Leaves of Green, photographed by Rachel Pincus ’13.
This happened last night at Earth House. The living room was as packed as it has ever been, and squished bodies erupted into moshing ones several times throughout the night, while people spilled out into the other two adjoining rooms, making for a full house throughout all three acts.
Blackbird & the Cherry Tree began the night with their bluesy soul-rolling tunes. Recently graduated songstress Mel Hsu ’13 cradled us with her cello, Jess Best ’14 with her keyboard and powerful voice, Sam Friedman ’13 on harmonica, and Mark Bennett ’13 on drums. The music contained elements of Hsu’s own collaborative work with Josh Smith ’11, with added soul elements.
They were followed by O Presidente, a San Francisco-by-way-of-Wesleyan based band, including Tobias Butler ’13, Andrew Zingg ’13, and Charlie Ellis ’13, who recently came out with their debut album, Club de Futebol. After WESU ranked them No. 2 in their top 30, CMJ “discovered” them, too. Audience members coined their sound “surf punk”, “a little bit of Clash”, or as someone else put it, just “fun-awesome.”
From Our Dear Leader Zach Schonfeld ’13:
Describing themselves as “a band with a penchant for falsetto,” Leaves of Green is a quartet of NYU students (two of whom hail from the bustling metropolis that is Chappaqua, NY). “Caving In” is a pretty solid indicator of their sonic depth, which ranges from ethereal post-rock to driving indie-rock to a thick, dramatic climax. And yes, there’s a falsetto. According to NYU Local (motto: “The Wesleying of NYU”) (not really), they’re great live, too.
O Presidente is a noo-wop / bro-fi / tropicália band based out of San Francisco and Wesleyan University. Last month, they released their debut full length album, Clube de Futebol, which tastemakers have called “an entertaining, rocking, and even sometimes crooning record” and “very, very good.” Check out their jock jamz at this link. According to esteemed musicologist Alexia Nazarian ’13, “O Presidente makes me want to get in a kiddie pool and splash around.” [Gabe recently wrote a review of O Presidente’s music, check it out at this link.]
Blackbird and the Cherry Tree is a collaboration between Jess Best ’14 and Mel Hsu ’13. With a cello holding down the bass and the keys building a bluesy core, the duo’s razor-sharp harmonies pull you into a place as sweet as it is wild. Sam Friedman ’13 and Mark Bennett ’13 often join them on stage to fill out the sound with dirty harmonica and hard-hitting drums. Although this band is all about groove, don’t expect to get too comfortable because the storm is never far off.
Need a break after the first Monday classes of the semester? The band Dear Commonwealth, hailing from the less-vegan-friendly-than-us Oberlin College, will be playing at BuHo for your de-stressing pleasure, opened by Wes band Blackbird & The Cherry Tree. Noah Rush ’14 has specifics for you detail-oriented readers. Note that this event is part of an effort to preserve Buddhist House and other Washington Street houses:
Dear Commonwealth, made up of some of the finest musicians from Oberlin College, the Wesleyan of Ohio that is not Ohio Wesleyan, will be bringing their well-crafted minimalist folk songs to the Buddhist House library, a truly wonderful place that few ever get to view.
Blackbird & The Cherry Tree (Mel Hsu ’13 and Jess Best ’14) will be opening.
This event is the inaugural event of WeSad :( (Wesleyan Students Against Divestment), an organization dedicated to the preservation of Buddhist House and other Washington Street houses as a part of the Wesleyan community.
Come over, enjoy some music, sign our petition (if you like us).
Date: Monday, January 28th.
Time: 9 –11:30pm
Place: Buddhist House library