New year. New decade. New Dan Susnara!
Yes, folks, we have reason to celebrate to be sure—Dan´s first new music since 2017´s Bad Robot / A Scoundrel In Our Midsection! ep. onezeroeightAHHH is a typically solid Susnara release, to my ears a bit on the Prog end of Dan´s musical spectrum. Short of calling it Prog per se, I can tell you it´s arrangement-heavy, things change quickly, moods shift frequently, and melodies are coyingly elsusive yet present. Your grandmother´s sing-along verse-and-chorus this is not.
In fact, the first few listens really had me awestruck at just how intricate the arrangements are and how a one-man band could pull this stuff off; it's pretty seamless. After multiple listens I´m still incredibly impressed with Dan´s foresight, planning and ability to put this all together.
The album consists of 13 tracks, 11 with lyrics and 2 instrumentals. Thematically speaking, all of the typical Susnara fringe characters are here, including a writer who is attempting to stop himself from committing the same murder as the protaganist of his novel; a meekish, quiet librarian who looks for sex and mescaline outside of work; and, of course, the usual assortment of drug-imbibing outcasts getting all creeped-out and paranoid whenever the cops come around.
“Good Thoughts” opens the album on an uncharacteristically cheerful note, with its cosmic imagery and sunshine vibe reminding us to keep it light and positive if we know what´s good for us. Not what you´d typically expect from Dan but a great song nonetheless. Other highlights include “For Anastacia and Her Beggarman”, a full-on sexual fantasy set in the 17th century and coming across like Jim Morrison at his most peverse and misogynistic—even finishing with a Morrison-like rant at the end. And “Bad Robot” makes an appearance here, too, a tale of man vs machine-gone-wrong Stanley Kubrick would be most proud of.
To me the most surprising thing here is what isn´t here—Dan´s keen eye and sharp tongue on the state of the world as we know it today. Written and recorded during the first three years of the Trump presidency, Dan is notably reticent this time around. One page of the lyric book is devoted to a Trump head collage, but the collage includes images of dollars and piggy banks... seemingly a ststement more about Trump the billionaire than Trump the president. Never shy with social and political criticism in the past, perhaps Dan is taking his own advice from “Good Thoughts” and trying to stay positive.
To purchase a copy of onezeroeightAHHH, send an email to this website.
Happy New Year, friends and fans of Dan Susnara!
We begin 2019 on a sad note as we learn of the passing of Dan’s long-time friend and collaborator, Frank Rutledge. Originally known as a talented guitarist, Frank spent many of his early years toughing it out in various local bands in the Chicago area; he could shred with the best of them but more often than not displayed a tastefulness to his playing that always seemed to put the song first instead of his ego.
But at the end of day writing poetry was his passion and he spent the final years of his life perfecting his craft. Always kind of a shy and quiet man, he nevertheless came alive through his poetry, brandishing a larger-than-life persona that not only showcased the brilliance of his word choices but also the depth and vision of his thoughts. Frank also was a prominent member of his local poetry scene, working tirelessly to organize readings, hold workshops and support his fellow poets. He was both a lifelong student of poetry as well as a true champion of it that is, to much dismay, woefully underpublished.
Frank Rutledge died in Aurora, IL on January 3, 2019. His voice, vision and friendship will be greatly missed
On April 21 Dan Susnara and his latest release, Breadwinter.One, was featured on the Outsight Radio Hours live webcast. Host Tom Schulte played much of the album and included a great interview with Dan. Thanks to Tom for his interest in Dan’s music and for helping it reach a wider audience.Radio Gets Wild. Recent episodes can be found here.
Happy New Year, Friends of Dan Susnara.
Two great new Susnara releases now available on CD.
First is the latest installment of Dan's ongoing collaboration with California indie rocker Micky Saunders, “Known” b/w “Better Tomorrows”. “Known” is classic Micky/Dan, with a lilting melody, pleasant boy/girl vocals and a resourceful sonic palette that includes hints of theramin and marimba along with Dan's tasteful lead guitar work. “Better Tomorrows” is slightly different: it's thicker-sounding, with Micky's multi-tracked vocals following a fuzzed-out Dan guitar in a melody that seems to be constantly twisting and turning. It's good stuff, and it's available for $3 from Dan, Micky or this website.
