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ISSUE 120 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/6/2006

Thursday evenings with The Board of Regents

By Whitney Hills
Copy Editor

Friday, October 6, 2006

Seating was scarce in the Lion's Lair Thursday evening as students crowded in to hear the first performance of newly formed jazz trio The Board of Regents. The Board is comprised of Joey Kantor `07 on keyboards, Christy Mooers `08 on upright bass and Brett Bullion `07 on drums.

The trio's set included standard jazz by Ornette Coleman, Brad Mehldau and McCoy Tyner, but it also incorporated covers of more modern electronica and pop, such as Autechre and Duster.

"The idea is that we just let stuff find a new life-light by employing a piano trio instrumentation to electric and pop stuff," Kantor explained. This unorthodox cocktail of genres ran a sonic gamut from energetic to melancholy, but remained consistently engrossing.

Although many students had hauled their respective stacks of homework into the Lair before the show, they left their books and calculators untouched as focus unanimously and unwaveringly shifted to the tiny stage. The Lair's dim lighting and cozy dimensions, along with the musical chemistry, fostered a decidedly more intimate setting than that found in the Pause.

"The Pause is, admittedly, quite large and cold in aesthetic," Kantor said. "We wanted the vibe to be chill and relaxed and intimate, and the Lair fits. It would be just great if we could get a real upright piano instead of having to have me play electric, because that would add a lot to the aesthetic we're going for."

All three on The Board are also members of St. Olaf's Jazz I ensemble, and they decided to form a trio earlier this year. Kantor considers their performances to be "more or less an excuse for us to get together to play, rehearse and get better as musicians while having a fun Thursday evening jazz vibe."

As for the band's pert nomenclature, Bullion said it was inspired "by [electronic band] Boards of Canada. And we know a lot of regents. Thus, Board of Regents." Calling themselves the "St. Olaf Band" was also considered among the possibilities, but they "thought that might be a little bit risky."

Although only The Board performed on Thursday, they are part of a larger musical series in the Lion’s Lair which will extend through November. Future shows include assorted Twin Cities groups like Burnsville (the collaboration between Bullion, Chris Smalley and a large pile of electronic hardware) on Oct. 19. Jazz trio Fat Kid Wednesdays, which includes J.T. Bates (Anthony Cox Trio, Poor Line Condition), Adam Linz (Gloryland Ponycat, FKG) and Mike Lewis (Happy Apple, Electric Bill), will be playing at the series' final installment on Nov. 16.

The Board of Regents and any accompanying acts play fortnightly on Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Lion's Lair.

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