By Emily Gold Boutilier / January / February 2003
June 22nd, 2007
Since October, when the administration banned alcohol from the Underground after incidents of underage drinking, the scene at the only campus bar with live rock music just hasn’t been as lively. But now, at least, the sounds of the Underground are available at home, where you can listen to them with your beverage of choice.

Chase Hogoboom ’03, an economics concentrator, has put together a CD of eleven original tracks by seven Brown artists. “These are the bands that play in the Underground, the guys that show up on Wednesday nights,” he says. Called Bruno’s Best, the compilation sells for $10 (

In some ways, Hogoboom seems an unlikely choice to save the Brown music scene. He wears preppy button-down shirts and neatly pressed pants, and he has little patience for what he calls “a musician’s sensibility.” “College kids to begin with are not responsible or reliable,” he says with an exasperated smile, confiding that some band members missed appointments at the studio or disappeared for weeks on end. “Dealing with musicians is just the biggest nightmare I can ever imagine!”

Still, he’s a loyal fan, and the CD reflects Hogoboom’s enthusiasm for Brown-bred rock. “Through him we kind of got a foot in the door at the studio,” says Dan Spring ’03, whose band, Lush, contributed the song “I Know.” Listening to each track, you can almost taste the foamy beer and feel the crowd in the bar. The first song is the catchy “Queen Skin,” a demo track by the band Paradaem, which has since cut its own CD. Vocalist Christopher Tower O’Donnell ’04 hopes inclusion on Bruno’s Best will increase Paradaem’s fan base.

Hogoboom began work on the CD as part of an independent study project, months before the no-alcohol policy was instituted. Realistically, he says, the CD’s likely buyers will be alumni, prospective students, and parents—most students, he acknowledges, are more likely to burn a friend’s copy or download the songs. He hopes to use proceeds to promote music at Brown, possibly by sponsoring a festival of student bands.

What do you think?
See what other readers are saying about this article and add your voice. 
Related Issue
January / February 2003