Backlash to Collegian’s Anti-Asher Column

mike_wallace_asher_roth_posterOn Tuesday, the Collegian ran a column written by Adam Clair about the failure of Penn State’s music festivals.

He specifically called out Asher Roth, saying he “is the categorical opposite of what sort of performer should be headlining a college music festival.”

Asher Roth is a guy who has exactly one song anybody has heard (His debut album dropped only yesterday, weeks if not months after the committee first sought him out.), and that one song, “I Love College,” is little more than a string of lyrics that would be easily mistakable for the Facebook statuses of a freshman frat boy.

The Collegian ran two letters in support of the column, two letters disagreeing with the column, and one letter that was just kind of tangential.

It’s a safe bet that there are a bunch more letters that didn’t get published too.

Our Thoughts

I agree with Clair’s major point– Asher Roth is a bad musician– but that’s the reason he isn’t the best choice for Wallypalooza, not because his appearance fails at “providing an atmosphere for students to learn about art.”

Robby Corrado’s Letter to the Editor outlines another question about the event.

It seems that Wallypalooza is something out of a movie like Old School, in which a student plans a concert that everyone says is doomed to fail, fights the odds, names it after himself and becomes the school legend. And on a more practical note, how is the University Park Undergraduate Association willing to shell out 60,000 dollars when, only a few weeks ago, its leaders were in Harrisburg petitioning to increase state appropriations?

Adam also asserts in his column that because Mike Wallace (the namesake of the concert) and Gavin Keirans (UPUA President) are roommates, there is a conflict of interest.

I’m not sure about that. ‘Conflict of interest’ has connotations of corruptibility. It’s not as if the money is being diverted to Dominica. Simply put, Wallace and Keirans each made a decision that spending $60,000 on another spring music festival would be a worthy expenditure.

asleep_in_bread_aisle_cdClair doesn’t disagree in theory with spending money to bring musical artists to Penn State. I don’t either– music festivals are good for schools as sources of entertainment and selling points for prospective students.

What Clair wants is artists that are more critically acclaimed. There’s nothing wrong with that–I agree with him on that point too. The choices for both Movin’ On and Wallypalooza were just not ideal.

But there’s no reason to paint Wallypalooza as a miserable failure. It’s not… or at least we don’t know if it is yet. I’m judging the event on a different metric than Adam is though.

The festival will be a success if the student body thinks it’s a success. There’s a good chance they will. Right now, Asher Roth is as popular as his lyrics are forced. In any case, no one should pass judgment on the event until next Thursday

[Check out the Facebook event for more information. Don’t expect to comment on the wall though– they disabled it. Too many haters on Roth, maybe?]

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About the Author


Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.

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