No Man is a Swan Island.

A Biased Account of the First Official Party of the Year
By the Cooperative Council for a Non-Wack Social Scene
20060915-noman1.jpgPhotos by: Kari Thompson

In an age of automatically locking doors with 30 second alarms, campus wide crackdowns reminiscent of the war on drugs, and a segregation between entering and older students that feels all too intentional; sometimes it seems like a party is all we need to inspire some campus wide solidarity. Last Thursday night first years got their first taste of the ritual beast that is the Antioch party. It was a balmy full moon night, and the mood was calm at first, but Prince and Michael Jackson soon got people on the dance floor. First years came and went as they bounced between their dorm rooms to clandestinely pound alcohol, and the dance floor where they were seen cavorting and trying out new and exciting dance moves. First year student Walid was seen impressing hordes of ladies with his fancy footwork. First year student Mariel was quoted as saying “ I felt a little awkward at first, people always dance in circles and sometimes those are hard to infiltrate. But then I really feel like I hit my groove, I had a great time. I got to make out.�

Smoke hung heavy in the air, and the bar hung heavy with one-dollar drinks available only to those students bearing over 21 proof of age. Several students were seen lurking near by with empty drinks in hand ready for refills like truck drivers at an interstate truck stop. It is commonly regarded that this new “crackdown� on underage drinking on campus is creating a drinking culture that is dishonest and criminalized. Younger students are encouraged to hide out in their rooms, drinking fast and hard as opposed to having it be an open practice where they will be exposed to older students who might serve to encourage responsible and open drinking. First year Frank said “Usually when I go to a party people are dancing crazily. It seemed a little chiller here at Antioch. People were just swaying. I don’t really care either way. It was nice that Antioch cared enough to bring a band.� These reporters found it ironic that after trash talking weak American beer an unnamed international transfer student was twice seen falling on her face.

The new alcohol enforcement policy didn’t stop people from seeking channels for uninhibited fun, and student’s experiences varied throughout the night. First year student Eddie was quoted as saying; “It was fun, I didn’t go to listen to the music, I just kind of hung out with people, there was a happening little party on the stoop. Where… absolutely nothing was going on. Maybe a skunk died near by.� Another first year student Preston was drawn to the party for the music, he told us; “I didn’t dance… but I don’t really like to dance. I liked that they were form Oregon, and they came all the way here. It made me feel like I wanted to go listen to some Indie music or something. The night had a nice vibe. I liked that it was an indie band, and not some hippie band with ring makers and sitars.� Emma Emmerich says “(She) went for the social scene, not specifically for the music. But I enjoyed dancing with people. I really thought the energy of the party was very positive, and uplifting and it made me excited for parties to come. I liked seeing all the dresses. I’d like to see more dresses on guys, but I understand…� An anonymous partygoer was heard screaming “It’s my own life, let me live it!� In true Antioch fashion an after hours mud wrestling party topped off the evening, and many first and transfer students retreated to the safety of the Spalt second floor balcony to socialize and process the night’s events.

The evening peaked when Swan Island, the reason for the night’s merriment took the stage. They brought with them their Queer core energy, a DIY ethic, and rocking stage presence inspiring devoted fandom from the young hopefuls at Antioch looking to fuck their way to underground stardom. An anonymous older student was quoted as saying “I had to change my pants twice, it was like a Prince song all over my thighs.�

20060915-noman2.jpgSwan Island hails from Portland Oregon, also known for it’s dark beer, good coffee, and large population of street kids. Swan Island self describes as “End-of-the-world-music�. In an interview they described the night as “Mag=ic�. Their accessible sound is reminiscent of a friendlier, more attractive Black Sabbath with hints of Sleater-Kinney. Singer Brisa has a entrancing alto, which has a very thick and distinctive sound, as well as an inviting and charismatic stage presence. You can learn all about them by checking out their MySpace page at www.myspace. com/swanisland. If you didn’t pick their record up at Thursday night’s show, it is called The Centre will Hold and will be out on Holocene records on October 24th. The title comes from a W.B. Yeats quote that says “the center will not hold� but the band is more hopeful.

In summation we leave you with our mission statement: We are everywhere, we see all, and we aren’t scared to report on it. If you fall down, we will write about it, if you vomit on your pants we will write about it. We seek the truth, we are avengers of justice, we like good beer and good conversation. We are sex positive, we support the abolishment of social hierarchies, we want a good time for all. We are the cooperative council for a non-wack social scene.