Moonalice: Art, Apps and George Takei Aspirations
This Sunday, October 28, Bay Area based Moonalice will conclude an East Coast tour with a “Art of Moonalice” show at Brooklyn Bowl. The free event will begin at 3:00 PM with over 500 Moonalice concert posters on display and many of the artists on hand as well. Then at 7:00 PM the group will take the stage for a performance. Chubby Wombat Moonalice aka Roger McNamee took some time to discuss the happening with Relix, and offer some insight into the group’s MoonTunes HTML 5 player which offers free live video streaming of all performance, along with free access to a 160+ show video archive, a 450+ show audio archive, and 500+ posters.
On Sunday Brooklyn Bowl will host your latest Art of Moonalice show. How many posters will be on display? How many of the artists? What can folks expect who make the trek to the Bowl?
All 550 posters in the Moonalice series will be on display. Eighteen artists are planning to be there: Chris Shaw, Stanley Mouse, Wes Wilson, Carolyn Ferris, David Singer, Dennis Larkins, Lee Conklin, Dennis Loren, Alexandra Fischer, Wendy Wright, Lauren Yurkovich, Chuck Sperry, Gary Houston, John Mavroudis, Winston Smith, John Seabury, Darrin Brenner, Dave Hunter.
Poster art has always been entwined with the Moonalice experience; can you talk about the origins of that? Was it Bill Graham inspired?
Relative to Moonalice, poster art is an extension of the band. Our art director, Chris Shaw, and Alexandra Fischer were at the first rehearsals and helped us pick the name.
I have been a fan of San Francisco rock poster art for as long as I can remember. When I first moved to San Francisco in 1976, one of my first stops was the Postermat on Columbus in North Beach. I didn’t have any money, but it was possible to get a beautiful later printing of the classics for $15. Ben was patient with me and taught me a lot about poster art.
This may surprise you, but I’m not a collector of classic rock posters. My focus is on commissioning as many new posters from as many artists as possible. In five and a half years, we have commissioned 550 posters from 21 artists for Moonalice and dozens of posters for other events. Every one is a work of art and I would argue that each artist has done his or her best work for Moonalice.
We operate as a cooperative. The Art of Moonalice show is one important activity of the co-op: an opportunity to work together to promote poster art, meet fans, and sell posters.
What are the challenges of coordinating and producing them and lugging them around on the road? Any poster-related mishaps you can share?
Our art director, Chris Shaw, has produced at least 100 posters per year for us since Moonalice began. Chris and Alex get the posters to every show, no matter what. Over the years, they and the artists have streamlined the production process. We now print posters a dozen at a time, pack them into the truck a week before tour and off they go.
We give posters away for free to everyone at the show and sell them after that. The proceeds go to the artists.
Is the band itself ever involved in the process of suggesting themes for the posters?
Only indirectly. Chris and I talk two or three times a week. We have been working together for a decade and Chris and his wife Alex are family. We think about things in the same way. There is only one rule: no Moonalice poster may depict a woman in any way that is inconsistent with the Moonalice legend. According to Moonalice legend, our tribe is a matriarchy. Binder-free.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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