Dead Moon rising on Sub Pop

One of my favorite discoveries of the past few years is getting a proper retrospective on Sub Pop: Oregon garage rockers Dead Moon. They're one of the truly great unknown rock bands in the land of liberty, and now that their songs are readily available via a mega-indie, you have no excuse for not falling in fucking love. I say they sound like Love if Arthur Lee and the boys had huffed a mighty dose of Radio Birdman. Or, more to the point, they sound like a trio of crusty punks, each with a broken, bleeding heart tucked under a tight, sweaty T. It doesn't get any more sincere than Fred Cole and company. If anyone knows squat about maintaining his cool, it's Cole, whose pushing 60.

My only complaint about this 49-song comp is the omission of my fave Dead Moon song, "Crazy to the Bone". It would have been a fitting 50th song. Here's a synopsis from their Sub Pop bio to get you up to speed, followed by some tunes:

Clackamas, Oregon’s Dead Moon is truly one of the most independent and revered Northwest underground bands of all time. With Fred Cole on guitar and vocals, his wife Toody on bass and vocals, and the indefatigable Andrew Loomis on drums, Dead Moon have been churning out their own indescribable brand of rock and roll for nearly 20 years now. Their dedication and love for each other and what they do make it unlikely they will be stopping anytime soon.

Fred began his recording career in 1964 with The Lords, releasing the single "Ain't Got No Self-Respect." Fred’s next band The Weeds released a 7” before being renamed The Lollipop Shoppe to avoid confusion with The Seeds (with whom they shared a manager). Their 1968 burner “You Must Be a Witch” was released on 7” by MCA subsidiary Uni Records and eventually landed on the first Nuggets anthology box set. The Lollipop Shoppe / Weeds configuration went on to play with the likes of The Doors, The Seeds and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin before disbanding in 1969.

Fred and Toody met in Portland in 1966 after The Weeds ran out of gas on their way to Canada where members of the band were planning to wait out the Vietnam War. They were married in 1967, and when The Lollipop Shoppe disbanded in 1971, the couple spent some time homesteading in the Yukon, briefly lived in LA and finally landed back in Oregon, just outside of Portland, in Clackamas.

In 1987, after years spent playing in and releasing records by a dizzying succession of bands, Fred and Toody recruited Andrew Loomis to play drums for a new rock and roll band that would be stripped to its rawest essentials: electric guitar and bass with no effects, simple, powerful drumming, and tough, impassioned vocals (from both Fred and Toody). A red moon Fred and Toody saw on the way home from one of their many trips to Reno spawned the name for the new band, and Fred’s desperate, intense and haunting lyrics fit perfectly...

Dead Moon - "Dagger Moon"
Dead Moon - "A Miss of You"
Dead Moon - "Walking on My Grave"


Listmaker said...

your arthur lee and radio birdman comparison is spot on. consider me sold. those 3 songs are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Dead Moon doc film out on dvd at: