The Decemberists Named SU Large Act

The Decemberists - Photo Courtesy of Lisa Dela Cruz

Written by Rachel Rigdon
Megaphone Editor-in-Chief

Students entering the Bishops’ Lounge at noon yesterday were greeted with a scene of chaos.

 

Dozens of ping-pong balls were thrown from the balcony, and screaming students clawed at the ground and held recycle bins in the air in an effort to catch them.

 

This excitement was caused by the University Programming Council’s announcement that The Decemberists will be the Large Act Concert performer this October.

 

Many of the students who were at the ball drop were excited by the choice.

 

“I’m really excited about The Decemberists,” junior Erin Fonseca said. “I voted for them in the surveys and I’m thrilled that we got them.”  

Senior Shana Robinson agreed, saying “I listened to them in high school and I’m super excited that they’re coming here and growing in popularity.”

 

Other students at the ball drop were not familiar with the band.

 

“I don’t really know The Decemberists. They sound okay though,” said sophomore Kelly Holt.

 

The decision to choose The Decemberists came from the results of several extensive surveys given to students. The selection process began last spring with a paper survey to narrow down a genre.

 

Approximately 900 students participated in the survey with a majority choosing R&B/Hip-Hop/Rap. UPC followed this survey up with a second survey on the Internet that restricted voting to once per person. The second survey featured specific bands in the R&B/Hip-Hop/Rap genre including Lil’ Wayne and Common.

 

However, the release of the second survey revealed that a large number of students were dissatisfied with this genre choice. The second survey was the first in Large Act history to feature an “other” category.

 

Over 200 students entered responses to this category. UPC members read those responses in the other category along with emails from students and Facebook wall comments and reevaluated the genre choice.

 

With the ability for students to take the survey more than once eliminated and the large negative response to the genre choice, UPC reexamined the responses from the first survey.

 

“As we looked at the responses from students to the second survey we realized that the results from the first survey might not have been completely accurate,” Associate Dean for Student Life, Jaime Woody said.

In order to better determine what bands students were interested in seeing, UPC members added the most popular choices to the list of bands for the third survey.

 

“Because there were so many extra suggestions and we wanted a more accurate depiction of what band students wanted to see, we decided to issue the third survey,” Lisa Dela Cruz, Student Activities Coordinator, said.

 

The third survey featured groups from a variety of genres, including hip-hop and rock. The results from the survey revealed that the majority of students who responded supported The Decemberists.

 

“We really wanted to listen to the students. When we first did the surveys about the genre, rap & r&b won. However, when we did the survey about who they wanted, there was a huge amount of people who put bands like The Decemberists in the suggestions so we decided to integrate the overwhelming suggestions with the r&b top choices,” senior and UPC member Nadia Alareksoussi said. “We really did listen to what people wanted and The Decemberists were on top!”

 

While many students were pleased with the choice, others were disappointed to see a band so similar to the ones featured in the past. 

“I’m really disappointed with this year’s large act. First it was pop-punk, then

Reggae/Hip-Hop, Alternative Rock and now Indie Rock…rock again. I thought that the survey on the Large Act from last year would encourage them to continue to change things up a bit,” said junior Laura Burrow. “Personally I would have loved to have some Neo Soul, or some soulful R&B. Even a group/band that is a mix of different musical styles, like The Roots, would have been great. I guess I’ll have to cross my fingers for next year.”

 

To address these concerns, UPC hopes to bring more bands of different genres to the campus in the future.

 

“Our goal has been to rotate genres annually to ensure that everyone will get to see something they enjoy during their tenure at SU. It’s all based on student opinion so we really want to please as many people as possible,” said Woody.

 

As the news spread around campus, more students became animated about the choice.

 

“I am beyond excited…I had no idea that they were even on the list of possible bands! My friend and I have epic sing-alongs to the entire discography of The Decemberists on our 7-hour ride between Lubbock and Georgetown, so I know most of the music and lyrics by heart,” junior Kaitlyn Dennis said. “I’ve seen them live once before in Austin, and they put on an amazing show, so I’m really thrilled to see them again at SU.”

 

The Decemberists are an indie-rock band that, according to their website, “embraces experimentation even as it celebrates classic pop and folk forms—to say nothing of klezmer, Irish jig, sea chantey, and prog rock.”

Their influences include Pink Floyd, Yes, R.E.M. and “even early U2.” Although signed to Capitol Records, a major mainstream label, they continue to maintain the independent sound and unique aesthetic that has gained them such a large following.

 

Their appearance at Southwestern will be the start of their Bridesmaid Revisited Tour 2008 and their only performance in the South.

 

Oct. 14 they will be releasing the first of three volumes of vinyl and digital singles titled, “Always the Bridesmaid.”

 

The Decemberists is the fourth Large Act group to be brought to the Southwestern campus since 2005. Last year’s band, Cake, sold 2,500 tickets, completely selling out.

