Music Hall of Williamsburg
Braids, Active Child, Weekend

BrooklynVegan CMJ Showcase


Active Child


Pepper Rabbit, Blue Hawaii

Fri, October 21, 2011

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

This event is 18 and over

Braids, the Canadian experimental pop group who released
Native Speaker
in 2011,
have reinvented themselves in the making of their second full length. After 18 months
of touring in support of
their debut, along with the departure of a band member, the
group secluded themselves in their Montreal studio for a year of writing and recording.
Native Speaker
was written in an organic and live environment, the group sought
to explore a more introspective and electronic approach to songwriting. Sonically, the
from these sessions
are delicate and tight, yet
open up to the rich
lushness reminiscent of their older material. Lyrically they are honest and vulnerable,
demonstrating the group's emotional growth and maturity since their last record.
As they head out in anticipation of their sophomore album – due Fall 2013 – their new
songs will be played, fully live, in an exciting time in music as the gap between real and
synthetic narrows, leaving room only for the pure energy driving the performance.
Active Child
Active Child
Picture a house constructed of glass, tucked away on a hillside, up a steep winding driveway. It’s only several miles from downtown LA, but far removed from the smog and celebrity. From this mountain repose, you can see the freeway buzzing in the distance. You’re aware of the sounds of the city clucking. But mostly, you feel the golden light permeating through the walls and hear the empyrean voices echoing within. This is Rapor.

Rapor is both the name of Active Child’s new EP and the appellation for the residence in which the music was created (“Ra” means sun. “Por” means house.) It’s where singer and multi-instrumentalist Pat Grossi found sanctuary, refuge, and inspiration in the wake of nearly two years of touring his wildly successful Vagrant Records debut, 2011’s You Are All That I See.

“Sometimes I’d spend a week alone at the house writing without leaving or having visitors. It was during those periods that I realized how important this space was to me personally and creatively,” says Grossi, whose celestial falsetto was initially cultivated in the Philadelphia Boys Choir. “It gave me a platform to sit on and reflect, and it surrounded me with a beauty that’s a key inspiration for my music.”

If angelic is an overused but accurate cliché used to describe Active Child’s music, Rapor achieves equilibrium due to the gravity of real-life experiences. While traveling across the globe, Grossi was overwhelmed by the outpouring of sentiment from fans. These interactions allowed him re-focus on the cathartic power of music. The songs on Rapor are more than just beautiful cathedrals of sound. They contain both the cuts and the confessions only achieved through intense solitude and introspection.

“I had a few rare moments with people who approached me, threw their arms around me and sobbed, like they had just been reunited with their long lost brother,” Grossi says. “Sometimes it was overwhelming, but other times I heard their story of what brought them to my music. It changed me and how I saw song writing; it showed me how powerful a song can be and it made me want to go home, and focus on writing music that could heal.”

The record’s gestation included days spent writing instrumentals, building the spine for the melodies and lyrics. Each night, Grossi returned to his creations and sang over it—the mood of the track often acting as a mouthpiece for his subconscious. It’s both meticulously sculpted and stream of consciousness, allowing for ideas, songs, and stories to glide through.

One particularly stunning example is “Silhouette,” Grossi’s collaboration with Ellie Goulding. The pair channel a young Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel with a radiant fervor only found in those who share a legitimate musical connection. “Subtle” finds Grossi in seraphic union with Rihanna collaborator, Mikky Ekko. Stereogum immediately hailed it as “wonderful.” Pitchfork raved about its intense physicality.

The EP foregrounds a national winter tour, leading up to a full-length album tentatively due out next spring. Grossi has been almost constantly recording in Rapor, creating rhapsodies amidst the glass and sun.

“These are my stories, my heartache, my vows, but I want them more than ever to be those of the listeners too,” Grossi says. “I want them to share in my excitement and my pain, and make it their own.”
Pepper Rabbit
Pepper Rabbit
Pepper Rabbit formed in the spring of 2008 when songwriter Xander Singh was recording what was to be a solo album in New Orleans, and asked friend Luc Laurent to play drums on the recordings. But when the recording began, it was soon realized that Luc was providing much more than the role of a drummer, so they decided to form Pepper Rabbit. After a warm up show at a dive bar in New Orleans, they played their first show at the Pop Montreal Festival Oct ‘08, with which they received a wonderful response. "Accomplished Renaissance men, the duo sings while playing guitar, piano, trumpet, organ, ukulele, and clarinet in ways that make you want to give them hot cocoa after the show." – Pop Montreal ‘08 With nearly a year of hiatus, the two have recently reconvened in Los Angeles to pursue the project full time. The live show is incredibly intricate, incorporating live looping (clarinets, trumpets, vocals, etc) and sampling. "The group's full sound can be attributed to the gadgets and gizmos under the feet of Singh, who looped parts, and added effects to push the swirling sound to the forefront of the audience's attention." – Under The Rotunda While still maintaining the organic feel of the recordings, Pepper Rabbit's show provides a much different experience than just listening to the record. The plan for now is to spend the rest of this year playing locally on the west coast and next year touring as much as they can!
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11211