Wakanda Forever: The Legacy of Chadwick Boseman

by The Cowl Editor on September 3, 2020

Arts & Entertainment

by Patrick Fuller ’21 A&E Co-Editor


After the unexpected death of Chadwick Boseman on August 28, 2020 at the age of 43, many celebrities testified to his unparalleled contributions to film. Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted, “Rest in Love Chadwick.” Jordan Peele, Academy Award winner and cinema revolutionary in his own right, captured the sorrow of Hollywood in admitting, “This is a crushing blow.” Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett, Dwyane Wade, and Martin Luther King III all expressed similar sentiments over social media. Hearing the raw emotion of the Black community in entertainment put Boseman’s legacy into perspective.

Not only did Boseman portray characters of immense cultural impact, he embodied the perseverance, determination, and bravery of those figures in his own life. Boseman made a convincing social justice advocate and charismatic leader in a wide range of roles from former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, to the first Black Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42, to the momentous King T’Challa of Wakanda in Black Panther. As if stepping into such large roles was not difficult enough, Boseman did so while undergoing chemotherapy and countless surgeries, according to a statement released by his family. Knowing he endured such hardship while filming makes his death that much more heartbreaking and his performances that much more admirable. He fought for social justice on and off the screen, downplaying his personal battles in a selfless act of humility.

In an address to Howard University’s graduating class of 2018, Boseman stated, “Purpose is the essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.” 

Although he may not physically be on this planet anymore, Boseman undoubtedly fulfilled his purpose, giving voice and strength to the Black community in a time of crisis. His impact transcended film, shining light on racial power dynamics in real life so that Wakanda will truly one day be forever.

Quadio: Connecting College Artists

by The Cowl Editor on February 13, 2020


Empowering Students Through Social Media

by Patrick Fuller ’21 A&E Co-Editor


In the current competitive music arena, where streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud advertise only the most popular artists, college students seeking a career in music struggle to gain recognition. Even the more underground music categories require a threshold of streams to be bumped into auto-generated playlists or charts.  For college students juggling course work, extracurricular activities, and a tight budget, being able to match the quality and quantity of celebrity artists’ output is near impossible.  

While singers like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift have access to multi-million-dollar production equipment and closed studio time, most college artists are producing music in their bedrooms on their home computers. Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas only recently proved that home production can ascend to stardom, but college students still need a helping hand.

Quadio, a social media app connecting college musicians throughout the United States, seeks to lend that helping hand. President and CEO of Quadio, Marcus Welch, founded the service in 2018 in Brooklyn, New York along with Joe Welch, the current chief content officer. David Kwan, a Quadio representative, visited the Providence College campus before the beta launched. He explained that the Quadio beta would offer a “chart system based on organic growth,” and “collaboration between producers” which would greatly aid college start-ups in music creation and gaining recognition.  

The Quadio website describes the service as “a social music streaming platform for the next generation.” Any college student with a university-affiliated email address (.edu) and a provided beta invite code can join the platform. Here, they can create a profile describing their occupation (producer, audio engineer, web developer, drummer, band, rapper, songwriter, etc.) and indicate what they are looking for from the community. Songwriters will be able to find singers, rappers will be able to find producers, and so on.  

The sleek desktop interface filters searches based on university, state, region, nation, and genre.  A quick filtered university search for artists on Providence College’s campus yields surprising results. Estarlyn Hirado ’21, stage name Starling, is on Quadio as a rapper, videographer, and audio engineer. 

 His biography mentions how his music “educates different communities about the injustices of the world through his art by telling breath-taking stories in a relatable but compelling way.” Thanks to the app’s “looking for” feature, Starling has indicated his need for an agent, vocalist, and trumpeter, all of which can be found through Quadio’s interstate, inter-university community.

PC audio engineer, radio DJ, and rapper Mark Healy ’20, also known as Marco $olo, also published his tracks “Another Time” and “BPZ (The Recipe)” on Quadio with good success.

