BY: AMY HABEN
What started off as a joke band between Sean Lennon, Charlotte Kemp-Muhl (Sean’s girlfriend and Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger bandmate), Lias and Saul from sleaze-punk group the Fat White Family, and two members of the Eccentronic Research Council is now being taken very seriously.
On October 3rd, the Moonlandingz played a mostly invitation only show at Jesse Malin’s hot new bar, Berlin on Avenue A and 2nd Street. The crowd was littered with the hippest people in town: legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen, and his wife, artist Elizabeth Gruen, musician Ryan Skeleton Boy, musician Rahill Jamalifard, Jesse Malin, and Jon Spencer, among others. To warm up the crowd, Sean Lennon was spinning some of the most amazing soul, funk, and garage music that I’ve ever heard.
When the Moonlandingz took the stage, there was a cute girl on bass, Saul was killing it on guitar and Lias was keeping up his reputation as an enigmatic frontman. There was also a keyboardist, drummer, and Korg synth player rounding out the sound. The Moonlandingz album won’t be available until March, but you can hear “Sweet Saturn Mine” through their video on YouTube . It features an obsessed fan jumping onstage and caressing Saul and Lias (which is a reality known all too well to these cuties). When Fat White Family played Brooklyn last year, a gaggle of girls were literally pulling down Lias’ jeans– forcing him to hold them up with one hand while holding the microphone with the other.
Luckily, Berlin attendees respectfully kept their hands to themselves. The Moonlandingz burst into “Sweet Saturn Mine,” and Lias shouted “I don’t feel alright!” A friend with virgin ears excitedly spat that she dug the tunes while moppy-haired kids bobbed up and down feverishly. I looked around the tightly packed room and witnessed totem poll style heads – all stacked and staggered around each other – fighting for a view.
Towards the end, Saul took a break while Sean Lennon jumped onstage to play the last song of the night. Afterward, I overheard a music photographer say that he likes the Moonlandingz even more than the Fat White Family. If that statement holds weight, then this band will be hugely successful. What started as a joke, may take them to the top!