About Roger Moore
Roger Moore is a writer and musical obsessive who plays percussion instruments from around the world with an equal lack of dexterity. An environmental lawyer in his unplugged moments, he has written on subjects ranging from sustainable development practices to human rights and voting rights, as well as many music reviews. A native Chicagoan, Roger lives in Oakland, California with his wife Paula, who shares his Paul Weller fixation, and two young children, Amelia and Matthew, who enjoy dancing in circles to his Serge Gainsbourg records and falling asleep to his John Coltrane records.
Roger Moore’s Musical Timeline
1966. Dropped upside down on patio after oldest sister listened to “She Loves You” on the Beatles’ Saturday cartoon show. Ears have rung with the words “yeah, yeah, yeah” ever since.
1973. Memorized all 932 verses to Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
1975. Unsuccessfully lobbied to have “Louie Louie” named the official song of his grade school class. The teacher altered the lyrics of the winner, the Carpenters’ “I Won’t Last a Day Without You,” so that they referred to Jesus.
1977. After a trip to New Orleans, frequently broke drumheads attempting to mimic the style of the Meters’ Zigaboo Modeliste.
1979. In order to see Muddy Waters perform in Chicago, borrowed the birth certificate of a 27 year-old truck driver named Rocco.
1982. Published first music review, a glowing account of the Jam’s three-encore performance for the Chicago Reader. Reading the original, unedited piece would have taken longer than the concert itself.
1982. Spat on just before seeing the Who on the first of their 23 farewell tours, after giving applause to the previous band, the Clash.
1984. Mom: “This sounds perky. What’s it called?” Roger: “ It’s ‘That’s When I Reach for My Revolver’ by Mission of Burma.”
1985. Wrote first review of an African recording, King Sunny Ade’s Synchro System. A reader induced to buy the album by this review wrote a letter to the editor, noting that “anyone wishing a copy of this record, played only once” should contact him.
1985. At a Replacements show in Boston, helped redirect a bewildered Bob Stinson to the stage, which Bob had temporarily confused with the ladies’ bathroom.
1986. Walked forty blocks through a near-hurricane wearing a garbage bag because the Feelies were playing a show at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club.
1987. Foolishly asked Alex Chilton why he had just performed “Volare.” Answer: “Because I can.”
1988. Moved to Northern California and, at a large outdoor reggae festival, discovered what Bob Marley songs sound like when sung by naked hippies.
1991. Attempted to explain to Flavor-Flav of Public Enemy that the clock hanging from his neck was at least two hours fast.
1992. Under the pseudonym Dr. Smudge, produced and performed for the Underwear of the Gods anthology, recorded live at the North Oakland Rest Home for the Bewildered. Local earplug sales skyrocketed.
1993. Attended first-ever fashion show in Chicago because Liz Phair was the opening act. Declined the complimentary bottles of cologne and moisturizer.
1997. Almost missed appointment with eventual wedding band because Sleater-Kinney performed earlier at Berkeley’s 924 Gilman Street. Recovered hearing days later.
1997. After sharing a romantic evening with Paula listening to Caetano Veloso at San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium, purchased a Portuguese phrasebook that remains unread.
1998. Learned why you do not yell “Free Bird” at Whiskeytown's Ryan Adams in a crowded theater.
1999. During an intense bout of flu, made guttural noises bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Throat Singers of Tuva.
2000. Compiled a retrospective of music in the nineties as a fellow at the Coolwater Center for Strategic Studies and Barbecue Hut.
2001. Listened as Kahil El’Zabar, in the middle of a harrowing and funny duet show with Billy Bang, lowered his voice and spoke of the need to think of the children, whom he was concerned might grow up “unhip.”
2002. During a performance of Wilco’s “Ashes of American Flags,” barely dodged ashes of Jeff Tweedy’s cigarette.
2002. Arrived at the Alta Bates maternity ward in Berkeley with a world trance anthology specially designed to soothe Paula during Amelia’s birth, filled with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, and assorted other Khans. The project proved to be irrelevant to the actual process of labor.
2003. Emceed a memorable memorial concert for our friend Matthew Sperry at San Francisco’s Victoria Theater featuring a lineup of his former collaborators, including improvised music all-stars Orchesperry, Pauline Oliveros, Red Hot Tchotchkes, the cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Tom Waits.
2003. Failed to persuade Ted Leo to seek the Democratic nomination for President.
2005. Prevented two-year old daughter Amelia from diving off the balcony during a performance of Pierre Dorge’s New Jungle Orchestra at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
2006. On a family camping trip in the Sierra Nevadas, experienced the advanced stage of psychosis that comes from listening to the thirtieth rendition of Raffi’s “Bananaphone” on the same road trip.
