If you were to simply put The Moai Broadcast in an already created box, it’s easy to say they combine the energy and attitude of rock bands The Who and Led Zeppelin with the concepts of Pink Floyd and incorporate the new wave sound of The Talking Heads. But that is too easily said. This band has been ahead of the line with creating new avenues to engage their fans and forge ahead in the music scene. Hosting Easter Island Music Festival annually in Tulsa it seems the band is focusing on creating an all out experience for their fans with arts, lights, and music merging together as their focus. Along with hosting Easter Island Festival, The Moai Broadcast has played many festivals including Wakarusa, Yonder Mountain String Bands Harvest Festival, Norman Music Festival, and Free Tulsa to just name a few.
Instrumentally the band is comprised of Nick Bernson on drums with hard driving beats while Jordan Holt plays melodic synths on keys. Cody Brewer takes a unique approach on guitar focusing on creating textures with Nick Abbott creates solid bottom end bass lines. Josh Coffman warms up the sound with thoughtful vocals and 100% sexified saxaphonic saxophone. Together, The Moai Broadcast creates a mystical landscape with its music that embodies the primal essence of rhythm, melody, and human expression. The undeniable energy they bring is an amazing experience that everyone should enjoy.
The Moai Broadcast is interested in connecting with an audience on a personal level and wants their audience to know wherever you are, whatever you are, come party with us, embrace your beauty and broadcast yourself.
Cody Brewer - Guitar.
Jordan Holt - Keys/Synths
Nick Abbott - Bass
Josh Coffman - Sax & Vocals
Nic Bernson - Drums/synth/production
Moai Broadcasting (C) 2009 LP
Pattern 35 - http://soundcloud.com/themoaibroadcast/pattern-35
Whale Hunt - http://soundcloud.com/themoaibroadcast/whale-hunt
Contextual Relief - http://soundcloud.com/themoaibroadcast/contextual-relief
hUMAN (C) 2010
Free Tulsa Festival - Discovering a new musical passion...
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Discovering a new musical passion....... Festivals are great for finding new musical favorites. ...Discovering a new musical passion.......
Festivals are great for finding new musical favorites. Saturday night was my first Moai Broadcast experience ever. The band floored me.
The IDL Ballroom was packed shoulder-to-shoulder for this performance. There was a buzz on the street outside the theater. Slotted at the same time as Norman, OK favorites Broncho, who were playing 200 yards down the street at the McNellie's Group Main Stage, The Moai Broadcast was not to be upstaged on their own turf. Their set at IDL Ballroom was crazy good. A superlative doesn't exist that would do the show justice: insane, legendary, incendiary - nothing comes close to defining what we witnessed here.
The band knew they were on to something spectacular. I don't think they anticipated the draw nor the reception of an audience bathed in sweat, drinks and completely swallowed up and within the eclectic vibe at The Moai Braodcast's Free Tulsa show. Their enthusiasm was evident throughout and at times the band looked as stunningly floored as those in attendance. They played on and up to that fever-pitched excitement with a set that was described by almost everybody in attendance as their best ever.
The Moai Broadcast was my first local, jam-band experience in Tulsa. Wow. Frontman Josh Coffman plays a killer saxophone and carries a remarkable stage presence that is equal parts Jim Morrison and Wayne Coyne. Cody Brewer leads on guitar and is absolutely impeccable. Jordan Holt adds keys and synths and the entire package is a neo-psychedelic, progressive and jam band experience that can be best described in one word on eternal repeat. Wow. Wow. Wow.
The highlights of their set were the songs Elemental, which they closed with (I'm going off a loosely formed set list so forgive me if I am mistaken here), and a stunning rendition of Pink Floyd's Have A Cigar that was ridiculously good. You haven't lived until you've danced/grooved to Have A Cigar.
The Moai Broadcast actually has their own annual festival called Easter Island. Make no mistake, this performance was a magical experience that was 45 minutes long and about two hours too short. I could have stayed all night and I was not alone in that sentiment. Their set at the IDL Ballroom was a great experience and the band is now a new musical passion of mine. This is a band that should be playing festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo, just as long as they stay grounded and loyal to Tulsa.
Travels of the Moai (Cover Story)
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On the island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, there stand or lay nearly 900 giant statues ...On the island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, there stand or lay nearly 900 giant statues known as moai. Centuries old, they were carved in stone and hardened volcanic ash by the island's indigenous people. Many archaeologists believe the statues were created as a representation of the ancestors, chiefs or other high ranking officials in the island's history. Still others believe the giant heads hold a spiritual significance and represent something higher.
It should come as no surprise then that Tulsa's The Moai Broadcast stands out amongst its peers. Much like the natives of Rapa Nui, the group dedicates its time to carving its own niche within the bedrock of Tulsa's music scene, and much like those giant heads on Easter Island, the band represents something more within the local musical landscape.
