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Ten Current Artists Celebrating Bob Moog's Legacy

November 5, 2011  |  8:58am
Ten Current Artists Celebrating Bob Moog's Legacy

Last weekend, bands came from all over to pay tribute to a name that is synonymous with most synthesized sounds: Robert Moog. Although Moog died in 2005, his legacy is still carried on in the products he championed starting in the late 1960s.

Today we’ll take a look at 10 bands that are honoring Moog’s legacy on a day-to-day basis and taking his synthesizers on the road.

1. St. Vincent
Model: Minimoog

The latest incarnation of St. Vincent’s live band features one guitar player — Annie Clark — and behind her rests a lean group of musicians that include two keyboard players and a drummer. On the low end is Toko Yasuda who keeps everything together with a Minimoog synth and shows that the instrument isn’t just for wacky sound-effect style melodies.

2. Blitzen Trapper
Model: Little Phatty
Blitzen Trapper’s country-infused rock songs might not be the most logical places for Moog’s products, but the band makes it work, weaving the synth into songs like Furr’s “Black River Killer.” You can check out a preview of the Moog Sound Lab series below, which is geared up to feature the band later this year.

3. Man Man
Model: Little Phatty
A band that is all over the place instrumentally, the Moog Little Phatty provides lead and bass work in the band’s crazy songs. You can check out the Little Phatty-showcasing track “Piranhas Club” below.

4. Portugal. The Man
Model: Little Phatty

For a sound that toes the line between organic and wacky, the guys in Portugal. the Man picked a perfect lead synth when they needed one. They recently visited the Moog factory in Asheville, N.C., and you can check out pictures here.

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5. Built To Spill

While it isn’t exactly a staple in the band’s catalog, the Moog is heavily featured on Built to Spill’s 1997 album, Perfect from Now On. Frontman Doug Martsch flaunts the signature-synth sound on the buzzing album opener “Randy Described Eternity” and “Made Up Dreams.”

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6. Wilco

While it’s by no means a staple for the band, Wilco broke out a Moog synthesizer for its 1999 album, Summerteeth on tracks like “A Shot in the Arm.” You can check out a Wilco shout out on a tribute story NPR did to Robert Moog.

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7. MUTEMATH
Model: Voyager

With a band that’s as heavy on samples and synths as MUTEMATH, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t have a Moog in their setup. An essential part of the band’s setup is frontman Paul Meany’s Moog Voyager, which is prevalent in the synth-driven track “All or Nothing.”

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8. Mastodon
Model: Taurus

Maybe Mastodon isn’t the first band that you’d think of when the name Moog comes to mind, but in a recent interview with PremierGuitar, Brent Hinds confirmed that bassist Troy Sanders has been using a Moog. But the coolest thing about it is that live, you probably can’t even see the guy playing it — he’s using a Moog Taurus, the foot-controlled synthesizer made famous by Rush’s Geddy Lee, for the song “Quintessence.”

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9. Stars
Model: Little Phatty

Evan Cranley normally plays bass for Canadian art-rockers Stars, but for the epic “I Died So I Could Haunt You,” the low-end man uses a Little Phatty to hold down the bass tones. You can watch a performance of the video below, with Cranley playing synth on the right.

10. Ke$ha
Model: Etherwave Theremin

Believe it or not, one of Bob Moog’s latest endorsers is Ke$ha, the glitter-covered, bat-shit crazy singer behind hits like “Tik Tok” and “Your Love is My Drug.” Ke$ha’s introduced the Moog Etherwave Theremin into her live set, and you can watch her play Moog’s Theremin on Conan O’ Brien’s show below (if you’re brave enough).

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