Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dylan Brody's "Writ Large"

Dylan Brody is a humorist, not a stand-up comic. There is a difference between the two, as Brody explains on his new project, “Writ Large.” Mostly cuff links.

Brody doesn’t stand in front of a brick wall (well, maybe sometimes he does) spouting one-liners about his outrageous wife, his can-you-believe-this-guy boss, the female gender as a collective, or hurling good-humored racial insults at the crowd before him. Instead, he tells stories about life. Insightful, well-written (and well-spoken aloud), and reflective, Brody uses humor to enhance his tales like a chef uses a spice to season a dish and take it to the next level. 

If you’ve followed my writings for long, you know I’ve loved Brody’s work since the first time I had the pleasure to listen and review. Everything he’s done has struck a chord with me and this time around did not disappoint. He is someone with whom I’d like to sit down and share a pourover, mostly because I want to hear him tell more stories. (To be completely transparent, I also wouldn’t want to sit down with him and chat. He is so eloquent and well-spoken, even when he’s speaking off-the-cuff, I fear he would walk away from our conversation muttering, “Does that guy know about anything besides Muppets and Weird Al Yankovic?”)

Brody has a kind heart and, like myself, shares a romantic view of the world. When he is touched by something, he doesn’t want to merely tell you it touched him. He wants you to be touched by it as well. To say he succeeds is an understatement. 

When I listen to music, there are usually two different ways I take it in. The first is just to be used as noise, something to fill the silence in the background as I go about my daily routine. The second, though, is when I’m going for a specific mood or tone. When I’m sitting down to read or enjoy some coffee I’ll usually go for something like Miles Davis or Regina Spektor. On Friday afternoons when I want to just sing along and celebrate the weekend’s arrival, I’ll throw on the Billboard 1991 collection or my wife’s latest Pitbull-filled Zumba compilation.

Brody is my Miles Davis of spoken word. 

His comedy sets a specific tone and it’s perfect for those times you want to just kick back and hear a good story. On a recent road trip to Nashville I put on this album and my wife and I found it to be a perfect third companion. Together we smiled, laughed, chuckled, listened, savored, and “awww”-ed. We allowed Brody to transport us to the street outside of his Tae Kwan Do studio as he - and some local street “toughs” - learned a life lesson. We eavesdropped on Brody’s conversation with a sweet and kindly octogenarian at the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of his wife’s parents and we were both equally enraged at a couple of idiots in the crowd at the CD recording who laughed at a moment that was clearly not designed to be funny, but sentimental and sweet (I could go on about this if I let myself. It was a reaction so uncalled for, Brody was forced to pause and register it was actually happening. I’m glad he left it in though, if for no other reason than our visceral reaction showed me how much we connected with Brody and his process).

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I fell in love with this project. I have a man-crush on a CD and I’m not ashamed to say it. Brody makes me want to be a better writer. His humor makes me actively seek out the higher road of reacting to things in my own world and his way of savoring life’s little details makes me want to seek them out in my own. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Ed!I cannot begin to tell you the joy with which I get to start my day, thanks to your lovely review!I am so pleased not to have disappointed you with my latest recording.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.