Updates: September 2001 - January 2002
January 27, 2002 - Moe held his own at the star-studded sold-out "Boys Play Girls" night at Hugh's Room. Said Sarah Liss in Now:
Moe Berg shuffled onstage looking like the consummate emo-boy with his cardigan and hunched-shoulder gait. But the sniffly singer's self-effacing banter complemented subversive covers of tunes by late-60s pop tart Susan Jacks (of the Poppy Family). Focusing on the slit-your-wrists lyrics at the heart of the saccharine melodies, Berg reworked the songs with dissonant minor chords and a flat nasal delivery.
For the full review, see here. The sniffly bit was likely because of his cold, which hung on into the following Monday as he brought his antibiotics to Rancho Relaxo for the beloved Radio Monday series. His music included "Pressing Lips" (in the audience, Jennifer Foster was restraining herself from going up and singing "baby...falling..."), "A New Word," another original not even found as an MP3 of the Week and what Moe said later was a new song. (Yikes! No one's known of a new song since he got married! Stay tuned for updates on that progress...)
Meantime, remember the mighty Monteforte kick out the jams at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto February 1st!
January 13, 2002 - Moe's finally taking his guitar out of hibernation with a couple Toronto appearances in a week. On Friday January 18th at the burgeoning new folk club Hugh's Room, he'll be part of "Boys Play Girls," where male songwriters devote their sets to songs by females. Devotee of old Cancon that he is, Moe will be singing the songs of Susan Jacks: one-time wife of Terry "Seasons In the Sun" Jacks, member of the Poppy Family and artist in her own right. If that ain't enough, you'll want to be there for Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor playing Nancy Sinatra, Andy and Josh of the Skydiggers playing Chrissie Hynde and Bob Wiseman playing Liz Phair. That's way out at 2261 Dundas West in Toronto. Then the following Monday, Moe will be part of a songwriters' night at Rancho Relaxo, 300 College Street just west of Spadina.
- And don't forget, he's still spinning the CDs Saturday nights at The Tap (Bloor west of Bathurst), where Dave Gilby makes with the skinny ties as he DJs New Wave Night every Wednesday!
December 16, 2001 - Two confirmed shows from the wild world of Monteforte. They'll be back in the friendly confines of the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern February 1st, then they'll crack the bluesy new club Healey's (run by Canuck guitar hero Jeff Healey) around Queen and Bathurst March 8th.
December 13, 2001 - True to his promotion savvy, Moe has let us know he's in Ottawa promoting his book today, appearing on "Breakfast @ the New RO" in the morning and reading at the Mercury at 8pm. Also check for a possible story in Ottawa Xpress.
December 9, 2001 - You may recall the news about Moe contributing music to a theatrical fun-fest called "Scooby-Doo in Stagefright" (if you don't, check here). It just passed through Toronto with pleased eyewitness accounts and children's sugar highs in its wake. Indeed, it's pretty much a typical Scooby episode somehow stretched into 90 minutes, with an intermission to check out all the cool souvenirs and perhaps snarf a gin & tonic (once the kids are safe with their ice cream bars, of course). Moe's moments all come in the second half with an odd '60's dance sequence, a West Side Story bit when the meddling kids are sneaking around for that spooky spectre, and an arrangement of the Carpenters' "Close to You" as the love theme for (get ready for this...) Shaggy and the cute assistant working on the movie they're investigating. Contrary to the tv ads, it seems the only contribution by U.S. doppleganger Matthew Sweet is a cover of the theme song. Next stops on the tour are Baltimore and Philadelphia. For details on dates, go here. And for a nice article on the show and Moe's pal writer/director Jim Millan, head over here.
November 18, 2001 - It was indeed a festive Friday night (but it felt like a Saturday) at the Rivoli for the latest Monteforte extravaganza. They played one intense set for that special private party, swung open the doors to the public and welcomed the retro-rawk stylings of Gash, then went up themselves resplendent in trippy ninja shirts (with that touch of suede) for another two sets of fine entertainment. Leading up to the proceedings, things could have been touch-and-go, since Roxy was battling a mysterious illness that was wreaking havoc on her precious pipes. But doctors were called in from the coast, various cocktails were whipped up, and with her prototypical spunk she went on with the show in stellar form (with a little help from Gash on "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Lick It Up"). Being a special 3-set night, the setlist was shuffled liberally, but you still had the classics from "Our Lips Are Sealed" to "Bette Davis Eyes" to "Sweet Caroline" to "My Sharona" to "Saturday Night", and new favourites like "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and "Axel F / Feels So Good". They even dusted off the Cars' "Lets' Go". And they hadn't even gotten to the second set before the wives of Vikki and Bobby the Crunch were dancing on the bar! Yes, just another night in the land of Monteforte.
