“Several New Things Under The Sun”
(Velvet Fallopian Tube Records)

I never see people whistling while they walk down the street. Or while they work for that matter. Me? I sing to myself sometime in public. In the car or at home I might even sing out loud. You might wonder why I’m going on about this. Well, here’s why…

What does it take to get you to sing a song, or sing along, or hum even? Most of the tapes I review are of the experimental, electronic variety. Many of them are very good, all are worthy of my complete attention. But not many get me singing or humming.

Dan Lorie is an exception. His off-beat, sometime psychedelic pop could be folk music, but it isn’t. It could be and sometimes is outsider music. But only occasionally. Truth is he’s all over the place but the common theme is his ability to sneak a hook in every so often.

Take “Smothered and Covered” for instance. Great song, easy to remember and very catchy. Very. Same but even more so is “Lonesome Creek” which may be the best song on this collection. Side two is a little looser with some verbal intros and, I swear, some banjo even and closing with a track titled “Timothy Smith” which, best I can tell, never utters that name once.

Dan gets some help along the way. In addition to his vocals, guitar, keys and beats; he he ably assisted by Daniel Dominic Maneini (drums, keys), Vanessa Rehder (vocals), Jess Abel (bass), Garrett Burt (guitar), Randall Payton (guitar, banjo, dobro, suitcase), Aaron Semer (guitar, vocals) and of course, Bianea (cat).

I’m hesitant to label this as pop or rock or folk, but it’s all that and more and sometimes less. It’s a good tape, well recorded and produced and comes with a j-card chalk full of credits and artwork. I really, really like this and play it frequently. And yeah, I hum “Lonesome Creek” in my car.


-- Robert Richmond