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Soulcoughing to Play On Spring Weekend

By Yaron Koren
Staff Reporter

The small-time funk band Soul Coughing will kick off Spring Weekend this year with an indoor concert on Friday, May 3.

Past Spring Concerts have featured better known college-rock favorites, including They Might Be Giants, Belly, and Sonic Youth last year.

"Soul Coughing is a dynamic and fantastic live band. They are kind of a jazz-funk-rap-beatnik type of band," said Student Center Committee member Sarah Sarvis, who is in charge of organizing the annual SSC event.

Soul Coughing has "played to packed crowds in New York clubs, as well as here in Boston at the Paradise," Sarvis said.

The concert will take place at Walker Memorial. Tickets will be $7 in advance and $10 at the door for MIT students, and $10 in advance and $12 at the door for other members of the MIT community.

Soul Coughing has released one album so far, 1994's Ruby Vroom, Sarvis said. The band also has a song on the new X-Files soundtrack album.

According to Matt H. Gold, a Newbury Comics employee, Soul Coughing plans to release a second album, Irresistible Bliss, on May 14. "It's great," he said after hearing an advance copy of the album. "People who liked them before are not going to be disappointed," he said.

It is not yet clear who will serve as the band's opening act. The co-winners of this year's Battle of the Bands, Shifty and Hello Kitty, have both been offered the spot, but neither has definitely accepted so far, Light said.

"Overall, I think Soul Coughing is a great band. People who like G. Love will dig Soul Coughing. Even people who don't like G. Love will dig Soul Coughing. They have a unique funky sound with tons of weird sound samples and interesting lyrics," Sarvis added.

Soul Coughing and SCC are still handling contract negotiations, but Sarvis said chances are good the band will be coming. "I would say count on it," she said. "We have the contract, and are waiting its approval."

Soul Coughing will charge a $3,000 flat fee, a smaller-than-average amount for a Spring Concert band.

"When we realized our budget for Spring Concert would have to be smaller than previous years, we looked for a smaller band that we still thought would put on a memorable show," Sarvis said.

The concert will have metal detectors, and no one will be admitted after 12 midnight, even with a ticket, Sarvis said. Those new rules come as a result of current MITpolicy regarding large, late-night parties.

Students not sure about the band

Overall student reaction to the announcement has been lukewarm, as many of them were not familiar with the band.

"I probably won't go. There hasn't been any publicity for" the concert, said Michelle L. Evans '99. "I'm not sure if I've ever heard of them."

Timoin H. Pervane '98 said he was sure he had never heard of Soul Coughing. But "I don't usually go to those kinds of events," he said.

"We pride ourselves in having up and coming bands," Sarvis said. "We are also trying to bring acts that would expose people at MIT to music they might not ordinarily listen to."

Concert only the beginning

The concert will not be the only activity on the slate for students. Spring Weekend regularly features other activities sponsored by various campus living groups, most of which will take place on Saturday.

Alpha Phi will be sponsoring its annual Alpha Phlea Market, featuring students offering services such as tutoring, cooking dinner and serenading, to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. All proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association.

The Sigma Chi fraternity will offer a three-on-three basketball tournament to benefit the Genesis Fund, said member Philip K. Kim '99. "We're expecting a pretty good turnout," Kim said.

Other activities will include Alpha Tau Omega's Las Vegas night, the Women's Independent Living Group's Mr. Spring Weekend contest, and a community service road race, according to Sarvis.

Sarvis said that the weekend will feature some new events, including a vegetarian food fest and a Black Theatre Guild production of "Home," both of which will take place on Sunday, May 5.