Two saxophones and a drummer — that’s Moon Hooch

Two saxophones and a drummer — that’s Moon Hooch from Brooklyn. Michael Wilbur, one of the sax players, calls the Reader from a tour stop in Pennsylvania. “We’re looking forward to getting out west,” he says, if a bit too eagerly. It is 2 degrees out at present, but he says it has been as cold as negative 10 degrees. “It’s brutal. You go outside for two minutes and your skin hurts. What’s surprising is, we were at a place we’ve never played before last night, and we drew 300 people.” In that kind of weather? What’s their secret — free pocket warmers? No, he says. “I think it’s the internet.”

Past Event

Moon Hooch

  • Friday, March 20, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10 - $12

Consider Moon Hooch a project that took shape in the bowels of the Big Apple. The three musicians worked it out busking New York’s subway stations. From that, to a decent showing on Billboard’s Jazz Album Charts after they released Moon Hooch in 2013. But what really got the trio out of the dark was a chance run-in with a guy who used to be in Soul Coughing. Mike Doughty, now a solo act, liked the strangeness and asked them to come upstairs, they told a reporter. Moon Hooch opened a string of dates for Doughty with their own blend of dark, wild music that fairly screeches, Yes, we are the Godzilla anti-sax of all saxophones.

“It was coincidence that brought us together,” Wilbur says. “We all come from a free-jazz background. One day, [saxist] Wenzl McGowen and I happened to be in the same place at the same time. I brought my experimental stuff.” Basically, that included Wilbur blowing sax harmonies along to house tracks. Drummer James Muschler joined later. “Then, we started getting into electronic music,” which led to a lot of their live shows now using prerecorded backing tracks. “Kind of what a deejay does.” If a deejay played sax, that is.

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