Rick Moon Releases "Experimental and Rocking" Video for "Cracker Jack"

"I have a love-hate relationship with Miami," Rick Moon says. His new video, "Cracker Jack," set to debut with a party at Gramps Saturday, December 15, exemplifies his mixed feelings about his adopted hometown. In the video for "Cracker Jack," a psychedelic, Flaming Lips-esque song that will be the opening track on his forthcoming album, Moon is clad in an absurd mask while about to enter a surprise party. Instead of reveling in a good time, he finds himself arrested and on trial before taking the stage to jam.

"The song is about telling the worst parts of you to fuck off. It had the connotations of being immature. My girlfriend had the idea that the video should show me wearing a mask instead of me being me. The director [Nick County] took that idea and made it his own. He bought a keg and made a party out of the video. There's so many characters in the video, all these local musicians like the Jacuzzi Boys. We ended up with an artful video that's also a reminder of how great the night was."

Moon gushes so profusely about the video experience it almost sounds like he enjoys Miami. He's quick to correct that notion. "Miami is a little weak compared to the music scene I came from in Puerto Rico where everyone knew each other. I've always felt the music scene here was lacking. I expected more from a big city."

Moon was born and raised in Puerto Rico as Ricardo Muñoz. "My dad was passionate in exposing me to different types of music. There was always an acoustic guitar around my house. When I was 12, after a lot of begging, he got me an electric guitar." A young Moon taught himself how to play Beatles and Oasis songs by studying the guitar tabs on his computer. Unfortunately, it wasn't music that brought Moon to Miami. "I came here to go to a drug treatment center ten years ago. I ended up staying."

Although he wants to be true to his inner self, Moon was happy to take a stage name. "I wanted a name that wasn't so Latin telenovela, like Ricardo Muñoz. I put 'Rick Moon' as a joke on my SoundCloud page, and I never came up with a better name. It's kind of a nod to Keith Moon."

The astral name fits his dreamy, psychedelic new video, which he says is a good example of what to expect from the album, slated to come out next year. "The new one is noisier — more experimental and rocking. The last one was folkier. I'm proud of how much more original the new one is."

He's ready to play some of these new songs with his six-piece band at Gramps, which is set to be a star- (or Moon-) studded affair. "Nick County and Oly with James Gold will do an acoustic set. At 10, we'll show the video. Then D.C. Perez and Jaialai will each do a set. Then I'm going to play. We want it to be a fun night and see what people think of the video."

In short, Moon plans to enjoy the company of some good friends in a city he finds hard to love.

Rick Moon's Music Video Premiere of "Cracker Jack." 9 p.m. Saturday, December 15, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; Admission is free.