Tuxedomoon, at one time the darling of San Francisco’s artsy neo-punk scene, moved to Brussels, Belgium, five years ago. Its first L.A. show since that move--Friday at Charley’s Obsession--was more loony than lunar. Tuxedomoon’s arty vaudeville featured pastoral and disturbing sound collages and drones, subterranean menace set to a beat.
Highlighted by pseudo-jazzy interplay between leader Steven Brown’s clarinet and a trumpet player, the quintet’s taste for exotica was maintained in its Middle Eastern tonalities and the touch of reggae on “Atlantis” (from the group’s new album “Ship of Fools”). This is the kind of music that should appeal to people who regret having missed out on sipping coffee with Surrealists in Left Bank bistros during the ‘20s. In the ‘80s, however, Tuxedomoon’s multimedia elements--including a band member striking poses the group calls “mise en scene"--were textbook art-school frou-frou.