As I stood surrounded by MDMA-influenced college students being barraged with Electronic Dance Music, I looked up at the evening’s entertainment: Groove Boston. Groove Boston are two young, fake neon-wayfarer wearing DJ’s with faux-hawks who played this year’s Sarah Lawrence fall formal and will return for spring formal. Before experiencing Groove Boston’s college dance party treatment, I watched their promotional video on YouTube entitled “the Groove Boston Experience.” It seemed okay for what it was; a couple of mildly hip mid-twenty-year-olds with enough music knowledge to supply college kids with an evening of psychedelic lighting, confetti, air-mists and danceable music. Their performance was a significant upgrade from the video, but I still felt unsatisfied. They came, played music, and people had fun despite their slightly underwhelming nature.
Groove Boston would be a totally acceptable choice if it weren’t for their $10,000 charge. With that kind of money, Sarah Lawrence could hire such well-known artists as Cam’ron, Trina, Raekwon, GZA, James Blake, Mystikal, Busta Rhymes, Four Tet, Shaggy or Juicy J. Each of these artists would potentially lend a much more interesting vibe to the event and subsequently to the college community. Cam’ron, and Busta Rhymes would bring conscious, party-rap via timeless, nostalgic hits. Juicy J could provide the deep southern hip-hop that inspired Miley Cyrus to change her aesthetic (if you’re into that sort of thing). Raekwon and GZA from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan could both provide cerebral hip-hop that would stimulate the viewers yet allow them to have fun and dance. James Blake or Four Tet could provide dance music with a more interesting conscience to Groove Boston and Juicy J and Mystikal would remind kids of what they weren’t allowed to listen to in early middle school.
Although these aren’t household names, they’re mostly artists with whom a significant portion of the student-community is familiar. The Sarah Lawrence community would strongly benefit from an alternative to Groove Boston playing recycled dub-step tracks and doing quirky dance routines on stage. I’m not going to lie, I had fun at formal, Groove Boston did their job; but, with less apathy and more student involvement, these types of events could be exponentially better. I would also feel much prouder of my school’s cultural scene if our students made a more serious collective attempt to curate a reputable act for large events, especially since we wouldn’t be losing money doing so. The students play a significant role in these actions. Many students feel that the music could be better, but it’s not worth the effort of arguing with the administration. Members of the student senate’s SAS made a legitimate attempt to avoid booking Groove Boston for spring formal. A few members provided students with the information necessary to email the administration, giving examples of alternative acts for the same price as Groove Boston but nothing changed. This is perhaps because of the lack of emailing on the students’ part or apathy from the administration. It’s disappointing that a school with as many interesting, artistically inclined students as Sarah Lawrence also holds such apathy regarding such events. As Groove Boston doesn’t record music, I’m sure there aren’t many GB fanatics on campus.
More students should get involved, email the administration and start caring about their events. Nobody will remember how many times they saw Groove Boston melt their faces off in college, but they might remember Four Tet, James Blake or Juicy J. The excitement felt by so many students when they hear about these prospects needs to translate into action. Juicy J would have been my vote, I couldn’t imagine a better venue for his drug-glorifying, trippy southern rap than Sarah Lawrence fall formal. Any of the other prospects would have also been perfectly superior to Groove Boston. I can’t imagine identifying more with the sound of Groove Boston’s trite EDM mixes than any of my previously mentioned artists, and I don’t think I’m alone.
by Ollie Kinkel '17