No, really! And best of all, writer Grayson Currin folds in a charming, even funny interview with Dan and his Christmas Record partner-in-grime/dubstep Erin McGinn.
Here’s a leedle snippet of the article:
“Dan Bryk just released Christmas Record. It’s his first Christmas album. He insists it will be his last.
On the back cover, Bryk is dressed up as Santa Claus, his hyperbolic white beard falling all the way to the armrests of an oversized wooden chair. Bryk had his picture taken tonight, too: First, in front of a large, metal Christmas tree, smiling wide-eyed, like a kid whose holiday wait has finally ended. He had the same expression posing in front of a pink plastic pig that wore a red Santa hat. Christmas is this guy’s thing, right?
Not exactly. It’s perfectly believable when, not 15 minutes later, Bryk glances down at the sidewalk, shrugs and dismisses the whole thing: “I don’t know about Christmas, really. I guess it’s just not my season.”
Bryk isn’t kidding. The 30-something songwriter, known for his piano playing and keen observational wit, doesn’t hate Christmas, but he certainly doesn’t like it, either. Perhaps the front cover of Christmas Record tells the story of his antipathy best: A bright, red ornament is shattered across an otherwise pristine white floor. The shards are too big for the ornament to have been thrown. It looks like it was hanging high with seasonal spirit. Then it came crashing down. The hook that held it to the branch is still there. Maybe someone bumped into it? Maybe someone shook the tree? Or maybe it just got tired of trying.
That’s the sentiment of a Dan Bryk Christmas, detailed in what has to be one of the most self-effacing Christmas albums ever. It’s predicated neither on seasonal and spiritual joy nor money-making maneuvers. It’s just an honest (if exaggerated) appraisal of the holiday’s inspired difficultiesinfinite loneliness, bad luck, bankrupting ambitions and overactive materialism. You know, the kind of stuff that people call “cheer…”
And damn, he’s just getting started! Read the whole thing on their website. As if that wasn’t enough, Brian Howe (who also wrote a fantastic review of Love Me For Christmas for Pitchfork) gave Christmas Record a sweet album review AND to top it all off, they printed the entire lyrics to Great Adventure flanked by candy canes. It really is a sight to see! (Did we mention they even included a streaming player with both of those songs?)
Talk about a Christmas present!
Happy Holidays, Everybody!!!
From all of us (all over the place!!) at Urban Myth!