Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dylan invades Dayton

I checked the link to new Dayton musician Jordan Hull upon recommendation from the Dayton site Buddha Den (see links).
At first I wasn't sure what to think of Hull's music. To make clear: I'm a pretty long-term Dylan fan. If someone says their favorite Dylan song is "That everybody must get stoned song," I avoid them immediately. I may hit them with an upper cut to the chin to make my point clear.
So the minute I hear someone that sounds like they may be trying to ape Dylan's voice, I get suspicious. But after checking out all the tunes on Hull's Myspace site, I can see he is pretty unique. His voice does sound a lot like Dylan's (almost to the point of doing an impression) but he also sounds a lot like Leon Redbone too. But it comes off very natural and not so much a posture. Overall the songs are more rooted in traditional folk than Dylan's later work. Hull's more cabaret/parlor folk, than Woody Guthrie.
I get the same feel from Hull's music as I do from another Dayton musician named Wes Tirey. In fact, on stage Tirey looks like the spitting image of Dylan circa-1965. But both are able to create their own unique voices.
I say check them out and form your own opinions.

When it comes down to it, many musicians start out trying to be the next Dylan or the next Jimi Hendrix or the next so and so. Some never make it beyond a simple posture. Remember all those bands sounding like Pearl Jam in the late 1990s? Remember all the lame singers who sounded like Dave Matthews? That was the worst.
The good musicians are able to mix the styles of their heroes with their own unique voice and it can become something interesting. That's what happened to Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, isn't it? Ozzy Osbourne wanted to be the next Beatles. Kurt Cobain wanted to be the next Pixies.
It makes me think of other cities in the region and if similar things are going on. Like the obvious love The Lindsay has of Sonic Youth. Or how a ton of bands in the 1990s (especially in Columbus) wanted to be the Afghan Whigs.
I think it's really interesting how Noise Rock can be growing so much in Ohio and yet simple acoustic guitar musicians keep multiplying too...


Michael Oliva said...

I really enjoyed this article man, infact I've been enjoying alot of the views you've shed in the past few months. You bring up topics alot of musicians need to be talking about and need to see.

I think some musicians get lost in their own influences, and forget that even if they write a badass song, and enjoy playing it so much because it sounds JUST like their influences, they ignore the fact that they aren't creating art. Instead they're writing Kurt Cobain songs, Strokes songs, Beatle songs, and Dylan songs.

Even I fall into sometimes, but I think the key is mixing the old with the new, like you said, and we really need to see more of that!


Christopher Animalhead said...

There's definitely nothing wrong with TRYING to sound like your heroes - except the dudes who are trying to sound like Dave Matthews, because he totally sucks. But there is something innately wrong with the bands that ignore their own ideas and pick a genre or person they want to sound like. I remember how bands all started to write songs like Pearl Jam in the 1990s. It was a mess. Then Dave Matthews got popular and they started doing that. I think Red Wanting Blue is a good example of that.

Michael Oliva said...

Yeah I know what you mean. You should definitely try to emulate what your heroes stood for, and what they were trying to do. The bands that just try to sound like whats hot right now, should be buried alive, for they have no musical conviction or direction.