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Skidmore Music Scene: Don’t Call It a Comeback (Or Call It a Comeback)

Saturday, May 9th, 2015
They're back, and their banner is still better than yours.

They’re back, and their banner is still better than yours.

Some of you might remember the Skidmore Music Scene blog, a self-described “buffet of media devoted to Skidmore College student bands and what not.” The website debuted in the spring of 2012, filling a glaring void in the Skidmore community. When it started, the blog consisted of posts about the (at the time) big wigs of the music scene here at Skidmore, such as The Artifiacts (RIP), Punch Drunk Monkeys (RIP), The Downlow (major fucking RIP). And (obviously) Los Elk, which at the time was just a gaggle of wide-eyed bushy-tailed freshmen who covered The Killers and Foster the People. And let’s not forget Yo Soy Milk.

Never forget Yo Soy Milk.

Naturally, shit got busy with the site’s creators, and things started to peter out as they got preoccupied with real world shit and their own musical projects and just things that don’t involve starring at a computer screen (seriously, you should just close your browser right now and go outside, because it’s fucking beautiful out lately).

Anyway, moral of the story is that things have been pretty quiet on the blog for the past year,which has been a total bummer for those of who looking for updates on the latest music happenings on campus. However, the site’s been passed on, and it’s looking like the folks who are running it now are just as committed to providing a space for a sadly underrepresented aspect of campus culture. In a recent email exchange we had, the current head of the SMS blog said, “I’m hoping to make it a more active page that has reviews of new student music, discusses the state of the scene and what people want to see change in it, as well as just talk bands that people think should come through.”

Sounds great to me. Check out the blog and catch up on what’s been going on with old and new faces in the scene. You can also find an ever-expanding list of current and old Skidmore bands/artist here. And be sure to keep posted on the site and their Facebook page for updates on the latest and greatest in the Skidmore music scene–and if you have something you’d like to submit and get on the site, do so here.

Some (Maybe?) Helpful Hints for Fun Day 2015

Friday, April 24th, 2015
Lest we forgot what the sky looked like on Fun Day last year.

Lest we forgot what the sky looked like on Fun Day last year.

Fun Day is tomorrow.

That’s really all there is to it, but while we have you here, let’s talk about it a little bit. Maybe you’re a seasoned pro by now. Maybe you’ve never experienced this sextravaganza (not a typo). Either way, it’s never too late/early to get some tips on how to get the most (or least) out of the coldest funnest day of the year. Because here at SkidUnofficial, we make mistakes so YOU don’t have to!

Obviously you’re going to make most of your Fun Day plans around your pals and how early they decide to get basic on the fourth floor of JoTo. But it’s worth thinking about the cornerstone of Fun Day…

No, not I’m not talking about pot (haha did you know there’s weed at this school?). I’m talking about the bands! Err…I mean the bands and DJs! Both! Both are equally valued on this site! Really! Honest!

Here’s the running order as of right now.

12:00 – Salmon of Knowledge
12:50 – Queen Ambrosia
1:40 – Trash Johnson
2:30 – Los Elk
3:20 – Karate
4:10 – Dope Mosely

See a band you wanna catch? Then make sure to drag your buds over to the green and soak up the tunes. What’s that? They’re not budging?! Fuck ’em! You can catch them later once they’ve done the dirty work of finding a place to lay the blanket.

But enough from me! Let me hand it over to some of my esteemed colleagues for them to share their endless bounty of wisdom.

Charmander:

It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Don’t be that person who passes out at 3pm only to wake up at 5 with a hangover so terrible it will awaken Lucy Scribner herself. Just let the day happen and the good time will roll along.

Dr. Spaceman:

Be whimsical as fuck, in both looks and spirits: if you ever publicly scorned those sexy pierced hula-hooping girls but secretly wanted to be them, Fun Day is your chance. Break out your lacy bralette and flower crowns or just go naked. Fun Day welcomes you as you are. Honestly, unless you intentionally try really hard to fuck things up, it will inevitably be a fun day for everyone. Go on all the fun bouncy rides–the grace period for it being socially acceptable to act like a kid is running out (unless you’re a freshman, in which case I hate you because I am a bitter washed-up senior), so take advantage while you can. Just enjoy everything around you, don’t fret about whether or not you look weird or if your crush is there or if you think you see your professor (I promise, you don’t [Executive Editor’s note: I saw mine last year]). Seriously, just be happy to be in the moment and check yo worries at the Case door.

