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The Awkward Freshman Playlist | “The Concert Crowd”

Posted: October 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Columns

About a month ago, a bunch of kids on my hall were all sitting around on the floor hanging out.  Actually this happens every day (which means I never get any work done) but on this particular day we were talking about concerts.  A bunch of people had just been to see Chiddy Bang at College Fest.  Others had just come back from the Vampire Weekend concert at Bank of America Pavilion. My next-door neighbor Ali began lamenting the fact that she had bought two tickets to see The Tallest Man on Earth play at Somerville Theater but couldn’t find anyone else who liked him. As it turns out I am a fan of Tallest Man on Earth.  I am a new fan; a fan, who up until recently, only had a handful of songs on her iPod but a big enough fan to be psyched for his concert.  I love his distinctive voice, the poetry of his lyrics, and the fact that he’s a Swede but he plays Americana folk music.

So, I went to see The Tallest Man on Earth play at Somerville Theater on Friday, October 1st.  He was amazing, but that’s not really what I want to talk about (you can read a review in the most recent issue of the Observer).  I want to tell you about the people I met there: First off, the place was packed with hipsters.  Usually this would annoy me, but since leaving Brooklyn, I’ve found I’ve been missing a little bit of bespectacled pretentious attitude in my life.  After the opening act, the lights came up and I realized I was sitting next to two Tufts freshman, DJ and Austin. I’m not sure how the conversation started but all of a sudden we were excitedly comparing favorite bands, talking about upcoming concerts, and gushing about how much we liked opening act S. Carey, the drummer from Bon Iver, who just came out with a solo album, “All We Grow.”  Even a Harvard senior in the row in front of us jumped into the conversation at one point, pointing out that S. Carey sounded like a mix between Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, and Band of Horses, which is in fact extremely accurate.  At one point DJ turned to me and said “I love all the connections you make with people when you realize you like the same music.”  Well DJ, you should read my blog! Because that is, of course, what this blog is all about.

So here’s what I learned from these two not awkward freshmen:  Austin, it turns out was a DJ for all four years of high school.  He told me he was going to see Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Thermals at Paradise Rock Club.  The former band is from Staten Island, NY, and after listening to their music; I’ve had to seriously reconsider my intense dislike for that borough.  The Thermals are a punk-like, indie band from Portland, OR; they’re great, very upbeat, very catchy. Austin also urged me to check out Deerhunter’s new album, “Halcyon Digest.”  I didn’t know Deerhunter which meant I was 0 for 3 for the night (how embarrassing!) but now I’ve listened to the album and I highly recommend it.

When I told them I was writing a music blog for WMFO, DJ casually let slip that he’s actually in a band himself.  I whipped out my music notebook (I carry it with me everywhere for occasions like these) and started grilling him.  The band, from Hopkinton, MA, is called Take Care.  They already have one fully recorded EP, “Awakenasleep,” that you can download for free on their website.  They’ve got two sax players in their band which I think is pretty legit and unexpected.  DJ listed Radiohead, The National, and The Antlers as some of the group’s influences.  Incidentally I had already heard some amazing things about The Antlers from other kids around campus.  It’s really time I did my research about them so I can knowledgeably blog about them.  Next week perhaps?

1.     Pistol Dreams – The Tallest Man on Earth
2.     Thousand Ways – The Tallest Man on Earth
3.     In the Dirt – S. Carey
4.     Is There a Ghost – Band of Horses
5.     …And the Hazy Sea – Cymbals Eat Guitars
6.     I Don’t Believe You – The Thermals
7.     Desire Lines – Deer Hunter
8.     Mistaken For Strangers – The National
9.     Raindance – Take Care

Ellen Mayer is a freshman from Brooklyn, NY. She has no idea what she wants to major in and is open to suggestions. Seriously. She likes singing, leather boots, local food, and talking to people about music. You can find her procrastinating at Rezquad Cafe or just email her at ellen.mayer@tufts.edu.

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