Beyond allowing college artists to publish original content, Quadio includes both a “Hot,” and “All-Time” chart for college artists only. This function essentially gives college artists a place to be heard without having to compete with big labels, corporate producers, or popular celebrity musicians.

While the Quadio beta already provides an open, collaborative space for college musicians to grow, it is still developing. The service does not aim to replace big streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music; rather it seeks to lay the foundation for college artists to succeed in an independent community. As the service grows, partnerships with brands or music labels could generate campus events. But, for now, Quadio is a revolutionary step in the right direction for the next generation of artists.

Burgers, Beers, and Dune-Buggies

by The Cowl Editor on October 24, 2019

Local Food

The Abbey Reinvents Itself With Renovations, Menu Changes

by Patrick Fuller ’21, Peter Keough ’20 A&E Co-Editors


A desert adventure company in Fountain Hills, AZ and the Providence burger bar The Abbey have one thing in common: the owners.  Michelle and Jay Hoff own Desert Dog Adventure Tours, a company which rents out jeeps, hummers, buggies, and dirt bikes to tourists looking to explore the arid Arizona desert.  At the same time, they oversee The Abbey, going on twenty years of ownership together.  

While one might think the distance affects the owners’ connection to The Abbey, Michelle Hoff emphasized over the phone how The Abbey has made “a little name for itself” through the years.  Halfway across the country, she bonds with Desert Dog customers over the intimate burger bar on Admiral Street in Providence, RI.

Perhaps The Abbey makes such an impression due to its comfortable, welcoming atmosphere, an element of the restaurant which manager Katie Hawksley successfully improved with recent renovations.  She explained how the week of July 4, 2019 gave The Abbey an opportunity to reinvent its ambiance, exchanging clunky individual tables for high rise bar tops.  This seating change, along with new sports memorabilia and beer advertisements lining the main wall, created a social environment for customers to mingle over a drink.

Yet the interior of the restaurant was not the only thing updated.  New food menus bearing bright red and black text fit the restaurant logo’s artistic style.  Clean new burger menus replaced the worn-down laminated booklets of old.  Hawksley has even committed to letting patrons know which beers are currently on draft, as well as which ones are coming soon in a new section of the drink menu.

Regardless of the changes, Hawksley maintains strong relationships with the local community.  The Abbey has hosted Providence College hockey radio shows since 2002.  Beyond this continued bond, The Abbey always welcomes PC’s various faculty, staff, and students.

Hawksley’s commitment to local vendors and breweries is most inspiring.  The restaurant offers craft beers from Smug Brewing Company in Pawtucket (Short and Stout vanilla chai stout), Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket, Newport Craft Brewing, Proclamation Ale Company in Warwick (Tendril New England IPA), and Beer on Earth in Providence (Mental Math session IPA) among others.  Hawksley gushed over All The Way Up, a raspberry blueberry sour beer from Mast Landing Brewing Company in Maine. 

This commitment to local sourcing also extends to much of the food offered. Hawksley pointed out various menu items like pretzel-wrapped pickles and peppers made by local group Twisted Pickle Company, as well as a beef stew that includes a local stout worked into the broth. 

Familiar favorite appetizers like the beer battered mozzarella sticks and bacon aki!!!, a twist on traditional chicken teriyaki, continue to shine.  The steakhouse flatbread, topped with bacon, mozzarella cheese, tenderloin tips, arugula, and balsamic drizzle is a sophisticated alternative for those not ready to dive into The Roadhouse, a 12-ounce burger topped with Wisconsin Gruyére cheese, bacon, onion rings, caramelized onions, and garlic mayonnaise on a grilled onion roll.

These dishes, amongst many others, continue to demonstrate The Abbey’s dedication to the greater Providence community. Even with a revamped interior and fresh new menu items, The Abbey continues to be a staple of community-sourced cuisine for the local area. 