Shifting into Mom Mode: If you’re going to be drinking that day, PLEASE take advantage of the food available. I didn’t my freshman year, and let’s just say I left a little gift near the Burgess tables. (Puke. The gift was puke.). Also, seriously, wear some fucking sunscreen. I know not everyone is as pale as me (OMG!!! I just gave my identity away! Hahahah just kidding, everyone at this school is a porcelain-white girl), but when you are drunkenly lying in the sun for like 5 hours, you WILL get burnt. Get turnt, don’t get burnt. No matter what the weather, I guarantee a Fun Day for all or your tuition money back (just kidding, Glotzbach needs the infinite tuition money for lifeblood).

Major Qwik:

There’s no shame in calling time-out and taking a break from the festivities. You might say that you’re going to see every band/DJ’s setlist, but odds are that probably won’t happen. Be realistic. Take care of yourself. If you’re hungry, head to dhall. If you need to load-up on water, head back to your dorm with a pal and have a h2h featuring vulnerability you never knew you had and will likely never see again. Now, of course, by “water” what I really mean is  MALIBU MALIBU ALL DAY WOOOO YOU ARE YOUNG AND IT IS FRESHMAN YEAR AND DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS?

(No, it doesn’t. You’ve peaked.)

Anyway, the point is that the aforementioend whimsical hula-hoopers will still be there when you get back. This shit really does go on for a while. So don’t worry about missing “the best part” while on your break. The whole day is the best part! Unless you don’t get the sunglasses. Then it’s best just to pack up before something really bad happens. Oh, and if you DO get sunglasses, don’t fall asleep with them on.Basic shit, but you’ll think your Uncle Qwik later. The weather app on my iPhone currently has a sun icon for Saturday, so it WILL be out for the majority of the day, presumably (as opposed to the 15 glorious minutes it was out for last year).

And another thing: don’t pull any of that “I’m just going back to my dorm to take a quick name then I’ll wake up RARIN’ TO GO” shit. That’s not going to happen. If you fall asleep on Fun Day, you won’t wake up. No, I don’t mean you’ll die (though for fuck’s sake don’t do that either). I mean you won’t wake up until Fun Day is over. And if that’s the case, well, you might as well have died.

Oh, and if you find yourself thinking “Well golly, this girl/guy sure is cute, let’s lickity-split and go to my SUPER SECRET SEMI-PUBLIC SEX SPOT” at any point past 2:00, don’t bother. It’s more than likely that your super secret semi-public sex spot isn’t all that super secret, and at least two other couples (or triads? Fun Day, remember?) will already be bumpin’ uglies. So unless you feel like negotiating the space (sharing is caring, after all), I suggest you get more creative or just have sex in a dorm like the good Christian boy/girl you know yourself to be.

Hannibal Burgess:

“Fun Day is the only day where if you don’t look like an idiot, you look like an idiot.”
–Ghandi

And if you haven’t found that interesting enough, here’s 14 fun facts about Robin Adams! The more you know. (Edit: The link is down. But here’s his website in case you still need to fill your RA quota for the week!)

Weekend Distractions CXXXV

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

THURSDAY:
8:00pm – Seniors Go Solo ft. BEER @ Falstaff’s
8:00pm – Carr Residency Lecture: Documentarian Jocelyn Arem ’04 @ Filene

FRIDAY:
3:00pm Jacob Perlow Event Series: Life in a Jar @ Filene
7:00pm – Life Under ISIS: Discussion w/ Abude Alasaad @ Davis
8:00pm – Skidmore Concert Band @ Filene
8:00pm – Breakbeats Final Show @ Filene

SATURDAY:
2:00pm – The Feminist Monologues @ Wilson
6:30pm – Hotel Anello (ft. Jonathan Lee-Rey) @ Falstaff’s
3:00pm – Jacob Perlow Event Series: Life in a Jar @ Filene
8:00pm – Senior Recital: Jarred Green and Max Weigel @ Zankel
8:00pm – The Feminist Monologues @ Wilson
8:30pm – Los Elk & McLovins @ Putnam Den
9:00pm – Teen Girl Scientist Monthly & Iguana Mañana @ The SPA
9:00pm – AKT & Ad-Libs Improv Comedy Mega Show @ Davis
10:30pm – TuftsMORE: Dynamics & Tufts sQ Jam @ Wilson

