Almost three years ago exactly, I showed up to my first Eclectic concert, as a wide-eyed, naive pre-frosh, a total stranger to the “college music scene.” There was loud, thrashy music coming from the ballroom, where a small crowd was gathered. While dancing wildly around with all these strange older cool college kids, I thought to myself, “Wow! I am actually doing this. I am a skinny, lanky dude moshing! And it feels great! And I should totally come here and do this more!” And the rest was, as they say, history.
Blaise ’16 invites you to PANTY PUNK:
Wanna see three campus bands play some punk in just their knickers??????
Then come thru to Earth House on Saturday the 15th!
The Murdertones @ 11:00pm
(punky beatle brotherz)
FACEPLANT @ 11:30pm
Speaking of hardcore, here’s yet another collection of frightening band names and equally intimidating concert fliers. Improve your vocabulary of the various ‘punks and ‘cores (+”dadviolence!?”) with Ashe Kilbourne ’14:
rippin music in the westco café on saturday march 2nd. Free, no id nonsense. you can come in at 8 (or earlier), music starting before 8:30 NEVER LATER
BEARTRAP – fastcore from mass
CONSUMPTION – hartford crust
Al BORLAND – dadviolence from ct
BAKSHI – they go here…
Date: Today, March 2
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Place: WestCo Cafe
When I found out that Ian Mackaye—of Minor Threat, Fugazi, and The Evens—was coming to talk at Wesleyan, my 16-year-old self was ecstatic. I totally went through a phase in high school when I would sit in my room with my headphones on and listen to early punk music at a ridiculous volume—not exactly the classic punk experience, but everybody’s gotta do it their own way. And my 20-year-old self was just as psyched by the prospects of listening to this seminal figure of punk and post-hardcore talk for two hours.
MacKaye, who isn’t exactly known for using his indoor voice, was extremely articulate and thoughtful. He turned a lecture hall into a conversation, and fifteen or so questions into hours of discourse. He even got us to create an impromptu experimental music piece with everyone’s cellphones ringing simultaneously—Alvin Lucier would surely have been proud.
MacKaye took seemingly simple questions and formed sprawling answers, full of stories about the punk scene of the 1980s and ‘90s, with characters ranging from Henry Rollins and Ted Nugent to his bandmates in Fugazi, and life lessons. “Love what you do,” he said when asked to give advice for aspiring musicians. “If you fail, at least you will have loved it.” He talked about trying to get a punk band going in Washington, D.C., about his vocalist inspirations—Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker—about being straight-edge, about being Vegan (“Who does eating meat benefit?”), about the difficulty of dealing with skinheads and violence at his shows (“I don’t provide a soundtrack for violence”), and a short poem on his vision of punk rock: “Because we said so.”
“Inspired by mutual love of auto castration and top 40 hits.”
I really like this album. Not just sorta like it, but I really like it. The band is House Party, the album is called “No Forever/I’m Ready, Darling,” and it was made by Razor Edwards ’10 (of Precision Libido fame), Jeff Rovinelli ’10 (of The Noms fame), and current Brown University student Tim Rovinelli (Brown ’13). It was recorded over a year, includes samples from Christina Perri, and most of it was recorded with a homemade gaggle of electronics, which, by the sound of most of the album, I’m going to go ahead and assume must’ve looked similar to Satan’s genitalia.
The music itself has, at times, a chilled out almost shoegaze-y feel (see “3pm (puma automatic)”), but this facade slowly gets peeled away during the track “love you (christina perri).” After a somewhat benign intro, the album seems to become a small exercise in audio engineering and distorted pop. This is all well and good, but it is during the third track when it becomes evident here that chaos reins supreme.
It would be wrong of me to say that O Presidente plays music from another time. That’s simply missing the point. While the band, comprised of Andrew Zingg ’13, Nathaniel Draper ’12, Tobias Butler ’13, and Thomas Yopes (UC Berkeley ’13), writes music with very particular and sometimes peculiar influences, they’re not really reaching back into the past to steal sounds. Rather, their debut album Clube De Futebol collapses the past 60 years of music history into 10 succinct songs and adds their own, very 21st century sense of humor right on top.
A quick taste of that humor: According to lead singer Zingg, the band formed around a failed student group that he and guitarist Draper attempted to start during his freshman year. Clube de Futebol, originally, was the proposal for “this club that would get SBC funds to pay for a TV and the Fox Soccer channel so we could get together with our friends and watch soccer. The Portuguese spelling was an homage to Brazil’s beautiful way of playing the game. Needless to say, SBC never agreed to give us any money. But the name stuck.” The band name, O Presidente, was a product of the same failed Clube—it was Draper’s official title, in Portuguese of course.
