Duke Otherwise
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Duke Otherwise

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | INDIE
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To say that I am writing this with a heavy heart and sadness would be an understatement. I will not go into it any further as the mainstream media does a good job of that. I will say that as a father, our children are all precious and need to be shown love & compassion. Children are an extension of us all, and they are angels on earth! My guest today could not be more perfect as Duke Otherwise is making a name for himself in the childrens music genre. Duke has an awesome & fun album out now ‘Creepy Crawly Love’ and it is great for the whole family. Join us today as Duke Otherwise speaks on his plans for 2013, how he got into music, how precious our children are, and much more!

Stoli: Where are we talking from today and how are your Holidays coming along so far?

Duke Otherwise: I’m writing from my quaint little gypsy-cottage here on the west side of Madison, WI. My holiday spirit is just now kicking in. It snowed a good amount yesterday and my wife and I will be heading out later today to buy our first Christmas tree together. She’s from Namibia and this will be her first pine—she’s more accustomed to a thorn-Christmas tree…er…bush.

Stoli: When you think of 2013, what are you planning to take on with your music career?

Duke Otherwise: With the release of “Creepy Crawly Love” the next step is to make several videos. Mrs. Otherwise is an actress and scriptwriter so together we have some wonderfully fun ideas that we will begin filming very soon. I’ve also begun gathering together scraps of songs in anticipation of the next record. And the summer of 2013 will be quite busy. I’m getting my schedule pretty well solidified with shows.

Stoli: How did you get the alias Duke Otherwise?

Duke Otherwise: I had wanted to perform under an alias and was initially “Hank Slugworth”. Well, my wife was not fond of the name at all. I asked her to help brainstorm with me and she came up with Duke Otherwise on her first day. I immediately loved how it rolled off the tongue and gave a somewhat regal mystique to my persona.

Stoli: At what age did you get into playing music and when did you know that this could be a career path?

Duke Otherwise: I began taking guitar lessons in 3rd grade. My best friend, Aaron Zorn, and I even formed a band then called 2CP. We started off singing silly songs about hamburgers and other foods, but then decided to get serious and we composed a highly culturally relevant song about Gangs. I think it really had a lot of credibility seeing how it was written by two rural Wisconsin 3rd graders. We still remember the opening of the song if you’d like to hear it…I put the guitar down in 4th grade and didn’t pick it up again until the end of high school. At that point, Zorn and I formed Ticklepenny Corner and after a couple years of trying to figure out who we were as a band, decided to really go full-on. I loved the idea of playing music all the time, traveling and with so many people needing to hear about the danger of gangs…it was an easy decision to make a career out of music.

Stoli: I love how you have a quote from your grandma on your press kit. How did your grandparents encourage you to pursue your passion & dreams?

Duke Otherwise: My grandparents were rather instrumental in the forming of my becoming a performer. Every holiday, my siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and I would perform some show down in the basement. After writing the show and rehearsing, we’d come upstairs and make the announcement to the adults that the show was starting. We’d charge a quarter to get in, but Grandma and Grandpa would always pay at least a dollar! They were very encouraging and laughed at our shows. They kept coming and showing their support even as I grew older—don’t know if they paid over the ticket price still though…

Stoli: I find the story of how you got into childrens music ironic. Please give readers the scoop and how you chose children’s music?

Duke Otherwise: Well, I’ve always been one to connect with kids. At parties, I’m the one chasing the kids around or playing circus swinging them on the trapeze from couch to couch. I have 17 nieces and nephews as well as many of my friend’s children who also call me uncle, so I’ve had lots of practice entertaining kids. My friend Zak Morgan encouraged me several years ago to give a children’s show a try. A little later, I booked an assembly at a school in front of about 400 kids and had the best time I’ve ever had playing music. It just made perfect sense that this was what I enjoyed doing significantly more than playing late-night bars.


Stoli: I am listening to your album now ‘Creepy Crawly Love.’ How long has this album been in the works and where can we grab a copy?

