Two concerts to get you through finals week

This could be you!
This could be you!

If you’re like me, you routinely neglect responsibilities in favor of going to concerts (or maybe you go to concerts as a reason to neglect responsibilities… um, also guilty). Whether that’s the case or you just need a study break (#treatyoself), definitely check out these concerts that are coming up in the next week.

1. Car Seat Headrest (Friday, December 11 @ The High Watt)

Will Toledo (right) and Ethan Ives (left) of Car Seat Headrest. Courtesy of Cecilia Corsano-Leopizzi
Will Toledo (right) and Ethan Ives (left) of Car Seat Headrest. Courtesy of Cecilia Corsano-Leopizzi

Sometimes I think about my life and I feel pretty accomplished—I’m 21 years old and a senior at Vanderbilt who has miraculously not failed out despite my penchant for procrastination. But then I hear about stories such as that of Car Seat Headrest. Started in 2010 by then-teenager Will Toledo, Car Seat Headrest has since relocated to Seattle, released eleven (!!!) albums on Bandcamp, and just this year signed on to Matador Records. Also they’ve gotten positive shout-outs from Pitchfork, NPR, and gave a pretty freakin’ awesome KEXP performance. Oh, and Toledo is now 23. Well, shit.

But I digress. I think what I like most about Car Seat Headrest is despite the fact that their music is super lo-fi (I mean, most songs were recorded on GarageBand) and certainly heavy on the garage aspect of garage rock, it is by no means inaccessible. I would compare them to The Strokes if Julian Casablancas upped the voice filtering and downplayed the egotism.

For first time listeners, I would start with the songs “Something Soon” and “Ending of Dramamine” (14 minutes long but so worth it). And if you like those, I would continue with checking out their most recent album, Teens of Style. And of course, their show is this Friday at the High Watt. Should be sweet.

2. Speedy Ortiz (Thursday, December 17 @ The End)

Courtesy of Shawn Brackbill
From left: Darl Ferm, Mike Falcone, Sadie Dupuis, Matt Robidoux. Courtesy of Shawn Brackbill

I think Speedy Ortiz was one of my favorite bands of 2014, which is a little embarrassing because they didn’t actually release any music in 2014. But hey, better late than never. Also, Sadie Dupuis, the lead singer, is possibly the coolest person ever. According to Wikipedia, she studied at MIT for two years before transferring to Barnard to study poetry and just recently got her MFA. Her lyrics are beautiful, often haunting, and generally gritty and angry. Basically 90’s grunge combined with incredibly clever lyricism.

I saw them perform live this past summer at Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, GA, and although it was an extremely hot and loud concert (I ended up basically in the front which was a decision that I made and semi-regretted), it was still awesome. The band knows how to rock, and Dupuis was just as intimidatingly cool and talented in person.

For first time listeners, I would start with “Pioneer Spine” and “No Below” off their album Major Arcana and “Raising the Skate” and “The Graduates” off their most recent album, Foil Deer. Speedy Ortiz will be playing on December 17 at The End and it should also be sweet.

Enjoy finals week and remember stress and emotions and feelings are just social constructs and life is a bottomless void and nothing actually matters. ☺