Dolph Chaney
EPK Pro

Dolph Chaney

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1987 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1987
Solo Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

Music

Press


"Big Stir: Athanor & Holiday Maxi-Single"

Dolph Chaney’s acoustic guitar-driven “Christmas” looks for light in the shadows of a season that runs the full spectrum of emotions…“the pitter-patter of little defeats”…after repeatedly asking “Can it be Christmas” as scenes of past and present float by, the answer arrives…“Well, it is, said a voice, with nobody attached…” The doubt and disillusionment melt away as the true meaning of the season reveals itself. It’s a beautifully honest and emotional track that takes a non-traditional route to the heart of it all. - Mike DeAngelis, There Once Was A Note


"Rob Smith Can’t Say No: Dolph Chaney, GLASS BREAK DEMENTIA"

“So Where Were the Spiders” rocks with its sweet melody and power pop crunch. “Queen for a Day” possesses a really witty lyric, particularly in the second verse, in which Chaney daydreams about being IN Queen for a day:

"I’d like to be in Queen for a day
Taylor, Deacon and May
Get together and play
Firmly free the bad company

But I know that’s a laugh—
I’ve got half of the chops I’d need,
I’m no showman to boot,
And my chestless catsuit
Would make all the front row’s eyes bleed."

Now that’s funny, clever stuff. I chuckled, and noticed how much crisper the barebones arrangement was on this song, than on “About Time.” “Afraid of Love Songs”—a sad-sack, loser-at-love anthem if ever there wuz one—likewise shows wit and a penchant for amusing word games, particularly in the choruses. “Thanksgiving” is a simple list of things he’s thankful for, with a nicely sentimental reprise (“But mostly I thank you for you”) after each verse.

It’s moments like those that give you hope for a guy like Dolph Chaney. With a little less focus on puns and spoonerisms and the sympathetic backing of a real rhythm section... boy could grow up to be king. Check out his Web site (www.dolphchaney.com, of course) to download/listen to Glass Break Dementia in its entirety, free of charge.

Thanks to Dolph for sharing his music. - Popdose


"New Bird Rise review"

"Dolph Chaney, singer/songwriter, sashays thru pleasant acoustic-guitar (and sometimes a hint of synth) accompanied soft pop tones, poetical excursions supported by subtle supple melodies. Intriguing. Bittersweet romance, lost love, and more expressed elegantly in capable verse: "I held your present in the past, and I would like to take it back. I know, before this line is cast, your baited breath is what I lack" (from "Out of the Picture"); "I throw a rock at your head, but I miss you" (from "Miss You"); "And your smile in the fog just fades in a half-decade's serenades, like the moment I lost sight of you through the windshield" (from "New Years"); and "Lie to me, and let me lie with you. I'm tired of the truth; I just want you" (from "Let Me Lie")." - Riff Gibson, Raging Smolder Music Review


"New Bird Rise review"

"Chaney's very amusing bio and a 1988 endorsement by Eugene Chadbourne as proof that "musical insanity is alive and well" led me to expect something rather more wacky than New Bird actually is. In fact, with the exception of "Ocean," a brief and peculiar ode to a brand of saltwater nasal spray, Chaney comes off as a tender, compassionate, erudite songsmith, with a wry sense of humor that deflates any encroaching sappiness. Affairs of the heart are a primary concern, but the spirit gets its due in several songs that exult Chaney's faith and love of God with uncommon subtlety. By emphasizing his personal relationship with the Almighty and eschewing proselytizing, he's a more successful missionary than more overtly "Christian" artists I've encountered." - Jim Santo, Demo Universe


"Big Stir Singles - The Fourth Wave (Big Stir Records)"

"This is essential for a number of reasons-firstly, the twenty-five tracks are an eclectic mix which I’ll get to shortly. Secondly $5 from every compact disc and download purchase goes to the Ed Asner Family Center who work tirelessly providing help to children, adults and families struggling with issues around mental health and cognitive disability. Thirdly, it is a display of kindness in an industry which at times seems devoid of any compassion towards artists or society in general. This is remarkable, well worth checking out, and one of those rare occasions when everyone benefits.

Now, for the music, this is not a stocking filler, this is simply all killer. Personally it is like a memorable dive into some of my favourite power-pop tracks of the last few months.  There is plenty of experimentation on offer with the eighties-styled Dolph Chaney who crowns passionately in front of a wall of melody.

Variety, Prowess and pleasure equates to a compact disc wedged in a car stereo for the coming months. My hope is that albums such as these are sent out to up-and-coming garage bands as a guide on how to execute power-pop-rock perfectly. Big Stir Records: The Fourth Wave is the gift which will keep giving (joy) long after the season of goodwill ends." - Kevin Burke, The Big Takeover


"2 tracks on Big Stir CD benefit for special needs families"

