SOUNDTRACK: MOBY GRAPE-Moby Grape (1967).
Moby Grape is one of those bands that I’ve always heard of but had never heard. I know, their debut is 43 years old and yet I’d never heard it. Well, thanks to the internet (lala.com, RIP as of today), I was able to listen to what I assumed was their Greatest Hits. If only I had done a modicum of research. The disc I chose was Legendary Grape, which it turns out is not a greatest hits at all, but is actually some weird pesudo-Moby Grape record released in 1989 under a different band name due to legal protractions, but then reissued as Moby Grape. It was rather uninspired and nothing at all what I thought it would sound like. Nothing dreadful, just nothing worth thinking that this band “legendary.”
So, with a little research, I learned that their first album is what I should have been checking out. Moby Grape is the eponymous release and it sounds much more like what I assumed this psychedelic era-band would sound like. This disc is pretty much in keeping with what a band that produced an album cover like this would sound like.
It’s sort of a folksy Grateful Deadish sound. But they move beyond a simple genre with a host of writers and instrumentalists contributing their own thing, man. So there’s a few rocking numbers, a few ballads, and a bunch of other fun things. To me the most notable thing is that in a time when trippy psychedelic songs were long events, Moby Grape played mostly short songs (the longest one is the final track at 4 minutes, but most are around 2 minutes long).
I think I may be too far removed from this scene to really appreciate the disc. I like what I hear, and a second listen made it even more enjoyable, but I can’t imagine investing a lot of time with the band.
[READ: Week of May 31, 2010] Moby-Dick [Chapters 19-41]
In case you didn’t see it on Infinite Zombies, Daryl has created what he calls Moby-Diction, which allows you to search the text for any word and see where and how often it occurs. Geek heaven!
Plug # 2:
A visual treat is found at Matt Kish’s monumental: One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick, which is pretty well explained by its title. It is an amazing site (sight) to behold.
Now, back to our story.
Week 2 of the Moby-Dick read is amusing because it continues a minor thread that has been going on for some 100 pages (of my edition): When are we going to meet Captain Ahab? We hear a lot about him, including a portent of doom from Elijah, but he doesn’t appear until Chapter 28.
Elijah, meanwhile, appears on the Nantucket streets. He reveals himself to Ishmael and Queequeg as a sort of homeless man who asks them if they’re sailing with Ahab. When they say yes, of course, he warns them about some bad things that happened to Ahab and his leg and future portents of doom. Ishmael is a bit freaked by the guy, especially when Elijah seems to be following them, but he tries to out the madman out of his mind. (more…)