A Merry Christmas from the Indy!!

Danta Claus

Dan Bryk is the lead story in this week’s Independent Weekly Music section!

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 difficulties—infinite 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 at their site. As if that wasn’t enough, Brian Howe (who also wrote a nifty 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!

Talk about a Christmas present!

Happy Holidays, Everybody!!!

From all of us (all over the place!!) at Urban Myth!

Bryk-O-Rama!!!

Bryk

Man, are we ever in love with the “-O-Rama” today!!

First, a flurry of Dan Bryk activity! The Bryk’s about to issue a cavalcade of one-off tracks while he finishes up his long-rumoured “difficult third record” Pop Psychology (which he keeps tweaking… most recently cutting some vocals at My Morning Jacket soundman Ryan Pickett’s Durham, NC studio.) While Dan was there, Pickett asked him to contribute some keys to veteran NC bluesman Skeeter Brandon‘s upcoming record.

But first, THE NEW TRACKS:
“We Don’t Care” (b/w “BecaRebecca”) is going to be the third release of PopUp Records’ Singles Club. (Their first track was Eric Mingus’ “Child As Target”, and the second was by Florida shoegazers Whirlaway, so let’s just say Bryk’s going to be in eclectic company…)

An overhauled, PG-rated version of “You Won’t Love Me For Christmas” is going to appear on Have a Holly, Raleigh Christmas” a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa benefit CD put together by the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association. Other Raleigh-based artists who contributed tracks include the Rosebuds, Nathan Asher, Schooner and the Brantley Family Singers. CDs will be on sale October 18th.

Yet another new song called “Hang Around” is going to be on the Raleigh Hatchet‘s upcoming compilation CD, and he will be playing Hatchetfest 2006 at King’s in downtown Raleigh Friday October 27th.

PIANOFEST

The next morning he will hop a plane to Boston for the 5th Annual ALL-DAY PIANOFEST, at the Lilypad in Cambridge’s Inman Square.

This venerable event will also feature UM artist(e) Lee Feldman (and a host of others who play piano much, much better) celebrating Boston’s unique piano culture. (The non-profit Lilypad, located in a national historic building registered as Cambridge’s oldest functioning commercial structure, serves as a community clearinghouse for a variety of innovative, disparate and often underrepresented voices in music, poetry, performance and visual art. The Gallery’s annual piano festival serves as a fundraiser to help defray costs associated with maintaining the building and the Gallery’s programs. Recently, The Improper Bostonian honored the Gallery with its “most fun you’ll have looking at art” award. UM fave Greta Gertler recently raved to us about playing the Lilypad’s 7-foot grand piano.)

LIVE ON WKNC

Bryk will um, promote all this activity with a live interview with DJ SteveO on Raleigh’s WKNC Friday, October 20th. Dan will be on air sometime between 6pm and 8pm on 88.1 FM or the interweb.

Lee on NPR’s New Sounds

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Lee Feldman was featured alongside Antony, Ed Pastorini, Bjork, Susanne Abbeuhl and Peter Gabriel(!) in a recent WNYC New Sounds program entitled Piano and Voice.

“Not So Simple Songs: This New Sounds highlights evocative but enigmatic songs for that apparently simplest of combinations – piano and voice.”

Listen to New Sounds (Lee’s Me and My Sara Remaining opens the show.)