MP3 Abel Mouton - Singled Out
Smart pop songs performed with an aggressive, egalitarian spirit.
12 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, ROCK: Punk
CD Baby Bio
ABEL MOUTON is a songwriter and performer living in San Francisco, California.
“Best city on earth. I start to miss it when I’m on my way to the airport…”
Abel began writing pop songs in 1986 as a member of the band Dr. Teeth and The Electric Retainers. Their first single, “Rock My Toe,” was backed with a B-side called “I Don’t Know If I Can Breathe Without You,” a title later ripped off to create a much better song for Leanne Rimes.
“There’s no justice,” observes Abel.
From 1986-1992, Abel honed his skills as a bassist and writer in the popular Northern California dance band, Public Sector.
“We broke up just as the ska revival of the ‘90s began to kick in. We were at least 3 years ahead of our time,” opines Abel.
In 1989, Abel left Mendocino County to roam the United States eating magic mushrooms and listening to Led Zeppelin III on his walkman. If that wasn’t enough of a transformative experience, that also happened to be the very year that Elvis Costello’s landmark curiosity SPIKE, The Beloved Entertainer came out.
“I really liked that record. Elvis did whatever he wanted, and it worked more than it didn’t and I loved it. A very courageous record. Someday, not today, I’ll write an article about how profound an impact SPIKE had on me. I had a similar experience a couple of years later listening to Los Lobos: KIKO after having taken a hit of LSD. Maybe I’ll put that in the article, too,” says Abel.
Abel spent a few years playing bass and singing in the Sonoma County freak rock trio FISTFULL OF YEN, or FISH FILLED WITH GIN, or FISTF****D AGAIN.
“This was a band that could take a crowded dance floor filled with people having a good time and clear it by the third song,” says Abel. “I learned a lot about what not to do that way.”
In 1997, Abel formed a songwriting partnership with Evan Reynolds, called Racket Science.
“This band was a lot of fun. All we did was record different versions of the same tune. We’d do a straight version, and then totally screw it up with effects. But when the record came out, nobody liked it except us,” says Abel. “After a while, we gave up on it too. We had written a bunch of great songs for our next project though…”
Re-tooled versions of some of these songs appear on “Singled Out”.
After Racket Science ended, Abel spent a few years trying to foment the socialist revolution in the center of imperialism, running for Public Office in San Francisco no fewer than three times while co-editing SF Frontlines, one of SF’s most hated and feared left wing dailies.
“Politics is an even more expensive hobby than music,” deadpans Abel. “I got out of politics and started playing music again in 2002, and I only just paid all my political debts this year, which is 2006.”
But this political consciousness continues to express itself in his music.
“My first solo release, DEADPAN RAMBLER, featured a song that basically encouraged the Bush Administration to engage in outrageous sexual acts rather than pursue its warlike aims. ‘Singled Out’ contains a political number called ‘Fire Hazard’, which is even more offensive to patriots, I hope,” says Abel. “I’m still looking for that spoonful of sugar. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of medicine that needs to be taken.”
“DEADPAN RAMBLER was intended as an homage to Woody Guthrie, who I consider to be the mighty river from which I trickle as an artist. But most of them were pop tunes, and my friend Ian thought they would work well with a power pop production style more akin to the Foo Fighters. My mind started to run away with it, and I thought it would be cool to try and do something that would reference all of the more rocking music I had enjoyed growing up, like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, The Clash, Stone Roses, The Cure, Sugar, and so on. I had all of these people around me extolling the virtues of rock, and I wanted to make a record that would kick all of their rear ends, prove I could do it better.
“So now it’s done. Ian and I selected the tunes together from over 15 years worth of material, trying to make the rockingest record we could. The title reflects the song selection process: we picked the songs to be singles, every one a hit. We had great support from Ralph Spight, the singer/guitarist from Victims Family, giving it that extra push where we really needed it.
“It’s a feminist record. It’s an anti-racist record. It’s an aggressive record calling for a more pro-active approach to life. And there’s a couple of jokes in it too.”
“I hope you buy it, and if you buy it, I hope you like it, and if you like it, I hope you tell your people about it. I’m just trying to make the place a little nicer for I go. I thank you for your time,” says Abel.