Thursday, February 10, 2005
The jam band has fun with its name and its music.
Despite what you may think, this is not a typo. And you can be guaranteed, that nearly a handful of editors and copywriters questioned the band's grammatically incorrect moniker. Yes, that's a lowercase m and a period after moe.. Different? You bet. Annoying? It depends on whether or not you're a stickler for perfection. If you are, be forewarned, seeing moe. live isn't all about perfection as much as it is the capturing of the moe.ment.
It's been said that one man's garbage is another man's treasure. And the same logic applies to the jam band scene where concert imperfections beget bootleg tape magic, by seemingly creating a fingerprint of sorts for that particular live show. For the members of moe., such defects or blemishes have resulted in numerous live albums, the most recent of which, "Warts and All, Vol. 4.," is due out in March.
"They like to hear us screw up, I guess," laughed drummer Vinnie Amico. "That's kind of the Grateful Dead component of it. People love the Grateful Dead and when they screwed up, they loved the tapes even more. It kind of shows the humanness of the band, rather than it being all frickin' perfect and no flubs."
Doing it right?
Not surprisingly, Amico's creative explanation of the live tape appeal actually encapsulates the allure of the entire jam band scene, which is predicated on touring, touring and touring. For the Upstate New York band, this means the concert hall takes precedence over the recording studio. However, the members of moe. do plan on recording their next studio set later this year. A follow up to 2003's "Wormwood," the next disc will be similar to the last in regard to the unique recording process employed by the five piece.
Realizing that its studio albums possessed a lost-in-translation element when compared to its live performances, moe. recorded the percussion for "Wormwood" while on tour. Later, the band took the live recordings and added the appropriate melodic colors and flourishes.
"There is a live feel throughout because the drum and the energy is all from the live [shows] and then we cleaned it up in the studio, as well as putting in the segues to make it flow all of the way through," said Amico. "And even some of the segue stuff is improved in the studio, so there is that element of improvisation and a full-flowing album throughout the whole thing."
A little 'm'
While its upcoming live show Feb. 16 at the House of Blues won't be taped for studio album purposes, you can bet it will be captured by eager fans and attended by those hoping to find out a little bit more about the band with the grammatically challenged name.
"The lowercase m in moe. screws up all of the editors," Amico said. "That's the main reason we did it that way."