dodos

The Dodos at Fox Theatre | 09.27.11

Z2 Entertainment is proud to present The Dodos with The Luyas at the Fox Theatre on Tuesday, September 27th. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 17th at 10:00 am.

The drums hit you in the chest first, spraying your speakers like swift gunshots. But then Meric Long’s finger-picked chords kick in, cascading across Logan Kroeber’s brass knuckle beats like only the best Dodos songs can.

This forward motion feeling has driven the duo since 2005, but several key changes lift their fourth LP (No Color) to another level. For one thing, the band reunited with Portland producer John Askew, the man behind the boards of the Dodos’ first two full-lengths,Beware of the Maniacs and Visiter. Having an old friend around was like adding an honorary third member; a voice of reason who can isn’t afraid of vetoing ill-fated ideas. Ideas like glossy layers of vibraphone that lost their luster halfway through.

The main focus of No Color was to bottle the frenzied folk approach that’s been there since the beginning. And it works damn well, from the dagger-drawing dynamics and brain-burrowing choruses of “Black Night” to the hairpin turns and splashy percussion of “Good.” And then there are the songs that’ll make you want to dub old episodes of 120 Minutes, including the instrumental break of “Don’t Stop” and the sneak attack solo that weaves its way around the steely rhythms of “Don’t Try and Hide It.”

“I have a love for ‘90s riffs that I haven’t gotten to showcase in this band,” says Long. “The most fun I had with this record was when I got to strap on the electric guitar and come up with Billy Corgan riffs while the tape was rolling.”

There’s less room for error than there’s ever been.  “We’re more naked this way,” explains Long. “You can hide a lot of your mistakes on an acoustic, but with an electric, every single note is much louder and more piercing. So I have to be way more on top of my playing now.”

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The Dodos

w/ The Luyas

Fox Theatre

Tuesday, September 27th

Doors:  8:30 pm

Show Time:  9:00 pm

The Dodos To Release "Time To Die" This Fall

With a title like Time To Die, you might think the Dodos’ third disc is their ‘mature album,’ a deadly serious undertaking punctuated with string sections and synths. Nice try kid, but you’ve got it all wrong. While indie rock’s go-to guy, Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Fleet Foxes, The Shins), hopped behind the boards this time, the Dodos’ wildly-percussive style is still centered around two key elements: the punchy percussion of Logan Kroeber and the Fahey-infused finger-picking of frontman Meric Long. Oh sure, you’ll hear a horn blast here and there, but it’s never enough to distract you from the group’s riffs and rolls.

“I’m glad that we were able to keep things simple on this record,” says Long, “Because when your band gets a little popular, there’s this tendency to say things like, ‘Let’s add an orchestra on this one!” That works for some people, but it would detract from this band.”

Indeed, and as right as Long may be, Time To Die introduces one major addition to the Dodos’ creative core: Keaton Snyder, a 21-year-old music school dropout who plays a mean vibraphone. As Long puts it, “He’s a better musician than Logan and I combined. I don’t even know what’s going on with his music theory ideas half the time.” On a similar note, Snyder—a classically-trained musician—is constantly learning what ‘being in a band’ entails. In fact, he didn’t even know how to react when a chord was yanked during his Dodos debut. “After the show,” says Long, “he was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve never had to plug anything in before.’ It was hilarious.”

All jokes aside, you’d never know Snyder was the Dodos’ third man without looking at the new album’s liner notes. Not because he’s missing in action half the time; he’s just locked in step with Long’s steady-handed strumming and Kroeber’s canon-like beats. That, and Snyder’s actual sound/physical presence isn’t all that different than the visceral elements explored on the Dodos’ previous two albums, 2006’s Beware of the Maniacs and the band’s buzz-stirring breakthrough, 2008’s Visiter.

“The vibraphone is pretty crazy and loud,” says Long, “and if you put it through some effects, you can make it sound like a guitar or synthesizer. It still has that element of something you’re hitting, though, which is central to how Logan and I play our instruments.”

That’s the thing about Time To Die: It expands the Dodos’ Ginsu-sharp sound without smothering it. It’s not the death of everything you adored about the duo; it’s a rebirth, revealing some serious career standouts (the widescreen payoff of “Small Deaths,” the string-and-drum spasms of “Longform,” the delicate/distorted dynamics of Snyder’s “Troll Nacht” parts) along the way.  Which isn’t a surprise when you hear how many months they spent writing the damn thing earlier this year.

“After Visiter, we had a lot of options for which direction to go,” says Long, “But I knew we wanted to make a rock record. Being an acoustic band—primarily, at least—sort of works against this idea, but Phil’s production showcased that side of our band.”