Dorsey
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Dorsey

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by Josh Flynn May 16, 2007

Dorsey releases new album Friday

What: Dorsey CD release show with CABIN and Mason Proper
Where: Irving Theater
When: Friday, May 18, 8 p.m., $10, all-ages
Web site: www.thebanddorsey.com

The members of Dorsey are sprawled around a vacant office. One lonely speaker is propped in a corner, blasting their new album, Borrowed Pens. They are strategizing how best to replicate the dense orchestral compositions they’ve crafted for their May 18 CD release show at the Irving Theater.

“I’m gonna have to transcribe that,” says Jon Schwier as his guitar weaves across one song.

Trumpet player Erich Chrobot shakes his head. “I’ll never be able to reproduce that.”

“I was just hitting stuff,” admits drummer Dan Dyar.

“Well, hit stuff just like that at the release show,” guitarist and vocalist Rob Glass demands, a smile crossing his face.

It’s been a long journey to bring the epic Borrowed Pens to life. Work began on Jan. 1, 2006, and recently came to an end at the legendary Abbey Road studio, former home of the Beatles. Midway through recording the album, Dorsey realized they had something special. “We wanted to make a complete album, not just a collection of songs,” Glass says. They decided to see how far they could take it. Dyar contacted his friend Glenn Kotche, drummer with the indie superstar band Wilco, for suggestions.

“I asked, ‘We’ve got an album and want this thing to sound great. Where’s the best place to send it?’ He gave me two companies, Abbey Road and Colossal Mastering in Chicago. Colossal never got back to us. Abbey Road did,” he says. “So that kind of narrowed it down. We went to Abbey Road.”

Once inside the London studio, Glass and Dyar found themselves mastering the album with Steve Rooke. Rooke, who has worked with legends like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and contemporary stars like Wilco and Franz Ferdinand, was impressed with what he heard. “He said, ‘You guys have a good product. So many people see the Abbey Road name and come in with crap they expect me to make sound great. I can’t do that. You guys came here with something that already sounds good, so we’ll tweak it a little and hopefully we’ll have a fantastic album,’” Glass says.

With the album finished, Dorsey intends to play it from beginning to end at the release show with a small orchestra backing them. “We used lots of instruments such as strings, percussion — timpani, chimes, bells, vibraphones — extra horns and even a female classical soprano,” Glass says.

He is happy with the band’s efforts and feels they succeeded in crafting a full album, not just a collection of random songs. “We worked with Rooke quite a bit to make it flow and get the sound we wanted,” he says. “I feel like that’s not done enough anymore. It’s one reason I love Wilco, because they do that. You listen to their albums from start to finish, and it’s a full album. And I think we did it.” - NUVO


By Jessica Halverson May 17, 2007

Dorsey's 'Borrowed Pens' follows themes of love and loss.
By Jessica Halverson
jessica.halverson@intakeweekly.com

Local band Dorsey made its first full-length, "Borrowed Pens," a work with progression, thought and themes, both musical and lyrical.

One theme:

Meet girl.

Love girl.

Lose girl.

Sure, a well-traversed idea, but lyricist, vocalist and guitarist Rob Glass said his songs are extremely personal.

"They all basically pertain to one event in my life, one particular time when I was growing up," Glass said. "The stereotypical heartbreak and trying to figure out what it's all about."

And maybe they should be personal -- the three core members of the band (Glass, 27, drummer Dan Dyar, 28, and guitarist Jon Schwier, 27) have been working on the songs for five years.

Originally scripted as simple ballads, the songs have swelled to become layered pop songs, incorporating horns, strings and even a soprano vocalist.

"We borrowed a keyboard and started adding in stuff," Dyar said, "and then we thought, man this is cool, wouldn't it be neat to have the real thing. I was working at a high school that had access to all of that stuff, so I ended up bringing in timpani, bar chimes and glockenspiel to do extra percussion tracks and then we thought, let's try a string orchestra and it just kept building and building."

The band also decided to incorporate melodic refrains that run throughout the songs to make them fluid and cohesive -- a structure commonly used in classical music or soundtracking.

Departing members, growing families, band name changes and time constraints all have delayed the completion of the album throughout the years. But now, with a finished product tracked at Music Garage, mixed at Sound Logic in Lafayette and mastered at Abbey Road in London, the band is building an interesting back-story for the album.

"It was neat to be there (at Abbey Road) because you walk in and all along the walls there are pictures of legendary people," Glass said. "You see the pictures on the wall and then you can see the room that they were standing in."

The band's goals for the album are practical: Sell it. Hope it gets picked up by a label. And give the people something to listen to from front to back. After that, Glass hopes to move out into the world.

"I'm trying to start and write about daily life, actually," Glass said. "I think sometimes when people move through life, they just move through life. They start at one place and end up at another and think, wow, how did I get here?"
- INtake Weekly


Discography

Borrowed Pens (2007)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Dorsey formed in 2005 in Indianapolis, IN. They began work on their forthcoming album "Borrowed Pens" in January of '06 and it is now complete. The album was tracked by Chris Wodock at the Music Garage in Indianapolis, IN, mixed by Jeff Anderson at Sound Logic in Lafayette, IN, and has been mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios in London, UK.