Show Spotlight: Moon Duo @ Rock & Roll Hotel, 11/14/19
It took me aback to see that Stars are The Light, Moon Duo's most recent record, was their seventh. The formerly San Francisco, now Portland-based duo has certainly been busy in their decade plus together.
Stars are The Light, released in September, walks, or should I say shimmies, a different path than its predecessors. Though Moon Duo has always played with repetitive rhythms and trippy vocals, on this record those feel more groove-laden, as if the songs were sparkling with discoball lights.
Addressing this shift in the band's sound, Sanae Yamada (she of the heavenly vocals and mercurial synths) commented, “We have changed, the nature of our collaboration has changed, the world has changed, and we wanted the new music to reflect that.” She definitely has a point. After all, what is life, if not constant change? Moon Duo has always shapeshifted, but Stars really represents something new.
One might say that the album was written in the stars...or perhaps the moon. The band, Yamada and Ripley Johnson, decamped to Portugal's Serra de Sintra, which in ancient times was called Lunae Mons. Lunae, of course, as in moon. Lunae Mons was supposedly a hangout of Diana, goddess of the hunt and, wait for it, the moon. Stars was mixed by Sonic Boom, who himself is certainly no stranger to all things spaced out (Spacemen 3, anyone?). The resulting record is still unmistakably Moon Duo, and it's excellent.
If you're heading to the Rock & Roll Hotel show in DC tonight, you're in for a treat.
Doors at 7, Plastic Nancy kicks things off at 8. Tickets are available online.