Saturday, March 19, 2011

Music Library: Moondog, Moonlight Towers, Mops, Morells

Moondog - Moondog On The Streets Of New York EP (1953), Moondog And His Honking Geese Playing Moondog's Music EP (1955), Moondog (1956),  More Moondog (1956), Moondog (1969), Moondog 2 (1970), A New Sound Of An Old Instrument (1979).  Moondog was your standard blind, self-taught composer primarily known for creating his own instruments and playing them on the streets of New York while dressed in Viking garb.  You know the type.  Everyone has a story about a guy like this, the type of guy who sues the most significant disc jockey of the day for stealing his moniker and wins.  The street musician who is a cited source by some of the most significant composers of the late 20th century.  All kidding aside, Moondog's music is incredibly powerful, an obvious influence on guys like Harry Partch, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, while being covered in the rock world by Brit-folkers Pentangle and blues-rockers Big Brother And Holding Company.  His work is gorgeous and sometimes sad, heavy on percussion and still dreamy in its own way.  Most pieces are quite short and unwilling to wear their welcome.  Which may be why Moondog's music is always welcome in my house.  I've even included "Pastoral" from the 1970 album Moondog 2 on most every children's bedtime mix I've ever made, and that's quite a few at this point.  Of these albums, I prefer the two from 1956 over the others, but that's only a slight edge, as they are all extraordinary.

Moonlight Towers - Moonlight Towers (2002) plus a handful of loose mp3s.  Pretty good Austin rock band.

Mops - "Get, Got, Gotten." P-sychedelic Japanese rock from 1970.  Can't tell you more than that.

Morells - Shake And Push (1982).  This is a Missouri-based bar band that is more or less the same band as the Skeletons.  I know that bassist Lou Whitney has produced a ton of alt-country bands.  Guitarist D. Clinton Thompson has worked with near everyone who ever appeared in No Depression magazine, too, but I was first aware of him for working with Jonathan Richman on Jonathan Goes Country.  This is alright stuff here, but the earlier description as bar band music is about right.


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