On May 24, Pancakes and Whiskey hosted its monthly concert series at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn. The concert featured Little Racer, Teen Commandments, Stargazy, Karla Moheno, and two hours of free whiskey.
Moheno hit the stage first, teasing the audience with her sly and seductive voice. She opened her set with “Time Well Spent,” the smart track that opens her 2013 LP, Gone to Town. It’s an eerie yet compelling song that snakes around its listener and recalls the weirdness of a David Lynch film. Moheno’s charisma as a songwriter and entertainer was enhanced by her band’s combination of alternative and 1950s-era rock and roll. Moheno’s lyrical wit and vocal delivery were enough to quiet and challenge an audience. She demands attention and genuine engagement, albeit with humor and a carefree disposition.
Stargazy performed after Moheno, opening their set with the wildly entertaining “Atlantic” and “Young (Years).” The group’s magic comes from its ability to mix so many different elements: electronica, indie rock, and psychedelic pop. Stargazy powered through tracks off their most recent release, The Fashion. The band, which hails from New York and South Dakota, saved “Soft Words,” which signifies a moodier moment on The Fashion, for the end of their set. The song’s brooding nature showcases Stargazy’s penchant for deep and often nostalgic reflection.
Teen Commandments brought their synth-fueled vibes to the stage. The band performed tracks off their 2013 EP, Dancer. The live rendition of “No Burning Headlight,” off of Dancer, added bits of rock into Teen Commandment’s electronic vibe. Teen Commandments are currently promoting two new singles: “American Special” and “Secret Lives of Voyeurs.” “Special” is perhaps the most biting as it pokes fun at American individualism.
Little Racer closed the show with performances off their record, Modern Accent. The band’s live staple “Punk Life” precisely illustrates the scene at Cameo Gallery: “Everybody knows that/I love the punk life/And you can see it in my face…/I been drinkin’ all night.” The narrative that runs throughout Modern Accent—and shapes the band’s approach to live performance—is one that mixes youth and reflection, impulse and introspection. But Modern Accent ultimately ends with homage to what brings music fans to shows like Pancakes. These shows aren’t just about an intersection of music and drinking; they’re also about a community of friends, listeners and performers, writers and photographers sharing an experience that traveled from Moheno to Little Racer with ease.
As the concert slouched towards its ending, the audience danced in the mix of swirl of lights and sounds.
Article by Pam Segura and photos by Shayne Hanley