A Quickie With … The Girls Next Door

Contrary to the indie-rock, indie-folk, hip-hop and jam-band scene that’s much cultivated at The Canopy Club, the venue will change its tune this Friday as an a cappella group will be showcasing its talents with a biannual cabaret show. This high-class event will be put on and performed by the student-run Girls Next Door (yes, all of them are your neighbors from childhood whom you just couldn’t muster up the courage to say hello to), an a cappella group that will razzle and dazzle you until the very last note. buzz caught up with business manager of the group, Hannah Newman, who let us know everything we’ve always wanted to know about what happens next door:
buzz: How many girls can you have in Girls Next Door?
Newman: We now have 10, but it always used to be nine — well, it used to be eight, actually. They wanted to differentiate between the other girls’ groups. It’s a very different sound compared to having a lot of girls. Plus, we sing a lot of different genres, where the other groups sing more pop and rock. We do a lot of jazz stuff, and it gets a lot harder to do those tight jazz chords when there are a lot of people, so we always wanted to have a smaller group.
buzz: Do you have any shows coming up?
Newman: We have a big show on Friday, Oct. 24 at The Canopy Club. It’s our cabaret show. Each girl sings two songs with the band [named Honey Honey], and we do a cappella between songs, kind of like transition songs. It’s cabaret style, so it’s very relaxed; we set up tables, and it’s got a lounge-y feel. It’s only our second time doing this, and it was probably our biggest show last year; we had over 200 people.
buzz: Do you have many shows per year?
Newman: We have four big shows every year. We have our winter and spring shows at Lincoln Hall, then our Canopy shows. With the smaller shows, it averages out to a show a week. We do a lot of little University shows; sometimes we do charity events too.
buzz: How do you choose your songs?
Newman: It’s our director’s sole responsibility in the end [Marie Lemke, junior at the U of I]; they have the final say technically on what songs we do, but it really comes down to who wants to arrange the songs. We arrange all of our music on our own, or we pull from files of girls who were in the previous group, so they’re all arranged by us or for us by friends.
buzz: Have you arranged any songs for this year?
Newman: I arranged “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley; we just finished learning it. I’m really excited, it was the first one I arranged. When I got to hear everyone singing it, it was the coolest thing ever because I worked on it for so long.
buzz: Do you have any plans of recording?
Newman: This year, we’re going to record a whole album. Nobody in the group currently has ever been on a Girls Next Door album, and there are six or seven of them. We’re starting to record Oct. 30. For this album, since we learn songs throughout the year, recording will have to be sporadic; we hope to release it in April.
The show begins at 6:30 on Friday, Oct. 24 at The Canopy Club. Advanced tickets can be purchased through Hannah and the girls for $5, or it’s $7 at the door. Bring your parents, grandparents, friends and especially your neighbors.

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