Live from the Rat: It's Thursday Night

December 12, 2000

Erin Niebur, contributing writer

In response to students' requests for more late-night entertainment as alternatives to drinking, Tulane University Campus Programming has piloted a new event, Rising Artist Thursdays. "Bands, comedians and open-mic nights will take place every Thursday night from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.," Jenny Algarin and Sarah Risen-Robertson, organizers of the event, said in a joint e-mail.

"I had always wanted to program more for campus. I went to Sarah, told her I would like to work with her on something and together we came up with the idea of programming at the Rat," Algarin said.

Recently, there has been discussion among students and administration at forums about a lack of activities for students on campus. The new programming gives students another option for weekday nights. It is especially good for students without cars, since they do not have to leave Tulane's campus.

"We just decided there wasn't enough going on late at night for students. A lot of times, students can't get to some clubs in the city to see good musicians, so we thought it would be easier to bring them to campus," Algarin and Risen-Robertson said. The bands featured at Der Rathskeller will be both student and local and represent different genres.

One of the first bands to play as part of this program is Static, a student band that plays jazz and funk. They opened at Der Rathskeller Nov. 30.

"Our bassist talked to somebody at TUCP and the organizers. We submitted a demo tape, and they liked us," Adam Matasar, member of Static, said. "(The night we played), there was a pretty decent size crowd. People seemed like they were enjoying themselves," Matasar said. "We played for about an hour, and there was a band after us. "We're playing other places next semester, but if they asked us back, wed probably play again."

The TUCP program widened to feature not only bands but a variety of entertainment. "After a while, we decided to expand the idea to include comedians and open-mic nights. We just wanted something that not only targets students but also includes them," Algarin and Risen-Robertson said. TUCP is still looking for acts to add to its lineup.

"We haven't figured out the entire schedule. The type of music will vary greatly. We want to give the campus as much variety as possible. We really want to reach everyone," Algarin and Risen-Robertson said. The Thursday programs at Der Rathskeller will begin again Jan. 11, after winter break. Bands and comedians are not set yet, but TUCP will hand out fliers as soon as entertainment is scheduled.

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