Meet these two musicians: Simon Williams and Eli Moore

Treasures from Tacoma's open mic scene

By Sean Contris on May 8, 2013

Equipped only with a steno pad and ballpoint pens Weekly Volcano intern Sean Contris braved the local music scene to find out what's hip, what's hop and what's happening.

Below, you'll find profiles of two local musicians: oddball instrumentalist Simon Williams and singer/songwriter Eli Moore. Readers who wish to learn more about these musicians and other bands need only put on some pants and hit the open mics.

Simon Williams

Simon Williams does not give the impression that he is a musical genius. Short, slouched and adorably awkward, Williams is unusually reserved and quiet with a mess of tangled and dirty hair. Yet he is an extraordinarily gifted artist with a knack for creating unique and disjointed - yet undeniably relatable - songs about being miserable and awkward.

At Williams' disposal are a large number of unconventional instruments that are played both by him and his constantly changing backing band, which has included names like "Simon and The Sunshines" and "Simon and The Sweaters."

Their instruments include hand-held bells; children's toys; glockenspiels; flutes; upright basses; and a large assortment of various hand-held percussion instruments that can be handed out to the audience to be played during the set. In terms of influence, Williams has been described as Daniel Johnston and Elliott Smith smashed together with the zany personality of The Flaming Lips. Yet he seems to bear a strong resemblance to Ariel Pink or a less experimental, nasally Captain Beefheart.

>>> Simon Williams

Williams has recorded an ever-growing plethora of material that can be found on his SoundCloud page. His shows are something to behold, and his quirky personality shines through the oddball instrumentation and desperately longing lyricism to create a live performance unlike anything else in the area.

In addition to his solo work, Williams has collaborated with a number of Tacoma School of the Arts songwriters, with whom he created some of the greatest compositions of his early career. Most notably, under the name of Adhesive Bazooka, he and fellow songwriter Kaleb DePoister created a concept Christmas Time EP with covers of Kanye West and Paul McCartney songs. With contemporary songwriter Josiah Thompson, Williams created what is arguably his greatest song - a track dedicated to the heartbroken and lonely on Valentine's Day. 

For more, check out Williams on his Facebook page or soundcloud.com/who-is-simon.

Eli Moore

Eli Moore is a singer/songwriter who wanders around Tacoma with an acoustic guitar in hand seeking food, comfort and anyone who will listen to his music. He performs primarily under the name of They Tigers as a songwriter who creates music in the early style of Animal Collective member Panda Bear, Washington native Phil Evrum (more commonly known as The Microphones or Mount Eerie), with touches of freak folk from the likes of Larkin Grimm and Grouper. Currently enrolled at SOTA, Moore has been part of a number of side projects that have allowed him to dive into a variety of genres including punk, ambient and even forays into avant-garde. His songwriting style comes from an intimate place that becomes more powerful if one knows him personally. Moore has a gift for words and, though awkwardly phrased at times, he is in touch with a well-constructed pop sensibility. Even at his saddest, he has the ability to stick choruses in your head.

Moore frequents coffee shops and is a prominent presence during open mic nights. Though his show schedule is sporadic, if you ever hear of an open mic night at Anthem, Tahoma Tea, or Metronome, it is a safe bet that he will be there.

Currently, Moore is branching out his music with the possibility of creating a new project with Shogun Barbie singer Aaron Berryhill under the name of The Nardines. But he is still on the lookout for shows and opportunities to record an EP.

Catch Moore at soundcloud.com/eliwamo or at one of his sporadic and last-minute shows.