Broose Dickinson
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Broose Dickinson

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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"BROOSE: Acoustic"

"(He) smiles like a guy who knows a good joke, but isn't telling," says former Bulletin theatre writer Terry Deane of eclectic musician Broose Dickinson, who has been fascinating followers of the Dallas music scene for well over a decade. "I had to 'follow' him at a Cactus Moon open mic," says Terry, "and if I hadn't have been so blown away by his style and such, I might've been pretty gnarled by it."

Despite the fact that Broose Dickinson was something of an iconic figure in the North Texas music ranks, nowadays, he makes his home on a spread of acreage out near Splendora, taking up painting when he quietly--and inadvertently--retired from the music business. Dickinson made his rep up in Big D as frontman of a long-lamented band called Pop Poppins, a hard-rocking pop-metal quartet that made three albums for the now-defunct Carpe Diem Records before just kind of unraveling after a disagreement with their management company. "I thought it was more important to be in the studio and writing songs than to be in some bar in Montana on a Tuesday night playing for three people," he says. "After that, there was kind of just nothing." Dickinson's cohorts in the band drifted off into other musical projects while the singer used all the sudden extra time off to come up with his own personal endeavor—TOOMuchTV. "It was really just me and my friends," Dickinson says, "They'd just help me out when they had the time.”

Broose Dickinson then took off four years from music to pursue the true passion of his life: painting. He does some nice work, too. On his website--broose.com--you can browse the Broose gallery; there you'll find lovely, tastefully colorful oil paintings reflecting everything from the daily bustle of life in New York City to the pastoral beauty of peaceful Splendora. Plus there's digitally enhanced drawings, sketches, and portraits. "Painting is what I know. That's where I started from in life, and it's much more of a solitary process than making music with a band, because it's just you.”

Dickinson found his way back to music just last year, writing songs by himself for the very first time. "All I did in Pop Poppins was write my lyrics and arrange the vocal melodies; the actual music was up to the other guys. I feel like I'm learning more about songwriting and can do it better now." Since re-emerging, Dickinson has traveled the countryside, playing open mics and meeting songwriters--and, says Broose, there are a lot of them out there. "That's what Houston is really shaping up to be, I think -- a songwriter's town. Too bad there's no one centralized spot for everyone to meet up.” - The Bulletin


"Broose Combines Love Of Art With Music"

Broose Dickinson's world is one of vibrant oil paintings, deep acoustic music and gentle sketches. It is the Splendora resident's own virtual museum. Showcasing his art and musical endeavors since 1997, many say Dickinson's Web site, www.broose.com, is worthy of exploration. Using the Internet to share his vision with the world, Dickinson says his artistic impulses can't be stopped. Living in Splendora with wife, Sabrina, and 2-year-old son, Remi, Dickinson splits time between painting and music. He often creates songs to accompany paintings.

John Trickett, who has known Dickinson for eight years, owns a sketchbook and family portrait done by the artist. "He has a couple of disciplines he masters," Trickett said. "He's great at visual rhythms. The family portrait he did is a prized possession of mine. It's really heavy on the interpretation, particularly on the moment. He's a tremendous talent."

Dickinson caught the eye of Mark Rudkin, who is now his manager. Rudkin was a radio program director when he heard Dickinson's song, "Forget About That" done by his band, TOOMuchTV. "He has the most clever, well-written songs I've ever heard," Rudkin said. "There's an eerie timelessness to the way his songs come together. Because he's a painter, he builds on the composition and does that with his music," Rudkin said. "It's pleasing to the ear. I'm completely floored by the complexity of his music."

Dickinson says his music was influenced by Buddy Holly and The Smiths, a British rock band of the 1980's. Hooking up with musician friends at UT in Arlington, where he grew up, Dickinson found himself in the Deep Ellum district in Dallas where he became immersed in the alternative art and music scene.

Although he met his wife while in New York, they moved back to Texas to get married. Dickinson settled in Splendora, but still travels to Dallas often for singing engagements. Dickinson is intent on keeping music and art alive in his life and will occasionally play a small venue in the Houston and Humble areas. - Houston Chronicle


"Splendora's Best Kept Secret"

Hailing from Splendora, Broose Dickinson, artist and musician, injects creativity into a quiet community. Isolated in the rural piney woods of deep East Texas, Dickinson’s recording studio churns out his signature sound, which he describes as “electric melodic-folk with a pinch of Texas.” Dickinson’s gently rusty and unmistakably Texan voice sings whimsical lyrics backed up by edgy and experimental guitar chord combinations. Dickinson described how his 10-year residence in Deep Ellum, an alternative arts-district in Dallas, profoundly influenced his work. “Deep Ellum was my artistic sanctuary. It gave me a place to express my creativity without being ridiculed.”

While Austin is known as the live music capitol of Texas, Dallas deserves the title of the creative music capital, according to Dickinson. “The difference between the two is that musicians wanting to further their career in folk or rhythm and blues go to Austin, and musicians wanting pop or alternative music go to Deep Ellum.” Dickinson found artistic refuge in Deep Ellum’s preference for original music over crowd-pleasing cover bands that pepper the music scene in Austin’s Sixth Street Entertainment District. He expressed the dissatisfaction with Houston’s live music venues, stating that, “Houston needs an area of town where musicians can hang out together without having to get in a car and drive twenty minutes to get to the next place."

