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.
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, AmandaPalmer’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 lastthreesemesters) and student bands (Peace Museum, Lioness, and Awesomefest all get shout-outs).
For those not in the know: Daytrotter is a music website that specializes in three things that I care about, all really part of the same thing: live sessions with artists 7 days a week, giving away download links for these sessions for free, and really dense, crazy write-ups about these sessions that I should really spend more time looking at. If you’ve got other things to do, though, the titles will do just fine (sample from the links section: “A Confusing World At-Large Deciphered By Wolves And Men”).
Among the acts Daytrotter has lured into the studio (presumably under cinnamon-coated pretenses) are some of Wesleyan’s finest — ever-present The Management and recent visitors BearHands are among the many, many recordings.
Breaking Motherfucking News: A tip from sneakergaze while I was finishing up this post:
I’M AT THE — never mind, there’s no way that could end well, unlike this apparently upcoming Das Daytrotter sesh. Looks like I’ll be following up on this soon. OFWGKTA/DR collab?
National Weather Service travel advisory: two metric fucktons of links incoming. Read on for a return to our regularly scheduled programming.
About a month ago, acclaimed New Jersey punk outfit Titus Andronicus played a show at Wesleyan to great student enthusiasm. Linus and The Parents opened. Maybe you were there—if our current sidebar poll is any indication, it was one of the most well-received shows of the fall semester, and I tend to agree with that judgment.
Turns out Titus violinist Amy Klein, who blogs semi-frequently about music and feminism and life on the road as “Amy Andronicus,” was less enthusiastic about the experience. In a blog post shortly after the show, Klein describes an unfortunate (or inevitable, or meaningless, or horribly sexist—you make the call) incident during a gig, in which a male audience member grabbed her breast while she was crowd-surfing. She identifies the venue only as “a small, private liberal arts college in the Northeast,” which very likely identifies Wesleyan. [Confession: I was at this concert and I have no recollection of this supposed interruption. Disclaimer: That does not mean it didn’t occur.]
Jersey-bred punk heroes blow speakers, melt faces. Pics below.
Click past the jump for some images from Titus Andronicus’s triumphant 90+-minute set at Eclectic last night, which ran the gamut from frenzied renditions of The Monitor‘s most exhilarating noise-punk anthems to inspired Misfits singalongs. (And all to the delight of a crowd alternately moshing, flailing, and swaying, way too fucking pumped to notice that the left speaker blew out way early in the set.) Easily one of the top shows of the semester, and mad organizing props—as always—to the Radical Performance Machine.
Also, read an excellent Argus interview with frontman Patrick Stickles here. And since there was sadly no merch table at the show tonight, you should probably go ahead and order The Monitorhere.