“We need more love in this world.” -Alexander Scott
A Wonderful Excuse To Be Out On A Monday Night
Honey Son / Violinda / Wonderbitch / Satalights
Monday, December 8th
The performance Monday night at The Mohawk was nothing short of spectacular. With a collaborative line-up of talented, young, beat dropping artists combined with mind-warping light projections by Ether Wave and Mustachio Light Show, staying up late on a Monday night just made your grueling morning commute worthwhile.
Opening the night onstage was Mars Wright as Honey Son. Returning from a two-year hiatus, this solo star captivated the audience with his rhythmic soul samples and transcendental guitar melodies. As a one-man band, Honey Son was able to deliver a full performance by layering melodic and rhythmic samples, resulting in a whimsical cadence. Complete with smooth, mellow vocals, Honey Son combined elements of jazz, psychedelic rock, blues and shoegaze to create a dreamlike state comparable to, well, honey.
Enter Violinda; violin goddess donning a golden tiara. She enthralled and enchanted her audience by creating an eerie and mysterious atmosphere with Celtic overtones which instantly transported you to a tree-lined road shrouded by mist and long forgotten tombstones. Violinda looped her samples throughout her performance, but if her hypnotic strings didn’t captivate you, her broad-spectrum voice surely did. Her last piece, ‘Transitions’, let you see a gleam of hope through a field of despair. A tribute to a late dear friend of hers, ‘Transitions’ left you with an emotional imprint that says: All is not lost, only transformed.
Up next was the heavily anticipated Wonderbitch. Funky, hip and floor bumping, this disco-esque, progressive rock band of experimentalists is headed by frontman keyboardist, Alex Chod. After a successful CMJ Music Marathon run in New York City, Wonderbitch returned to the Austin music scene fully energized and full of surprises. One of those surprises was the release of two new songs, ‘Beingness’ and ‘Please Me Little Tiger,’ played for the first time during Monday’s show. Wonderbitch’s performance felt like a sound clash reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand meets The Doors. Alex Chod’s back and forth change between keys and synthesizer served as the foundation of an act of pure energetic sound. The heavy but unified drums and bass guitar rhythm, delivered by Evan ‘Butch’ Wade and Corey Fitzgerald Spears, drove Wonderbitch’s sound. Along side, Colton Hardin shredded vicious bending guitar solos. Sexy saxophone man Adam Littman, who is Wonderbitch’s latest band member addition, lent his talent to Wonderbitch as he wailed on the saxophone to complement the band’s upbeat, dance floor-gathering sound — tongue in eyeball and everything! Littman is currently working on new projects for his band, Mamahawk, but says he’ll continue playing with Wonderbitch throughout January.
The night rounded up with the most ribcage-shattering performance of all — Satalights! Frontman Alexander Scott is no stranger to harmony in disarray. He advocated the spreading of love while striking his guitar like it was going out of style. Participating in this crowd-roaring ensemble was Diego Alberto on the saxophone, Jared Buchsbaum pumping air into the horns, Andrew Dalton on bass, Mark Romano drumming away, Jagadisa Das on harmonium and supporting vocals, the versatile Andrew Todd on samples, synth, and guitar, and the one and only, Violinda striking a chord into everyone’s hearts, yet again. Satalights knew how to get a crowd going, as many people were pouring through the modern, victorian style entrance to get their bodies moving with the eclectic barrage of sound coming from these indie rock/synth pioneers. The crowd could really get a feel of the energy generated by the band after seeing Scott go from being possessed by a guitar demon to mounting stage equipment to assist Romano on the drums.
Overall, the show was a wonderful experience. It started off mellow, trance-like and soul searching, then built up to a mad scientist’s laboratory of electronica. Each band followed through with impressive soundscapes that did not disappoint. The Ether Wave projections and the Mustachio Light Show blended with the rhythm and transcended the mood to a almost-like spiritual experience. Each featured band had a vast realm of sound to showcase as they uniquely presented music in their own styles, demonstrating the diverse elements of the Austin music scene ecosystem.
You can listen and dowload Honey Son album, Alpha Demo, at Honey Son Bandcamp page.
You can buy Wonderbitch “Mall-Star” Tank Top (Men’s & Women’s) at Wonderbitch’s Bandcamp merch page.
You can buy Violinda Limited Edition Violinda EP Release Poster and Shirt at Violinda’s Bandcamp merch page.
Listen to the latest album from each of the A Wonderful Excuse To Be Out On A Monday Night performing bands at their Bandcamp playlists below.
Contributing Writer: John Salazar
Contributing Photographer: Ismael Quintanilla (Maye Marley)