THE MOONLIGHTERS have been a part of the New York City jazz and pop music scenes since they formed in 1998.
DREAMLAND, their first CD, was released in 2000 on their ONLIEST RECORDS label. It includes several compositions by BLISS BLOOD, including the title track "DREAMLAND", a fantasy about Coney Island in 1905 inspired by a book of old postcards of the majestic playland of yore; "ABANDONED BLUES", a vaudeville-style "classic" blues song in the style of Bessie Smith; "MYSTIFIED" which re-incarnates the Boswell Sisters' lilting harmonies, "Mink Carpet" a sexy song with surrealist lyrics, and the strange, gothic "BLUE & BLACK-EYED" which recounts a tale of a battered prostitute circa 1880, preparing to commit suicide, and "IT ISN'T GOODNIGHT YET", a lovely song about desiring that first kiss but not wanting it to be over.
The CD also contains many classic Hawaiian tunes, "Cafe Life", "Honolulu March", "Hula Blues", "Right On", "I Like You" featuring Henry Bogdan's excellent National Lap Steel guitar work, and some interesting 1920's chestnuts, such as the haunting "Infatuation" featuring Bliss Blood on saw, "You Let Me Down" the classic jazz standard popularized by Billie Holiday, "All My Life" (performed by Ella Fitzgerald) and a rousing version of "42nd Street" including a tap dancing solo!
The Moonlighters / Dreamland (CD)
If you didn't know better, you'd swear Dreamland came out of a pile of your grandfather's old records. It's a batch of jaunty, swinging Pacific pop tunes straight out of the 1940s, dished up with ukuleles, steel guitar, jaw harp and -- best of all -- saw!
You might be startled to discover that ex Pain Teen Bliss Blood provides vocals, ukulele and the aformentioned saw-work, while former Helmet-man Henry Bogdan's behind the steel guitar. Despite this hard-edged pedigree, the Moonlighters don't let their characters slip once; this is pure retro-kitsch pop, played straight -- distantly similar to the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but sans histrionics and MTV pandering.