Review: Porches at Wesleyan

Porch | pôrCH | (noun) a covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a building

Nat and Allison review the Wesleyan porches you know and love.

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200 High

  • Columns definitely compensating for something
  • Still a great porch though (we are biased, we live here) 
  • 9/10
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Alpha Delt

  • There is a swing!
  • 10/10
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Downey House

  • Spacious and functional
  • Might be a deck
  • 8/10
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????????????

  • ?????
  • ??????
  • ???
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Art/Film House

  • Jake Abraham said this was his favorite porch
  • Somewhat questionable furniture
  • 8.5/10
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Center for the Americas

  • Yellow. Good.
  • 10/10
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Music/Full House

  • "Only porch I've ever thrown up on." —Allison
  • 8/10
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Russell House

  • The best columns at Wesleyan University
  • Our favorite porch!
  • 10/10
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M. Roth's house

  • Nice but pretentious
  • 7/10

Weekly Track Roundup #30

Songs to Die to

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Whether you want to go out in a fiery explosion or peacefully in your sleep, you might have thought about having some tunes playing. Here are ours.


William Basinski - "dlp 1.1"

If William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops were the last thing I heard before dying, I would certainly have a lot of time to ruminate; the main track “dlp 1.1” lasts a little over an hour. It consists of a brief horn loop that repeats a few hundred times over the course of the track’s runtime. The beautiful thing about it is that the tape loop is gradually disintegrating during this time and I can’t think of a better sonic metaphor for the slow onset of death. I like to imagine that this is playing while I’m in the hospital after sustaining fatal injuries from an ill-advised hot-air balloon excursion, circa age 75. I ask the nurse to put this on as I take my last breaths, thinking about my life while this decaying tape loop plays in the background. By the end, I’m close to my final moments and all that’s left of the track is a sputtering, crumbling remnant of the track’s initial content. Then I say peace out.

-Alex Richwine


Curve - "Perish"

This is probably one of my favorite songs I've ever heard... It wrecks me. It's lyrics really speak to this week's theme: "Surely our souls will perish / Surely, surely, surely, surely, surely, surely".

-Jack Kraus


Watsky - "Conversations"

George Watsky, most likely my favorite lyricist and rapper I've ever listened to, delivers this heart-wrenching song off his 4th studio album x Infinity about the impermanence of life. Accompanied by pretty piano riffs, Watsky discusses two big conversations he's had in his life with his father about similar subjects. He raps his first conversation about how as a nine-year-old, he asked his father, "What happens after we die?". The second conversation occurs 20 years later, as now Watsky has to talk to his elderly dad about writing his will, where he wants to be buried, and other trivial things about moving on after he passes away. The whole song includes Watsky's existential stream of consciousness as he narrates the struggle within his mind concerning life after death and what loss really means. Yet the song still preaches an uplifting message about staying positive and living life to the fullest, as Watsky reminds us, death "isn't for a long, long, time"...

-Gabriel Ballard


The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio"

One of my all time favorite dad bands, The National constantly churns out songs that make you confront the dark side of life. The track “Bloodbuzz Ohio” from their 2010 album High Violet is a triumph of existential dread. The surrealist lyrics about bees and midwestern states are the perfect slate on which to project your own contemplations of death. Forlorn trumpets at the end feel like a sort of swan song, pushing you closer and closer to the edge of existence. It’s love, and loss, and debt, and drunkenness; making the perfect soundtrack for slipping into oblivion.

-JR Atkinson


Modest Mouse - "Edit the Sad Parts"

Over the summer, I would listen to "Interstate 8" a lot while driving to work because the length of the album was the same as my commute. There was one day it was raining heavily and I couldn't see the road and I got into an accident and the first thing I thought was "If I die right now, this is a perfectly ok song to die to." 

-Allison Hsu


Nine Inch Hails - "Ghosts I-1"

NIN's Ghosts is a 36-track experimental saga of an album, and "Ghosts L-1" is probably my favorite song. There's something deeply sorrowful in this piece, but in a kind of detached way. It makes you feel like you're floating (buoyant on that slowly-rising synth choir) in some massive and empty darkness. It makes you feel cold. Trent Reznor says that Ghosts is "a soundtrack for daydreams," but I personally find that Ghosts L-1 is less like a daydream and more like a death — a gentle transitioning into death, a loss of corporeality, the acceptance of a ghost. 

-Ezra Kohn


The Antlers - "Epilogue"

My uncle once said this album sounded like the music angsty kids play when they kill themselves. If I had to go it might as well be to a sadboi anthem, right?

-Henry Vehslage


DeVotchKa - "How It Ends"

Catharsis: noun. the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

-Amy Geiger


Blondie - "Call me"

Only if I get murdered in the woods while this song plays muffled from a house party in the distance

-Natalie Hartman

Weekly Track Roundup #29

D-d-d-d-rop The Bass

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It seems the days of dubstep have come and gone. Mr. Skrillex hasn't dropped anything in years and no one we know is too distraught over it. Nevertheless, here are some of our favorite tracks with drops in them a.k.a. Bangers. Enjoy


LCD Soundsystem - "Dance Yrself Clean"

Is this too obvious? This was the opening song at one of the "farewell" tour dates at Terminal 5 and I'm not sure hearing it live wasn't the greatest moment of my life.  Honorable mention to the drop in "how do you sleep?" which proves that LCD has still got it. 

