WASHINGTON, February 03, 2014 – French Horn Rebellion, who recently performed here at the LivingSocial building at 918 F St. NW—consists of brothers Robert and Patrick Perlick-Molinari, so it’s hardly surprising that the two hold a strong belief in community.
The brothers appear to be close. As a duo, they seem to have made it their goal to extend that kind of closeness to many like bands and people they’ve encountered, attempting, it seems, to acquire as wide a network of associates as they’ve gathered influences to incorporate in their sound. This is how the stage was set for their recent show here.
The brothers currently call Brooklyn home, likely due at least in part to that borough’s large and well-known music community distinguished by varying degrees of separation. It’s easy to see how like-minded bands there might be drawn to French Horn Rebellion and their welcoming attitude toward all styles of modern pop. The accepting nature of the two brothers seems to extend to all areas of their musical lives.
One of the ideas they wanted to bring to their recent string of East Coast dates, –something they accomplish quite often when they play in Brooklyn–was their eagerness to share the stage with as many musicians as possible. Since DC isn’t exactly their main Brooklyn stomping grounds in Brooklyn, however–a place where they can call on several artist friends at a moment’s notice–the show they mounted for their audience here was an abbreviated version of what they might pull off on their own home turf.
The band playing with them here happened to be the fellow Brooklyn band Savoir Adore. They split headlining duties with French Horn Rebellion in every sense of the word. Savoir Adore opened with half their set, followed by French Horn Rebellion. After a halftime break, both bands concluded their sets after the house music interval.
Even during each of their sets, though, both bands were integrated with one another, meshing so well that if someone in the audience didn’t happen to be familiar with either band, he or she might simply assume this was a single large band hailing from Brooklyn.
Ultimately, this is the kind of “community” show French Horn Rebellion thrives in and strives for. The brothers Perlick-Molinari have crafted a sound that easily into varying forms and shadings, never quite settling on one specific style or genre, with one exception: if extreme eclectic electro pop could be considered its own genre, French Horn Rebellion can certainly make an argument for it as they consistently draw inspiration from that well even as they incorporate considerable variation in the way their sound comes across.
The closest they get to truly differentiating this basic style is when Robert breaks out his French horn on specific songs, assuring this band’s name isn’t standard-issue ironic detachment but something that’s real, not to mention quite unusual. Yet given their general consistency, nothing seem particularly out of place during their set or anything Savoir Adore is playing as well.
The songs in French Horn Rebellion’s set employ differing tempos. This provides a constantly varying pace for their sonic output, which still provides a sense of unity by means of the steady beat they maintain throughout.
It’s clear that, among other things, they also want to create something that’s danceable. French Horn Rebellion is successful because their set is always upbeat. The structure of both their songs and sets puts out a recognizable dance vibe. That’s something that’s exemplified in their recorded output. The brothers shy away from album releases, instead issuing single after single of danceable numbers.
Conveniently, this dance music motif makes it easy for bands like Savoir Adore and French Horn Rebellion to mesh easily onstage since they’re dealing with a musical common core, which allows an easier focus on a single moment in space and time.
The kind of give and take from both bands during their DC appearance gave the audience an uplifting experience: exactly the spirit French Horn Rebellion was shooting for with this community-driven show. Their approach may not quite have fit together the way it does in Brooklyn. But then that local camaraderie would be hard to replicate anywhere but their own backyard.
That said, DC fans still got a brief taste of the friendly, attractive environment Robert and Patrick Perlick-Molinari engender when they play at home as French Horn Rebellion.
Postscript: 30 percent-owned by Amazon.com, LivingSocial reported another large loss on January 31 and announced that as a cost-cutting measure it would be closing its live-event facility at 918 F Street NW in Washington, D.C. The closure will reportedly take place some time in April 2014.