What do we mean when we talk about gentrification? Look closely at the history of any urban area and one is bound to find some demographic flux, yet there are elements of neighborhood change that are particularly problematic or harmful, namely the displacement of lower-income residents. Alongside the severe social costs, however, there may also be benefits to an influx of wealth.
Join us for an open discussion on the causes and effects of gentrification, as well as possible solutions: how can we, as citizens, neighbors, and consumers, ensure affordable housing and an equitable urban future?
Find more info and some suggested readings here. There will be pizza.
Date: Friday, April 24
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Place: Allbritton 311
Since releasing his vibey single “Fake Words” last week, Henry Hall ’14, of Grand Cousin fame, has been on the move navigating the New York music scene and post-grad life. I chatted with Hall to discuss his solo career, the Wesleyan music scene, and his day job as a CIA agent. Check it out after the jump.
Blaise ’16 wants you to come to this awesome concert:
A mix of Maine and Brooklyn based bands! Lunch Cult is from Portland, Maine and the band of future Wes student Luke MacDonald. “Comedy routine disguised as punk rock band. blow-fi.” The Ne’er Dowells are a Brooklyn band lead by the audacious Gio Escobar. Technically developed fun indie rock woo. The Micks are also based in BK are lead by John Walsh of New Paltz college. Lunch Cult are fun moshy, rock with anthem-y tunes that you will like. COME AND MOSH AND SING
Date: March 30, 2013
Place: Westco Cafe
From Samantha Maldonado ’13 comes news of an excellent event happening in Allbritton tomorrow for anyone interested in writing, magazines, or cultural criticism:
n+1 is a Brooklyn-based magazine of politics, literature, and cultural criticism. Editors Carla Blumenkranz, Dayna Tortorici, and Elizabeth Gumport will read a piece they wrote from the newest issue, discuss different genres of writing, talk about the publishing industry, and answer your questions.
Once you’ve properly digested that event blurb, head over to Pyxis to read Maldonado’s interview with the editors. Then consider offering said editors your couch for a night; it seems they’re not pleased with the hotel reservations their interns have booked at the Wesley Inn & Suites on Washington Street:
Various Wesleyan people were quick to respond with alternative suggestions:
“We all grew up listening to everything from Harry Partch to Radiohead to avant garde jazz to medieval music and I studied composition, played in weird rock bands, and also played with Anthony Braxton.”
Wes alum Asa Horvitz ’10, notably of Duchampion fame, is delivering musical tastiness in the form of recent project Point Reyes, a Brooklyn-based outfit that you may remember from a spring semester Eclectic set opening for Nat Baldwin. Earlier this semester Point Reyes just released Golden—a fun and quirky album that feels like it’s reminiscent of Duchampion but is much much more—on Big School Records.
This band is hard for me to describe. Not in the “we don’t really like to classify ourselves in a genre” kind, but in the way where I have to put in actual work to think of the words to describe it. They’re a complex indie rock band that isn’t afraid to dive into more complicated musical forms, and they experiment with things like vocal timbres. Plus, the interesting instrumentation of vocals, guitar, cello, percussion, drums, and vibraphone makes for beautiful and unexpected sound combinations. As TVD Cleveland wrote, “This band is an entity unto itself, enveloping its listeners in orchestrations comprising expansive vibraphone, thick bass, luscious cello, guitar, and eerie vocals that weave stories filled with whimsy.“
Check out more, including my favorite track “Redesert,” after the break.
“man 9 months ago I was in a fucking small ass booth checking parking tickets now i’m a starving artist… shit fuck’s my head up. “
Who knew a gruff-voiced former Crown Heights parking attendant-turned-weirdo-emcee could pack Eclectic with sweat, rhymes, and somewhere between eight and twelve raucous hype men? Not me. Not you. As promised, it sounded a bit “like the time you saw a Mexican dude and a Chinese dude arguing in Spanish while a garbage truck backed up and someone drove by blasting the bass line of ‘Grindin.’” Except louder, and without the strippers.
After spirited opening sets by Wes’ own Kill-F (seriously: spirited) and Harvard-based Silky Johnson, Mr. Mothafuckin’ eXquire took to the stage for 30-35 minutes clad in a red Phillies hat last Friday, ran through raucous feel-good verses about “Dunk Driving on a Wednesday” and “Good Pussy in Chicago,” then retired quietly to the back of the stage and let his DJ’s club mixes rule the crowd for a lil while. As Argus correspondent Michael Darer ’15 faithfully reports, “Eclectic found itself particularly enlivened during the show, shaking with thunderous beats and boastful lyrics so that the entire house rumbled like a volcano.”
Below, a gallery of images primarily from eXquire’s set, with a few of Kill-F mixed in. If you snapped any of Silky Johnson, send them our way at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.
PRISM from Ben Bernstein on Vimeo.
Ben Bernstein ’10, better known round this blog as the esteemed (and dearly missed) B C B, has made a successful foray into the cutthroat world of hip hop video production!
You might remember Bernstein for “Bad Island,” his senior thesis slash opera, or his work with the bands Cous Cous and Decora. More recently, Bernstein completed a video for up-and-coming-but-not-quite-googlable rapper Jared (“I was so compelled hearing how adventurous this rap is that I wanted to make the video”), and it’s got more WesKids than Jamaica’s got mangos. More specifically: Gianna Palmer ’10 co-stars, Brian Papish ’10 worked on cinematography, and Bernstein directed and produced. The video was entirely shot in some “weird little outdoor park” in Crown Heights; it contains a lot of chess, and I’m pretty sure Jared mentions tubgirl in the lyrics. Make of that what you will.
“Keep up the good fight,” Bernstein adds. “We salute you down in Brooklyn!”
Pictured above: Denton, TX-based punksters Teenage Cool Kids bring some unholy fusion of garage punk, snide banter (“we’re from Montana; Teenage Cool Kids is up next”), and sheer sweat to Eclectic’s dining room late Saturday night. The band alternated between cuts from last year’s Denton After Sunset and ramshackle classic rock covers—including a filthy 90-second assault on “Helter Skelter” eventually credited to The Kinks. In attendance were about 18 people and a beach ball, but they were 18 of the most sincerely freaked out concertgoers I’ve ever encountered at Wesleyan.
Opening the show were Third Wheel—a former Awesomefest project featuring Adrien DeFontaine ’13, Molly Balsam ’14, and some third wheel—and DIVE, an appropriately reverb-drenched side project of Beach Fossils guitarist Z. Cole Smith and friends.
Pics and a “Helter freaking Skelter” video after the jump. Props to CG ’14 for organizing.
What would you do if you were Ben Seretan ’10?
What a month it’s been for Wesleyan musical ghosts of semesters past. Prog/jam/funktastic homeys Ishmael reemerged with announcement of a new EP (later previewed on WESU) and a date at Earth House to boot. Mad Wow, back from its Last Show Ever, brought its distinctive funk-inf(l)ected strain of Mad Wow Disease to Alpha Delt just last weekend. Duchampion alumnus Asa Horvitz ’10 popped up in Eclectic Haus last Saturday, fronting new project Point Reyes just before Nat Baldwin took the stage. And now fellow Duchampion guitarist/singer/general ass-kicker Ben Seretan ’10 is back in action with a fantastic collection of sprawling, reverby, mostly solo compositions entitled New Space.
Seretan recorded the entire thing, mostly by himself, at a friend’s studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn during the Superbowl. (According to an entirely scientific, infallible Wesleying poll, at least a quarter of readers didn’t watch the Superbowl. If any of you freaks recorded anything as mesmerizing as “What Would You Do If You Were Me?” during that time block, I’d like to hear it.)