Who knew you could make such good dance music with saxophones? Brookyln’s own Moon Hooch came home Thursday, August 25 with an energizing show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. With a style Moon Hooch refers to as “Cave Music. Organic House Music. More wild, more jagged, more free, more natural to live in and dance in,” Moon Hooch rocked out with Billyburg attendees with a satisfying two-hour set.
Getting their start by performing in Williamburg’s Bedford L station, Moon Hooch hit local notoriety by getting kicked out by the MTA for “starting too many dance parties.” They have since gained popularity nationwide by touring with indie powerhouse They Might Be Giants.
The Music Hall of Williamsburg is a mid-size venue with reasonable ticket prices hovering around $25. Moon Hooch tickets were $20–a great deal for, including the opening band, three hours of entertainment. The music hall has three floors and two bars; it had a lounge, a floor, and a mezzanine with bars on the lounge and mezzanine. The mezzanine had tables with chairs around the periphery and stadium seating. The venue was clean and convenient, only a 15-minute walk from neighboring Greenpoint.
The opening band was Bears. Not to be confused with 80s group The Bears, Bears is a self-described “doom pop” band. They opened with an hour-long set reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins or The Verve. It was good ol’ alternative rock time, but the floor really started heating up around 10PM, as the main attraction was set to take stage.
No introduction needed, Moon Hooch jumped out. Wenzl McGowe and Mike Wilbur grabbed their saxes off the stands. The drummer, James Muschler, rocked no shirt. They began their set with the trippy “Psychotubes.”
Here is footage I got of their opening song from my mezzanine seat:
The guy positioned right in front of center stage really stole the show. He kept up his mad moves all night!
Moon Hooch then transitioned into some “ambient improv,” before launching into a bunch of new tracks from their new album, Red Sky. Notable tracks were “Low 5,” “Alien Invasion,” and “Rough Sex.” There were little to no breaks for the band as they flowed seamlessly from one track into the other, including some techno improv and a sax solo by McGowe. The energy from the crowd never died down, as everyone saved no energy for an afterparty.
One thing that was different from some of their previous shows is that one of the members tried his hand at vocals in “St. Louis.” There were no male vocals three years ago at their show at Brooklyn Bowl. While they weren’t my favorite part of the set, it was nice to see the band expand their skill set and try new things.
About three-quarters of the way through their set, Moon Hooch busted out with “Number 9” The crowd went wild. This was the song they sampled the iconic “Ladies and gentleman, the next L train is now arriving on the Manhattan bound tracks.” Brooklyn knew and appreciated their home song.
They ended with “Contra Dubstep,” which is a markedly different song from the ever-catchy “Contra.” Notably absent from this set was “Contra” (Dictionary: Contra – preposition – “against.”), perhaps due to to a desire to focus on the new album or the lack of availability of the female vocalist. Whatever the reason, “Contra Dubstep,” is still a great example of the band’s self-described “Cave Music,” bold and with bass drops.
Moon Hooch thanked the crowd and exited the stage, but no one budged. There had to be an encore. Sure enough, they stepped right back out with their encore song, “Number 1.” I do have a video of the encore too, but you’ll have to go see them in person to see it. Moon Hooch deserves it.
The show was a fantastic reminder that fresh music is alive and well in Brooklyn. Moon Hooch put on their signature energetic performance with a new album that not only will resonate with saxophone connoisseurs, but with anyone looking for something to dance to.
Mild Spoilers Ahead
It’s no secret that DC movies haven’t been doing well lately. So when I saw that Rotten Tomatoes gave “Suicide Squad” at 27% fresh rating, and after witnessing the monstrous trainwreck that was “Batman v Superman,” I wasn’t exactly jumping out of my seat to see it. But I had a DC comic-lover friend that really wanted to go and I was bored that day. I also thoroughly enjoyed the trailer music soundtrack.
Here’s what I have to say to some common criticisms of the movie:
There wasn’t enough Joker.
This is the main critique I’ve been seeing all over the place. Jared Leto’s name is on the poster but he wasn’t in the film. Well, I saw the film from beginning to end and felt there was plenty of Leto’s Joker in it, considering the focus of the film was about, dur, the Suicide Squad.
