We now pull out the final cargo in Tom Dyer’s obscure and tenuous past: Beautimus and other sounds of the Nineties. Here’s the lowdown.
Ones and zeros. Atoms. The songs on the album all come from the 90’s and were all recorded at the now-shuttered Art Institute of Seattle (AIS), where I was faculty and later department director. I was working full-time, a dad with young kiddos, and a student at the UW, so none of these were real gigging bands. No time! These were recording projects and Lord knows I love to record! Only six of these nineteen songs have ever been released anywhere and even those locations were tenuous and obscure.
Beautimus was a most rocking combo made of former students of mine, folks from bands I had recorded and some fine old pals. I had written this batch of songs and decided it would be big fun to pull something together and lay down some tracks in the AIS studios after hours. They were all better players than me – I always like that and we got things done fast. We even made a video for The Prize, which fortunately remains hidden in the mists of time. After the project was wrapped, we played one glorious show at The Sunset Tavern in Ballard opening for the Green Pajamas. What a great band!
Gravy was a short-term studio-only beast with Scott McAllister and Dave Wheeler – these two songs are our collected works. They were made up all on the spot – no practice or planning, just glory. Marcel Rom was a friend of Scott’s who happened by and we got her to sing on “Satellite.”
B.L.O.G. (bunch of lame old guys) 1&2 were a faculty/staff bands tossed together over the between-quarter breaks. I mostly provided the songs - general mirth ensued. While most of the songs were written in advance, there was nothing resembling rehearsal involved – get the basic idea, hit record! Overdub a few bits, mix and head for the bar across the street at the Edgewater Inn (yes, the Beatles fished from their windows and Led Zep did the nasty with groupies and mud sharks there). “Heavin’ Tiny Sandwiches” was a hidden track on The Young and The Restless compilation on the school’s 3:23 Reckerds label (the name for the label came from Steven King’s The Stand whose Larry had the last ever Billboard #1 – it was 3:23, the Reckerds spelling came from Art Chantry). A music video of “We Are B.L.O.G.” was entered in the AIS faculty show and put on endless loop in the gallery, much to the consternation of the receptionist. It did not win a prize but was no doubt exceptional.
I’ve been thinking about doing this release for 10-12 years, but it remained on the To Do list. Perhaps it took a pandemic to become reality, because this year I have emptied the old stuff closet, between this and Truth or Consequences. It was only when I pulled this release together that I realized (duh) this whole bag of songs was tied to the Art Institute in the 90’s. The front cover is a self-portrait I created for the faculty art show – using a picture of me taken by a now-unknown student, a Fender amplifier schematic and a NASA photo of Saturn. The show entry print was black and white and about 4 feet tall – big head! The back-cover photo was taken by a then-student on the roof of AIS.
This release empties the Tom Dyer closets of yore. You may now sleep easy.
April 2020. Tom Dyer has just got out of the time machine with an album he made in 1983, Truth or Consequences, loaded with a bunch of tasty surprises remixed, remastered, re-whatever, with 21 bonus tracks. Here’s the scoop.
Dyer: Fall 1983. That’s when Truth or Consequences originally came out. Truth (GM002), along with the same-day-released compilation, Local Product (GM001), was my first music available to the public in record stores. Not my first recorded music – The Adults/Colorplates - Agony & Ecstasy (GM1017) predates this, but was not unleashed until thirty years after the fact. The music on Truth followed in the ashes of that band; this was truly my entrance into the recording life. The first two songs on the album were recorded in 1982 at a real 16 track studio, Triangle Studios, with The Enemy’s Peter Barnes on drums, The Cheaters’ Al Bloch on bass and The Pin’s Pat Hewitt engineering. It was exhilarating. From there I bought a 4-track Teac 2340 reel-to-reel and the results are pretty much what you will hear on this expanded ToC, all recorded from ’82 thru early ’85. Three songs, “Get Modern,” “Sheila” (demos for my second and pretty much overlapping band, The Icons) plus “A Pearl” were done on the 8-track Tascam 38 reel-to reel that replaced the Teac.
The original ToC had eleven songs, Side A the darker rocking songs – with real drums, Side B the more whimsical pop side with programmed fake drums - the eternal Dyer dark-shit/weirdo-pop song dichotomy set in motion. The two sides of the cassette are presented in their original order as the first songs on each of the two discs. The Dichotomy is mostly observed for the remainder of each side.
I’ve thought about re-releasing Truth for some time. A few of these tunes popped up on my Songs From Academia Part 1 & 2 as well as the It Crawled from The Basement comp in 2009. Most have not been heard beyond friends and the few bold people that bought this stuff at Cellophane Square in the U District or through the mail back in the day. This is not simply the original eleven songs – there are an additional 21 songs. A few were tracks with vocals released on the largely instrumental I Lived Three Lives (GM005) (most of the instrumentals appeared on Academia Vol. 2), a couple appeared on Local Product. The rest are period recordings that for better or worse make their first appearance here.
I was not a purist in my approach to presenting these songs, in mastering (and in several cases, baking old tapes and remixing) I just tried to make them sound good using the tools I have today. I didn’t re-record anything – the performance remains stock!
These tracks certainly don’t sound like fancy modern recordings, but I think they capture the essence of where I was at in 1983 in a pretty pure manner.
2019 was Dyer’s year for 1+1 = ? - an album of collaborations. TD and mostly one other person, trying to make a sound that is interesting, pure, unfettered. The orchestrated opener, “Everything In The World Is Returning To A State Of Nature” started living in Dyer’s head in 2004 while riding the commuter train to Boston and looking at rust. A 2017 call to Jim of Seattle finally brought it to vibrant life. The clangorous train-wreck song “Death At Mounts Road” did not exist in any form until Tom and Amy Denio walked in the recording studio on a January 2018 Saturday morning.
More than half of these songs do not have drums. Most are slow. Some songs were written prior to the collaboration, others like the psycho-matic “Alaska (Put It In Your Head)” with The OF’s John Carey are pure improvisation. Ornette Coleman’s “A Girl Named Rainbow” was purchased as sheet music in 1977 and was the final song recorded for the album, in 2019.
Dyer: “I started this album almost ten years ago without knowing it. The songs on this album were all one-offs. Accidents. While this album was taking its slow course, I completed seven other albums. Along the way accidents kept progressing, songs that just didn’t fit elsewhere. Some became singles. Some just hid. It was only when Amy came to Olympia for a day and we recorded “Mounts Road” that I realized there was a thread between them. These one-off orphans were all collaborations with one other person, and I was the glue. Since then I recorded three more songs with various collaborators and one by accident. Now it is done.”
This album stands alone as an artifact. These songs will not be performed in public. There will probably be a video or two, but don’t hold your breath. This is sufficient.
