Calhoun Hickox ’15 has a name that’s almost as dope as Mac DeMarco:
Remember how much fun Aural Wes’ launch party was last month featuring Prince Rama and Wesleyan’s own Bamenda, Guy Fridge ’15, and Crook$hanks? This Thursday we’re back with another Aural Wes curated show in Eclectic, this time featuring cigarette smoking Canadian crooner Mac DeMarco and your pals, Yeoman’s Omen and Featherwood Bee. I am predicting this show will set crowd surfing world records, so get ready to hang loose and ride a giant wave of weird pop for a couple hours.
What do How To Dress Well, The Soft Moon, DIIV, Atlas Sound, and Joey Bada$$ have in common?
One month into school, we’re well into the swing of things: academics, buffoonery, weather, slacktivism, impromptu Peter Yarrow singalongs. Impossibly sleek after its über-hip Prince Rama-guested launch party, Aural Wes is also back in action after a month of hibernating, freshly redesigned with some friendly pine trees in the background to boot. There’s also the upcoming shows calendar page—kind of like the Film Board calendar, except it doesn’t pop up in the background of all of your dorm room pregame photo shoots. Can you dig it?
Bummed you waited in that absurdly long line in Usdan today and still didn’t get a ticket to Danny Brown? Don’t worry. That’s not the only show happening at Eclectic this weekend (and this one’s free). The long-awaited Aural Wes redesign is finally going live this weekend; to celebrate, Prince Rama and a plethora of Wes artists are performing. Here’s the write-up on Aural Wes:
Prince Rama is a Brookyln-based psychedelic rock band made up of sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson. Later this fall, they will be opening for Animal Collective in London, and they are on the label started by Animal Collective, Paw Tracks. Their music reflects the sisters’ experience being raised in a Hare Krishna-heavy community in Florida (they use sanskirt chants and tribal drums!). Check out their latest single here.
Opening for the show will be Wesleyan’s very own Guy Fridge, who was featured on Wesleying last year and whose music can be found here.
If you’re doing nothing right now or if you want some background cabaret-punk and Wes-alum rock, tune into the live-stream from Amanda Palmer ’98’s NYC concert with her new Grand Theft Orchestra. They’re promoting Palmer’s new album, Theatre Is Evil, which came out this week, and I’ve certainly been enjoying. If you recall, Palmer famously raised $1-Million on Kickstarter to finance the album and its tour herself. Stream started just a few minutes ago, so there’s plenty left.
Check it out above and check out an interview with Palmer via the soon-to-be-returning Aural Wes (by me!) below. And coverage from her “ninja gig” at Eclectic last year here.
It’s been five days (and one immortal gif) since Cloud Nothings and Future Islands lit up Eclectic like a Christmas tree, so if you missed the show, you can stop kicking yourself long enough to scope out high-quality videofootageJordan Kenna ’12 finally got around to uploading to Vimeo. So far, there is coverage-in-action of show-opener “Give Us The Wind” (it’s really fab) and “Balance”; Kenna, as I understand it, synced his video footage with professional-quality recordings straight from the mixing board by sound wizard Samuel Remington Long ’12. (Those recordings are available, too; they’re on Aural Wes.) Certainly beats my sorry-ass excuse for video coverage.
If you missed the show, this is also your best opportunity to witness frontman Samuel Herring’s sweat-drenched gyrations, spastic hand motions, wide-eyed glares, and generally nuts stage presence. As I wondered during the show: could this be Professor Fitzpatrick in disguise or am I crazy for seeing a resemblance?
For more information on the acts themselves, you can hustle on over to Aural Wes, which succinctly states that “if you’re trying your best to get sweaty before finals, this is definitely the show to do it at.” Meanwhile, Sky Stallbaumer ’12 writes in about ticket pickup details. HE EXPLAINS THINGS IN ALL CAPS TO DENOTE THAT HE IS NOT FOOLING AROUND:
Future Islands and Cloud Nothings tickets that were already reserved online can be picked up THIS WEDNESDAY starting at noon in Usdan. From here on out, all the important stuff is in caps.
YOU NEED A PHYSICAL TICKET FOR ENTRY INTO THIS CONCERT. YOUR TICKETLEAP CONFIRMATION IS INSUFFICIENT. THESE TICKETS COST $5, CASH ONLY. YOU CAN PICK UP RESERVED TICKETS IN USDAN starting this Wednesday. Did everyone catch that? PHYSICAL TICKETS ARE NECESSARY FOR THIS CONCERT. AS THEY ALMOST ALWAYS ARE.