Even in its early stages, it was clear that The Moai Broadcast was different than other bands in Tulsa. Instead of just being content finding a pocket and comfort zone within the local music scene, the band has always been in a state of flux. Although it started out as an electronic-based instrumental ensemble with a sound similar to Sound Tribe Sector 9, the group quickly started evolving, incorporating more organic tones and eventually adding vocals to the mix.
In its earlier days, the band played semi-regular shows at White Owl on Cherry Street, but also appeared at Soundpony, performing for the indie rock crowd. Today, the group is just as comfortable within the cozy confines of the Colony as it is on a festival stage or packing the dance floor at Treehouse.
Not content to stick to one context, however, The Moai Broadcast has moved beyond the clubs and created its own opportunities, first with the annual Easter Island Festival (which is now in its third year) and then with Winter Rebirth, last winter's overnight festival held in a warehouse space downtown. Not content to rest on past successes, however, the band continues to look forward to the next Easter Island, the next Winter Rebirth and the next big idea.
The Next Chapter
When sitting down with The Moai Broadcast, it's hard to get the group to slow down. Instead of looking backward and ruminating on where it's been, the group (which consists of keyboardist Jordan Holt, drummer Nick Bernson, guitarist Cody Brewer, bassist Nick Abbott and vocalist/sax player Josh Coffman) is already in fast forward, fleshing out its next plan to move forward.
The idea, which Nick Bernson presented to his bandmates just a few days earlier, doesn't follow a conventional line of reasoning, however. Instead of thinking bigger, they are thinking smaller, looking to make a more personal connection with its fans.
"We're just thinking about how to play differently in Tulsa," Bernson said. "We love The Colony and Treehouse, but we're considering how do we change things up? How could we host our own events?"
"What we're thinking of is basically a series of house parties," he explained. "Can we find a host that could accommodate 30 to 60 people? It would be a smaller show and cost a little more money, but we'd give everyone a CD and make it something more personal."
"We're just trying to exhaust different angles," Coffman interjected. "We always want to try different things, not just the weekly gigs at the local bar. We always want to push ourselves and push our audience."
"Nick popped the idea on us a few days ago," Jordan Holt said, "and at first, I thought it was kind of hokie. Once I got to thinking about it, though, it's a really good idea. The people that would be there want to hear you and there's an exclusivity to it that will attract people. We would have to modify our sound, as in how loud we play, but we can figure that part out pretty easily."
"Just think about it," said bassist Nick Abbott. "You get 30 pairs of ears that are there to listen to you specifically."
"If this can work and we find the right people, it could grow naturally," Bernson said. "It could theoretically turn into a Moai house party tour. We could start with a three date run of Tulsa, Norman and Stillwater. We'd have to modify some things, like not playing so loud and scaling back our lights, but we want to bring the entire show, lights and all."
"I just think that most bands think 'How can we play bigger venues?', but that's the wrong way to think. You should be asking 'How do we connect with more people?' because that's really the key."
Granted, this is a different concept, but The Moai Broadcast has always approached things differently -- that's what has always made the group stand out. Ultimately, Bernson explained the band's perspective by sharing "I feel like unless we do something different, we'll hit a brick wall and we don't want to do that."
A Little Perspective
If anyone in Tulsa can make a concept like this work, it's The Moai Broadcast. After all, it's not like this is a new idea. House Concerts Unlimited has been hosting shows in individual's homes within Tulsa since late 2008 and the economics of touring have proved this type of show to be beneficial to the artists and the fans. Traditionally, however, the house concert concept has been limited to primarily acoustic shows and more traditional singer/songwriter material.
Moai's take on the concept expands it to another level, though, incorporating a full band experience, albeit within a private and personalized atmosphere. And if you know Moai Broadcast, this won't be a polite, sit back and watch the show affair: This will be a full-on house party because if Moai doesn't get you dancing, no band will.
Even if it seems like a stretch, Moai is the band to make it work. After all, this isn't the first time the group has thought outside of the box. Back in June of 2010, Moai initiated its first Easter Island Festival on a plot of privately owned property in Broken Arrow. Inspired by the Phish 8, Bernson returned with a vision for their own festival, a one night affair with overnight camping.
The event went over so well that it expanded to two nights in April during its second year and filled the property to capacity. This year, the event moved to Valley Sports Complex because it had outgrown its initial location and added regional headliners. The festival has continued to expand, yet it has retained the relaxed atmosphere that Bernson originally envisioned while bringing a sense of community to the local music scene and also giving The Moai Broadcast a platform to perform to an even larger audience.
As if a spring festival wasn't enough for one band to undertake, Moai came up with another concept last year and held its initial Winter Rebirth, an overnight festival incorporating music, art and vendors in an urban atmosphere, housed in the John L. Rucker warehouse in downtown Tulsa. Even at the inception of Easter Island, Bernson shared the band's vision for an urban camping event and festival, so it wasn't a huge surprise when Winter Rebirth came up, a retooling of the original concept with a seasonal twist.
