Kerry Beyer: From Horror Flicks to Acoustic Hits

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We got to know Kerry Beyer, the acclaimed horror film director of Spirit Camp and co-founder of the Splatterfest Horror Festival went we were sent deep into the bowels of geekdom earlier this year when we were sent to cover the three days of Comicpalooza. His work in the realm of gore is amazing, truly a young visionary with the skills to pull of top rate work at the independent level.

Which is why we were surprised to find he was also a musician. What's more, Beyer breaks the mold by being involved with the horror industry and not being in a punk or horror band. More than breaking the mold, we're pretty sure that's actually illegal.

Instead of power chords and a voice that sounds as if he gargles with broken glass, Beyer's work is surprising soft and melodic. His vocals alone are some of the clearest and most musical we've ever heard out of a local artist. Seriously, he has the dulcet tones of a well-cast bell.

We ran across a video for his song "American Dream," and for someone we've known to mount massive productions it's a grand departure. The video is just Beyer and his music, with little movement, and it relies simply on his own presence and the strength of the music.

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We'd be lying if we said that "American Dream" is some kind of unheralded masterpiece. We're fairly certain that Beyer is using the same chord progression as Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," and some of his lyrics could use some poet dust on them to cover up a slight lack of imagination. He's certainly not going to replace Shellee Coley as our favorite acoustic performer anytime soon.

Yet despite that, it is impossible to miss the truth and sad sincerity of "American Dream," and it's ode to the betrayal felt in the country. They teach us that all you have to do is work hard and you'll be rewarded, and yet millions who do just that toil 80 hours a week and reap nothing but chaff. That someone with the talent and work ethic of Beyer should not be rolling around in a pile of Benjamins and accolades saddens us, and his ballad simple pain can't be argued with since it is so obviously real.

And yet... this is not a dirge to the grand experiment. At the last, Beyer reminds us of the unity we share in the communal belief in eventual exceptionalism through our collective dream. It's not Bob Dylan, but hell, Bob Dylan isn't even Bob Dylan any more. Beyer's song lays bear the heart of the nation, awkwardly perhaps, but he gets the job done in the end. Check it out below.

We got a chance to talk to Beyer about "American Dream." Continue to page 2 for our interview.

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