Friday, September 08, 2006

Arrogance And Don Dixon

Despite the title of this post, it's not a tirade against Don Dixon, one of my all time favorite singer-songwriters. In fact, "Arrogance" was the name of one of Don's earlier bands, a popular outfit in North Carolina back in the 70's and early 80's that recorded a couple of major label LPs, a couple other not-so-major label goodies, then crumbled as members went on to other things. Dixon went on to produce bands ranging from R.E.M. to the Smithereens, but his greatest work can be found on his solo albums. His first, "Most of the Girls Like To Dance", spawned a radio hit in "Praying Mantis", but all of his work is worth seeking out. Genre-wise, we're talking "gritty guitar pop"...

Don married singer Marti Jones (who deserves a post of her own, but is also highly highly HIGHLY recommended) and since that glorious day they've been collaborating off and on. I caught Don and Marti on tour at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano back in 1991, and the show ranks up there with Springsteen in '78 (twice) and Costello in '79 as one of my favorite concert experiences. (Marti's live CD from that era, "Live At Spirit Square", is still available and remains a must have in any music lover's collection...)

Anyhow, Don has a plethora of new tunes available for the devoted. First up is his latest studio album, "The Entire Combustible World in One Small Room." A song cycle revolving around "rooms", at first blush you might detect a whiff of pretension, but trust me, but this is a wonderfully melodic, evocative work. It's available on Amazon, and you should buy it "new" so Don gets a few pennies. "Combustible" made it's digital debut at efolkmusic. com, where you can download the CD cheap, and also find a number of other unusual/previously unreleased tracks from both Don and Marti. I highly recommend the live version of "Praying Mantis" from Don's compilation CD "Notepad #38", a rave-up, horn-sectioned bit of high energy madness. (And when do we get the ENTIRE concert, please?) Finally, Arrogance-the-band reformed a couple of years ago for a few shows, one of which has been put up for sale at emusic.com. It's more high energy fun, and definitely worth the downloading fees...

So join the Dixon brigade! He's got a place over at Myspace.com that lists upcoming concerts, if you get a chance to see him, run, don't walk...

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