As technology has developed and new methods of music listening have emerged, traditional radio has taken a hit in both popularity and listenership. For 26 years on the Syracuse University campus, however, WERW has consistently provided students with an outlet for music discovery. To celebrate another year of college radio on The Hill, WERW hosted a launch party on Saturday night for the Syracuse community to come enjoy performances from the area’s best musicians.
After a short opening set from student DJ, Lex Z, Cult of the Crying Moon—sporting his Fender Stratocaster and his clear-framed glasses—took the stage amongst a living room full of SU’s most musically minded scholars. The solo act provided an energy that encouraged the venue’s inhabitants to continue the grooves they’d found during the preceding DJ set. With his candid songwriting, Cult of the Crying Moon exhibited a vocal range reminiscent of Roy Orbison.
While Ben Bondy—the man behind Cult of The Crying Moon—can often be found playing in the garage rock three-piece, Friendless Bummer, the opportunity to catch a live performance from Ben’s most recent side project was one of the night’s most exciting aspects. Continuing the launch party’s theme of solo performers, another 1/3 of Friendless Bummer took the stage after Cult of the Crying Moon. The Bird Calls, an acoustic project created by SU senior, Sam Sadomsky shifted the show into a mellower feel with his Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen influenced tunes. Neglecting the age difference between himself and his influences, The Bird Calls’ lyricism incorporates a wisdom that exceeds his 21 years of life, and his Oberst-esque vocal styling and intricate picking patterns contribute to his folksy songwriting.
Among a lineup of acts playing electric instruments, The Bird Calls’ provided a refreshing thirty minutes of acoustic listening. Ithaca-based electro-pop act, Bad Cello, headlined the evening’s bill. Accompanied by a slew of synthesizers and a sampling pad, the one-man-band also known as Zeno Pittarelli closed the night’s festivities with the most raucous performance of all. After playing several tracks from his debut Takes, Bad Cello performed material from his recently released EP, Finna.
Ending the show with a bang, Bad Cello provided an excitement that will carry over into WERW’s presence on the SU campus throughout the entirety of the semester. Make sure to listen to WERW this fall and check out the station’s website for more information.