 

The Large Act Concert will take place on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. in the Corbin J. Robertson Center. Tickets will be sold exclusively to the Southwestern community for $10 until Oct. 8.

 

Starting Oct. 8, ticket sales will open to the general public and will cost $20. Tickets can be purchased from the Student Life Office, on the SU website and, if available, at the door. Visit the Student Activities website to learn more about the concert. 

 

“I don’t really know The Decemberists,” sophomore Kelly Holt said. “They sound okay though.” 

The decision to choose The Decemberists came from the results of several extensive surveys given to students.

The selection process began last spring with a paper survey to narrow down a genre.

Approximately 900 students participated in the survey with a majority choosing r&b/hip-hop/rap.

UPC followed this survey  with a second survey on the Internet that restricted voting to once per person.

The second survey featured specific bands in the r&b/hip-hop/rap genre including Lil’ Wayne and Common.

The release of the second survey revealed that a large number of students were dissatisfied with this genre choice, however.

The second survey was the first in Large Act history to feature an “other” category. Over 200 students entered responses to this category.

UPC members read those responses in the “other” category along with emails from students and Facebook wall comments and reevaluated the genre choice.

With the ability for students to take the survey more than once eliminated and the large negative response to the genre choice, UPC reexamined the responses from the first survey.

“As we looked at the responses from students to the second survey we realized that the results from the first survey might not have been completely accurate,” Associate Dean for Student Life, Jaime Woody said.

In order to better determine what bands students were interested in seeing, UPC members added the most popular choices to the list of bands for the third survey.

“Because there were so many extra suggestions and we wanted a more accurate depiction of what band students wanted to see, we decided to issue the third survey,” Lisa Dela Cruz, Student Activities Coordinator, said.

The third survey featured groups from a variety of genres, including hip-hop and rock.

The results from the survey revealed that the majority of students who responded supported The Decemberists.

“We really wanted to listen to the students. When we first did the surveys about the genre, rap & r&b won. However, when we did the survey about who they wanted, there was a huge amount of people who put bands like The Decemberists in the suggestions so we decided to integrate the overwhelming suggestions with the r&b top choices,” senior and UPC member Nadia Alareksoussi said. “We really did listen to what people wanted and The Decemberists were on top!”

While many students were pleased with the choice, others were disappointed to see a band so similar to the ones featured in the past. 

“I’m really disappointed with this year’s large act. First it was pop-punk, then reggae/hip-hop, alternative rock and now indie rock… again. I thought that the survey on the Large Act from last year would encourage them to continue to change things up a bit,” junior Laura Burrow said. “Personally I would have loved to have some neo-soul, or some soulful r&b. Even a group/band that is a mix of different musical styles, like The Roots, would have been great. I guess I’ll have to cross my fingers for next year.”

To address these concerns, UPC hopes to bring more bands of different genres to the campus in the future.

“Our goal has been to rotate genres annually to ensure that everyone will get to see something they enjoy during their tenure at SU. It’s all based on student opinion so we really want to please as many people as possible,”  Woody said.

As the news spread around campus, more students became animated about the choice.

“I am beyond excited…I had no idea that they were even on the list of possible bands! My friend and I have epic sing-alongs to the entire discography of The Decemberists on our seven-hour ride between Lubbock and Georgetown, so I know most of the music and lyrics by heart,” junior Kaitlyn Dennis said. “I’ve seen them live once before in Austin, and they put on an amazing show, so I’m really thrilled to see them again at SU.”

The Decemberists are an indie-rock band that, according to their website, “embraces experimentation even as it celebrates classic pop and folk forms – to say nothing of klezmer, Irish jig, sea chantey, and prog rock.”

Their influences include Pink Floyd, Yes, R.E.M. and “even early U2.” Although signed to Capitol Records, a major mainstream label, they continue to maintain the independent sound and unique aesthetic that has gained them such a large following.

The Decemberists appearance at Southwestern will be the start of their Bridesmaid Revisited Tour 2008 and their only performance in the South.

Oct. 14 they will be releasing the first of three volumes of vinyl and digital singles titled, “Always the Bridesmaid.”

The Decemberists is the fourth Large Act group to be brought to the Southwestern campus since 2005.

Last year’s band, Cake, sold 2,500 tickets, completely selling out.

The Large Act Concert will take place on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. in the Corbin J. Robertson Center. Tickets will be sold exclusively to the Southwestern community for $10 until Oct. 8.

Starting Oct. 8, ticket sales will open to the general public and will cost $20.

Tickets can be purchased from the Student Life Office, on the SU website and, if available, at the door.

Visit the Student Activities website to learn more about the concert. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to The Decemberists Named SU Large Act

  1. Joe Foulds says:

    Hi there!
    My band recently recorded our own song!!!

    Have a look, we’ve learnt a lot from your blog! :)
    xxx

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