“I didn’t like that second band,” said the kid I for whom I had just scored a free ticket to see Future Islands at Cat’s Cradle several years ago.
The ingrate was referring to Ed Schrader’s Music Beat. The performance was admittedly unconventional; on a dark stage, Ed Schrader stood over a snare drum with a bright light underneath it, so that his face was lit up the same way as when you hold a flashlight while telling a ghost story. “Rats!” He exclaimed maniacally, banging his drum to a fast rhythm. I loved it.
A year or so later when I met Dan Deacon in Moore Square, he was wearing an Ed Schrader’s Music Beat t-shirt. They are all exemplary members of Baltimore’s Wham City scene, where it goes without saying that a live performance is a craft in its own right.
The 2-piece band’s live performance is a testament to the “less is more” persuasion. If you just listen to their music, they still sound interesting – grungy, kind of no-wave – but their act is a spectacle to appreciate for the artful way in which they present the simplicity of their set up: two people, one with a bass and the other with a snare and a microphone on a stand. A worklight. Symmetry. With only a few resources on stage, the band creates exceptional dimension.
Ed Schrader’s appearance in the Triangle coincides with the band’s August release of their new album Party Jail. They will play Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh at CAM on Thursday, September 3rd between 10-11pm.