Bad Moonface Rising

Spencer Krug is resistant to reductive analysis. A conservative dude would’ve stayed in Frog Eyes, played the keyboard behind Carey Mercer’s cat-killing cacophonies and scarfed Tim...
By    June 28, 2011

Spencer Krug is resistant to reductive analysis. A conservative dude would’ve stayed in Frog Eyes, played the keyboard behind Carey Mercer’s cat-killing cacophonies and scarfed Tim Horton’s throughout one endless Canuck road trip. But Spencer Krug is not a conservative dude. How else to explain his glorious technicolor dream coat and head wrap above. The guy looks like Mos Def’s adopted Canadian butler. Can you say CBC sitcom? Instead, he formed Wolf Parade with Dan Boeckner, the Modest Mouse-vetted twin-headed hydra that was supposed to ride the great Montreal gravy train of 05 to the Grammy’s like their former first-mates that Shopping Mall Fire band.

Instead, Wolf Parade did everything they could to snuff out their odds of mass appeal. They toured infrequently, but when they did they compelled me to write effusive rubbish that I am too embarrassed to link back to. We were all young once. Basically, they appeared to approach the original wolf gang as a way to make easy touring money, while Handsome Furs and Sunset Rubdown served as vehicles for supreme creative expression. And still, they got big enough to sell out the Wiltern, dropping three records that I love — and if you disagree than you have to argue with Trey Kerby too and he’s funnier than both of us. So let’s just agree to make fun of Aids Wolf instead.

At the moment, Sunset Rubdown have also gone to that great massage parlor in the sky, while Krug dabbles in a one-man marimba party known as Moonface. Despite his ability to write songs that can leave grown men shaky dog stuttering, Krug has a bizarre streak of humor. There is no other way to interpret calling yourself Moonface or calling your debut EP, Marimba and Shit Drums. His latest Jagjaguwar release is Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped. Sometimes, I’m not sure why I like his music so much. He’s probably my favorite rock-slanting songwriter, but I don’t listen to his music much. It’s brutal and absurd and filled with enough animal imagery to clog an ark. He sings in a sea-sick lurch that’s at once contrived and overtly sincere. He’s an unusually honest songwriter, so much to the point that he stuffs his songs so full of red herrings that they often don’t make sense.

His latest Moonface leak comes along with a note. This is it: “Here, take this. It’s a song that was cut from the record – an angry duck that didn’t get along with the other songs on the Organ Music LP. That is not to say it’s a bad song (though not to say it’s a good song, either), it’s just something I made that I don’t know what to do with. It’s more techno, or something, than the rest of the Organ Music LP. Less silky. But still, I thought it was worth sharing, for anyone who cares. It’s more than a pile of wet leaves. Maybe it’s something you can listen to while you do the dishes, or draw, or teach your baby to dance. So if you’re inclined, click on the link provided here and do with it what you will. The actual album, Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped, is due out August 2nd, as planned, and that one I will demand your love for.

everyone and anyone,
for caring enough to get even this far.


I don’t blame you if you don’t like this song or really any of Spencer Krug’s music. Many of my most respected friends have told me that I’m a crazy person for liking these pretentious over-blown ballads. I mean, the guy signs letters Moonface, mainly as a joke but still. But I think Spencer Krug is a genius and I probably always will. This song, like most of his great songs, is filled with a tension of an awkward first kiss or getting lost when you’re a little kid. Bad memories that linger uncomfortably liked uninvited guests. I have more stilted similes but I’ll stop now.

Yet in his overly emotive and histrionic way, there is something about Krug that cuts to the marrow, an atavistic blood-letting that feels more real to me than anything Bon Iver could ever mewl. Maybe it’s not your cup of mead, but what Spencer Krug has is an ability to transport true emotions to the realms of the ridiculous. Beaches and beasts commingle with kings and queens and somehow all these chimerical creatures are wrapped into songs that feel like terrified lullabies, night terrors that approach catharsis. Roll your eyes all you want at this kind of music. That’s fine. To me, it sounds as hard as the sound of heads rolling.

MP3: Moonface-“The Way You Wish You Could Live in the Storm”
MP3: Moonface-“Fast Peter”

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