The Starry Dynamo



Do you get the name reference? If you do, you’re probably the kind of person I’d enjoy a good talk with. Anyways, this one is one of my favorite projects. Again, you’ll find me paired with my go-to-partner Nick. However, this time instead of just writing poems, we’re verbalizing them. Introducing: slam songs. I’ll start from the beginning.

I’ve been a music junkie since I was in the fourth grade and first picked up a guitar (side note: if you want to talk guitars with me, once upon a time I was an aspiring collector). So, it was only natural that I dreamed of rock- stardom. My first band, Chainmale, was formed when I was in the fourth grade and featured Nick on vocals and piano, our buddy Will on the drums (he only played bongo), and myself shredding it up on my Squier. We had some good fun, played a talent show or two, and even snuck in a couple of garage shows for our loyal fans (and grandparents). Unfortunately however, CM wasn’t going anywhere. Once Will moved across the country, my musical aspirations were losing steam fast.

Jump forward a few years to eighth grade and I’m back for round 2, this time with Unit-E, which was basically a tiny step up from Chainmale in terms of sound, yet infinitely more embarrassing since being a tiny bit better doesn’t make up for being a whole lot older. It consisted of myself and Nick again, this time joined by our pal Riley (okay he was actually pretty good on the drums), and our friend Joey (he got bassist gig the same way most bass players do: they happen to own a bass). We did manage to cut a little EP and throw it out on a Facebook page (to the couple hundred pressured classmates who “liked” our page, I pray you have forgotten it). Anyways, by the time high school rolled around Unit-E had gone on permanent hiatus.

Now that put me at 0 for 2 on the successful band front. What was up? How could musical virtuosos such as Nick and myself fail not once, but twice? Well, after several years of contemplation we realized the inconvenient truth: we blew at singing.

How bad might you ask? I assure you you’ll never know, for the old records have long been smashed save a couple MP3s buried deep within my hard-drive. However, even if we couldn’t sing, there’s no way Nick and I were going to let that stop us. Thus, The Starry Dynamo was born.

Slam songs: A unique combination of slam-poetry and folk music wherein the singer does not sing one the music, as much as he carefully speaks the lyrical content. Inspired by Kurt Cobain’s complete lack of articulation (don’t worry you grunge heads, I’m not criticizing your icon, simply poking fun, I love Kurdt too).

Over the summer of 2015 Nick and I wrote a basketful of poems and broke out the old USB mics. Within a couple months we had some functioning songs and threw them up on Soundcloud. We called the EP Songs About Saul and it’s pretty nifty if I do say so myself. Not many people listened (it’s fairly easy to tell based off the “number of plays”) but that’s more than okay. Slam songs aren’t for everyone. To be honest, this was one of the cooler things that I’ve worked on in my opinion. The style places an emphasis on lyrical comprehension that is all too often overlooked in pop music. I know I’m a tad bit biased in saying so, which is why I encourage you: give us a listen. Then, if you’re especially crazy, go play some slam songs of your own.