“Buy all of your friends’ presents tonight.” This is the command of the Spirit of Thirty-Fork Street, Wesleyan’s sometimes-friendly-but-often-awkward Ghost of Christmas Past. (It probably doesn’t help that we don’t have a Ghost of Chanukah Past.) Anyway, if you’re on top of that, good for you. If you’re not, first take an hour to download and listen to Miracle on Thirty-Fork Street, a holiday season compilation of original (!) songs put together by a loose collective of Wesleyan-associated acts. Then, freaking consume, you consumer. Here are some reflections, lightly edited for reading ease, from a contributor:
The album was made by an extended group of friends (we mostly know each other). All of these friends are either from Wesleyan or closely related to folks at Wesleyan. These are all ORIGINAL holiday songs. No covers! It’s really lame that the majority of holiday songs were written in the baby boomer era. So here are some new ones.
This album is dedicated in part to Will Schragis ’12, who approached me (and others) last year trying to put together a holiday album where he and his friends who actually played music would do covers. Unfortunately it never came together.
The title is a reference to the Static Stamina/Japanese holiday EP It’s a Wonderful KNIFE!, which is actually one of the most hated things on the ACB ever.
Wes alum Asa Horvitz ’10, notably ofDuchampion 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 semesterPoint 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.
“An album of songs about meaningful things”—almost entirely Wes-specific.
Over the summer, homegrown musical personalityZack Sulsky ’13 put out a call for submissions. In particular, he requested “original songs about meaningful things.” Each songwriter, he explained, would choose an appropriate charity for their song to fund. In so doing, the project will “contribute not only money, but also serious thought and discourse to the issues that we, the songwriters, care about.
True to promise, Sulsky’s project, “Songs for Something,” has come to fruition. As of last week, the compilation is available on BandCamp for free streaming and $12 purchase. (Remember: those dollars are going to charity.) More than half of its 13 tracks are by Wesleyan artists, and if you’re sick to death of all the post-chillwave hogwash nonsense about unmeaningful things, consider this compilation a pleasantly eclectic ramble through the folksier, rootsiercorner of Wesleyan’s student music scene. Particular highlights include “Mercury,” a majestic slow-burner from the recent Honey and the Sting release; “The Holder,” an impossibly soulful minimalist gem from the impossibly prolific Mel Hsu ’13; and “After the Heatwave,” a bittersweet solo cut by Bones Complex‘s Andrew Pfeiffer ’13. The album also contains original music by Julia Mark ’13, The Blooming Youth, Alma Sanchez-Eppler ’14, Sulsky himself, and the “Billionaire” remix we previously posted about. As Sulsky explains,
yo guys tunes tunes tunes u no dreamhost. well lemme tell u. dylan bostick ’13 fuckin makes mad music dude, good shit its so 80s and stuff. here look at the last one its pretty baller. turns out tha kidd went double down did a new album using shit from going aborad to italy, fuck, look! new album drops called in italia!!!! like a fuckin land shark g, my dude. go here to get it you can just click the picture too though here’s the lowdown from usdan’s own dylan broccoli:
made the tracks over the summer, inspired by/used some samples from music i heard in italy. thats about it.
yeah pretty simple now put some space in those drums. wait we’ve got a lot anyway italian space program up in this shit!!!! fuckin d.b. killin it dude not gonna lie chillwave 80s shit pretty ballin right now. might be a lil high dont think i remember smoking though, am i even awake right now. fuck. check it out dude do my boi a solid. party at his place on knowles tonight come through bro. peace love hare grease catch you later anyone tryna smoke tonight hit me up lets get some bud dude
“Ain’t Tryna Say Good Night” is a weirdly appropriate title for a music video released this weekend, both personally, since yesterday/today I stayed up all night (to make friends for life!), and for the campus community at large–seniors whose Commencement into the world at large is just one last drug-addled night away; underclassmen working Reunion & Commencement this weekend to experience all the Parties on Fountain and none of the parties in Olin; alumni visiting to remember and reconstruct olden times. Don’t say good night, Wesleyan. Eat, drink, and be merry tonight. Have some fun! Too much fun! Go for a last WeScam or three! Dance with a ’57 alum (Martin Benjamin)! Fucking live. Just… don’t be tryna say good night.
Like it? Download it. Like it a lot? See who was involved after the jump.
Here’re some details from Waka Flocka Feinstein ’13 (AKA William) in his idiosyncratic writing style:
After fuming over the Battle of the Bands lineup for tomorrow and muttering something under your breath about Eclectic, you’re probably trying to scrounge up as much information as you can on just who these acts are before you check them out live. The CIA is working on throwing darts at a map of the Middle East dossiers for the other performers, but we already have some details on the latest (like, yesterday) release by competitors Static Stamina, thanks tobandleader Will F. ’13. Turns out they were promoting their first single in a year-ish, “Beat of the Street“, themselves, with members even posting links to the track on facebook. More on the shocking developments:
“This is a song about the importance of real hip hop.”
“The bridge is inspired by Schoolboy Q’s “Hands on the Wheel.”
In addition, the song features Dema Paxton Fofang ’13 and Mara Connor ‘TCEX [Ed.: 12-college exchange. Oh snap!] on guest vocals.
Static Stamina’s lineup:
Me, Danny ’13, Stefan ’13, Jason Katzenstein ’13, Adrien ’13, Molly ’14, Kevin Curtin ’13, Jacob ’13, Nicole ’13, Hannah Vogel ’13, Max Bevilacqua ’12, Sam Ebb ’13
Static Stamina, undeniably the only real hip hop band on campus, plays BotB tomorrow night at Eclectic with The Appledaughters, Grand Cousin, Lyons Den, Peace Museum, and Treasure Island for a shot at opening Spring Fling (featuring these guys!).
Just in time for bar night, Mullman ’12 and Julien Benichou have dropped a deuce on the Wesleyan electronic scene. (Wait, that probably didn’t sound too nice.) Bastille‘s latest, “One Night Love Affair“, has only the most bass of intentions – to produce dancing wherever it may be played. Credit where it’s due, folks: you’ve probably made out to these guys more than once. Click the huge-ass condom above and score some free tunes!
There’s also a video. I’ll be real for a sec, though – this looks more like a temporary thing than a love affair, IMO. I put my money on the couple below breaking up because they only ever get to see each other at loading docks:
A WesBand you haven’t heard (of)? At least, I haven’t. In support of musical diversification at Wes, Daniel Ferm ’12 writes in:
We’re Speedy Ortiz. We’re from Northampton and Connecticut. I, Daniel Ferm, am the only one in the band from Wesleyan. We play lots of shows in New England and New York, and we played a show here in March in a house. We just got signed by Exploding in Sound Records. We are Speedy. Take a listen to our latest single.