Gimme m'Moonps

moonpools and caterpillars

I don't listen to music all that loudly anymore. You won't catch me yelling along. I don't scream down the freeway at unholy speeds because of the cd I put on in the car.

Or not until two Mondays ago.

Two Mondays ago I found out why:

It's because I haven't been listening to Moonpools & Caterpillars.

For those of you who missed one of the greatest rock bands of all time, let me introduce you to them as I was introduced to them.

It was the summer of '95. I was a newly jobless near-missionary visiting two old high school friends who had fled home for San Diego. Their apartment was split level and they were both bigtime computer guys with only two computers. So sometimes I was left with little to do.

During one of these times, I was downstairs alone, rolling through the radio. I had settled on one, then a song came on the radio. A song like none I had ever heard before. A song that effected me in a way no song ever had before.

I danced.

I threw myself into the music and when it ended, I was exhausted.

I haunted the radio the rest of my time there and heard the song once more and IDed the band.

Shortly thereafer, I bought the album on cassette. For my brother's birthday, but our music collections were pretty communal, so no altruism need be suspected.

Moonpools & Caterpillars made it so I could not drive under 85mph. Moonpools & Caterpillars made me hoarse.

Just a couple weeks ago, I saw the video for the first time ever. Here's the song, with its perfect video: bright colors, Kimi in a dress, summer sunshine. Perfect. Click on it. I'm not going anywhere.

This song pretty much single-handedly defined rock and roll for me. It should be sung by a girl. Her voice should be able to do anything (I guarantee you've never heard scatting like this). It should be melodic and fun. And it should ROCK.

When I returned home from my mission and for some reason could only listen to Korean music like Juju Club and Pipi Band, the only American band I could stomach was the Moonps.

In fact, my first cd purchase in America ever was probably the Moonps' 12 Songs, which was released independently (Elektra dropped them after their first cd) and which I had to buy through the mail and which I spent more on than I had ever imagined I could spend on a single album. But it was worth it.

After 12 Songs, the band broke up. They had agreed that if they didn't make it big, they would be adults and break up and get real jobs. At the time, I really respected that. Now I just miss them. And sorta consider them a bad example for us starving artist sorts....

The Moonps sound is large and loud and fast and fun and friendly and happy and good-natured and neighborly and contagious and goofy and joyous and delightful and just plain wonderful and why oh why oh why oh didn't they make it huge is a hard question to answer, but I'll give it a stab.

One: Girl singer.
    Hard as it is to believe, there has been a radio prejudice against women in rock. I think that's mostly gone now, but when the Moonps released their first single, Tori Amos sure couldn't be sure her next song would get any play, and Alanis and Sarah McLachlan hadn't even happened yet.
Two: Too much fun.
    As I now know, Kimi looks every bit as goofy as I must have when I was dancing along. Most people want their rock stars mythic, not silly. Most people are idiots.
But really, I just can't fathom it. "Colossal Youth" is a song every heady teenage band should want to cover. And they would!--if they'd ever heard it.

So: three albums:

the pink album THE PINK ALBUM: This is an album recorded at Whisky a Go Go in LA--a place where great bands play. The Doors for instance. They had become favorites there, so they recorded a live album there which would eventually attract major label attention and snag them a record deal.

It's also legendary and almost never heard by Moonps fans because it is impossible to find. Until now.

I've been searching for this album for years. A lot of them. Imagine.....being Master Fob and knowing there's a live Fugees album out there somewhere if only you could find it. Or, say, what if the Beatles had recorded a set in Berlin that everyone knew existed but no one could find or listen to?

Frustrating thought, init?

But two Mondays ago, I found that Berlin set.

On a German website, I found an email address to a fellow who said he had the Pink Album. I emailed him, and he emailed it to me.

Glory be.

For the record, I am very anti stealing music. But in this case a) there is no other way to get this record; b) at one time, Moonps uberfan had the Moonps' permission to give away their first and last albums free on his website. In those days, I didn't know what mp3s where, really, and the website disappeared before I decided to download them anyway for future use. Idiot that I was.

But assuming the Moonps are still okay with people giving away copies of the Pink Album, I will give to anyone who wants it--regular readers, people who, like me, are scouring the Internet looking for it--anyone. Write me at the address in the sidebar and I will send it your way.

That last paragraph gives away the secret as to why this post is so much longer than my average length: part of my audience is not my regular readers, but Googlers who will be coming by in the coming months and years on what they believe to be an endless quest to sample the Pink.

(Note: if Kimi, Jay Jay, Tim or Gugut write me or comment and ask me not to give the pink away free, I will stop immediately, so sorry. It's still theirs, and if they don't want me to give it away, I won't. But I will suggest back they put the album up for sale on iTunes or something.)

So how is this album? It's great. I wasn't expecting a lot: Live album, self-produced, bar setting.... How good could it be? But the recording is crisp and clear (a little less so with Kimi's vocals, but nothing so bad). It's a delight to hear classic songs I've long loved live, to (I think) catch Kimi screw a line up, to hear Jay Jay noodle around a bit with his geetar. But of course the best parts are the songs I've never heard before.

And for the last two weeks, one song or another has been playing on my internal jukebox. Ask me! Am I singing "Koo Koo Koo" now? "Trampling Rose"? Which song are you singing now, Theric?

(Note: You people stopping by looking for the Pink Album, be aware--my copy isn't perfect--sounds like the original cd's track eight was scratched. If you have a better copy, please send it along!)

lucky dumpling LUCKY DUMPLING: You don't have to look hard on the world wide web to find rapturous reviews of this album. You also don't have to look hard to find the tracks for sell or the album cheap. No problem. You can do this on your own.

12 songs 12 SONGS: This album is every bit the equal of its much lauded predecessor. With a bit of effort, you can find the mp3s online and I've even just learned that the actual physical cd is available at Pinoymall, which is an exciting development for Moonps fans. This cd was released at their last show and was originally only available for a short time--until the press ran out. And then they were no more.

Yeah, I heard something about a coming-back-together as Guava, but I have no idea if there's any truth to that. I heard Kimi was making clothes and ran a boutique in LA. I don't know where they are. Wish I did. Because they were great. If they're ever in the Bay Area and need a place to crash, I got couches.

Moonpools & Caterpillars?

I miss you.

Kimi and Jay Jay


  1. I really liked the song in the video. I will have to search out some more of their music.

  2. .

    [edit: fixed word--changed "song" to "album"]

  3. I love it! Why have I not heard of them before? The video was lovely like a good Pete & Pete episode. I must have them. I am willing to trade other musicy goodness for barter.

  4. .

    You got it, Sweetheart.

  5. You can also find "The Pink Album" here:


  6. Just when I was about to give up on finding some Moonpools stuff I found this site. Lucky you to find it. Is your offer to share still open? That is if you are still running this blogger.

  7. I go turned onto Moonpools and Caterpillars when I was attending UCSB. I discovered them as I heard them in a dingy little club. I went and bought their CD the next day. You and I have a lot of music interests in common. I, too, love the Sundays. I am really into Tanya Donelly when she sang with Belly and Throwing Muses. To get alternative, I dig me some Siouxsie Sioux.

  8. .

    You certainly have excellent taste. I'm fond of all those from one degree or another.

  9. anyone know where to download Pink Album? Thanks

  10. .

    You can still email me. It's up top on the side.