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OUT AND ABOUT

Funk, Fallfest, Friendly Noise

By Erik Beach, Cassandra Cummings, and Emma Firestone, Crimson Staff Writerss

Funked-Up with Fink Fank Funk

The Middle East

Saturday, October 6

Emerging from the depths of Harvard University’s myriad of musical clubs, Fink Fank Funk (FFF) will perform an hour-long set at The Middle East (472 Massachusetts Avenue) in Cambridge. The band, which has been in existence for three years, boasts a repetoire of both covers and original songs and a ten-member entourage decked out in plaid on top of stripes on top of floral prints, hot pink tie-dye polyster shirts and zebra-print pants. The high energy and loudness of their mode of dress is only slightly indicative of the quality and finesse of their performances.

Slated to begin at 9 p.m., the show will also feature Boston-based funk band Deci Funk and blues guitarist Ricky Valenti. Fink Fank Funk’s set will feature some of their old favorites and will possibly include covers of songs by Stevie Wonder, Kool & The Gang and James Brown as well as new original music. But as is common with and intrinsic in all soulful musicians and entertainers, Fink Fank Funk will allow the music and the vibe of the crowd to carry and guide them.

Band members Alex Scammon ’01 and Jake Fleming ’01 promise that FFF’s charismatic lead singer, Benjamin D. Scheuer ’04, coupled with the band’s lively and energetic stage presence will result in a show abounding in audience participation. “It’s all about getting people up and dancing,” said Scammon.

They also assure that the crowd will be fully engaged, citing that moving the crowd is the purpose of their music.

Do not go to the Middle East expecting to hear a mere rehashing and regurgitation of old funk classics. Although FFF performs covers of songs by several bands, their performances ensure a unique experience. The show begins at 9 p.m. Tickets $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

—Cassandra Cummings

UC Bi-Semesterly Love (Fallfest)

The Quad

Saturday, October 6

It is Saturday, Oct. 6. And somehow, in some way, you are not content. Perhaps you’ve slogged your way through an exhausting week of work and even the alphabet seems beyond your realm of intellectual comprehension. Or perhaps it’s that vague, disquieting sense that nature, despite its splendor, no longer resonates with you; that the brisk, crackling intimations of autumn have failed to permeate your senses. At any rate, you’re listless, apathetic. You feel, in a word, gross.

“This isn’t right,” you think. “This can’t be all there is. I want something more. I want to feel connected.

Immersed in my surroundings, involved in my school, in touch with my fellow students. I want music. Crowds. A fest, that’s what I crave. Ahh, if only it were spring! Surely Springfest, that joyous Undergraduate Council-organized campus celebration, would wrest me from my seasonal blues!”

Well, weary Harvard student, this is your lucky year.

On Oct. 6, the Harvard Undergraduate Council brings you its first-ever Fallfest. Between 3 and 6:30 p.m., the Quad will brim and bustle with the whir of carnival rides, the aroma of sugary treats, the sounds of student bands and all the natural charms of the New England autumn. The event has been in the works over the summer, organized by council members dedicated to replicating the spirited feel of Springfest in an earlier, chillier month.

“We just intend [for Fallfest] to be a big, welcome-back-to-campus, come-have-some-fun kind of event,” says Fallfest organizer Jim R. Griffin ’01-’02, a longtime council member. Any and all students, especially those in most need of relaxation and/or sensory stimulation (read: LSATs takers), are eagerly encouraged to attend.

True to Springfest tradition, Fallfest will feature music by student bands. Subject to Change will take the stage at 3:15, Invisible Downtown at 4:15 and Second Act at 5:15 p.m. Also watch for Laser Tag, fried dough and other festival staples.

—Emma Firestone

Hi! My Name is…

Noise Show featuring Mini Watt, Eloe Omoe, My Name is Rar Rar, Lozenge

Abbey Lounge

Wednesday, September 26

The Abbey Lounge in Inman Square (winner of Best of Boston 2000 “Best Bar, Dive”) advertises “Cheap Booze. . . Rock and Roll,” and there was plenty of both on Wednesday night with New England bands Mini Watt and Eloe Omoe opening up for Chicago bands My Name is Rar Rar and Lozenge.

A few years back, a local band in need of a place to rehearse rented from the Abbey Lounge what used to be a dingy room full of dart boards, and the space was eventually transformed into the performance space that hosts rock bands of all stripes today. To describe the venue as intimate would be an understatement—the distance between performers and audience has disappeared, and what remains is a joyous, raucous romp through the noise and stage antics of the punk and indie rock bands performing there.

As if the regular arrangement wasn’t close enough, local band Eloe Omoe (consisting of a drummer and bassist hailing from Charlestown) played smack-dab in the middle of the crowd, so that the closest spectators were standing literally inches away from a cymbal or bass amp. Despite not being quite as physically close as Eloe Omoe, the featured Chicago bands, My Name is Rar Rar and Lozenge, were able to eradicate any sense of distance that playing on stage would have normally produced.

My Name is Rar Rar were costumed in white clothes and angel wings, except for the vocalist, who sported red galoshes, a short, white and red sequined drum majorette costume, a grandmotherly white wig, and huge smears of make up across her face. What appeared to be a cheap plastic toy megaphone in her hands soon made its powers known, as it emitted an awful, shrieking distortion of her voice. All of the band’s frantic, manic energy seemed to be channeled into her, as she dove or dizzingly spun into the audience on several occasions.

Lozenge, whose eclectic instrumentation consisted of an accordion/synthesizer, bass, drums, and junk percussion, lacked the visual flash of My Name is Rar Rar, but more than made up for it with sonic violence. Enduring taunts of “Vicks” and “Fisherman’s Friend” from the crowd, Lozenge played with unbridled enthusiasm, literally bringing down the house when the band leader stood on the table in front of the stage, and pulled down several sections of the posterboard ceiling. It was a fitting mark to leave; if the place hadn’t suffered a least a little visceral damage, it wouldn’t have been an accurate testimony to the tremendous energy present there that night.

— Erik A. Beach

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