THE MOOG COOKBOOK – self-titled CD (1995)

Grabbing inspiration from the many, therapist many ’70s “Switched-On”-style novelty analog synth albums from the ’70s, musicians Brian Kehew and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (under the aliases Meco Eno and Uli Nomi) formed The Moog Cookbook, a duo that sharply skewered then-current rock and pop hits with the blurpiest, bleepiest tools imaginable.

This, their first of two albums, tackled ’90s alterna-hits such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Evenflow” and “Basket Case” (the best track on the album, turning Green Day’s pop-punk mush into a smart parody of Captain and Tennille), and sadly is now out-of-print. Allmusic sez:

“Although many may pass the band off as a goof, upon closer inspection, the duo’s electronic restructurings of these covers are both entrancing and fascinating. It’s almost impossible to imagine how somebody could redo the fiery Hendrix stomp of Lenny Kravitz’s 1993 hit ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way?’ as an icy computerized piece, but the Moog Cookbook somehow find a way. What about Nirvana’s alienated anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as a Stevie Wonder funk workout? Or Pearl Jam’s ‘Evenflow’ as a techno dance rave-up? All of these wacked-out versions can be found here. Also included is a cheesy lounge version of R.E.M.’s ‘The One I Love,’ a furious take on Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ In the Free World,’ and a rendition of Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ with a Latin feel. The Moog Cookbook’s debut is one of the most enjoyably silly releases to come along in ages.”

I once saw these guys play an in-store show at the old Rhino Records store here in L.A. around the time this disc first came out. It took them over an hour to set up, for half their gear kept breaking down before they could get everything to run at the same time! I also used to catch glimpses of Manning tinkering around with piles of synths while he worked at the now-defunct Black Market Music, one of the greatest used music gear shops on the planet (which is sadly now a carpet store!)

The Moog Cookbook – s/t CD (ZIP file)

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782 Responses to THE MOOG COOKBOOK

  1. d. says:

    Thanks for posting this — loving the Green Day parody.

  2. Scott says:

    Yup, this is a great album and is far from a novelty release. There is an element of that, but they make it work and transcend cheese.

    I’m also a fan of the ‘Ye Olde Space Bande’ release, and the cover of ‘Hotel California’ on that album is a mind-blowing epic that descends into electro-Bruegelesque-bigtop craziness!

  3. Nemesi says:

    Thanks for this. Really love it!

  4. chnkltgy says:

    I got to see The Moog Cookbook when they opened for the band I was touring with, Servotron, in the summer of ’96 at Spaceland in LA. Pretty decent live and they even let me push the doorbell during their “Buddy Holly” cover.

  5. shiggy says:

    Wow. Awesome. I actually bought the album soon after it came out on a recommendation. I have to play it for friends every so often so that they can understand how cool they are. Good going.

  6. Spencer says:

    This album totally blew my mind.
    If you have “Ye Olde Space Bande” i’d love to see
    it posted. Thanks!

  7. I actually just interviewed both guys of the Moog Cookbook! Check out Brian Kehew’s and Roger Manning’s!

  8. Guy Incognito says:

    And this, too — can we be bff or something? I might be way behind the curve but at least I’m chasing it like a rabid dog.

    And to the Rev. Me: how’s the cult going? I didn’t think you were into the Moog Cookbook thing; too busy organizing giant mass marriages and lecturing Republicans and sinking your personal fortune into the Washington Times until it buries you in debt. I’m glad to see those two jokesters are still “with it”.