Dan Reeder - "Nobody Wants to Be You" (audio) (premiere)
Dan Reeder's "Nobody Wants to Be You" could be the soundtrack to a 1950s film noir, but one in which you never see the femme fatale.
Dan Reeder is a DIY kind of artist who is always creating something but not necessarily recording music for public consumption. He's just released his fourth CD in 13 years, an EP as a precursor to a full-length production in 2018. The title cut "Nobody Wants to Be You" is typical Reeder fare: irreverent, strange and nonsensical. It is also heartfelt, bristly and fun. There are no hidden secret messages. What you hear is what you get.
The piano playing is simple and given ample sonic room. Reeder doesn't show off as much as much as boast. No one could be in more trouble than you already are -- you being everybody and himself and nobody at the same time. Reeder swaggers through a litany of real life money problems and what happens when one doesn't pay off one's debts. This could be the soundtrack to a '50s-era film noir, but one in which you never see the femme fatale. One's imagination personalizes the situation.
Reeder designs all of his album art, including the image which goes along the video that also serves as the album cover. The American ex-patriate who now lives in Germany is a respected artist -- or at least can claim to be to receive German government benefits. He still seems quintessentially American in terms of his funny bone. The black humor of finding formidable loan enforcers in one's living room but still being afraid to tell the wife what is going on seems a dated national trope, but maybe it functions as current in the backwaters of Europe. That's a joke! Reeder may be corny. He understands he's spinning an old yarn but also knows its value lies in how it's told.