At the opposite end of the musical spectrum is Dan's newest Musique Concrete/Sampling Mashup, released under yet another new moniker, Breadwinter. Breadwinter.One carries on a long-standing Susnara tradition of marrying found voices to a variety of disoncerting soundscapes, forcing the listener to rethink the context of where the voices came from and what they really are saying. The juxtapostion of sounds and voices can be quite startling at times—if you need a point of reference, let's just say this is the album that justifies why I can say I love Dan Susnara and Nurse With Wound in the same sentence.What a trip this album is (especially on headphones!). Some of it is really, really, really creepy—eerie goats (or something), creaking doors, heavy breathing, phones that refuse to stop ringing, voices of beings that can't be human—this is Dan at his disturbing horror soundtrack best. And that's just the first two tracks! The adventurous mood is consistent throughout, making this quite an intense listening experience. I guarantee you will hear something different in it every time you play it—there is so much going on that sometimes this borders on information overload. But, in this instance, that's a good thing.
This is a twisted album—and I mean that as the highest form of compliment imaginable. It's brilliant. Buy this CD, you won't get more for your $10 anywhere else.
Dan's annual trip to California has resulted in yet another slice of groovy psychedelic pop with Micky Saunders. On "Riding On Moonbeams" / "Analog Slim In Luddite Land" the two veteran home-tapers serve up another pair of catchy melodies inherently reminiscent of the garages of America circa 1966. Dan and Micky have never sounded better together and this EP illustrates just how intuitive the two have become with each other after years of collaboration. (CDEP $3)
Also available now is Dan's new solo album, Vent, Grin and Conquer. Less esoteric than its 2009 predecessor My August Mac, on this release Dan returns to a more straightforward pop sound with the typical Susnara results: 10 melodic gems featuring inspired playing, imaginative production and intelligent, no-holds-barred lyrics. Buy this CD and find out why Dan Susnara is one of Indie Rock's most notoriously neglected artists. (CD $10)
In other news, Dan has begun work on another collaboration with Greg Stomberg, this time playing the role of narrator! The 2nd Annual Trips Festival is an audio version of a short story written by Greg about a group of friends whose lives are changed forever after a night of indulgence. “I really liked the story,” says Dan, “and hope to do [it] justice.”
A masterpiece amidst a catalog of masterpieces, this just might be the best recording Dan Susnara has ever released. It's available for $15 directly through Dan (see contact page) or email email@example.com.
That fact becomes undeniably evident on 2002–2007 Singles, a retrospective of the last five years of Dan and Micky's annual summer collaborations. More than half the songs included appear on CD for the first time.
Both releases are available through Dan or Micky ($10 CD, $3 CDEP).
Get Sanur here.
The disc can be purchased from either Dan or Micky.
The cd can be purchased from BandMecca.com.
2007 The cd can be purchased
The cd can be purchased at BandMecca.com.
Sept 9th - 6-8 pm
Sunday, Sept 10 (8-10 pm) 9 On Bali will performing at:
They'll be playing two 45 minute sets including a mix of songs from Kite Hawker on the Beach and their ambient material.
This will be the first time the full band has played with Dan Susnara.
Also, 9 On Bali (sans Dan Susnara) will be performing a rare live show on Friday, June 2 at Art Asylum, 1230 May River Rd (Highway 46), Bluffton, SC. The show is free and begins at 6 pm. Call 843-757-2741 for more information.
Another new release is Don Campau's Pen Pals 4 collaboration CDR, featuring Dan Susnara, Micky Saunders and others. Now available from http://lonelywhistle.tripod.com/lwcatalog/.
Those who tuned in to the 9 On Bali interview in Lexington last month heard that Dan is readying himself to make the move to digital recording and the world of compact disc. Until that time, though, we'll have to wait for his next cassette release, which Dan reports is currently in its final stages.
According to Don Campau's website, his compilation Pen Pals 4 is in the final stages of production. Dan Susnara has two songs on the compilation, “Run to the River” and “Screw My Brain Till It Hurts”. The disc also features Micky Saunders, Lord Litter, Andrew Maurer and more.
To hear a live acoustic version of 9 On Bali's “At His Cordial Best” from last month's WRFL interview, go here.
Dan and Dan will be on at 11pm in Boulder, which will be 12 midnight in the Chicago/Midwest area. The show runs for an hour. Fyodor will be interviewing the band in between songs and playing cuts from the Kite Hawker on the Beach CD.
Also, Dan's new song, "Would You Like To Be My Girlfriend?" is the Song of the Month on the Cropcircle Collective website. The song is free to download throughout the month of March.
Dan Sweigert of 9 On Bali discusses the new album and working with Dan Susnara in an interview recorded January 29, 2005. To hear that interview, click here.