Set to Bear Hands’ “Belonging,” the video offers a bite-size overview of the dizzying array of music and public life (woah!) on display, with an admirable focus on all the groovy dancing happening during Bear Hands’ set, which somehow never manages to fall in sync with the “Belongings” soundtrack. It was screened for your parents at the unexpectedly political Parents’ Assembly during Homecoming Weekend, and now it’s floating around the Wesleyan main page and Connection, with this blurb attached to it:
No, we didn’t film President Roth’s dance moves, but this link is always good.
The Mash, a first-time-ever Music & Public Life initiative, totally happened, and it was totally like a cross between Fête de la Musique and SpringFling, what with the whole people-chilling-on-the-hill-in-beautiful-weather thing going on. There were bands all over the freaking place—Mattabassett (more like Mattabadass, amiright?) String Collective jamming out with President Roth outside Usdan, Yeoman’s Omen and Featherwood Bee at WestCo, Bones Complex and The Taste outside Olin, and a bunch more that I’m not bothering to name. For images of the Mattabassett/Roth collab, check out the University’s photo album. Here’s Roth, and here’s his fan club:
“You know what I wish?” says person number one. “What?” says person number two. “I wish that several of the talented musicians that attend/have attended Wesleyan will select a day in which they scatter themselves about the campus and play their music loud and for all to hear,” says person number one. “Wouldn’t that be nice?” But person number two does not respond because they left the conversation. Sad story, but true. Fortunately, if you are person number two, your wishes are being granted—by Chelsie Green ’14, Michael Roth ’78, frequentlyreturning alumni BearHands, and a whole committee of students and faculty:
The Mash, inspired by Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, will highlight the student music scene at Wesleyan and kick off the year-long campus and community-wide Music & Public Life initiative.
The event will open with President Roth and other faculty members performing at noon on Friday, September 7 in the Usdan Courtyard. From 2-5 pm, three stages, located at the WestCo Courtyard, Usdan Courtyard and Olin Library Lawn, will feature some of Wesleyan’s student musicians, as well as newly formed groups (30 minutes of every hour will be left unbooked, so come ready to play with whatever instrument you need to make music—drums, amplifiers, and microphones will be provided). From 5-8 pm, THE MASH will continue on Andrus Field with a performance by campus band Treasure Island. This stage will be headlined by BearHands, an alumni band. Meanwhile, an all-campus outdoor barbecue dinner will be happening on Andrus Field/Foss. As a part of the event, small instruments will be handed out to encourage everyone to make music.
Because the Douglas freaking Cannon isn’t enough surprise excitement for one twenty-four-hour span, Eclectic held its own alumni reunion of sorts in the ballroom last night, starring such notables as acclaimed indie-poppers Bear Hands (Dylan Rau ’07, Ted Feldman ’09, others) and Fort Lean (Keenan Mitchell ’09, Zach Fried ’08, Jake Aron ’08, Will Runge ’09, andSam Ubl’ 08) alongside recent Spring Fling appetizer Peace Museum. As Pitchfork put it in 2010:
Does Wesleyan, the arty Connecticut liberal arts university, attract boys with raw, nasal voices and penchants for shimmering keyboards and huge waves of overdubbed psychedelic guitars to its halls, or does the school simply turn its students into those sorts of musicians?
Either way, it’s quite the way to network with alumni. Back in the day, Bear Hands was opening for MGMT in Beckham Hall. Today the band is a year-and-a-half removed from debut LP Burning Bush Supper Club—and about as far past its triumphant homecoming gig in Eclectic in January, 2011. The members remained just as invigorating live last night, merging shimmering indie psychedelia with propulsive post-punk rhythms while running through most of BBSC and about four or five new tracks.
Scroll on for video of “Crime Pays” and a full gallery of Bear Hands and Fort Lean. More (much more) on Bear Hands’ 2011 show here.
Tomorrow night (Wednesday, 12/14), our very own Appledaughters (featuring Gabe Greenberg ’14, Jon Saalfield ’12, Howe Pearson ’12, and Sam Long ’12) will open for our very own Bear Hands (featuring Wes alums Ted Feldman ’09 and Dylan Rau ’07) at BAR in New Haven!
The show is FREE and 21+, so come to BAR to celebrate friendship and eat some pizza with your bear hands! The Appledaughters will start at 10pm and they’ve got a butt’s load of new music to de-poo!
For those not in the know: Daytrotter is a music website that specializes in three things that I care about, all really part of the same thing: live sessions with artists 7 days a week, giving away download links for these sessions for free, and really dense, crazy write-ups about these sessions that I should really spend more time looking at. If you’ve got other things to do, though, the titles will do just fine (sample from the links section: “A Confusing World At-Large Deciphered By Wolves And Men”).
Among the acts Daytrotter has lured into the studio (presumably under cinnamon-coated pretenses) are some of Wesleyan’s finest — ever-present The Management and recent visitors BearHands are among the many, many recordings.
Breaking Motherfucking News: A tip from sneakergaze while I was finishing up this post:
I’M AT THE — never mind, there’s no way that could end well, unlike this apparently upcoming Das Daytrotter sesh. Looks like I’ll be following up on this soon. OFWGKTA/DR collab?
National Weather Service travel advisory: two metric fucktons of links incoming. Read on for a return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Or, “Journey Through the Eclectic-Dissociative Effect”
Saturday night: Bear Hands.Eclectic.Damn. Adjectives that come to mind: raucous, involved, loud, draining, “better than Burning Bush Supper Club.” Thing that ensued: crowd-surfing, tinnitus, alumni pride, injury, drunken buffoonery. Apache Kid and Tony Castles (who played a really, really good set, and also amusingly tweeted about us) opened.
But this will not be a thoughtfully articulated review. (If that’s what you’re looking for, try today’s Argus Arts page. [Or the Ampersand. (Just kidding.)]) Instead, I offer a gallery of compelling images from Saturday night’s fantastic show—a few from Tony Castles’ set, too—and, at no extra charge, a semicoherent Gchat postmortem between the photographers who took them (namely, me and Rachel Pincus ’13). Enjoy. And good show, guys.
THE DILEMMA: Two major shows. One night. My Brightest Diamond (AKA singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sharon Worden) at Memorial Chapel. Wes veterans Bear Hands at Eclectic. The former is ticketed, the latter’s free. You can go to both—Bear Hands openers Apache Kid won’t be taking the stage until 10:00 PM, around the same time Worden should be finishing her set across the street. But should you? Will you?
THE SOLUTION: Read on for a totally unscientific, heavily biased, hastily culled guide to tonight’s excellent music offerings.
Cool news via thealways on-point Aural Wes: alumni band Bear Hands, whose debut Burning Bush Supper Club has been making waves all over the intertubes (and which Pitchfork praised back in November as the latest in a long line of “boys with raw, nasal voices and penchants for shimmering keyboards and huge waves of overdubbed psychedelic guitars” coming out of Wesleyan), will be making noise at Eclectic in just two short weeks.
We’ll post more details when that date (Saturday, January 29) approaches. In the meantime, I like Aural Wes’s write-up (which likens the upcoming show to MGMT’s April, 2008, homecoming gig at Beckham, just as they were beginning to build up steam outside the Wesleyan bubble) enough to repost it here, after the jump. And as per our last Bear Hands post, you can stream tracks from the album here, order it here, and check out Argus interviews with Bear Hands members here and here.