Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dylan Brody's "Dylan Goes Electric: Live at the Throckmorton"


Back in 1984 I was a 13-year-old sitting in an Indiana Junior High classroom getting the “Don’t Do Drugs” talk from a representative from the local police force. Although I agreed with the basic gist of his speech (What can I say, I was a good boy), there was something that didn’t quite sit right with me; Something about his spiel just didn’t make sense. I couldn’t put my finger on it but, like watching any effects-heavy retouched George Lucas film, you can tell that something didn’t line up. 

No, I hadn’t heard about that kid who was speeding down the back roads at an ungodly rate, tripping out on MARIJUANA, but why would a policeman lie? It seemed logical that he saw a deer (every Indiana story has a deer) and yes, I had heard of the hallucinogenic effects MARIJUANA has on a person (this was back in the day when MARIJUANA was the worst drug my little town had seen. Fast forward to 2014 when Garrett IN has twice as many meth labs as it does stoplights), and it only made sense that he saw the deer morph into a dragon and it scared him so badly he veered off the road, hit a tree, and he died instantly.

If only Dylan Brody had been there to play Sherlock Holmes to my John Watson. He would have pointed out to me that no one could have known what someone else was seeing before they died instantly. I had completely forgotten about that cautionary tale until I listened to Brody’s new project, “Dylan Goes Electric: Live at the Throckmorton” and he re-counted a similar tale told to him as a youngster (without the deer and with marijuana swapped out for a much more appropriate drug of choice). 

Brody is back with another collection of stories that are just as wonderfully and meticulously crafted as any he’s told in the past (readers of this blog already know I’m a Dylan Brody Fanboy), and it’s nice to re-visit a dear friend. He begins this CD with a few stories about his mother that will connect with anyone who’s tried to walk an older relative through the workings of [insert any technological item that’s been invented since the year 2000 here]. 

As you hear Brody’s patience get stretched to its limit while Mrs Brody struggles with understanding her GPS, the earth’s rotation, and the music of The Mountain Goats, you can’t help but empathize with his clenched teeth and the sarcastic asides that he must - he must - say out loud so as not to fly off the handle. That’s what I love about Brody. He never yells at someone even if they might have it coming (like his ridiculous mugger-turned-panhandler), but exacts his own revenge by taking the higher road, happily hovering over them, leaving them standing in a cloud of misunderstanding while he and his father snicker at wordplay on “ad hominem.”

You think we’re here for standup comedy, but really Brody is here to tell a poem (it just has a 55-minute intro). When we finally get to his poetry you’ll find it was more than worth the wait. His Seuss-ian Sudoku piece will make both your mouth and ears smile even though it’s sure to ruffle the feathers of Star Wars nerds everywhere (Say it with me: “ANAKIN!!!”)

If/when you do purchase this album, I encourage you to take the time to browse the liner notes. Not only will you enjoy some of Brody’s own artwork but his written commentary adds a nice touch of flair to each piece. In a time when CD art has become a lost skill, it’s nice to see it hasn’t been forgotten. That’s what you get when you’re dealing with a perfectionist like Brody. When he does something, not only does he do it well, he does all of it well.  Brody knocks it out of the park time after time after time and this go-around is no exception. Plug in “Electric” and see for yourself.

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