2018 was a busy year with two albums and three singles. The summer brought Tom Dyer and The True Olympians – 12 New Recordings. This all-new material was recorded in the spring and summer of 2018 with his pure and rocking band that he assembled after moving to back to Olympia, WA. Prior to the album’s release he put out a digital single and video for “The Ballad of Donald John Trump.”
At the end of the year, he release his second Christmas album in 5 years, Tom & Kat’s Excellent Christmas Adventure featuring his daughter. The album collected the Christmas songs he had done over the last five years on the annual GMR Xmas albums. The front cover featured the last known phone booth in Olympia, Washington.
Christmas 2017 marked his debut The True Olympians with “Christmas in Olympia.” It was very jolly.
Earlier in the year, he released Songs To Annoy Small Children and other family favorites. It is real nice.
In 2016, he released a digital single “New Pagan Gods Play Hendrix.” It’s pretty darn good. The single was released on September 18, the anniversary of Mr. Hendrix’s death.
A few months before that he had another digital single, “Meditations on Prince Bowie”, an odd little au cappella tribute to two recently departed musicians.
In 2015, for History of Northwest Rock Vol. 1, his 9th album in the previous six years, he embraced the NW cannon of his youth – works by The Sonics, The Wailers, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Ventures, The Fleetwoods, Merrilee Rush, as well as many lesser known gems from the 1957-68 period, when Northwest bands could deliver radio hits on the teen beacon KJR.
To execute this difficult task, a relentless and raucous band of Green Monkey stars was assembled – Scott Sutherland and Scott Vanderpool from King County Queens on lead guitar and drums, Joe Ross and Jeff Kelly of the Green Pajamas on bass and the organ. Producer Steve Fisk was brought in to GMR HQ to track the unholy racket.
Besides that stuff, Dyer has released a well-received Xmas album, a solo 1-man-band album, I Ain’t Blue Any More, two collections of works spanning 20 plus years (Songs From Academia Vol. 1 & Vol.2), two albums with The Icons (Appointment With Destiny! & Masters of Disaster) and two even more obscure releases from his past, Me THree and The Colorplates.
On Ain’t Blue he abandoned some of the eclecticism that marked his previous solo work and created was his most cohesive album to that point. Dyer: “I thought I was making a blues record all the way, but with covers of The Sonics and Captain Beefheart, I’m guessing most people won’t think that.” Mix those two up with a love for Howlin’ Wolf, Son House and John Lee Hooker and you could probably stick a fork in this one.
There will be more. A concept album is on the way.
12-30-18 STUBBIES HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS
We’ve had our share of Monkey business this year. But there’s no monkey like a Green Monkey. The thing about the annual Green Monkey Christmas comp is that there’s no need to sample. You know, without hearing a single note, that it’s going to be one of the finest Rock/Alt Rock Christmas records of any year. And, sure enough, the very second I saw that “A Green Monkey Christmas For Martians Up On Mars” was out, I laid my money down without hearing a note. Every year, I listen to these Green Monkey comps, telling myself, well, there’s bound to be a track or two I could live without. And there never is. Every bit of every one is pure gold. (Well, OK, the joke ofJeff Kelly’s “Christmas At The End of Time” has been done before, and once was more than enough).
Every October, Tom Dyer puts out the call for the Christmas album, artists new and old answer, and Tom tosses in a few contributions of his own. The result is always a wide variety of sounds that, together, create a cohesive and rocking’ collection. And 100% of the proceeds go to MusiCares.
Highlights on “A Green Monkey Christmas For Martians Up On Mars” include Super Z Attack Tram’sProgressive “We 3 Super Kings”, Kaz Murphy’s vaguely 50s lament “Christmas Was Yesterday” (can’t help but imagining Gene Pitney singing that one), the Ramones friendly “All I Want For Christmas (Is To Be Left Alone)” by The Swaggerlies, Duane Hibbard’s “Blame It On The Nog” (which is sort of Alice Cooper meets The Cramps), Emily Bishton’s straight forward “Toyland”, and the Bluesy single from the set, Tom Dyer & The True Olympians’ “(I’m A) Lonely Little Christmas Tree”. Sample or don’t sample, just buy “A Green Monkey Christmas For Martians Up On Mars” and you will not regret it. Parental Advisory on “Happy New Year” byKline’s 57.
Green Monkey issued another Christmas release this year, “Tom and Kat’s Excellent Christmas Adventure”, which collects up some of the best of Tom and (daughter) Kat Dyer’s Christmas tunes (including last year’s delicious “Fruitcake”), but I haven’t really had a chance to listen to that album, yet.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my very favorite tune on this year’s Green Monkey comp (I’m sure they wrote it with me in mind)–the Psych Pop “Gray Whiskers (Winter Cats)” by Donovan’s Brain. Missy Katz has that one on constant repeat.
10-8 -2018 RAISED BY GYPSIES
“MY BOLD PREDICTION IS THAT ONE DAY TOM DYER WILL FIND HIS NAME IN THE SAME CONVERSATIONS AS BOWIE AND DYLAN, TOM PETTY AND BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, BECAUSE I DEFINITELY SEE IT SO IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE CATCHES ON AS WELL.”
Tom Dyer is a bit of a folk hero at this point in my life. Singing the songs others dare not sing, Tom Dyer has a style that reminds me of watching that Bob Dylan movie, you know, the one where all those different actors played him throughout his career. Though the music of Tom Dyer (here with The True Olympians) isn’t quite the same, that grassroots, blue collar type of mentality behind the songs still rings true.
At first I hear elements of They Might Be Giants, who I primarily know because of “Animaniacs” and their albums for children. Various levels of influence throughout rock music come out and there are laser guitar riffs as well. Through jingle-jangles, “The Grey” has a certain marching rhythm to it where it makes you want to fall in line. Though it might be a reference not everyone gets, Tom Dyer and the True Olympians also resemble Mystic Spiral to me a little bit.
The song “Hang Up” has this driving/highway feel to it, somewhere between Steppenwolf, ZZ Top and “Radar Love”. It also becomes fun to sing along with the numbers- 9432 657- the more times you listen to the song and I think that’s kind of the point. (But maybe other people don’t care as much, as I, myself, just happen to love numbers) The third song is about Donald Trump and the thing is… I don’t really like to discuss politics- I like to keep it separate from the music- but at this point I feel it has grown so bad it’s okay to discuss.
Back when I had music submitted to me that was either straight edge or vegan or just religious I felt like it was dividing people and I wouldn’t review it because I felt like great music needed to be all inclusive. The idea that this is the same though kind of doesn’t apply here because a) if you support Donald Trump what the fuck are you doing on my site and b) It’s not really “unfair” if you choose to alienate Nazis and the such so at this point songs against Trump are all inclusive. Plus I just have a general disdain for the government and authority in general, so songs against them should always be tolerated to that extent as well.
