Welcome to the intimate and surreal world of Chuck and Danny.
Reviewers have compared "Chuck and Danny" to early They Might Be Giants, The Tinklers, "Ween on codeine," and King Missile, and have called it "an appealing mix of spoken word/cabaret/Young Marble Giants/Joe Frank-esque drama," and have picked up on "the Ken Nordine plus beats sensibility, not to mention Napoleon Dynamite dork-chic."
You of course will have your own associations. Because Chuck and Danny are now appearing in your head.
Chuck and Danny didn't really mean for any of this to happen. They hadn't planned on making music together. But Chuck had just bought a little 4-track setup, and Danny had been plotting out songs in his head for some time. Danny, with no musical training, has an uncanny knack for layering melodic lines to support his wry observations, while Chuck, with too much musical training, was learning how to use his recording gear as they recorded, and proved to be the perfect enabler -- er, producer -- of Danny's vision.
The lyrics are spoken, with some sung choruses, and are ironic yet personal, delivered by Danny in a voice that is alternately "bratty, poignant, deadpan, naïve, snotty, and poetic." The music is atmospheric but structured, with memorable hooks, and weaves an array of sparsely employed instruments and effects into a groove that combines Brian Eno/Laurie Anderson-like soundscapes with a Burt Bacharach/Brian Wilson attention to detail. The result is a low-key, lo-fi, otherworldly pop production.
Their version of Melanie's "Brand New Key" sums up their approach (and their "unapologetic twerp factor"), stripping the song down to a repeated loping groove overlaid with Danny's deadpan reading of the lyric.
Chuck and Danny have played to some acclaim at NYC performance spaces such as ABC No Rio, Dixon Place, and The Knitting Factory. The album has been popular at some college and community stations, and in New York, Vin Scelsa has played it on his show, "Idiot's Delight."
Everyone who encounters the album is wild about it. Of course these people are mainly as far out on the fringe as Chuck and Danny themselves, but we figure there are a lot more of you lurking out there.
Danny: words, music, vocals, arrangements, other stuff
Chuck: music, instruments, vocals, recording, other stuff