No one hit wonder in Danny Michel

By James Keller

"Rock is dead."

This statement may be a cliché, but it is exactly what Ontario native Danny Michel thinks about today’s music.

"I don’t listen to very much current music," explains singer/songwriter Michel. "It’s just boring."

This view seems to be a very strong undertone in his third solo venture, Fibsville. Lyrics like "All you need’s a single/A stupid little jingle/And a little silicone to help it through" found in "Who Cares" highlight what’s wrong with the present state of music. His opinion of teen-pop acts like Britney Spears is summed up with "It’s shit."

These views all but remove Danny from the quick-hit industry in which he works. In the past he admits to trying to write "catchy songs" he thought would be listener-friendly.

This isn’t the case with Fibsville. Instead, he decided to make the record he wanted and to be "different." And "different" is just the word for Danny Michel’s songwriting.

Trying to pick the best aspect of his music is like trying to pick your favourite body part–even if you could, everything works so well together that no one part would be able to stand alone. One thing that does stand out are Michel’s lyrics.

"If people like them, then that’s great," the Starling band member says.

Even so, saturated with highly poetic metaphors and clever themes, the words in his songs take you back to a day when the lyrics were as important as the singing. And to top it off, Michel’s music complements his lyrics well.

Danny’s approach to music is best described as minimalist. Using primarily an acoustic guitar and a small band, he creates a sound more like an unplugged concert than a studio-produced album. Danny explains this was possible because he was in complete control of the record and is credited with recording, mastering and producing the new album. This raw sound, a change from 1998’s critically acclaimed Clear, gives his music its charm.

Currently touring with former Ani DiFranco drummer Andy Stochansky, Michel plans to tour about every three months to introduce himself to the world outside Ontario.

"I haven’t toured out west in over three years… [I’m] really unknown," he says.

Michel will be playing the Blue Banana Lounge Oct. 20 with Stochansky.


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