Yes, yes… 2020 has been a bear. A few more weeks left, that’s all. The horizon is finally in sight. This may be no comfort to those who have lost loved ones, or the doctors and nurses who will struggle with PTSD for years to come, but I assume if you’re reading this you’re still here. Thank you for staying with us. And thank you, Science.
Please stay safe, keep following protocols until enough of us are immunized, keep the holidays to your immediate household, and keep the schools closed a little longer where needed.
And let’s all be vigilant for the next one should it come in our lifetime.
I remember the glimmer in Dave Celia’s eye before the gig years ago when he said almost conspiratorially “I hope you don’t mind, I have a song for you tonight, Bryk.” And then it showed up on his ace album This Isn’t Here and I basked in the glow of a first-rate takedown. Or compliment. Both, I think.
I stumbled onto Dave’s music around the turn of the millennium when by chance I stumbled across his band Invisible Inc. opening for someone else I’ve long forgotten. They were way more musicianly and classic rock-minded than the Queen Street indie crowd. I’d never heard anyone local (other than Swinghammer, or maybe Kevin Breit) play rock guitar with jazz fluidity and punk rock urgency, like Larry Carlton slumming with Steely Dan. Or something. All his songs weren’t quite there yet, you could still clearly pick off the influences, but his writing was way more ambitious than the new wave slackers and pub crawlers you would catch playing a thankless weeknight at C’est What.
Gently blown away, I introduced myself, (hopefully) bought him a drink, and soon realized we grew up barely a mile away in the shallow suburbs of Mississauga. He invited me over to his home studio and played me a bunch of songs that morphed into his first solo record Organica while my jaw kept dropping further with each song. I caught him every chance I could in the year or so before I departed on my great American misadventure, and I suppose my gratuitous tales of career success/failure/success/failure left an impression on him. Dave has worked much much harder at making an actual career of making music than I ever have, and when you hear him sing or even touch the strings, you’ll know it.
So it was double homecoming seeing Dave and Marla play last week. I love their duet record Daydreamers but didn’t realize they had re-recorded this—ahem—my song together as a standalone single. Check it out. And then work your way backwards through their catalogues for some tremendous awesome.
So here it is, nearly a year later, and I find myself not only completing but now actually demoing a batch of troublesome tunes. Songwriter musicians tend to open new album press releases with statements to the effect that their new stuff is “the best they’ve ever written.” In all honesty, I seem to have as much ambivalence about this particular bunch as I have about any of my songs. Are my new songs great? Probably. Are they awful? Yes, that too. Surprisingly for myself, I have even broached those long-avoided, practically loathed themes of parenting and adulting in general.
Moments after I write a good song, I immediately wonder if I’ll ever write another one. And so far I have. But as they say, your car keys are always in the last place you find them.
I designed a pledge drive T-shirt for Pseu Braun’s essential-listening Thing With a Hook radio show a while back and looks like they have the last few left for sale on the WFMU store. Now you can listener-support freeform radio and stealth brag for yours truly with one easy purchase!
How, exactly, does one solicit Wikipedians to update one’s Wikipedia entry? Is there a dark web where one leaves offerings of Chocodiles and Samwell Tarly fanfic in exchange for accuracy, if not flattery?
I hesitate to edit myself lest my neutrality or hell, notability be called into question. However, friends and complete strangers think I still live in Dar Es Salaam.
Let’s see… I’ve been back in the states since 2014, living in Durham NC for almost a year now. I’m doing very well under the circumstances. I will have some new music out there sooner than you’d expect and later than you think.
LOL after nearly three decades of hearing my name mangled every which way (my favorite being that Chicago Tower Records header card that read “David Bryck”) the bit that starts at 37:00 means an awful lot to me.
Welcome to the all-new Theme Artist Podcast, where we’ll feature honest-to-god record releases from fellow Theme People! This episode is about Futureman Records release If It Feels Good Do It – A Sloan Tribute and the many Themesters contained therein!
I almost forgot about taking part in Durham’s delightfully eclectic Pop Up Chorus a few years back, gleefully conducted by my old peep (and Pop Psychology hornsmith) Seamus Kenney. I never actually make it on camera (look for my striped blue short sleeve shirt from behind) but you can definitely hear me in there. It was a great time, but the next morning I got a brutal kidney stone. Damn you, salty delicious barbecue.