Calling all musicians.

In our continued effort (and New Year’s resolution) to pull together the stories of our numerous guests, contributors and collaborators, we introduce the newest addition to wandawega.com. It’s a teensy musical note on the bottom of wandawega.com . It takes you to the story of our on-going love affair with music.

It’s called: “Music At Camp”: From music videos, to recording sessions, to press photos, to full-blown live events, music has always been an integral part of life at Camp Wandawega. To answer the question “what’s the perfect soundtrack for Camp Wandawega?” it also features playlists from a few friends in the music industry. Check it out. We hope to put together another  Band Camp for the upcoming season – we hope to see you by the campfire strumming a banjo.

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RECORDING SESSIONS: The landscape at Camp – including natural hollows and kettles – makes for pretty good acoustics. With that in mind, native Scotsman, former member of Ministry and The Revolting Cocks and founding member of Fini Tribe, Chris Connelly came to Camp. He brought with him a crack band culled from Califone, Joan of Arc, Town & Country, US Maple and other Chicago jazz and improv luminaries. The Episodes, Connelly’s eighth full-length solo work, was produced by Joan of Arc’s Tim Kinsella and Town & Country’s Ben Vida. Recorded on location at Camp Wandawega, in the Summer of 2006 and finished at 4 Deuces Studios, Chicago.

MUSIC VIDEOS: Everyone knows Camp Wandawega is a great place to blow off steam. For Empires, that meant campfire jam sessions, flaming arrows and rope swings while Chris Strong’s cameras rolled. The outcome: the official video for Keep It Steady. Watch the video here. Read the story here. Empires have performed at Lollapalooza and have played with such acts as Kaiser ChiefsThe Temper TrapMaps & AtlasesColour RevoltA Silent FilmThe WhigsBlue OctoberBlack FrancisMona (band) and Biffy Clyro.

PHOTO SESSIONS: Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s is a band from Indianapolis, Indiana. Their style has been described as “cinematic chamber pop” that “both the casual music fan and music perfectionist will enjoy”. When they were signed by Epic Records (Sony), photographer/director Chris Strong brought the band to Camp Wandawega for their first batch of press photos.

LIVE EVENTS: Over the years, we’ve held a number of adult “Band Camps” and Campfire Sessions. The early years were sponsored by Earhole Studios and The Royal Order and featured excursions to the indescribably-awesome Trailer Races at Lake Geneva. A more recent affair was sponsored by the good folks at Longman & Eagle and featured a  treehouse-set by Bare Mutants. According to The Examiner: There is something instantly familiar and appealing about Chicago’s brightest new band, Bare Mutants. Maybe its because you’ve heard it before but you really haven’t. Led by Jered Gummere of The Ponys fame, this ensemble is the prom band you’ve always wanted. They play songs that are catchy and slowdanceable, yet fuzzy and loud. Gummere’s voice is often drenched in reverb and doesn’t overextend. It is calming and carries the melodic weight of these simple songs.