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ISSUE 120 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 11/3/2006

Lair publicity grows

By Emelie Heltsley
Staff Writer

Friday, November 3, 2006

When Andrew Foxwell '08 became manager of the new Lion's Lair last year, he had no idea that the small stage and close atmosphere would become so popular with St. Olaf students. During the 2006-2007 school year, the Lions Lair has grown in popularity, helped to increase sales in the Pause and shown the changing musical tastes of the student body.

According to Foxwell (a member of the band Posse of 5ive) and other performers in the Lair, the small stage and intimate atmosphere are main forces behind the space's charm.

"In the Lair, 20 people makes a crowd," Foxwell said.

Pete Williams '08, current manager of the Lion's Lair and member of the band Posse of 5ive, agreed.

"The Lair has an atmosphere that is totally different than the Mane Stage," he said. "It's got an up-close and personal feel, where you can actually see the audience and their reactions to the performance."

Eric Tvedt '08 has performed in the Lion's Lair several times with David Hendrix and said that the more casual atmosphere encourages less-seasoned performers to take the stage and show their talent.

"The Mane Stage is awesome, but the Lair is definitely more intimate and less intimidating for performers," he said.

Brenden Golle '08, another member of the Posse of 5ive, agreed.

"It's perfect for smaller ensembles to have a more intimate room instead of playing to the great vastness of the Mane Stage," he said.

Fox and others decorated the Lions Lair with old Pause memorabilia, posters of current bands and old records. Quiet lighting and intimate tables provide an ideal atmosphere for studying, conversation and group gatherings, according to many Lions Lair supporters.

"You can do homework while you listen to a live jazz trio," Foxwell said. "[The Lair] applies to so many things."

The Lion's Lair has given students another venue to meet and hang out.

"People really connect here," Foxwell said.

The popularity of the Lion's Lair has greatly increased since September, and students have been quick to show their support for a small, intimate space. Popular weekly nights, such as Open Mic night and Jazz night, have attracted regular attendees and have established credibility among students.

"The students' reactions have been extremely positive, and the Lair has many regular attendants," Williams said. "Everyone at the events has a good time."

Finally, the Lion's Lair has been a valuable outlet for what some have called the changing musical tastes of St. Olaf students. The Lion's Lair's atmosphere encourages less mainstream performances from artists who may not draw a large enough crowd to fill the Pause. The Lair has found its niche in attracting artists and crowds who do not fit neatly into the more popular music genres.

"[They're] not cut-and-dried like everything else," Foxwell said about the Lion's Lair performances, calling the Lair an "incubator for music."

Golle agrees, saying that all kinds of music can find a home at the Lion's Lair.

"The Lair provides a great environment for people to perform any style, genre, or medium of art," he said.

For Williams, the Lion's Lair gives diverse musical tastes an outlet.

"The Lair is the best venue to account for the growing, changing music tastes at St. Olaf," he said. "This is largely because the students dictate who plays at the Lair through contact with the Lair manager, and also because any and all students are allowed to perform at the Lair on Open Mic nights."

Foxwell agreed, saying that the Pause had "tunnel vision" in regards to bands and students' musical interests. He believes that students have found the Lion's Lair so attractive because it showcases different artists and musical tastes.

"It perpetuated an understanding to the Pause executives that a change in music was needed," he said.

Williams and Foxwell both urge students to attend Lion's Lair events and to give feedback.

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