Live: Oneida’s Brahloween at Secret Project Robot


photo by Matthew Spencer

Secret Project Robot
Saturday, November 1

Before Oneida played their semi-regular Brahloween gig at Williamsburg’s Secret Project Robot on Saturday, where cardboard cut-outs of branches or roots or possibly alien hands dangled from the exposed wooden crossbeams, the light dude sat by a side-stage overhead projector and rolled something sweet. It may well have been tobacky—what with all the other smoke in the room, who’s to say?—but when the Brooklyn art jammers hit at quarter-to-one, dude honked a mighty hit and blew it out between the bulb and the projector bed, where yellow oils cast clean shadows of the band members over a psychedelic barrage. No use: the smoke wasn’t visible onscreen, though the (cough) symbolism was.

Attacking at full freak-out mode from the 45-minute set’s start, Oneida ignored their newest (and jammiest), Preteen Weaponry. But there was no shortage of extended play, with tie-dyed drummer Kid Millions sounding like a one-man rendition of the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Featuring newer numbers like “The River,” along with “Up With People” from 2006’s Happy New Year, the band’s seething, magnified post-whateverisms pulsed consistently above Moog echoes and guitar repetitions. And for tonight, a few other costumed heads with guitars and such augmented the quartet, dudes who likely would’ve been outfitted whether it was Brahloween or not.

“Once in a while in you’ve gotta strap some shit on that’s going to help you MOVE just a little bit on the ice, the snow, and loose granular surface of this motherfucking mountain we call life,” keyboardist Bobby Matador ranted. (“This is Bobby’s first Brahloween, he’s really excited,” another Oneida explained.) Later, Light Dude exhaled again from the maybe-spleef, but again nothing registered onscreen. No matter, point taken—Brahloween only comes once a year. See you at Brahanukkah? —Jesse Jarnow