Duke Otherwise: A couple of the songs on this album were written back when I first “gave it a try” and they stuck. When it came time the decision to make a full-length record, I just grabbed a pen and my guitar and composed most o - www.skopemag.com


Duke Otherwise, also known as Noah Reimer, has developed a signature style in children’s entertainment. His quirky stage performances and storytelling are loaded with humor and are filled with strange and off beat characters and scenarios. That is the gist of Reimer’s stage persona and of this album. This is not going to be a nice album filled with sweet songs about school buses with wheels. No. This album is filled to the brim with dogs without tails, ants and creepy crawly things that make you sing and laugh the entire time you are listening.
Riemer began his musical career as a child when he put on plays for his relatives and charged them admission. He nurtured his talent in high school and beyond. Reimer has an affinity for children’s entertainment and takes great joy in the surprised expression on adult’s faces as they begin to respond to the performance just as much as the kids.
This album was a zany ride. “Creepy Crawly Love” is the title track. Ah, young love to the hilarious tune of slimy worms in your hair. Squishy sounds, guitar music and gross noises fill the background. I found myself snorting through my nose while laughing out loud at the lyrics and edgy folk style music. This song successfully endeavors to keep you entertained while Reimer weaves a spell of disgusting, bug infested affection.
“Hop Hop Flitter Flitter” is a springy kind of song. A little tadpole swims along as the other frogs have a blast in the water while he watches his love from afar. The track is filled with fun, upbeat and full of star crossed love as the frog grows up and fixates on the object of his affection. Guitar music and lots of ribbiting sound effects make this an energetic song that kids will enjoy.
“Dog Without A Tail” is a lament. Guitar playing ushers in the howling tune of a dog sad because he has no tail. Ah the trials of missed communication because he cannot wag. This song is a blast and one that kids and adults will want to howl right along with. I know I did (much to the horror of my own canine companions).
Duke Otherwise has made a career out of creating enthusiastically wacky songs that entertain both adult and children. Watching his performance, you can see the love he has for his craft. His guitar playing paired with quirky sound effects makes this album a fun listen for a family audience. Not your usual kiddie CD, these songs will make you laugh and want to howl along.

Key Tracks- Creepy Crawly Love, Hop Hop Flitter Flitter, Dog Without A Tail
Dana Wright-Muzikreviews.com Sr. Staff
December 1, 2012 - www.muzikreviews.com


Duke Otherwise, also known as Noah Reimer, has developed a signature style in children’s entertainment. His quirky stage performances and storytelling are loaded with humor and are filled with strange and off beat characters and scenarios. That is the gist of Reimer’s stage persona and of this album. This is not going to be a nice album filled with sweet songs about school buses with wheels. No. This album is filled to the brim with dogs without tails, ants and creepy crawly things that make you sing and laugh the entire time you are listening.
Riemer began his musical career as a child when he put on plays for his relatives and charged them admission. He nurtured his talent in high school and beyond. Reimer has an affinity for children’s entertainment and takes great joy in the surprised expression on adult’s faces as they begin to respond to the performance just as much as the kids.
This album was a zany ride. “Creepy Crawly Love” is the title track. Ah, young love to the hilarious tune of slimy worms in your hair. Squishy sounds, guitar music and gross noises fill the background. I found myself snorting through my nose while laughing out loud at the lyrics and edgy folk style music. This song successfully endeavors to keep you entertained while Reimer weaves a spell of disgusting, bug infested affection.
“Hop Hop Flitter Flitter” is a springy kind of song. A little tadpole swims along as the other frogs have a blast in the water while he watches his love from afar. The track is filled with fun, upbeat and full of star crossed love as the frog grows up and fixates on the object of his affection. Guitar music and lots of ribbiting sound effects make this an energetic song that kids will enjoy.
“Dog Without A Tail” is a lament. Guitar playing ushers in the howling tune of a dog sad because he has no tail. Ah the trials of missed communication because he cannot wag. This song is a blast and one that kids and adults will want to howl right along with. I know I did (much to the horror of my own canine companions).
Duke Otherwise has made a career out of creating enthusiastically wacky songs that entertain both adult and children. Watching his performance, you can see the love he has for his craft. His guitar playing paired with quirky sound effects makes this album a fun listen for a family audience. Not your usual kiddie CD, these songs will make you laugh and want to howl along.

