Search - Moonshake :: Dirty & Divine

Dirty & Divine
Dirty & Divine
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Moonshake
Title: Dirty & Divine
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Bmg Music
Release Date: 5/21/1996
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724451608522

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CD Reviews

elisa | Los Angeles, CA | 03/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The sun sinks by the riverside, knicker pink, nicotine yellow; Joker John is dead now; you can hear his mongrel howl...". ("Joker John," Moonshake)Moonshake could take the measure of any city--London, Chicago, New York, Dallas--simply by the metallic taste left on the tongue. Main Moonshaker, David Callahan, has been doing his ecclectic, electronic jazz, noise, pop and noir thing since Moonshake's first EP (called, oddly enough, the "First" EP) back in 1991. Back then, Margaret Fiedler was Moonshake's "other half," providing the jittery, sticky pop substance that glued Callahan's darker moments together. Margaret stuck through two albums--the intriguing full-length debut, "Eva Luna," and the swoony, six-song "Big Good Angel." Then she left to form her own pop-jazz musical experiment, Laika. Moonshake continued on in 1994 with the organic jazz/noise stylings of "The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow" (think Barry Adamson by way of Can). Callahan drafted P.J. Harvey to sing with him on nearly half the album's tracks, including "Just A Working Girl," a sordid tale of a professional call girl and her johns ("A schoolmaster with a polaroid and a pleated uniform; the nightwatchman stops by on his long walk home..."). P.J.'s voice worked well with Callahan's menacing Nick Cave-by-way-of John Lydon vocal style.Moonshake next reappeared in 1997 with "Dirty & Divine," an album that sounds like industry--buildings going up, busses clattering over railway tracks, car horns and traffic noise. "Dirty & Divine" is more overtly electronic than anything from Moonshake's past. But, as usual, Callahan's songs feature some of his favorite characters: corrupt businessmen caught between illicit scams and illegal drugs ("Hard Candy"; the title track); petty theives for whom kleptomania is religion ("House on Fire"); high class prostitutes who "won't get out of bed for my kind of money" ("Aqualisa"); and a world-weary traveller with an extraordinary tale, warning kids not to get suckered by the "Exotic Siren Song" of faraway lands. Check these lyrics: "I hitched a ride with a future suicide out selling krugerrands; I did the washing in a Chinese kitchen to pay my way back to my land."Despite Moonshake's ecclectic musical bag, their devoted audience remained sparse. Callahan was sickened by the lack of support from Too Pure and Matador Records to which Moonshake had been signed. After a small tour in support of "Dirty & Divine" and the loss of several band members, Callahan decided to break up the band. He is now concentrating on soundtrack material, and the music world has lost one more wonderful, thought-provoking band to the narrow-mindedness of its critics and audience. Not for the faint-hearted, Moonshake will re-shape your world, make you think, and maybe smile a little at the bleak, black humor of Callahan's vision."
Metallic yet lush.
RockerDad | Renton, WA USA | 08/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Moonshake for me are a bit of an oddity. Essentially a one-man band (Callahan), with some friends/studio musicians brought in to augment recordings, this almost seems like a deranged side project for some vaguely mainstream 'alternative' band's lead singer. Yet, apparently, this was no side project, this was the real deal for Callahan.

How to categorize Moonshake's music? Not quite trip-hop, not really electronica, certainly more than experimental noise. It's almost undefinable. Strangely, at times I get a Depeche Mode vibe from this album, but that's mainly due to Callahan's singing on a few tracks. Otherwise, this music draws from many different sources: the quasi-electronica of Stereolab or Laika, free jazz, trip-hop, maybe the nightmare/murder ballads of Nick Cave? It's pretty varied, yet somehow Callahan pulls it off quite successfully- melding these diverse influences into his own peculiar sound.

My two favorite songs, 'Exotic Siren Song' and 'The Taboo' open and close the album with an otherwordly-ness that befits the varied nature of the music. The strummed harp (?) on 'The Taboo' always seems like a soothing way to end the album after listening to the edgy/borderline insanity of songs like 'Hard Candy', 'Up for Anything', and 'House on Fire'.

'Cranes' might be the gem of the album, though. It's a beautiful and sad look at the mundane, daily grind of the average worker, and the machines that built the world around them. This could be the theme song of millions of suburbanites across North America.

If you enjoy adventurous sounds (at times jarring, at times gorgeous), in the vein of Laika, Stereolab, Tricky, or dEUS, you would be wise to check this out."