AL IS BUILDING THE MOE.MENTUM

moe. fans always welcome the sight of the bulging blood vessels on Al Schnier's hairless dome as he rips through a guitar solo or energetically recites his curious lyrics. Over the last several years, however, and in particular since the summer of 2001, concert-goers have witnessed the explosion of possibilities that occurs when Al puts down his guitar, pivots from his mike, and begins to experiment with his other toys. Using a Roland keyboard and vintage Moog synthesizer, he creates cutting edge effects that are intensely psychedelic and strangely soothing. In a band that eludes categorization and avoids stagnancy, Al's bold electronic sounds have given moe. songs a new texture and have scored high marks from even the most discerning listeners.

Al would have it no other way. He understands that live performance is a mutual experience, where energy and trust is created, harnessed, and exchanged among musicians and audience members. For his deepest artistic drive to take over, he must believe that people will accept his contributions for what they are: a reflection of his inner self. This connection is the core of the truly passionate musical performances that Al strives to deliver.

This fundamental concept of improvisational music will be put to the test on an aggressively-scheduled solo tour that will feature songs from his al.one album. Personally created on moe. tour last summer, the songs are caressing electronic compositions that are reminiscent of tunes by Air and Moby. Filled with intrigue and insight, the music tugs at your emotions and speaks to your daydreaming unconscious mind. It's like how you feel after an intense concert or a night of clubbing: Very pensive, kind of quiet, but still looking for people to talk to, looking for answers. The sounds of al.one are trance-like and esoteric.

Al will be re-creating these original songs using a Mac Lombard G3 laptop computer, a Yamaha RS7000 work station, Moog synthesizers, a Roland keyboard, vintage guitars, delays, pedals, filters, and a bunch of electronic rhythm machines like the space drum and a sonic boomer. Accompanying Al and his toys at various gigs will be DJ's and guest musicians. Fans can expect music they can dance to and a good deal of jamming. Don't be surprised to hear a remix or two of moe. tunes: "Yodelittle" or "Punchline" maybe?

His quest for musical diversity and technical versatility begins in Toronto on Tuesday January 22nd. Al makes his way through Chicago on the first weekend, down south into Georgia, and up to Charlotte for the second weekend. Then he heads up the northeast corridor for gigs in New York City and Boston on the final weekend, February 9th. Check out Al Schnier for details. With 19 total shows, there are plenty of chances to support the efforts of this accomplished musician and to confirm the faith he has in music fans all over.

For moe.rons, the thought of a confident, skilled, flat-out funky Al Schnier is reason to celebrate. They are bursting with anticipation following the band's strong year and scintillating NYE run. His current project will give him a broader creative palette when he returns with his band mates for a romping winter tour. For now, though, he will do it al.one.

For more in depth information on what Al is up to, check out, AlSchnier.com.

Russell DuBois
JamBase | Providence
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[Published on: 1/10/02]

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