We jump from a song about random acts of kindness, showing off the storytelling power of these songs, to a song that combines those earlier classic rock feels (such as Steppenwolf) with pieces of Duran Duran and Rush (that song being “In The Light”) “Wibblin’ For Jesus” has that southern gospel feel to the point where I can feel myself in tent just by listening to it and, yes, it’s also kind of goes against what I typed in the previous paragraph but it isn’t really a religious song except in the way that all songs are religious somehow.
“Another Counting Song” has psychedelic elements behind it and, well, it’s got more numbers so I’m heavily into it. The last song, “Over”, starts with that emergency broadcast type of siren and then turns into these huge, chunky guitar chords. It reminds me of The Doors’ “This Is The End” but only in the way that they both have that final sense to them. It’s hypnotic and you’ll be surprised how easily a line like “When it’s all over then it’s all over” will get stuck in your head. My bold prediction is that one day Tom Dyer will find his name in the same conversations as Bowie and Dylan, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, because I definitely see it so it’s only a matter of time before everyone else catches on as well. Joshua Macala
“12 NEW RECORDINGS IS A FUN SET OF TUNES BY A BAND THAT KNOWS THEIR STUFF, WORKING WITHIN TRADITIONS SET DOWN DECADES AGO BUT NOT BOUND BY THEM, ENGAGING THE HEAD FOR BOTH ROCKING AND THINKING.”
When a catchy garage rock song is grooving along, and you notice that the lyrics are talking about Antonio Gramsci, you know this is no ordinary rock ‘n’ roll band. That’s “Hegemony” by Tom Dyer and the True Olympians, the latest project of Northwest rock mainstay Tom Dyer. He’s relocated from Seattle to Olympia — hence the band’s name — and has been energized by the current political climate in the US. So while you’re thrashing around to these catchy rock beats, you can, if you choose to sing along with the lyrics, speak out against corporate power, white supremacists, greedy one-percenters, intolerant religious fanatics, and so on. Not that all of the songs are political, or that the political ones are especially preachy — they come off as sincere and sometimes frustrated or angry (in the best punk tradition). Even “The Ballad of Donald John Trump” spends much of its time simply listing its subject’s actions. There are also songs like “Random Acts of Kindness,” “Another Counting Song,” and “In the Light” which touch on a variety of subjects. Musically, while the ground floor is solidly on a foundation of fuzzy garage rock, there are plenty of variations and embellishments that build up, often courtesy of a good old Hammond organ. “Wibblin’ for Jesus” uses a gospel rock style to skewer the hypocrisy of many Christians. “Random Acts of Kindness” uses some pseudo-jazzy chords and “la-la” backing vocals to impart a bouncy late-60s feeling. “In the Light” has my favorite riff on the album, one of those twisty riffs that tosses in some outside notes to keep listeners a little off base. 12 New Recordings is a fun set of tunes by a band that knows their stuff, working within traditions set down decades ago but not bound by them, engaging the head for both rocking and thinking. Brushing up on Gramsci is optional. When a catchy garage rock song is grooving along, and you notice that the lyrics are talking about Antonio Gramsci, you know this is no ordinary rock ‘n’ roll band. That’s “Hegemony” by Tom Dyer and the True Olympians, the latest project of Northwest rock mainstay Tom Dyer. He’s relocated from Seattle to Olympia — hence the band’s name — and has been energized by the current political climate in the US. So while you’re thrashing around to these catchy rock beats, you can, if you choose to sing along with the lyrics, speak out against corporate power, white supremacists, greedy one-percenters, intolerant religious fanatics, and so on. Not that all of the songs are political, or that the political ones are especially preachy — they come off as sincere and sometimes frustrated or angry (in the best punk tradition). Even “The Ballad of Donald John Trump” spends much of its time simply listing its subject’s actions. There are also songs like “Random Acts of Kindness,” “Another Counting Song,” and “In the Light” which touch on a variety of subjects. Musically, while the ground floor is solidly on a foundation of fuzzy garage rock, there are plenty of variations and embellishments that build up, often courtesy of a good old Hammond organ. “Wibblin’ for Jesus” uses a gospel rock style to skewer the hypocrisy of many Christians. “Random Acts of Kindness” uses some pseudo-jazzy chords and “la-la” backing vocals to impart a bouncy late-60s feeling. “In the Light” has my favorite riff on the album, one of those twisty riffs that tosses in some outside notes to keep listeners a little off base. 12 New Recordings is a fun set of tunes by a band that knows their stuff, working within traditions set down decades ago but not bound by them, engaging the head for both rocking and thinking. Brushing up on Gramsci is optional. – Jon Davis
NOV 10 2015 ANOTHER FINE REVIEW FOR DYER’S NEW PAGAN GODS!
Expose’: The arrangements are approached with a spirit of invention rather than reverence – “Louie Louie” is almost unrecognizable, though according to the liner notes, it’s based on a little-known rendition by The Nomads, and “Angel of the Morning” is treated more like a rock song than the folky or countrified versions usually heard. In addition to being a great set of rocking tunes, this collection is something of a history lesson, and serves as proof that there’s more to Northwest rock than Jimi Hendrix and The Wailers. Here’s hoping there will be a Volume 2! – Jon Davis
NOV 05, 2015 DYER’S NEW PAGAN GODS – 100% RECOMMENDED – 4 STARS!
Carrie’s Music Machine: “Tom Dyer’s New Pagan God has me with “The History of Northwest Rock Vol.1″ treated to 15 great songs from the period from 1959 to 1968 and I can any lover of 60s music then also 100% recommend this disc.” Carrie’s Music Machine TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN. Review: Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods – The History of Northwest Rock Vol.1 1959-1968 (Green Monkey Records, 2015) (Rock) Tom Dyer from Seattle, Washington, USA, ran for quite some time with the idea to make an album of songs by bands from the North West. His inspiration for this project he drew from the album “The History of Northwest Rock Vol.1″ which in 1976 through the Great West Music Company label appeared and one of the many labels, which was the impresario Jerry dennon of Jerden Records. He asked his friends of The Green Pajamas to assist him and the result is an album that 15 covers contains. The band, which plays the songs, includes: Tom Dyer – vocals and lead guitar, Scott Sutherland – lead guitar and vocals, Joe Ross – bass guitar and harmonica, Jeff Kelly – organ and piano, and Scott Vanderpool – drums and vocals. The CD begins with a cover of a song by The Sonics, entitled “The Witch” and herein put the tie me a beautiful song for garage rock, which is played in a not too fast pace, then I “Walk Do not Run” to hear war and this Ventures cover is played excellently by the band. After that, the band let me enjoy a cover of Tiny Tony And The Statics, titled “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and this is a great swinging rock song, with the impossible to sit still and this is followed by “You Got Your Head On Backwards”, which is again a cover of a song by The Sonics and in this song, which includes blues influences are some good changes of pace and wonderful harmonica playing. The next song is called “Hungry,” a Paul Revere & The Raiders cover and in it I hear a catchy sounding rock song and this song contains some good changes of pace, and I “Angel Of The Morning” (Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts) dished get and this is an excellent version of this tranquil pop song, though I miss the women singing anyway. Then I hear a swinging contemporary version of the song “Louie, Louie”, originally a hit for The Port Landers and The Kingsmen, followed by “Dirty Robber” (The Wailers), a brilliant rock & roll song. In “Come Softly To Me” (The Fleet Woods) the band sounds like a fairly quiet piece pop music (listen to this song over the youtube link below the review) and “Just Like Me” (Paul Revere & The Raiders) I get a nice rock song in a not too rapidly to put. Then the band plays “Out Of Our Tree” (The Wailers) a great swinging rock song, where inaction is not an option and it is followed by “Little Sally Tease” (Don & The Goodtimes), a fantastic rock song and this song brings me to move. “Werewolf” (The Frantics) is a delightful instrumental progressive rock song that has a slightly hypnotic effect on me and “Busy Body” (The Dynamics With Jimmy Hanna) is a nice danceable rock song with rhythm and blues influences, while the last track of the album “She’s Boss” (The Dimensions) again is such a wonderful swinging rock song. Tom Dyer’s New Pagan God has me with “The History of Northwest Rock Vol.1″ treated to 15 great songs from the period from 1959 to 1968 and I can any lover of 60s music then also 100% recommend this disc.
