Rockers hit scene in style

Canadian Press Newswire, printed in Winnipeg Free Press, March 13, 1993

Save the cover of Rolling Stone for somebody else.

Moe Berg is into fashion.

The leader of the Pursuit of Happiness kicked off the media blitz for The Downward Road, the Toronto band's first new album in two-and-a-half years, by getting mentioned in a glossy women's magazine.

"We're in this month's Elle magazine, which is, of course, the thrill for us," gushed Berg on the phone from a rehearsal hall in Toronto. "No, honestly: When our record company in New York said, 'What do you want to do?' we didn't say Rolling Stone. We didn't say Spin. We said Elle...

"It was fantastic - picture and everything. It's like (supermodels) Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington and the Pursuit of Happiness."

TPOH is slated to play Winnipeg March 29 at Le Rendez-Vous.

The Elle spread is just another example of the Pursuit of Happiness' charming cheek, which surfaced seven years ago with the independent hit single, I'm An Adult Now.

That song laid out Berg's agenda clearly: His love songs are about women, not girls. Incredibly, three albums along, Berg can still put a fresh spin on the man's-eye-view of very adult relationships.

"I don't find it difficult plugging into this sort of mentality," said the 33-year-old Edmonton native.

"This is stuff that's of concern and interest to me. I'm not writing about finishing my day in high school and hopping in my car to pick up my gal. If I was doing that, it would probably start to get difficult."

Switching producers, from Berg's idol Todd Rundgren - who polished the 1988 album Love Junk and 1990's One-Sided Story - to Talking Heads and Living Color producer Ed Stasium, toughened up an already fierce guitar attack.

After leading with a harmonic snippet of the Staple Singers song The Downward Road - gleaned from Berg's recent flirtation with classic American gospel - the band plunges head first into the new album's first single, Cigarette Dangles, and rarely lets up.

The perceptive sting even carries over to reflective songs like But I Do, Berg's attempt to "put a human face to the philanderer, or the promiscuous male.

"I think men, especially, are very highly sexual beings. I think that song is sort of fraught with enough guilt to not make it seem like an endorsement of that kind of lifestyle - but at the same time, a lot of people who are like that aren't evil, they're not bad, but they find it to be part of their lifestyle."

On the flipside is Bored of You, an "I told you so" message to the rebel who settles down to humble domesticity with his perfect mate, only to be dumped because he has lost his rough edge.

Copyright 1993, Winnipeg Free Press

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