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Archive for December, 2010

Ho Ho Ho and a Happy Z Z Z!

December 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Here at “Rummaging Through the Dollar Bin”, I believe that giving to the masses is more important than receiving.  This is my motto when writing reviews; I will give you my reviews instead of letting you receive bad music by paying with your own money.  In fact, I sent out this large group of Santas to solicit the local music stores to donate their unfortunate music CDs from their dollar bins into a festive holiday milk crate.  Ho ho ho!

Actually, the truth is I hired all of those Santas to go pick out last minute stocking stuffers at Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve.  I am debating whether my mother prefers a plastic saxophone or a collection of used Santa beards.  Hmm.  Yeah, these guys weren’t worth the money really.

What IS worth the money is getting some writing done, practicing my opinions and counter-opinions with myself, and listening to some interesting music.  Granted, 2010 was a pretty busy year with the job, the other job, and the graduate school courses.  You may have noticed that September through December have actually been a challenge to get words to virtual paper, but I hope that in a month’s time or so I’ll be back on track.  We shall see!

In the meantime, enjoy your holidays and listen to some good music whether it’s cheap or not!  If you’re wondering what my plans are for the holidays and the new year, it is effectively construed in the last few letters of the title of this post.  Relaxation is the name of my holiday-celebratin’ game.  Ladies and gentlemen, good nzzzzzzzzz ….

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Dana Cooper – The Conjurer

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Dog Eared Records, 2010

What a killer album cover!  It reminds me of the old “The Shadow” and the like illustrations, which I imagine was the intent given that some of those old magician posters had a similar style.  I didn’t hesitate much to pick this one up even if I had zero idea what Cooper was going to sound like.  However, the hesitation would have been even shorter if the tagline stated that he ate knives or could be sawed in half without expiring.  I would have paid to hear that happen.  A track entitled “Ow … ARRGH … Hey I’m Okay” would’ve been an instant hit in my house.

Dana Cooper twirls up a combination of light pop and country, which is easily listenable and upbeat enough to spark momentum.  Cooper’s voice reminds me a little bit of Don Henley’s due to its hint of raspiness and even tone.  It’s enough to make songs like “Enough”  and “Cold Wind & Bitter Fiddles” pleasant to listen to no matter what the audience.  “Enough” is the first and probably the best track on the record, for it showcases the warm dynamic from the band as well as Cooper’s voice.

“Leave a Little Mark” is a fine song, and for it to show up this early in the record is a bit of surprise.  It has a sense of drama and a very pleasing composition with its urgent sound.  Considering one just got off from hearing a country swing, “Leave a Little Mark” is quick to show some of Cooper’s diverse tastes.  It is a unique track to the rest of the record, however, and it takes “Leo & Lucille” to shake things up a little.  Granted, it’s still a country song albeit with harmonica, but it’s about a hooker named Lucille.  According to Cooper she’s been “pissed off and knocked up/pissed on and locked up in jail”.  Pissed on?  That’s gotta be an angry hooker.  Despite her state of hygiene, it’s a charming rambler of a folk tune.

You can give a listen to some of Dana Cooper’s music at his website as well as MySpace.

Dana Cooper’s “The Conjurer” is a fine record for anyone interested in a singer-songwriter type who invests in touches of country, pop, and folk.  I imagine he’d be a good fit in anyone’s music collection if you need something easy to listen to.  What might add to the interest in Cooper and his music is the fact that he writes engaging blog entries on his website, so not only can you give him a listen but also read about various road stories and movie reviews.  Someone drop me a line when he posts of picture of himself getting sawed in half, okay?