Moon Hooch, Kulululu, Elena Shirin (of Aramboa)

Event Date/Doors Open: 
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 8:00pm
Event Time: 
9:00PM
Cost: 
$12 Advance, $15 Day of Show

On Tuesday, March 12, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and KLCC proudly welcome Moon Hooch to the WOW Hall along with special guests Elena Shirin (of Aramboa) and Kulululu.

“I‘m realizing more and more every day that you can make anything happen for yourself if you really want to,” says Moon Hooch horn player Mike Wilbur. “You can change your existence by just going out and doing it, by taking simple actions every day.”

If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group —Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler — has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country.

On Red Sky, Moon Hooch blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music. The band’s third album brings together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew.

“I think Red Sky is more focused than any of our past albums,” reflects McGowen. “We practice meditation and yoga, and I think that we’re more evolved as people than we’ve ever been right now. That evolution expresses itself as focus, and through focus comes our energy.”

The band’s previous release This Is Cave Music earned rave reviews from critics and fans alike.  NPR hailed it as “unhinged” and “irresistible,” praising each musician’s “remarkable abilities” and naming their Tiny Desk Concert one of the best in the prestigious series’ history.  The album followed their 2013 debut, which had Relix swooning for their “deep bass lines, catchy melodies and pounding rhythms,” while the Wall Street Journal celebrated their “electronic house music mixed with brawny saxophone riffs.”

Though the band — whose members initially met as students at the New School — turned heads in the music industry as relative unknowns with a charismatic, unconventional sound (they play with unique tonguing techniques and utilize found objects like traffic cones attached to the bells of their horns to manipulate tone, for instance), they were already a familiar and beloved sight to straphangers in New York, who would react with such joy and fervor to their impromptu subway platform sets that the NYPD had to ban them from locations that couldn’t handle the crowds.

The band’s busking days are behind them now.  At their performances, they now play through what they call a Reverse DJ setup, in which the live sound from their horns runs through Ableton software on their laptops to process recorded effects onto the output. In addition, to flesh out their sound on the road, the band began utilizing Moog synthesizers, an EWI (an electronic wind instrument that responds to breath in addition to touch), and other more traditional instruments like clarinets.  Wilbur added vocals to his repertoire (something the subway never allowed him to do), and Muschler, meanwhile, traveled to India to expand his percussion skills.

The band members all speak reverently of meditation and consciousness and the role it plays in their music (McGowen believes his introduction to it, spurred on in part by Wilbur and Muschler, saved his life), but equally close to their hearts are the environmental causes they champion. Moon Hooch tries to live up to their green ideals while traveling as much as possible, playing benefit shows, supporting local farmers and co-ops, participating in river cleanups, filming informative videos for their fans, and more. The band even runs a food blog, Cooking In The Cave, in which they highlight the healthy, sustainable, organic recipes they utilize with their mobile kitchen setup on tour.

For the members of Moon Hooch, commitments to consciousness and environmentalism and veganism and philosophy and peace aren’t separate from their commitment to music, but actually integral parts of it. It’s all tied into that same core approach that led to their discovery on the subway platform: try, even if it’s just a little bit every day, even if it’s just with the power of your mind, to make the world less like it is and more like you wish it could be.

“I’d say all of our songs express the essence of that kind of energy,” concludes McGowen, “because before you can even think any thoughts, there exists the energy that drives those thoughts, and that energy is intention. I feel like we’re putting the intention of positive change constantly into our music. While we’re playing, I often see the future emerging: skyscrapers getting covered in plants, frowns turning into smiles, fistfights into hugs. I can see the energy of love and collaboration and trust replace the energy of fear, hatred and violence.”

 

KULULULU

 

“What Kulululu is for sure is an insanely fun, joyously weird, omni-genre collective, splitting time between Portland and occasionally Tucson, Arizona,” notes Eugene Weekly.  “There are elements of Devo, and Oingo Boingo in the sound. But there’s also ska-punk, pop-punk, Zappa-style revelry, and even hardcore punk on album-tracks like the 47-second-long blaster Crab Dad.”

 

ELENA SHIRIN

Elena Shirin is an Austrian rooted artist, singer and songwriter performing her as yet unreleased debut solo album in the USA.

Elena started to play piano at age seven, but instead of reading music she just learned by ear and created her own notation system to pick up the highlights of her improvisations.  Five years later a traumatic experience led Elena to write poems.  That way she could reflect and process present emotions.  She discovered melody, rhythm and dynamics behind those lines.  This was Elenas’ very instinctive origin of creating music.

While studying photography and audio-visual Media’ at Höhere Graphische BLVA in Vienna, Elena started collaborations with different musicians and producers. By the age of fifteen her first airplay followed on RadioFM4.

In the last couple of years the 22 year-old kept her main focus on the band project Aramboa. Electronic beat patterns, distorted guitar licks and warm horn sounds circulated around Elena’s voice and lyrics.  After dropping their debut album in 2017 and several singles in 2018, they are now working on their second record.

Fusing live instruments with high-end electronic music, Elena’s solo album From A to Be reflects her skills of sound production and composition.  This record also represents a very subtle diary of Elena’s art of living, as the album name implies.

            Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 9:00.