Campus culture is rife with live music: Eclectic shows, the WestCo café, the Center for the Arts, a neighbor’s persistent strumming of “Pumped up Kicks,” etc. Given the multitude of events going on around campus, even if you read The Argus, Wesleying, and bulletin boards around campus, it is difficult to maintain a comprehensive awareness of the University’s music scene.
The new and improved version of Aural Wes (www.auralwes.org), which was launched just before the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester, strives to pick up the music-coverage slack. Sky Stallbaumer ’12, one of the head editors of Aural Wes along with Scott Infusino ’12, describes the site as a music blog, Wesleyan band database, and concert booking informational amalgam.
Aural Wes now has extensive information about events, a user-friendly design, and according to its recent blog post, a passion “to make the live music culture at Wesleyan more present and accessible than ever before.”
Anna Wiener ’09 founded the site in 2005 on a BlogSpot account. Her goal was to compile all of the University’s live music events in one place. The website’s content gradually died out and was sporadically maintained until the end of last year.
According to Stallbaumer, the changing character of the University’s music scene may have ushered in the website’s decline.
“The thing that’s changing about booking bands at Wesleyan is that it requires a certain level of knowledge that is not always readily apparent,” Stallbaumer said.
This past summer, concerned about Aural Wes becoming defunct, Stallbaumer enlisted the website programming skills of Mark Hellerman ’12, who also programmed Shining Hope for Communities’s website.
Subcategories at the top of the site label the different facets of the new Aural Wes, which is now more than just a compilation of live music events on campus.
Though events are still chronicled in the Aural Wes Calendar and in the blog section, “What’s on Campus”—courtesy of the Concert Committee which Stallbaumer chairs—the site also includes a database of undergraduate and alumni bands and detailed how-to’s for concert bookers. The “Bands” and “Old Friends” sections feature photos and blurbs of campus bands.
The “For Concert Bookers” section is catered even to amateur concert bookers and has a thorough guide to successfully scheduling a show at Wesleyan—from a breakdown of available venues to the various logistics bookers need to keep in mind.
“My goal is to make it so easy to book a concert, that if you don’t like what’s happening on campus, it’s up to you to change it,” Stallbaumer said.
Stallbaumer is not sure if Aural Wes’s new website has tangibly changed Wesleyan’s live music scene, but he hopes that it will be a helpful resource for students.
“Hopefully it’ll be a very interesting and musically diverse year, and I’d like to think that the website could help with that if it hasn’t already,” Stallbaumer said.
If you are interested in contributing to Aural Wes, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, post in the submissions area, or email Sky Stallbaumer ’12 or Scott Infusino ’12.