That’s not the last bit of Brazillian influence you’ll hear on this record. On the 50s throwback “Take My Baby,” the group sings its final verse in—you guessed it—Portuguese. You’ve got to give these guys credit for continuity. That song is notable for its American inspiration as well. Beginning with a classic slide into an upbeat surf-guitar riff, “Take My Baby” is a concise tune with easy-to-place roots.
Where in the world does Ashe Kilbourne ’14 find these bands!? I don’t know, but as featured in our winter concert preview, a whole buncha grindcore is going down in the Cafe tonight:
Have you ever wikipedia’d “grindcore?” HA that’s embarrassing! But now’s your chance to see it in action! Gowl, Weald, Misanthropic Noise, Spinach, and Stone Titan are all playing tonight (Saturday) in the Westco Café. If you hate slow music (or alternately you like slow music but want it to be more crushing), this will be the best. show. EVER.
Listen to Gowl here. It start on-time at 8, don’t be late!
Date: Saturday, February 2
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Place: WestCo Cafe
Sorry I couldn’t find a way to incorporate the movie Ice Age into the headline.
And we’re back. Just an hour or two after Christopher Owens romanced the Chapel, Danish punks Iceage stormed the newly constructed side stage at Eclectic, topping off what must be the best Chapel/Eclectic double feature since My Brightest Diamond vs. Bear Hands nearly two years ago to the date. Perhaps because it’s the first concert night of the semester and no one has homework (or maybe because of the dearth of punk shows last semester), a surprisingly substantial population of WesKids braved the arctic temperatures for an aptly named headliner. There was moshing and crowdsurfing and all that hooligan stuff, and the acclaimed Danish quartet held their own, alternating between 2011’s New Brigade and the upcoming You’re Nothing for a satisfying 40 minutes of punishing, rhythm-heavy noise-punk. In the words of energetic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, “Shout-out to all the frat boys. This song is not about you.”
Here is some shoddily filmed footage from Iceage’s set. If you squint hard near the end, you can sort of make out the singer grabbing Jesse Ross-Silverman ’13 by the hair:
Acclaimed Danish punks Iceage are coming to
WestCo Eclectic tomorrow night, along with campus favorites Slasher Roth, Let’s Party Hats! Hats! Hats!, and Bakshi. Given the minor shortage of punk shows on campus last semester, this is probably going to be rad. More from Chelsie Green ’14:
Yes y’all, this Danish punk band of youngins is playing here this Thursday. You can hear (and even see) their youthful aggression in all its glory on the night of the first day of classes.
The band’s sophomore release, You’re Nothing, drops on 2/19. Lead “singer” Elias Rønnenfelt said in an interview that the title is not so much directed at others, “but more [about] how you can feel about yourself sometimes.” Does that sound angsty enough for you? The album is supposed to be more emotionally raw and varied than the band’s debut, not to say the debut is missing any of that…
A couple of Wes bands will be opening for this: Slasher Roth, Let’s Party Hats! Hats! Hats!, and Bakshi. All will be performing short sets beginning immediately at 10:30, with Iceage going on promptly at 11:15 since this has to end at midnight. That means you should head over with feverish haste.
Burrows performed at WestCo Cafe Saturday night. So did Bakshi. So did Curmudgeon and Let’s Party Hats! Hats! Hats! But I didn’t catch them. Which is too bad, but probably okay, because I would like my memories of Bakshi to be tied to their performance last month at Music House, where they opened for Author & Punisher. I caught Burrows. This post is about Burrows.
Burrows is a trio from Wallingford, and they played a vicious set of doom-inspired sludge-punk with low-growled screams and generous double-bass drum. Their Facebook page alternately describes them as “Loud Sounds Coming from Instruments” and “Four Dudes learning about the deaths of neighboring loved ones,” which I suppose are both accurate enough. The band sludged through songs with titles like “The Holy See” and “Slow Fires,” and the crowd was surprisingly large, with a decent population of Wesleyan students moshing into each other (and the floor) with sloppy abandon. More notable to me was the sizable number of local Connecticut punk fans (and at one local alum) at the show, which merged local and student bands on the same bill. This is the second time this week I’ve seen local community members and students united together for the same cause. I guess thick, bass-heavy doom-punk is as good a cause as fighting that bookstore development, when it comes down to it.