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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • 9:10 am

WPTS Radio hosts Snowed-In Showcase featuring Pittsburgh acts Rainclashh, Moontown and James Castle

Moontown%2C+one+of+Pitt%E2%80%99s+student+groups%2C+performs+during+the+WPTS+Snowed-In+Showcase+on+Friday+in+Nordy%E2%80%99s+Place.
Patrick Swain | Contributing Editor
Moontown, one of Pitt’s student groups, performs during the WPTS Snowed-In Showcase on Friday in Nordy’s Place.

WPTS Radio outreach assistant station manager Andrew Klepeis said the station’s relationship with local artists helps bring local Pittsburgh music to campus.

“We have like a pretty big repertoire of bands that we can pull from, either bands that have played live shows before or we just know them, or perhaps they’ve played shows around Oakland, and we’re just familiar with them,” Klepeis, a senior political science major, said.

WPTS, Pitt’s student-run radio station, hosted their Snowed-In Showcase at Nordy’s Place in the William Pitt Union on Friday night. The event featured local Pittsburgh bands and artists Rainclashh, Moontown and James Castle. WPTS hosts an annual winter showcase, and this year Klepeis helped organize the event for the station. The promotion staff, led by promotions director Mina Beach, booked the three artists who performed at the event. 

Students filled Nordy’s Place, some coming and going, but most staying for the whole show. Free slushies were available, a treat that was a hit with all that attended. At the entrance to Nordy’s Place, WPTS set up a table for audience members to purchase band merchandise. Rainclashh, who performed first, is a rapper and DJ. She had an upbeat energy, playing original songs and a few covers. She cited Rihanna as a musical inspiration, which was evident by her covers of the artist’s songs.

The second act to perform was the band Moontown. Moontown consists of five members — lead and rhythm guitarists, a bass guitarist, a keyboardist and a drummer. The lead singer, Lucas DiBlasi, was not alone in his vocals, accompanied by harmonization from his bandmates. 

DiBlasi said the band is a product of the Pitt Afropop class bringing them together.

“Dom [Frankeny], Mike [Stolarz] and I met at class and I was recording songs for the music composition major at Pitt and I sent one to Mike and he was like, ‘Whoa, we got to make this a band,’ and then we were looking for a bassist and then Mike knew James [Rankin], and James’s roommate was Aidan [Carroll], and it just kind of came together,” DiBlasi said

The band started playing basement shows in Oakland but now play at larger venues. Moontown, self-described as “dream rock,” played a new song called “Fall Again” during their set, giving students a first listen. 

DiBlasi said the show gave a sneak peek into Moontown’s future releases. 

“We also are coming out with an album in mid February and are going to have an album release show,” DiBlasi said. “It’s called ‘Are There Any Places That You Frequent In Your Dreams,’ and it’s coming out February 16.”

The third and final band to perform at the showcase was James Castle. The band performed an abrasive, high-energy brand of rock, with shoegaze, punk and hardcore influences. 

First-year biology major Cassandra Scripkunas said Castle delivered her favorite performance of the showcase.

“I think it was very vibey,” Scripkunas said. “[My friend] told me about it, she’s on the radio. I think [James Castle] was my favorite because they were more rock.”

Castle’s performance was full of energy and got the crowd moving. The sound system on the Nordy’s stage momentarily experienced some feedback issues, but the event continued smoothly. 

Klepeis said he has high hopes for future WPTS radio music showcases. He and other WPTS directors hope to employ some new ideas they learned at the College Broadcasters Conference in Florida earlier in the semester.

“I think we’re going to have another showcase in February. That’s kind of more Valentine themed,” Klepeis said. “There’s gonna be a lot happening in spring. We’re gonna be booking a Bigelow Bash opener, which I’m excited to find out… we went to the College Broadcasters Conference in October, and we met a bunch of people from other radio stations and we got so many new, cool ideas and we might even be working with some other college radio stations, not locals, but in western PA.”

The event took around two hours in total, and the breaks between bands were no longer than a few minutes, so the music was in full swing all night. Klepeis also expressed admiration for James Castle’s sound.

“James Castle is more of [a] harsher [sound], more straight-up rock, kind of noisier,” Klepeis said. “They’re probably my favorite of the three, but that’s just my opinion.”

About the Contributor
Quinn Cilea, Staff Writer
Quinn Cilea is a junior English fiction writing and film and media studies major with a minor in Italian. He loves watching Chelsea, playing soccer and rock climbing. If he’s not out doing one of these things, he’s probably working through his long TV and movie watchlist or working on a music playlist.