Baby Dayliner

December 15, 2006

I’m still not sure if I get it. Baby Dayliner (the musical alias of Ethan Marunas) has a certain something going for him (a je ne sais quoi, if you will), and I’m not sure what it is. His fans (like The National) swear he’s a musical genius; and review after review label him a “crooner,” comparing him to Morrissey, Bowie, Gainsbourg and even Sinatra.

I first saw Baby Dayliner open for The National at Webster Hall. I had no idea what was going on. The National are a rock band, and similar rock bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or Pela usually perform opening duties. But this show was like Passover: different from all other nights.

While onstage, Baby Dayliner doesn’t have a band. It’s just him: a tall single white male singer with even taller hair, dressed in slim pants and a button-down shirt partially flung open. His stage show set-up is reminiscent of Andy Kaufman lip-syncing “Here I come to save the day” (but way sexier). It’s a man and his drum machine.

But Baby Dayliner holds his own. It’s a rock crowd peering at a guy who looks a little like he’s doing karaoke. But he struts his stuff and sings his songs. His energy and lyrics are winning. They make you smile and curious… Is this cool? Is this ironic? (am I cool enough to find this ironic?) But most of all, Baby Dayliner (as seen below in his viedo) makes you want to join his party (especially if that guy from Entourage is there), and I suppose that’s cool enough.

Baby Dayliner – “Silent Places”

Listen: At Least and Go On Baby from Critics Pass Away; and Raid! from High Heart and Low Estate, both available on Brassland.

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