Posts by Roger Moore
- Doc at the Radar Station on May 30th, 2012
- Vel’ d’Hiv: Springtime for Hitler (and Bicycles) on April 30th, 2012
- To Be Or Not To Be, That Is The Playlist on March 31st, 2012
- The Business of America is Bizness on February 29th, 2012
- Out of Limits: A Halloween Playlist on October 31st, 2011
- Poor Poor Pitiful Me: A Reasonable Guide to Horribly Depressing Songs on September 27th, 2011
- Some Nice Happy Thoughts About the Joy Division Revival on September 27th, 2011
- Susana Baca, the Golden-Voiced Government Bureaucrat on August 21st, 2011
- Comeback Kids: The Equals’ Two-Tone Rebel Soul on August 18th, 2011
- Robert Christgau: Dean of Rock Critics, King of Beers on August 9th, 2011
- Haiku Review: Decemberists, The King is Dead on August 8th, 2011
- Coltrane and Cousin: Giant Steps, Lotus Leaps on July 20th, 2011
- Gimme Swelter on June 30th, 2011
- The Radio Will Not Be Televised on May 31st, 2011
- In the Aeroplane, Over Pawnee on May 28th, 2011
- Samuel Beckett Has a Posse on May 25th, 2011
- Songs for the Cheesehead Intifada on February 27th, 2011
- Humpty Escapes the Tea Party Before the Martian Invasion on January 27th, 2011
- Woke Up In Another Lifetime on November 30th, 2010
- Zorn in the USA: My Top Three John Zorn Moments on September 1st, 2010
- How the Cedars Invaded the Land of Blue Pajamas on August 18th, 2010
- My Imaginary Back Pages on July 31st, 2010
- Four for the Fourth on July 4th, 2010
- World Cup Rant, Part 1: And the Winner is…Mali? on July 3rd, 2010
- This Is a Public Service Announcement, With Ukulele on May 8th, 2010
- Another Green World: From Belfast to Kingston on March 17th, 2010
- Math Curse: Vijay Iyer on Funk and Fibonacci on February 14th, 2010
- J.D. Salinger Phones Home from Paul’s Boutique on January 29th, 2010
- A Mighty Wind: Neko Case’s “Middle Cyclone” on January 24th, 2010
- Please Remember Victor Jara on December 19th, 2009
- Reasons To Be Cheerful on December 1st, 2009
- Blues for Dracula: An Impromptu Halloween Playlist on October 31st, 2009
- Discovering Japan on September 30th, 2009
- Wilco: For Dads About to Rock, We Salute You on August 31st, 2009
- Shatner Meets Sarah: Tundra on the Edge of Forever on August 9th, 2009
- Jacques Dutronc: 500 Billion Little Martians Can’t Be Wrong on July 16th, 2009
- The King of California on July 4th, 2009
- The Aviator, Part II: Sky Saxon on June 30th, 2009
- The Aviator, Part I: Michael Jackson on June 28th, 2009
- Mayra Andrade’s Lunar Mission on June 14th, 2009
- Sandpaper and Velvet: Koko Taylor’s Chicago on June 7th, 2009
- Heavy Metal Drummer on May 24th, 2009
- Stuck in the Middle with Flu on April 30th, 2009
- The Feelies: School of Rock, Graduate Division on April 21st, 2009
- Zooey and the Terabithians on April 10th, 2009
- Deerhunter: Eligible Receivers Downfield on March 9th, 2009
- Love Hurts: A Post-Valentine Playlist on February 15th, 2009
- Holiday in Cambodia: Khmer Rock, Dengue Fever and the River of Time on January 27th, 2009
- The Wonderful Truth About Burma on January 12th, 2009
- Battle of the Beards on December 17th, 2008
- Music That Cooks: Our Thanksgiving Playlists on November 30th, 2008
- Guns n’ Sodas and the Great Leap Backward on November 23rd, 2008
- Kind of Blue on November 7th, 2008
- This Band Could Save Your Life on October 18th, 2008
- Strange Fruit on September 29th, 2008
- Change of the Century: A Campaign Playlist on August 31st, 2008
- Muffin Mix on July 31st, 2008
- Hotter Than July: A Summer Playlist on July 10th, 2008
- The Residents: Music for Melting on July 7th, 2008
- Bo Knows Qaddafi on June 10th, 2008
- Carrie Nation on May 30th, 2008
- Can Obama Overcome his Big Pink Problem? on May 6th, 2008
- The Thao of Now on April 30th, 2008
- Jon Langford: South By East By Midwest on April 22nd, 2008
- Cachao’s Legacy: Two Nations Under a Groove on March 27th, 2008
- They Might Be Giants: Eli Manning’s Purple Reign on February 11th, 2008
- Highway 2006 Revisited on January 29th, 2008
- The Great Black North on December 2nd, 2007
- Road to Ruin: A Sufjan Stevens-Inspired Soundtrack to Bad Urban Planning on November 1st, 2007
- Henry Kaiser in the Sweet Sunny South on September 26th, 2007
- Listening to the Water on August 29th, 2007
- John Coltrane, Transcribed to Limericks on August 6th, 2007
- M.I.A., with the Radio On on August 5th, 2007
- Tom Snyder in Tomorrowland on July 31st, 2007
- Globe of Frogs: Stuck on Bastille Day on July 14th, 2007
- Stuck on the Fourth of July: Five Holiday Playlists on July 6th, 2007
- Stuck Between Radio Stations on June 25th, 2007
- Tom Waits’ High-Stakes Wager on June 9th, 2007
- Return to Pancake Mountain on May 24th, 2007
- A Rehab Playlist for Amy Winehouse on May 6th, 2007
- Bob the Builder on April 27th, 2007
- Mild Horses on April 23rd, 2007
- Global Warming Threatens Arctic Monkeys on March 30th, 2007
- Supremely Uninformed on March 25th, 2007
- Going, Going, Gone on March 24th, 2007
- Reasons Gavin Newsom Should Seek the Company of Joanna Newsom on March 12th, 2007
- Dylan Hears a Who on March 11th, 2007
- Drumming in Vanilla (story) on March 11th, 2007