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MaryLeigh Roohan on South Park Green TONIGHT (9/1)

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Skidmore alum MaryLeigh Roohan ’13 will be playing a show tonight at 7:00 on South Park Green as part of first-year orientation. Described by David Malachowski of the Times Union as “A strong, smart songwriter with a lovely voice”  in his review of her 2013 album Skin & Bone, MaryLeigh might be one of the more talented singer-songwriters to come out of the Skidmore music scene in recent years.

Marry me.

Featuring an infectious brand of indie-folk/alternative-country, a memorable and powerful voice, and heartbreaking lyricism, MaryLeigh is sure to put on a fantastic show to help kick-off the fall semester in the best way possible, so stop by South Park Green and support an incredibly talented member of the Skidmore community. (In the case of rain, the show will be held at Falstaffs.)


PSYMON SPINE @ Cameo Gallery (8/18)

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

“Special Guests” would be a bomb band name.

PSYMON SPINE, Skidmore’s darlings on all things electronic and whimsical, are playing a show at Cameo Gallery in Williamsburg next Monday, August 18. Joining them will be Graham (of Crystal Fighters), Photojay, and (exitpost).

There are still tickets left, but apparently they’re going quickly, so purchase them while you can at $12-a-pop here. Show is 18+, so be sure to leave your annoying underage friends behind.

Free Cake for Every Creature Streams New Song on Stereogum

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

It’s always cool when Skidmore-related bands get exposure on other sites. Wait, now that I think about it, does that ever happen? Well, now it has, so listen up. Free Cake for Every Creature has a new song entitled “Don’t Go Away” streaming on Stereogum as of today. For those of you who don’t know them, Free Cake for Every Creature is the bedroom pop/twee pop project of Katie Bennett ’13, who writes songs “full of awkward pauses and unassuming romanticism,” according to Stereogum writer James Rettig. She’s recruited some of her pals (Colin Manjoney ’13, Francis Lyons ’14, and Brandon Dyer ’15) for a full-band sound, and their releasing a tape (yeah, like a legit cassette) through Double Double Whammy records on June 10th.

If you've never talked to any of these guys before, it's probably because you're not cool enough.

If you’ve never talked to any of these people before, it’s probably because you’re nowhere near cool enough.

I’m pretty sure it’s still cool to go on Stereogum, and it’s always cool to support the work of your fellow Skidkids Skiddies people affiliated with this academic institution, so check out the song. And be sure to (a) mention to all your non-Skidmore friends that you knew about Free Cake for Every Creature way before they were on Stereogum and (b) mention to all your Skidmore friends that you went on Stereogum way before Free Cake for Every Creature was on it. Pretty Good comes out June 10th. Preorder it here if you feel like dishing out only $5 for some awesome mellow tunes pressed on some dead technology.

Jamming with Javelin: An Interview With George Langford ’02 and Tom Van Buskirk

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
The guy on your right is the one who went here and got drunk in the woods a bunch of times.

The guy on your right is the one who went here and got drunk in the woods a bunch of times.

George Langford and Tom Van Buskirk are cousins from Providence, RI, but together they are Javelin. Their well-received 2010 release No Mas first earned them recognition for their use of cut-and-paste samplings combined with Van Buskirk’s distorted falsetto. Their sound, self-described as “flipping through a radio,” is best heard in the heavily circulated single “Vibrationz.” It’s no wonder, then, why Hi Beams – their latest off of David Byrne’s record label, Luaka Bop – took fans and critics by surprise. Described by some as a total departure from their previous work, the 2013 release swapped their trademark samples for ten entrancing pop songs. Though Hi Beams may not sound like the Javelin we thought we knew, its thoughtful lyrics reflect on pertinent subjects like social media (“Friending”) and a man’s quest for a more meaningful existence (“Airfield”). Hi Beams is yet another demonstration of Javelin’s fearless ability to go where the changing times take them.

