Moon Honey With Twin Temple, Tashaki Miyaki, HOTT MT At The Echo, Monday June 19th 2017
At this point, I will go back to Moon Honey’s residency at the Echo for their amazing visual spectacle they put on, I am also there for the music of course, but since they haven’t released a lot of music yet, they are surely playing more or less the same songs each Monday. However their shows are such whimsical visions which differ each time, that you once again could find at the Echo last night.
Of course the opening bands are different each time, which makes each Monday night an original and quite rich experience. Twin Temple and their ‘Amy Winehouse visits the house of Lucifer’ act opened the show, drenched in a bloody red light and surrounded by the complete Satan worshippers’ paraphernalia, skull, crucifix and dagger… Beside the theatricality of the show, there was a lot of soul in their act, and, with their vibrant horn section, they never played very far away from a New Orleans party, backed-up by tenebrous and wobbling keys or a retro doo-wop vibe. But above everything, singer Alexandra James is a true showwoman, she could convert you to any Satanic cult with her Hispanic widow look, her death skull dance and especially her bold and soulful vocals. It’s Hail to Satan stomping in the graveyard and blasting Jungle-Book-fever sax and trumpet, but it’s also a love duo and ardent kisses behind the dark veil.
The trio Tashaki Miyaki was next with a series of very catchy-dreamy songs, and everything about them looked and sounded very pretty. If the pace of the songs was slow and vaporous, their honeyed vocal harmonies led by their female drummer Lucy, was in constant clash with the distortion coming from some intricate guitar work by Rocky. They are so mysterious – their strange moniker is the mispronounced name of a Japanese director – that I couldn’t find their real names! The loud and fuzzy distortion was chasing the sweetness of their girl-group harmonies in a sort of Fleetwood Mac dream, while the music sounded more melancholic than upbeat. And since everything works in mysterious ways with Tashaki Miyaki, they sounded very familiar at the first listening, while Lucy’s (not her real name) face got lost in the eerie and marine projections on the background screen behind the stage.
Moon Honey should be big stars by now, their residency (and I didn’t go last week) reveals to be a big success and their visuals are getting more amazing each time. Their set was a wide-eyed whimsical spectacle boosted by Jessica Ramsey’s high-pitched arias and Andrew Martin’s explosive guitar work. Last time I saw them, I may have used glam rock to describe some of their inventive songs, and if it’s obviously more than this as the music goes in many directions at the same time to build a beautiful chaos, they basically acknowledged the glam part this time, when they covered David Bowie’s ‘Five Years’. Their songs can rock out in delicate reverb and you can hear bits of Kate Bush vocals or Joanna Newsom’s tasty weirdness wrapped within an amped-up rock sound. Jessica Ramsey’s folkloric-inspired outfit may have been less elegant than the stunning white gown she was wearing last time I saw her, but it wasn’t less colorful and artistic, the clouds and planets were still there, more palm trees and flowers had been brought up on stage, and the lightning, the fog, the lasers, the giant harp… were all aiming in the same direction: A visual dream habited by the delightful Moon Honey duo and their reinvented cosmological universe, looking like a hallucination through the looking-glass.
Experimental HOTT MT duo closed the night, and if saw them before, I can’t say I remember their sound being so drenched in reverb and hypnotic psychedelia. The music was atmospheric and strangely peaceful, like an alien landing in Chinatown and they had dressed up in long medieval-ish robes but since they were playing in a profound obscurity we didn’t see much of them. Meanwhile, a strange puppet scenery was happening on one side of the stage, with gloved hands and objects appearing from behind a cardboard-fort-castle. I am not sure what all this meant, but from a band which has collaborated with the Flaming lips, nothing should come as a surprise. And at the end, the night belonged to mystery and music from the other side.