User comment of the year: “AWE SWEEETTTT! Music mucho bien. TRolOlOlololol”
Remember that time Wesleyan became the “epicenter of surrealist Brooklyn pop”? The Village Voice cast an approving eye on Wesleyan’s music scene in August 2009—the dawn of my freshman year—back when MGMT was a fresh success story and Das Racist, Boy Crisis, and Bear Hands were all up-and-coming reference points. That article bears mention for a number of reason: it replaced the Hollywood “Wesleyan Mafia” with a slightly more bearded Brooklyn contingent; it brought VanWyngarden and friends to the mainstream of Wesleyan’s admissions information sessions and applicant pool (remember this?); and it contained this extraordinary sentence:
Thus did the young scholar soon find himself at a nearby co-ed fraternity called the Eclectic Society, rocking indeed with one Will Berman, now the drummer for Wesleyan-bred, quasi-hippie, semi-famous electro-rockers MGMT.
It’s been two-and-a-half years, so we’re well overdue for another gushing Wesleyan music feature in a mainstream news source.
This time it’s USA Today’s College page; headlined “Student and alumni musicians bring ‘Wesleyan Wave’ to the national scene,” the article comes complete with a “Wesleyan Playlist” of Soundcloud embeds that runs the gamut from Das Racist and and Santigold to C¥BERGIGA and Lioness. Anyone smell hype? I smell hype.
What I like about this article—at least compared with the 2009 Voice piece—is that it extends its scope well beyond a few high-profile alumni. So yeah, it begins by pointing out that “MGMT, Das Racist, Santigold, Amazing Baby, Bear Hands and Fort Lean all boast [Wesleyan] diplomas” (no dice, Amanda Palmer ’98, who both performed this fall and has written music about Wesleyan), but soon refocuses on current student activity, which includes both concert-booking (a smorgasbord of examples from the last three semesters) and student bands (Peace Museum, Lioness, and Awesomefest all get shout-outs).