Zammuto’s play with sound and sonic possibility makes you go “Aww!” Sound-smithing and experimentation create perfect musical spirals with creative sampling and synthesizing. Zammuto is the Nick Zammuto half of The Books, with a new live backing band. If you don’t know about the now-defunct Books, they scavenged for sound bits (like family videos from Goodwill, or the contents of the blog Everything is Terrible) to knit together into sampledelic folk-inspired musical pieces.
Zammuto records all of its music in an idyllic house in the woods of Vermont. They are basically awesome. Projected visuals, like finger skateboarding or rushing wooded landscapes, were all a part of the sensory concert experience. The crowd gobbled up the surreal juxtapositions of images, cheering at an image of a hardboiled egg getting sliced in half and returning the gesture when one video featured a bunch of middle fingers. When they were called back onstage for an encore, Sean Dixon started out with an epic drum solo, which turned into the drum rolls of the Paul Simon classic “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” with a funky, syncopated rendition of the chorus. On top of Christopher Owens covering “The Boxer,” it’s really too bad former student Adrian Simon, formerly ’15 hasn’t been around to hear his dad’s tunes and get all embarrassed.
Snowblink came on around 11:20. Northern windy rock and whimsical echoes give a soft sound—which I liked a lot. Snowblink hails from Toronto, and Daniela Gesundheit, Wesleyan grad, asked us if various beloved professors in the music department were still there and told us “Canada is Wesleyan in the real world. Marry a Canadian and move there.” I’m pretty sure she was referencing the spindly bassist to her right that was keeping the beat with the tips of his slippered feet. Start a rock band and live in Toronto? After graduation that might not be that bad. She ended the set with a Whitney Houston slow dance, ladies choice. She also pointed to the back room in Eclectic with her antler mounted guitar (yes) and said, “That room there, I won best dancer there.”
WESU radio concert series, with the light projections that consume and texture the bodies of the Stepkids and Zammuto’s play with video, are giving you a chance to see a little more of your music! This was the second concert in the WESU concert series. These events are free and open to the public, so don’t forget to invite all your Middletown friends. Previous events have included The Stepkids and Ian MacKaye. Stay tuned for what is to come.
Photos below by myself and goatmilk.