Days since last Will Feinstein ’13 incident: 12. Seriously, this guy just graduated and he still hasn’t given up on trying to dominate the Wesleyan music scene— Wesleying has its own tag specifically for him. That stuff’s reserved for big shots only. And this Adrien DeFontaine ’13 guy ain’t no slouch, either: You last saw him playing as part of the band Tonsil Hockey in their debut video, directed by – you guessed it – Will Feinstein.
But arguably their most popular musical collaboration – one which landed them onto the NECN Morning Show – was with each other. After all the success of last year’s clever party anthem “Ain’t Tryna Say Goodnight,” Adrien feat. William has reunited for another Senior Week pop song, “Let’s Do Us.” It has everything: People taking swigs of orange juice right from the bottle, a chorus of people going “Aayyy,” Will Feinstein without a shirt, #captions, and that thing where people sing directly to a camera.
If you read our winter concert forecast (cloudy with a chance of Delicate Steve), you’ll recall the short bit we included about Zammuto:
Zammuto is the solo project of guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto of the generally inimitable Books, who called it quits a year ago. Zammuto features that same glitchy, wildly inventive cut-and-paste aesthetic, but more vocal-oriented and less emphasis on bizarre spoken word samples. (If you don’t know The Books, stop what you’re doing and watch this video.)
Guess what, homedrones? Winter’s over, and that means Zammuto is bringing his powers of freakexperimentalwizardry THIS SATURDAY to ECLECTIC for a FREE CONCERT that is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Jesse “Skeevy on the Radio” Brent ’13 with the crucial deets:
This weekend represented a moment of renewal for a number of student bands. For one, on Thursday, the Japanese, now featuring plaintive songwriting and Adrien DeFontaine ’13’s new hairdo, returned to activity after a long hiatus. Also, Grand Cousin (who I do remember, bawwwk, was once called Grandfather) has perhaps made the ranks this weekend as hardest-working or most persistently present Wesleyan band, what with their two appearance on concert headers and avant-garde new music video. Also, Featherwood Bee (on Thursday) continued being awesome, and O Presidente continued to prove that they can’t keep themselves away for long after their debut album release.
One of the few outsiders thrown into this mix was Jacco Gardner, the NPR-acclaimed Dutch producer and multi-instrumentalist, and his bandmates, who played on Friday night. Their music was soothingly atmospheric, balancing on the historical cusp between mid-60s mod rock and late-60s psychedelia. Songs like “The Ballad of Little Jane” had just the right amount of creepiness, and reminded me of the Rolling Stones in their Brian Jones era. Jacco was endearingly sincere, expressing gratitude to the crowd and excitement for their adventures in America (it was their first time playing on this side of the pond) and imminent trip to SXSW. The drummer wore sunglasses indoors, which I can both respect and suspect for a lad from the pot-soaked Netherlands.
“Buy all of your friends’ presents tonight.” This is the command of the Spirit of Thirty-Fork Street, Wesleyan’s sometimes-friendly-but-often-awkward Ghost of Christmas Past. (It probably doesn’t help that we don’t have a Ghost of Chanukah Past.) Anyway, if you’re on top of that, good for you. If you’re not, first take an hour to download and listen to Miracle on Thirty-Fork Street, a holiday season compilation of original (!) songs put together by a loose collective of Wesleyan-associated acts. Then, freaking consume, you consumer. Here are some reflections, lightly edited for reading ease, from a contributor:
The album was made by an extended group of friends (we mostly know each other). All of these friends are either from Wesleyan or closely related to folks at Wesleyan. These are all ORIGINAL holiday songs. No covers! It’s really lame that the majority of holiday songs were written in the baby boomer era. So here are some new ones.
This album is dedicated in part to Will Schragis ’12, who approached me (and others) last year trying to put together a holiday album where he and his friends who actually played music would do covers. Unfortunately it never came together.
The title is a reference to the Static Stamina/Japanese holiday EP It’s a Wonderful KNIFE!, which is actually one of the most hated things on the ACB ever.
The Ivy Film Festival’s 48 Hour Film Competition has appeared on this blog multiple times in recent years. The competition is open to teams of students based at colleges anywhere, and according to its website, claims the following motivations:
The time constraint of 48 hours energizes the filmmaking process and challenges students to put their visions into action. The result is a whirlwind weekend of filmmaking and the satisfaction of a finished product at the end. Our goal is to promote creativity and filmmaking, and to light the spark under hopeful filmmakers across the country.
While uninformed observers may find this “fun”, “cool”, or “generally a good idea”, the picture is not so simple. The critical thinking skills that my time at Wesleyan has bestowed upon me – and hopefully Wesleying readers – reveal something much more sinister. I’d like to start by looking at the winners of the 48 hour competition from past years.
Remember when Antonin Scalia Ross Gormley ’13asked you to send in pictures and videos that communicated your perspective of the Wesleyan campus? If you sent any in, you just might see them below. The following video was produced as a final project for the class Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy, which you might know as Music and Public Life, or perhaps the classDar Williams ’89teaches when she’s not busy tearing up Wesleyan Thinks Big.Edit: Actually it’s for Music and Public Life, which is its own course and was taught by Mark Slobin. Sorry for the error.
