SXSW 2008 has ended
Friday, March 14 • 10:30pm - 11:00pm
David Moore

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David Moore Plays On David Moore cut his musical teeth as a teen. Though he’s now a well-groomed married man with two children, the lyrical perspicacity that has endeared him to multiple generations both here and aboard continues unabated. Moore made his start in the thoughtful, archetypal hardcore band Split Lip. Formed in the late ’80s with guitarists Adam Rubenstein and Clay Snider, bassist Curtis Mead, drummer Charlie Walker and vocalist Stevie D. (Moore soon would replace him), the young outfit quickly captivated Indianapolis and surrounding music scenes as proficient, intelligent and wholly ahead of their time. Various bit releases and two full albums on Ohio’s burgeoning Doghouse Records later, Split Lip underwent drastic changes after becoming restless within the confines of their sound. Taking a new name from their retrospective song “Five Year Diary,” Chamberlain was born. Following a successful tour of Europe, Chamberlain recorded their most realized offering to date — 1998’s heartland-inspired “The Moon, My Saddle.” The band endured through lineup changes and unrequited flirtations with major labels before officially disbanding in early 2000. A Web site continues to keep the name alive and fan mail still comes from overseas. Moore obviously was disillusioned at the time with Chamberlain’s unfulfilled promise, though their legacy remains strong through a legion of believers. Time and wisdom have mostly tempered his disappointment. “Ultimately, I think we forgot about the shared, collective vision that got us to the point we were at, the height of our creative output,” Moore said. “We got away from what made us want to play music and play music together. We started to focus on peripheral things that didn’t do anything but detract from the creative process. We decided to break up before things got too nasty. We made sure we could walk away from it as friends before things got out of hand, which is kind of where things were heading or at least seemed to be.” All from Moore’s past is not lost. In 1997, when Chamberlain was based in Bloomington, Moore and Tim Jones, from the Sony 550/Epic Records-signed Indiana band Old Pike, would get together on weekends with members of both bands and jam. This incarnation was dubbed Chevy Downs and has survived on and off since. “It’s kind of funny to think we’re still doing it after we started it as a sort of whimsical offshoot of our other musical ventures,” Moore said. Chevy Downs is a conglomeration of Indianapolis music veterans, including Chamberlain alum Seth Greathouse on mandolin and banjo. They play a form of foot-stompin’, vintage country/Americana meant more for fun than brooding introspection. Their debut, “Songs From a Forthcoming LP,” has been complete for several months now, but won’t have its official release until sometime this summer. That can happen when its makers are spread out over the country and can only unite sporadically. “All of us have been in bands and played music in outfits that took it about as serious as you can take it,” said Moore, who admits long having an affinity for country music. “We decided when we started Chevy Downs that it was going to be the antithesis of that, just doing music for music’s sake and not really thinking about where it’s going to go. Things have gotten a little more serious lately, just because we’ve gotten more cohesive musically and started to really find our stride. I think it’s sort of one of those things where we do it one song at a time. Right now we have our focus on putting the record out. Anything that comes of it is going to be a happy surprise to any of us, I think.” What Moore counts closer to his heart is his recent reunion with Rubenstein. A few months ago, Moore met up with Rubenstein in New York to record a track for a Bob Dylan tribute. This recent collaboration so far has netted five or six songs that Moore believes will go on a future solo album. For Chamberlainites who momentarily are holding their breath, Moore says the new compositions do indeed share many characteristics from that famed collective. “I think this is (a natural progression),” he said. “It kind of takes up where Chamberlain left off. It’s just Adam and I, and we’re hiring studio musicians as we go to help us flesh everything out. That’s been kind of nice; it’s just the two of us. We don’t have anybody else that we have to filter ideas through. The stuff that’s coming out of it is pretty amazing, at least in my estimation. I’m really happy with it. Anybody who felt something with Chamberlain would, I would think, find something in this as well that they would like.” That’s monumental, because despite the most fervent prayers, Moore, for one, doesn’t foresee a Chamberlain reunion. Besides Rubenstein and Mead, he hasn’t communicated with any of his old bandmates in years. Scheduling conflicts aside, Moore is content to push forward with new insight and let his formative years in Chamberlain age gracefully in fans’ and acquaintances’ memories. “I think it’s best to let the Chamberlain years sort of lie where they are.” Written by Wade Coggeshall

Friday March 14, 2008 10:30pm - 11:00pm
The Rio 301 San Jacinto Blvd

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