Concert Previews: Opportunities to Support Providence Venues

by Kerry Torpey on November 29, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

by Patrick Fuller ’21

A&E Co-Editor

The Mavericks

the album cover art for The Maverick's new album Her! Merry Christmas!

Formed in Florida during the rocking ’80s, The Mavericks have shaped their sound throughout the years. The group hit its stride in the mid-90s with What a Crying Shame, a twangy, old-school country album which paid homage to the likes of Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash.  With four singles off the platinum album landing in the country Top 40, the band decided to risk transforming its sound for subsequent projects. 

 In 1998, The Mavericks released Trampoline, solidifying their goal to showcase the voice of lead singer Raul Malo over Latin-pop instrumentation. Conflicts with various record companies drove the band apart and together again several times before reuniting in 2011 with pianist Jerry Dale McFadden, bassist Robert Reynolds, drummer Paul Deakin, guitarist Eddie Perez, and Malo rounding out the quintet.  Despite parting ways with Reynolds due to his unfortunate opiate addiction, the band persisted in pleasing its fans, releasing Mono in 2015.  This album went on to receive two Grammy nominations including Best Americana Album.

The Mavericks isolated their eclectic blend of Latin, rock, and country by launching their own label, Mono Mundo Recordings, in 2016.  Shortly thereafter, in March 2017, almost 30 years since the group’s genesis, The Mavericks dropped Brand New Day, receiving two more Grammy nominations for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song for “I Wish You Well.”

However, the incredibly prolific group is coming to The Strand in Providence on Dec. 4 to promote their recent holiday album, Hey! Merry Christmas!  According to AllEyesMedia, the album “…features eight new seasonal originals and The Mavs’ readings of two Yuletide perennials, Darlene Love’s ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ and Irving Berlin’s ‘Happy Holiday.’”  

Listening to the band’s expansive catalog with its ambitious genre-bending and instrumentation leads to wonder over just how The Mavericks bring it all together live. The Los Angeles Times comments, “…the band’s exuberant live shows… channel an energy and a gleeful disregard for musical boundaries that also has been a hallmark of the Mavericks’ albums.”  

The band’s fun blend of Cuban jazz, blues, and swing should make for a festive, 50s-esque dance party at The Strand.  Tickets are available through the venue’s website.


the cover art for Darlingside's new album Extra Life

The four-piece folk band Darlingside formed in 2009 at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The group’s stripped-down instrumentation and seamless harmonies bring to mind contemporary acts like Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, and The Lone Bellow while achieving comparisons to Crosby, Stills and Nash, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Byrds.

Although the band is young, and its catalog limited, Darlingside has already garnered tremendous success, especially with their most recent album, Extralife. The album earned them a performance on the prestigious NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series where the band showcased its unique live performance style. 

Don Mitchell (guitar, banjo, vocals), Auyon Mukharji (mandolin, violin, vocals), Harris Paseltiner (guitar, cello, vocals), and David Senft (bass, kick drum, vocals) surround a single condenser microphone, allowing for the unity of their voices and the variety of their instrumentation to create an intimate concert experience. Yet the bandmates’ whacky personalities, as illustrated by their website biographies, do not prevent socio-politicalcommentary. The band may stop to joke in between songs, but the lyrical content of Extralife “…conjures the feeling and texture of end times while leaving plenty of space for the listener to decide just what such an event would actually look like.” 

In short, the album appears to reflect the serious, critical side of the individual members. The band boasts The Unicorn of Friendship as its mascot and fearlessly banters with NPR Tiny Desk host Bob Boilen but preaches the impending apocalypse when they step behind the microphone.  This harsh contrast between individual optimism and artistic cynicism intersects in Extralife, offering listeners a hauntingly relevant tale of social decline.

