I recently googled my name and this review of Cavedweller’s 2006 album “The Best Version Of Gloria…” popped up. I guess I haven’t googled my name in a while because this review is 11 months old. Thank you Anonymous Author from The Deli Magazine for the flattering review.
“Operating on the mellow fringe of Austin’s always healthy psychedelic scene, Cavedweller has quietly put together some of the most fascinating work in town, including our newest choice for CD of the month: The Best Version of Gloria Ever There Was. This isn’t a new album; it’s just one we feel deserves digging back up, because it never received anywhere close to its due.
Cavedweller, aka Dirk Michener, kicks the album off in typically understated style with “A Horse and A Man,” a creaky, timeless song that showcases his weatherbeaten voice. There’s plenty going on in this voice: cracks and rumbles that hint at wisdom, but also just the slightest sense of amusement, and occasionally, behind the resignation, a little bit of swagger. That swagger comes the front more on songs like “Augusta, Ga.” and the immediately appealing and memorable “Black Black Magic”, where he filters Marc Bolan through Tom Waits. But even on the more mournful numbers the various never-quite-meshing emotions evident in his voice raise his music far above ordinary.
Literalists may struggle with the fact that there is no version of Gloria included on the album…we’ll take votes on what he means by that.
There is, of course, a dreamy, druggy feel to the whole thing (his myspace page, under influences: “most of the time”), and a lo-fi recording style that would fit right in the Nuggets compilation, all of which lead to the psychedelic designation. But that label tends to sell short the songwriting…these are just excellent songs, songs you could cover in any number of ways and come up with gold. It’s all off-kilter and the lyrics are surreal, but that’s also true of probably the best music of the last forty years.”
6/2010 The Deli Magazine