From The Argives: Digable Planets to Rock Spring Fling 1993

The last time Social Committee announced Spring Fling in late April, they called it a “diverse line-up.” Familiar, no? This was 1993, and underground hip hop trio Digable Planets had been snagged as the last-minute headlining act. (It all seems so 1993, too, until you remember that Digable’s lead emcee, Ishmael Butler, is now one half of hip hop collective Shabazz Palaces, which would’ve been a tight steal for Foss this month.) Opening acts included hip hop group Black Moon, Boston-based ska outfit Bim Skala Bim, and Wes band Thumpasaurus, which are all awesomely named mysteries to me. (Apparently Bim Skala Bim reunited in ’09, so go crazy, Spring Fling Committee.) (As for other acts in consideration that year, committee chair Ron Tuckman ’93 name-drops The Lemonheads, Cracker, Mudhoney, Dinosaur Jr., and Honey. Did I mention it was the ’90s?) (Still, they should’ve booked Dinosaur Jr. You’d be able to enjoy it from Summerfields.)

In other Spring Fling throwback news, I have managed to find the 1999 lineup announcement, which featured reggae legends Toots & the Maytals as headliner (beating out Bob Marley’s former band, The Wailors) and little-known indie trio Yo La Tengo as an opening act:

If you make it to the end of the article, you’ll find the price tag attached to YLT that year: $2,000. That’s less than a tenth of the $21,000 allocated to Social Committee that year, which, the committee chair mentions, wasn’t enough to score Medeski, Martin & Wood. Apparently there was still some confusion over the NJ-based opener:

Although many people on campus have heard of Yo La Tengo, some misinterpret the band’s music based on its name. To clear things up, Mira Nena, the winner of February’s Battle of the Bands, will be the only Latin band playing on Foss Hill on May 6.

As Monica Coquoz ’01 sums it up in the article:

“I don’t really know the bands, but I’ve heard people say that Yo La Tengo is good. And who doesn’t like Reggae?”

For more ’90s Spring Fling history, see this post about the 1995 lineup (De La Soul plus Sun Ra Arkestra) and hopeful 1996 lineup (Fugees, The Roots). Also, the only time in recent memory that a university dean has overruled a Spring Fling booking: Mighty Mighty Bosstones in 1994. Here’s a horribly incomplete list of recent lineups:

  • 2012: Big KRIT, MiMOSA, Chairlift, Nicolas Jaar, Peace Museum
  • 2011: Ghostface Killah/Raekwon, The Walkmen, Wavves, Flora & Fauna
  • 2010: Big Boi, Dirty Projectors, Black Lips, Linus
  • 2009: Santigold, Clipse, King Khan and the Shrines [these acts were booked to play; the show was canceled immediately following the shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10]
  • 2008: GZA, The Hold Steady, The Cool Kids
  • 2007: TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Project Pat
  • 2006: Talib Kweli, Andrew W.K., Red Wire Black Wire
  • 2005: Cee-Lo, Deerhoof, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, MGMT
  • 2004: Ghostface Killah, Soulive, ESG, Monsters of Rock
  • 2001: Biz Markie, De La Soul, Trans Am, Illegalize
  • 1999: Toots and the Maytals, Yo La Tengo, the X-ecutioners, the High Life Band, Mira Nena
  • 1995: De La Soul, the Sun Arkestra, cub, the Prophets of Soul
  • 1994: George Clinton and P-Funk (and apparently not Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
  • 1993: Digable Planets, Bim Skala Bim, Black Moon, Thumpasaurus
  • 1991: Phish???

Fill in the blanks, alums.

11 thoughts on “From The Argives: Digable Planets to Rock Spring Fling 1993

  1. naughts

    2002: headliner was The Roots. Wesleyan hip hop band Illegalize opened in 2001 and I heard they were mostly freshman at the time. What ever happened to them?

    1. naughts

      and in ’03 I believe it was slum village (including J Dilla RIP). Cyro Baptista was in there somewhere possibly in 03 as well.

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