Baby Dayliner's joyful croon. - Oh My Rockness

Recommended Show
January 19, 2006
How could a guy who calls himself Baby Dayliner, who croons solo to a beat machine, and who uses a bandana as a prop really be the Recommended Show of the Week over the seemingly indomitable Broken Social Scene? Well, the underdog reigns victorious because Baby Dayliner is one of the better live performers you will see in NYC this year. Even better than that Canadian collective. And that ain't no joke.

Baby Dayliner is the stage moniker of NYC's Ethan Marunas. It is appropriate that he has a stage name since Marunas is, above all else, a true performer. Most recently, I saw him completely rock Scenic. It was amazing to witness how he was able to sway the entire crowd. We were dancing from the palms of his hands. In the mostly packed place, I think I saw maybe two people who weren't transfixed (they were just trans-drunk) by Baby Dayliner's dynamic antics. We were all smiling (even the drunks, but for different reasons)

If you broke this music down to its elements, Baby Dayliner could sound like a very, very bad idea. Frank Sinatra-meets-Ian Curtis vocals over a drum machine that pumps out mostly cheesy beats does not sound like my idea of a good time. Yet miraculously, this guy pulls it off. It's obvious Marunas delights in his songs, and his brilliant stage presence guarantees we also share in his joy. There is no snarkiness and snobbery in the irony that's at work here. If there were, this music would mostly likely fail.

If you heard Baby Dayliner on disc and weren't that impressed... that's just not the whole picture. Simply listening to Baby Dayliner's music is like an IM-only relationship. It's incomplete and you might just misinterpret the subtext. But once seen, your eyes and ears will believe. Plus, his shows just really make for a fun night.

Baby Dayliner plays Pianos, Friday, January 27th with Beat the Devil (get tickets).


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