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Interview w/ Kate & Jason & another w/Fred Cole of Dead Moon

Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story

a documentary film by Jason Summers & Kate Fix

Seattle Weekly, Jan 5, 2005:

Utterly unpretentious, organically wayward, homespun, and purposeful without being overly sentimental, this film fits its subject perfectly. Documenting the trajectory of the Portland trio Dead Moon (including the prior solo and garage-rock careers of Fred Cole), Passage is the ultimate punk-rock feel-good flick; there isn't a band that better embodies the sounds and ideals of its genre while simultaneously inspiring an authentic sense of friendship, family, and truth.

NYTimes Article about Dead Moon

About Dead Moon

European Tour Photos

Best known for being the coolest grandparents in music, Clackamas, Ore.'s husband-and-wife singer-songwriters Fred and Toody Cole are in their 50s, yet they're exponentially better than kids half their age who are many times more commercially successful. Although age is the second-most distinctive feature of the country- and blues-edged rock trio (which also includes drummer Andrew Loomis), Passage doesn't belabor the issue. A German fan effuses about how remarkable it is that they're as old as his parents yet infinitely hipper, but for the most part, the movie smartly sticks to chronicling Fred's '60s-era psych/soul garage output—and the bands that led up to him teaching Toody to play bass so they could eventually form Dead Moon in 1987. Informing the music of all Fred and Toody's projects is the personal history of the Cole family; they're as left-of-center and oddly spiritual at home as they are onstage, and the DIY spirit pervades on both fronts.

Aside from some pretty amazing footage of the Coles' criminally overlooked proto–new wave band the Rats, Passage is relatively light on vintage live performances—although there is plenty of great musical accompaniment for an entertaining array of old photographs. Extensive interviews with fans and family, Loomis, and Fred and Toody (mostly conducted in the couple's secluded, self-constructed homestead) complement the performance clips. As Toody discusses raising their kids and Fred explains his strange superstitions and purposefully rustic recording aesthetic, fans will be happy to rediscover what they already know: The reason Dead Moon have triggered an underground, almost familial following at home and in Europe is that behind the affecting, raw, and primal rock, there are three people whose lives are worth listening to. (NR) - LAURA CASSIDY
Fred Cole of Dead Moon at the Patronaat Club in Haarlem, Netherlands

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