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(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #1739: The Dodos

 
By on Sunday, 8th February 2015 at 10:00 am
 

The Dodos latest album ‘Individ’ has been out in America for a bit, but the LP sees its UK release tomorrow on Morr Music. (Read Carrie’s earlier review of the album here.) The accompanying video for ‘Competition’, which appears on the new LP, was evidently inspired by a childhood wish of singer/guitarist Meric Long: “Growing up I had two older sisters who were both into dance. I would go to their performances and secretly kind of wish I was on stage.” Considering the San Francisco alt-rock duo have no background whatsoever in boy bands, their synchronised dance moves in this promo are pretty good. Well done, fellas! Watch it below.

The San Fran duo are scheduled to appear at this year’s SXSW.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/116558673[/vimeo]

 

(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Album Review: The Dodos – Individ

 
By on Tuesday, 27th January 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Chloe Aftel

The Dodos Individ cover artSan Francisco alt-rock duo The Dodos, comprised of lead singer and guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber, met and began making music together in 2005. Naturally, given their instrumental preferences, their sound is heavily rhythmic, combining the complex syncopations of Long’s guitar parts and the propulsive motion of Kroeber’s percussion. Having turned from a primarily acoustic sound to electric guitar on 2011’s ‘No Color’ and following the idea through 2013’s ‘Carrier’, The Dodos have carried the development of their style a step further on their latest album, ‘Individ’.

According to Long, “the best time to make a record is right after you’ve finished one”. The Dodos began recording ‘Individ’ immediately after finishing ‘Carrier’ with producers Jay and Ian Pellici, using the analog equipment at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Studios. ‘Carrier’ was indeed an immediate and energetic album, purposefully written with the addition of punk guitarist Christopher Reimer as a touring member of the band in mind. Reimer’s untimely death just before the album was recorded certainly had an impact on the final sound, and his influence on Long’s songwriting, which Long himself describes as “patience to let a song develop and a judgment-free enthusiasm for sound”, can be heard not only on ‘Carrier’ but carrying through to ‘Individ’ as well.

Long and Kroeber looked even farther into their now-deep back catalogue during the process of writing and recording ‘Individ’. “In a lot of ways making this record brought us back to making ‘Visiter’ (The Dodos’ brilliant 2008 LP), relying heavily on the movement that occurs between just two instruments, guitar and drums. From the first take of the first song we tracked, things sounded huge and that set the tone for the entire thing.”

‘Individ’ is bookended by two epically lengthy tracks, ‘Precipitation’ and ‘Pattern/Shadow’, both of which exemplify Long’s stated premise. ‘Precipitation’ introduces the album with the sonic anticipation of an impending storm before evolving into heavy percussion and thundering guitar riffs. Closing track ‘Pattern/Shadow’ makes the album’s final and most lasting impact, its distinct musical sections unified by echoes of the opening lyric “your shadow remains / I cannot resist / the mirrored escape / of your pattern”.

First single ‘Competition’ is possibly the most immediately accessible track on the album, and yet the relentless percussion and interlaced guitar parts are another example of The Dodos’ grandiose intent. Long’s echoing double-tracked vocals are intensely melodic, though his rhythmically repetitive lyrics become almost indistinguishable in the wash of guitar and percussion. Other album highlights include the gentle lull and harmonic intricacy of ‘Darkness’, the mutable time signature of ‘Goodbyes and Endings’ and the potent percussion and gritty guitar riff of ‘Retriever’.

Nothing if not complex, the music on ‘Individ’ is almost too much to take in all at once, leaving a only a shadowy impression after the first listen and subsequent ones alike. By contrast with ‘Visiter’ and ‘Carrier’, ‘Individ’ seems more cerebral then emotional, and it’s missing a strongly convincing hook to maintain the listener’s attention. But what it lacks in immediacy, it makes up for in its broad atmosphere, and perhaps the energy of live performance will allow for a more visceral effect. The Dodos will play a series of live dates in North America this winter leading into their appearance at SXSW 2015 in March.

7/10

‘Individ’, the sixth album from the Dodos, is out today on Polyvinyl Records.

 

Live Gig Video: The Dodos perform ‘Substance’ at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone studio with the Magik Magik Orchestra

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd October 2013 at 4:00 pm
 

San Francisco band The Dodos have released this amazing video of ‘Substance’ performed live and filmed at Tiny Telephone studio in their hometown, featuring artist collective the Magik Magik Orchestra. ‘Substance’ appears on the band’s latest LP ‘Carrier’, released in September on Polyvinyl Records.

The Americans will be stopping in London Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen for two shows, the 4th and 5th of November, and they’re not to be missed. The Monday 4th of November show is sold out but there are still tickets available for the Tuesday 5th of November gig.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R0NSs6ntyw[/youtube]

 

Single (Video) Review: The Dodos – Black Night

 
By on Wednesday, 13th April 2011 at 12:00 pm
 

The Dodos are no strangers to creating superb music, but now the San Francisco indie duo has released the music video to long-awaited single, ‘Black Night.’ Filmed entirely in black and white, the video keeps up with the theme of the 2011 long-play release, ‘No Color.’ The video was directed by Ariel Danziger, and certainly is a strange one at that. Both Meric Long and Logan Kroeber (the masterminds behind the Dodos) play starring roles in the video.

Centered around a bar brawl and a boxing match, the plot of ‘Black Night’ is a somewhat puzzling product. The four-and-a-half-minute blur features a woman with a drawn-on moustache squaring off against a bearded office-worker. If you think that’s weird, wait for the rest. The climax of the video details a sick, elderly man rising from his wheelchair and hurling a glass bottle at the two boxers, sparking yet another brawl. Highlighted by the expertly observations of the characters, the camera work’s portrayal of the minute physical blemishes illustrates the personal impact of the video. You could say it’s more of a collection of bizarre situations than a music video.

But the pivotal question to ask is what the Dodos are trying to get across in ‘Black Night.’ What we witness is so abstract and so alternative that the plot of the video is somewhat lost, along with the shards of the broken bottles being thrown by the manic audience.

6/10

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d6IeNpC9p0[/youtube]

The Dodos’ latest album ‘No Color’ is available now from Wichita Recordings.

 

Video of the Moment #147: The Dodos

 
By on Tuesday, 29th September 2009 at 10:00 am
 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OXokMRls1U[/youtube]

The Dodos – Fables

I don’t know much about San Francisco’s The Dodos, but I do know that I love this new song from them. Watch and enjoy.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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