During the stereotypical undergrad experience that exists only in our imagination because we went to Nerd University, Spring Fling was two solid days of unabashedly jammin’, weed-fueled party time. Sophomore year we would get Ben Harper; junior year we'd get Mos Def; freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years we'd get the Roots. Those times were characteristic of the whole college experience: a beautiful, sheltered period when we were free to spend days in the library following our muse no matter where in our MP3 collection it took us.
Then we went to work at a big-city magazine with a corporate imperative toward hipness, and now we hardly remember what things were like in the days when we could mention that we liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers without getting a dirty look from our boss, who only listens to Swedish electronica. Thus we were greatly disturbed to read that spring fling at Columbia University will not include Mos Def, Ben Harper, or even the two and a half stars of the Black Crowes. Columbia’s spring concert will, instead, feature Brooklyn indie titans Grizzly Bear and the National. Nothing against those bands … it’s just that they’re so cool and critically acclaimed. And if kids as young as 18 are starting to worry about that kind of thing now … then who’s going to come with us to see Pearl Jam at Bonnaroo this summer? —Ben Mathis-Lilley