What pairs well?: Who SPB should bring for WILD and comedy
Social Programming Board recently released and closed the second survey gauging student interest in comedians and potential WILD artists. (We don’t know why a second survey was necessary either). But alas, it did renew a debate within Cadenza over which comedian and which WILD artist should be chosen. Below are our dream teams for the semester.
Pete Davidson / A rapper
SPB has brought artists of many different genres to Washington University’s campus. There was the teen angst of the All-American Rejects, the aloof DJ-ing of Kygo and the kid-boy rap of Mac Miller (not sorry). It’s time we got a quality rapper in here, a la Big Sean, A$AP Rocky or Schoolboy Q. (Iggy Azalea would make the list, but I don’t actually think she’s been doing anything since “Fancy,” and unfortunately, other female rappers were not presented on the survey.) Though heavy rap isn’t for everyone, it’s something that everyone can get behind. The rhythms are easy to understand even if you haven’t heard the song before, and all three have powerful energy onstage, which makes for an engaging WILD experience. To me, Pete Davidson is a shoo-in for the comedian. Not only is he the ripe age of 23 and easily able to relate to college students, but he’s well-versed in all types of comedy, from his sketch-based comedy in “Saturday Night Live” to the stand-up he’s performed on popular shows like Jimmy Kimmel. For a glimpse into his stand-up style, check out clips of him on the Weekend Update as the Resident Young Person. It’s basically just him talking about his own experiences and views of the world, especially catering to how other generations condescend upon ours. Though some people resist SPB’s tendency to bring current or past “SNL” cast members to campus, Davidson is a deviation from that, because his comedy style and niche are so different from that of many “SNL” members.
– Lindsay Tracy
Vanessa Bayer / ODESZA
Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight are ODESZA, the Seattle-based electronic duo created in 2012 during Mills’ and Knight’s senior year at Western Washington University. In the same year, debut album “Summer’s Gone” began the duo’s quick rise through the ranks of the underground electronic music world—and just two years later, ODESZA’s first headline tour for second album “In Return” sold out almost 30 shows. The duo had found a unique niche to fill—a folksy, indie-rock take on electronic dance music that produces something brighter, softer and more chill than the traditional dubstep approach. Tracks like “Sun Models” and “Memories That You Call” are melodic and mesmerizing, seemingly pulling you into a dreamy alternate universe, and yet maintain that unmistakable EDM synth and percussion. The total chillness of ODESZA is precisely the opposite of comedian Vanessa Bayer in her popular role as Jacob the Bat Mitzvah Boy on “Saturday Night Live.” She takes on the part of a nervous, prepubescent Jewish boy who can only recite lines prepared in advance, no matter what Seth Meyers says in response. Bayer’s thick New York Jewish accent, coupled with her nervous breathing, have me almost in tears every time I’m lucky enough to watch her. Not to mention Bayer’s incredible versatility: Also on “SNL,” she plays ex-porn star Breckie, who creates her own commercials…that most recently centered around getting Donald Trump into office. And while Bayer may seem like she has nothing to do with ODESZA (likely true), I can imagine no more fulfilling an SPB lineup than ODESZA and Bayer, if just in terms of versatility and unique talent.
– Erica Sloan
Cecily Strong / Bastille
To make this semester the one to remember in terms of entertainment, I would pair Cecily Strong and Bastille as one dynamic duo. Strong would bring the humor and pizzazz that she exudes on “Saturday Night Live,” providing stressed-out Wash. U. students the cathartic pick-me-up that they need amid these dreary months of winter. But being more of a music fan myself, I would certainly focus on budgeting a fantastic WILD act, offering people a last day of the semester that they will never forget. From London to the Quadrangle of Washington University, Bastille live would be a treat for any audience. This London band started via the passion of Dan Smith, Bastille’s primary vocalist, who perfects the sounds of alternative, synthetic pop music. Packing catchy beats with lyrics that someone can actually understand and decipher in the crowd, Bastille would undoubtedly produce a different vibe from WILDs past. Admittedly, their songs do not produce the fast-paced, heart-pounding beats people might be looking for as they finish off their semester and descend into the throes of finals. Yet, Bastille would have reached out to a different audience of music listeners on campus, capturing the attention of those interested in the story music can tell and the anticipation an eclectic collection of tunes can produce. Though they have already been knocked from the list of potential performers following the second survey released early this semester, true fans never let go.
Aidy Bryant and Flume
Recently appearing on “Billy on the Street,” Aidy Bryant is a rising talent who should make a mark on Wash. U.’s campus. Any SNL member is a crowd-pleaser, and Bryant would bring a lot of cheer and charm to our stage. Although I’m not a huge fan of electronic-heavy music, I recognize the potential energy Flume would infuse into our campus. From smash hits like “Never Be Like You” to “Say It,” Flume knows good synths and beat drops to get any crowd jumping.
Anybody who’s not a white man & nobody
I’ll be honest. I’ve gone to zero comedy shows and 0.89 WILDs over my four years at Wash. U., so I’m not exactly the target audience for these surveys. I’m largely out of touch with current popular music, hate crowds—especially drunk ones—and like to go to bed early. So, it will take a particular famous pop-punk band to get me anywhere near campus during WILD. And since I would never wish a college concert on even my least favorite artists, I’m not even going to say my favorite’s name. I might be persuaded to attend the comedy show, given that this is my senior year and there’s an over 50 percent chance we’ll get someone other than the most privileged identity in the nation. But I’m not terribly well-versed in comedy apart from watching a few morning-after “SNL” clips on YouTube and seeing “Ghostbusters” (2016) four times. If it’s any of the women or men of color, I’ll drag myself down to Graham Chapel for a night of laughs from someone other than who we’re conditioned to think of as funny.
– Kat Schultz
Tove Lo and Eric Andre
In all honesty, none of the options that we were given for WILD this year made me that excited. My knowledge of pop music and culture being what it is, there’s a lot of people on this list that I haven’t heard in any actual sense. That said, I think that the best of the music and comedy options would be Tove Lo and Eric Andre, respectively.
Beginning with Eric Andre: he is crazy. For those of you not fortunate to have seen episodes of “The Eric Andre Show” yet, it brings a level of ridiculous humor to your life to the point where you question why you’re laughing so hard. Eric Andre would definitely bring that level of absurdity to Wash. U. and cause, if not mass confusion, then mass hilarity.
Tove Lo is one of the few artists on the list of possible WILD artists that I’ve actually listened to in any capacity. She brings a kind of dark pop onto the scene and has a deep passion in all of her songs. Her music has a great beat to it as well as having catchy lyrics and a unique sound. Not to mention that her music is extremely sexual, which will undoubtedly fuel the orgy on the dancefloor that I’ve been told happens at WILD every year.
– Josh Zucker