Isaac Brown

Isaac Brown is a senior, an English major and an arts editor for the Tufts Daily. He can be reached at [email protected]

Pop Filter: The learning cliff

Many people tell me that they really want to get started arranging, but that pesky learning curve is like trying to learn Dwarf Fortress. If you want to have an easier time getting started out, here’s a few things I recommend you do: Learn music theory. A good way to get started with that is […]

Pop Filter: Based Basses

Bass lines matter. In pop music, especially, we look for the bass line to tell us how to get into the groove of the song, and that holds true for a cappella. Even when the other harmonies are off engaging in some rhythmic shenanigans, the bass continues to ground the group in the correct key […]

Pop Filter: Highly questionable advice

I get a lot of people who hear my a cappella group perform for the first time asking me how I take a song people grew up singing and convert it into something that echoes the original, but at the same time sounds completely different. There’s nothing glamorous or exciting about the actual arranging process itself; it’s […]

Pop Filter: You love being manipulated

As with any art form, one of the primary goals is emotional manipulation. Manipulation is a dirty word that suggests an imbalanced power dynamic, but that’s what artists are trying to do — they alter your mind from its current state to a new one. Perhaps looking at a work by Picasso from 1904 gives […]

Tom Clancy’s The Division’ beta dragged down by iterative gameplay

Tom Clancy’s name has been thrown into the titles of so many thriller novels and video games of varying quality that it has become a red flag for mediocrity, and its inclusion in the title of “The Division” doesn’t help matters. “The Division” is an open-world third-person shooter with role-playing game elements set in New York […]

Pop Filter: Managing the vocal assembly

Student-run organizations are peculiar microcosms of American democracy: you’ve got your presidents, your vice presidents, secretaries and treasurers, and all are determined to ensure that a group can function well both internally and externally. The larger the organization, the more power becomes concentrated in fewer hands, and the more removed individual members feel from their elected officials. […]

Pop Filter: Requiem for a Nightmare

Sometimes I get a flash of inspiration at three in the morning, and I can’t stop myself from punching note after note into the software until what I hear through my earphones matches what’s emanating from the overflowing file cabinets of my imagination. A few finely-crafted measures later, the roosters are crowing in harmony with […]

A cappella: choir for millennials

A cappella is choral ensemble for millennials, according to my extended family who refer to my cappella group as a “chorus.” They aren’t completely off the mark, but I hesitate to correct gram and gramps to inform them that a cappella is not simply choral music minus the piano. Pedantry has no place at the dinner table […]

Key Change

For a school with a thriving a cappella presence, home to some of the most well-known collegiate groups in the nation, there is surprisingly scant information to be found at Tufts about what being in such a group entails. We hear about upcoming performances, albums, tours and community service collaborations, but that’s just the tip of […]

‘Duelyst’ could be the ‘Hearthstone’ competitor we’ve been waiting for

“Hearthstone” (2014) has run virtually unopposed in the casual CCG (collectible card game) genre since its release, with primary competitors like “Magic: The Gathering” (1993 – present) being far less accessible due to its steeper learning curve and a visually-uninspired video game version. Now that Hearthstone’s barriers to entry have risen substantially, the time is […]