Key Tracks- Creepy Crawly Love, Hop Hop Flitter Flitter, Dog Without A Tail
Dana Wright-Muzikreviews.com Sr. Staff
December 1, 2012 - www.muzikreviews.com


It's been awhile since I've heard a good off-kilter kids music album, an album with a distinct perspective on song subjects and a musical approach to match.

If your family collection is similarly deficient, allow me to suggest Duke Otherwise, AKA Noah Riemer, whose debut album Creepy Crawly Love comes out of the Upper Midwest's House of Mercy Recordings to take up space on your family's CD shelf (or computer hard drive) next to John and Mark's Children's Record, The Great Adventures of Mr. David, or perhaps Zak Morgan (thanked in the album's liner notes).

Take "I Used to Think," a jazz-with-a-bit-of-klezmer tune with a hyperactive narrator sounding a bit like Sesame Street's Count declaiming that features the lyrics "I used to think the world was flat, not round / I used to think I weighed a thousand pounds / Can you believe I used to think that e=mcHammer?" Or Tin-Pan-Alley-via-the-midway "Git Yer Fiddle Out," featuring (among other things) a dog toy, train whistle, trombone, and strummed fiddle, and lyrics like "Get your fiddle out and strum it / Get your trombone out and drum it / Get your xylophone and drive it / C'mon! Drive, drive, drive!" that only get odder from there. Riemer obviously delights in wordplay, using nifty, brainy lyrics to sing about short-tailed dogs ("Dog Without a Tail"), the Spanish language interrupted by other languages ("How Do You Say 'No' in Español?"), and other eccentrics, all in a musical packaging that's like a slightly peppier Tom Waits.

While a few of the songs will amuse preschoolers, it's really kids ages 6 through 10 who will most appreciate the album. You can hear clips of many tracks at the Duke Otherwise homepage, or stream a few full-length songs here. I would be surprised if Creepy Crawly Love became a massively popular hit -- it's a bit too off-center for that. But these types of albums often become adored in some households, and if what you hear here tickles your fancy, then I think your household will give this album a happy home. Definitely recommended.
- Zooglobble


Discography

"Creepy Crawly Love" - 2012

Photos

Bio

Duke Otherwise might not be Noah Riemer’s real name, but this slightly off-kilter stage character Mr. Riemer has developed is very real to his audience members. His zany show features his clever and thoughtfully composed original songs, wild dancing, and storytelling which all highlight his offbeat sense of humor--oft times catching children and adults unawares.

Performing family shows is Duke’s forte ´. “It’s a delight to scan the crowd,” says the Duke, “and see the children in uproar and really enjoying themselves. But it’s just as gratifying to see the adults reacting the same way and the beautiful camaraderie between them and the kids. I love it when I see them exchange glances and smiles after a funny lyric or an unexpected twist in the song.”

Although Riemer began performing very early on as a child, putting on plays with his sisters and charging Grandpa and Grandma 50 cents to get into the shows, the realization that he had the potential to mesmerize a crowd came in high school when he was the unofficial halftime dance show at all the basketball games.

After high school, Noah started the nationally touring folk band, Ticklepenny Corner. Being the primary songwriter in the band, the tunes were wry and clever and won many critics’ hearts. They saw moderate success and were able to share the stage with the likes of Andrew Bird, Victoria Williams, Over the Rhine and GRAMMY-winner Ashley Cleveland, among many others. Their hard work landed them a deal with Fundamental Records (Camper van Beethoven). After all the members--but Riemer--were getting married and having babies, the group disbanded, which eventually led him to a wonderful discovery: children’s music!

“There has been nothing more rewarding to me in music than playing for children. When a room is filled with intrigued kids dancing and laughing, I thank God for this job I have!” Riemer began performing at schools, festivals and wherever kids congregated and was growing more passionate by the gig. Eventually, House of Mercy Recordings in St. Paul, MN took notice and offered a deal to Mr. Otherwise. The result was his debut album, “Creepy Crawly Love,” of which Zooglobble.com wrote “nifty, brainy lyrics...in a musical packaging that’s like a slightly peppier Tom Waits.”

What’s next for Duke? “Well, a great many audience members have expressed their desire to see a Duke Otherwise children’s TV show. I think that would be a hoot.” Until then, he can be seen at your school, library, club, festival, wherever...having a ball and making sure you are, too.