It's tough to imagine the modern musical world had Robert Moog not invented his analog synthesizers, which celebrate their 50th birthday this year. Moog's machines offered computerized interpretations of standard instrument sounds, such as those created by trumpet, guitar, and drums, to the horror of some and the delight of others; the sonic palette would never be the same. Consistently revered since their development, Moog synths have vitally influenced the musical spectrum — from Walter (now Wendy) Carlos” Switched-On Bach to Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock.
A bite-size installment of the large — and no doubt geek-laden — Moog Fest that will take place later this year in North Carolina (where Moog resides) comes to San Francisco for an eclectic evening of Moog-created sound pieces performed live and on turntables. Featured performers include one-man band Money Mark, Mix Master Mike (best known as the Beastie Boys' DJ), and local dynamos Tino Corp (aka Meat Beat Manifesto's Jack Dangers and DHS's Ben Stokes). Expect a wide variety of styles, from Mix Master Mike's manipulation of Moog-based records via two turntables to Money Mark's and Tino Corp's inspired jamming with their various Moog synths. The latter group works in combination with the visually projected moves of its own animated Cuban bandleader, Tino (pictured above), created by Stokes.
As an additional perk, the show will be filmed for use in the documentary Moog (due out in the summer), select scenes of which will be previewed at the concert. Directors Ryan Page and Hans Fjellestad (himself an electronic music producer of minor repute) are capturing like-minded live performances across the world for their movie. Upon its release, Moog will be accompanied by a soundtrack featuring Thursday night's performers, as well as Moog devotees such as Devo, the Neptunes, Stereolab, Jean-Jacques Perrey, and Bernie Worrell.