Toro Y Moi at Crescent Ballroom, 3/5/12
Chillwave/glo-fi/funk/[insert blogger-generated genre here] pioneers Toro Y Moi knows how to get people moving.
At last year's South by Stateside Festival, the band played a short, delayed set thanks to Foster the People's lengthy set-up time. I wasn't there, so I can't comment on how good it was, but I know I would be pretty bummed if I had waited through a long, rainy night to only see 40 minutes of Toro Y Moi.
Assuming the worst from the SXSS circumstances, the band more than made up for it last night. Toro Y Moi's hour long set highlighted its funk undertones and turned the packed Crescent Ballroom into a dance party.
Before the show, Bundick sat down for a Q&A sponsored by the Red Bull Music Academy. There were maybe 50 people in the room, which was kind of a bummer, but it made for a nice, intimate discussion. There was plenty of time for audience questions, so now we know that Chaz's favorite Beatle is George "because he's the one that changed the Beatles. He brought in the Hare Krishna, though Paul is my favorite songwriter."
Other fun facts--in high school, Chaz was really into skateboarding and listening to The Pixies and Weezer. The interviewer asked if he was embarrassed by a past obsession with Blink-182 and he said no. "I'm not ashamed of anything I listened to," admitting that he even listens to Justin Bieber because his girlfriend is a fan.
Bundick and Patrick Jeffords have been friends since high school
Most of the discussion focused on Chaz's musical endeavors. The sound of Toro Y Moi's albums were shaped by extensive iTunes playlists reflecting what Chaz was listening to at the time. He cites sampling and shoegaze as the main elements of Causers of This, and film soundtracks, funk, and disco for the inspiration of Underneath the Pine.
Bundick is currently working on the band's third album, which may have a more hip-hop approach. He praised Frank Ocean's "Novacane" and Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne. Toro Y Moi may be exploring some new territory, but supposedly old fans will enjoy it too. "I think if you like the first two albums, you're gonna like this one," said Bundick.
Bundick started off as the-one-man-with-a-laptop ordeal, but didn't like it. "I felt uncomfortable and totally out of my element. The band is the first thing I wanted to do," he says, admitting that some songs can't be played with a full band lest they sound "cheesy." Toro Y Moi is able to play most songs live thanks to samplers and effects pedals.