Perhaps the only time Wes students have moshed to a 6o-year-old legend in Mickey Mouse pajamas.
On Saturday night, in one of the most bizarre, captivating, and intense performances I’ve witnessed at Wesleyan since Lightning Bolt or perhaps Už Jsme Doma, a golden nugget of blue-bearded wisdom reigned down on Eclectic. It came clad in Mickey Mouse-patterned pajamas and a yellow baseball hat. Its name was R. Stevie Moore.
Backed by three tireless touring musicians, whose articles of clothing came gradually unglued throughout the night, the grandfatherly lo-fi legend performed about two-and-a-half sets of lo-fi pop merged with noise rock, punk, metal, krautrock, avant-garde, and generally ranting into a microphone, telling the young’uns to shut up and listen. Between growling obscenities (“WTF! GTFO!”) and shouting out “all the bitches in the house,” Moore also described Eclectic as “the best crowd with the worst P.A. system ever.” If the P.A. malfunctioned, no one noticed. Moore’s music was too loose, too noisy, too weirdly infectious.
To the guy who wanted to see pictures: keep scrolling.
As promised, Thursday night’s joint billing at Eclectic—Cleveland noise-pop up-and-comers Cloud Nothings, North Carolina synthpop trio Future Islands—was “the last big one” of the year, for real-real. Between the visceral, fully charged assault of the former and synth-driven swirl of the latter, it was also one of the best.
First up, little-known Baltimore weirdos Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. I only caught the last fifteen minutes or so of this set, but if the band title sounds like something from a serial killer movie, the duo looks the part, too. There was a gratuitous amount of screaming, noise, and bashing around on tom-toms—I was quite pleased with what I caught.
Not as pleased as I was when Dylan Baldi and friends (“Cloud Nothings,” for all you hipsters) bashed through the entirety of 2012’s Attack on Memory with furious precision, nailing not only the caustic hooks, but the measured instrumental buildups (A-Batte: “I didn’t think they’d do the instrumental part on ‘Wasted Days’—but they did!”) and inimitable Steve Albini drum sound, too. Empirically: one of the best sets I’ve seen at Wes all year; I screamed my lungs out during “No Future/No Past,” and if you did, too, thanks. Here’s “No Sentiment.”