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iTunes Review

Long before there was freak folk, there was folk made by freaks. Exhibit A: 1975’s Have Moicy, product of a bi-coastal bizarro-world supergroup comprising Peter Stampfel, founder of the Holy Modal Rounders, occasional Unholy Modal Rounder Jeffrey Frederick, renowned pork-chop eater Michael Hurley, and some like-minded fellow travelers. Together, they spent three days recording a weird little record that’s since become a minor American classic. The musicianship is loose but solid, the melodies whistle-able, the lyrics abidingly, endearingly silly: “I was cleaning my jackknife when you did appear, had to fight with you I cut off your ear,” go the four-part gospel harmonies of “Jackknife,” while the wheezy be-fiddled chorus of “Slurf Song” celebrates the joys and horrors of dining chez Hurley: “O the dishes over there, they fill me with despair.” The achingly lovely “Griselda” (since covered by Yo La Tengo), on the other hand, is untainted by lysergic whimsy, unless you count Stampfel’s grandfatherly yelp of a vocal, and the drunk and disorderly love story that is “Sweet Lucy” gets better with every listen. From Hurley’s comically lovelorn falsetto in “Fooey Fooey” to its mirror image, Frederick’s genuinely heartbroken “Weep Weep Weep,” Have Moicy is full of both emotion and eccentricity, strange jokes and stranger beauty. What, after all, made Frederick’s hamburger disappear? Like Moicy itself, it’s a koan for the ages.

Customer Reviews

Have Moicy!

One of the funniest (and finest) albums of our time. One of the ways I got my daughter to listen to something I could stand was to lie to her and swear that "Sweet Lucy" was about Lucinda Williams {whose grandfather was my dad's pastor.} I made up stories to roll along with these tunes when it was close to naptime. Maybe I should try this again with some newer creatures and see how it works.

Musical wit beyond its genre

There is a form, or school, of wisdom and wit that can be found in rare individuals and groups in many creative forms, and, I tell you, it doesn't date. This mid-70s one-off resonates with humor and musical chops to burn, and it never tires the ear, which in itself can be almost scary. Funny, insightful, salacious, and so full-of-heart, the Unholy Modals play it as if they knew full damn well they'd only get one shot while the tape was properly running. I've got the lovely vinyl edition (and am keeping it), but I'm glad this has hit iTunes for the mostly-digitized to hear and hopefully savor. In short: Recommended.

Special Music

This album was the first that caught my 9-month old son's attention :)

Customer Ratings