[rumori] Dr. Moog in L.A.

kevin leeeee [rumori] Dr. Moog in L.A.
Wed, 4 Feb 1998 14:50:52 -0800 (00886661452, v01510100b0fe93a2200dAT[])

hi all from LA,
i went to this event (see below). here's my little (long) review of the thing.

lots of people managed to fill the very large hollywood athletic club.
never been there before, but there's a regular electronica gig there where
the "big" acts play, so imagine a "big" nice place.
first up, after a long wait, was a trio who did some technically superb
stuff, but lacked a bit of an edge. the female thereminist, (don't know
her name) was AMAZING. their repetoir included a little classical a little
jazz and a funk tune. the rest of the trio featured a drummer and a very
talented moog player who sort of crossed the line into fusion a few times.
I asked the thereminist if she had an instructor, but she said she was self
taught. truly amazing. side note: she's right handed but was playing it
in a traditionally left-handed method, using the right to control volume.
but it made sense to me when she explained that for string or guitar
players this makes more sense. she showed a nice range, sometimes doing
lead, sometimes doing bass...

next up was this dude (who is the lead singer for fishbone) who did this
spoken word political shtick that didn't really sit too well with me or
many others for that matter. he more or less used his very impressive
giant big briar (moog's company) theremin to punctuate and accompany his...
spoken word.
he followed by doing a "jam" with another thereminist who turned out to be a part of moog's crew. sort of a mess, sound-wise, since the soundman
seemed to be napping thru most of the night actually...

following this was a professional-looking thereminist. he was pretty great
technically, and tried to mix up his set with various styles. he did a
spooky scary movie theme, a techno jam (which was darn good), and some very
dry and ho hum classical, and finished with a cover of "you'll never walk alone"... PLEEEASE! despite this guy's squarness i thought he perfectly fit the image of the
geeky yet weird image of Moog himself. in between tunes he gave little
mini-lectures that only managed to slow the evening further than his
endless classical playing. i have to say that i'm not a big fan of using
it in classical music in general.

so next up was Dr. Moog himself. he looks to be in his 60's, and seemed a
bit nervous but very excited about all these young people showing such
reverence and appreciation for his keyboards and the theremin. he talked a
bit about his new creation, the Ethervox. and did a demonstration.
basically, the Ethervox is a MIDI theremin. he was using a pc as his sound
module (using Reality software). did some very cool things with it. it
will play samples, but only with a 2 octave pitch bend range instead of the
5 octaves. I managed to squeak my little question to him during the Q and
A: "are there any plans to re-issue the Mini-Moog?" the answer is yes! and later this year is when!! someone followed up with a question if there
will be a polyphonic mini-moog, and he said he'd consider it if people ask.
so ASK!

i thought Dr. Moog was totally great. I like the fact that he's pursuing
what he loves most, the theremin, even as "out of date" as it is. I think it's really amazing, too, that this geeky inventor guy is given credit for
the music that came out of his machines. i can't think of any other
instrument inventor who is given such dues. his company sounds like it's
very small, but seems to be thriving trying to fill orders from all around
the world. i'm very close to ordering my own big briar theremin kit for
$299. it comes assembled for $360 or something.

after Moog, the evening dragged as the next act set up forever and played a
very inappropriate set (all digital synth solo doing faux classical music),
and then there followed another long delay until the final headline act,
Moog Cookbook went on. most folks left after Moog appeared too. which was
unfortunate, cos the Moog Cookbook ROCK! go see them if you can. i won't
go into detail but they have a lot of showmanship and do really clever
covers of classic rock and alternative rock. Moog himself was totally
digging them, front row, even.

i have literature on the ethervox and big briar's line of stuff, including
coffee mugs and t-shirts. if anyone wants some. i'm sure there's a web
page somewhere though.

Moog Power!

ps in case you're not sure still...it is pronounced with a short "o", like "bogue". not like... "boo-ger". but my opinion is that it's optional. whatever feels right in the context.

>Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 14:05:29 -0800 (PST)
>X-Sender: cacophonylaATearthlink.net
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>To: (Cacophonists) cacophonylaATearthlink.net
>From: cacophonylaATearthlink.net (Rev. Al)
>Subject: Sunday: Dr. Robert Moog In Person!
>! ! ! ! ! P L E A S E N O T E V E N U E C H A N G E ! ! ! ! !
>An EXTREMELY RARE Live Appearance by the Father of Electronic Music
>Along with Musical Guests Orbiting the Moog Universe
>Sunday, February 1, 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.
>In 1978, while pop music was still reeling in its newfound infatuation with
>the synthesizer, Dr. Robert Moog, whose own name had become synonymous with
>that instrument, turned his attention away from his latest achievement and
>back to his first love, the theremin. He retired to the mountains of North
>Carolina to build theremins, that most peculiar of musical instruments
>known for its pure and otherworldly electronic tone, modulated "etherically"
>by the performers' hands passing through an invisible electrical field. It
>was in fact from his high school years building theremins from plans in
>hobbyist magazines that the Moog synthesizer evolved. Moog's lifelong
>pursuit of disentangling music from the uncertainties of human contact has
>now culminated in the creation of an instrument combining both the
>non-tactile interface of the theremin and the purely synthetic tones of the
>synthesizer. Tonight the good doctor unveils this creation, the Ethervox
>MIDI Theremin. Besides the stage demo of the Ethervox and Q&A with Dr.
>Moog, audience members can also enjoy their own hands-on demo of the
>instrument. Among the artists joining Moog in his first-time ever
>appearance in a Southern California music club will be the
>Iggy-Pop-beats-up-on-Kraftwerk sound of The Magic Pacer, and Geggy Tah's
>Pamela Stickney, Greg Kurstin and James Jadson in an eclectic three-way of
>theremin, minimoog and percussion. 88 Magic relives the questionable joys of
>the "Switched On Bach" years performing as a sort of crosswired
>Liberace/Wendy Carlos Williams, while the notorious all-Moog space-suited
>cover band, Moog Cookbook, makes perhaps the most revolutionary use of the
>old warhorse. With already two albums under their belt, these industry
>insiders subvert from within, barbecuing alt-rock's sacred cows,
>transmoogrifying the most overwrought "cry of pain" into delightful
>electronic snack food. DJ Don Bolles will supplement live performances with
>rare vinyl and analog classics. Video screenings throughout the evening will
>provide visual ambiance with early 70s futurism and Op-Art eye candy, along
>with instructional films for would-be Moog keyboardists. Yes, of course
>you should come dressed in your finest period costuming!
>Where: Hollywood Athletic Club, corner of Sunset and Schrader.
>(1/2 blk South of Hollywood Moguls, previous venue closed last weekend)
>Cost: $10
>Info: (213) 694-2478 or CACOPHONYLAATearthlink.net
>(photos available)
>-- Rev. Al
>Grand Instigator of Cacophony
>Los Angeles Lodge
>(213) 694-2478