-Meg West


Glass Animals - "The Other Side of Paradise"

On their 2016 sophomore album, How to Be a Human Being, Glass Animals experiment with layering sounds. Textured with guitars, various synths, vocal melodies, drumbeats, and an array of woops and twirls, "The Other Side of Paradise" is one of the most complex tracks on the album—but three minutes into the song, David Bayley, producer of the album and the band's frontman, drops most of these layers. For a minute or so, the song is built by adding back and intensifying some of these layers. At the end of the minute, the song drops to the chorus. It's a pretty cool effect, and the rest of the album is filled with similar techniques and beat changes that contribute to the album's energetic flow. 

-Kelsey Gordon


Lemaitre - "Blue Shift"

This is the song you hear in your friendiversary videos on Facebook. There isn't much more to say about it... it's cute and fun and surprisingly easy to find (thanks, Shazam). Catch drops at 0:20, 1:41, and 2:14.

-Amy Geiger


Deerhunter - "Living My Life"

Nothing propels a song like some driving drums—but when they make you wait, it feels so much better. "Living My Life" is cheerful and catchy with awesome songwriting, held steady and kept serene by an obtrusive drum machine beat. But the song becomes infinitely better when they ditch the drum machine for heavy-hitting drums during the last chorus - and you're subsequently transported to bliss.

-Adam Manson


Rustie - "Slasherr"

The drop on this track is so goddamn good. The buildup is executed perfectly; there’s bizarre-sounding handclaps and a synth line that just makes you want to move. After that classic snare escalation, Rustie takes the song to another level with the drop. The main driving force here is a razor-edged synth line that soars over a massive beat—the constant cymbal sound that underpins the whole thing does so much for the immensity of this track and I love it. Then, the middle section uses the polyrhythmic synth from the beginning of the track and just goes wild with it. I don’t know man, this track just makes me feel good.

-Alex Richwine


Animal Collective - "In The Flowers"

There is no moment in Animal Collective's discography that can compare to the drop (2:30) on the opening track of "Merriweather Post Pavilion". The explosion of drums and cymbals after Avey Tare sings "If I could just leave my body for a night" takes you from an ethereal dream state to a Berlin night club within the first three minutes, an incredible opener for an incredible album.

-Allison Hsu


Robert DeLong - "Global Concepts"

Listening to this song in 2012 in 8th grade brought me great joy, as I always thought it was very rebellious to listen to a song with the word "fucking" in it. The alt-indie electronic artists known as Robert DeLong has always been known for combining melodious and catchy vocals and pop hooks with rather unorthodox dance beats. His breakthrough song "Global Concepts" showcases this unique talent. There are two major beat drops in the song, the first being at 0:42 and the second more prominent beat drop at 3:38. Although it is not a very popular and mainstream song, it did allow for DeLong to become an established artist in the alternative music scene, as shown when a couple year later he topped the charts with his most successful song "Long Way Down". Don't be afraid to check out this song and the rest of his music!

-Gabriel Ballard


Mount Kimbie - "Delta"

Delta, off Mount Kimbie's Love What Survives, is a chase. It's violent and complex and leaves no time for questions. With a wringing synth backdrop accentuated by a constantly building percussion-keyboard duo, this song reminds me of hyperventilating, of something overwhelmingly large and consuming always just behind your back. Listen for the buildup starting at 3:03, and try not to nod your head. 

-Ezra Kohn


ZACH wiTNESS feat. Jon Bap - "Keep Faith"

I've been a huge fan of Jon Bap's experimental R&B, genre-bending music for a long time, and this song is probably the most fun song I've ever heard him on. It's never boring. Constantly exciting and effortlessly smooth. Its beat changes and drops turn it from one good song into banger after banger.

-Manny Unger


Weekly Track Roundup #27

Breakfast

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It's a big one this week, folks.


MF Doom - "Hoe Cakes"

When it comes to writing music about food, MF DOOM does it better than just about anyone else. This track is one of many classics from his food themed album MM... FOOD and Hoe Cakes finds Doom in his element with a catchy sample based beat, disorienting flow, and mind-blowing word play. With references ranging from Black Wookies, to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this is a quintessential breakfast song.

- Nathan Silvern


Dolly Parton - “Early Morning Breeze”

A lesser-known but infinitely deserving song from Parton’s 1974 Jolene, “Early Morning Breeze” is peak Dolly: easy, melodic, and charming. For me, country works best when it’s simple, and her vocals on this track hover over the twangy guitar like a cloud. This is a great song to wake up to on mornings when all you want is to slip back into your dream world. I picture Dolly humming this to herself while she cooks me cheesy grits in her Tennessee country home.

- JR Atkinson


J. Cole - "Foldin' Clothes"

I chose this song because it will forever remind me of almond milk. 