On Dec. 9, Darlingside will come to the Columbus Theatre Upstairs with special guest Henry Jamison.  Rhode Island Monthly says of the theatre, “And for the folks who are there to truly see, hear, and experience the music, the 200-seat venue is about as intimate as it gets.” The venue, originally built in 1926 for vaudeville and silent films, provides Darlingside with the perfect opportunity to showcase their harmonies and apocalyptic thought.  Tickets are available on the Columbus Theatre website.

Laugh About It: Six Gents Debut

by The Cowl Editor on October 4, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

by: Patrick Fuller ’21 A&E Co-Editor

Sketch comedy takes the spotlight in popular television programs like Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, and Key & Peele.  However, Providence College has its own sketch comedy group tailored to the controversies and daily realities of the student body.  

On Sept. 26, Six Gents, a motley crew of seven jokesters, had their first show of the year, debuting their newest material in the Ryan Concert Hall in the Smith Center for the Arts.  

Six Gents Providence College 2018 First Show

Led by President William Oser ’19 and Vice President Caprial Harris ’19, the Gents satirized all-too-familiar topics like orientation, Senior Ring Weekend, and the sabbatical of Father Brian Shanley, O.P. The group has always succeeded in crafting skits which function as inside jokes for the student audience, sometimes masking serious problems under the guise of parody.  

For instance, Jack MacKeen ’21 wrote the skit, “Say No to Drugs,” which replaced the typical anti-drug policy lecture kids receive in middle school with a speech promoting the “coolness” of smoking marijuana.  Rita Murphy ’19 wrote “The Purge,” a commentary on the stress and anarchy involved in finding a date for SRW. The skit tackled the chaos that would ensue if the Providence College administration shut down Take3, disabled Friar bucks, and allowed students to engage in any illegal activities necessary to secure a date for SRW. 

Despite the continued talent of Six Gents, the group lost five members from last year including senior staples Alec Jacobsen ’18, Ivan Vukusic ’18, Michael Meeks ’18, and Sabrina Guilbeault ’18. Although the Gents are dwindling in number, they ended their show on a hopeful note, announcing auditions for new Gents on Sept. 23.

In Memoriam: Mac Miller (1992-2018)

by The Cowl Editor on September 13, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

by: Patrick Fuller ’21 A&E Co-Editor

On Friday, September 7, music added another name to an already lengthy list of unfortunate deaths.  Mac Miller, who was only 26-years-old, was found dead of a suspected overdose in his Studio City home.  The unexpected news came just a month after the artist released Swimming, his latest album.

   The Pittsburgh-born rapper began his career making and selling mixtapes in high school.  Before long, Miller signed a four-year contract with Rostrum Records, setting the tone with “K.I.D.S.”  According to the New Yorker, the rapper’s first studio album, Blue Slide Park (2011), became the first independent album to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1995.

Mac Miller, a rapper who recently passed away

Beyond Miller’s intimate lyrics and distinct sound, he was also notoriously kind.  Ed Sheeran posted on Instagram: “This really just saddened me.  I hung out with Mac a few times over the years and he was always such a sweetheart, always had the time of day for anyone, whoever they were.  As well as being a great talent, he was a great human.”

Drake dedicated his Sept. 8 performance of “Emotionless” to the late rapper while Childish Gambino honored Miller at his Chicago concert on the same date.  In Rolling Stone, Donald Glover reflected, “He was the sweetest guy. And we should be allowed to be sad about it. Like my heart was broken… and I feel good about being sad, because it tells me that he was special, that I had a special moment… Everybody in this room deserves that.”

  The rapper’s death follows the passing of XXXTENTACION and Demi Lovato’s recent overdose. Despite glorification of rap music, drugs and street violence are realities which need to be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly, no matter the social status of the person involved.  Fame does not eliminate struggle, but rather, it masks adversity with luxury.

Friday Night Bites: PVD Food Truck Festival

by The Cowl Editor on August 30, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

by Patrick Fuller ’21

A&E Co-Editor


The logo for Providence Food Truck Events

Major cities throughout the United States provide space for corporate skyscrapers and plenty of high-paying, white-collar jobs. Despite the intimidating luxury, the people within are regular human beings. They love to dress up, earn money, and eat. 

