Dana Countryman (right) performing with Jean-Jacques Perrey in 2006.
November 11, 1954|
Mount Vernon, Wash., USA
|Occupation||Musician, composer, publisher|
Dana Countryman is an American electronic music composer and performer notable for his sustained presence in the Seattle Pop scene as well as his collaborations with French electropop artist Jean-Jacques Perrey. He is also well known as songwriter and performer for The Amazing Pink Things (1985–1991). as well as the publisher for Cool and Strange Music Magazine (1996–2003).
Countryman was born in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Countryman performed with numerous bands and became a songwriter and performer with the group Amazing Pink Things. The group performed with "garish costumes" and was described as a "musical comedy quartet". The group featured two men and two women doing satirical songs with smooth harmonies somewhat similar to the Manhattan Transfer but without the jazz leanings. Music critic Karen Mathieson in The Seattle Times described the Pink Things as "well-matched vocally." During the years 1996 to 2003, Countryman published a fanzine entitled Cool and Strange Music Magazine."
Collaborations with Jean-Jacques Perrey
In 1971 Countryman was first exposed to the music of Jean-Jacques Perrey and became "obsessed", according to one account. He was drawn to Perrey's ability to convey the "feeling of happiness and downright joy" in his music. In 1994, Countryman contacted Perrey to do an interview, for his publication and the two became acquainted.
In 2003, Countryman first collaborated with Perrey. Perrey flew to Countryman's studio in Everett, Washington which was described by a reporter as an "analog-synth wonderland." They finished songwriting and mixing their music partly by collaboration over the Internet. They created several albums including The Happy Electro-Pop Music Machine as well as a second album based on "classic spy themes." Reviewer Skylaire Alfvegren in the Los Angeles Examiner found their album Destination Space to be a "more sophisticated understanding of the type of folk drawn to electronic music". The album had "mewling kittens", harpsichords, "bubbly dementia", "astronaut patter" which "flies through the musical cosmos," according to the reviewer. When performing with Perrey, Countryman "spun dials, twisted knobs, and pressed buttons to produce a sweet rush of sugary, sci-fi melodies" and which had a "synthesized, surreal sheen." The album also produced the single "Chicken on the Rocks," which became an underground hit and was featured on an episode of the American Sitcom South Park, Medicinal Fried Chicken.
2013 saw the release of Pop! The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop World of Dana Countryman, an album of songs written in the style of 1960s vocal pop.
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- Peanut Buttery Gumdrop Girl / Don't You Know You'll Break My Heart.
(Recorded at age 16, and released under the name The Cincinnati Ice Cream Factory Explosion Relief Committee, 1971. SAYS Records, 36980.) (out of print)
As a member of The Amazing Pink Things:
- Wooters and Hoohah's (Cassette, 1987) Momo Records (out of print)
- Fear of Underwear (Cassette, and then CD, 1989)
- Live at the Hilton - Seattle, WA, 1989 (CD, 2005)
- American Pop (Cassette, 1991) Purely Promotional Records, 1991 (out of print)
- Two Zombies Later (Compilation, 2003) One track: "Cocktails In Space" - Comfort Stand Recordings, 2003
- Interplanetary Materials (Compilation, 2004) One track: "Lovesick Martian Boy" - Comfort Stand Recordings, 2004
- Switched On Bob (CD, 2009, Italy) (Compilation) One track: "Cocktails in Space"
- Synthesizers Dotcom Collective (CD, 2010) (Various Artists) One track: "Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14, Third Movement"
- Galactic Hits (CD, 2010, Switzerland) Vibrations Presents (Compilation) One track: "Cocktails in Space"
- Moog-Tastic! - Electronic Melodies from the 24th Century (Oglio Records CD, 2010).
Jean-Jacques Perrey and Dana Countryman:
- The Happy Electropop Music Machine (Oglio Records CD, 2006), with Jean-Jacques Perrey.
- Destination Space (Oglio Records CD, 2008), with Jean-Jacques Perrey.
- Switched On Bob (CD, 2009, Italy) (Comp) One track: Chicken On The Rocks.
- Galactic Hits (CD, 2010, Switzerland)- Vibrations Presents (Compilation) One track: Huckleberry Duck / The Toy Trumpet (A giveaway CD for subscribers to Swiss music magazine "Vibrations".)
Tricia and Dana Countryman:
- In Harmony (Sterling Swan Media CD, 2012)
- Asher, Tizzy. "Club Scene: Electronic-pop pioneer and his Seattle pal bring feel-good vibe to Triple Door". Seattle PI. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- Alfred Hickling (28 February 2008). "The godfather of techno". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
Most recently, Perrey has worked with Seattle-based electronic composer Dana Countryman, with whom he collaborated on The Happy Electro-Pop Music Machine. ...
- Skylaire Alfvegren (March 5, 2009). "Destination Space!". Los Angeles Examiner.
... “Destination Space” at times displays a more sophisticated understanding of the type of folk drawn to electronic music, even in its most extremes ...
- STEPHEN HOLDEN (August 7, 1988). "Review/Cabaret; Satire by Four Living Dolls". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
... Under the musical direction of its resident songwriter, Dana Countryman, ...
- Karen Mathieson (August 6, 1990). "Pink Things Stay Classic, Yet Fresh". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
...Old-timers Dana Countryman and Tamara Martin are joined by Tricia Meier and Robert Overman in the current lineup. ...
- Dave Segal (August 21, 2006). "JEAN-JACQUES PERREY & DANA COUNTRYMAN". The Stranger. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- Nate Cavalieri (Sep 6, 2006). "Way, Way Out". SF Weekly. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
Over the next hour, the darkened audience sat rapt while Perrey and Washington-based composer Dana Countryman...