Easily distracted Internet musings on Friday night’s psychedelia.
Opening up WESU’s much-hyped Spring Concert Series with a fuzzy bang full of wha-wha guitars and freaky visuals, Connecticut’s The Stepkids performed on Friday night in what may be the most psychedelic happening at the Memorial Chapel since the Už Jsme Doma performance in 2010. In the spirit of an old-school Wesleying tradition that has lain dormant for too long, we’re reviewing the show in the form of a Wesleying staff Gchat session. Eventually it devolves into a reflection on Linus, sausage grinders, and Scott Brown’s porn career, because obviously that happens. Read on anyway.
Photos below by me and Goatmilk.
Zach: so did any of you catch the opening acts?
Zach: I didn’t.
izmasterflex: i was there for sidewalk dave
Zach: I think Sidewalk Dave is an awesome rapper name, tho. (He is a rapper, right?)
izmasterflex: haha no
izmasterflex: it was rockish stuff
izmasterflex: really great though
izmasterflex: they are from connecticut
Tuna: Dave told me, Fuzzball and Jesse Brent ’13 that learning is important no matter how you do it. He also said he loved the word “boogie.”
Fuzzball: He gave me a shirt and a CD for $1 (total, not each)!!! I don’t know if anyone caught what he said about his shirts, but he silkscreens them himself on shirts he gets from Goodwill.
Zach: alright, let’s talk about Stepkids.
izmasterflex: what did you guys think?
Zach: I was convinced it was a cosmic portal to 1967.
beccahope: It was almost as trippy as this electronic organ concert I went to in the Chapel my freshman year. Almost.
izmasterflex: all the graphics were very cool
Zach: I don’t think any concert has ever been as well-suited to the acoustics of the Chapel.
izmasterflex: do you think the chapel was a good venue?
pmyers: the guitarist liked to play with his effects pedal
pmyers: some of the best concerts are in the chapel
Zach: the way it echoed off the walls was very stimulating.
Goatmilk: their outfits reminded me of pete townsend circa 1972
Zach: That Uz Jsme Doma show comes to mind.
beccahope: when was that?
Zach: September 2010
pmyers: i will never forget that show
Zach: It was the same night as Pulp Fiction, so it was a really weird crowd that went to that show instead.
Zach: My most vivid memory is Harry Ray [Ezratty '13] yelling, “How do you say FUCK YEAH in Czech?”
Goatmilk: hmm, I didn’t go to Pulp Fiction, so I have no idea what I was doing that night, I remember very specifically deciding against it though
Pmyers: there was some really intense moshing and this really fat old guy who kept like bouncing people off his beer belly
Zach: I liked how Stepkids wore matching scientist costumes.
Goatmilk: yup or pete townsend straitjackets
izmasterflex: they were saying something about wearing asronaut helmets sometimes?
Zach: I also liked the guitar player on the left who kept randomly doing Prince falsetto things into the microphone at opportune times.
Goatmilk: oh yeah the last time they came here apparently they were wearing astronaut helmets?
Zach: it was what it sounds like when doves cry, according to Prince.
Goatmilk: I never knew if he was being demonstrative when he sang that
Goatmilk: like THIS is what it sounds like when doves cry, or if he was talking about the other part of the song
Zach: there were lots of Middletown people there, but none of them went to the front and danced.
izmasterflex: oh no
izmasterflex: one breakdanced
Zach: I saw lots of students groovin;
izmasterflex: it was fun to be at a concert with not just wesleyan students
Zach: a little bit of (family-friendly) grinding.
Goatmilk: oh yeah the guy who just suddenly started breakdancing was crrrrazy
Pmyers: there were a lot of young people there who may or may not have been students
Goatmilk: yeah I thought some of the younger people in the very front were middletown people
izmasterflex: this is the first of three concerts that wesu is putting on, and the other two will also be open to middletown residents/anybody
Pmyers: i think more concerts should be open to any/every body
Zach: there lots of bureacratic stuff that gets in the way of it.
Pmyers: like it must be annoying to live here and have all these concerts you can’t go to
Zach: well, you can if you’re Anthony Fantano.
Zach: and befriend random Wes students.
Goatmilk: yeah! I kind of didn’t realize a lot of them weren’t open to middletown residents
Zach: I wish Michael Roth ’78 made cameos at more concerts.
Zach: his dancing at The Mash thing was iconic.