- Natalia Vasquez


Jome - "Cinnamon"

“Cinnamon” is the perfect song to listen to after breakfast on the walk to class. Its chill, dreamy vibe encapsulated through the soft vocals, and pleasing guitar and piano is infectious after just a few seconds of listening. It’s not too loud, or too quiet, but the best song that lazily embraces anything the day is about to give you. A lot of our days, especially in college, are so fast paced that we don’t really get to enjoy what’s happening until it’s over. “Cinnamon” is as much a song about new beginnings (summer love) as it is about fully embracing a moment — something I think we should do more, starting in the mornings.

-Sanya Berry


Japanese Breakfast - "Everybody Wants to Love You"

Philadelphia-based Michelle Zauner's solo project, Japanese Breakfast (or J-Brekkie, per Instagram), is distinguished by ringing guitars and saccharine vocals — both of which are showcased in "Everybody Wants To Love You." The song is a standout hit from Zauner's first album, Psychopomp, and tells a story of love and getting head in the morning. Delicious.

- Amy Geiger


Rainer Maria - "Breakfast Of Champions"

This track comes from Rainer Maria’s sophomore album, Look Now Look Again, which stands as one of the great forgotten records to emerge from the Midwest Emo scene in the '90s. Unlike fellow acts such as Sunny Day and The Promise Ring, Rainer Maria uses a blend of amateurish male and female lead vocals to lend their music an added feeling of melancholy and angst. Nowhere is that effect achieved better than on “Breakfast of Champions,” a track that finds the duo of vocalists singing their respective hearts out over an instrumental that seesaws between brooding and euphoric. The subject matter, evidently, is a fantasy of a simple breakfast shared by two partners. The ephemeral nature of this dream-like encounter is best exemplified by the song’s repeated lyric: “It was warm and pleasant, and over in an instant,” which is the way I feel after eating a good bowl of oatmeal! Ha!

-Alex Richwine


A Tribe Called Quest - "Ham 'N' Eggs"

Maybe this song has a deeper purpose than exploring the dietary habits of the members of the legendary group, but maybe, just maybe, it doesn't. A whimsical call and response about fatty breakfast foods and other indulgent treats, this song always makes me sing alone. It's a light song on a perfect album.

-Manny Unger


Karla Devito - “We Are Not Alone”

“We Are Not Alone” by Karla Devito was featured in the Breakfast Club. The Breakfast Club always makes me nostalgic—I reminisce on the days I spent watching 80s movies with my mom (and later, my friends in high school, who insisted we went as the Breakfast Club gang for our senior year). Now, Ally Sheedy’s dance breakdown at the end of the scene is some of the most relatable content.

-Kelsey Gordon


Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra - "Let's Get Breakfast"

Breakfast (noun): the first meal of the day, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work; the literal breaking of the fast of the night prior; the ideal meal for catching up with friends (not as low-commitment as getting coffee, not as high-commitment as getting dinner)

-Allison Hsu


Twin Peaks - "Making Breakfast"

“Watching the garden grow / such a beautiful day / it’s raining through the window but I like it that way,” sings singer Clay Frankel. Although “Making Breakfast” – one of my favorite tracks by the Chicago garage rock band Twin Peaks – isn’t actually about making breakfast, something about its feel-good hook and cozy lyrics perfectly captures the essence of the first meal of the day.

-Sam McCarthy


Of Montreal - "Pancakes for One"

"Pancakes for one are always depressing, because having breakfast with you was such fun." I imagine this song playing over a sped-up video of someone trudging through their day with a rain cloud over their head. Slightly mopey and resigned, but also packed with sweet harmonies, this song is for missing simpler times on mornings when you just want to get back into bed but have to run to class.

-Aurora McGuckin


Kurt Vile & Courtney barnett - "Continental Breakfast"

"Continental Breakfast," the newest single (conveniently released this week) from Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's upcoming album, is a pleasant ode to intercontinental friendships (it's not about breakfast, sorry - just classic Courtney Barnett wordplay) between friends in, say, Melbourne and Philadelphia. Kurt and Courtney are a match made in heaven and based on the singles, their album should be one of the most fun listens of the year. And the video is a must-watch - you get a nice, innocent, savory taste of the two cuties in their natural habitats (nothing beats Kurt Vile's pedal collection hanging on his living room walls).

-Adam Manson


Michael Seyer - "Breakfast in Bed"

Michael Seyer's "Breakfast in Bed" is what you listen to out of a slowly-dying tape player in a spaceship, remembering what morning is like down there on terra firma. This song is weird, slow and strung-out, with lilting vocals and slight harmonies that make you feel sad in that distinctly early-Sunday morning way. 

-Ezra Kohn


J Balvin - "6 AM"

"6AM" by J Balvin tells a story best exemplified by the adage, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." J Balvin awakes bright and early at 6:00 am to survey his extensive property, including a woman whose name he does not remember, and a car that has driven into his living room. He presumably eats breakfast during this confusing morning. 

-Brooke Kushwaha