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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Side C Album Club fosters community for students to discuss music

The “book club but for albums” allows students to deepen their understanding of music through discussion and shared appreciation


By LAILA AZHAR — features@theaggie.org 


While listening to music is often a solitary activity, discussing it with others can make listeners feel more connected to their favorite songs, albums and artists. 

“Whenever I talk about music with my friends, I feel like I come away from it thinking about songs in a deeper way,” first-year neurobiology, physiology and behavioral sciences major Rania Asad said. 

Side C Album Club provides a space on campus for students to engage in these conversations. 

“The main descriptor we use is: ‘It’s like a book club but for albums,’” said Side C Club’s President and second-year biological sciences major Zoe Dueltgen. “During tabling for the involvement fair, we said that like 400 times.” 

The catchy phrase is used frequently for a reason — it’s an accurate comparison. During their biweekly meetings, the club discusses two albums, delving into the music’s history and members’ personal opinions. 

Before each meeting, club members submit album suggestions through a Google Form. The officers narrow down options to about six albums. From there, members vote on which two to discuss at their next meeting.  

Side C meetings begin with a presentation by the officers. 

“I like making the slides and coming up with whatever interesting parts I’m going to talk about,” Dueltgen said. “When I was attending meetings as a normal member, I always thought that seemed cool.”

The officers start off by discussing the artist’s background. Mihir Singh, the club’s media director and third-year statistics major, explained why this is important to their discussion. 

“In a lot of cases [the artists’] origins or how they grew up affect how the music comes out,” Singh said. 

They then move on to general information about the album, such as its musical styles, themes and accolades. 

After the officers are done presenting, they pose discussion questions, opening up the floor for everyone to express their views. To close out the meetings, they introduce albums that members will vote on, two of which will be discussed at their next meeting.

Dueltgen and Singh joined Side C as members during the 2022-23 school year, and became officers in the fall of 2023. 

“The entire board before us graduated or left,” Dueltgen said. “We inherited the club with no overlap.”

While this did initially pose a challenge, it’s also given the officers the opportunity to shape the club into what works best for them and their new members. 

This year, they’ve covered a diverse range of albums, including Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” and Tyler the Creator’s “IGOR.” 

“Sometimes it’s stuff we’re really familiar with, and sometimes it’s some random thing I’ve never heard before,” Dueltgen said. “That’s what I love about it.” 

Dueltgen cited “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” by Little Simz as an example of an album she discovered through the club. 

“I don’t listen to rap a lot on my own,” Dueltgen said. “But it was just so interesting and cinematic.” 

Through coming together as a community to explore various musicians and styles, Side C Album Club exposes students to new music and deepens their understanding of the albums they know and love. 


Written by: Laila Azhar — features@theaggie.org



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