OCT 29, 2015 TOM DYER & NEW PAGAN GODS GET MIGHTY FINE REVIEW!!
Raised By Gypsies: Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods has not only given you an album which you can listen to from start to finish and then listen to over and over again, but this is really so much more than that. This is music which you will enjoy and then drift away from only to find yourself eventually coming back to in the end. A concept I still can’t quite fully do justice with words but I would definitely love to see more music presented in such a manner. This is like someone not giving you food or a meal but rather giving you seeds and you planting those seeds just becomes so much more and lasts not for that fleeting moment in which you are hungry but forever so that you shall never be hungry again. – Joshua Macala
OCT 20, 2015 NICE REVIEW IN CAROLINA!
“This disc is a labor of love, not just another attempt to move product – and it shows in the results.” Richard Rossi
Sept 26, 2015 Great NEW PAGAN GODS Review!
I do so love it when people get what the hell we’re up to. Thanks Tony! “Dyer, a 35-year local rock stalwart and head cheese at local indie label Green Monkey Records, dips into the well of first-wave Northwest rock and roll. The result is the joyous audio equivalent of the best sloppy-drunk sweaty house party you ever crashed. Like any good band rocking a house party, Dyer and his bandmates play with grittily fun-loving chemistry, and that’s what makes this ragged little record sing.” Tony Kay – The Sun Break
AUG 26, 2015 NEW PAGAN GODS GET 4 STARS IN BLURT!
A most fine review in Blurt: From start to finish, the record’s a 15-track gas, chock full of familiar gems and obscure nuggets. Among the “likes” you might be thumbs-upping at a social media outlet very soon: the Raiders’ “Hungry,” served up raw and bloody, no medium-cooked meat for Dyer & Co. (there’s also a cover of “Just Like Me”), the Ventures’ timeless surf instro “Walk Don’t Run,” just to remind you that these cats weren’t from SoCal but from Tacoma, Wash.; the Frantics’ “Werewolf,” a freaky, sleazy instro that wouldn’t be out of place on one of those Songs the Cramps Taught Us collections; “Angel of the Morning” by Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts, a sure-to-surprise-you pop classic if you were expecting a straight up garage set from Dyer (and for my money, as one who owns the original 45, far truer to the original Chip Taylor-penned tune than country songstress Juice Newton’s watered-down cover; and of course “Louie Louie,” which in Dyer’s hands takes not only a huge left turn but an unplanned detour down an alley, across the freeway, and off into the hinterlands, so unique is the arrangement. In his notes Dyer calls this his own “revisionist Northwest history” with “no attempt to duplicate the originals.” Instead, he set out to capture the DIY spirit and the maverick vibe that the songs’ creators represented. Methinks he succeeded. FRED MILLS
AUG 25, 2015 NEW PAGAN GODS #3 AT EASY STREET!
AUG 13, 2015 THE STRANGER SEZ GO TO THE SHOW!
The Stranger Recommends: “This here in-store gig is a celebration of the release of Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods’ long-awaited album, History of Northwest Rock Vol. 1 1959-1968, which is released on Dyer’s Green Monkey label and produced by Stranger Genius nominee Steve Fisk. On the album, the band (featuring members of the Green Pajamas and King County Queens) comes across strong—not too tough, but not sticky sweet, either, as it blazes through some of the best known, and a couple of unknown, Northwest garage “classics.” The repertoire runs from the Fleetwoods’ chart-topping pop vocal “Come Softly to Me” to favorites like the Sonics’ “You Got Your Head on Backwards” and the Wailers’ “Out of Our Tree ” to a real deep cut like Tiny Tony and the Statics’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Oh, also, as this is Volume One from Dyer’s NPG, so we should probably be expecting a second volume in the near future. MIKE NIPPER”
AUG 04, 2015 HINTZ LIKES LOUIE!
Nice review in DC ROCK LIVE: ” Tom Dyer and his band the New Pagan Gods have a good grasp on this material, bringing their own personalities into these cuts and reminding listeners of how tough and universal this music is. This is a fine rock album, gritty, with good songs and even a funky version of ‘Louie Louie’ that made that overplayed cut worth hearing again.” David Hintz
JUL 19, 2015 NEW PAGAN GODS – “A SPICY MODERN SOUND”!!!
“Get ready for a loud party in Seattle from an independent pop group called Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods. Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods are not afraid to bring the game of love to life by giving old classics a spicy modern sound.” Leslie Snyder – Jersey Beat
Jul 14, 2015 Dyer “will certainly appeal to barflies”!!!
Jeff Penczak in The Terrascope sez: “What we actually have here is Dyer and a bunch of his drinking buddies (essentially various Green Pajamas/Chemistry Set members) ripping through some of Dyer’s favourite Pac NW garage singles . . . It’s obvious the boys had a lot of fun (and perhaps more than a few pints) while recording these chestnuts and even though most of them will be unfamiliar to non-Northwesterners, they will certainly appeal to barflies and anyone who loves to work up a sweat and a thirst on the weekend.”