Taking advantage of the latter desire, restaurants have slowly embraced the food truck movement. Brick-and-mortar locations now build on homegrown popularity by mobilizing to areas of high activity.

And now, Providence College food lovers can join in on the fun thanks to PVD Food Truck Events. Although small, the city of Providence, Rhode Island stands with the rest of the country in its food revolution. PVD Food Truck Events organizes events throughout the state of Rhode Island with locally-sourced trucks, live music, and free admission. The group advertises through FoodTrucksIn.com, a website “…dedicated to serving the food truck community… by providing food truck information, the locations of food trucks who are currently serving, and details about upcoming food truck events.”

The goal of bringing together and supporting local communities has garnered the support of the Providence City Council, the City of Warwick Department of Tourism, Culture, and Development, and the Town of Scituate, among others.

All summer, the traveling food truck bonanza has been posting up in places like Smithfield’s Deerfield Park, Sons of Liberty Beer and Spirits Company, Chase Farm in Lincoln, the North Scituate Gazebo, and Carousel Village in Roger Williams Park.

In fact, Carousel Village has been the location for Food Truck Fridays for the past four seasons. This event returns thanks to the support of Food Trucks In, Trinity Brewhouse, Gooseneck Vineyards, and Motif Magazine. Due to its unique placement in Roger Williams Park, the food trucks come alongside opportunities to ride the carousel, the carousel train, an actual camel, or peddle-driven swan boats.

However, the main attraction at Food Truck Fridays is, obviously, the food. The sun setting through the trees mixes with covers of old rock ‘n’ roll songs as patrons wander around, attempting to choose a meal. For those attending, the options include barbeque from Baby’s Bonetown BBQ, Binge BBQ, Smoke & Squeal BBQ, or GottaQ BBQ. If pulled pork and brisket does not satisfy, Brunch Belly serves up lobster roll sliders and buffalo shrimp po’boys.

Meanwhile, Buddha Belly serves up authentic Chinese cuisine next to the grilled cheeses of Championship Melt. Haven Brothers, a staple of the city of Providence, slings hotdogs and burgers. Poco Loco and Mamita’s Food Truck serve empanadas and traditional Latin American favorites, representing Rhode Island’s large Hispanic population.

Dessert may be a cannoli from Cape Cod Cannolis, an ice cream from Like No Udder, shaved ice from Kona Ice, or a coffee from Presto Strange O Coffee Truck.

Catch all of these treats and more every Friday at Carousel Village in Roger Williams Park until Sep. 28. PVD Food Truck Events will continue to host events until Oct. 25. Beyond the special events held in other Rhode Island towns, the organization has food trucks on Thayer Street on Aug. 30, Sep. 27, and Oct. 25. The schedule, along with further details, can be found on PVD Food Truck Event’s Facebook page or FoodTrucksIn.com.

Clams and Jams: BOP Organizes Clam Fest Event

by Kerry Torpey on May 3, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

Students enjoy frozen lemonade, fried dough, and kettle corn at Clam Fest.

by Patrick Fuller ’21

A&E Co-Editor

The rain on  Friday, April 27 did not dampen the spirits of the Board of Programmers (BOP), who were determined to make the annual Clam Jam event at Providence College the best yet.  The on-campus group dedicated to organizing events throughout the year decided to move Clam Jam to Saturday, April 28, combining the event with Friar Fest.

Although the move was likely a logistical pain, it ended up paying off. Sunshine and temperatures in the low 70s drew a massive crowd to the lawn outside of the Smith Center for the Arts.

Hungry students waited in line to devour fried dough, clam cakes, and New England clam chowder from Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House. People not fond of seafood found alternatives in Haven Brother’s food truck, which served burgers, hotdogs, and fried sides, the kettle corn tent, or the Big Tony’s Pizza delivered later on in the day.

