Aside from the music clad halls of Eastman, the River Campus is slowly becoming a hotbed of talented musicians. Ranging from Common Ground’s Friday Night Live to jamming sessions on the Frat Quad, the River Campus can boast our own talents such as More Cowbell, Walri and Ted Limpert.
More Cowbell consists of Take Five student Dave Ladon, bass and vocals, Take Five student Mike Gorelik, guitar, Take Five student Jon Dashkoff, guitar and vocals and Matt Ling ’05, drums. Their sound is an eclectic rock not fit for one genre, and they find their influences from greats such as the Beatles, Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead.
More Cowbell boasts over 26 original songs and, in their prime, made rounds on the Frat Quad playing for various houses such as Theta Chi, Alpha Delta Phi and the Drama House.
“We are trying to create a community of artists to support one another,” Ladon said. “Living with other musicians has given me the sense of community in a physical space and we invite anyone to come to our house to play music. Just don’t steal our stuff.”
Not only are musicians trying to create a supportive environment, but there is also a fan base waiting to embrace this community.
“I wish that there was a music community during my four years here. The River Campus could benefit from seeing their peers in different creative lights,” senior Meegan Conrad said.
Amos Rosenstein, who also lives with Ladon, is in the band Walri, which is made up of both River Campus and Eastman School students: Take Five student Rosenstein, guitar, Chris Coon ’06, keyboard, Eastman junior Dave Goebel, drums, Eastman sophomore Geoff Saunders, bass, and senior Pat McLaughlin, horns.
Under the smooth stylings of a bluesy jazz intermixed with indie-rock flair, Walri signals eerie reminisces to Beck and The Shins, as well as the late Elliott Smith. They released an EP titled “Traveling Band of Bards,” in November of last year and are planning to release their first full album in the near future.
“What we do is part rockin’, part jazz, part ideas, part ridiculous and part best friend,” Rosenstein said.
In addition, they created a homemade music video broadcasted through YouTube – search “Walri Ghost Cop” for a sneak peek.
Some highlights for this band include opening for Ben Lee at the 2006 Lilac Festival in Rochester and opening for Reel Big Fish on the UR campus for the D-Day celebration. They are currently planning a show at Java’s Cafe down by Eastman.
Solo artist Harold “Ted” Limpert settled into his own acoustic set after many attempts with several different bands. His lyrics are representative of his own experiences on the streets of London and his music is infused with an acoustic guitar and electronic beats.
Limpert feels that UR is in its beginning stages of accommodating musicians by providing adequate practice spaces and more opportunities to play on campus.
With the advent of the online music scene with MySpace and Pure Volume, these musicians are benefiting from easy access to their music and the chance to create their own buzz in hopes of being the next hot thing. However, it seems to be a common theme of community that these artists seek, especially here on the River Campus.
While there are improvements being made to foster artisanship, will the extreme workload and feeling of academia cede to these artists’ valiant desire to bring back the funk?
Han is a member of the class of 2007.