JULY 12, 2015 HISTORY OF NW ROCK “JUST A WHOLE BUNCH OF FUN”
Graham Reid of Elsewhere sez: Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods; History of Northwest Rock Vol 1 1959 – 1968: And more covers-cum-tribute. Anyone who has heard or read about the history of the rock, pop, soul and beyond out of the Pacific Northwest is impressed: the Sonics, the Kingsmen (Louie Louie), Paul Revere and the Raiders . . . Here Tom Dyer of Seattle’s prolific Green Monkey label (which we have mentioned often) hooks up with fellow travellers for often faithful, frequently enjoyable, always play-loud covers of the Sonics’ The Witch and You Got Your Head on Backwards, the Ventures’ Walk Don’t Run, the incredibly obscure Tiny Tony and the Statics (whose original I Wanna Hold Your Hand came out a year before the Beatles’ song with a similar title), Paul Revere’s classics Hungry and Just Like Me, the Fleetwoods’ Come Softly To Me and more. Louie Louie among them. With pointed liner notes (Dyer knew some of these characters or has a story to place them in context) this is just a whole bunch of fun. You still need to hear some of these originals of course, but these are delivered in the enthusiastic spirit of the Northwest garageband ethic.
JULY 03, 2015 DAGGERZINE SEZ DIVE INTO DYER’S HIST NW ROCK!
Dagger ‘Zine heart emoticon for Tom Dyer’s New Pagan Gods History of NW Rock Vol. 1! “You could say that Tom Dyer is a proud Northwesterner….ok, a proud Seattle-ite. Dude’s been documenting the NW scene for a few decades now … Who produced it? Who else, Mr. Steve Fisk. They tackle fifteen songs on here and many are my faves. … the cast assembled here are folks who have a true reverence for these songs and the era. They’re doing it because they love and appreciate it. These songs are in the right hands. Dive in.” http://daggerzine.tumblr.com/
JAN 02, 2015 “WEIRDEST ALBUM THIS YEAR, TOM DYER FROM SEATTLE”
Ok – one more. Translated from Dutch. “Weirdest album this year, Tom Dyer from Seattle. He is a kind of outsider musician recording since 1983 Christmas songs . Fifteen of these are collected on the CD ‘ Xmas- 30 Years In The Making . It opens with a song in which a few choirs compete in “Ho Ho Ho ” sing. The next song sounds like the Velvet Undergound and therefore called ‘No Lou This Xmas . In ‘ Christmas Time For Sailors’ Tom Waits seems to sing along and ‘Peace’ is a guitar instrumental full of Christmas bells. On this album you will find only original tracks on ” Angels We Have Heard On High ” after a song from 1983 with nice analog organ.” Oscar Smit – Gonzo Circus Dec. 22, 2014
JAN 02, 2015 ONE MORE FINE TOM DYER XMAS REVIEW!
“Tom Dyer – “Xmas – 30 Years in the Making”. I didn’t get a chance to write about this collection in depth this year, but I will make amends early next season. But, Tom Dyer’s collection of Christmas songs recorded here and there over 30 years is brilliant on the order of Substance W. “No Lou This Christmas” was recorded in 2013 as a tribute to Lou Reed, “Propane Santa” is one of the best true stories turned into song ever. Totally enjoyable.” der Bingle – Merry and Bright.
JAN 02, 2015 TOM DYER XMAS REVIEWED IN BLURT!
“This accumulation of Christmas recordings, a compilation of original holiday-themed music Dyer’s done on an annual basis, is of the decidedly offbeat variety, but as songs like “No Lou This Xmas” and the reggae-worthy “Jingle Bell Ska” prove, this selection also works well as worthy collection of rockers. And while tracks like “It’s A White Mule Christmas,” “Propane Santa” and the Grinch-like “Christmas Time For Sailors” suggest Dyer’s got his tongue planted firmly in cheek, Xmas-30 Years in the Making is a holly jolly collection all round.” Lee Zimmerman – Blurt
DEC 27, 2014 TOM DYER ON MAGNET: FILM AT 11
“No Lou This Xmas” on MAGNET magazine’s Film at 11! “Tom Dyer, president of underground, Seattle-based record company Green Monkey Records, has released a new video for a rocking song in tribute to Lou Reed. The track is called “No Lou This Christmas,” and though it’s an upbeat and groovy song with a slightly silly video, you can feel the sorrow of Reed’s death and the pain of not having him around at this time of year.”
DEC 25, 2014 TOM DYER MAKES MUSIC/NOISE ON N. ZEALAND COMP!
Now here’s a fine racket. This is a fairly random noise compilation titled “Rejection dryrot ripple Gombage” to which Dr. Dyer contributed 2:00 minutes of improvised bass and vocal for the track titled “Pistilicious Thing ache Squeak.” The skinny: “Each contributor created two mins of raw sound – a single track recorded live with no post-processing. After each set of four tracks arrived, they were blindly put together to create each track – as & when they arrived in Corporal Tofulung’s inbox.” You can listen or download for free as your mood dictates. The album, released by Postmoderncore, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand License. Just in case you were wondering.
DEC 23, 2014 DAGGER SEZ DUMP PERRY COMO – GET TOM DYER!
Green Monkey head honcho Tom Dyer has been recording X-mas songs since 1983. A colleague of his recently pointed out that he had enough for a full album so here tis. It’ runs the gamut from in-joke sort of songs (opener “It’s Christmas (and I’m Jolly) to pretty, jangly pop tunes like “Propane Santa.” It runs in chronological order from the newest songs back to the oldies. Other heart-warming chestnuts include the bouncy “Jingle Bell Ska”, the Tom Waits-ish “Christmas Time for Sailors” and the jangly “It’s Snowing in Seattle” (featuring the Green Pajamas Jeff Kelly). I say retire the Perry Como Christmas record, bub, and try this one on for size. It fits perfectly (like that ugly sweater you’ve got on). – Dagger
DEC 19, 2014 NICE REVIEW FOR TOM DYER – XMAS IN JP’S MUSIC BLOG!
“Beginning with the two-minute “It’s Christmas (And I’m Jolly),” Dyer gets you in the mood with his type of a gospel choir, belting out “Ho, Ho, Ho” and “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.” The album’s first single, “No Lou This Christmas” is a tribute to the late-Lou Reed as Dyer plugs in for this rocker. Dyer adds a nice, loose rhythm to “Jingle Bells Ska,” and turns “Peace On Earth” into a spaghetti western, before bringing out the kid in all of us with the fun vibe of “Hot Dog! It’s Christmas!” A great piece of holiday folk music is “Snowing In Seattle,” which sounds as if it was recorded right on the spot, in one take as Dyer was looking out the window.” JP’s Music Blog
DEC 13, 2014 BOOK’S MUSIC LIKES NO LOU THIS XMAS!
December 13th, 2014 Nice post for “No Lou This Xmas” video at This is Book’s Music. “While this does not feature the Mountlake Terrace Community Choir, it does feature a crisp rock attitude you can enjoy so check out “No Lou This Xmas” and find out who/what Lou refers to.”
DEC 09, 2014 TOM DYER – XMAS 30 YEARS REVIEW
“If your tastes are more eclectic and you like your music raw . . . ” Jack Goodstein – BlogCritics hmmm . . . that rather gets the notion going don’t you think?