Students 21+ could indulge in a beer garden with proper ID. Meanwhile, everyone played classic lawn games like Spikeball and KanJam or jumped into one of the inflatable slides.

Although the lines were long and the food ran out quite quickly, it was free food. Bringing good food to college students on a beautiful Saturday afternoon is like throwing a bucket of bait into “Shark Alley.” The shortage of food was clearly not the fault of the planning committee but rather evidence of the estimated 1,500 students who attended throughout the day.  

All of the food and activities were set against live music from the Cape Cod Slackers, a local, multi-instrumental duo who provided covers of classic summer jams. Something about middle-aged guys playing the saxophone at large gatherings seems to complement a nice summer day.

Overall, students had a great time at Clam Fest.  Connor Perron ’21 explained that he had two bowls of chowder before deciding to cut himself off while John MacKeen ’21 raved about the doughboys from Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House. More traditional New Englanders like Cameron Smith ’21 asked, “Where are the clams?” expecting to show up to clams in their lone glory, fried or steamed. Nevertheless, the general attitude was positive. The timing, the organization, and the variety of foods, beverages, and activities pleased almost everybody.

Of course, Clam Fest would not have been possible without BOP. Just coming off of organizing the Spring Concert, featuring Galantis, the club threw together another on-campus favorite.  

Matt Mannarino ’18, head of the committee in charge of Clam Fest, surely worked hard to make the day a memorable one for the PC community as students prepare to leave for the summer.  Hopefully Clam Fest will remain a staple event for years to come.

Behind the Scenes: Tribeca Film Festival 2018

by Kerry Torpey on April 26, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

A promotional photo for the Tribeca Film Festival depicting an outline of New York City.

by Patrick Fuller ’21

A&E Staff

Like music, cinema has gradually divided itself over time. On one hand, the film industry produces blockbusters that pack the theaters with families eager to witness the newest mainstream success. On the other hand, a vault filled with independent films lies locked away, waiting to be uncovered and appreciated. 

The 17th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, held from April 18-29 in New York is to celebrate this underground stash of pictures in a lineup of epic proportions.

According to the festival’s website, the program features 96 movies from 103 filmmakers, 46 percent of which are directed by women, the highest percentage in the festival’s history. Coming off a year in film plagued by controversy and scandal, the festival hopes to highlight the brighter portions of American culture.  

Paula Weinstein, executive vice president of Tribeca Enterprises, confidently stated, “We are proud to present a lineup that celebrates American diversity and welcomes new international voices in a time of cultural and social activism.” Cara Cusumano, Tribeca’s director of programming, said, “In a year that has reminded us more often of our divisions than our connections, this Festival’s program embraces film’s unique power to overcome differences—that connecting with stories not our own is the road into our deeply programmed human capacity for empathy and understanding.” 

While audiences have certainly seen this theme throughout the year in hits like Get Out and The Shape of Water, Tribeca promises to curate a canon of films which weave together a fabric of unity and toleration.

Yet beyond celebrating American culture and diversity, the Festival simply promises to premiere brilliant material. The lineup includes 74 world premieres, six international premieres, nine North American premieres, three U.S. premieres, and four New York premieres from 30 countries. Veteran and novice filmmakers are all represented, with 46 first time filmmakers and 18 returning directors participating.

Main attractions include the closing ceremony, which hopes to showcase the world premiere of The Fourth Estate, a story about The New York Times’ coverage of the Trump administration in its first year, by Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus. Meanwhile, the sci-fi romance Zoe, featuring Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Rashida Jones, and Theo James, takes center stage.

However, the festival also functions as a competition. One major award is the Tribeca X Award for “storytelling supported by a brand recognizing the intersection of advertising and entertainment.” Other categories includes feature films, short films, Tribeca: TV, immersive, and Tribeca N.O.W. which “discovers, highlights, and celebrates New Online Work from storytellers who choose to create and share their work specifically for the online space.”   

