Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Eat Your Denny Denny Breakfast

By Matt Hettich

I met Bob Ladue in a recording class at CalArts, where he is currently acquiring his MFA degree in percussion performance and music composition. During the first class, while playing one of those cheesy “What’s-Your-Name-and-Where-are-you-From?” games, I discovered that Bob, who prefers his music persona be known as Denny Denny Breakfast, and I had played a number of shows together in the greater Miami-Dade area- Bob on drums for Miami’s dance-rock kings Awesome New Republic and myself on open-the-show duty as my electronic hip-hop persona, Wake. Upon hearing Bob’s first recording project for the class (a roughly 3 minute marimba centric minimal math rock epic I have not yet reencountered) I realized there was something very special about this blond, southern dude in the ripped cargo pants, down winter vest, and monogrammed off-black backpack.

Bob is a prolific composer. Actually, that might be an understatement, let me rephrase... Bob is a beyond prolific composer, and (when asked) has compared his own musical output to that of post food poisoning bowel movements. It seems that to him, the creation of pop gems is as easy as the rapid expulsion of spoiled milk, and when I, somewhat jealously probed him for advice on how to achieve that type productive diarrhea, his only tip was “I’ve been doing this a lot longer then you have”. While this might not have provided me with the secret to Bob’s musical regularity, I find it a hopeful statement, both for me and for Bob. It seems that the father or co-father (as it is in some cases) of Denny Denny Breakfast, The Great Big Oh-No, and Van Allen (with Ehvi Jena) believes that anyone so inclined and focused, could eventually be worthy of even just a tiny suckle of creative milk of magnesia from the elusive but great harmonic teat.

Bob’s music is spontaneous and intelligent. He regularly stuffs guitar-monized, lengthy solos through your ear-holes. He isn’t afraid to be funky. Sometimes he raps and sometimes he rocks. Sometimes the music is humorous (if not down right silly) but often it is not. His music is always mature – even when it doesn’t seem like it wants to be. It is rare I hear someone with the ability to infuse a simple “nah nah na nah nah nah nah” with so much meaning and sensibility.

Not to be too verbose or didactic, but Bob could be the king of indie lo-fi pop. Then again, he could be an obscure math rock drummer who plays zombie drums over distorted video game chip tunes. Alternately, he could be the new hope for Zappa influenced classical music. Bob could, very well should, and probably will be any and every one of these things.

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