Tag Archives: leif

Y’all Get Back Now: Big Freedia, Take Two

Y’all better stop all this foolishness, cuz Eclectic’s tryna shake.

Remember in February when Sissy Bounce queen diva Big Freedia descended on ye olde Wes? When the New Orleans star forever changed the state of booty-poppin’ on campus with her bounce workshop, when she set Eclectic Haus aflame with her moves and basically made College Row look just like the scene in her masterful “Y’all Get Back Now” video (directed by Bob Weisz ’07 and Josh Ente ’08)?

Well, no. I don’t. Health issues came up, and Big Freedia had to postpone on the day of the show. (“She got the gastro,” claims anonymous commenter #1.) (Remember when gastro was a thing?) I cried myself to sleep and wondered if I would ever get to attend a booty-shaking workshop by the queen of booty-shaking. This time, it’s for real, and recently acclaimed Eclectic alum LE1F (Khalif Diouf ’11) is opening the show. Dylan Bostick ’13 has more:

One of, if not the central figure in New Orleans Sissy Bounce, Big Freedia has become famous for putting on some of the wildest dance parties and bringing bounce to the rest of the world. At 8:45, Freedia will also lead a lecture on New Orleans Bounce Music as well as a hands-on booty-shaking workshop.

LE1F: Pre-released tracks from his mixtape Dark York have received critical acclaim by Pitchfork, the Fader, and more, and now the day after his mixtape release, Le1f is coming back to Wesleyan!

Das Racist, Leif, Harrison Schaaf, Yea Mann at Eclectic

Come to Eclectic on Friday, February 12th to rage, party, dance, and listen to witty raps about fast food chains.

The lineup consists of Wesleyan DJs Ian Johnson and Harrison Schaff, live performer and seriously durrrty rapper Khalif Diouf (aka Leif), as well as Das Racist.

Based out of Brooklyn, Das Racist is composed of Wesleyan alumni Himanshu Suri and Victor Vazquez. They first gained mainstream attention with the song “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.” Since then, Das Racist has been featured in Pitchfork Media, XLR8R magazine, The Village Voice, The Guardian, and The New Yorker, just to name a few. On January 19th, they headlined Highline Ballroom in New York City. It’s also rumored that Fox News will be doing a write-up about the show on Friday night.

WHEN: Friday, February 12.
Set times: Yea Mann:
Harrison Schaaf:
11:00 – 12:15
12:15 – 1:00
Das Racist:
1:00 – 3:00
COST: $7, Tickets on sale at Usdan

Boy Crisis video: “Dressed to Digress” at Wes

SORT-OF-EXCLUSIVE. Boy Crisis‘s official music video for “Dressed to Digress” was finished over the summer, but might not be officially released for awhile due to label issues. Now it’s on Youtube. LEAK.

Everything in the video is Wesleyan, and it is hilarious. Directed by Ray Tintori ’06, filmed on campus and in Middletown, groupie love from Eclectic women, Leif as the Pope, Das Racist eating string beans, Genevieve Angelson in clips from the other D2D video, fucking with cultural notions of masculinity, a group jump shot at Indian Hill, ghostriding under the bridge to Portland, a giant pack of cigarettes rollerblading down from Russell House.

Watch it before it gets taken down or something:

More Boy Crisis:

Boy Crisis on Wesleying
“Fountain of Youth” video

Village Voice Discovers the Wesleyan Music Scene

wes-music-sceneThe Wesleyan Music Scene is gaining exposure in the American mainstream media – British periodicals NME and the Guardian have been watching this trend since last year, and the Village Voice has now picked up on it with an article examining how Wes came to be the “epicenter of surrealist Brooklyn pop”.

In contrast to the breathless hype of last year’s NME feature, this one is grounded and pretty accurate in describing the loosely associated group of Wes-to-Brooklyn artists we’ve come to blog and love over the past few years.

The Village Voice interviewed key members like Simon O’Connor of Amazing Baby, Ben Goldwasser of MGMT, Tal Rozen of Boy Crisis, and associate/film director Ray Tintori, who discuss their relationships to Wesleyan, Eclectic, and each other:

[Wesleyan’s] never been known as a particularly “cool” place until now. And if it seems wrong for a tiny, nerdy Connecticut college to be the focus of so much hype, well, blame the British. The music press over there is obsessed with Brooklyn bands, and MGMT’s collegiate circle is obviously irresistible[…] Boy Crisis’s U.K. publicist advertises them as having attended “Connecticut’s prestigious Wesleyan Art College,” a blatant attempt to make it sound somehow fashionable.

