COLUMN: Program Board continues to show lack of diversity in music selection
I’ve never once been excited for a concert put on by Central Michigan University’s Program Board.
There was Chiddy Bang and the Cool Kids in the fall of 2011, but most of that excitement stemmed from having the opportunity to interview Chiddy and Xaphoon Jones, and photograph during the show.
Other than that, it’s been the same upsetting announcement from Program Board every semester’s beginning: more pop, more hip-hop or more country.
Since I arrived at CMU in the fall of 2008, I’ve patiently waited for Program Board to announce a band that catered to my tastes: rock, indie or electronic.
I’d hope that one day, maybe a few scraps of CMU’s funding could find its way toward a Midwest rock or indie band. The band didn’t have to be widely renowned; just something with loud amplifiers, distorted guitars and catchy harmonies to appeal to a different student audience.
Can I get a Phantogram or Portugal. The Man?
While my friends at Michigan State University enjoyed the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Passion Pit, I was stuck with Ke$ha’s “Get Sleazy Tour” and an underwhelming performance by Fabolous, whose DJ mistook the school for MSU.
Maybe just a bit of Beirut or Bon Iver would be nice?
My Wolverine friends enjoyed the year-round spoils of The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor along with University of Michigan’s student programming, while our university told the students to get their plaid shirts and boots ready ‘cause Rodney Atkins and Josh Gracin were coming to town.
Couldn’t we find a way to get Ratatat or Sleigh Bells?
Eastern Michigan University hosted two of the world’s most popular electronic music producers, Skrillex and Deadmau5, back in 2010.
Wouldn’t an electronic artist appeal to enough students to bring in?
Hell, even Alma College brought Maps & Atlases to their campus in the spring to perform in front of roughly 50 students. Can’t we budget them?
Through eight semesters at CMU, I’m yet to see one worthy live band or electronic artist in a university-funded major show. The upcoming semester will make it nine.
Oddly enough, some of Program Board’s smaller events in the past few years have featured creative local talent and were the most enjoyable for me.
CMU welcomed Lansing-based electronic artist GRiZ to MAINstage in 2010 before his recent growth in popularity, and student-based folk rock band Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers continually appears on campus.
With the exception of the occasional act at some of Program Board’s less-expensive venues, none of the artists that Program Board funds with a frivolous budget have ever had me thinking, “I need to see this show.”
The school offered students to come see Yung Joc, whose rap career had been “goin’ down” long before his appearance in fall of 2008 when he failed to include more than two original songs in his set list.
CMU invited students to see We the Kings and J. Cole in 2010: another pop band and, you guessed it, another hip-hop artist. The show only attracted 1,600 students and community members.
Couldn’t any somewhat recognizable electronic artist fetch at least 1,600 attendees?
I couldn’t possibly forget last year’s LMFAO concert either, where I found out that Skyblu, Redfoo and their agent alike are all above sharing a few words for a student newspaper despite having an abundance of time to stand around while an opening DJ played radio hits for over an hour.
Their performance was even worse.
I, for one, attend concerts to see innovative musicianship, instrumental talent and steadfast coordination between band members; not to see a bunch of grown men pelvic thrust in thongs at a teenage audience while yelling “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!” or something else unbearably stupid.
So upon seeing Program Board’s lineup for my final semester here in Mount Pleasant, I’ve finally accepted that I’ve waited for nothing.
Program Board will be bringing four artists to campus this fall, all of which can probably be heard on hundreds of top 40 radio stations throughout the country.
B.o.B., despite the considerable price tag he will most likely come with, is an understandable act, as the show will probably fetch significant attention from many students this upcoming semester.
But to bring another hip-hop group, New Boyz (the “z” makes them so unique,) to campus seems almost insulting to those of us who have been hoping for other genres for years.
On top of that, Program Board announced more pop bands will visit campus, namely The All-American Rejects and Boys Like Girls.
I’m sure some students who often scream “YOLO” as if it’s the world’s most clever acronym, high school girls and soccer moms alike might go ballistic over such announcements, but I wasn’t even sure I knew any songs by either of these bands or the New Boyz.
After looking them up, I’ve recognized the song titles enough to know that this is some of the dreadful, cochlea-destroying defilement often heard in hourly intervals on many public radio stations.
I guess I’ll have to come to terms with the fact that even if some students have been hearing “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects on the radio for more than three years, they still, for reasons beyond me, want to hear it again.
If by “Hell,” the band means substantial migraine headaches, then their hopes were answered by 2009.
According to college booking agency Main Stage Productions’ artist pricing list, Boys Like Girls, The All-American Rejects and New Boyz will probably cost the school anywhere from $135,000 to $165,000. While I don’t want to assume those are the prices CMU will pay, it is reasonable to believe they are in the ballpark.
And those aren’t even the expensive shows. B.o.B. will definitely leave Mount Pleasant in the fall with the biggest check.
Program Board is dishing out some serious dough for these upcoming shows, and there is a plethora of artists from alternative genres that would be available to perform for less.
So, obviously, you won’t find me at any upcoming university-funded shows, but I write this with hope that future students may enjoy a wider array of genres when it comes to university-funded concerts.
It’s not too disconcerting, but the lack of artist diversity in Program Board’s selections is something that somewhat bothers me about my stint at the university.
I just wanted to hear some goddamn guitar.
Leave a Comment
Like us on Facebook
- Marty: Hi I am searching for a Honda rear wheel hub,shaft drive (d…
- Karen Ohneck: Scott you are awesome I have known you for8 yrs. These kids …
- Samantha: Go Kirsten!!!! U are my mentor and I hope u will come back t…
- Hannah McCalister: I disagree with your statement. This was a great article and…
- Jason: Maybe it's just me, but I've never done anything this shorts…
• Is your baby graduating CMU? Place a personal greeting and photo in CM Life's Baby Graduates special pages. Download the form here
• Contact local movers in Mount Pleasant to help with all of your moving needs.
• Download Campus Cash Coupons!
• Search for local apartments
• Add your link here