Saturday, June 04, 2011

Down The Rabbit Hole with R. Stevie Moore

How did I only find out about R. Stevie Moore a couple of days ago and only by accident? I was trawling youtube looking for cover versions of '96 Tears' and I found this lo-fi, raunchy version that sounded like it was recorded in a bar for ex-cons. So I looked to see what other songs he recorded and I fell down the rabbit hole.

Moore is the son of one of Elvis Presley's key session musicians but he has a back catalogue of pop music deeper than Elvis Costello's; he recorded hundreds of self-produced cassettes of music, in his house - several thousand songs, and the dozens I've sampled have bowled me right over. There are about 100 of them on youtube. The music goes back to the very early seventies but the videos that go with seem to have been made in the eighties, many seemingly edited using 2 VCRs or video toaster technology and topped up with found footage. This is the exact kind of musical discovery I live for - psychotic chord changes, cognitive dissonance between tone and content and a vast catalogue of it too, and all resolutely idiosyncratic and timeless. I remember the first night I was introduced to the music of Serge Gainsbourg. The next day I was scouring the record stores buying up every record of his I could (he had recently died and Polygram had released an excellent career-spanning 9-disc set that I bought in individual installments.) For Moore, it's not so easy. You can buy some of his albums on Amazon, or directly from the man himself) but I find it strange that some millionaire musician/philanthropist hasn't made it his life's work to finance the release of a proper curated boxset, because it's an embarrassment of riches and a missing piece in the history of pop music...

I Not Listening 1974

I Love All The Girls 1974 (technically NSFW)

Sort of Way 1987

I Like To Stay Home 1986

Girl Go 1978

First-Hand 1983


RSTVMO said...


Jesse said...

"Curiouser and curiouser."

Irwin Chusid said...

A Lot Of People Would Like To See Armand Schaubroeck ... DEAD!