NOV 30, 2014 STUBBY’S HOUSE OF CHRISTMAS GIVE DYER THUMBS UP!
A nice plug for Tom Dyer – Xmas 30 Years in the making from Stubby’s House of Christmas! I’m certain this will brighten your holiday season!
JUN 15, 2014 FRANK G. SPREADS THE GREEN MONKEY GOSPEL!
Happy Father’s Day to music loving pops every where! For your pleasure today we have an excellent synopsis of the label put forth by Mr. Frank Gutch Jr. at Segrini: Don’t Believe A Word I Say. Read on, brother!
DEC 20, 2013 PRESS QUOTE
“This glorious collection of warm holiday music features fifteen tracks with both traditional and original music that will warm the hearts of many independent pop rock fans the world over.” Leslie Snyder
Tom Dyer “Xmas-30 Years in the Making” By Leslie Snyder A glimmer of hope comes out of Seattle, Washington from an independent pop rock artist and producer named Tom Dyer. Tom Dyer released his debut Christmas CD “Xmas-30 Years in the Making” on December 9, 2013. This glorious collection of warm holiday music features fifteen tracks with both traditional and original music that will warm the hearts of many independent pop rock fans the world over. The glorious journey begins with the first track “It’s Christmas (And I’m jolly).” This track features warm, “bellowing” Santa Claus laughs and the faint sound of bells ringing, along with a chorus harmonizing throughout the track. This track is a joyful tale about people enjoying Christmas Day with friends and family. Finally, the glorious journey ends a glimmer of hope for the future in the seventh track “Peace on Earth.” This track is an old Christmas classic that has had a “groovy” pop rock makeover. This track is an instrumental track featuring “breezy” pop rock melodies, along with the “crisp” sound of bells ringing in the background. This track is a beautiful tale about the hope and love that the holiday season can bring. However, people really need to be respectful to one another the entire twelve months of the year. Tom Dyer is a great independent pop rock artist and producer who show cases his cool vocal harmonies and outstanding musicianship. Tom Dyer’s debut Christmas CD “Xmas-30 Years in the Making” truly is a musical masterpiece. This wonderful collection of holiday music will let people know what Christmas is really about with humor and dignity. Artist Website: http://www.greenmonkeyrecords.com
APR 23, 2013 PRESS QUOTE
I Ain’t Blue Any More suggests that the eclectic performer is either an alternative genius or completely not cut out for the music industry. You decide.” Daniel Davidson-Amadi
This is Americana; this is blues (despite what the title protests); this is rock n roll in its most…well…rock n roll-ingest form. Tom Dyer is a jiver and a one man orchestra who seems to be capable of playing every instrument around in a way that you’re probably not used to in the mainstream. He provides the musical accompaniment to all his tracks singlehandedly. From basses, to keyboards and saxophones, to more obscure instruments like the bulbul tarang and the charango, the musician shows an undeniable talent for shaping out unbalanced and unorthodox melodies that leave a lasting impression on the listener. It’s noticeable that his music has this tonally distracted brand; the kind you’d associate with a literal one-man band where a guy has to keep on top of several instruments at the same time, whilst still making sure that every note is accurate. Because of this, there are numerous inaccuracies that make his songs sound uniquely uncanny. The album is very alternative compared to the basis of many of the genres he is linked to. However, it’s hard to tell with this indie artist whether this is all a conscious effort to go against conventionality of musicality or if he is just a little (VERY) tone deaf. The song ‘Pass The Jug’ is a particularly interesting instrumental that jingles with a very folksy inclination that takes ‘I Ain’t Blue Any More’ far away from its two-step rockabilly sensibilities. It sounds like the music to some kind of weird merry-go-round or a scene from a Rob Zombie horror, but it’s still as alluring as it is unnerving – all of his songs have this very same blueprint. Believe it or not, I’m actually going to give this album three stars because I kind of get what Dyer is trying to do that’s different. I Ain’t Blue Any More suggests that the eclectic performer is either an alternative genius or completely not cut out for the music industry. You decide.
DEC 28, 2012 PRESS QUOTE
“‘I Am Fretless’ is an absolute masterpiece of experimental sounds of East vs. West. ” Julien Alexandre
I Ain’t Blue Anymore is the eighth studio album from Experimental Folk and Blues musician: Tom Dyer. His latest artwork is an eclectic blend of blues inspired melodies, rhythms, and sounds with an unorthodox feel to them. This album is without a doubt both Zappa and Captain Beefheart inspired (there is even a Beefheart cover on here). Inspired by two of the greatest, Dyer takes his music to a totally different place by letting his imagination run wild. Some sounds on this piece are familiar, whereas others are not. That being said, all the instruments on this album are played by Dyer himself. I Ain’t Blue Anymore is a one-man show from one of Seattle’s most influential characters in the underground music scene. Also the owner of Green Monkey Records, Dyer has helped hundreds of artists reach their fullest potential since they first opened up shop in 1983. So what is I Ain’t Blue Anymore? As Dyer put it: “I’m not really sure you would call this a blues album, but it is a blues-inspired album, that is for sure.”. The opening song goes by the name of “The Ballad of Carlton IV”. This song has some serious primitive sounding guitars and drums to it, which seems to be a common instrumental theme for the majority of Dyer’s album. Dyer’s voice is both deep and raspy with a tone that speaks of experience, perfect for the blues. “(People Want To Be) Free” is the next song on the album. A piece that is very blues influenced. (People Want To Be) Free tells the same story as many other traditional blues songs. Dyer does an excellent job of keeping his listeners engaged by layering the lyrics in the chorus and also adding an intensely psychedelic alto-saxophone solo towards the middle and the ending part of the song. (People Want To Be) Free is a real treat of blues inspired ear-candy. On several songs on I Ain’t Blue Anymore Dyer loves to take both traditional and non-traditional instruments and fuse them together in rhythm. That being said, there were several songs on this album where the execution of these techniques was in my opinion not as smooth as I expected them to be. On a song like “Pass The Jug” Dyer incorporates both a traditional Ukulele and also a special ten-stringed looking Uke he obtained from Peru. It’s not the sounds of the Ukes that I had a problem with but rather the manner in which they were played. Some parts of Pass The Jug lacked in direction and the strumming of the Ukes sounded somewhat choppy at times. When it came to the fusion of traditional versus non-traditional instruments Dyer might have missed the target on this one, however track number nine was an absolute bullseye. If you were planning on going to India anytime soon don’t bother because Dyer has already booked you a plane ticket. Check in time is track number nine on I Ain’t Blue Anymore. I Am Fretless is an absolute masterpiece of experimental sounds of East vs. West. In this song Dyer takes his listeners on a journey splashed with color. The dynamics and the sounds of this piece are like nothing you have ever heard before. I Am Fretless would make George Harrison jealous would he still be alive today. I Ain’t Blue Anymore was a trip into the mind of Tom Dyer. With nothing held back, this album speaks volumes in terms of who Dyer is as an artist (and also as a person). If you’re a fan of Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart this is definitely an album to add to the collection. http://redhousereviews.hubpages.com/hub/Tom-Dyer-I-Aint-Blue-Anymore-Album-Review
DEC 26, 2012 PRESS QUOTE
This music is an acquired taste, and not something everyone’s going to love.
