this year’s digital Springfest was far from conventional, nor was it the most accommodating.

Enter one of hyperpop’s greatest champions: 100 gecs. The dynamic duo, Laura Les and Dylan Brady, uses preexisting music remixed with extreme pitching and vocals and vibrating basses to create something familiar and alien at the same time. Yet their style wasn’t the most surprising element of the show last Saturday.

Unlike more professional performances, like the over-the-top spectacle of Super Bowl halftime shows, we were simply greeted on camera by the two artists, who spent most of their time playing altered and distorted music from what appeared to be a room in an apartment. Most of the tracks, songs like Utada Hikaru’s “Simple And Clean” and Playboi Carti’s “Love Hurts,” were not even in their own discography. A few of their own songs made an appearance, like “stupid horse,” in which Dylan Brady sang some of the lyrics. The audio, perhaps the part of musical performance that stood out the most, was of poor quality because it was not played from the computer itself. With masks and black sunglasses, the artists appeared elusive, as if they were some doppelgangers who shared the same hair and physique as the real Les and Brady. “Are we in a remote class?” I thought to myself. My roommate and I originally thought the performance was a gag on the style of meetings through platforms, but it lasted the whole hour. It subverted expectations, for sure, which may have caught many viewers off guard, but I can’t help but feel disappointed.

Hyperpop is still an alien form of music to many, especially on a first listen. While I have been exposed to other hyperpop music, many students experienced it for the first time last weekend, and I don’t think many could say it was great. Perhaps the performers were unprepared for a live performance, or maybe they hoped  to comment on the lack of authenticity in traditional musical performances. Regardless, I’d argue that the performance failed to make a meaningful impression on behalf of a new sound in today’s young music culture. Even if 100 gecs didn’t give any laughs or excitement after the Springfest performance, their music, amongst that of other similar artists, should. It’s always worth giving new music a try.