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Chum's to welcome unusual fare

By Max Randhahn

Section: Arts

August 31, 2012

With the new semester upon us, students will be looking to balance their coursework with a slew of campus events. For the musically inclined, Punk Rock ’n’ Roll Club has a bevy of bands lined up for this semester. No dates have been set yet, but flyers will be around campus advertising each show. The bands featured here are by no means a comprehensive list of what is coming to Chum’s this semester, as many remain unconfirmed, but this is a peak at the selection of bands that will hopefully be visiting Brandeis soon.

First up is No One and the Somebodies, whose style makes it seem like they took a completed song and then dropped it down the stairs. Composed of four brothers raised in Hawthorne, NY, the band incorporates some unorthodox items into their music; on one track, a guitar is played with a maraca to some electronic harmonies. All of the noise blends together into an upbeat sound brimming with passion. Time Out New York wrote, “No One and the Somebodies has long had the most aggressive urinal-stickering campaign of any NYC band. It’s a shame the outfit can’t afford a publicist: Its lo-fi art pop crackles with zany fervor.”

Joining them is Cave Cricket, a smaller outfit featuring two of the Somebodies and focusing more on a lighter, breezier sound. Swapping the traditional punk instruments for ukuleles, glockenspiels and banjos, Cave Cricket’s music seems to reassure the listeners that everything is going to be all right, and then makes them a cup of tea. The band is every bit as upbeat as the Somebodies, but with a more reserved style; they are more likely to be found at an outdoor festival than a house party.

Turbosleaze is the final band involving members of the Somebodies; all three bands will be playing the same show at Chum’s. The band’s website biography is a mess of toilet humor and unrelated nouns, which somehow end up conveying their tone rather well. Amidst droning guitars and aggressive drums, the audience gets the sense that these people are here to play whatever they choose, regardless of crowd approval. These three very different bands are going to make for a night of intense juxtaposition.

Another show will feature Vacationer, a band that lives up to its name. A relaxing electronic outfit, their warm sound almost makes it seem like the audience is on a vacation of their own. Their bread and butter are lo-fi samples set to beats, often incorporating marimba or chimes to brighten the sound. The sound of the drums themselves make Vacationer seem like a surf-themed instrumental hip-hop outfit, which would be true if not for the traditional indie lyrics. Vacationer will take all your class-related woes and melt them away.

Braids, set to play alongside Vacationer, is a Canada-based post-rock group with a touch of shoegaze. Braids have all the characteristics of a classic post-rock band; the guitars are not at the forefront of their songs, the songs themselves are on the lengthier side and the echoes are turned up. They are missing the sadness inherent in post-rock lyrics, instead putting the listener into a dream-like fugue state. The Braids/Vacationer show should prove to be the most relaxing event on campus this fall. Should anyone become particularly infatuated with them, Braids is also playing at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Sept. 20.

DIIV (pronounced “dive”), the final band announced, is a Brooklyn-based indie collective that will be playing solo this fall. The band cites Nirvana, krautrock and world music as influences, making for a fluid sound that could be mistaken for up-tempo, lo-fi post-rock. Originally formed as a solo project by Beach Fossils’ touring guitarist Zachary Smith, DIIV was formed in 2011, and it released its first record in June. Smith conscripted three of his friends and put out “Oshin,” a record that has gathered praise from Pitchfork (and the attention that follows a favorable review). It’s exciting for Brandeis to host an up-and-coming band, since no one knows exactly where they will end up.

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