Moe! Staiano and Surplus 1980


Click the image to visit Moe!’s Kickstarter.

Surplus 1980 – Relapse In Response by moestaiano1

Moe! Staiano has been briefly mentioned on da ‘Haus before (most memorably in this post celebrating Viggie and other EPIC DRUMMERS). My description:

“Dada Percussionist” Moe! Staiano is that proverbial storm-in-teacup; a spring-loaded, anarchic sprite whose wildly improvisational style summons the spirits of Einsturzende Neubauten and Raymond Scott in equal measure. Spontaneous, mischievous, and always in earnest, Moe! is one of the most delightful live performers around. You’re never quite sure what’s coming next, but you know it’s going to be FUN.

Considering who he is and what he’s trying to achieve artistically, Moe! has long deserved a more fully fledged writeup here. With mere days left on a wonderful Kickstarter project that hasn’t quite reached its funding goal, now’s the time.

The first blip of Moe! appeared on my radar around 2001: he was touring through NYC as a member Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and his frenetic energy and feral performance instincts were a revelation to watch. Over the past decade, the Oakland-based experimental drummer, percussionist and composer has continued to enrapture audiences worldwide with his strange and beautiful approach to noisemaking.

As his Wiki states, Moe! works in a “variety of found sounds and prepared trap set as well as massive orchestra conductions of his own scored compositions.” Here’s some footage of one of his huge group pieces, “Death of a Piano”:

…SICK, right?

Over the past year, Moe! has been working feverishly on his Surplus 1980 recordings.

“[A project that] rose from the ashes of my old former band, Mute Socialite, which split up in 2009. It is a collection of songs that were former ideas that were meant to be used for Mute Socialite, but never really made it, as well as three cover songs.”

“Surplus 1980 is a post-punk band of a rotating line up of some fine musicians*, many extending from great bands to be heard on this project including members from the Ex, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and Faun Fables, among others, including Mute Socialite. The album in its entirety has been recorded by Dan Rathbun and is completed and ready to be pressed for a limited edition vinyl LP and CD run. The funds to complete the release are the only thing needed to get it done.”

Surplus 1980 – Excellent Girl (Bogshed cover) by moestaiano1

The funds raised for Surplus 1980 will be used to press the LP (a gorgeously designed limited run of 250 copies, with 100 on colored vinyl) and additionally be pressed on CD (“I still believe in CDs”, insists Moe) as well as a download coupon. All funds will go 100% into this pressing. Any additional funds raised will be used for studio time for recording the next album.

*Full disclosure: along with a gobsmackingly awesome roster of other musicians, I am featured on this record. It would really thrill me to see this unique, inspired material get the lavish DIY print run it so richly deserves. Please make with the Kickstarter clickies if you love frenzied, toe-tapping post-punk joyfulness as much as I do.

6 Responses to “Moe! Staiano and Surplus 1980”

  1. Tertiary Says:

    Awesome! Moe!

  2. Tertiary Says:

    Lord, that Death of a Piano is fucking intense. And amazing. Utterly amazing. Moe!’s concentration is really something.

    And also, Mr. Rathbun clearly knows how to swing an axe.

  3. Jeff Wengrofsky Says:

    Mer –

    Thanks for posting this ! I am a longtime admirer of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s live performances, but I think I find this music even more interesting than theirs. Will he bring this wonderful stuff to NYC on tour??

    J>

  4. Madeline Ashby Says:

    Phew. For a moment there, I thought you were covering that other kind of moe:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moe_(slang)

  5. Peter S. Says:

    …And over the top!

  6. San Francisco Bay Area Scene | Avant Music News Says:

    [...] Moe! Staiano and Surplus 1980 (coilhouse magazine + blog) [...]