To help get the Golden Bears back into the swing of things as the new semester approaches, ASUC SUPERB has once again organized a killer set of events for its “Welcome Week.” Over the course of the first four weeks of school, students can take a break from the books to check out live music and early screenings of yet-to-be-released films. With a reputation for booking top talent, SUPERB recently announced its next big headliner TOKiMONSTA, the rising music producer known for her genre-bending ear-candy electronica. In the later weeks, SUPERB also plans to bring the scare early this year with screenings of the upcoming horror flicks “Rings,” from “The Ring” series, and “Get Out,” from creator Jordan Peele of “Key & Peele.” UC Berkeley can be overwhelming, but when we come together to share some dance moves or tremble together at a movie screening, the rigor of course loads at this school don’t seem so bad.
— Kyle Kizu
Spring Welcome Concert ‘17
When: Jan. 20 @ 9 p.m.
Where: Pauley Ballroom
The main event of ASUC SUPERB’s welcome week, The welcome concert for this spring has finally been slated, and the artists revealed will prove to be an incredible treat for electronic and dance music fans.
Opening for the event is MNTRA, a California native who has thrived on the idea of “universal sound.” Growing up, MNTRA adored Indian classical music, a love that pushed him to explore more sounds of India as well as those of England, South Africa and both SoCal and NorCal. Utilizing those diverse influences, MNTRA should offer bass-heavy beats that will perfectly set the sweaty dancefloor of Pauley Ballroom.
The headliner for SUPERB’s Welcome Week concert for Spring 2017 is producer and DJ Jennifer Lee, who performs under the moniker TOKiMONSTA. Lee is a disciple of Los Angeles’ scene-defining electronic label Brainfeeder, founded by Flying Lotus, and she’s the first woman to be signed onto the label. It’s an honor that must not be taken lightly; making waves both on a scene as inventive and prolific as the one in LA and in the larger, predominantly male-oriented electronic music subculture requires an impressive output.
TOKiMONSTA is a tastemaker in her own right, a musician whose work is so effortlessly cool that she can stamp any track with her own singular aesthetic. It’s clear in the UC Irvine graduate’s choice of collaborators — her 2014 drop Desiderium showcased a young Anderson .Paak on the brink of his critical and public breakthrough. That’s not to mention the remixes she’s done, where she obliterates any semblance of genre division on tracks like young gun Lil Uzi Vert’s Pokémon-cribbing “Team Rocket,” R&B ingenue Tinashe’s party staple “2 On” and even alt-rock stalwart Beck’s “Wow.”
There’s a classical, old-fashioned influence that runs through TOKiMONSTA’s work — plucked strings, piano scales, dusty guitars — that adds texture and feeling to even her most roaring bangers. For reference, look to “Put it Down,” her latest link-up with Anderson .Paak, which marries a head rush of a breakdown with a tense pizzicato, or “The Beginning,” an anthemic instrumental constructed with orchestral pomp and gauzy electronica.
TOKiMONSTA’s live shows are the perfect salve for the inevitable first-week slump, but Jan. 20 carries an even larger weight. It’ll be a day with plenty of mixed feelings, but TOKiMONSTA herself puts it best. “Let’s celebrate ourselves and leave the inauguration drama somewhere else,” she tweeted Monday.
— Joshua Bote & Kyle Kizu
When: Feb. 1 @ 7 p.m.
Where: Shattuck Cinema
Easily one of the most iconic images in the history of the horror genre, the girl with the long black hair who kills you seven days after watching her movie will return for yet another film. Set many years after the events of the original stories told in “The Ring” and its immediate sequels, “Rings” picks up with Julia (Matilda Lutz) as she offers herself to save her boyfriend from the mysterious, scary girl, unearthing a new layer to the age old legend — there is a video within the original video that has never been discovered until now. On Feb. 1, Berkeley students will have an opportunity to see the new “Inception”-esque take on the Japanese-based story two days before the film opens in theaters. And with indie director F. Javier Gutiérrez at the helm, Vincent D’Onofrio (“Daredevil,” “Jurassic World”) co-starring and Oscar-winning scribe Akiva Goldsman co-writing the script (“A Beautiful Mind,” “I Am Legend”), “Rings” should be worth the trip to Shattuck Avenue.
— Kyle Kizu
When: Feb. 9 @ 7:30 p.m.
Where: UA Berkeley 7
What’s scarier than creepy deer skeletons, vaguely hostile hypnosis and menacingly arranged surgical instruments? Meeting your partner’s parents, of course! In Jordan Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out,” Chris and his girlfriend Rose, played by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams, respectively, take a weekend trip to visit her parents’ estate. But when Chris notices the recent disappearances of people of color and the unease of Rose’s parents, he uncovers a deep web of hostility toward his interracial relationship. “Get Out” is the latest film in a recent spate of unconventional horror films, including “It Follows” and “The Witch,” which rely on original premises rather than horror tropes to scare audiences. What separates “Get Out” from the rest, however, is its horror narrative and satirical stance centered on American race relations. In this sense, knowing that the film’s horror doesn’t end as the credits roll makes “Get Out” all the more terrifying, and even necessary. Peele is chameleonic on “Key and Peele,” seamlessly assuming multiple identities like President Obama and A-a-ron. With “Get Out,” Peele should take on the identity of director with comparable ease.
— Harrison Tunggal
Contact the Daily Cal Arts Staff at [email protected].