Remember when Foss didn’t look like this?
Happy springtime at Wes! You know—almost. There’s still a week or two to go (apparently it’s in the 40s today); for now, make vicarious use of the above image, from Spring Fling (or, “Awesomerfest”) 2010.
Anyway: with names like Bear Hands, My Brightest Diamond, Dr. Dog, Duchampion, Superhuman Happiness, Bomb the Music Industry!, Caspian, Nat Baldwin, Flora and Fauna, Charles Lloyd, and The Band (sort of) on the record (for a combined ticket cost of, like, nothing), it’s been a good semester for shows.
It’s only getting better. Following is a list—obviously not exhaustive—of five spring concerts worth getting pumped for now. (I’ve particularly excluded as yet unconfirmed bookings, as well as Wes-based acts that, while undoubtedly excellent, play around campus every semester.) Click on for the list, and, as always, remember to scope out Aural Wes for excellent further coverage of the music scene at Wes.
1. Baths — Eclectic — March 23: Baths is 21-year-old LA-based producer Will Wiesenfeld, whose glitchy, mostly beat-driven 2010 debut, Cerulean, made critical waves on Pitchfork and beyond, blurring the line between Chillwave (see: Neon Indian, Washed Out), Post-Dubstep, and other Genre Titles That Make You Sound Like You Go To Wesleyan. Wiesenfeld’s CA roots also call to mind fellow Los Angeles beat guru Steven Ellison (Flying Lotus), whose last few records seem a natural starting point for Cerulean‘s most overwhelming, meticulously orchestrated moments. The album was recorded entirely in Wiesenfeld’s bedroom last year; I have no idea how it will translate to a live setting, but I’m excited to find out this Wednesday at Eclectic. Stream a few tracks here.
2. Warm Ghost — Eclectic — April 2: Speaking of woozy, hazy synths and distant, reverb-drenched vocals, this one’s a Brooklyn duo who just released its debut EP, Uncut Diamond, last month. Here are various phrases I’ve grabbed from the Pitchfork review to hint at what you’re in for: “hazy summer sunscape,” “chillwave,” “gooey, out-of-focus synths,” “Hipstamatic-tinted bliss,” “icy synth sculpters,” “general smeary, indistinct aesthetic.” Got it? Here’s a video. [Also on the bill are Saurus and The Nelsonvillains. Find out more here.]
3. Laura Stevenson & the Cans — 200 Church — April 7: Moving away from fuzzy, synth-heavy laptop-wielders, Laura Stevenson is an independent singer-songwriter known for her keyboard contributions to ska/punk group Bomb the Music Industry!, who— not quite coincidentally—just rocked WestCo just last month. The Cans, whose sophomore album, Sit Resist, comes out next month, is her other project, including (but not limited to) other members of BTMI!. You’ll be surprised—or delighted, or disappointed—to learn that it sounds nothing like BTMI!; Stevenson’s music with the Cans is largely acoustic, sparsely driven, playful folk-pop, highlighted by her voice, which merges the fey, childlike qualities of Joanna Newsom with the folkey accessibility of Feist. You can listen to a few tracks here; I recommend “Holy Ghost!,” but there’s also a Fugazi cover (!!), which shares its title with a Beatles song and never sounded much like a Fugazi song in the first place. Stevenson will be playing at 200 Church, headlining the ongoing student concert series.
4. Lightning Bolt — Eclectic — April 29: Holy cow, it’s actually happening: the brutally abrasive Providence-based noise duo (click here for a quick taste—note Brian Chippendale’s monstrous drumming) brings its infamously awesome “guerrilla gig” to Eclectic next month. (I seem to think they’ve played here in the past, but can’t find any evidence online to support this. Alums: help?) This is the violently noisy band about which Steve Albini (yes, that Steve Albini) once commented, “The best alarm clock I’ve ever had.” If all goes well, it’ll make Bomb the Music Industry!’s crowd look positively lethargic. I’ve never been so simultaneously excited and terrified for a show in my life. Click for songs.
5. Spring Fling ’11 — Foss Hill — May 5: According to the ACB, “it will be no name acts like always and we’ll all be disappointed.” Good thing the ACB’s full of shit as usual. (Cheap lolz: “u must have a really really limited knowledge of music. lemme guess: science major right?”) Wesleying’s not yet at liberty to disclose the lineup—certain supporting acts remain unconfirmed—but rest assured: we have it on good authority that the headliner won’t disappoint. Full announcement post coming soon.