Monday, November 29, 2010

The Dylan Storey Story

The first I heard of Dylan Storey was about six years or so ago, when my flatmate gave me a three-track promotional CD and said 'hey, check this out, I bet you'll like this.'  I had recently moved to Auckland at this point and maybe I was a little bit lonely, becuase I remember that I put the CD on and thought 'man, that's a really amazing guitar sound.  I wonder if this Dylan Storey wants to be friends with me?'  In those days, of course, we didn't have the Internet beamed directly into our brains yet, so if you wanted to be 'friends' with somebody, you had to go and meet them in real life.  This is actually a bit easier for musicians than it is for real people though, because whereas if non-musicians want to cultivate a friendship with somebody they have to try to think of interesting things to have opinions about, musicians can just invite each other around to their houses to play with their toys.

Dylan always says he doesn't like cats.  You decide.

I seem to recall that shortly after hearing this three-track promotional CD, I went along to the Odeon lounge to see the release show for 'Up  in the Rough,' Dylan's first album, and I became a fan.  This is probably a rare example of one of those little promo CDs actually achieving its desired effect, although the fact that I don't run a record label or a powerful music publication concern has probably limited the positive impact I have been able to have on Dylan's career to date.  What I did do, though, was ask him to join my band.  I may have at the time implied that we would shortly be making heaps of money or something to that effect, because he said yeah, OK, and suddenly I had a band.  The other person in the band was Ms. Kate Whelen, who is now the mother superior of the Sisters of Saint Rupertsberg, who I gather are a force to be reckoned with. It wasn't too long before we were loading everything into the back of Kate's van and heading off on this ridiculously error-prone tour around New Zealand in the dead of winter, during the course of which we dealt with snowstorms, landslides, lost wallets, empty gastanks and storms at sea, and all this before the second night when we got Christchurch to discover that we'd been double-booked with The Feelers.  Fortunately, we had Reb Fountain along, who is pretty good at driving in snow, and she also saved the day by finding us a better place to play that night, which incidentally is how we met The Eastern.

The other thing Reb did, though, was steal my band.  I am not bitter about this, because while having a band is quite good for things like getting out of the house and having regular contact with other humans, it does necessitate getting out of the house and having regular contact with other humans.  Also you have to organise things and it's sort of your fault when you book a tour that turns out to be riddled with snowstorms, landslides, storms at sea and The Feelers.  As well, since I was part of the band that she stole, I got to keep on playing in a band with Dylan Storey, it just wasn't my band any more.  That was actually pretty good, because a) I didn't have to organise anything much, and b) we got Simon Gooding in to play guitar too, so he and Dylan could play these really nerdy harmony solos and crack each other up on stage. 

Dylan explaining how glaciers work

So basically, I've been playing in bands with Dylan for about five years or so, and we've spent quite a bit of time hanging out in vans together.  He knows the names of all the birds and most of the stars, and he likes to play Led Zeppelin songs at soundcheck.  His song 'the water' was to my knowledge the only bFM #1 hit single ever to have both a 5/4 time signature and a flute solo, and he writes songs about awesome things like space.  He's got this way of playing guitar solos that pretty reliably makes me grin like a dog at a duckpond, and he knows all the words to 'Up On Cripple Creek' by The Band, even though they don't make a lot of sense.  Since I've know him, he's released two more albums, both of which are amazing, especially 'Out Of The Soup.'  I had a lot of fun while I was overseas playing that album to people, who would invariably say things like 'what?  Who's this guy?  This is awesome!  He's from New Zealand?'

Anyway, the reason I mention all this is that last Friday, Dylan released a new EP of some stuff he's been working on lately.  It's called 'the power of suggestion,' and I suggest that you will like it.  He's doing that thing where it's free to download, so obviously he's figured out something about economics that I don't understand or maybe he reads those blogs about the future of music distribution or something.  Anyway, what I'm saying is, it's really good, and you can have it for the price of a glass of water, so go get it from here.   It's got harmony guitar solos.