If Tom Dyer were a town, he’d be Hemet and he’d run off all the Scientologists with his commands for the sun and stars to spray the land with whanging messages of, “Frank Zappa just called me from his celestial yurt and said to knock it off.” That’s about as clear as I can get in describing Tom Dyer or his music. You just have to listen to it. It’s, it’s… Well, let me at least attempt to my journalistic job and put it this way…
Dyer is so underground that he might be at the core of the Earth right now playing gigs for molten sea monkeys who run it. He’s a sort of poor man’s Tom Waits.
I don’t get high but I feel that being high might unravel Dyer’s music for me or at least make me stop staring at this spot on the wall that looks like Nixon planking. I think this album, I Ain’t Blue Anymore, is actually making me high. Is that possible? Is Tom Dyer human pot?
I brought in an expert to help determine this. My friend and musician Tom Barker III put on a lab coat made of squirrels holding hands and sat down for a listen. He speaks like a chef tasting a dish; if that dish were a pulsating bald dude in a black suit. “Actually, there’s Captain Beefheart (Dyer covers Beefheart’s Smithsonian Institute Blues faithfully) and Zappa influences as well as an obvious desire to make a person somewhat uncomfortable. Oh Led Zep influence as well… with a cultivated garage-band aroma. He could’ve been a Tip-Top band.”
Tip Top is our old bar haunt in Hunstville, Alabama where legends such as R.E.M., Fetchin’ Bones and Bo Didley would play. Is Tom Dyer human marijuana? Results inconclusive.
His cover of the Sonics’ The Witch is caught here in video form. Someone watched Slacker in college. It’s engaging to a point although I found myself distracted by what is probably supposed to be a pentagram but is actually just a star made of sticks. Like if the Blair Witch, the shiksa, married a half-Jewish warlock.
I’ve decided that Dyer should come to the house and we should perform an experiment. I want to bring over my friends and see just how high Tom Dyer can get them just by sitting there. He’s got to be potent in person.
Perhaps I should also invite my EMT friend who works Burning Man every year. I must prepare for this.
In the end, I reckon that I’d take Tom Dyer along with me in certain scenarios: A crowded plane, a late night Waffle House hang, a bouncy house filled with furries. And definitely camping in the desert, near Hemet.
I’d give a listen to:
There Be Killin’ (In My Town)
Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig)
Listen to tracks here:
Warning: Don’t Tom Dyer and drive