According to multi-instrumentalist James Pants, those who are down to boogie till late on a Tuesday night are “troopers.” So he told his audience in Brooklyn, NY, on the night of August 16 (by the time he took the stage it was right about August 17) as he swiveled from drums to soundboard delivering friendly and energetic grooves [also weirdo vibes – Ed.] to the Glasslands Gallery. Pants sported a pair of khakis below his Hawaiian shirt [underneath a mustard—or was it canary yellow? Hard to tell—holiday cruise-style blazer – Ed.] , emblematic of his White Guy Casual approach to music-making and party-starting. As he pattered out beats on a drum machine, fiddled with samples and sound effects, sang tirelessly into his microphone and shredded his air guitar, concertgoers cut the rug like wedding guests and snapped photos of their wreath-of-leaves Roman-style headgear [that they took the liberty of ripping from the stage’s set design – Ed.].
Pants, whom one fan referred to as “the king,” spun a variety of noises, from doo-wop to hard rock to hip-hop, all affected with his special touch of synthy grooviness [Cheesiness in writer’s description probably intended. – Ed.]. An involved performer, Pants reciprocated and amplified the audience’s enthusiasm with an array of facial expressions as diverse as his music and antics like miming playing the clarinet or whatever instrument he filtered through his sound machine and thrashing his head as he slapped his drums. Pants is no downtown club DJ—the kind who stands above the crowd with a laptop and a crew of club rats nodding along to Miley Cyrus songs set to a beat; he is more of a wedding DJ, family-friendly and good-time oriented with a sonic palette fit to please virtually any taste.
He looks kind of like LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy [The main difference is that Murphy is more of a sandals man; Pants more of a loafers guy. – Ed.], scruffy and cute in a nonthreatening way, white, oblong face, stepping from foot to foot with one headphone on and one hand on the microphone as he DJs. The two have similar merry wedding reception vibes, only Pants has less of a distinct sound than anything DFA because he is constantly juggling a range of influences and styles. He traveled from what seemed improvisational to distinctly Pantsy songs like “Sitting On The Couch, Turning Into Stone,” recognizable by its slow-lurch synth beat.
By the end of Tuesday night, Pants had been onstage for over an hour, keeping the Glasslands crowd out of bed past one—or at least, those troopers strong enough to keep the party going till the Pants came down.
[note: Ed. was there.]