SUNDAY:
1:00pm – Senior Recital: Emily Burnham, Voice & Piano @ Zankel
2:00pm – The Feminist Monologues @ Wilson
7:00pm – Senior Recital: Ian Bakerman, Jazz @ Falstaff’s
8:00pm – Hotel Anello (ft. Jonathan Lee-Rey) @ Falstaff’s

Missing something? Let us know in the replies!

Los Elk Release ‘Rituals’

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Moments like this don’t actually happen in real life.

Throw up your antlers and bust out those credit cards, folks, because Los Elk‘s new EP, Rituals, has hit the world wide web for streaming.

Featuring three new tracks–two in their usual yet tight-as-ever upbeat sound, and one slower jam that just shreds at the end–the dancey-rock quartet shows that their time on the road and in the studio has done them well. The production is sleeker than ever, and the songs showcase an impressive amount of musical complexity that separates the band from most artists that produce material this infectious.

For fans of the band’s previous efforts (which you probably are), you’ll find plenty to love in the 10 minutes that this release spans. And if you’re not a fan, well, I have to go to a class that starts in two minutes, so I really can’t think of anything clever to balance that out.

Check out an acoustic version of the “Neighbors,” the EP’s second track, below. And check out the new release–which can be downloaded for a modest $3–on the band’s Bandcamp.

Los Elk to Release New EP

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Album Art by Jake LiBassi.

Los Elk have just announced the released date for their upcoming EP, Rituals, which is slated to drop on February 24th. It’s been over a year since the band dropped the second installment in their (assumedly) two-part EP series, but the band has been incredibly active touring near and far for the past year–and it’s safe to assume they made their return to the studio tighter than ever.

If you’re unfamiliar with the band and their material (chyeah right), check out their discography on their Bandcamp and be sure to add to their bounty of “likes” on their Facebook page. And, of course, check back later this month to hear what I’m sure will be another solid release from the indie-pop darlings of the Skidmore music scene.

Los Elk Release “Habits” Cover

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

New year, new picture. Thank the good lord.

Your favorite Skidmore band Los Elk have recorded an acoustic cover of Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High),” which can be viewed below. It’s a pretty tight arrangement, as it features guitarist Noah Ross playing a ukulele in a way that doesn’t make you want to eschew YouTube for the remainder of your earthly existence. And that, my friends, is a major feat. Click to continue »

Did You Miss Beatlemore? Watch It Here!

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
Poster designed by Jackie Avellar '15.

Poster designed by Jackie Avellar ’15.

If you (like me) committed the Skidmore cardinal sin of missing out on Beatlemore this weekend, absolution is readily available. You can (re)live the magic in this recording of Saturday night’s Skidmore-only performance below.

[On another note: check out the music department’s livestream page for a whole slew of archived events that you probably missed as well. Shit, what with everything being thrown on the Internet, why go out anymore? Stay inside. Live your life from your computer desk. It’s safe there.]

Obviously, you should watch the entire performance, but we’ve done you the service of writing out the setlist below the video. You know, just in case you’re only watching so you can see your friend–the one you totally promised you would go, but you waited until the last minute and couldn’t get a ticket or just decided that your Northwoods apartment was too warm and toasty to schleck all the way to Zankel.

Click to continue »

Los Elk to Play 2014 CBGB Festival

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
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Why, yes: that IS an anarchy symbol painted on a train.

Skidmore’s very own indie-pop professors and Fun Day regulars Los Elk have been announced as part of the lineup for the 3rd annual CBGB Music & Film Festival. If you read the acronym “CBGB” and only think of the t-shirts worn by that one kid in high school who had “KURT COBAIN’S #1 FAN” as his name on Myspace, then read this and learn something about a huge part of American music history.

