REVIEW festival Good Morning CMJ Music Marathon

French Horn Rebellion at Pianos

One of the perks of the CMJ Music Marathon is that shows go late – it’s not uncommon to catch a band going on at 2 AM on a weekday in a smaller venue…

I discovered NY-based band French Horn Rebellion several years ago at the CMJ Music Marathon, and since that time I do my best to catch their memorable live performances whenever I can… what kind of music might a band called “French Horn Rebellion” perform, you might ask? Their Facebook page describes the genre as “Your Next Jack Swing Basement Dance Party.” I think they basically mix ‘80’s dance with funk.

The group is primarily composed of lead singer/keyboardist/French horn player Robert Perlick-Molinari and his brother David Perlick-Molinari as the DJ/hype man. The two play off each other well, oftentimes with playful, brotherly jabs while they banter between songs – they know the novelty of a dance/funk band that incorporates a raucously played French horn into its music, but they embrace it and have fun with it. If you throw a rock in any direction in NYC, you’re sure to hit a band that takes itself a bit too seriously – these guys are pretty much the exact opposite – they just want you to drop the pretension and shake your ass!

Novelty aside, the band creates some funky grooves that I’m sure would get America’s purple highness, Prince, on his feet and moving. I feel their music is best experienced live, when the band manages to get pretty much everyone in the audience moving – everyone in the audience may not be having as much fun as the band is when they’re on stage, but FHR is certainly going to do their best to try!

They were supposed to go on at midnight on Thursday, but as is common to CMJ, sets get pushed back, and the band didn’t go on until well after 12:30 am. No matter. The band’s energy was there, and the modest audience at Pianos fed off that energy, ultimately allowing the band to split them into two factions – one side as the marching band, the other as the choir (if I remember correctly…it was late!), and had a bit of a dance off.

They finished off their set with a surprise appearance by Catey Shaw, who performed the French Horn Rebellion remix version of her song Human Contact (see YouTube clip below).

The band’s new EP, “Foolin’ Around,” was just released earlier this month.

Key Tracks: “Girls”; “Foolin’ Around”; Human Contact (French Horn Rebellion Remix) – Catey Shaw

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