Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Berkeley encounters: DeCadence

During lunch hour at Cal during the school year, crossing Sather Gate means two things: lots of student organizations handing out leaflets, and, most days, one of the many official or unofficial student a capella groups doing a concert next to the actual gate.

I haven't been on campus at the right hour in 8 years, but today leaving a meeting, I chanced upon DeCadence, a coed group, six men, six women, singing some pop songs. Nice choral blending, a little bit of vocal percussion, and varying qualities of solos (some thin and reedy, some big and brassy (which suited the outdoor location better).

DeCadence takes itself slightly less seriously than other a capella groups on campus, often wearing costumes or accessories to comical effect.

BUT for whatever reason today (I missed any intro or outro... didn't even figure out the name of the group until I played a game of "follow the links" through various Cal student club acapella groups)... they were all wearing business attire and dorky sunglasses*.

But the Business attire, combined with the haircuts of the men, meant that my brain could not avoid comparisons to everyone's favorite alum of Cornell's "Here Comes Treble":

(Ed Helms as Andy Bernard in NBC's "The Office")

So as much as I enjoy the fact that young adults spend hours practicing, performing, and touring songs in which they get to make "neer neer neer" noises to imitate the sound of electric guitars... I couldn't get out of my head today the notion (implanted there by repeated viewings of The Office) that college a capella isn't just populated with music dorks, but raving idiots destined for mid-level careers in sales)

I did enjoy their un-ironical arrangement of King Harvest's 1973 hit, "Dancing in the Moonlight," although they did have quite a bit of ironic choreography. And they had a somewhat clever parody of the Beach Boy's "Kokomo," sung as "Ber-kel-ey."

Like most college acapella groups, mp3s aren't easily available... but...
YouTube link!(KoKoMo)
YouTube link! (Dancin' in the Moonlight)

If you want to see them in focus: Wednesdays, noon, Sather Gate.

*And by dorky, I think I mean "fashionable." They look like they're all vintage 1977, but I think kids today are wearing that style now without irony.

1 comment:

Deirdre said...

Umm... Honey... perhaps you don't recall that I was in a college a cappella singing group?

grumble grumble ...