Live Reviews

Review: BRAHMS At Pianos - 5/25

Gray Hurlburt :: Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 4:45 pm

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Photos by Xavier Aaronson

Last night was episode two of BRAHMS’ residency at Pianos, Manhattan, part of a three-date series stacked with a number of prodigious, electro groups, as well as some welcome surprises, such as the mellow rock group ARMS and the meat-loving rappers Das Racist.  But yesterday will prove to be the most ebullient, when the red walls of the  tiny back room shook with the music of Shadowbox, Gordon Voidwell, Das Racist, DJ Aaron Pfenning (of Chairlift fame), and the headliners, while people were packed within like jolly little sardines.

BRAHMS are an electro-pop trio from Brooklyn, fronted by drummer/vocalist Cale Parks, and take a smart que from the performance and musical stylings from the likes of New Order or Pet Shop Boys. The two other members, bassist Eric Lodwick and guitarist Drew Robinson, also play with Cale on his solo project, and all three are very tall and have great haircuts (if you wanted to know).

Perhaps in line with a theme, the first two groups also had a hard resemblance to artists of the quasi-prior generation. When Shadow Box came on, a spindly girl in black leggings and tall shoes, her layered, industrial-pop paired with her voice and lazer lights, one got a taste of later CURVE or Garbage. And then Gordon Voidwell came on with a cover of “Heart of Glass” that would make Debbie Harry weep. Decked out in New Wave garb and flattops, they played through a fun, funk set that got everyone on their toes to dance to songs “White Friends” and “Ivy League Circus,” with a Prince-ly verve and energy. Then the Brooklyn staples, Das Racist, riding high on their new mix tape Shut Up, Dude (downloadable here),though their set suffered a bit from poor sound balance, played through some newer material and showed off some stage acrobatics.

It ended with BRAHMS, who delivered music from their demo and other material. Take it from me, it’s big music and worth the time to put in your music library. Be sure to catch BRAHMS next tuesday, when they finish up their Pianos residency, supported by Class Actress.