A Dog Day Afternoon with Moon Pearl

A Dog Day Afternoon with Moon Pearl
Rebecca Aranda

Whether they're tearing up a trailer at UCI's Acrobatics Everyday, touring small venues throughout Southern California, or taking their dogs out for a day at the park, the members of Moon Pearl know how to have a good time. Its roster is large and fluctuating, but the majority of the band members (Matthew Towles, Katie Tilford, Paul McEldowney, Michael Mermelstein and Sam Farzin) come together for a band meeting...and a dog playdate.
Although Katie, Paul and Michael have been playing together in Moon Pearl for the past several months, this is the first time that their dogs have met. 

Michael's chihuahua-terrier Coco, Paul's puppies Max and Sandy and Katie's unleashed Riley tend to match their owners' personalities; it's easy to match each dog to its musician. Riley is small, adorable, and often happy; Paul's dogs have constant sleepy eyes and big smiles; Michael's Coco is brimming with an energy that can only be described as "shaka." Everyone at Citrus Ranch Park, dog or human, is a chill bro.

The core of the group, Sam Farzin, arrives late and dog-less.

"Aw, you didn't bring Mohammed?"

"Nah, he's at home." Mohammed is Sam's younger brother and "the closest thing I have to a pet."

Sam is the only member of Moon Pearl who has never had a pet. (Except for beta fish--and those are barely even fish!) Still, he gets a few pets, a few cuddles, and even manages to plop his hat on Riley's head.

OC Weekly (Rebecca Aranda): What kind of music do you think your dogs would listen to if they had the ability to purchase music and discern their tastes?
Paul: "Max would definitely listen to reggae. He's just that laidback. Sandy...I'm not sure."

Do you think your dogs would like going to one of your shows?
Michael: "Coco would probably whine the whole car-ride. She whined for most of the way here; probably thought she was headed to the vet. But she's pretty happy to be here with us right now. I feel like once she got to the show, she'd be really into it." 
Katie: "Riley doesn't like loud noises, so I don't think he'd like us very much--we're pretty noisy. But he's just...elderly. New music wouldn't be his thing."
Paul: "Riley is adult contemporary."

If Moon Pearl was an animal, what would it be?
Matt (without hesitation): "A Lisa Frank unicorn." 
Sam: "Or like, and this is sorta nerdy, but without the moon pearl, Link turns into a bunny. So maybe that. Link-turned-bunny, from the Zelda series. Or...or a unicorn with sparkly rainbows all over it."
Katie: "Exactly. Lisa Frank. Like we came off a Trapper-Keeper."

Matt, who has remained quiet for the majority of the interview, runs his fingers across the warped record that he brought along to use as a frisbee. Although he's enjoying playing with the other dogs, he doesn't have his own labrador retriever with him--she's older and a little sick.

It's a shame your dog's not feeling well...Do you think if she listened to your music, she'd feel better?
Matt: "Definitely."

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