That sort of thing drives O’Connor nuts. “It’s not a fucking art college,” he says flatly. “I made the mistake of telling an NME writer that Will (Berman) had left our band to join MGMT, and that was it. We were labeled a Wesleyan band.” O’Connor is currently the only member of his band who attended the school, and he doesn’t think the experience was anything special. “Yeah, we played in bands together,” he says, “but we were music majors. That’s just what you do.” O’Connor and VanWyngarden had a band called Irma Vep that once opened for the Rapture at the Eclectic Society, another institution O’Connor is quick to denounce: “It was exactly like that movie PCU,” he says. “A nerd society, basically.”

MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser was a member of Eclectic, and though he admits he thought of the club as lousy with “hipster assholes” at first, he warmed up to the idea when his friends joined. “I liked being involved in running a performance venue,” he says. “We had the best room on campus for bands to play.” As for Wesleyan overall, Goldwasser disagrees with O’Connor about the experience. “There was definitely something about it,” he says. “There was the usual college drinking/party atmosphere, but people also took initiative to put on creative events. There were bands playing really cool shows on campus”—MGMT among them.

Conversely, Boy Crisis didn’t perform much while at school, and Das Racist and Amazing Baby formed post-college in New York, but the core Wesleyan crowd stayed friends, which won them all extra attention once MGMT blew up. “In some cases, we’ve tried to get their names out there and make people aware of them,” says Goldwasser. “But once we started getting attention, people just automatically started looking at bands we were friends with and bands that came from Wesleyan.”

Also mentioned are Max Goldblatt, the choreographer for many of Tintori’s videos, current student/DJ/producer Leif, Das Racist, and Francis and the Lights.

Like that other Wes entertainment syndicate, the current crop of Wes-related artists is dubbed the “Wesleyan mafia”:

It’s like a ladder,” [Tintori] says. “When somebody moves up a rung, they reach a hand down to the next guy.” It’s the kind of career mechanism a lot of people would love to latch on to, and Goldblatt suspects they’re already trying. “There must be tons of kids in neon Wayfarers writing wild, psychedelic essays to get into Wesleyan now,” he says. The frightening thing is, he’s probably right.

Looking at you, class of 2013!

Read the whole article:

Village Voice: The Wesleyan Mafia: MGMT, Boy Crisis, Amazing Baby

On Youtube: Leif and Das Racist, Red Wire Black Wire, Buru Style

Music update: some recent Youtubes of Wes bands playing in various places:

King of wobble rapLeif (Khalif Diouf ’11)  performs a medley of “Black Magic” and “Jungle Fever” with Das Racist and Purple Crush at the Annex in New York. Reminds me of Gravy Train!!!!, in a really good way:

[via Gordon Gartrelle]

Red Wire Black Wire at the Annex last week, playing a few songs and answering NME’s questions. Shout-out to Wes at 2:02, for showing enthusiasm at live shows as opposed to apathetic New York audiences just standing around:

Buru Style with Toussaint Liberator at Western Front in Cambridge:

Precision: SYNC ft. LEIF

Come watch Precision Troupe’s final performance/dance party of the year! Party it up on the last day of classes, and join Precision in the USDAN Courtyard.

n77161087668_88292Featuring the musical talents of LEIF and DJ Marisol, the party starts at 10:30 with LEIF and Precision on the stage at 11:30.

Date: Tuesday, May 5
Time: 10:30pm – 12am
Place: USDAN Courtyard
Price: Free!

Spotlight: Das Racist

Lately we’ve mentioned some Wes-related music acts in passing, but not in detail. Here is further explication, most of which is lifted shamelessly from Aural Wes, which naturally is on the ball with these musical sorts of things.

Das Racist, described by the Guardian as “a self-styled ‘slacker-art-rap Dutchpop world music band with mad street cred'”, has been racking up some Internet attention.

Case in point: a few months ago the top Google search hits for “das racist” were links to various people being oppressed, and now they’re all about these guys:

DAS RACIST, the inspired, hilarious, and totally fucking brilliant collaboration of Himanshu Suri ’07 and Victor Vazquez ’06, deserve our attention these days. After all, here at Wesleyan we are all about the next big thing, and right now the next big thing is really clever, really hungry, and definitely stoned. And it sounds a little like this:

The best rapper is Eminem
I’m not even joking, the best rapper is Eminen
Just joking, the best rapper is me and him
Our rap band is called Das Racist, we’re back again
And I don’t really like that dude, Eminem
And I’ma probably say his name again, Eminem
Catch me in the club, eating M&Ms
I’m on the train walking around selling M&Ms
It’s also nice that the boys keep it in the fam, with tracks produced by Leif (known by friends, lovers, fans as Khalif Diouf ’11) and Harrison Schaaf ’11.

Their biggest hit thus far, “Pizza Hut Taco Bell“, is what I imagine it’s like to be stoned, hungry, and lost in Queens, without a car but with a very rhythmic case of tinnitus. Get more on MySpace, and check out Hima’s blog, Gordon Gartrelle.

Aural Wes: let’s talk about it
MySpace: Das Racist
Gordon Gartrelle
I Smell Like Money: Das World Premiere