Mel Hsu ’13 and Josh Smith ’11 filled earth house last night with the warmth raw warm and creatively unique melodies. Even decked out in Halloween attire, the crowd was hushed and pulled into the poetry of their music. Mixing spoken word, the deep pizzicato of Mel’s cello, and the musical talent of their friends Jessica Best ’14, Tory Mathieson ’14, Yatta Zoker ’14, Gabe Gordon ’11, Louis Russo ’11 and Nate Mondschein ’12, one could not help but feel that they were also a part of the friendship music making. (Mel and Josh dropped an album last May. Check it out here.)
They were followed by DRMS, a band from the Bay area, self-described as “if David Lynch curated a band with Billie Holiday.” The Earth House living room was still jam-packed, and the mermaids, pirates, and 80s disco divas danced on to the rolling aerial and smoky vocals of their music. Bandcamp here.
Pictures here after the jump.
People, get ready! Not only is there a Mel & Josh living room show planned for this weekend, but it’s gonna get electric! If your life hasn’t yet been touched with this duo’s incredible tunes, make sure to check out their bandcamp and don’t miss this show! Mel Hsu ’13 has a little something to say:
Word on the street is that Josh Smith ’11 and some of The Rooks are coming back to Wes on Saturday to play a Mel & Josh living room show with a special guest set from Bay Area band DRMS! We are incredibly excited to play songs off of our recently-released album: “Analogue.” This will be our first intimately electric show at Wes with a full band. We’ll be rocking songs from Analogue, some older favorites, and some new songs as well.
We will be joined by our good friends Jessica Best ’14, Tory Mathieson ’14, Yatta Zoker ’14, Gabe Gordon ’11, Louis Russo ’11 and Nate Mondschein ’12.
A little over a month ago, we covered efforts by Mel Hsu ’13 and Josh Smith ’11 to gain financial support for their first album together via Kickstarter. And support there was! They overshot their goal by over $900!
Mel and Josh released the album a couple days ago. Titled Analogue, it is incredibly moving, combining beautiful vocals, acoustic instrumentation, fluid rap, and spoken word.
A number of Wes students and recent alumni contributed to the album, including Jard Paul ’11, Jessica Best ’14, Tory Mathieson ’14, Gabe Gordon ’11, Louis Russo ‘11, Nate Mondschein ’12, and Mike Rosen ’11.
You can (and should!) download it on their bandcamp page.
Mel Hsu ’13 and Josh Smith ’11 met during Mel’s freshman fall at an open mic in Music House. Josh (known to many as Wordsmith) approached her about collaborating and a wonderfully fruitful friendship was born. Throughout the years and in a number of intimately crowded living rooms, the pair combined Josh’s fluid rap with Mel’s amazing cello skills and emotive singing to perform beautiful and unique shows that at times sent shivers down our spines and tears to our eyes. The duo is now hoping to release an album that, in this blogger’s opinion, is sure to make the world a more beautiful place.
If you’ve attended a living room show, you understand how important it is that this album becomes a reality. If you’ve never heard of Mel or Josh, it’s all the more important that you get a chance to experience this incredible musical Wes-born phenomenon. They’re hoping to distribute the album for free, but need some money to help produce it. It will for sure, no question, undoubtedly be worth your investment.
Donate now on their Kickstarter page.
For a taste of what’s to come, check out their respective Bandcamps:
Old-school pic of Mad Wow, cuz' we got no new-school pics.
So, last night staple Wes-bands Mad Wow and WordSmith & the Concert G’s played their last show ever at Beckham Hall. (Until some sort of reunion occurs, I would expect.) And heck, it was pretty damn great.
But there was this massive impromptu after-party walkabout thing that happened after that, you see, where a good portion of the horn section took to the streets of Wesleyan blarin’ out tunes in Mardi Gras-esque fashion. Weskids were dancin’ up and down the street, mobs were mobbin’, and PSafe cars passed by probably quite unsure as to whether the whole thing was an infraction of school regulations or not.
And it was fun, man. It was so fun A-Batte punched me in the face without knowing it, and I didn’t know it ’til I woke up this morning with a strange lump on my left cheek.