It’s tough to get away from Tom Waits comparisons when listening to Tom Dyer’s I Ain’t Blue Anymore album. Dyer has a similar approach to creating music, which is by making it noisy, sometimes off-key and always raw. Dyer is different from Waits, however, because his voice is a lot smoother. This is not to say he’s Michael Bublé or anything; it’s just to remark that Waits takes vocal roughness to an extreme sandpapery level, whereas Dyer is merely toughened-up a lot. The songs on I Ain’t Blue Anymore are best described as psychedelic blues tracks. The recording’s covers gives hints about Dyer’s musical influences. He speeds up The Sonics “The Witch,” for a spooky, garage workout. For “Smithsonian Institute Blues (or The Big Dig),” Dyer takes a Captain Beefheart song and transforms it into some hillbilly blues. It features a plucking banjo part and a stomping blues groove. To call this album a one-man-show would be an understatement. Dyer is listed as playing the following: electric and acoustic guitars, bass, fretless bass and guitar, lap steel guitar, slide Guitar, charango, baritone guitar, banjo, mandolin, bulbul tarang, ukulele, keyboards, saxophone, melodic, percussion and drum programming. This is not to suggest, however, that he is any kind of an instrumental poly-master. He plays all of these instruments well enough to get the job done, like an amateur carpenter just trying to get the hole in his roof fixed, rather than Barbara Mandrell showing off on her old TV variety show. The instrumental “Pass the Jug,” for instance, finds Dyer plucking on many stringed things for a sprightly backwoods tune. You do not, though, hear Dyer going all crazy on any one instrument and doing jaw-dropping solos. He’s like that carpenter, merely getting her done. Dyer also has a little soul music in him, too. “(People Want to Be) Free” is an electrified folk song, featuring off-kilter saxophone part. It’s sorta hipster, Tom Wait-sian jazz, like a ’60s protest song as sung by Beatniks. “Call on me” also has a rolling, jazz bass line where Dyer does his best pleading soul singer imitation. He’s not a natural soul crooner, but you have to give him credit for doing his level best. This music is an acquired taste, and not something everyone’s going to love. This is because Dyer performs with a sort of musical primitivism. Steve Martin once titled one of his recordings, Comedy Is Not Pretty. You might also subtitle Dyer’s album Music Is (Sometimes) not pretty because this album is, quite frankly, really rough around the edges. However this approach is not at all a bad thing, if you can get used to it. It makes for real, earthy music. Dyer’s “John the Revelator,” for example, with its banjo and backing vocals, is a gutsy piece of music. It’s church music for people really serious about their religion. It is not the kind of sugarcane in cellophane you often hear on contemporary Christian music stations, that’s for darn sure. Dyer may not be blue anymore, but he sure isn’t all smooth, prim and proper. This project takes music down to its pure, sparse, basic elements.http://www.antimusic.com/reviews/12/Tom_Dyer_-_I_Aint_Blue_Anymore.shtml
DEC 25, 2012 PRESS QUOTE
“Walkin’ In The Sky,” is one of the best offerings on I Ain’t Blue Anymore showcasing the lower register of Dyer. Final Grade: A”
Tom Dyer’s I Ain’t Blue Anymore is a mix of bluesy rock n’ roll and Americana songs that make for an enjoyable experience throughout. The opener “The Ballad of Carlton IV,” is a tale written with many metaphors that allow Dyer to move through with his coarse tone. “Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig)” hearkens to blues masters Howlin Wolf and Stevie Ray Vaughn, with boisterous statements by Dyer; while John The Revelator finds Dyer singing a traditional Gospel blue song that serves up call and response acapella for the most part with minimal instruments backing him. “The Witch,” allow Dyer to embrace the topic of sorcery and witchcraft with a detailed account of being fearful of the supernatural woman with supernatural powers. “Walkin’ In The Sky,” is one of the best offerings on I Ain’t Blue Anymore showcasing the lower register of Dyer. The listener cannot help but wonder how much coarser Dyer can take his voice, but with a nod to many blues styles and his inconsistent musical predilection are what make the track. I Ain’t Blue Anymore closes with “The Day I Died,” a compelling finale to Dyer’s fifth album since 2009 and eighth overall. I Ain’t Blue Anymore may be edging towards simplicity as many of the songs contained nominal amounts of eclecticism that has marked Dyer’s stamp within the musical atmosphere. Tom Dyer plays all of the instruments on the album ranging from the banjo to the charango to a lap steel guitar. Tom Dyer is President of Green Monkey Records, the producer behind this plate of independent blues releases that fit together like a puzzle. Being also the President of Argosy University in Seattle and no plans to be just a musician, Dyer perhaps is a man who wears several hats and that is evident on I Ain’t Blue Anymore. Final Grade: Ahttp://www.examiner.com/review/i-ain-t-blue-anymore-with-tom-dyer
DEC 24, 2012
stand-out track ‘Walkin’ in the Sky’ is an homage to John Lee Hooker. Also included here is an impressive cover of Beefhearts’ ‘Smithsonian Institute Blues
Tom Dyer – I Ain’t Blue Any More (Blues, 2012) “Depending on how you look at it, either this album has been a long time coming or started in August 2011.” Tom Dyer’s frame of mind is hard to grasp. Imagine Walter White jamming with Cpt. Beefheart with a bit of Leslie West and you still don’t get the picture. His obvious inspiration is the blues – artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker – and some of the material here trace back to the 80’s. So, its a blues record done the old way but with a new aesthetic. The menacing ‘There Be Killin’ (In My Town)’ was originally written in 1979 and was revisited to depict the various killings that occured in Seattle this year (including but not limited to Stawicki’s shooting spree at Cafe Racer). Another stand-out track ‘Walkin’ in the Sky’ is an homage to John Lee Hooker. Also included here is an impressive cover of Beefhearts’ ‘Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig)’ – from ‘Lick My Decals Off, Baby’ one Tom’s first records – and a rewarding adaptation of the gospel standard ‘John the Revelator’. The underground Seattle Rock veteran plays every instrument; electric and acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, keyboards, saxophone, percussion. He also recorded, mixed and mastered the disc on his own. A one man show indeed; totally unique and off the wall. As the man himself proclaims: “I’m not really sure you would call this a blues album, but it is a blues-inspired album, that is for sure.” http://most-def.blogspot.com/2012/12/tom-dyer-i-aint-blue-any-more-blues-2012.html
DEC 11, 2012
Brutal honesty roars out of Seattle, Washington – Tom Dyer is a brilliant independent pop rock artist with a great songwriting ability and superb musicianship.
