Kuncocshun Preview: Soap Rock

This year’s Kuncocshun — Sixth College’s contribution to the spring quarter festival mayhem — is made for the ladies. Brown-eyed heartthrobs you’ve probably heard on your favorite TV melodrama (i.e. “Grey’s Anatomy” and “One Tree Hill”) will be headlining the event this Friday, and within steps of the stage you’ll find free chocolate, sorbet and cotton candy — the perfect recipe for a lonely heart.

THE HEADLINERS

Tyler Hilton

The CW sure likes its music. The network hocks indie rock finds at the end of every episode, its characters vomit references to their favorite bands and its stars ditch their respec- tive melodramas for music careers of their own (Taylor Momsen’s the Pretty Reckless is the worst of the bunch). The seemingly never-ending “One Tree Hill,” however, has one pretty face with a voice worth men- tioning. Tyler Hilton, who once played the cocky singer-songwriter Chris Keller on the teen soap, was an artist before he landed the CW job in 2004. After 16 episodes he ditched the show to focus on his music career — and land a part as Elvis Presley in the Oscar-winning “Walk the Line.” For his headlining gig at this year’s Kuncocshun, expect the heartthrob to grace Warren Field with his brand of pursed-lipped crooning. With a penchant for heart-melting melodies and acoustic plucking, Hilton’s often com- pared to fellow singer-songwriters Howie Day and Ryan Adams.

— Arielle Sallai

Greg Laswel

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From his tame, fedora-toting scruffiness to his catalogue of affecting radio ballads, Greg Laswell has devoted himself fully to his brand of Chicken Soup for the Soccer Mom’s Soul acoustic rock. Songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” a solemn, piano-driven re-imagining of the Lauper classic, sound as though they might reinforce a tearful goodbye on any number of television melodramas. And they have. The San Diego native has gained increasing critical attention since 2007 as his bittersweet melodies have graced the soundtracks of TV’s premier romdrams, including “The Hills,” “True Blood” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” as well as some feature films such as “My Sister’s Keeper” and “Confessions of a Shopaholic.” With only four studio albums under his belt, Laswell has clearly met unprecedented success in establishing him- self as a decisive singer/songwriter to watch.

— Ren Ebel

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