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 Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: steevee 
Date:   11-03-17 23:43

Moonshake are a band whose first album, EVA LUNA, I have always loved and wished was more widely known and appreciated. Here is a Peel session on You Tube from 1992, the year it was released in the U.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9snJ-69WkuE.

Listening to this now with more knowledge of post-punk, they don't sound as original as they did 25 years ago. I can hear a lot of the ENTERTAINMENT-era John King and METAL BOX-era John Lydon in singer/keyboardist/guitarist Dave Callahan's sneer. However, the emphasis they placed on the rhythm section, using samplers to create squalls of noise or unpredictable backdrops and avoidance of lead guitars in favor of either funk-influenced chicken scratches or Keith Levene-inspired trebly blasts. One of the songs on this session has an almost Middle Eastern feel. Like almost every artist on Too Pure at this time, they used guitars in pretty unconventional ways and embraced keyboards and electronics. Unfortunately, the fact that Callahan and the group's other singer/songwriter Margaret Fiedler had such different visions - and the songs they sung sound much different - meant that the group splintered in half after EVA LUNA, with him sticking around and entirely eliminating guitars in a new line-up and her forming Laika. They benefited from post-Nirvana largesse: all three of their albums came out in the U.S. on indie labels that were distributed by majors at the time: Matador/Atlantic, Too Pure/American Recordings and C/Z/BMG. EVA LUNA and the EPs and singles they released before and just after it really deserve a through reissue. I wonder if Too Pure still owns the rights to any of this stuff.

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 Re: Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: steevee 
Date:   11-03-17 23:50

Here is the track "Hanging" from their FIRST EP, released by Creation in 1991. I found two other songs from it on YouTube. Is that the whole EP? This has more of a shoe gaze feel, with heavily reverbed guitars and particularly lovely vocals from Fiedler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JvHsGFSxjs

I looked the band up in iTunes, and they're not as much in need of reissue as I thought: Too Pure still makes their first two albums and the BEAUTIFUL PIGEON and BIG GOOD ANGEL EPs available, and C/Z has their third album. The FIRST EP seems to be out of print, though, and someone has also put up the "Lola Lola" 7" from 1995 on YouTube.

To the other Steve: I'm not trying to tread on your territory. I happen to share my last name with a well-known novelist, and I know when new acquaintances google me if I get questions like "did you write the book ZEROVILLE?"



Post Edited (11-04-17 00:15)

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 Re: Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: STEVE 
Date:   11-04-17 00:06

this town ain't big enough for two sTeeVee's.
The band IS lively and inventive, but too much MORRISSEY in tracks three & four and the obnoxious bombast of 'Beautiful Pidgeon' is killing my appetite to ingest anymore of this shite.



Post Edited (11-04-17 01:32)

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 Re: Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: zoo 
Date:   11-06-17 08:05

Well, I haven't heard the album, but I read the Isabel Allende novel. Which is better?

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 Re: Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   11-06-17 09:07

I have an album called Big Good Angel squirreled away somewhere. I was investigating the Too Pure at the time I bought it (just a few years ago), fishing it from a bargain bin. Unfortunately for it, I bought all three albums by their labelmates Long Fin Killie at the same time, and LFK captivated me immediately, so Moonshake got shunted off in a binder somewhere. I need to dig it out and re-listen. I recall liking it, just not finding it as striking as LFK's stuff.

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 Re: Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: steevee 
Date:   11-06-17 10:36

I would like to re-investigate Long Fin Killie as well - I bought their first album and saw them live - but they never made as big an impression on me as EVA LUNA did. But the Too Pure label in the early and mid '90s was as innovative as the shoegaze scene, but nowadays everyone recognizes LOVELESS as one of the highlights of rock history while bands like Moonshake, Pram and Long Fin Killie are forgotten.

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 Re: Moonshake: anyone remember?
Author: Heff 
Date:   11-06-17 14:48

I saw Moonshake in 1996 when they toured with Stereolab (also King Kong). I have to say I wasn't impressed. Dave Callahan's singing didn't really mesh with the music.

It's odd what one remembers: after Moonshake, during the break, the club played If You Miss by Laika. I remember this because I had recently got Silver Apples of the Moon which contained that song and I just couldn't get into it but at the club, that song sounded fantastic. I guess it needed to be played in a half-empty music hall. At the time I had no idea that Laika came from Moonshake but I guess the music programmer at the club did.



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