The Return of Doctor Noize
by Yoshi Kato, San Jose Mercury News
Though he’s pretty much a full-pledged Denver man at this point, local guy Cory “Dr. Noize” Cullinan still has many ties to the Peninsula — including his cool mom (and probably number one fan) Leola. So he’s more than pleased to return to perform and appear in support of his children’s music and book.
I caught the tail end of his solo acoustic set yesterday at the Learning Game “educational superstore” in Cupertino and got to speak with him for considerably longer. The concert was markedly different from what I’d heard before; the lively conversation was not.
(Before delving into either, please note that he’ll be playing a benefit concert 3:30 this afternoon at Cubberley Auditorium on the Stanford campus. It benefits 3-year old Kaia Emery, whose mother — a Stanford graduate school classmate of Mrs. Dr. Noize — unexpectedly passed away recently.)
Cullinan released his first book in January. Its plot mirrors the adventures of Phineas McBoof, which are chronicled on his debut album. The illustrations will be familiar to anyone who visits the Dr. Noize website or has flipped through the liner notes of the The Ballad of Phineas McBoof CD.
As a new author, Cullinan has taken a unique approach to promotion. He plays an acoustic mini-show (as he did yesterday) at his “readings” and then engages the audience in a rewriting of its ending.
Having only experienced the electronic one-man band version of Dr. Noize’s concert, I was glad to have caught him as an old school troubadour. Like Erasure (one of my favorite bands ever), Cullinan makes sure that the songs are fundamentally sound and don’t require electronic flourishes to mask any shortcomings in structure, development and lyrics.
With all the electronic gear he has to travel with, Cullinan revealed it can be just as affordable to buy tickets for his wife and two daughters (and have them claim the equipment as their own) as it can be to pay extra for additional luggage. For his acoustic performances, it’s just him a single acoustic six-string.
Click here for more dates of his current Northern California run.