Winners will receive $165,000 as well as artwork from the Artists Awards program. The sixth annual Nora Ephron Award presented by CHANEL will award a $25,000 prize to a woman who “embodies the spirit and boldness of the late filmmaker.”

Ben Kenigsberg, a film critic for The New York Times notes the time and effort necessary to discover good movies at the lengthy festival. Nevertheless, he recommends putting All About Nina, Bathtubs Over Broadway, Diane, and Nigerian Price on one’s watchlist.

If you cannot make it to New York, enjoy the Tribeca Film Festival via the livestream on the organization’s Facebook page. Although the entire lineup will not be available, livestreamed events include interviews and conversations with celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and John Legend, among others. 

A full calendar of events is available on Entertainment Weekly’s website. Make sure to tune in at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday to catch the discussion with members of The New York Times and White House Correspondents after the world premiere of The Fourth Estate.

The Tribeca Film Festival provides us all with an opportunity to step back from the commercial big screen and pay respect to aspiring filmmakers trying to express themselves in a changing world. Watching independent films is not just entertaining, but also serves as a window into the cultural issues wracking the world today.

Boston Venues Give Music Fans Variety

by Kerry Torpey on April 19, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

The band Rainbow Kitten Surprise pose for a promotional photo.

by Patrick Fuller ’21

A&E Staff

Temperatures remain close to freezing but the date screams spring.  With the first weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival  behind us, we search for similar experiences closer to home.  While the weather makes outdoor music-watching uncomfortable, if not impossible, the city of Boston hosts a wide variety of legendary indoor venues to fill the gap.  

Royale Night Club on Tremont Street holds a capacity between the intimate Paradise Rock Club and the larger House of Blues.  According to boston.com, the New York-based live music company, The Bowery Presents, signed a deal with Royale in 2010 to put on 100 shows a year at the venue.  

Royale co-owner Dave Ralph told a local Boston music blog that he planned on supporting many up-and-coming acts over the next couple of years.  For instance, over the course of the proceeding months, Royale plans to host Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Marian Hill, Shakey Graves, and Bishop Briggs, among others.

On  Saturday, April 14, Rainbow Kitten Surprise took the stage at Royale backed by bluegrass band Caamp.  Mailing from Boone, North Carolina, the five-piece band recently eleased the album How To: Friend, Love, Freefall which sets “dizzying rush of words… to a thrillingly unpredictable sound that transcends all genre convention, endlessly changing form to accommodate their constant shifts in mood and spirit.”

The album, produced by Grammy Award-winner Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, the Head and the Heart) and recorded at Neon Cross Studio, is the band’s debut release for Elektra Records. The band  mostly focuses on vocals.  Lead singer Sam Melo uniquely blends the mellowness of vintage folk with the flavor of his hip-hop including, Schoolboy Q and Frank Ocean.

These two sounds clashed under an array of colored lights as bassist Charlie Holt covered harmonies with long hair.  All five members shook their way through the fire-and-brimstone “Fever Pitch,” while the two guitarists joined forces with Melo for first-album classics like “American Shoes,” “Seven,” “Cold Love,” “First Class,” and “Cocaine Jesus.”  

Quickly, the audience realized that this performance was more than just another check off the list of tour stops.  Although it was only the band’s third time playing in Boston, it was also the band’s third time selling out in Boston.  Everyone’s financial support was paid back in full with passion and energy.  

This all-out effort was no more evident than in the final song of the night, a hardcore rendition of “Run,” the band’s first song from their self-titled first album. By the end of the concert the crowd was left in a state of shock, by the bass, the red strobe  lights, and the vocals.  

Hopefully, with the turn of the seasons and the ensuing turn of the weather, we all can come to experience that post-concert depression.  You certainly do not need to go to Indio, California, to experience the newest music and live concert season to the fullest.