Lavish and Mahogany

By Rich Tupica

NYC-based band Mahogany headlines Broad Art Museum gala Friday night

Mahogany may be billed as a New York City band, but the group’s deepest roots go back to its first show in 1995 at the now defunct Café Latté in East Lansing.

Founding member Andrew Prinz, a former Waverly High School student, was a Michigan State University student when he formed the dreampop band in 1995. The band, which includes Prinz and Jaclyn Slimm, layers experimental landscapes of sounds over themed post-modern lyrics involving theories, architecture and cities.

Perhaps that fitting motif is what prompted organizers at the Broad Art Museum to pick the group to perform at GLOBAL, its one-year anniversary Gala on Friday.

The event promises a “lavish evening of art, music, drinks, food and fashion. … Let your attire become your palette, and your favorite work of art your inspiration.” VIP and general admission tickets are available for purchase online. (Attendees can “crash” the gala at 9 p.m. and get in for $20 at the east entrance.)

During his formative years in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s in Lansing, Prinz became enamored with post-punk and new wave bands like Joy Division, New Order and Depeche Mode. But Prinz, who studied music theory and composition and plays the cello, said he was also pulling inspiration from more academic composers who were working with electronics.

“Over the years I would say the music has become much more delineated and architected — maybe a crossover into pop art,” Prinz said.

Mahogany was offered a record deal after that inaugural gig at the coffee shop. Prinz moved to the Big Apple to not only focus on music, but also his parallel career in graphic design.

As the band continued to push artistic boundaries, Prinz declared Mahogany a sovereign city-state in November 2009.

“I think anyone can really declare,” Prinz said with a chuckle. “If you’re interested at an artistic level, it means coming up with things like your city logo, an imaginary concept of how the city would work.

“We don’t really have one city we call home, in a sense. In the UK we have a huge web following, but in the United States, it’s mainly around the coasts. So the notion of it being a city comes from the fan base as well.”


Music by Mahogany Broad Art Museum Friday, Nov. 1 6:30 p.m., VIP preview party 7:30 p.m., Doors for all guests General admission $100 $20 after 9 p.m. GLOBAL MahoganyInternational