Saturday night at a previously undisclosed location, as the moon shone three-quarters full just after midnight, I witnessed a movement in progress. I’ve always been fascinated by how movements work and what it takes to put one in motion.
First, there must be an initiator, a lone nut, someone who is 100% dedicated to the movement and passionately determined to succeed. Next, there must be a single follower, someone who either wholeheartedly agrees with the initiator’s idea or believes that it’s actually crazy enough to work.
With this power of two, a movement can gain momentum. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But as mentioned in a TED talk, “the first follower is what really transforms a lone nut into a movement leader.”
The lead singer of The Family Gang, Phraydoe Peans, has made it very far from once being that “lone nut.” I’m growing to admire his determination and sense of community. Like we are here, he’s building and growing a music community and he’s truly built a strong foundation for his movement. He also said that he’s recently started looking at utilizing their social medias a lot more in order to get their movement more traction and movement, I’m now thinking it would be wise for them to use something similar to the likes social-boost that can improve social media engagement rates. I wish them luck on expanding their movement!
The theme of the evening was to celebrate and promote and release The Family Gang self titled full length album. However, the event invite mentioned “herbal potluck dinner included in ticket price.” I’ve never been to a local show, or national show for that matter, where a full hot meal was included in the price of a ticket so naturally, I was intrigued.
When I arrived at the “secret” venue I began exploring. There were several interesting rooms in this venue and for sale were “special brownies,” “moonlightshroom tea.” canned beer, and wine coolers. Yes, wine coolers. In the back right corner room there were couches and a DJ spinning. In the front corner, there were books and band merch. Every wall throughout the establishment was littered with various genres of art – painted, drawn, written and all unique. The words that were written on the stairs really set the tone for the evening:
Before The Family Gang began, they rolled out the red carpet, literally. The food arrived shortly after for the “herbal potluck” dinner and a line formed by the front corner room upstairs. It smelled delicious and I soon found myself inhaling Spanish style yellow rice and beans, Peruvian sausage, Spanish style grilled chicken legs and drumsticks, seasoned Peruvian potatoes, and a tres leches style cake.
I made it back downstairs in my glutton state once The Family Gang began to find a floor full of spectators and supporters. Phraydoe Peans creates an energy that pollinates the audience and those around him. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. At first I thought hip-hop or something of the sort.
I was expecting to see their DJ, Dizzle Phunk, but was told he was currently on a cruise ship, DJing. When the drums were being set up earlier, I noticed a lot of accessories, a wood block attachment on the snare, a Djembe set up next to the rack-tom, and a tambourine mounted next to the ride cymbal (which is a strange location for a tambourine). I’m always hesitant to believe extensive ad-ons to a drum kit will be put to good use and normally my hesitation is just. However, once The Family Gang began, I quickly realized that my hesitation was unwarranted.
The creative and stylish ways in which their drummer, Omar Rodriguez, made use of his add-ons were the glue that kept the band firmly glued together. The keyboardist, guitarist, and bassist all closed their eyes to feel the beats and flowed with the rhythms.
Guitar solos howled towards the waning moon and the band repeatedly revealed its true rock and funk roots over hip-hop elements and overtures. Peans, taking up both bass guitar and lead vocal duties, kept the energy high and crowd involved while their keyboardist, Christopher LeBrane kept the smooth synths and samples flowing. I met their guitarist, Jester Cordell, after the show and he mentioned he had a rock band that I should check out, I was unsurprised based on his talent and stage presence.
Once Family Gang had conquered and vacated the stage, Peans came back up to introduce a second act, Roger CorVette who was to perform a two-song set. Still reeling from the funky rock that my ears just experienced, the last thing I expected was a hip-hop comedy act.
Roger took the stage and sang over back tracks before I found myself laughing halfway through his first song. I had the lines “House Vinaigrette” and “Peelin’ Shrimp” stuck in my head the rest of the night. I looked up the video for his song “Pellin’ Shrimp” and it’s some of the silliest shit I’ve ever seen. All shrimp jokes aside, I met Roger after his set and he was a super nice guy who has a comedy channel on youtube called “Cocaine Comedy.“
I also briefly spoke with Phraydoe Peans and was given his facebook contact info to speak with him further. I then purchased The Family Gang CD and brought my night to a close.
I listened to The Family Gang over the next few days and I surprisingly discovered that there were 23 tracks on it (almost equivalent to a double album), but only 22 of which are listed on the printed insert. The 23rd track is a “hidden track” if you will, and features Orlando’s own Kaleigh Baker and hip-hop legend Scarface, titled “Celebrate and Die.”
On a side note: PETA would have a field day with the physical copy of new CD – Their “Spirit Animal” is a black bear and the jewel case of their new album is clothed in a layer of “bear fur.” Or so they claimed when I purchased one.
Check out the song “Animals” below by The Family Gang.
I contacted Phraydoe Peans two days later curiously because I’m always intrigued by how bands begin and interested in learning individual stories behind their history. Several facebook messages led to a phone call. Thirty minutes later, a few laughs, and some serious personal talk, I had a very interesting and diverse story to pen.
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