This Little Underground: Oneida's Kid Millions brings his Man Forever drum project to Will's Pub

This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene. Read the latest column here.

Man Forever at Will's Pub - Ashley Belanger
Ashley Belanger
Man Forever at Will's Pub

Recently, the erudite Accidental Music Festival made the shift toward a concert series format à la the Civic Minded 5. The latest installment (Dec. 15, Will’s Pub) was headlined by Man Forever, the experimental percussion music project of Oneida’s Kid Millions. Like Trampled by Turtles just did recently, Man Forever uses local musicians in each of the cities it performs on tour. This stop featured Thad Anderson (performer, composer and percussion professor at UCF), Jeremy Katelenic (Legendary J.C.’s, RobotMan), Ian McLeod (ISM), Matt Roberts (three-time Accidental Music Festival alum), Kaylee Bonatakis (UCF alum) and Matt Peters (AMF alum) to populate Kid Millions’ seven-piece – I will not call it a drum circle – percussion ensemble.

click to enlarge Thad Anderson - Ashley Belanger
Ashley Belanger
Thad Anderson
Be it strings, horns or guitars, seven players of most instruments is imaginable. But seven drummers – let alone ones who don’t play together full-time – has all the potentiality of a highway pileup. So credit to Kid Millions and the hometown corps for not being a loud popcorn bag live. Instead, this centipede of hands and sticks began like orchestrated rain. Then, when they shifted en masse suddenly to the low end, the mounting effect was like an advancing tornado. From there, it only opened wider with a tribal drone that conjured sweeps over untamed landscapes. Each composition of the set was an odyssey of endurance drumming and, once he got back on his native footing behind a full kit for the finale, Kid Millions proved himself a tireless beast of a locomotive, pounding with all limbs for almost a half-hour straight. Maybe Man Forever is no SSLOTS, but this performance was an effective and moving rhythm quest.

Before the big spectacle, some locals performed pieces that were more intimate on their own imported sound array, which – paired with their extraordinary instruments – was on an entirely different sonic cloud. Thad Anderson hit otherworldly planes by taking both mallet and bow to the bells. One of the night’s highlights was Matt Roberts and Kaylee Bonatakis performing Tristan Perich’s “Observations,” a chimingly rhythmic composition that pairs percussion with 1-bit electronics. It’s a symphonic collision of clang and blip that yields an unexpected and stunning fusion that rings like a beautiful alarm.

Kaylee Bonatakis and Matt Roberts performing Tristan Perich's "Observations" - Ashley Belanger
Ashley Belanger
Kaylee Bonatakis and Matt Roberts performing Tristan Perich's "Observations"

As the guy up in there knocking back the Bud Heavies, I always feel like a bit of a fanny-pack tourist in these academic circles. But I consider it a blessing to be living in a place where there are things going on that can make me feel strange. By reliably presenting music that can – more than most – be considered truly modern, the Accidental Music Festival continues to prove its place as one of the flagships for the city’s non-rock contemporary music scene. 

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