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Five Questions with Dana T


Dana T is an Iowa City musician who makes fun, danceable jazz-rock. He recently recorded a Daytrotter session, and released his latest EP, abbr. relations, last September in cooperation with PS1’s Free Studio Residency. He’ll be playing at The Blue Moose Tap House on February 15, with Teen Daad and All Dogs Invited.

Dana decided to answer a few questions of ours so we could all get to know him better, but he also included a lengthy note to contextualize his answers (as is his style). In it, he explains some of his recent health concerns and a new-found spirituality.

You might know that I’ve been dealing with some health issues over the last few months. They were leading to a cutting-edge, underground liver replacement procedure. As a necessary response to the expensive nature of ObamaCare, a group of undisclosed radical surgeons developed a process of concentrating partially functional livers into what is called a “Pink-Liver-Product”. These replacement livers very closely resemble a simple hot dog or sausage link. Even with this looming overhead, I went on an eight day tour and arduously pursued a Daytrotter session. Yes, it took a toll on my body. Audience members can testify to have seen me collapse onstage at a few of the shows and subsequently get transferred to a wheelchair. (“These are simple questions, Dana.” I’M GETTING THERE) The hard work and perseverance paid off. After the tour, Daytrotter finally took note of the videos we had made and the overwhelming support showed by fans on Twitter. They gave us a session. Ever since then, I have been feeling better and better everyday. The surgery was scheduled to happen at the end of February, but when I visited the surgeons recently for a pre-op screening, they were astounded by what they saw…

I HAVE BEEN HEALED!!!! The doctors could see only one explanation for my recovery. By working towards a goal daily, garnering the unwavering support of Dana T fans old and new, and finally achieving my goal, I amassed so much positive energy that it manifested itself into an internal cure for my ailments. You better believe that I’m relieved and most of all thankful for everyone who believed in me. But I have to admit… I was SCARED the whole time. So scared that I began to wonder, “What will really happen if I die?” It was this question that lead me to begin studying religious texts of all types. What I came realize was that I don’t know what time I have left on this earth, and I certainly don’t have time to figure out if there is one true religion above all others. For this reason, I have taken a Pantheistic approach to my studies.

My following answers should now seem quite logical.

 

If you weren't already aware, Dana T is something of an ethereal being. -- photo courtesy of Dana Telsrow
If you weren’t already aware, Dana T is something of an ethereal being. — photo courtesy of Dana Telsrow

1. Bands you’re listening to now?

I’m not listening to many “bands,” however I have spent much time transcribing vintage hymnals by hand in order to internalize the musical and spiritual knowledge that they possess. Stuff on my iPod would be chants of Tibetan monks, bhajans, piyyutim, nasheeds… the list goes on.
 

2. Favorite piece of musical equipment?

Organ, Tuning Fork, Singing Bowl
 

3. Dream collaboration?

After some recent study of the history of music, it turns out that one possibility is that music began in Heaven. Lucifer, AKA Satan, apparently was Heaven’s band leader before he got kicked to hell. I’d like to collaborate with Lucifer the Angel, but also Lucifer the Devil. I think being able to compare and contrast the musical differences between these portions of his career would really advance my studies both spiritually and artistically.
 

4. Favorite pizza topping?

Unleavened wafers.

Not beef.

Not pork.
 

5. Plans for the next year?

Record my next album which is tentatively titled, “This Is Spiritual.”

Film a new television series where I host a different guest each week and discuss various religions.

Tour the Midwest while sharing my newest spiritual knowledge.

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