KOXY hosted its first show of the spring semester Saturday, Feb. 23 on Thorne Patio. Two bands performed in the show; Mamalarky opening and Crumb following. Despite being dark, cold and late into the night, the performers’ music and the audience’s energy livened up the show, leaving students and KOXY staff impressed.
Crumb is a Brooklyn-based four-member band that specializes in the psych-pop genre and utilizes a synthesizer, guitar and vocals. Mamalarky is another four-member band that originally formed in Austin and now resides in Los Angeles. In an interview with LADYGUNN magazine, Mamalarky’s vocalist Livvy Bennett said much of their musical inspiration come from the shifting scenery in LA.
Luis Arias (sophomore), one of the two event directors at KOXY, said Crumb was invited mainly because of their popularity among college students and because the band happened to be in the LA area around the time the show was planned. According to Arias, the selection of artists is normally a group decision within KOXY, where the event directors gather the opinions of student DJs and e-board members. Arias added that potential performers could also be discovered through online music streaming platforms such as Soundcloud or Bandcamp. Grace Haggerty (junior), the other event director, also expressed they had been loyal listeners of both bands and had long wanted to invite them to perform at Occidental.
Haggerty said that currently, less well-known artists are more suitable for KOXY’s budget.
“A lot of artists that we book are more up-and-coming just because that’s [what] our budget looks like right now. And the earlier we can get them before they get super famous, the better,” Haggerty said.
Mariana Martinez (senior), KOXY station manager, said the preparation for a performance involves more than just the work of the event coordinators who look for and reach out to the prospective artists. For example, although the promotion team’s main role is to publicize the event through posters, emails and social media, they also assisted with the show’s operation during the day of the event.
“The promotions team are involved in keeping crowd control, making sure people are enjoying themselves. Really just there to lend a hand,” Martinez said. “So it is events and tech that are the primary people running the show, but the whole team is there to make sure that runs smoothly.”
Feb. 23 just past 10 p.m., Mamalarky started the show with a few melodious and rhythmic songs. An enclosed area on the Thorne Patio was constructed before the show, which filled quickly with students as soon as Mamalarky started performing. The crowd moved with the music, and students formed small groups to chat with each other. Overall, there was an energetic and cordial atmosphere despite the temperature dropping into the forties.
At around 10:40 p.m., Crumb stepped onto the stage to deliver their unconventional, experimental but surely euphonic repertoire. Instead of leaving immediately, Mamalarky members stayed around to listen to Crumb’s performance. Crumb combined guitar, bass, keyboard and saxophone to produce a series of slightly quirky and relaxed melodies that were accompanied by gentle female vocals. Unlike Mamalarky, who played punchier beats to a faster tempo, Crumb had a softer, slower and somewhat wistful style.
The performance ended around 11:30 p.m., and audience members gradually exited the patio. Kate Grossmann (junior) expressed her appreciation for the show. Noah Pennington (sophomore) similarly praised the performers, adding that their music caters to different tastes well.
“I think the show was good. The bands were not overly experimental in their style so it can still appeal to a large number of audiences,” Pennington said.
After the show ended, Martinez expressed her satisfaction about the event.
“I think the show went great today. We had a pretty good turnout and everybody seems to be enjoying themselves,” Martinez said.