WSPN sat down with the duo before their performance at Falstaff’s last Saturday, March 29, which was sponsored by The Skidmore Entertainment Committee. Homecoming band HAP opened with a lively set full of new songs and old favorites. It was a night to make Skidmore students proud; not only did recent Skidmore graduates Ned Porter and Stephen Yell (both Class of 2013) return to play as one-half of HAP, but also George Langford, the drumming-half of Javelin, returned to Skidmore for the first time since graduating in 2002.

With the steady pulse of raindrops over our heads, Javelin talked about how they refuse to make music videos (with the exception of their 16-minute epic western, “Canyon Candy”), the moment when you know you’ve made it as a band (Dan Deacon will tell you so), and their favorite Talking Heads album (answer: it’s a trick question). Most importantly, we talked about George’s time at Skidmore, as he sat in the very same venue where he spent many of his weekend nights “dancing.”

WSPN: Do either of you have a favorite track on the new album?

Tom: I like “Airfield,” it sticks with me. We aren’t songwriters per say, but Airfield was kind of the first natural song that came out. We wrote it from a character’s perspective and, well, there’s a whole backstory really. I was thinking that there’s a guy who lives in California, he has a boring job that pays the bills – I pictured it in a chemistry lab – but he is just brimming with all these feelings that his life is not fulfilling enough. Then George had made an instrumental called “Airfield,” so I was like, okay, he lives by the airfield and he’s just this unfulfilled guy watching planes take off and all he can think about is how he wants to escape his existence.

George: We had a really great video idea for that song. It never happened.

To shoot it on a runway?

George: Yeah!

Tom: There’s more to the story [laughs] but I started to see how songwriters write. You think they’re the ones saying what they’re saying when they say “I,” but it’s not really them. They’re writing for someone else or an amalgam of people, which is easier to express.

I wanted to ask you both about a specific song off of Hi Beams called “Friending.” When did technology and social media come into play with your music?

Tom: Well, certain tech words like “friending” or “trending” or like the word “blog”… they’re just so ridiculous and stupid. So, in the song when I say those words in that tone, I was thinking how ridiculous do I sound saying these words seriously? Just because we put so much energy into them.

You specifically? Or more like the all-encompassing “we?”

Tom: I think everyone, yeah, the big “We.” It seems ridiculous when you look at it from a different perspective, how much energy people put into projecting themselves into this medium. But it’s very meaningful as well, which you can’t poo-poo. It really forms a large part of people’s lives.

George: Yeah, I still feel a little weird about it, but at the same time I check it a lot. But at the same time it’s business, and that’s the game you have to play.

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SEC Presents: Javelin and HAP

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Cool things happen when you find an abstract image on Google and layer it over and over and over.

Cool things happen when you find an abstract image on Google and layer it over and over and over.

This Saturday, SEC brings back Skidmore alumni lo-fi, indie-pop rock band HAP to open up the Falstaff’s stage for brooklyn-based electro-pop-rock duo Javelin. The two sets are sure to flow perfecty, with both bands offering bright, dance-inducing music.

Javelin consists of a set of cousins: George Langford (who went to Skidmore) and Tom Van Buskirk. Their sound is multifaceted, dynamic, and has matured wildly since their debut 2008 release, Jamz n Jemz. They’ve been known to incorporate electro-synth sounds, sampling techniques, noise rock-like riffs, pop-driven melodies, as well as a slew of coming-and-going instruments. The two are multi-instrumentalists and play everything from mandolin, to keyboard, to cello, to drums. They’ve been named a rising artist from Pitchfork, as well as given Best New Music accolades for their most recent project, Hi Beams. The seamless way these guys skirt the line between acoustic instrumentation and electro-pop sampling is what makes their music so rich. They’re definitely making moves with their lively, innovative pop styles, so get out and see them for free this Saturday at Falstaff’s, doors at 8.



Porches. And Mugsy Boges @ Falstaff’s 3/20

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Courtesy of Garrett Evans

Courtesy of Garrett Evans

This Thursday at Falstaff’s Skidmore’s own Mugsy Boges will be opening up for Porches., a Brooklyn-based quintet predominantly powered Aaron Maine, who’s also the drummer of the band Frankie Cosmos.