Remember that time Wesleyan became the “epicenter of surrealist Brooklyn pop”? The Village Voice cast an approving eye on Wesleyan’s music scene in August 2009—the dawn of my freshman year—back when MGMT was a fresh success story and Das Racist, Boy Crisis, and Bear Hands were all up-and-coming reference points. That article bears mention for a number of reason: it replaced the Hollywood “Wesleyan Mafia” with a slightly more bearded Brooklyn contingent; it brought VanWyngarden and friends to the mainstream of Wesleyan’s admissions information sessions and applicant pool (remember this?); and it contained this extraordinary sentence:
Thus did the young scholar soon find himself at a nearby co-ed fraternity called the Eclectic Society, rocking indeed with one Will Berman, now the drummer for Wesleyan-bred, quasi-hippie, semi-famous electro-rockers MGMT.
This time it’s USA Today’s College page; headlined “Student and alumni musicians bring ‘Wesleyan Wave’ to the national scene,” the article comes complete with a “Wesleyan Playlist” of Soundcloud embeds that runs the gamut from Das Racist and and Santigold to C¥BERGIGA and Lioness. Anyone smell hype? I smell hype.
What I like about this article—at least compared with the 2009 Voice piece—is that it extends its scope well beyond a few high-profile alumni. So yeah, it begins by pointing out that “MGMT, Das Racist, Santigold, Amazing Baby, Bear Hands and Fort Lean all boast [Wesleyan] diplomas” (no dice, AmandaPalmer’98, who both performed this fall and has written music about Wesleyan), but soon refocuses on current student activity, which includes both concert-booking (a smorgasbord of examples from the lastthreesemesters) and student bands (Peace Museum, Lioness, and Awesomefest all get shout-outs).
Anyway, here’s a sample. eXquire bums around a private disco-lit strip club and chooses to freestyle madly over “Away From” by Robot Koch. Watching this clip in a suburban Starbucks surrounded by middle-schoolers and their math tutors is the worst decision I’ve made today. Again, consider this a NSFW tag: the video objectifies women; this blog post is neither endorsing nor debating its misogynistic elements.
In other Aural Wes news, Cloud Nothings are officially sharing a bill with Future Islands in a month (get psyched—the Albini-stamped Attack On Memory way well be the best LP of 2012), and The Rooks are preparing an unprecedentedresidency in the ’92. Also, USA Today is looking to profile Wes’ music scene. AW wants your photos. Direct them to wesconcertcommittee(at)gmail(dot)com. Happy end-of-break-work-explosion.
Schuyler Stallbaumer ’12, MD, Wesleyan’s foremost Otolaryngologist specializing in aural health and diagnosis, seeks aspiring young aural experts and contributors for his site on the World Wide Web, entitled “AuralWes.org.” If interested, contact Dr. Stallbaumer immediately at hello(at)auralwes(dot)org. As the following solicitation will testify, he is “hungry 4 writers,” and this credit- and accolade-seeking whore is more than glad to help him find some:
As per usual, we need more solid contributors for this website. Unlike those credit- and accolade-seeking whores of Wesleying, we don’t put your name under each post, but we don’t want to discourage you from adding your own unique voice to a resurrected campus institution.
Writers should be plugged into what’s happening on campus (and outside of it) and be eager to add to our growing catalog of submissions. We’re trying to expand our offerings beyond event submissions—this means interviews, reviews of new releases from student bands/artists, and live concert reviews if you want. We also could use photographers, sound recordists, and anything else.
So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE: send us an email at hello(at)auralwes(dot)org if you are interested! We would love to have you!
Wesleyan rocktimists, pay heed: No Age, the massively acclaimed Sub Pop-based noise-punk duo behind 2007’s Nouns and 2010’s Everything in Between, is set to perform in Eclectic Haus this Thursday for a night of sweat, passion, and tinnitus—and probably the most cacophonous rock show this side of Lightning Bolt or Titus.
EULA, an utterly frantic up-and-coming three-piece from New Haven, will open. The band has recently opened for the likes of Mission of Burma, and it tastes more or less “like post-punk-pre-historic-medium-gauge-no-wave, with a splash of lemon.” (The real opener, though, is Antonin Scalia, whose much-discussed lecture in Memorial Chapel is expected to end at least forty minutes before this show begins. Yes, you can attend both, and what a night that would be.)