Brutal honesty roars out of Seattle, Washington from an independent pop rock artist named Tom Dyer. Tom Dyer sings songs about the harsh realities of today’s society with a strong blues background sounding similar to blues legend Howlin’ Wolf. The artist’s eighth CD “I Ain’t Blue anymore” was released on October 19, 2012 featuring thirteen ‘soul bearing’ tracks that bring out the disgust of a person who is fed up with the way humanity is behaving today due to greed. The obnoxious adventure begins with the first track “The Ballad of Carlton IV.” This track features “gritty” vocals and melodic rock riffs, along with a heavy bass line that sounds like a nervous heartbeat. This track is a ’sultry” tale about a man who is having his way with women and living life on the edge. Next, tension hangs in the air with the second track “(People Want To Be) Free.” This track has an ominous tone with “moaning” vocals and rough melodic rock riffs, along with a pulsating bass line. This track is an anxious tale about people feeling trapped by bureaucrats. People want to live their lives the way they choose without government interference. Meanwhile, a sense of peace comes out in the fourth track “Pass the Jug.” This track is a calming pop oriented instrumental track that features a mandolin “floating” throughout the track, along with a slow, “groovy” bass line. This track is a soothing tale about people wanting to help each other out in troubling situations. Human beings can be kind to each other once in a while. However, acts of kindness need to happen on a daily basis in order for the world to be a more peaceful place to live. Finally, the hope of romance lingers in the fifth track “Call On Me.” This track has a ‘sultry’ sound featuring “moaning” vocals and light melodic blues rock riffs, along with a “groovy” bass line. This track is a hopeful tale about a man who is trying to attract the attention of a beautiful woman. The man wants to dance with the woman and get her to fall in love with him. Tom Dyer is a brilliant independent pop rock artist with a great songwriting ability and superb musicianship. Tom Dyer tells the truth about greed running rampant in today’s society, while bringing back the sound of the blues to a new generation of rock and roll fans. “I Ain’t Blue anymore” is a raucous collection of music that is definitely worth listening to.http://www.facebook.com/notes/ima-indie-music-and-art/tom-dyer-i-aint-blue-anymore-review-by-leslie-snyder/427932550605636
NOV 15, 2012
“Preaching a gravelly sermon like Leonard Cohen high on Captain Beefheart”
The latest from Seattle’s Tom Dyer is a twisted Americana adventure, a Waits-ian take on the blues, particularly in the arrangements and instrumental experimentation with things like the bulbul tarang, charango and melodica. Dyer’s baritone voice holds the whole thing together, preaching a gravelly sermon like Leonard Cohen high on Captain Beefheart, whose “Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or the Big Dig)” appears on the LP alongside a Sonics cover. Dave Lake – Seattle Weekly- Reverb
OCT 24, 2012
“Strips everything down to the essentials and celebrates the goodness of life”
This Is Book’s Music: The entire album is self-contained in that all instruments and vocals were played by Dyer himself, and what you’ll hear is everything from rough rock’n’roll with pinches of folk and sometimes country. Then I’m hearing track #3 and going “why does this remind me of Captain Beefheart? It’s because it’s a Captain Beefheart song, in this case “The Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig)” (from the 1970 gem Lick My Decals Off Baby). While some artists want to create their self-contained projects with perfection, Dyer doesn’t mind playing a few off-keys or doing thigns in alternate tunings that simply is there just because he wants to. The instrumental “Pass The Jug” could be something you might expect to hear at a Seattle folk life festival, but something is selling you that it sounds a bit awkward. Then you realize oh, this is Seattle, it can be off and no one will question it. Every now and then he’ll get a bit bluesy, then things will turn sleazy and sweaty but you’re wondering why you’re dancing. To me, it feels like what an indepedent album should sound like, and that is not caring if it’s indie or trying to catch the ear of a major. Dyer’s own liner notes has him talking about the process of recording and arranging these, along with stories on when (and sometimes where) they were recorded. Some of them have been in existence for decades and he gets into why it wasn’t recorded and released until 2012, or how doing multiple versions of it had him not releasing it until they were revisited. If you’ve been a fan of Dyer’s music over the years, it sounds like a return home and a success story in itself, as in “these songs are finally being heard, share with me the victory in this”.
AUG 16, 2011
“slam/bang guitar and pounding rhythms”
The Icons- Appointment With Destiny! “Their slam/bang guitar and pounding rhythms wake me up to why I loved The Wailers and The Sonics back in the day and why bands I never would have listened to in the Sixties (Iggy Pop, Dead Boys, Richard Hell & the Voidoids) later became solid favorites.” Frank O. Gutch Jr. – Rock and Reprise
Mar 08, 2010
Great stuff – proper singing and playing, Terrascope
Tom Dyer’s “Songs From Academia (Volume 1: Songs With Singing 1981-2009)” is a collection of musical work from this American university president. Opening with the Gong-like “The Prize,” the album flits between the afore-mentioned dates, taking in the synth-pop of “Little Sally Walker,” the quirky electro-pop of “(Half The World Is Made Of) Women” with its grin-inducing lyrics, and the even quirkier “The Question Asked,” which – dated 2007 – is an indication of how much this musician’s style has changed since the early ‘eighties; great production on this track. “I See Pictures” has a strong UK post-punk vibe to it, while “She’s Winning The War For Daddy” is half show-tune, half brash pop-tune. “The Stars” and “The Sky” are very recent, the former a thumping rocker, the latter a bizarre electro-stomper, while the concluding track, also recent, also showcases Dyer’s skill at putting together poptastic riffola. Great stuff – proper singing and playing, and another volume to come.
NOV 10, 2009
“I’m thankful that this exists.”
Tom Dyer – Songs From Academia Vol.2: Instrumental & Spoken Word I’m thankful that this exists. I’m not sure having a world full of Tom Dyer copycats would be a good one, which is my way of saying he is one of a kind, representing what Seattle music is all about, period. John Book – This Is Book’s Music Review:
AUG 23, 2009
Tom Dyer – Songs from Academia Vol.1 :Songs with Singing
Tom Dyer – Songs from Academia Vol.1 :Songs with Singing “Songs from Academia… is an intriguing listen, to say the least, the collection providing an intimate look at Dyer’s free-wheeling, at times deeply experimental muse.” Fred Mills – Blurt
GM1066 Tom Dyer-Truth 1_Sheet
GM1055 Tom Dyer-1_Sheet
GM1047 True Olympians -1_Sheet
GM1040 Songs To Annoy Small Children-1_Sheet
GM1031 DYER NW GH -1_Sheet 2015
GM1027 DYER XMAS -1_Sheet 2014
GM1017 Colorplates - 1_Sheet
GM1015 DYER BLUE-1_Sheet
GM1008_ ICONS_Destiny_1_Sheet FINAL