"...this one's for Lou..." ~ Jeff Taylor of Dumpster Hunter
"...My songs plus trusted friends..." was how Jeff Taylor described his band, Dumpster Hunter, during an interview with SouthSide before dedicating his Reggie's Music Joint performance in memory of Lou Reed, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of Velvet Underground. Yet that description also perfectly described the intimate atmosphere created while he and the band performed on stage to a setlist of songs off his current release, Frustration in Time Travel with a side order of stories ...including one about Lou Reed, blogspot readers. And speaking of stories, while hanging out at the upstair records store - Record Breakers, Jeff had plenty more to share about his recent stint performing Frank Zappa's 200 Motels along with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to how the band's album got it's title which is not a Doctor Who reference as this reviewer originally thought.
According to Jeff, Dumpster Hunter could have been "...my songs and nothing..." else but luckily it's not. This musician surrounds himself with talented friends like Steve Wall who engineered and produced the band's debut album because in his opinion "...it's more meaningful..." when working with friends. And "...working with friends is a guarantee when you're trying to make things feel natural..." That sense of friendship and performing with your talented friends was what SouthSide felt throughout Dumpster Hunter's set, blogspot readers. Amidst the melodic floetry and rhythms and harmonizing vocals, one can also see how this is simply more than a band on the stage but a group of friends enjoying each other's company. While reviewing the performance, she also did get that narrative feeling from Dumpster's songs like Cooped Up (a song about being on the road in which Jeff called it his "...cheesy but a good cheesy..." kind reminding him of Dire Straits) and River (a song about the time when Steve lost his home due to the hurricane). Jeff stated to this reviewer during the interview that he, while following different bands, likes to wonder what goes in the lives of the bands and their song catalogs. He hopes that during his performances he's saying something honest to his audience ...not hiding behind a mask. And River is one of those songs where the lyrics will spark the imagery inside your head amongst the staccato style going from a calming lull to the feel of the hurricane blowing.
There were no masks in this performance, blogspot readers. Everything was open as well as honest like Jeff said Dumpster's set would be to which left his Music Joint audience wanting more in the end. Performing other songs like C2 (his favorite) and Half The Code, the band surrounded this bar/venue with sounds of eclectic yet sometimes cosmic feel within in the rhythms and downtempo style that allows the ears to thoroughly enjoy what they're hearing. Most times, the music was a little organic too from a few beats from hand clapping to a capella and spoken word letting the written prose of certain songs to have its moment in the spotlight. As simplistic Dumpster's lyrics may be, there's an honest message to be heard with Jeff's natural falsetto backing the words. And SouthSide liked how Jeff's expressive body language help convey the tone and mood of his songs as seen during C2 when he not only sang but expressed some emotion through the use of his hands in this airy adult contemporary style tune. Meanwhile Half The Code showed the audience he could also be vocally as well as powerfully intense on the lyrics, blogspot readers, in which his body language gets more expressive but on the flipside, check out the band's pseudo-Jazz like sound for Heart Hard (which you should check out the YouTube video).
Oh the title of the album, Frustration In Time Travel, though he loves Dr. Who, has nothing to do with the British programme, blogspot readers. According to Jeff, the title came from a song when he and Daniel Hindman were in a band together back in 2000. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, Jeff recently performed Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (a 1971 musical that was cowrittern and directed with Tony Palmer and starred The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel and Ringo Starr) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. When asked how it went, Jeff responded saying it was incredible and fun ...that it was his first time acting in front of people as an adult not including the sketch comedy with his best friend. He also said that he found it "...quite easy to assimilate to Hollywood..." because no one "...didn't make me feel like an outsider ...[they] welcome me..." On Frank Zappa, both Jeff and SouthSide admire and respect the late musician's work liking his (Frank's) honesty as well as seemliness as a writer of prose. "...he has a very important literary voice..." Then this reviewer asked how did this special performance come about to which he answered they (meaning LA Philharmonic) picked it for the tenth anniversary celebration for the Walt Disney Concert Hall. "...they could have chosen Beethoven or Mozart..." instead liking they chose Frank Zappa and this particular musical. He described the performance as bolder as well as a memorable moment for all including the orchestra who appeared in tattered tuxedoes and bandages. Even though his soliloquy was cut, Jeff did get the chance to be at the conductor's stand and belt out an aria before doing a speaking piece. He noted that the LA Times said they did a tamer version of the play, blogspot readers, however in the 60s and 70s, times were risque unlike now.
Sadly, SouthSide's time was short with Jeff since he and the band had to eat before their show and she asked him to end with any final words or thoughts for his fans. "...to have a career in music as a performer ...it means there's someone else involved..." Jeff enjoys having fun with his fans like the interaction and would like to thank them even if they hate or love what he does. For Jeff and the band, it's a collaborative effort on everyone's part from the booking agent setting up the gig to people coming out the the show and buying (or not buying) a CD. That says something to him. Inherently, he's grateful for it all, blogspot readers.
SouthSide highly recommends rocking out with Dumpster Hunter at their next performance but in the meantime, visit the band at http://www.dumpsterhunter.bandcamp.com.
Until next time, support your local scene,