The bottom line is, The Moai Broadcast is a band with a vision. If conventional avenues don't accommodate their goals, the group stays the course, undeterred. It's a band that doesn't break the rules, it simply makes its own -- and stretching outside its comfort zone isn't an exception, but a rule.
Ever since the beginning, Moai Broadcast has been in transition. Formed in 2008 after Andrew Lubner moved to Colorado, Jordan Holt joined up with Nick Bernson and guitarist Cody Brewer, who had been discussing the possibility of doing something with Holt, to form a new project. An ad placed on Craigslist looking for a bass player rendered Nick Abbott, who came with a background in metal, jazz, funk and even ska, but no experience in electronic music. An initial search for a vocalist didn't yield the desired results or a good chemistry, so the group moved forward as an instrumental act, carving its own niche in the local scene with sound that straddled electronic and jam rock.
In May 2009, Josh Coffman was approached by Bernson to sit in on sax for a few shows (including the band's June performance at Wakarusa) and by the end of the summer he was an official member of the band. Coffman's sax playing added an organic element to the mix, but his impact wasn't complete yet. While in the studio the following year, Coffman began singing a melody over Jordan Holt's playing and the two decided to hash out vocals for the song. In the fall of 2010, Coffman began performing vocals in front of live audiences to a positive response and the band continued to evolve.
Now, in 2012, the group is working on its third album, a follow up to the concept album, Human, and is functioning in a whole different manner than when it started. Instead of Bernson constructing songs around jams with studio editing, the writing process has now become a collaborative effort, with all five members contributing in the studio. Although a new album is yet to be finished (with hopes for a late summer or fall release), the new direction is readily apparent in Moai's live shows.
Once a downtempo instrumental group with psychedelic and electronic influences (band members laugh that Jeff Porter once called their sound "elevator music on acid"), the interaction of the band, more organic nature of the music and energy of the live performance has seen Moai develop into more of a rock band that incorporates its original influences while spreading its wings and becoming something more.
Most important in the evolution, the group's chemistry has continued to develop, allowing it to truly function as a band. As Coffman shared, "There really is a kinship and closeness in this group that I've never experienced in any other band I've ever been in."
"The music itself is becoming a reflection of that so we're not just internalizing it and bottling it up, but reflecting that to our audience," he continued. "We want to share that and that's kind of our message right now: Wherever you are, whatever you are, come party with The Moai Broadcast."
"It's really something special," Coffman said. "The closeness I feel with these guys is what I want to express to anybody who wants to be a part of it."
In the end that's what the The Moai Broadcast has always been about. It's something larger than just the music. It's a sense of community and kinship that has become more apparent as the band has evolved. Every bold move they have made has been an attempt to extend that sense of community and connect with the fans. That was the original goal of Easter Island and its logical extension, Winter Harvest.
Now, The Moai Broadcast is focused on scaling down and connecting with its fans on an even more personal level and growing in the process. Ultimately, it's yet another stroke in carving Moai's niche and place within the local music community -- and creating something bigger.
Urban Tulsa - Hot 100
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The Moai Broadcast doesn’t break the rules associated with rock’n'roll, it simply creates its own. S...The Moai Broadcast doesn’t break the rules associated with rock’n'roll, it simply creates its own. Starting out as a jam inflected electro-rock band, the group has evolved into a more organic sound. When it needed its own outlet, it created the Easter Island Festival (now planning its 3rd incarnation in April). The band even records every show, with plans to release every gig online via Cheese Factory Radio. This is the Tulsa band that is taking its future into its own hands and creating its own opportunities.
Music and Camping Together Again – By Todd Gunter
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“The Moai Broadcast, Oklahoma’s own super power trance-rock jam fantastic. “ (TODD GUNTER) “The ...“The Moai Broadcast, Oklahoma’s own super power trance-rock jam fantastic. “ (TODD GUNTER)
“The Moai are known for their great stage show and solid fan base.” (TODD GUNTER)
“The Moai Broadcast’s Easter Island Festival!” (TODD GUNTER)
Both Sides of the Groove Moai Broadcast drops a dance beat with sonic exploration
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Part of the joy of big showcases and festivals is finding a band that's new and fresh, one that make...Part of the joy of big showcases and festivals is finding a band that's new and fresh, one that makes you step outside of your normal listen patterns and leaves you glad that you did. After emerging from DFest, I had found a least a couple of those bands, but one in particular stood out, a group of local guys known as Moai Broadcast.
Those who are regulars at Soundpony, White Owl or The Colony have likely come across this group at least once over the past eight months, but those are the fortunate few. After a solid set at McNellie's during DFest, however, the buzz on Moai is bound to spread.
