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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024



Weekender: Beth Bahia Cohen wants us to understand traditional music, each other

Beth Bahia Cohen, a local musician, faculty member in the Tufts music department and assistant professor at Berklee College, has dedicated her life to the learning and teaching of violin styles across the world. On top of these goals, Cohen teaches violin traditions of the world in private lessons to students at Tufts. The Daily sat down with her on Oct. 22 to learn her story.

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The best nap room is a concert hall

I was lucky that my mom was a big opponent of attending the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s weekly concert with my dad. His job as a musicologist at the University of Hong Kong got him two free tickets to every concert, and I had the honor of filling the second seat — or more frequently dozing in it. 

Tom Petty is pictured.

‘I Won’t Back Down’: A brief history of American campaign music

“9 to 5” (1980). “High Hopes” (2018). “Y.M.C.A.” (1978). What do these songs have in common?They’ve all been used as campaign songs in recent U.S. presidential races. While the music a candidate chooses to play as they walk onstage for a campaign event may seem like a trivial detail, it can play a major role in defining the tone of their campaign.


Music department concert showcases innovative compositions featuring cactus, ladle, bike pump

The Department of Music at Tufts presented an installment of its “Tufts Composers” series in the Distler Performance Hall on Oct. 19. Titled “Might as Well, Now That We’re Back,” the variety concert was curated by Professor of Music John McDonald and featured pieces by McDonald, guest composer Julia Werntz, faculty guest composer Stephan Pennington, faculty composer and alumnus Sid Richardson, alumni Jason Coleman and Yasaman Ghodsi and eight current students.


Expect a captivating performance from Sun Salon on Friday

The local collective Sun Salon will be playing at the Fisher Performance Hall in the Granoff Music Center on Friday at 9 p.m. Sun Salon performs and records a unique combination of rapped poems accompanied by improvised jazz, and they’ve just released their first album, “Deep Space” (2023). On Oct. 17, the Daily spoke with Abraham “Abe” Brownell, the coordinator of the collective. In addition to organizing the group, Abe writes and performs poetry and plays lap steel guitar and mandolin. He also works at Tufts as the staff assistant in the Granoff main office.


Próxima Parada’s Nick Larson opens up ahead of Wednesday’s show

One of the “next stops” of Próxima Parada will be at Brighton Music Hall in Boston this coming Wednesday. The band, based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., had a boost in success after their 2019 song “Musta Been a Ghost” went viral on TikTok in December of 2022. The band, whose name means “next stop” in Spanish and Portuguese, delights in bringing their uplifting and groovy vibes all over the country.


Ellie Goulding's ‘Higher Than Heaven’ may be her ‘least personal,’ but it still holds up

Ellie Goulding’s fifth studio album “Higher Than Heaven” (2023) was released on April 7, and she described it as her “least personal” album to date — a bold claim for the artist. Her first album in nearly three years, Goulding came back swinging with this upbeat electronic body of work. Featuring 11 standard tracks and five more on the bonus edition, “Higher Than Heaven” is swift, roughly 52 minutes of ecstasy, longing and ethereality.


10 years of ‘The Way’: Ariana Grande’s career a decade later

Ten years ago, the budding Nickelodeon-actress-turned-pop-star was taking the first steps toward a lucrative music career. Ariana Grande released her first lead single “The Way” featuring Mac Miller on March 25, 2013, off her debut album “Yours Truly” (2013). The single debuted within the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, securing Grande her first career entry. Grande has since continued her streak, becoming the only artist to debut the lead single off her first six studio albums in the top 10. The only music to precede “The Way?” A standalone single titled “Put Your Hearts Up” that Grande jokingly has tried to bury in the past. In an interview with MTV, Grande said, “I still have nightmares about it, and I made them hide it [the music video] on my Vevo page.”


Why Beyoncé deserved the Grammy, part 2

Nearly three years ago, the Daily published an op-ed detailing the racism within the music industry and how it robbed Beyoncé of winning Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2017. Flash forward to this year’s ceremony and here we are again. While Beyoncé set historic records at this year’s ceremony, she was snubbed of the night’s biggest honors once again.


Boygenius makes their triumphant return

Nearly five years after its seismic self-titled EP, boygenius has returned for its indie pop crown. Made up of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, the trio was known for their rock-infused melodies and biting lyricism. Those words stung in their beauty and sincerity. Take one of their leading hits from 2018, “Me & My Dog,” in which the girl group croons, “I wanna be emaciated / I wanna hear one song without thinking of you / I wish I was on a spaceship / Just me and my dog and an impossible view.” With that sonic poetry under their belt, one would expect a grand return to the industry. And, if its three-song preview tells us anything, it’s that boygenius is coming back with a bang. 


Seasonal smash: Christmas songs rewrite Spotify and Billboard records

As Billboard has loosened the reins on its rules over recurrent songs on its Hot 100 list over the past decade, there has been a resurgence of Christmas music dominating the charts. In addition, as the magazine started counting streaming services toward chart points in 2012, older music, specifically holiday hits, has seen great success because of such chart modifications.


Spotify Wrapped 2022: Here's what happened this year

On Nov. 30, Spotify released its annual streaming report popular among listeners: Spotify Wrapped. Every year, users anticipate receiving their own personalized playlists detailing their most-listened-to 100 tracks of the year, alongside a comprehensive recap of their listening trends, top genres and favorite artists. Let’s dive into some of the highlights from this year’s Spotify Wrapped.


Taylor Swift navigates her insecurities on 'Midnights'

Taylor Swift is a mastermind; she said it herself. The effortless sonic transitions from country to pop to alternative records cement the songstress as an unwavering force in the music industry. A country legend who ushered in a new era of crossover country-pop. A pop titan who invigorated the 2010s mainstream scene. An unlikely, but welcomed, alternative experimenter who comforted the masses with quarantine albums to cling to. The groundwork was laid, and it was only a matter of time before Swift returned with her latest effort. With her milestone 10th studio album “Midnights” (2022), Swift returns to her most successful battleground: pop music.

The Setonian

On ‘The 7th Hand,’ Immanuel Wilkins seeks divine inspiration

Although he is only in his early 20s, saxophonist and composer Immanuel Wilkins has already risen to prominence as one of jazz’s brightest stars.His debut album, “Omega” (2020), released on the famed Blue Note record label and earned a No. 1 spot on The New York Times Best Jazz Albums of 2020 list. On his sophomore album “The 7th Hand,” which was released on Jan. 28, Wilkins brings together the same quartet featured on “Omega,” consisting of pianist Micah Thomas, bassist Daryl Johns and drummer Kweku Sumbry.