Guitar Hero: Chlad Brings Barge a New Beat

Jaime Coyne

Last weekend, the Barge Canal Coffee Company’s Saturday Nite Music Series was a bit different. The artist, David Chlad, held his CD release party as part of the series. It is the first album Chlad has recorded. Chlad has been playing the guitar for nine years, and writing songs and singing for only a year. His CD has a combination of humorous and serious songs.

Chlad began with an instrumental entitled, “Night with Wine,” which was reminiscent of “Blackbird” by the Beatles. He then moved on to a song called “Faded Away” about a middle aged woman who lives on her computer and has lost track of the real world. Next, he sang “Umbrella,” which is about wanting to become someone’s friend, but needing him to take down the protective wall he’s built around himself. “Celery” is a song about nothing, which Chlad wrote when he needed one last song for his CD and had only one hour to write it. Then he played an instrumental, “The Drunk Sailor”.

The next song, “I Hope,” was a funny song that Chlad said is relatable because everyone has wanted to kill someone else at some point. “Poison to Me” is about temptation. After that, Chlad played “Your Moon,” which is about the act of intimacy. Then he sang “Mama’s Got A Boyfriend In Her Computer,” which has a similar message to “Faded Away”.

He ended the night with “Jimmy, Don’t Drink the Robitussin,” humorously remarking that every musician should take a stand for something.

As evident from these song descriptions, Chlad’s songs all told a story. He used a lot of deep metaphors, such as reaching the moon as sexual intercourse, and covered serious topics, like reaching out to a friend who has been hurt too many times to easily let you in. Indeed, his singing was more like talking, truly making it seem like storytelling. He was additionally very amusing between songs, with lots of funny little sound bites. At one point, he imitated a friend telling him, “Nobody gets you. The world isn’t ready yet.” He kept every moment interesting.

It was clear that Chlad has been playing the guitar for nine years – he played quite skillfully. The instrumentals were incredibly mellow and enjoyable.

However, his songs lacked something that other singers could have brought to them, because he was not a strong singer. His singing was often pitchy, and during “Poison to Me,” he tried to sing some parts in falsetto but was unable to. While his guitar skills could take him anywhere, his vocal ability prevents him from having the “total package”. Still, his charismatic personality and talented guitar playing made it an enjoyable concert overall.