Dick is all grown up now. He has a job, security and a lovely girlfriend. He just can't stand one more day. the Essential Cubicle Nosepicker questions the value of modern employment, personal gain, and the discovery that one must love oneself before loving his environment. Dick, not strong enough to find this, abandon's his adult life and runs to the sea.
Don't let the funny title fool you. This is a serious adult contempory CD that is smart, sophisticated, challenging and beautiful. This by adults for adults. It is pretty and chordant with singing and piano, without being sacharine or trite.
THE SONGS range from funny and uplifting (although sarcastic and quirky) to downright sad and pondersome. The lyrics are of adult themes, and by that we mean self-actualization, self-worth, love, work, responsibility, goal-attainment, alcoholism and death. They frame into a story - like a light-wieght opera or a well-connected concept-record. A couple singing about their love and their intellectual troubles. Its smart and pretty.
THE MUSIC is sung by Dave Grant, who has a deep, masculine, raspy baritone (really raspy). He sometimes sounds like Bruce Springsteen or Johnny Cash or like Neil Diamond or Tom Waites or like Satchmo - and he sings loud and strong and with hurt and with humor. Michelle Graf comes in like an angel, a smooth, pretty high voice that lulls and harmonizes and lifts. She brings in a sleepy and gauzy, almost nicely drunkly pleasurely charm and wit and affection to her part as Ruby.
THE MUSIC is wild hot piano, influenced by classical and punk and jazz and show music. Its theatrical and grand and hyper and melodic. It has some frantic, Listz-like moments, others are sedate and thoughtful, others are playful like children's music or a parade. You can still hear Till's maniacal Screwtape and TASM nuances and humor, just slightly handicapped by the piano's natural chordance and reservation. (is this making sense?). The music is punctuated by moments of violin and fretless bass and classical guitar to sometimes achieve a chamber affect.
Compared to known artists: its like a newer Elvis Costello record (think Painted by Memory, Juliet Letters, North - both in lyrics, especially lyrics, and melody), Tori Amos (the same intensity measure by pretty music), attitude like Fiona Apple, Jonny Cash, Frank Sinatra in "Softly" or "The Lady is a Tramp" and "come to pappa come to pappa", Niel Diamond, Brian Ferry's "As time Goes By", Rollinghead with a piano and violin instead of guitars and drums (because its Dave), Kate Bush in "This Women's Work", Some drunken sing-alongs, a moment like "hungarian rhapsody", a melody stolen from Danny Elfman's soundtrack to "Edward Scissorhands", those pretty parts in "Thing and Nothing", Elliot Smith, moments like Sting or David Gray. Ben Folds Five. Harry Connick Jr. Danny Kaye. Dean Martin. Randy Newman.
Dick is portrayed by charismatic singer, David Grant, formally of the rock bands "Dead River Drag" and "Rolling Head". Ruby, Dick's girlfriend, is sung by the talented Michelle Graf of "Blue Dahlia" and TASM Lab's Thing and Nothing. The music was written and performed by Jeff Till, himself. This is his quiet little record. Usually he likes to scare people with music, like when they jab you at a cheap haunted house.
More information, samples, and ipod/mp3 versions available at tasmlab.com