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From the Desert 

Reno's Moondog Matinee brings the heat

Like a tattooed, grizzly, sunburnt Santa Claus, Reno's Moondog Matinee travels from town to town—almost non-stop—gifting audiences with grungy classic rock as grimy as a lump of coal and just as good at conducting fire.

As such, music writer Whitherby Sutton calls Moondog Matinee a group of "wandering heathens," and bass guitarist Adam Carpenter—who will return to Bend with the band at Pakit Liquidators Dec. 5—agrees with that label.

"A wandering heathen seems to describe pretty much anyone that doesn't participate in the archetypical office job, nine to five routine," explained Carpenter in an interview with the Source. "The term is really a perfect summation of how the traveling musician feels. Eating gas station snacks as meals, brushing teeth with water bottles in parking lots, and sometimes going days in between showers."

That's a pretty decent picture of life on the road for a band that has to travel hundreds of brutal miles in every direction just to play a decent venue. After all, Reno isn't known for its convenient location.

Instead, bleak, crazy-hot desert separates the members of Moondog Matinee from many of their fans. Deserts that they cross in a 12-ton, 40-foot school bus; in many ways the perfect metaphor for the mammoth rock-and-roll ground out by the quintet of twenty-somethings.

Like their school bus, their music doesn't stop on a dime. When Moondog Matinee gets going at a show, marauding songs like "Bourbon Street" and "Troubadour" barrel toward the crowd like so much dense steel with an overheating engine, burning up rubber with faulty brakes. Lead singer Pete Barnato wails away with a voice possessed by James Brown and Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, completing the pandemonium that is one of their concerts.

"We don't play music for the purpose of anything other than we love to create and perform music together. While it would be nice to live out the ultimate rock-n-roll fantasy, we just want to make a career out of working hard," admitted Carpenter. "For now, if that means playing seedy bars, strip joints, run down clubs, and even junkyards, we will gladly take it. As long as we have great fans like the ones we have in Bend, we will always have a reason to hop in our school bus and hit the road!"

Moondog Mantinee

8 pm. Thursday, Dec. 5

Pakit Liquidators

903 SE Armour Rd.


About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
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