Porches. has been making rumbles lately with their 2013 album “Slow Dance In The Cosmos,” a project that introduced many to their grit-layered way of wooing experimental, folk rock vibes and utterly inviting lyricism that begs rapid replays. Their calling it “moan pop” or “sad rock” and well, it’s sweet. Plus, uhh, Pitchfork says nice things about them, so, yeah.

Don’t miss this chance to see Porches. for free with Mugsy Boges and three dollar beers. That’s not a band, they’re just selling three dollar beers.



Spring Break Trip To Guatemala

Monday, February 17th, 2014


Fellow Skidmore Students are trying to raise money for their Spring Break trip to Guatemala. There are two events this week: a film and a fundraiser to raise money and awareness on campus. Descriptions courtesy of Jane Dowd ’14 below:

On Wednesday, February 19th at 6:00 in the Spa we will be hosting a movie showing of the short, 30-minute film Manos de Madre that shows the experience of several mothers that work in the Guatemala City municipal garbage dump.  The movie further explains  what the organization Safe Passage does to help both the women and their children.  The Skidmore support team will be working with Safe Passage over spring break and we’d love to share what we will be doing with the school.  We will be accepting donations for the organization (SkidCard accepted) for Safe Passage and there will be free Esperantos! (Fbook)


On Friday, February 21st at 8:30 we will be hosting a fundraiser for Safe Passage at Falstaff’s.  Several student groups will be performing, including Villains, Drastic Measures, Breakbeats, Bandersnatchers, Rhythmos, Dynamics, and Bo Peep & the Funk Sheep.  There is a suggested $5 donation for the event (SkidCard accepted) and all money donated will go directly to Safe Passage. (Fbook)

An Exclusive Interview With The Skidmore Band Trailer

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
SKidmore Band Trailerjpeg


Burrowed behind Falstaff’s, on the border of North Woods, lives a worldly, retired trailer; aptly deemed the Skidmore Band Trailer. This hunk of plastic and sheet metal has offered up its insides for Skidmore bands to play around in. It’s a nobel cause, really, giving away coveted indoor space to angsty college students in their prime of creativity, musicality, and pot smoking. The trailer is a place of sanctuary for grunge reverb and piercing solos. Skidmore Unofficial met up with the Skidmore Band Trailer to learn a little more about its early life, relationships, and how students may get inside.

Read along as we uncover the mystery of the Skidmore Band Trailer:

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Lively Lucy’s Brings in Band, Mugsy Boges to Open

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
this band name is really really really long

this band name is really really really long

On Thursday, September 26 Lively Lucy’s is hosting up-and-coming The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die at Fallstaff’s.  Joining them is Skidmore math punk quartet Mugsy Boges for their first show of the semester. The World Is is an 8-piece group, hailing from Connecticut, rich with potential as they redefine a modern, relevant emo-indie rock scene with experimental tendencies, tight, versatile melody, and raw production. Their debut, Whenever, If Ever was released through Top Shelf Records this August.

Now, throwing it over to Ian Cohen of Pitchfork, The World Is “resemble Arcade Fire prior to Funeral, having made their name on a promising EP and unpredictable, cathartic live performances that feature nearly a dozen people making music at the same time… Whenever, If Ever fights against fears, societal expectations, preconceptions, and the metaphysical for the greater good of society, and I mean, for crying out loud, the cover just says jump right in and do it.”  The indie snob godfathers gave TWIABP’s newest record a 7.8/10, which is a huge deal.

Mugsy Boges puts on great shows with super impressive music. The Skidmore seniors released their debut EP entitled Sangfroid in September 2012, available on Bandcamp here. Check out both bands and support Lively Lucy’s.  They do more work on campus for bands and the music scene than just about anyone.

Music videos after the jump:

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Skidmore Unofficial’s Official Venue Rundown

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

So you’ve finally made it to college, Class of 2036. Congratulations! Music is a HUGE part of college, right? I mean your parents met at a Grateful Dead show during their freshman year at NYU and they’re the happiest couple you know, right? Skidmore and Saratoga Springs each offer plenty of great opportunities to catch some amazing (and some terrible) music. So which will it be, young Jedi? Check out Skidmore Unofficial’s Official Venue Rundown of the best and worst places to hear music.

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