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USC Pop: Popfest 2014 Preview

Jane Davidson |
March 27, 2014 | 5:55 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Popfest, a showcase of the USC Contemporary Music Division’s immense talent, will take over Tommy’s Place for eight hours of back-to-back jaw dropping musicians on the verge this Friday night. 

We grabbed a few quick moments with a few of the night’s stars between rehearsals, classes, and more rehearsals to get an idea of what to expect at this pop extravaganza. In the spirit of the “pop family” that the program is so famous for, they each recommended other performers to check out.

If you can’t make it to the event or you aren’t hardcore enough to handle eight straight hours of having your mind blown, Neon Tommy will be covering the event live from the first downbeat to the last standing ovation on the Entertainment Twitter.

A word to the wise: You’ll note below how quick the set times are. Blink and you’ll miss it! Don’t spend your evening crying in the corner because you came too late to see your favorite artist.


Have you played/been to Popfest in the past? How would you describe the event?

Becca Marlee (set time: 7:35-7:43 p.m.): I haven't been to Popfest before but I am super excited to go and play for my first time on Friday!

Katie Stump (set time: 8:18-8:26 p.m.): Yes I have, I played last year. PopFest is a beautiful celebration of the extraordinary talent that lives within Thornton. It's such a great event, and a really cool opportunity to enjoy the music of people you know and get exposure to some new material you may never have heard before. 

ALSO READ: USC Pop Spotlight: Katie Stump

Livia Slingerland (set time: 11:23-11:48 p.m.): I played the first Popfest my freshman year in E.F. Hutton Park (2012) - at the time my band was a trio. The event was and continues to be a great place for all of the students involved to showcase our original music and share what we've all been working on creatively while we're here at school.

Leila Milki (set time: 9:01-9:09 p.m.): I've been to all two Popfests so far, and was able to play keys in an acoustic set my Freshman year (during the inaugural event). It's been incredible getting to witness USC's versatile and unbelievable talents in a vibrant, communal setting, and I always walk away with a heightened sense of gratitude - how many people get to say that some of their favorite artists happen to be some of their favorite people as well? 

What can we expect from your set?

The Neighbors (set time: 6:09-6:17 p.m.): Our set is going to be a brief songwriter set with as much energy and stank that we can squeeze into 8 minutes of showtime.

The Skariginals (set time: 6:22-6:47 p.m.): You better be ready to move! With the Skariginals you can always expect a fun, energetic show that is geared towards the spread of positive vibes.  

Ethan Sherman (guitarist for Unctuous Rump) (set time: 5:39-6:04 p.m.) and Tyler Mann (set time: 4:14-4:38 p.m.): for Tyler Mann- great songs, huge grooves and a great time! Unctuous Rump- complete absurdity.

Dolly Spectra (set time: 7:05-7:30 p.m.): You can expect novelty sunglasses, pigtails, wild bleep bloops, ELECTRIC ROCK, mad scientists, and special surprises for the audience!

How would you describe your music in 5 words?

Dale (set time: 4:56-5:21 p.m.): Bittersweet, Quirky, Self-Conscious, Ironic, Aggressive. 

Nina Francis (singer for Normal Heights, set time: 6:52-7:00 p.m.): Vocal Harmonies, Trombone, Semi-Acoustic, Distinct

Alex Pachino (set time: 10:27-10:35 p.m.): Alex version one point oh.

JJ Bassette (set time: 5:26-5:34 p.m.): Expressive, dynamic, unpredictable, sentimental, and inspired.

Tyler Mann (set time: 4:13-4:38 p.m.): Old soul meets today's radio.

ALSO READ: USC Pop: Sophomore Showcase 2014

Who are you most excited to see perform, besides yourself?

BM: Emily Kocontes!!!

Dale: Excited to see the other acts that we're playing with, Jimmy [Villaflor]’s doing a solo set and Michael is playing with Unctuous Rump.

The Neighbors: Super excited to see The Skariginals and Aaron Childs!

TM: I am looking forward to everyones' set but I'd have to say I'm especially excited to see MUNA perform, I don't think they've done a lot of shows on campus yet so I'm excited to see what they'll do

ES: Huxlee, hands down!

KS: Devon Eisenbarger is one of my good friends, and she's playing her first ever set of solo material. I couldn't be more excited to see her finally give her incredible songs their rightful place on the stage.

AP: MUNA and Unctuous Rump for sure.

NF: I'd have to say the people that I haven't seen perform yet. So Emily Kocontes and Tyler Mann! But I'm truly excited to hear everyone.

JB: Dale and Carlton!

LS: It's probably a toss-up between MUNA and Huxlee.

The Skariginals: We are very excited to see Aaron Childs perform! Many of our members have seen his group perform before, and we look forward to dancing along to his funky tunes.

LM: I'm stoked to see everybody perform. Looking through the list and trying to pick out certain acts over others is proving to be impossible - everyone's got so much unique energy and authenticity, and I can't wait to experience it all!

DS: Unctuous Rump. I haven't seen that band in too long, and I'm eager to see what they've been up to.

The poster for Friday night's event.
The poster for Friday night's event.
Read more of USC Pop here
Reach Staff Reporter Jane Davidson here.



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