You can never hold back Springfest

Story by Debora Biasutti

The university’s annual celebration of spring and music, Springfest 2011, is set to start next week to give students a musical break just before finals week.

Bands from all over the Midwest were invited to submit their material to the University Activities Commission, where they chose five bands out of the 18 who applied to play at the festival. This year’s bands are Basic Physics, Wisconsin Built, Walk A Mile, Stoop Singers and Black$heep.

Basic Physics was founded in 2010 when UW-Eau Claire student Alex Syse and Eric Mitchell decided to create a fresh sound in the mash-up world. The band’s name came from Mitchell’s former music blog with the same name.

“It was a very unique name, and we had never heard anything like it out there, so we decided to run with that,” Syse said.

Syse said so far they’ve done predominantly mash-ups and that Girl Talk was a major influence on their music. Basic Physics usually takes a band like Passion Pit and Phoenix and tries to mash-up with Pretty Lights, Lil’Wayne or any other popular rapper to create a completely different sound from the original, Syse said.

“Basically we’ve combined songs that are popular and we also have tried to go with tracks that are more unique, blending different genres of music together,” Syse said.

Since Basic Physics’ management is based in Austin, Texas, Syse said that they’ve done many shows there and has also been in other states to perform.

“I’d say our biggest show within the past six months was when we got to open for Chiddy Bang in three nights in Texas, and the shows were all sold out,” he said, “so that was a huge exposure for thousands of people.”

Springfest Sweepstakes will be also going on during the concerts, where UAC will be giving prizes and gift cards from many local businesses such as Mancino’s, the University Bookstore, Acoustic Cafe, Calista Salon, Sonic, Erbert’s and Gerbert’s and Fleet Feet.

Walk A Mile, which will be playing May 11, is from the upper peninsula of Michigan, and it’s a mixture of alternative with rock ‘n’ roll roots. Chris Ashburn, who is the lead vocal and rhythm guitarist of the band, said the band is really excited to play in front a college crowd.

“It will be just a good time for people who want to come out and listen to some good jams,” he said.

Ashburn said that students should expect a fun, energetic show where they will make students part of it.

For both Basic Physics and Walk A Mile, this will be their first time playing at UW-Eau Claire.

“I think it will be a really, really good show,” Syse said. “It will be a unique opportunity for everyone to see our style of music at the UW-Eau Claire.”

Bands will be playing from noon to 1 p.m. every day from May 9-13 at the clock tower on Campus Mall. If it rains or it’s too cold, the event will be moved to The Cabin in Davies Center.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Currents Editor Eric Christenson and Managing Editor Thom Fountain are a part of Wisconsin Built.