Drew Beck plays bass and offers up backing vocals on many of their tracks. Andrew Tolman wasn't drumming and the drummer's name wasn't available at time of publication; but, he did a wonderful job of supporting Tolman's diamond sharp vocals. His performance and look were reminiscent of Animal from "The Muppets" (i.e. fantastic). The song "Criminal", featuring Tolman's voice and Beck's bass at peak level, sounds like the best of Swedish Dance Synth with a hint of rock found in Calvin Holgate's guitar solo. "Excuses" has Clint Holgate and Holman harmonizing for the whole song and has a completely different, but not disconnected, sound; "No, I shouldn't make excuses... Sometimes, I feel like I'm dying..", the lyrics go. This is the kind of band your girlfriend drags you to; but, you won't have to make excuses to stick around. They have a big venue sound and won't be hanging in the small club scene for long. Check them out live, they play a lot around L.A., like at WitZend in Venice on February 12th.Headlining the night was the big get, instrumentalist trio Moon Hooch, out of Brooklyn. If you know anything about this band you know they got their start by playing for change around NYC, in subways and in front of museums. Their fanbase grew quickly after Bob Boilen had them on NPR's "Tiny Desk Concerts" series where they started their set with Wenzl McGowen's tenor sax stuffed with a four foot long traffic cone (and attached with "caution" tape). Boilen has said, "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." In short, they're one-of-a-kind and incredible. Seriously, watch the video.
They self-describe their music as "Cave Music". A term that tries to describe something no one has heard before. Imagine "Elephant Walk", "Flight of the Bumblebee" and a college marching band battling it out until all three are exhausted and the only sound is a quiet jazz jam that leads into a resurrection of cymbals and horn blares. Now, imagine that over and over while you're having pseudo-sex grind with the closest person to you and you're all inside that huge, cave-dance scene in "The Matrix Reloaded." Yes, it's that intense. They wasted no time dialing it up early with "Number 8" starting out their set. A fast paced, swirl of saxophone and lightning quick drumming (from James Muschler), by the middle of the song McGowen (on baritone sax) and Mike Wilbur (on tenor sax) are facing off like two part-human, part-robot velociraptors fighting over a mate. Over the course of the night, the band and audience got no breaks as they seamlessly went from one song to another; sweating, dancing, smiling. This crew pushed every one of their instruments past their design-capacity for awesome. McGowen introduced most of the crowd to the Contrabass Clarinet, a "Metropolis"-like futuristic contraption with an effects pedal hooked up that gave it a heavy Dubstep sound worthy of any nightclub song du jour.The crowd was varied, due much to the fact that, in addition to the normal Silver Lake crowd, it seemed like a lot of high school woodwind players had brought their parents to the show. From 15 to 50, there isn't a wrong age to love Moon Hooch. They are at once specific and universal. They are rage and anger and love and magic. They are, hopefully, coming back as soon as possible. Go see them everywhere feasible; which, for us Angelenos, is probably a FREE show at the Crystal Bay Casino in NV in March. Yes, they're that good. It's road trip time.