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Lowell Pro-Rock Forces Can't Swing Live Band

By Joshua W. Shenk

Lowell House hipsters will have to wait at least another year to rock around the clock.

Despite fire from critics for being "blinded by tradition," the Lowell House Music Society (LHMS) voted yesterday against booking a live rock band for their annual spring formal in May.

Instead, as in the past, a live swing band and a rock deejay will both appear, although the deejay will be allotted more time, according to LHMS President David N. Greenwald '90.

"They're all dead set on swing," said Clark Petschek, one of two sophomores who lobbied the society for a live rock band. "It's a tough call but I don't think they were impartial when they went into the voting."

In a meeting of the LHMS Sunday night, Petschek and Wayne K. Yang '92 presented a survey they had conducted in which 158 house residents came out in favor of combining a rock band and a deejay. One hundred and thirty-three residents preferred sticking with old-fashioned jazz, the survey said.

"A compromise has been achieved," said Greenwald in defense of the society's decision. "It is in the nature of a compromise that no one gets everything that he or she wants." Greenwald said that more time was allotted to the deejay this year in keeping with the results of the survey.

Known for its traditional Winter Waltz, Lowell House has been more flexible with its annual spring formal. A rock deejay was added to the customary jazz format last year, said John C. Buten '90, co-chair of the Lowell House Committee.

The LHMS announced yesterday that a swing band will play for the first hour of the dance and for another half-hour, from 10:30 to 11 p.m. A deejay will play records for the rest of the dance, Greenwald said.

But according to Petschek, the LHMS never seriously considered a live rock band.

"If the survey showed 200 to nothing in favor of a rock band, [the live band] would still be swing," Petschek said. "We knew that coming in, so we just tried to get as much deejay time as we could."

But it appears most Lowell residents are satisfied. Several said yesterday that the decision was fair and that the spring formal will be well attended.

"Change takes time," said Shannon M. Arnold '92.

One LHMS member said the society was unaccustomed to dealing with controversy. Teresa A. Martin '92, vice president of LHMS, said the debate caused an unexpected stir.

"Frankly, it's becoming a headache," Martin said.

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