This is essential for a number of reasons-firstly, the twenty-five tracks are an eclectic mix which I’ll get to shortly. Secondly $5 from every compact disc and download purchase goes to the Ed Asner Family Center who work tirelessly providing help to children, adults and families struggling with issues around mental health and cognitive disability. Thirdly, it is a display of kindness in an industry which at times seems devoid of any compassion towards artists or society in general. This is remarkable, well worth checking out, and one of those rare occasions when everyone benefits.
Now, for the music, this is not a stocking filler, this is simply all killer. Personally it is like a memorable dive into some of my favourite power-pop tracks of the last few months. There is plenty of experimentation on offer with the eighties-styled Dolph Chaney who crowns passionately in front of a wall of melody.
Variety, Prowess and pleasure equates to a compact disc wedged in a car stereo for the coming months. My hope is that albums such as these are sent out to up-and-coming garage bands as a guide on how to execute power-pop-rock perfectly. Big Stir Records: The Fourth Wave is the gift which will keep giving (joy) long after the season of goodwill ends." - Kevin Burke, THE BIG TAKEOVER


"Big Stir Singles: The Fourth Wave CD"

"Dolph Chaney (It’s OK, I Am The B Side): “It’s OK” is a ballad with a psychedelic freak-out midsection…“If you see me walking down the street, tell me it’s OK…” It’s brilliantly arranged, as the psychedelia persists through the second half of the song. “I Am The B Side” is a fun take on the concept of the B Side being unceremoniously assigned a minor and/or forgotten role…just like some people. Wonderful use of a metaphor as something more universal. “I’m the B Side of your favorite single…you never listen to me…”" - Mike DeAngelis, THERE ONCE WAS A NOTE


Discography

ALBUMS (* = available on iTunes, eMusic, and other major download services)

REBUILDING PERMIT - 2020
*
* SHENANIGANS - 2013
* LOUDNESS 2 11 - 2012
* GLASS BREAK DEMENTIA - 2009
HIPPO HOLLANDAISE - 2008
* GUMSHOE KOALA - 2008
* CLIMBING MOUNTAIN TIME - 2005
VERY JUST FINE:
* VOLUME ONE - 1999
LOUDNESS TWO - 2001
AMPLITUDE THREE - 2004
* HEADBONKER (live) - 1999
* NEW BIRD RISE - 1998
HUMBUG GLORY - 1996
INFINITY DOGS - 1994
RIPPLES - 1993

Photos

Bio

In 2016, Dolph Chaney was a JEOPARDY! contestant. Alex Trebek spent his interview with Dolph by trading "Weird Al" Yankovic anecdotes. His correct question-answers included John Lennon, Flight Of The Conchords, and Jesse & the Rippers. So, if you're new to Dolph's music, you should know that you're in talented, smart, and funny hands. These hands hold a new album for 2020, entitled REBUILDING PERMIT.

Starting in 1987, around the time Robert Pollard and Lou Barlow were starting to do the same in rec rooms in Dayton and Northampton, Dolph (then 13 years old) began messing around with words, melodies, guitars, his Realistic Moog synthesizer, and half-malfunctioning tape recorders in his Indianapolis basement.

REBUILDING PERMIT arrives 7 years after its predecessor, SHENANIGANS, a one-man-show of Dolph's creativity and craft with loose but listenable sonics. The solo approach follows a line from homemade peaks such as GUMSHOE KOALA (2008) and LOUDNESS 2 11 (2012). REBUILDING has PERMITted outside collaborators for the first time since 1998's NEW BIRD RISE. These include engineer Milk Arnold ("will mix for pie") and drummers Clayton Melocik (on the giant jangle of pre-album single "It's OK") and Jim LeFager, who navigates the album's genre gauntlet from rolling folk ("The Biscuit (Who Grabbed My Face)") to sensitive and deft rock grooves ("Broken," "If I Write It Down," and "Diet Of Worms"), from roots-rock ("The Handling," "A Good Road Is Hard To Find") and end-of-prom waltzing ("(Who Am I) To Ask You To Dance?") to the '90s-throwback agitpop-punk of "The President Of The United States Is The Breitbart Bimbo."

Jim and Milk also helped Dolph resurrect "I Am The B-Side," a song written 25 years earlier for his Houston-based band Port Radium, as the (ahem) B-side of "It's OK" for its August 2019 release in Big Stir Records' Digital Singles series. The two tracks are featured on the December 2019 compilation CD BIG STIR SINGLES: THE FOURTH WAVE, alongside kindredly melodic spirits from across the country and various ponds.

The sound is pop both familiar and alien. The guitars ring and buzz with Townshendy zeal, analog synth bloops and chatters away, as the voice soothes and cajoles and smirks and pries and climbs... until suddenly the listener, for example, becomes aware of being awash in an apocalyptic epiphany amid a song about nasal spray.

But it's not all fun and game shows-- the REBUILDING has been thorough and it's all reflected in the songs, as Dolph spent the intervening years getting sober and grieving the passing of several loved ones, including his Baptist-minister father. The songs show him processing all of that and finding peace at the Studio Dolphty home base near Chicago with his wife, dog, and 3 cats.

Comparisons have been made to acknowledged influences such as XTC, Robyn Hitchcock, the Violent Femmes, Bob Mould, Elvis Costello, Matthew Sweet, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Henry Cow. Dolph's music has brought him experiences running the gamut, from early encouragement received by mail from experimental guitar shaman Eugene Chadbourne, to sitting in a festival green room being told by Jim Bakker why he cowers at the sight of a Diet Coke.

Dolph's prior work is available immediately along with many others via http://www.dolphchaney.com/ and major online retailers and services. Throughout these three decades of work, what always shines through in a Dolph Chaney release are the imaginative, irrepressible, and deeply felt songs. Feel them today.

Band Members