The CBGB festival made its debut in 2012, with headliners like Cloud Nothings, War on Drugs, and The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, and featured more than 300 bands in the lineup—in addition to screenings of more than two dozen rock ‘n’ roll related films. The following year marked a couple changes in the festival: it was moved from July to October, it expanded from three days to five days, and it increased its lineup to about 500 bands.

This year, running from October 8-12, will be more of the same, with one major change: the producers have made substantial cuts to the lineup, limiting the total to a mere 50 bands. Allan Kozinn of nytimes.com reports that “The organizers, saying that they wanted to focus on quality rather than quantity this year, have scaled back the number of bands and solo performers to about 50.” Granted, the economy is also still in shambles, so that might have something to do with it as well.

Still, the fact that our very own Los Elk made the cut with the 90% decrease (shout out to skillsyouneed.com) is fucking huge, and we/they should be super stoked and proud. They’ll be joining an eclectic lineup of performers, from Jane’s Addiction to We Are Scientists to Macy Gray (of Spiderman fame).

Seeing all the other band photos made me realize that these boys really need to step up their game in this department.

Alright, boys, if you’re going to be landing gigs at sweet festival, you really oughta step up your band photo game.

Los Elk will be performing at Pianos on Saturday, October,11 at 10:00pm, right before Skidmore’s newest pals, The Rooks. If you’re interested in attending the show, I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding a couple friends to head down to the city with and throw up your antlers to support our boys.

Okay, that last sentence felt really stupid to type. Besides, who are you kidding: you’re seeing Chance the Fucking Rapper on Saturday. Either way, congratulations to the band for landing a sweet gig. Yet another thing to reinforce that they’ve certainly come a long way from covering that one song by The Killers from Guitar Hero 3.

Lively Lucy’s & SEC Present: Los Elk & The Rooks

Friday, September 19th, 2014

It wouldn’t be the start of a new semester at Skidmore if we didn’t have a show of our very own indie darlings Los Elk. You may have enjoyed their performance at Putnam Den this past weekend, but this Saturday at 10:00pm, the four-piece outfit will be gracing the Falstaff’s stage and playing the first of what I’m sure will be many on-campus gigs this semester.

Amir and the boys

From right to left: Amir Rivera-Lieberman ’15, some dudes

I’d try to describe their sound in my own words, but their Facebook page features a pretty adequate description, in addition to some good ol’ humble-bragging.

Los Elk features a unique and precise blend of Dance and Indie-Rock to deliver their trademark electrifying and energizing performances. Composed of Amir Rivera-Lieberman, Noah Ross, Hal DeGroat, and Ryan Bondell, Los Elk had their origins in Skidmore College. Forming in the Fall of 2011, the group quickly made a name for themselves with their fun and skillful performances. Since then, Los Elk has played countless shows with more on the way. Stay tuned, because things are only getting better!

While it certainly shouldn’t be excused for a slightly gimmicky title, the band’s latest EP Part II, was a well-produced and well-executed hit among the student body, and the band’s appeal has certainly extended beyond both Skidmore and Saratoga Springs, as they’ve been incredibly active over the summer playing at a variety of venues. And rightly so, because their sound is fucking tight.

Also on the bill for the evening is the NYC-based sextet The Rooks. Branding a blend of soul, R&B, and pop and featuring delicately placed yet lush instrumentation that promises to translate incredibly well live and show what that new sound system at Falstaff’s is really capable of. Listen to and download their new single “Twister” and their 2013 EP Something You Can Take to get a sampling of their work. In the unlikely case that Los Elk doesn’t get you there, these guys certainly will.

Doors are at 9:300pm, show starts promptly at 10:00pm. Swing by and start your weekend in the most classically Skidmore way possible.

Weekend Distractions CXXII

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

THURSDAY
8:00PM – ROCK THE VOTE: A Student Band Showcase @ Falstaff’s

FRIDAY:
3:30PM – AKT (Awkward Kids Talking) Auditions @ Upstairs of JKB
3:30PM – State of the College Address @ Zankel
6:00PM – AKT Auditions @ Upstairs of JKB

SATURDAY
9:00AM – Women’s Tennis vs.Union
1:00PM – Women’s Soccer vs. Plattsburgh
4:00PM – Men’s Soccer vs. Plattsburgh
8:00PM – Los Elk and The Rooks @ Falstaff’s

Missing something? Let us know in the comments!