Updates: December 1999 - March 2000
March 23, 2000- A gift of sorts came yesterday, which happened to be Moe's birthday. ChartAttack reports, "The Song Corporation has just entered into an exclusive Canadian distribution agreement with New York-based label Razor & Tie....Sex & Food: The Best of the Pursuit of Happiness has been scheduled for immediate release. Oasis Entertainment, a division of Song Corp will distribute and provide promotional, marketing and sales support for Razor & Tie releases. " We'll let you know when we get more details actually useful for Canadians who haven't gotten the CD as an import yet, but it does look like they can start sniffing around the better local record stores.
March 20, 2000- Saturday night, Monteforte set a capacity Horseshoe crowd to all manner of pogo-ing and carnal writhing. Yes, they found Bobby, to everyone's relief. The boys wore their trademark green suits (like those shown on the Monteforte page, which you should be checking anyway if you don't know who the hell I'm talking about), which keep fading to more distinguished hues, while Roxy had her classic ensemble of black jacket and kicky short black dress...and black baseball cap, of course. Musical highlights included "Papa Don't Preach" ("our message song"), "Lick It Up," "Disco Inferno," "Waterloo," "Livin' On a Prayer" ("oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah-oo-ah"), the debut of Def Leppard's "Hysteria," and stirring versions of "Heaven" (the Warrant one) and "Voices Carry," during which Brad From Halifax related a heart-rending tale of his recent visit to a nearby orphange. The whole she-bang finished up very late in the evening with "Saturday Night" and encores of "What I Like About You" and "I Touch Myself." Congrats to Tim Mech's PEEP-SHOW for a fabulous opening set, and all the best to the Monts on yet another world tour.
- Meanwhile, Monts guitarist Vikki Sleaze's rumoured doppleganger, Moe Berg, has been continuing his Renaissance man ways. As previewed below, he played alongside Jennifer Foster (without Renee, unfortunately) at Ted's in Toronto last Monday. A new innovation in the set was inspired by something Jennifer saw at a recent Aimee Mann / Michael Penn show, in which the lulls between songs caused by pauses to tune were alleviated by a stand-up comedian. Jen decided that during such breaks in her set, Moe would read selections from her diary which she wrote as a 14-year old. So while Jen twiddled and plunked, Moe regaled the crowd with tales of wearing her hair up in combs for the first time, strategizing a romantic conquest by playing hard-to-get and getting very drunk at a party (promising herself she'd NEVER DO THAT AGAIN).
- Moe had done some more public speaking a few days earlier, as a "guest lecturer" at a Religious Studies class at MacMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It seems this one professor had been using his lyrics for a while, and had first asked Moe to speak a year ago. Finally, Moe succumbed and took "the challenge." He discussed some of the deeper themes in his work - like death, suicide, coming-of-age, faith and the lack thereof - and evidently, the kids were full of questions Moe was actually able to answer. He says he was happy to make like he was smarter than he actually is.
- And then there's Short-Story-Author Moe rearing his head again. The story "Annette and Zinc" (a typical tale of sex, friendship and medication residue) is in the fall/winter 1999 issue of the Canadian literary magazine Blood & Aphorisms - suitably, the "Humour Issue."
March 7, 2000 - TPOH alum and Pursuit Pal Jennifer Foster brings her songs, her ukelele and likely her underlings Moe and Renee to Ted's Wrecking Yard (549 College) in Toronto March 13.
February 24, 2000 - Silencing all the speculation that they'd broken up for good (who'd imagine such a thing?), the mighty Monteforte are back together and hitting the stage again. They'll kick out the jams and spread the love March 18th at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, at Queen and Spadina in Toronto. (Who are Monteforte? Get out from under your rock and find out here.) Says Monteforte leader Brad From Halifax: "If you see me personally at the show, please feel free to come up and say hello to me. I ask only that you keep outside a five-meter radius of me. It's what I call the 'Love Bubble'."
February 7, 2000 - Now for an update on the Charlie Sheen/ Emilio Estevez film that Moe and Dave worked on, playing in a wedding band with the Grace Babies' Kevin Hilliard ("what are you talking about?" you ask - check here). Now titled "Rated X," it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival recently to a fair amount of buzz. It seems a pretty appropriate project for our boys, since it's the story of pioneering porn-king brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell, best known for discovering Marilyn Chambers and making "Behind the Green Door." So did those wedding musicians make the final cut? We don't know yet, so if you've seen the flick, give us the word!
January 5, 2000 - Over there on the right you should see the cover of Sex & Food. It comes from the Razor & Tie site, which now has its info (for example, looks like Moe's done the liner notes himself, so you Todd fans can untwist your knickers) and link to order. So you can dig the official line here, and ignore the fact they've listed "Nobody But Me" twice. (Jan. 11: okay, they fixed the listing. Well done.)
Dec. 12, 1999 (order links updated Dec. 19) - The upcoming TPOH greatest hits/rarities compilation will be called "Sex & Food - The Best of The Pursuit of Happiness". This 18-track fix is slated for release in the U.S. on January 11, 2000 from the erstwhile label Razor & Tie (distributed by BMG). The most intrepid 'net surfer I know, Dr. Rob Winder, has reported this track listing to the mailing list (likely found at the Yahoo Musicfinder):
There's been serious talk about Todd Rundgren writing material for the liner notes - we'll see. If you simply cannot wait to get dibs on this lovely thing, Dr. Rob also found pre-order listings at the sites for Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, BuyMusic, CDNow, cd Universe, CDworld and K-tel (who, for the record, were first off the blocks). Go crazy.
- Recently, Moe has been even more ubiquitous around Toronto than usual, and that's saying something. On Nov. 25th and 26th, he had a two-night stand at Ted's Wrecking Yard opening for an old cohort trying the solo thing: Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies. (Loveslaves will recall at one time Jeff Rogers managed both CTD and TPOH, then the Pursuits left him amicably and he proceeded to make the Dummies big fat stars and start the Handsome Boy record label). Seems Brad is still developing the old hits/solo stuff/wacky covers/standup shtick Moe's been honing for a little while now. To learn more, read Kim Hughes' Now magazine review of the 2nd show here.
- No sooner did Moe wipe his brow from those gigs, he went to Massey Hall for a reunion with another Brad - Barker, as the Melanie Doane / Great Big Sea tour hit T.O. He joined Brad and Mel for some of her big hit single "Adam's Rib", and an obligatory run at "I'm An Adult Now". You can see photos and learn more from Ms. Doane's tour diary on her site (see it in the Dec. 1st entry).
- But wait, there's more! The following week, Moe and Renee resumed their duties in "Fosterchild", backing up the fabulously solo Jennifer Foster at the Rivoli. He'd arrived at the club flush from yet another venture - his first literary reading. It was to celebrate the publishing of Taddle Creek, a literary magazine featuring writers and artists living in the Annex and surrounding areas of Toronto. His short story "After Dinner" (about a nasty little card game) starts off the issue. While rumours of a collection of stories have flown for a while, the confirmation is there in black and white: "His first book, The Green Room, will be published in 2000 by Gutter Press." So there you go.
- Oh, and one thing to catch up on. I guess it's been a while since I last visited the Grace Babies site, but here's what the life force known as Kevin Hilliard reported there a couple months ago: "...I got a chance to be in the new Emilio Estevez/Charlie Sheen flic 'The Mitchell Brothers'...I had the pleasure of playing bass in the wedding band along with Moe Berg and Dave Gilby from TPOH. As actors we made a kick ass band!" Here's hoping they got to wear cheesy tuxedos with frills, and that if there are any Charlie Sheen stories, they've been paid well to keep them mum.
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