November 12th, 2007 | by Paige Richmond Music | Posted In: Columns, Columns, Columns

Dear You: Whatever Happened to Dan deVriend?

     
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dandevriend You know when you learn a word or a phrase, and suddenly it's everywhere? This happened to me when I first heard about you, Dan deVriend. I was writing a story about Portland wunderkind Adrian Orange a few months back, around the time his latest album Adrian Orange and Her Band was released. I interviewed Curtis Knapp, owner of local label Marriage Records, who mentioned you had played with Orange almost a decade ago. Then I spoke with Todd Patrick, a Portlander-turned-New Yorker and owner of former all-ages venue 17 Nautical Miles, who dropped your name in connection with Kind of Like Spitting, Ben Barnett's solo project.

It seemed like I couldn't get away from you, Dan, no matter who in the Portland scene I talked to. But I managed to put you out of mind temporarily—that is, until I found a CD of yours here at the Willamette Week office.

At first, Dan, I thought this copy of Dan deVriend and His Fabulous Playboys I stumbled across was a new release. I was excited to see you were making new music, because I'd heard so much about you. I was even more excited once I put the album in my stereo—I immediately loved it. Imagine my disappointment, Dan, when I googled the album name: I learned from the Jealous Butcher Records website it was not only an old album (released around 2000) but was out of print.

I started searching for any other music you'd made, Dan, hoping you were still alive and well in the Portland scene. I learned you played in melodic punk band Bisybackson, and then in the emo-esque Made For Tv Movie until 2003.

Then I tried to hunt you down, Dan, by using that great social networking website that is MySpace. I sent a message to Bisybackson's MySpace page looking for you, who told me this:

Hi Paige,
Bisybackson has indeed broken up. Made for... was Dan's project after that, but they too broke up in or around '03. If you need info on or music by either band I can help you.
Take care.


This provided me with nothing I did not already know, Dan. I then looked through Bisybackson's friends, where I found what I believed to be your MySpace page. I then sent you a message, to see if you were who I thought you were, and you sent me this back:

Hi Paige, I have moved to LA, but am thinking about moving back to portland every day... I am making a little bit of stuff by myself.


And then you linked me to Giant Baby, the last band you played in before leaving Portland in 2005. This may be my favorite of all your bands: Giant Baby ranges from distorted 90's-inspired indie rock songs (in the vein of Jawbreaker and other Bay Area bands) like "Pasqual" to hardcore-punk songs (in the vein of 7 Seconds) like "Last Guy in the Knife Store."

I'm sorry that I had to track you down, Dan, but you were stuck in my head like the lyrics to Pearl Jam's Yellow Ledbetter: I couldn't quite figure out what was going on, but I was going to keep thinking about you until I figured it out. When it comes your music—especially your solo album And His Fabulous Playboys—it all sounds so new, so fresh, even though it was released years ago. I'm glad to see your new solo work in L.A. is like the first album of yours I discovered: Enticing songs with ambient music and haunting vocals.

So good luck in L.A, Dan, and keep making music. But Portland—or at least I—am looking forward to your return.

Image from Dan's Myspace page.

Links:
Bisybackson at MySpace
Dan deVriend at Myspace
Jealous Butcher records
One of the only things on the internet I could find with information about Made for TV Movie
Giant Baby at MySpace
 
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