Dickinson noted which artists and bands influenced his music. “Musically, I believe the Beatles were the best.” He also gave the Smiths and Buddy Holly high rankings, and said, “If he [Buddy Holly] was alive today, I’d ask him to produce my next album.”

Dickinson’s discography spans over five albums, ranging from his early 90s pop-metal quartet Pop Poppins, to the easy listening lounge music of TOOMuchTV.

In addition to Dickinson’s ear for music is his eye for color. The creative genius behind 300-plus original paintings, mostly oil and acrylic on canvas, Dickinson’s art tells it’s story in unapologetically bold, vibrant hues. His collection is available to view at www.broose.com Dickinson noted that the painting that authentically symbolizes his artistic style is “The Shower.” An abstract oil on canvas, Dickinson painted with different shades of blue and green with hints of yellow to create “The Shower.” The combination of soothing colors in the painting cools the eyes and invites the imagination to wander beyond the steps leading to the shower door. Dickinson noted some of his artistic influences, noting, “...Ingres is one of my favorite painters because of his ability to pull off perfection.” Even an untrained viewer’s eye could see the Neoclassical influence that Ingres has on Dickinson’s work, with his expert use of dramatic color and light. Dickinson also included Cezanne in his list of artistic influences, claiming that he liked Cezanne, “...because of his individual style and his reluctance to be swayed by the other artists of his time.” Before Dickinson even knew who Cezanne and Ingres were, he remembers submitting art projects at school that encouraged his artistic ability and sparked his imagination. “The first important painting I remember completing was a bloody war scene of the Alamo when I was eleven years old - it was an open assignment for my Texas History class.” Dickinson said that he didn’t suddenly become aware of his artistic streak; he had known all along. Dickinson asserted, “My role as artist is the one thing in my life that I’ve never questioned.”

Dickinson’s art, whether musical or visual, is refreshing and original. His originality is something that he takes pride in, and individuality is a constant theme in his work. His generous contributions to Texas culture make his art Splendora’s best kept secret. - Kingwood Observer


Discography

1987 October 8th "E Pluribus Unum"
1988 A Conspiracy Of Equals "Everyone"
1989 Pop Poppins "The Lover"
1990 Pop Poppins "The Other Lover"
1990 "BROOSE: Portraying A Purist"
1991 Pop Poppins "Delight In Disorder"
1991 "BROOSE: The Simple Singist"
1992 Pop Poppins "The Epitome of Simplicity"
1993 Pop Poppins "Pop Poppins"
1994 "BROOSE: As An Individualist"
1995 "BROOSE: Exploring A Diverse Universe"
1997 TOOMuchTV "TOOMuch Is Not Enough"
1997 TOOMuchTV "Forget About That" EP
1997 Pop Poppins "Non Pop-Specific"
1999 "BROOSE: Music For Paintings"
2000 "BROOSE: Wearing Several Hats"
2003 "BROOSE: Collection 1"
2004 "BROOSE: Collection 1.4"
2004 "BROOSE: Psychosomatic Static 1.0"
2004 "BROOSE: Psychosomatic Static 1.1"

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

California-born, Texas-raised BROOSE Dickinson established himself in the ’90s as an influential and prolific musician and artist. As a band frontman (TOOMuchTV, pop poppins, October 8th) and producer (Meredith Louise Miller), Broose helped define the fledgling Deep Ellum scene in Dallas. Later, he was a neighborhood artist-in-residence and board member for the Deep Ellum Center for the Arts (DECA), which featured several exhibits of his paintings (oil and acrylic on canvas). After DECA was shuttered in 1999, Broose relocated to NYC to continue his formal art studies and self-taught music.

His latest effort, Psychosomatic Static 1.1, features layered solo compositions with Broose playing all parts, interspersed with everything from a spontaneous jam by his Dallas band TOOMuchTV to spoken word snippets. Created during a three week sabbatical from familial duties in summer 2004, the disc is Broose’s first composed primarily on acoustic guitar. He also served as engineer and producer for the project. “This is a stepping stone,” Broose says. “If I’d had more time to record, there would be 15 more tracks, from a few seconds to 4 minutes.”

Psychosomatic Static 1.1 is both a sonic and visual work in progress. Psychosomatic Static 1.0 was limited to an initial release of only 25 copies, with signed and numbered print artwork by Broose. The subsequent Psychosomatic Static 1.1 will be a run of 1000 copies with new cover artwork and revised audio mixes.

Broose still performs occasionally with bassist Owen Kinser and drummer John Scully as TOOMuchTV. TMTV released a CD and EP in 1997 (including Max Hartman [Mur] on guitar). “TOOMuchTV started out as solo album,” Broose explains. “So many friends played on it, I didn’t feel comfortable calling it solo, so that was my project name. Now, with Psychosomatic Static, the reverse happened. I felt guilty calling it TOOMuchTV.”