This is not a Batman movie. It was never marketed as a Batman movie. Yes, Batman makes a cameo, but he doesn’t fight the Joker nor should he. The Joker isn’t a member of the Suicide Squad, so it makes entire sense for him to be relegated to a secondary character.
There was an introductory scene with him and Harley Quinn in Arkham Asylum. There was a weird bar scene that illustrated the Joker’s cruel and mercurial nature. And there were a couple more scenes with him and Harley Quinn that highlighted their twisted, co-dependent relationship. Quinn is the main character and I felt the amount of appearances for the Joker was just the right amount so as to not overshadow her.
The music sucked.
“We haven’t even gotten to the distracting use of on-the-nose musical selections to introduce each character… Each song inspires a groan and takes you right out of the action.” –Rogerebert.com
Oh, shut the fuck up. If having appropriate music is “distracting” to you, you should watch a Tarantino flick and then shoot yourself in the head.
The soundtrack had everything from Skrillex to a Panic! at the Disco cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” They are upbeat, catchy songs to compliment sarcastic, quirky characters. I don’t feel like covers of classic songs create a cliché, rather they set the tone for a new rendition of old comic book characters.
The film jumped around too much.
Yes, there were extensive uses of flashbacks in the film. There were, after all, between six and seven members of the Suicide Squad at one time. I don’t see a more efficient way to introduce and characterize them all.
As for the editing, I rather liked it. I don’t think it was sloppy or choppy. I felt like it created a fast-paced, yet still digestible, narrative that made for a solid action film plot. There was a lot going on, but I feel like I was able to distinguish all the characters and keep their personalities in mind without getting too muddled.
The film was two hours, but it was well enough paced that time flew by smoothly.
The villain was stupid or lame.
“She couldn’t arrange better special effects for herself, however; at the height of her powers, the threat she creates looks hilariously cheesy.” -Rogerebert.com
Yes, there’s a supervillian who hates humanity and wants a combination of domination and destruction. But what superhero movie isn’t that?
The Enchantress is an ancient witch with various dark powers. She can summon zombie-like minions, teleport, and manipulate the movement of matter and energy. I, for one, was just happy to see a female supervillian. She does bring her equally supernatural brother along for the evil ride, but it was nice to see a supervillian family working together for once.
I saw nothing out of the ordinary with the special effects. When she transforms from her possessed alter ego June Moone into The Enchantress, black fingers slip out from her own and then take her over, casting a smoky-like shadow around her body.
Sure she wears practically a bikini, but this is a relatively minor feminist sin. She is still a powerful, evil figure and a convincing antagonist in a movie full of anti-heroes.
I came into the theater with really low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. “Suicide Squad” was pretty on par with what the trailers advertised, was well-cast, decently-acted, and delivered entertaining action sequences. There was a certain amount of chaos I’ll admit, but this seemed entirely appropriate for the themes the movie was trying to present. If I was the filmmaker and somebody called “Suicide Squad” “messy,” I would take it as a compliment.
I’m a sucker for haunting female indie vocals and lyrics about being a terrible person.
Her work is fully downloadable for free under a creative commons license.
Listening to the album Hydrophobia right now and it’s beautiful.
A Perfect Circle released a studio version their first new song in 9 years: “By and Down.”
I was hoping this would be the first track of a whole new album, because the music gods know that rock really needs some help these days, but alas, no word yet. A Perfect Circle is releasing a greatest hits album titled Three Sixty in November, with this track as the only new addition.
(A “Best Of” album seems obsolete to me in this digital album age, but who knows, maybe it’ll attract the attention of a younger generation who missed some good fucking rock in the early 2000s.)
It’s not as aggressive and powerful as some of their older stuff, but still the best thing I’ve heard in Alt Rock in a long time.
A Perfect Circle – “By and Down” (Full Studio Version)
Not much of my high school iTunes library stands the test of time, but APC’s The Thirteenth Step remains one of my favorite albums ever.
So I hope this track is the first of many more to come from APC.
Flight Facilities – Crave You (Adventure Club Dubstep Remix)
Happy Friday Clantily Scaders! (That’s the official name for my readers now, alright?)
Man, I wish there was a Roller Rink near me. I miss trance music, roller blading, and glow sticks all at the same time.