Dane  Terry
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Dane Terry

Band Folk Cabaret


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"Top Live And Local: Dane Terry"

By Jon Theiss
Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 2:15 PM EST
Dane Terry sat down with Jon Theiss at his home in Clintonville for an exclusive interview, playing unplugged versions of three songs from his upcoming solo record, Songs of the Telephant.

Dane Terry is a Columbus native who majored in Orchestral Composition at The Ohio State University before deciding to try his hand at what he calls "neo-vaudeville," piano-based cabaret-rock. He now hosts a live monthly variety show at James Club 88, plays in the band Wartime Ladies, and performs all around Columbus.

What does he sound like? A jangly honky-tonk Ben Folds at theater-camp.

Dane played "Lies about love," a country-fried appalachian piece with complex key and rhythm changes, "Back on my Tracks," a quirky ballad about a backyard barbecue, and "Submarine and Motorboat," the chronicle of a star-crossed relationship between (you guessed it) a submarine and a motorboat.

Watch TOP's Live Music Calendar online and in print every Thursday to catch his next show. Check back for more artist profiles in the Other Paper's online music series Top Live and Local, featuring some of Columbus's best local talent.

- The Other Paper


I am currently recording my debut LP "Songs Of The Telephant". The songs "My Heart, That Tired Old Thing" and "Back On My Tracks" have been featured on local radio.



I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I started playing piano when I was very small, just picking out tunes by ear. When I was in 7th grade I saw someone in my class play a rudimentary version of Canon in D and made him teach it to me. By the end of 8th grade i was playing in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis and pounding my way through teenage angst in empty dark auditoriums. Boogie and jangle led to the brooding romanticism of late 19th and early 20th century composers which in turn led to the detached soundscapes of Morton Feldman and the quasi- philosophical works of John Cage. Then almost as a reaction to the mathematical detachment of much of 20th century "art" music I started to crave honest human communications. I wanted to make tangible, handheld, portable sound-scapes that while not ignoring the history of tonal exploration sought to directly emotionally affect other people. I tend to focus on the darker subtleties and nuances of a particular emotion. Although I absolutely adore a good musical number. For those reasons and the simple fact that I'm a pianist, I was attracted to the idea of cabaret. I discovered the history of cabaret was wrought with sexuality and in particular sexual minorities such as gays, lesbians, transvestites and the transgendered and that these venues and this art served, and in slightly different incarnations still serves as an underground haven of personal freedom. It felt like home. I try to honor that sense of escape and open expression in my performances and musical philosophy.