Goatmilk: it’s not like we’re hosting huge bands every month that would cause enormous crowds if middletown residents showed up
Goatmilk: it was legendary
izmasterflex: he could bring his friends that live in middletown
Zach: speaking of which, The Stepkids would be so good for an outdoor show in spring.
beccahope: not sure how the visuals would work outside, though
izmasterflex: projected on teh walls, on all sides
izmasterflex: and people could dance all around them
Goatmilk: yeah it would have been amazing if they’d been able to have wrap-around visuals
Zach: Stepkids tweeted about wanting to hijack an organ.
Zach: I heard lots of sudden keyboard flourishes that weren’t being played onstage.
Zach: it was disorienting/slightly scandalous.
izmasterflex: sending that to my friend who plays the organ at wes
Goatmilk: maybe they had a secret organist
Zach: Like when the Flaming Lips started using backing tracks on the Yoshimi tour and fans flipped a shit
Goatmilk: do you think it was a backing track?
Zach: the keyboard parts in the Stepkids? I didn’t see anyone playing it onstage.
pmyers: there was definitely a backing drum track for one song
Zach: The Stepkids’ Wikipedia is the first usage of a .gif I’ve seen in a Wikipedia page.
Zach: Rachel, plz incorporate this fact in your thesis.
Zach: also, apparently, SPIN placed their album at number 19 on the list “20 Best R&B albums of 2011”
Goatmilk: I guess I would call them R&B rather than rock, just because of how rock’s deteriorated these days
pmyers: they have soulful voices, that’s r and b right?
Goatmilk: blue-eyed soul
Fuzzball: hai guyz
Fuzzball: sidewalk dave is one smart dude
Zach: how did you get Sidewalk Dave to give you all that stuff for $1?
Zach: also, how would you describe Stepkids’ outfits?
Fuzzball: well, we were talking about being poor, and i said he should sell stickers for broke fools like me who only keep a dollar in their wallets. i then handed him a dollar and he tried to give me a cd, and i wouldn’t take it.
Fuzzball: then he handed me a compilation cd that he said he gets from his label and they don’t cost him anything
Fuzzball: and idk if you saw the picture of the shirt he gave me, but it’s pretty out there
Pmyers: it’s a wonderful shirt
Zach: it’s silkscreened on a Route 666 shirt?
Fuzzball: and he was like, “yeah, if you wear this you’re going to piss off people you don’t want to talk to and attract people you do want to talk to” or something to that effect
Fuzzball: Yeah. silkscreened by him and his doodz
Goatmilk: YEAAA that’s punk
Fuzzball: and stepkids outfits…hmmm…
Fuzzball: like this
Zach: we are such good arbiters of What Is Punk.
Fuzzball: pnk as fck
Zach: especially Fuzzball, because his hair Is Punk.
Goatmilk: man, this video has gone through way more compression since I last saw it
Zach: whenever I got tired of people talking about MGMT, I feel thankful we didn’t spawn Vampire Weekend.
Fuzzball: have you seen the i am sitting in a room youtube compression thing?
Fuzzball: also, i’m ready to go to bat for vw here
Goatmilk: I remember it getting really disturbing toward the end
Goatmilk: I found a tumblr dedicated to a 10-second appearance by ezra koening on a recent episode of “Girls”
Zach: If Linus had formed three years earlier/been slightly harder-working, would they have been the Vampire Weekend?
Zach: (that’s an essay question right there)
Fuzzball: yo the japanese merked it on wild wild live yesterday
Goatmilk: Linus? More like Treasure Island
Fuzzball: murdered in hyphy
Goatmilk: Linus was originally hard-working but burnt out rapidly
Zach: I still remember people fawning over that Argus photo spread of them freshman year.
Goatmilk: mostly Jason probably
Fuzzball: when i hear photo spread this is what i think of (NSFW)
Fuzzball: i wish i could speak in hypertext. gchat makes my meatspace life seem inadequate
Goatmilk: Linus should do one where they’re all lying parallel
Goatmilk: ew meatspace
Goatmilk: watching ezra koening rn thinking of him as “meat”
Goatmilk: everyone else has become bored/alienated
pmyers: meatspace. meatwad?
Fuzzball: the video of the stepkids on my phone is somehow going through the tubes of the internet from my phone to youtube right now
Zach: I’m visualizing the Internet as a sausage grinder right now.
Fuzzball: yo stereogum had some great write ups on the problematic azealia banks/baauer twitter feud
Goatmilk: ”problematic” is the new “sensational”
Photos by Zach and Goatmilk