John Tabacco | Dryer Than You'll Ever Be

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Dryer Than You'll Ever Be

by John Tabacco

Various American song styles ranging from reggae to gospel, to manic cartoon, to pop funk to confessional folk to jazz waltz to 50's rock to country to acid to piano vocal.
Genre: Pop: Quirky
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Maybe I...
3:18 album only
2. Rumble Strips
0:36 album only
3. The Digit Fin Revival 1998
4:14 album only
4. Freeze Dried Baby Surprise
4:59 album only
5. Sister Quinn And A Horse Named Hobby
3:01 album only
6. Hungry For A Pony Ride
3:35 album only
7. Kindergarten Memories With JT & ND 1993
1:41 album only
8. What's Become Of Me?
4:53 album only
9. One Solid Answer
4:51 album only
10. Sister Quinn In Dummyland (JT/LT 1981)
0:44 album only
11. Small Midi Clot In Bed
0:22 album only
12. Poor Freak Rudy
7:01 album only
13. Shoot It!
8:40 album only
14. World Of Stone
2:29 album only
15. The Holy Lan' Is My Ashtray
4:21 album only
16. Sunrise Can Fool Me
4:57 album only
17. He Dies Again And Again
1:19 album only


Album Notes
Dryer Than You’ll Ever Be ... What?

The majority of these songs were realized on a Casio CTK 6ll keyboard my mother had in her room that houses most of her “intricate miniature replications”. Depressed as usual, (which oddly enough brings out the creative in me) I sat there in front of this munchkin sized self-contained sound replicator and jokingly said to myself: “Hum, a hundred rhythms on board.” “I guess I’ll write hundred tunes.” I ventured out into the garage and found an ancient boom box with a built in cassette deck which when pushed into record, would make a noise so foul you couldn’t use it to tape anything. I psychically located a pair of cruddy Walkman headphones buried in a closet and plugged it in to the mic input of the box. That made the recording a little more palatable to the ears, at least good enough for me to hear my ideas back. I sat down all confident like and just went through each preprogrammed rhythm. I played bass patterns on my left hand. The bass notes would trigger a cute, generic accompaniment you could sing a melody over. I sang what ever came to mind. All of it subconscious stuff centered around sexual things, horses, religion and the word “sister”. In two hours I had about thirteen ideas for songs. Some more finished than others. I went home with this scratch tape and listened to it in the car about 20 times. Shortly there after, I brought the CTK 611 back to the studio and proceeded to dump in various rhythms of then solidified ideas, into an Apple Quadra computer. I edited them up, leaving me a good working two track mix to sing over. The finalizing of the lyrics came quickly and minimal overdubbing was obvious. This was just stupid fun while I awaited word from the people at Sony Studios about whether they were interested in licensing the SA3™ mastering process Bob Ball and I had been hawking since 1995. As it turns out they were only interested in schematics about the process. Eventually they gave up calling us after realizing we weren’t about to disclose any significant information without a legally bound contract .

The CTK611 keyboard was like having a new writing partner. But one who was not wishy washy about the ideas it presented and of course as far as I could see not particularly emotionally attached to whatever changes I wanted to make. You get what you get and make the best of it. The challenge was to take generic sounding background stuff I would never think of and impose my own idea of what this style should sound like. Tabacconize it . Of course leaving it as a mere demo did not quite sit right with me. I executed fairly decent vocals on these suckers and if I decide to record these pieces with a “real band” I may still use them.

The catch phrase that runs through out: “Dryer Than You’ll Ever Be” is the kind of absurd commercial slogan some robot consumers would actually fall for without even questioning the logic. Typical Slip Code jive. Here it is. You need it. It doesn’t even work but you have to buy it anyway. We say so. You get my drift? So why is it in these songs you might be wondering? Well, my housemate Gian DiMauro wrote the word “dryer” in big letters on the erasable bulletin board we have in our kitchen referring of course to the state of his laundry. Not happy to leave well enough alone, I tagged on the words “than you’ll ever be.” We had a brief laugh about it and that became the phrase of the month. So I commemorated this bit of existentiality in this recording. Does it have any other real significance? Probably, but limited space here doesn’t permit me to go into any in deep cosmic details. Lucky you.

Basically, this collection of songs reflects the bullshit I’ve been going
through, trying to advance my career in the music as well as spiritual
world. I’m pretty sure at this stage of the game that I am not welcome in Music World and I suppose I will float peacefully in the waters of musical obscurity as long as Sonic Underground Studios is around. As for spiritual truth, I think I’m getting closer to something wonderful the more I give up my expectations and read between my immediate reality. I think. Anyway, that’s about it for now. Bye.

- JT 4/4/99

This CD is dedicated to my sister Laura, Gian DiMauro, Marci Geller, Jamie Yarsky, Sirka Louca and George Harrison



to write a review

Music Plus and Minus

Songs that are bizarre, playful, compelling and catchy as hell.
Tabacco writes catchy tunes with unexpected lyrical twists. Here, he takes on so many song styles and topics it's dizzying. Yet the CD flows together nicely due to the fact that most of this work was done just using a simple Casio keyboard. The results however are not cheesy but rather polished. His vocal delivery is assured as usual and in numbers like Shoot It and Poor Freak Rudy where no Casio is involved the results are equally compelling. The beautiful ballad Sunrise Can Fool Me is worth the price of the CD. Tabacco is an interesting musical character worth checking out.

Anthony Pomes

Here's the best reason for the advent of the Casio!
Shackling himself while writing this album to a single dinky Casio keyboard did for John Tabacco what filming from a single NYC apartment window did for Alfred Hitchcock in his classic film REAR WINDOW - the confinement results in
tuneful liberty. From the bouncy faux-Caribbean steel drum frolic of "Maybe I" to the heartbreaking melancholy set down in "One Solid Answer," Tabacco finds that sweet spot between fresh melodic invention and that ol' familiar
feeling that only the best music delivers. Listen in "Poor Freak Rudy" for the arbitrary drone of a crummy vacuum cleaner running through the rhythm track (it really sounds like a thoughtless maid came in while Tabacco
was recording the tune). Lastly, Tabacco's understated take on George Harrison's little-known mid-'70s solo gem "World of Stone" proves that the very best musical artists always make the old into something new just
by being themselves. Mr. Tabacco is most definitely (and defiantly) being himself on this superb album.