Dan Cray | Not the Jazz Guy

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Folk: Singer/Songwriter Moods: Type: Lo-Fi
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Not the Jazz Guy

by Dan Cray

Flows from one beautiful, unsettling melody to the next, sometimes contemplative, at others softly abrasive, American Music Club, Pavement, Miracle Legion and Yo La Tengo come to mind.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Where U Been
5:06 $0.99
2. Wings
2:05 $0.99
3. A Little Less
4:42 $0.99
4. Tailspin
3:17 $0.99
5. Love
4:27 $0.99
6. Wait
4:08 $0.99
7. Piano
3:20 $0.99
8. Run
6:07 $0.99
9. Firing Line
3:47 $0.99
10. Walk Away
1:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
At first I wanted to be 'The Fonz.' I wanted the leather jacket (not the lame baby-blue wind-breaker he started the series with), I wanted the motorcycle, I wanted the chicks. Man, did I want the chicks. Then, for a short while, I wanted to be Evil Kinevel. I drew his all-American stars and stripes in crayon on my fathers white motorcycle helmet and raced up and down East Akard Street on my bike. I jumped the curbs, skidded whenever I'd gained enough speed, and tried desperately to ride a wheelie in a vain effort to impress chicks. Unfortunately I was top heavy, still young enough to have a head disproportionately large for my body encased in a helmet that weighed damn near a quarter of my entire body weight. I popped a wheelie that wouldn't stop, road-rashed my back, and chipped my dad's helmet. The chicks laughed. They laughed hard and they laughed long.
I decided to be a cowboy. Tough and rugged. I was going to become Clint Eastwood as the Man With No Name in all those old spaghetti westerns. I'd decided on a career. My life's path seemed clear until it dawned on me that, as cool as he was, Clint never really got chicks in those movies. He just seemed to get shot at. My future looked bleak.
Enter adolescence, the wonder of masturbation and music. New music.
Before junior high, I'd been satisfied with the oldies. I'd been weaned on them. My dad gave me his old mono tape recorder, and I made mixed tapes of the Everly Brothers, Sam and Dave, and all the one-hit-wonders the fifties had to offer. I new the words to every song Fonzie could have heard. I sang Del Shannon's 'Little Runaway' in the shower.
Until.
My older sister brought home Joan Jet's 8-track. It was those same fifties tunes, but something was different. The guitars. What the hell was going on with those guitars. Things came crashing home, I heard Sabbath's Iron Man on the bus to school. Boom Boxes were gaining momentum. Don't Fear The Reaper battled Golden Earring's Twilight Zone at recess. Crazy Train, Van Halen, Aerosmith's Dream On, and then...
THE KINKS.
Give The People What They Want. I had the 8-track, halfway through Back To Front it faded out, the player buzzed, then clicked, and it faded back in again. Around The Dial was an anthem, I couldn't believe the words. It was poetry, wrapped squirming around guitar hooks. Live fucking bait.
And sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, when you think you've got it good, it gets better.
I'd seen the words Pink Floyd scrawled across cinder block walls. At thirteen, I'd yet to smoke my first joint. We hadn't been told that drugs were bad, the Just Say No campaign was years away. Our parents weren't yet old or cynical enough to think that their kids might be using the same drugs that they themselves were still experimenting with. I'd heard the song, Another Brick In The Wall, but never associated it with the graffiti. I had however, associated the graffiti with the older stoner kids who hung out at the park. They were generally zit-faced, greasy-haired, and concert-shirt clad. By their very appearance, they seemed to be waging their own Just Say No campaign. I considered them a scary bunch of losers, and if this Pink Floyd guy was their idol, I wanted nothing to do with him.
But my friend Mike had just acquired a new, younger step-dad with a huge record collection. Mike found The Wall, and soon discovered that the Another Brick part was actually made up of three parts that were scattered throughout the album. I considered this a major oversight by this Floyd guy (I'd yet to realize that Pink Floyd was a band), and decided to set things straight. I borrowed the records, and went home to record the three parts sequentially. I'd seen his fans and so figured that Pink was probably just too stoned to know that two should come right after one and be immediately followed by three. I also decided that I'd try to listen to both albums start to finish, regardless of just how bad it might be.
I remember that day with the same clarity that others reserve for the Kennedy assassination. I dropped the needle down on my pawn shop BSR turntable and sat down at my desk with the liner notes. My second floor bedroom window contained the perfect summer afternoon, cobalt blue, cloudless skies filtered through the green of a huge elm, my neighborhood splayed out below. I could see my friends playing kickball in front of Tony's house. It was a day that every thirteen-year-old should spend outside. The kind of day that tugs thirty-year-olds back to thirteen. But I wasn't going anywhere, unless it was to turn up the volume. From the first, barely audible, 'we came in,' to the very last 'this is where,' I sat transfixed. Art. Goddamn Art. Much too small a word for what I was hearing.
Pink Floyd is arguably the best band in the history of mankind.
I decided that if stoners thought enough of Pink Floyd to deface public property, maybe stoners were on to something. Becoming a stoner was certainly easier than the whole cowboy thing, and the stoner chicks definitely had an air of easy about them.
Weed was plentiful in suburban Westfield, and joining the stoner ranks exposed me to a whole new library of music. Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' became the soundtrack to baked, winter night drives in Nick's Bonneville. Snowflakes bending, Buck-Rogers-ish away from the windshield, Nick punching the dash to the left of the tape deck to encourage the lazy auto reverse, then 'Sweet Leaf's' cough and the heavier-than-god guitar, its droning rhythms made dirtier by the slightly blown speaker in the back. The summer drives demanded Zeppelin, Zep III if it was raining.
We drifted back to the late sixties, tracing the nymph marijuana's forefathers. CSN and Neil Young, the Stones, Hendrix, Dylan, and the magic of T-Rex. To quote Bowie, 'Why do I need TV when I've got T-Rex.'
Then I got drunk and got the blues.

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