Michael Chorney and Dollar General – Dispensation of the Ordinary

The self-taught prolific and innovative musician and songwriter Michael Chorney’s most recent effort with band Dollar General  is called Dispensation of the Ordinary.

The album is laid back and beautifully raw. Interesting sounds bubble up from all around, but they seem to all come together coherently. Chorney and band’s use of dissonance throughout is subtle and in my opinion fuels the creativity of each song. The vocals are unassuming and grounded. As he says in the opening song “Bewildered,” Chorney is just “doing his best to sing ‘em true.” The music is pretty, and I mean that in a good way. Truly interesting elements of jazz are weaved in throughout the album. Containing primarily acoustic instruments with syncopated rhythms and swirling instrumentation with the inclusion of a dreamy pedal steel guitar, Dispensation of the Ordinary does just that. It does away with the ordinary.

I like albums that open its listeners up to possibilities, and Dispensation of the Ordinary does that for me. I hear new ideas. I see possibilities previously unconsidered for melody, feel, and arrangement. The music floats like broken pieces of an iceberg on the sea. Songs like “Bewildered,” “Raft,” the truly inspired revision of “Run To My Jesus (For Refuge),” and “What We Call Love” particularly stand out to me.

Take a listen and explore Chorney’s innovative world for yourself.

Michael Chorney: Website

Download the album on Bandcamp


6 thoughts on “Michael Chorney and Dollar General – Dispensation of the Ordinary

  1. I think a dispensation is something that you receive. “Dispensing with the Ordinary” would be what the writer here was referencing. Or maybe I’m being ignorant of the joke. It happens, I’m sad to say… Hard to deny that the Ordinary is a dispensation(if you’re a Theist) but it’s a funny tongue-in-cheek poke at himself, is my take. Mike? Please enlighten us! That is all from the Syntax Nazi.

    • Thanks Matt… I actually assumed it had multiple meanings. I played with the meaning that worked for what I wanted to say, which was to highlight my respect for what I saw as Michael’s innovative approach. Perhaps you’re right though that his own intention may have been more of a tongue-in-cheek poke at himself. He’s the artist and might naturally be a bit more humble about such things. I’m the fan who gets to gush.

      • Right with you on the gush. I’ve known Mike for a long time and supported his projects in many ways. I especially liked ViperHouse and the MC6 but Dollar General is right up there with them for me. I used to feel almost a desperate appreciation, as in “I’d better get these guys before they go national” but so far Mike is just a real treasure that we get to keep for ourselves here in Cowtown Vermont, USA. DG in a good listening room through a great system? I’d be up for that!

  2. nice! double meaning for sure. triple really.
    but the “true” story is a friend of mine – a brilliant nationally published poet – who had a dream in which i carried a suitcase from the car with “dispensation of the ordinary” stenciled on the top. in it were polaroid photos of every meal i had ever eaten alone.

  3. That dream works in so many ways. I have a weakness for multilevel puns-which can make me a lonely guy-but since an ordinary could be a bishop or a judge as well as a meal, what type of food it was may also be relevant. A triumph of the nonspecific. Thanks for the chuckles, y’all.

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