October 21, 2001 - We now have confirmation on the next Monteforte rockfest. On November 16th, they'll be playing for a special private birthday celebration at the Rivoli in Toronto, but after 10pm, the doors swing open for the public.
- In other news, our newest Pursuit Pals, Flashlight Brown, convinced Moe to write their latest "Guest Celebrity Columnist Column" for their vast and amazing website. It likely didn't take much arm-twisting, since he got to take off on his obsession with reality TV - yes, even "Love Cruise." You can wallow in his wallowing here.
October 14, 2001 - There's a remarkable book out now that exhaustively documents an amazing decade of Canadian rock history, and it should come as no surprise that The Pursuit of Happiness takes up a good part of it. Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance, by Michael Barclay, Ian A.D. Jack (whose very good article on Moe solo is in our Features section), and Jason Schneider, covers the years 1985-1995, leaving no stone unturned in discussing a halcyon time in Canadian music and culture. And not only does it devote five pages to the doings of TPOH (pages 299 to 304, to be precise), it puts those doings and some of Moe's earlier work in Edmonton into a historical context that had never before been considered. Even beyond the Pursuit stuff, this book is a must for anyone who was a fan of Canadian music in those years and may have had the fanciful notion that it truly was a special time. And y'gotta admit, $29.95 Cdn. is a hell of a bargain for more than 700 pages! Skulk around your finer Canadian bookstore, or order it here.
October 7, 2001 - Declaring it a night of "substance over style," Brad From Halifax kicked off another night of Monteforte style equivalent with substance. With the boys sharp in their black suits and crisp white shirts; and Roxy in her black cycle shorts, black baseball cap and black tunic just occasionally showing off a whispering hint of skin, the Monts shook up the setlist to keep everyone on their toes and added a few tunes seldom-if-ever performed. Instead of "Waterloo" as their ABBA song, they brought in "S.O.S.," a bold affront to the other Canadian ass-kicking band known for that cover - the Headstones. Another popular obscurity was one of the many songs that could've been written for Roxy (though she makes them all sound like that), "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Most intriguing, though, was an instrumental medley of Harold Faltmeyer's "Axel F" and Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good," inspriring Brad to make awed and concerned comparisons to Weather Report. (Now, what would Brad From Halifax know about jazz? >;-)) Perhaps it was a night of substance over style after all...NAAAAH. For those of you who can't get enough, there is a performance coming up in mid-November at the Rivoli. More details as soon as we get firm confirmation.
September 30, 2001 - The official reminder from Vikki Sleaze:
Celebrate Rocktober with Monteforte. There are many who imitate but none can match the spectacle.
Saturday, Rocktober 6th Horseshoe Tavern
September 23, 2001 - Moe is at it again in the theatre world, in a project possibly every bit as outrageous as Hedwig, but in a slightly different way. He's written some music for a brand new live theatrical version of Scooby-Doo! Yes, Scoob' and the gang are solving another wacky spooky mystery in a big-time stage production called "Scooby-Doo in Stagefright," which Moe compares to the recent "Real Live Brady Bunch," only larger in scale (when it gets to Toronto, it'll be playing the same venue that housed "Phantom of the Opera," and in February it'll play Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Zoinks indeed!). How'd he get into this? Stagefright is written and directed by Jim Millan, whose Crow's Theatre put on the Toronto production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in which Moe appeared. (Also on the production team is Mark McKinney of Kids In the Hall, so this thing is looking very tasty.) Despite any possible physical resemblance to Shaggy, Moe doesn't appear or perform in this show, but Americans can hear the tunes and smell the Scooby Snacks when the production starts touring in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of October. For more details on the show and tour dates, check here.
September 9, 2001 - If you missed Moe's stints DJ'ing at the Cameron in Toronto over the last year or so, you can now catch him spinning CDs every Saturday night (unless he has something else to do) at the tavern beloved to Pursuit Pals everywhere, The Tap. Try to come up with the dumbest or most obscure song you can think of, and don't be surprised if he has it. So if you happen to be in town on a weekend, amble along the north side of Bloor west of Bathurst (just steps away from Lee's Palace) and duck in for a good time.
2-5/02 / Updates: 4-8/01 / Updates:
Updates: 8-12/00 / Updates: 4-7/00 / Updates: 12/99 - 03/00