A review of More Moondog/The Story of Moondog

More Moondog/The Story of Moondog

Of all the enigmatic characters, musical mutants, would-be acoustic sorcerers,  singing street ranters, self-styled prophets of sonic revolutions, and just plain weirdos that have channeled their mental soundtracks to record, blind Moondog, the “Viking of 6th avenue” in New York City, is quite possibly the most interesting.  Standing apart from the legions of supposedly nutty songsters and oddball warblers offered by novelty hustlers, Moondog was not just seriously strange or socially marginal; he possessed prodigious musical talents that garnered both Stravinsky and Charlie Parker among his admirers. The songs here typically touch down into tribalist/primitivist experimental-exotica, with most relentlessly probing texture, timbre, and ambience, and sometimes exploring jazz or classical influenced themes. Who of the clamoring clowns and musical misfits “lovingly” captured on various outsider music compilations could have their works performed at Carnegie Hall? Yet for all the manifest genius arranged here on this double compilation, Moondog himself lived as a defiantly idiosyncratic individualist, performing his strange songs on the street (quite audible on track #2) for decades, his helmet masking the cryptic, inscrutable face of an oracle.

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