The Rapidian

Go to "the MOON" at Mexicains Sans Frontieres

Precoverage article for the MOON show at MSF Saturday, October 20, 2012
Underwriting support from:

the MOON at MSF

Where: Mexicains Sans Frontieres 120 S Division Ave #226, 49503


When: Saturday, October 20th, 8:00 pm



In the past 15 years or so, there has been a bumper crop of guitar and drum two piece bands populating the indie and mainstream musical landscape. Ranging from the basement party in-the-red blow out sounds of Doo Rag and Bantam Rooster, the cynical yet oh so sweetly melodic Quasi, the absolute elemental fury and sonic beauty of Lightning Bolt to the arena shaking and chart topping cultural icons White Stripes and Black Keys . This Saturday another guitar and drums duo bring their experimental musical improvisations to Grand Rapids.

Aptly named “The MOON”, the band follows in the guitar and drums duo template in form, but the comparisons to the aforementioned groups end there as it launches into "outerspace" creating a sound that draws upon such diverse musical forms as Jazz, Classical, experimental Noise and Acid rock psychedelic exploration just to name a few.

The MOON returns to Grand Rapids on Saturday, October 20th at one of Grand Rapids’ most intimate and atmospheric live music performance spaces - Mexicains Sans Frontieres (120 S. Division Ave) at 8:00 pm. I caught up with the band, which consists of Frederico Ughi on drums and Adam Caine on guitar, while they were en route to Rochester, New York for the first night of their 3 week Northeast tour.  

This is The MOON’s second time coming through Grand Rapids. Ughi and Caine began playing together after being introduced by mutual friend, the musician Daniel Carter. The two had similar backgrounds in Jazz and contemporary classical and after clicking musically, the two booked a tour as a duo last year.

“The tour started in Brooklyn and went all the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have a tour CD we are selling that was recorded from two shows on that tour. One show in Denver and one show in Brooklyn,” Ughi said.

The band draws upon a wide range of influences that span decades of musical history. Caine began playing guitar at 14 years old and at 16 got “deep into jazz” and the sounds of artists like Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian, Thelonious Monk and Billy Holiday as well as contemporary classical composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. This interest in jazz combined with his own rudimentary experiments with a whammy bar and a delay pedal “doing improv noise music and not even knowing it” and the essential love of rock guitarists Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen planted the seeds for his unique and exploratory sound.

Ughi’s father, who was a singer in a 60’s rock and roll band, helped form his love of music. Ughi described growing up in a house where music was “all around.”

I don’t recall the first time I played drums, but I do know that I bought my first drum set when I was 11. Ever since then I have wanted to travel and play drums,” Ughi added.

The band, embarking on its second “DIY punk rock kind of tour” is looking forward to the focus that a tour brings. The two are involved in a myriad of different musical projects back in Brooklyn, but are excited about playing together for the next three weeks. “Touring is fun, we have a great time and we enjoy each other’s company,” Caine said.

Those in attendance can expect an to see a band that strives to make a connection with the audience. “We will be playing the room. When you play a gig, focus on the energies that develop and deliver music that connects to everyone there,” Ughi stated. Caine added, “We will be playing music that is spontaneous, unusual and beautiful.”

‘Sounds’ like a good time to me.

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