My compatriot, Josh Kline, actually listed the band's DFest slot in his recommendations for the weekend, and with good cause: initially listed as Trip-Hop, the band ultimately defies categories with a genre twisting approach to electronic and dance music. To my ear, the group approaches a sound more akin to Sound Tribe Sector 9's dance-beat heavy sonic explorations. Throw in a little psychedelic jam and free-style electronica and you might understand why the band's sound is so hard to define.
In truth, that's because this is a band that's still evolving. I had the good fortune of meeting sax player Josh Coffman during a DFest after party and was able to catch up with him again last week to discuss what will surely become one of Tulsa's more popular experimental dance rock bands.
Moai (pronounced "Mo-eye", after the giant head statues found on Easter Island) Broadcast is essentially an offshoot of Tech Tonic, as keyboardist Jordan Holt spawned this new project with friend and drummer/producer Nick Bernson last winter. According to the band's bio, the two paired up with "the idea of achieving the highest level of expression through its most simplistic forms." When translated to layman's terms, I believe what they really mean is "convey our experiences through some badass grooves that will make you shake your ass."
Once augmented with guitarist Cody Brewer and bassist Nick Abbott, the group emerged from rehearsals in January with just a few gigs to fine-tune their act before playing the Waka-Winter Classic at the Cain's Ballroom in February. That gig formed a springboard for the band to quickly expand its reach to Fayetteville and Norman before landing at Wakarusa in June. Along the way, Coffman (who was also a member of Tech Tonic as well as having played previously with Steve Lidell and King James Version "back in the day") started jamming with the band and officially joined the band's lineup over the summer.
The addition of Coffman expands on the Moai Broadcast's greatest strength: although the group is firmly entrenched in electronic rhythms and sampling, its sound is balanced by a natural and organic approach to the music. Brewer's fluid guitar lines and Abbott's bass work bring a distinct warmth to the music without overshadowing the synth and dance beats. The addition of Coffman on sax allows the group to experiment further, yet keep an interactive, human feel to the music. The band somehow skirts the edges of jam and electronica without being absorbed by either genre, creating its own unique niche.
When I discussed the band's approach to songwriting and performance, I couldn't help but ask how much is pre-structured and how much is improvisational. Although an easy reference point for comparing the band is EOTO, the fully improvisational project of former String Cheese Incident members Michael Travis and Jason Hann, Maio Broadcast doesn't cast so broad a net, instead keeping things more focused and direct. While Coffman did recognize EOTO as an influence, he also shared that the band prefers to keep its material structured, with each song worked out and written in movements, while leaving room to explore the grooves and improvise as the live experience dictates.
"Some of the songs are more set, while some of the stuff is more electronic driven, so we can groove on it for a while and see where it goes," Coffman shared. "It really comes from the makeup of the band: we've got some really good songwriters, but it also depends on what the song calls for. All of them are actual songs that have been thought out, but at the same time, music is supposed to be a free flowing thing, so we try and leave room for that."
Although the majority of the band's work to date has been more ambient and psychedelic, Moai is only beginning to tap its creative resources. Just recently, the group started experimenting with more upbeat, bass and drum driven house grooves with Holt and Bernson working on laptops, creating and mixing on the fly.
Right now, the laptops are just being introduced, with the band searching for a balance between its innate structure and free-form grooves. As the group explores the possibilities, however, it is allowing itself to play some wildly different sets, experimenting with both vibes.
"Really, our identity lies somewhere in between," Coffman explained. "We like to create music people can dance to, plus have a few think pieces with a low-key, chill groove."
To music fans, that's precisely what's so exciting about this band: its work is incredibly engaging, creating a palpable energy which hasn't been previously captured nearly so well in our local clubs. Even within that niche, however, the group continues to expand its sound and scope and is allowing its audience to be a part of the evolution. When augmented by a full-on light show directed by Mike Miller, it's an experience no other band in Tulsa is providing.
Moai Broadcast will be performing twice this week with two distinctly different shows. A Thursday night (August 6) appearance at The White Owl on Cherry Street provides the band a forum for exploration with a set that will be almost exclusively comprised of the group's more upbeat House and drum/bass improvisations.
Two nights later, on August 8, the group headlines a gig with The Floozies at Soundpony which will highlight its more structured compositions and the relaxed grooves upon which it has thus far built its reputation.
The smart bet will be to stop in and witness both shows to get a broader picture of what this group is capable of as it continues to evolve and find its true identity. Caught somewhere between jam-rock, Trip-Hop and electronica, Moai Broadcast is forming its own niche and creating some of the most original and entrancing dance vibes I've experience in Tulsa to date.
Our sets are 45 - 120 minutes long. Typically we do 1 to 2 covers per set depending on the time limit. We prefer covers that are obscure and are somewhat unknown.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.