But here’s the problem: In all that grand revelry, my Wesleying associates and I didn’t manage to snap any pictures, videos, or any sort of documentation of this wild, wild thing. And we’d like very much to digitally immortalize that mobile street party, ya know?
So if you were there, at that show, at that party, and if you have pictures or videos or some sort of chalk etching of it all that you’d like to share, do send us a copy over at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org. If you’d like the transfer to be simpler, you can arrange a super-duper-cool drop off with us. Email us and we’ll figure out something. We can’t give you cash or anything, but we can give you our love.
Bones Complex frontman and reasonably friendly individual Zachary B. Goldberg ’13 sends in word of an exciting happening at 200 Church this Saturday:
I know there’s a lot going on Saturday night, but we got one more jam you need to check out. Wordsmith and The Concert G’s, Fly Machine, and Bones Complex are gettin’ down with some dirty, blast-out-ya-speakers funk at 200 Church. This show is gonna be like a Peanut Butter and Jesus sandwich. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the lineup:
So most of you may have heard of Jessica Posner ’09 who took home the the “Do Something!” award this summer, but you probably have not heard of her smokin’ boyfriend Kennedy Odede ’12. Hailing from the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya, he’s not only been involved in bettering his community infinite amounts, but also he’s an accomplished rapper!
Odede, Wordsmith (Josh Smith ’11), and Mikey Ro (Michael Rosen ’11) have joined forces to create this absolutely excellent track, featuring hit lyrics like “junior status but he’s so damn B.I.G.” and “a clinic already, today he’s Odede/but give him a decade and he’ll be el presidente,” “his dance moves are crazy,” “hips seem to move like blades of a blender.”
And be sure to download the track and name your price because producer Jared Paul ’11 pledged to donate proceeds to Shining Hope for Communities. Pertinent linkage below.
In the spirit of fellow blogger A-Batte’s recent posts about free Wes-produced music, Michael Rosen ’11 invites you to check out the debut LP from our very own WordSmith:
Over the weekend, Josh Smith ’11 released his debut full length album Of Mics and Men. You may know Josh by his super-hero alter-ego transformer-awesome power ranger name WordSmith (as in WordSmith & The Concert G’s) from one of the many shows they’ve rocked on campus over the past few years. The album was produced exclusively by Jared Paul ’11 and features vocals from Lucy Strother ’11 and Katherine McDonald ’11.
The album is available for free via TheNewConfusion.com (www.TheNewConfusion.com/WordSmith) or you can stream it (and read a review by Davy Knittle ’11) after the jump.
(Also, it’s really, really good. So download it and tell all your friends.)
Concert at Psi U on Friday, to benefit the Kibera School for Girls in Kenya. From Amanda Contrada ’10:
Cold Duck Complex/Freshwater
Formed in 2000 in Western Mass, this band/MC combo has the edge of hip hop and the drive of rock and roll. After a hiatus due to the relocation of members, Cold Duck Complex/Freshwater is back and more than making up for lost time with their recent album, Freshwater: Bad Love
Check them out for yourselves on MySpace:
Wordsmith and the Temps
Your favorite Wesleyan 10+ piece hip hop band, complete with hard hitting horns, big bass lines, and a whole lot of soul. Light on the thug-posturing and acting cool, heavy on the love and the music. Josh “WordSmith” Smith brings the rhyme while Nate Mondschein, Steven Cooper, Dane Jackson, Will Monson, Donovan Arthen, Ryan Rodger, Ben Block, Myles Potters, Abaye Steinmetz-Silber, and Emma Daniels bring the funk. IF they all fit on the stage, that is.
Soul Kat Too
Solkattu: noun. South Indian rhythmic style
Soul kat: noun. A funky motherfucker
Too: adverb. Also.
They are soul kats. You can be a soul kat too. This is a brand spankin’ new funk band with Nate Mondschein, Spencer Hattendorf, Zack Rosen, Graham Richman, and Sam Friedman, featuring the vocal stylings of Garth Taylor. If you’ve ever seen these kids play before I don’t think I need to say anything more. If you haven’t… Well, the only thing I will add is that you should.
Tickets are $2 at the door and all proceeds are going to the Kibera School for Girls in Kenya. Facebook event.
Date: Friday, Nov. 20
Time: 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Place: Psi U