Marissa Schnitman ’14 explains the video’s motivations:
For their final project, Wesleyan’s Music and Public Life class has produced a video to express their support of equal access to higher education. In response to the confusion, controversy, and divisiveness surrounding the shift in need blind policy on campus and in the media, the class created this video to remind alumni to preserve a commitment to support the Wesleyan community unconditionally. The video encourages us to set aside politics and perspectives about University decisions. This is about helping the Wesleyan community move forward. This is about our shared dedication to equal access to higher education. Help keep Wesleyan accessible to everyone. Help “Keep Wesleyan Weird.”
Ross Gormley ’13 writes in and insists that this image of Antonin Scalia accompany the post:
Want to share with the Wesleyan community how you see campus through pictures and video? Submit pictures and videos of your unique/hip/fresh/new-fangled/avant-garde/feng shui/de riguer/never-before-seen perspective of Wesleyan. Need ideas? How about: your dorm room, foss hill, snowfall bacchanal (now would be a good time), Usdan hideouts, favorite buildings, or classes. The content will be featured in a music video that Wesleyan’s own “Music and Public Life” class is putting together for an end of the year class project. Submit before everyone you have ever loved forgets everything about you!
Submit video and picture content to Adrien DeFontaine ’13 at adefontaine@wes.
Yeah, if you don’t believe me, ask Adrien DeFontaine ’13, Albert Tholen ’15, and Neo Sora ’14. Each one will confirm that the other two chief collaborators died on the set of a movie they made in 48 hours, while working on entirely different movies. Adrien Explains It All:
Glory is the hypothetical origin story of an elderly woman who mans a glory hole in the men’s bathroom of a diner. Yup.
The movie was written, directed, shot, and produced by Neo Sora ’14, Albert Tholen ’15, and I ’13 for the Ivy Film Festival 48 Hour Film Competition. The idea of participating this year largely started as a joke. To explain: Neo has participated in this competition every year of college. I worked with him and a bunch of other friends 2 years ago on a film that ended up winning. We quickly realized this year’s competition was gonna fall on the weekend of several thesis films we were shooting (Will Feinstein‘s and Ethan Young‘s [both ’13]), but decided it would be funny to try and put together some sort of meta-film about shooting a movie while on set. [Neo “Toot Dem Horns” Sora wants to add that Adrien was DPing Ethan’s film while ADing Will’s (THREE FUCKING FILMS IN ONE FUCKING WEEKEND), Neo DPed Will’s, and Albert ACed Will’s. If those abbreviations mean anything to you, they shouldn’t.] Ew. Thank god we actually wrote a story. Anyway, the whole idea of the film evolved from the fact that we were working 10-14 hour days on these thesis films and needed something that could be shot quickly. We started writing on Friday at around 10:30pm and hit upload right at the deadline, 8pm on Sunday. We didn’t really sleep. [Ed. note: Now they are sleeping, because they are dead.]
The film features Hibiki Mizuno ’15 and John Allison (as well as a couple cameos), a score played by Danny Sullivan ’13 in one take, and Albert giving birth/in a dress. Special thanks to Will and Ethan for being really cool about the whole thing.
Anyway, you can watch and vote for the film here. We really appreciate your support!
As I wrote last year, and am lazily copypasting this year, “now is as good a time as ever to act out of loyalty towards a perceived ingroup member watch every entry and determine which short film most deserves public recognition for quality filmmaking and an engrossing viewing experience!” I haven’t watched any of the others yet, but I can definitely find myself being off task for the 35 minutes it’ll take to do so by the deadline this Sunday, so you should too, probably maybe potentially in theory (just like communism). The deadline is this Sunday, the 18th, at midnight; Vote, vote, vote!
For past coverage of 48 hour film projects at Wes, check the tag (and ignore that I literally live with one of the filmmakers).
Dink-583, the best band on campus to offer interpretations (no, not “tributes,” you fool) of Blink-182 songs, made its triumphant return to Wesleyan Thursday night. They managed to play a raucous set despite drummer Kevin Curtin ’13’s ankle injury, and he even got a little help from his friends for one song (to use a gratuitous Beatles reference). Though the spacious, subterranean space of the WestCo Cafe seemed to keep the sweatiness at bay (and the naked strangers out), the band was in their underwear by the time I arrived, and much shirtlessness was observed in the audience as well.
Trill Will Feinstein ’13, of particularly impressive ‘fro and beard lately, contributed vocals on “Dick Lips”, and a particularly bold group of underclasspeople asserted their sweaty musculature in order to get up front and sing as well. (One girl appeared to be doing so using sign language, as she was not actually using the microphone but established an equivalent rapport with the audience).
On the negotiating-with-PSafe end of things, the event was also a success, lasting until midnight, the previously decided-upon stopping point.
If you’re like me and the thought of Blink-182 gives you an instant teen-angst-pop-punk boner, you probably wanna make your way to the WestCo Cafe tonight.
Dink-583, Wesleyan’s Blink-182 cover band featuring Jason Katzenstein ’13, Adrien DeFontaine ’13, and Kevin Curtin’13, will play their first show of the year tonight at 10:30. I’m told you should come on time, as they will be starting very promptly.