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Starchild & The New Romantic





Starchild's recent live set from outer space

The first Earthly arrival of Starchild was mid-wifed from within George Clinton’s Afrofuturist musical universe (which I'll gladly take over the Marvel Universe any day, just take a look at the “P-Funk Mythology” page on Wikipedia) arriving in this world via the 1975 Parliament single “Mothership Connection (Star Child)” where our titular hero announced to Earthlings that “we have returned to reclaim the Pyramids” before introducing the “Swing down, sweet chariot” hook later sampled on Dr. Dre’s 1993 hit “Let Me Ride” which introduced P-Funk via G-Funk to Generation X.

Well the second coming has come. And Brooklyn is the lucky host to the reincarnated Starchild in the form of Bryndon Cook. Having travelled the universe and beyond before landing permanently in these parts, this Starchild keeps some pretty rarified company having logged time as touring guitarist for Solange and Chairlift and Blood Orange, while also collaborating with the latter as VeilHymn, before venturing out as front-alien for Starchild & The New Romantic—a project that melds Cook’s R&B and hip hop and indie rock ‘n pop leanings into one musical package and very effectively so on the album released last year called Forever.

And more recently Starchild was shot back out into outer space ET-style to perform a couple live-streamed sets on Elsewhere Sound Space, a monthly series broadcast on the über-äwesome nightclub’s Twitch channel, all originating from an undisclosed location aboard a spaceship marooned in a galaxy far, far away. And lucky for us the Starchild episode is still available to stream and you won’t regret the alien encounter because Bryndon Cook’s heartfelt musical vignettes set in the midst of some pretty trippy sci-fi visuals is likely to make your soul leave your body especially on his final number “Silent Disco,” a transcendent ditty during which Starchild’s soul does in fact visibly leave his Earthbound bodysuit behind and enter another dimension.

Based on the first couple of episodes of Elsewhere Sound Space with their eerie eye candy tableaux and occasional space lizard appearances combined with cosmic musical numbers interspersed with broad comedy segments (double entendre not intended) the overall effect is like a surrealist mashup of the movie version of Dune and the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special, except that the campiness found on this mothership is clearly neither unintentional nor apolitical (take that Susan Sontag!) and instead of Bea Arthur serenading the Cantina Bar you get Princess Nokia and Starchild and in the next installment this Tuesday Brooklyn rapper and NYC mayoral candidate Paperboy Prince serenading all of us pod people out here wandering aimlessly in cyberspace.

And isn't it about time someone presented a compellingly queer vision of outer space and damn if the team at Elsewhere Sound Space--fronted by the program's emcee Peter Smith who as "a music deity marooned in space" radiates warmth into the coldest reaches of universe, check out the profile published in the NY Times titled “Five Nonbinary Comics on This Moment”—haven’t done it. Because c’mon even your neighborhood quantum physicist knows that outer space is all about relativity and multi-dimensionality and the bending of timespace which all sounds pretty queer to me. (Jason Lee)





Starchild & The New Romantic brings soul pop to Elsewhere on Valentine's Day

Whether you’re getting ahead on Valentine’s Day plans or dreading its approach, it’ll be well worth it for you to make it down to Elsewhere the night of the 14th to check out Starchild & The New Romantic. Drawing on the grooves of artists like Prince and Outkast, Starchild (otherwise known as Bryndon Cook) gracefully balances vibrant earnestness and downright addictive electro funk, making even heartbreak sound fun. Cook established himself touring with Solange and working with Blood Orange, but with last year’s debut album Language, it’s clear that Starchild deserves a stage of his own. Check out Language on Starchild & The New Romantic’s Bandcamp, and don’t miss the upcoming Brooklyn show, date or no date. - Sunny Betz

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