R. Stevie Moore at The Doug Fir Lounge 2/17/14

Written by on February 20, 2014

Where does one start when attempting to describe R. Stevie Moore? His persona, his humor, his aesthetic, can all easily be labeled as “weird”, but that’s just a lazy generalization. There’s nothing R. Stevie Moore hasn’t tried. He has been recording from his Tennessee bedroom since the late 60’s, and has an endless catalogue of recordings (400 and counting… yes, 400). He is the grandfather of lo-fi, for he has been doing lo-fi way before the term/genre even existed. To get more of a grasp, just get Zappa, Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren, The Beatles, Ariel Pink, and throw them in a blender, and you get a versatile shake of R. Stevie Moore . . . . “Shall we pray?”

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Wearing Homer Simpson pajama trousers, one knew they were already in for a silly, but great night. From the get-go, he began his first song with a stream of consciousness monologue. Dialing from a lo-fi-punk rock sound, to more orchestrated pop tunes; his first half of the set was sporadic. Ending his first set with “I Like To Stay Home”, one can begin to label his sound with a mixture of pop structured songs, corky lyrics, innovating chord changes, and overall, a grungy sound that any lo-fi freak will enjoy.

The intermission consisted of a spoken word performance by the man himself. With a bottle of 2-buck chuck wine on his left hand, and a notebook on his right, he presented a series of random thoughts. “How ‘bout them Seahawks?.. PEYTON! PEYTON! PEYTON! ….. Miley Cyrus. SWAG!”, and ending every statement with, “Shall we pray?”. Perhaps it’s his sarcastic approach to modern day pop culture? Meaning or not, the ambiguity presented in his persona is something left for the listener to decide. Obtuseness is an art, and as is, he is simply just showing that he really doesn’t care what one thinks . . .. “Shall we pray?”

By the end of the second set/show, one could feel the warm soul R. Stevie Moore is. With The Doug Fir’s dim lighting and coziness, it created a sentimental experience that amplified his performance. Overall, R. Stevie Moore is a unique individual, with unique ideas, with a unique sound, and is just reminding us that it’s ok to be weird-it’s human nature! In other words, what Stephen King is to horror, is what R. Stevie Moore is to weirdness, as they help us feed our inner psycho/weirdo, thus keeping us sane . . . “Shall we pray?”

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