Category Archives: Music

Unofficial Orientation Series 2017: Wes Music Scene

This is an update of Maya‘s update of their post from 2015. Q wrote about this in 2013 and 2014. Some things have changed, but the scene here is still ‘unique, zealous, and sweaty.’

Delilah Seligman '16, Chris Sailor '16, Daniel Pope '16, and Harim Jung '16 performing at Middle House as Evil Deceiver, 5/4/2016

Delilah Seligman ’16, Chris Sailor ’16, Daniel Pope ’16, and Harim Jung ’16 performing at Middle House as Evil Deceiver, 5/4/2016

This is part of our 2017 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

The more I talk to college kids at other schools, the more I realize how much the music scene at Wesleyan sets itself apart. Though we have them, we are not confined to house parties and bars — there’s music nearly every day, all week. Often, there’s so much music that you can’t possibly go to it all, but you try anyway.

Once things get going, there are 3-5 concerts every weekend, sometimes even multiple shows a night. I’ve seen more bands than I have the energy to count with more variety than I can quantify simply  by wandering around at Wesleyan on a given weekend. The folks who book shows at Wesleyan work very hard to bring in all kinds of groups, well-known or just emerging, from punk to dance, and usually put one or two solid student bands on the list.

Many student bands have gone on to greater things, like Overcoats, Heems (Himanshu Suri ’07) of Das Racist (Suri and Victor Vasquez ’06), Novelty Daughter, Amanda Palmer ’98the Rooks, Henry Hall ’14 of Grand Cousin (RIP), AND MORE.

Seriously. It’s very special. What’s even better is that 95% of this stuff is totally free.

2017 update: “In the past year, there have been a few new regulations placed on the student-run concert scene by ResLife and others. The process by which these regulations were implemented has led a number of student musicians into action and frustration. There are still a large number of students who are committed to the music scene on campus and its survival, but I think it’s important that we tell some of the stories that have really made an impact on the music scene.”

Do you have questions like “How do I find out what’s going on?” or “How do I find people to play music with?” or “Where can I go to concerts?”, this is the post for you.

(Late) Procrastination Destination: Francis and the Lights Dance with Chance

Grades for graduation candidates are due Monday at noon, so hopefully at least those folks graduating are no longer procrastinating on school work. Whether or not you’re still working, this short and sweet procrastination destination is for you, with some nice dancing, reassurance that you’ll figure things out whether or not you graduate, and a reminder that “It’s Alright 2 Cry.”

Procrastination Destination: Nardwuar The Human Serviette

Nardwuar The Human Serviette is probably not the first person you’d think of when you imagine a celebrated music journalist. However he has made a name for himself through his interviews with famous rappers and musicians that he uploads on his You Tube channel. In addition to his style and distinctive hat/glasses combo, Nardwuar is known for doing scarily in depth research on his interview subjects and offering them gifts from their past inspired by his discoveries. While it’s hilarious to see your favorite artists trying to decipher who the fuck this Nardwuar dude is, Nardwuar almost always manages to get an inside look at an artist’s influence that most journalists don’t. Please enjoy this small compilation of Nardwuar’s videos. Keep rocking in the free world and doo doodoo doo doo ____________ ________________.

Listen to Trot Fox’s “Do You Realize?” with Lead Vocals from Claire Randall ’12

December was a somber time for many in the Wesleyan community in the light of news of Claire Randall ’12‘s untimely passing due to a horrific act of gun violence. Around a week ago, Nate Mondschein ’12 posted a public status on Facebook announcing the release of Trot Fox’s cover of The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?” The rendition is led by Claire as lead vocalist, and is truly a poignant reminder of the talents that she shared with so many.

Back in the spring of 2016, Claire, Nate, and other members of Trot Fox Gabe Gordon ’11 and Declan O’Connell recorded the first version of the cover during a one-day session at Converse Rubber Tracks Studio in Brooklyn. The initial recording was recorded in a single take and, according to Nate, “Claire delivered what remains one of the most honest, astonishingly powerful performances I have ever heard her give.”

The final version of the “Do You Realize” was produced after Claire’s passing, with the help of 30 of her friends and family.

Wesleyan Concert Choir

Randi Plake writes in:

The Wesleyan Concert Choir, under direction of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina, presents a program featuring both a cappella and accompanied selections from classical and modern choral repertoire.

Date: Sunday, May 7th
Time: 4 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall

Beginners Javanese Gamelan

Randi Plake writes in:

Experience the culture of Java with beginning students of the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble. The concert will include a prelude by the Wesleyan Youth Gamelan Ensemble.

Date: Thursday, May 4th
Time: 7 PM
Place: World Music Hall

Wesleyan Chamber Music Concert

Randi Plake writes in:

Students from the Wesleyan chamber music program perform works by various composers on a variety of instruments.

Date: Friday, May 5th
Time: 12:00 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall

Wesleyan Korean Drumming and Taiko Ensembles

Randi Plake writes in:

Wesleyan’s Taiko Drumming Ensemble, directed by Visiting Instructor in Music Barbara Merjan, performs the thunderous and thrilling rhythms of Japanese kumi daiko drumming. The Korean Drumming Ensemble, directed by Visiting Assistant Professor Jin Hi Kim, plays a variety of mesmerizing rhythmic patterns from the samulnori repertoire. Several dynamic and exciting styles will be showcased, demonstrating both traditional and contemporary sounds from each culture.

Date: Friday, May 5th
Time: 8 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall