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Moth Wranglers

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Moth Wranglers (New York/San Francisco) is the bicoastal musical adventure formed in 1998 by Chris Xefos (King Missile) and LD Beghtol (Flare/The Magnetic Fields). The shapeshifting duo took their name from the credits for Jonathan Demme’s 1991 thriller Silence of the Lambs. Eschewing conventional instrumentation and production for relentless experimentation and avoiding diary-rock tropes for, variously, odes to serial killer Denis Nilsson, a meditation on loss inspired by food writer MFK Fisher, a tribute to seminal gay novel The Young and Evil, and broad interpretations of songs by the Carter Family, OMD and Crash, Moth Wranglers fearlessly staked out a unique sonic/textual claim for themselves. Pitchfork, in a review of the collective’s 2001 debut, Never Mind the Context, stated: “The world needs more ideas like Moth Wranglers: people who hold a wake instead of a funeral, who take drugs because the world doesn’t seem normal without them, and who scribble moustaches on Mona Lisas.” In their decade-long collaboration, the Beghtol and Xefos created a small but intense body of recordings, performed sporadically at music festivals and arts events, and crafted a cryptic body of graphic in support of their mysterious vision—most often working in separate studios in separate cities. Guest musicians including multi-instrumentalist/mentalist/author Daniel Handler, Victor Krummenacher and Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven), William Tutton (Geraldine Fibbers) Ken Stringfellow (The Posies/Big Star), Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson (The Magnetic Fields/Future Bible Heroes), Dudley Klute (Kid Montana/The Magnetic Fields), Julia Kent, Doug Hilsinger, Allison Faith Levy and many other noted rock/pop musicians of an experimental bent figure prominently in MW’s willfully obscure oeuvre. After various singles and compilation tracks, one full-length album and an ersatz “best of” compilation that included unreleased tracks from the anti-band’s vault, MW ceased trading in 2010; the rest is silence.
view all 23 tracks 23 Tracks Found
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Album: Never Again (a compendium)
Genre: Rock
Mood: Bright, Driving, Heartfelt, Romantic, Upbeat
Description: File With: upbeat 60s pop
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Album: Never Again (a compendium)
Genre: Holiday
Mood: Bright, Comical, Light-Hearted, Playful, Satirical
Description: File With: neo-girls-group xmas song
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Album: Never Again (a compendium)
Genre: Folk
Mood: Heartbreak, Heartfelt, Heavy, Reflective
Description: File With: sluddy indie pop
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Album: Never Again (a compendium)
Genre: Ambient
Mood: Ambient, Atmospheric, Contemplative, Dramatic, Sad
Instrumental: Yes
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