Dan Cray
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Dan Cray

Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Truth In Stuff"

Dan Cray - Paeans to booze, arguments with God. Dan Cray delivers haunting and yet toungue-in-cheek folk-pop carols about everything you care about. Celebrate your vices and float away to the timeless tunes and subtle poeticism. - Jay Wightman

"Kali H."

If music can be described in images, then Dan Cray's contemplative songs would be all of these: days when there's nothing but fog as far as you can see; a grungy city sidewalk after a rainstorm; and an empty street in December twilight.

Cray takes a guitar and makes it strum chords that echo loneliness, pain, sadness and fatigue. When he sings, his disquieting, exasperated sighs reveal the aches that signal having given up trying, hoping and believing in much outside of -- and sometimes within -- himself.

These are beautiful songs precisely because of the emptiness they express, in the same way that overcast skies can sometimes inspire more feelings than rays of sun. - Listen.Com

"Jim Santo's Demo Universe, on "How's My Driving?""

Jenn Cray's chirpy recitation of Dr. Seuss' "Oh The Places You'll Go!" provides the conceptual road map for another Dan Cray trip into the heart of darkness. Love, and all the pain resulting, is the theme this time out, expressed in quietly shattering songs like "Happy Hour" ("You were the first lust that I trusted/You'll be the last love I endure/You call it space/I call it war.") and "Two TVs" ("I'll take the couch/You'll take the bed/It's the ease of two TVs/And a kitchen in between."). I could fill this review with Cray quotes and still not convey Cray's gift. He's a lyric surgeon, effortlessly excising our stinking viscera and laying them on the coffee table. And oh, the guitars! Majestic and jaundiced, they slither like pretty pink lizards and rise like cranes from a burning lake. Peter Gabriel trod these boards once upon a foxtrot. Now it's Cray's turn to take the stage. Here's your chance for a front-row seat. Don't miss out. - Jim Santo


Beyond Id - The Stovin Years
Little Help (Summer 2004)
The Suburb E.P. (Summer 2003)
Slider Game (Summer 2001)
Terra Cotta's Just Clay (Summer 2000)
How's My Driving? (Spring 1999)
Foul Berth (Summer 1997)
Wetbrain (Winter 1996)
The Salad Days (Summer 1996)
She's All By Myself (Spring 1996)


Feeling a bit camera shy


From Jim Santo's Demo Universe, circa 2000 or so: (Still holds true although now we're alternating gigs between Boston and LA every few months)

Dan Cray did the band thing for five years in the early '90s, but like so many groups, Beyond Id was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"We kinda shot ourselves in the foot," explains Cray from the safety of his home studio, The Rubber Room. "We were really into the Velvet Underground, no-planning, as-it-happens kinda thing; just making a lot of noise that nobody liked. We played all over Boston, but nobody ever wanted us back."

After the demise of Beyond Id -- a victim of far-flung employment and education opportunities -- Cray committed himself to The Rubber Room (so named for the foam soundproofing that hangs on the walls and keeps his neighbors happy) and the free-wheeling world of 4-track recording.

Cray has produced "a bunch" of tapes over the years, but only one has thus far surfaced in public. And what a tape! Unfurling like a long, sad dream, Foul Berth flows from one beautiful, unsettling melody to the next, sometimes contemplative, at others softly abrasive. American Music Club, Pavement, Miracle Legion and Yo La Tengo come to mind.

Cray, however, cites other influences. "I was always into Archers Of Loaf and Guided by Voices," he says. "Right now I'm really hooked on this Neutral Milk Hotel band. They've got a real heavy Kinks influence. Growing up, I was schooled on Neil Diamond."

Cray's gorgeously corroded cover of Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale" is a pleasant surprise that does not diminish the impact of his original material. "I just always loved that song," he says. "I almost didn't put it on the tape; I'd done all the guitar tracks and vocals and it was like a real pansy version of a great tune. That was when a little bit of weed went into it. I put some crazy guitar on it, like a Bevis Frond kind of thing, and it turned out alright."

Recording in his apartment puts limits on what Cray can do with his music, but also affords the freedom to seek unusual solutions. "My last tape sounded kinda hollow, and I realized what it was missing was percussion," he relates. Real drums wouldn't have made his neighbors happy, so Cray resorted to banging on household objects. A wine rack was used in "Whiter Shade," and Saran-wrapped salad bowls are heard on other tracks. "There's no real drums at all, just a bunch of metal things," he says. "The cymbals were these weird brass trays."

Another key instrument in Cray's toolkit is the television, or rather, televisions, several of which crowd his work space. "It's good for lighting in the room," he reveals. "There's nothing better than fiddling around, watching an old movie; they write their own songs."

A famous flop provided the inspiration for Foul Berth. "On all of the tapes I make, I put these little sound clips and segues," says Cray. "On this one, they were all from 'Ishtar.' It's about two idiot songwriters; they write the worst songs in the world. I kind of let the soundbites blend into the music and determine the sequence of the songs. I let 'Ishtar' tell me what to do."

Eager to put a new band together, but as yet unable to find the right players, Cray makes do with home-taping, infrequent acoustic gigs and an odd job.

"I work in a glue factory," says Cray with some pride. "I cook, basically, mixing different chemicals, but I tell everybody that I hit the horse in the head as it comes down the conveyor belt."