Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.


With Stereo Total. Tuesday, October 30, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Momus is odd like Beck, but he's been that way much longer -- since 1982, believe it or not. And even though his grooves aren't nearly as funky as they are folky, Momus still swings -- in a very queer way -- with nearly as much verve as the more famous Beck. But whereas Beck is a modern pop and R&B revisionist, Momus favors a wild-eyed, cast-a-wide-net deconstruction of all music, peppering his records with everything from warped sea chanteys to hysterical minuets. Momus's latest effort, Folktronic, is a weird, chaotic smudging of folk and electronic music that at times sounds like Serge Gainsbourg, at others like a less witty Robyn Hitchcock. With its odd looping beats scratching up against more traditional folk vocal stylings, the record is a reasonable move in the restless Momus canon that hits and misses in spastic musical fits and wanders all over the place lyrically. Yet, for a guy who has shocked and titillated with earlier efforts that dealt, rather starkly, with homoeroticism, necrophilia, and incest, Folktronica, in its weakest moments, is like a showing of Momus's poker hand. The approach is so obvious, his words so straightforward, that some of the "what the hell is this guy doing?" mystery that he'd always been able to hide behind is now stripped away. He now sounds like a grumpy artist who is no longer amused by hardcore conservative critique; one who has become so bemused by it that he's lashing out with all the venom he can muster. Still, Momus has never been about trend-hopping trips, so why expect one now? He's a do-it-for-me artist who has as much culture to assault now on Folktronica as he ever has: sex, people, Viagra, politics, and even folk and electronic music. Yet his vision is such a tough, acerbic, and intriguing pill to swallow on disc that one has to wonder just how on earth it'll all pour out when performed in a live setting. One thing's for sure, though: As folkies go, he ain't Bob Dylan, and he probably doesn't want to be.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Kurt Hernon

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Kiry Shabazz @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Jan. 27
  • Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood @ Packard Music Hall

    • Thu., Jan. 27

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation