Remember when the Wesleyan football team came back to beat Tufts in overtime this past weekend? We do. Let's celebrate sports.
Modern Baseball - "The Thrash Particle" and Slaughter Beach, Dog - "Building the Ark"
The summer before my freshman year at Wesleyan (2014) was dominated by Modern Baseball, so it only seems fitting to include them in this weekly track round-up. After forming at Drexel 2012, the Philadelphia based-band has released three emo-punk-angst LPs and several EPs. Their inspiration has greatly evolved from their first album; their 2012 release, Sports, is a expression of college insecurities, while band’s most recent release, Holy Ghost, showcases how the band’s sound has matured. Lyrically, Modern Baseball embraces a retroactive perspective on their college experiences while reflecting on the truth that is life after college. On Holy Ghost, the band addresses coping with mental health (and the how that affects art and performance). Currently, the band is on pause due to Brenden Lukens's and the rest of the band’s need to recenter and focus on mental health care. You can read about that here. You can also read about the effects of touring on musicians’ mental health here (it’s a topic that is extremely important in music, and one that is often overlooked).
Bren Lukens is currently on an acoustic tour with Jess Sands, while Jake Ewald is pursing solo project, Slaughter Beach, Dog. Jake released the EP, Building the Ark, this past summer and has new music on the way. Take a listen to a favorite Modern Baseball and Slaughter Beach, Dog song below.
- Kelsey Gordon
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - "Knicks Remix" ft. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Ransom
Who knew a song about such a disappointing team could be so satisfying. On this track, Madlib & Freddie Gibbs take an already stellar cut from Piñata and upgrade it with the talents of Action Bronson and a then up-and-coming Joey Bada$$. The lyrics find Gibbs masterfully painting a picture of his coke-slinging days, reminiscing on them and realizing he got it all from selling nickel bags (get it? Knicks?). Action Bronson comes through with an effortlessly brilliant verse relating the night he crashed his car to the Knicks game happening that same night. And then Joey’s verse has nothing to do with the Knicks but it’s still absolute heat.
- Alex Richwine
Animal Collective - "Brother Sport"
In what should come as no surprise to any Animal Collective fan, "Brother Sport" has nothing to do with athletics. The song's title, actually, comes from singer Panda Bear's jumbled pronunciation of the phrase "support you brother" as he consoles his sibling after the death of their father. "Brother Sport" is the cathartic closer of Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective's magnum opus and one of my favorite albums ever. Like their best material, the song is hypnotic, anthemic, and emotional, a stunning blend of electronics, heavenly harmonies, and, above all, great pop songwriting.
- Sam McCarthy
Tennis - "Marathon"
The band may be named Tennis, but the song "Marathon", off of their 2011 debut album Cape Dory, is actually about another sport entirely - sailing. Prior to the indie pop band's formation, Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley bought a boat, left land-locked Colorado, and spent eight months sailing down the Eastern Atlantic Seaboard, an experience which inspired the songs on Cape Dory. Like the sea shanties of the early 19th century and the popular surf rock of the 1960s, "Marathon" is a love song to the open water.
- Allison Hsu
"The Stars of Track and Field" - Belle and Sebastian
Regardless of what they think about sports, people tend to agree that athletes are hot. For many, the Olympics are really an exhibition of sculpted abs, firm butts, raw power and flexibility. The connection between athletics and physical beauty may not be the correct reading of this track’s chorus – “the stars of track and field are beautiful people” – but it was what I took away from the song at first, and I’m sticking to it. This is also the first song of the incredible album "If You're Feeling Sinister," so just start here and keep listening!
- Henry Vehslage
- Adam Manson