The out-of-this-world Mei Ohara is one of them New England-area music talents that you can’t help but show that support for. As your boy Mr. Golden has written on these very pages in the past, Mei doesn’t look or sound like anybody else in our scene: her unique cutting-edge sound and fashion sense has made her one of the most colorful and visible figures in the Boston music community, and of all the area talents I have featured the last few months on the Boston VIPs Show, I am fairly certain she’s turned out to be the favorite of Mr. Dirty Water News, my brotha SJ Torres.
In addition to all of that, she’s just so damn likable. Smart as a whip, humble and hungry, a charming disposition that is surely not of this earth, and takes great TLC of her pet violin, “Vindice”. Family, how can one not cheer her on?
This past Sunday night at Allston’s Wonder Bar, Mei – alongside electronica/dreampop group Everpresent and a host of DJs, designers & visual artists – gave our city yet another reason to extoll her virtues. She organized one hell of a party situation.
I usually make it a point to come through whenever Mei performs onstage (I half-jokingly say that I hold the record for most Mei Ohara shows attended). Plus, as you guys probably know, I have featured her on Boston VIPs and on radio shows I’ve hosted over the last few years. So, as you may expect, I was game to be in the building for what she dubbed the Intergalactic Dance Party, a concert through time & space that would serve as a platform for avant-garde liberal arts expression. After a weekend that saw good times had at Society on High for the Great American Derby (big salute to the homie Brian Malone), a night of dark, mystical goon activity was surely a proper way to close out a dope weekend.
From the gloriously bizarre artworks curated by my bud Prospero Eaton to the beautiful handmade fashions offered by designer RHI, the creative expression on display at the Intergalactic Dance Party set an awesome visual tone. In discussing RHI’s fashion interpretations before the night began, she explained her designs were about “being true to yourself and not having to sit in one mold. Kind of the merging of being cutesy and being edgy, too.” Facts only: RHI’s awesome fashion designs are a perfect fit for those who want to express themselves with a look & style that goes above & beyond the atypical.
On the 1s & 2s, the party was held down by DJs Howie D. Rivet, Lavoie, and the one & only AlexXxan. From throwback goth jams to techno treats, this killer elite squad of mixmasters provided the appropriate soundtrack for the event. Having heard each of them at past events (the bruh AlexXxan, in particular, was familiar to me, having worked Legacy last summer at ZuZu with the great DJ Knife), I already knew they’d crush it; together, maaaane they got the place goin’ all the way up.
Just after 9PM, Mei Ohara addressed her people, her crowd, her gathering of earth-bound friends and family who came to show that respect for a celestial supertalent who continues to show why she represents the future of our industry. It was, by my estimation, her most solid set to date. Mei’s stage presence and her performance was a thing of beauty; a velvet-wrapped kaleidoscope of color and sound that put her incredible talent on proper display. Electronic beats set to the haunting sounds of Vindice the violin have become Mei’s calling card; for many in the building, this was their first time experiencing this sound in a live setting. Rest assured, this will not be their last. That said: thank you’s to Mei for dropping what I consider to be her best composition to date, “Seducing Your Fire” (and saw fit to address me onstage beforehand; “Okaaaay STERLING, here you go”). In Mr. Golden’s humble opinion, this one jam represents everything that makes Mei Ohara such a dope young creative, the “Mistress of the Supernatural”, if you will.
Then along came Everpresent, a group concept conceived by musical multi-talent Matthew Cahoon that was once dubbed by the late, great Anderson Mar as “Boston’s answer to Depeche Mode”. Considering Depeche is Mei’s lifelong favorite, you knew this pick would please not only her, but the massive turnup in attendance at Wonder Bar. Cahoon brought the Everpresent ideal to fruition in the winter of 2002, a project combining dark pop and alternative electronica, performed by Cahoon himself and a slew of session & touring members. Over a 13-year career that has seen several well-received albums and visual media releases drop (most recently the 2014 joint Introspekt), Everpresent have become an enduring name & attraction on the Boston music circuit. Their set surely did not disappoint; with the vocals of Cat Waltzer backed by Cahoon’s audio onslaught, Everpresent took the Intergalactic Dance Party into a shadowed stratosphere. Salute, family. Matthew, we shall definitely be connecting & building soon.
The Intergalactic Dance Party was truly on another level, an artistic triumph for Mei Ohara, Everpresent, and the entire team who helped make it such a unique & special party flow. Big respect to not only Mei & Everpresent, but also to DJs AlexXxan, Lavoie, & Howie D. Rivet, RHI on the fashion design tip, and Prospero for his imaginative, outside-the-box artworks. Your expressions of sound, art and form completed the experience. Special thank you’s must also go out to Gabriel Rizzo of Golden Lion Photography for providing most of the photography you see here.
I must make this confession, you guys: your boy Mr. Golden has but one regret. I was actually considering referring back to my KISS Army roots and rocking the Spaceman look for the party. Welp … I didn’t follow through. Oh well, maybe on my next intergalactic visit.
Hey…it worked in high school.
(Nope…that’s not a wig.)