Bossa Nova Beatniks | The Moon Unit Live

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Pop: with Live-band Production Jazz: Bossa Nova Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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The Moon Unit Live

by Bossa Nova Beatniks

Bass, Drums, and Vocals paint a smooth and funky pop sound with touches of Jazz.
Genre: Pop: with Live-band Production
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Swamp Thing
4:08 $0.99
2. Fingers In The Cake
3:30 $0.99
3. Heart To Beat
4:15 $0.99
4. Deanne (Where Did You Go?)
3:52 $0.99
5. I Stole Your Heart
4:13 $0.99
6. Let Me Take You
3:54 $0.99
7. Ack Ack
6:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
We were trying to put together a live radio broadcast concert with George Graham at WVIA in Pittston, PA (near the Pocono's) as we had a while back. By the time I followed-up with George, all of the summer time slots had been filled. Summer was the only time we had available as Tori and Tim were home from school. So, George suggested that we do a recorded-live performance for a future broadcast as he had time slots available that suited our schedule. We were not certain as to what to expect. Tom and I only knew that our previous live broadcast performance was especially exhilarating. Nonetheless, we were thrilled to get back to WVIA.

The Moon Unit hopped into my truck on a beautiful summer evening for our trip to Pa. We encountered no traffic on I-80. We also enjoyed a beautiful respite from the Interstate driving on a local road through the Delaware Water Gap. After a brief refreshment stop, we continued on our way.

We arrived a few minutes before George's evening radio program's scheduled end. By the time we loaded-in our equipment, George was available to provide us with his full attention. We chatted as we set-up in a large storage room complete with Fry Babies and wonderful electronic stuff just outside the control room. The acoustics of the room were similar to that of a large club or dance hall. We were ready to play.

We warmed-up. George set-up the mics, sound levels and equalization. A wonderful vibe transcended upon us. As we are playing, each of us felt as if we were not playing, but listening to our music as if it was already recorded. We thoroughly immersed and enjoyed ourselves that evening.

We had made the choice early in the summer to totally strip the band down to its basic beat level. We felt that it was most important that every member of the band be focused on the songs and not to add casual players to the mix just to satisfy the expected line up of a band. The solid core of the Beatniks represented by this recording constitutes what we refer to as the Moon Unit, a term coined by our friend and one time bass player, Alex Quinlan, to signify the heart and soul of a band's essential members. It is particularly significant a title for this release due to the role that space plays in these recordings.

The experience of our performance that night in Pennsylvania provided us with the boost of confidence that made our trip to the heartland so much fun.

George Graham did such a great job capturing the sound that defines the Bossa Nova Beatniks, that we had to press the recordings into a CD that was released on 11/11/2000. Of course, we called the CD, 'The Moon Unit.' We would like to thank NASA for making the CD graphics available to us. I do not know what else to say, so, to quote our friend George Graham, "the group creates clever, rhythmically infectious music that defies ready categorization." That being said, (thanks George) why not give it a listen, and let us know what you think.



to write a review

Kevin Amorim

Blasts off with congas so cool
"The Moon Unit" blasts off with congas so cool and precise from Tim Stapleton, you won't believe this seven- song disc, the Bossa Nova Beatniks' fifth, was recorded live in one take at a radio station-outside Scranton, Pa., of all places. The congas pave the way for "Swamp Thing," singer-songwriter Tom Gould's ode to Wes Craven's love- in-the-bog '80s film, and you can bet your morass this weird one is a good one. (Speaking of movie-related tracks, "Ack Ack," the band's great interpretation of "Mars Attacks!," closes things here.) Between those otherworldly tales, singer Tori Mierlak keeps things temporal with her teasing vocals on "I Stole Your Heart" and the Carib- bean-seasoned "Fingers in the Cake." Pounding things into place, most noticeably on "Heart to Beat," is drummer George Vahamonde.
For a live document, Gould and his unit should be proud-there are some bands out there that would love to sound like this after spending three weeks in a studio.

Aiding & Abetting

Sly, smart, seductive songs in the best possible light
This band has one of the more appropriate names I've ever heard. The songs light pop, driven often enough by a bossa nova (or other vaguely Latin) beat and punctuated by the instrument of the beat movement--congas. Big ones, mind you, and not the little pipsqueaks you might be expecting.

The lyrics are sly, befitting the loungish feel perpetrated by the band. This is music for sitting back and enjoying, and it's real easy to do just that. There's nothing contrived or smarmy in the writing or the playing. The songs are dished out with a nice helping of style.

Most importantly, this is a live recording, which only increases the loose feel. In fact, there's a thousand ways for a band like this to really screw things up in the studio. The biggest mistake would be to somehow make this music into something that it isn't. Like loud, obnoxious or crude.

But rather, the live setting allows the Bossa Nova Beatniks to show off their smart, seductive songs in the best possible light. Nothing complicated here; just good music.


Super fun music!
Fun music and very singable lyrics. We had "Fingers in the cake" stuck in our heads after about the 2nd listen. Buy this cd, you'll like it.

paul magee

bongo coolness!!!
these guys are great writers and musicians. i took a chance on this based on the review and was not disappointed. the bass lines and percussiveness dare you not to dance along, my kids love it too. i definitely will checking into more of these guys--hope to see them live soon too 'cause they really pull it off on stage.


I'm not usually a fan of this type music, but there are some songs on here that I just keep hearing in my memory. The music and beat are quite compelling and the lyrics just stick with you! I liked it!