Kool Keith, Dan the Automator and DJ Qbert, aka rap supergroup Dr. Octagon, celebrated the release of the terrific Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation -- their first record in 20 years -- at Brooklyn Bowl on Thursday night. It was a bit of a bumpy birth: Kool Keith, who keeps time like Lee "Scratch" Perry, was late (which felt like may have shortened their set as a result), and Dan's turntable setup was not working for much of the set which noticeably took some oomph out of some the songs. But with a forgiving, excited crowd, Qbert's virtuosic DJ skills, and Kool Keith's unique flow and stage presence, it still made for memorable night. Dan jokingly asked the crowd to pretend to enjoy the brand new songs, and they brought out Statik Selektah a couple times to DJ with Qbert, and Kool Keith showed off his breakdancing abilities. Setlist is below.

This show marked the return of not one but two Dan the Automator-related projects. Handsome Boy Modeling School, his guest-filled collaborative project with Prince Paul, are back in action and made their first public appearance since the mid-'00s (not counting a Fashion Week thing in February). Wearing their fancy mustaches, Nathaniel Merriweather (Dan) and Chest Rockwell (Paul) sauntered out to much applause for what amounted to an extended UCB sketch. While Chest told the crowd that new HBMS music was coming "soon," this was not a showcase for it. Instead, they cracked jokes, playing off the School's $60 tuition fee origins (it's all based on an episode of Chris Elliot's Get a Life), and brought out a few "Handsome Graduates": Just Blaze who DJ'd throughout; rapper Mr Dead as  "Manfred Winters" who performed makeovers on three audience members; and Elysian Fields' Jennifer Charles to perform "To Catch a Thief" from MBMS side project, Lovage. There was also an on-stage mixologist making martinis. Mr. Dead (real name Chris Davis who also does movie special effects) as Manfred Winters was the definite highlight of their "set," with a truly off-the-cuff comic presence who channeled Barry White by way of Dr. Zaius (and Matt Berry) that brought real life to what was otherwise a half-assed goof.

Just Blaze ended up being the MVP of the night, playing an impromptu DJ set in between Handsome Boy Modeling School and Dr. Octagon, to fill time while Kool Keith was MIA. He DJ some of his own songs and rapped along with them. Pictures from the whole night are in the gallery above.


SETLIST: Dr. Octagon @ Brooklyn Bowl 4/5/2017 (via)
Earth People
Operation Zero (with Statik Selektah)
No Awareness
I Got to Tell You
I'm In Orbit (New Song)
Blue Flowers
Bear Witness
Girl Let Me Touch You
Wild and Crazy (with Statik Selektah)
I'm Destructive (with Ultramagnetic MC’s)


photos by Edwina Hay

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