Despite the connotations of their name, San Francisco’s The Dodos are neither fat, flightless, nor extinct. Rather, they are fearless musical spacefarers charting the sounds between skyward-facing psych-rock, African drumming, and nimble-fingered folk-pop. And they’re bringing their mesmerizing jam machine to Eclectic Wednesday night at 9.
Since 2005, the duo of vocalist-guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber (who pick up a third member on tour) have pounded out a distinct brand of sprightly, spindly folk, equal parts minimalist and anthemic, hypnotic and face melting. Kroeber’s furious, tumbling percussion eschews a bass drum in favor of ticky-tock rim hits and thunderous tom-toms, and propels their propulsive, artfully chaotic mix forward. Long’s spastic strumming and vocal melodies alternate between psych-folk freak-outs and moments of soaring pop. On record and live, the duo throws sparse vibraphone into the mix, adding a dash of whimsy to their psychedelic experiments (as if it needed any more).
Earlier this year, The Dodos dropped their fourth album, “No Color,” a fitting name for an LP that sees the band taking their manic folk machine in a more melancholic, introspective direction—but fret not, it still swings for the bleachers. Those massive highs and Long’s subtle, glorious hooks, the kind that defined their 2008 breakthrough “Visiter,” are still there, toned down but played with ever-present optimism. Brassy-voiced, alt-country siren Neko Case even shows up to flesh out the folk-math-pop party.
A highlight in a month full of highlights, The Dodos’ visit marks the biggest show the semester has seen thus far—and students have reacted: the first ticketed concert of the year, and the show’s sold out. Bummer (try climbing in the windows; it works every time—or at least occasionally).
If you’re one of the sorry bastards who’ll miss it, don’t stress—Concert Committee’s got your weekly music fix covered. New Orleans retro-pop boys Generationals stop by Eclectic Thursday night at 9. Whereas The Dodos folk experiments explore uncharted territory, Generationals looks backwards, mining the best of 1950s gold to churn out frothy, nostalgic indie pop. Comprised of Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner, Generationals’ jangly guitars and doo-wop melodies invoke Phil Spector, summer sunshine, and blasting AM radio in your Chevy Malibu. Even if you haven’t heard of them, you’ll recognize their shimmery tunes—they’ve been featured in commercials for Bloomingdales and Reese’s and in movies like “Hall Pass.” The duo is riding high after pumping out their second album “Actor-Caster” this spring, so catch the new jams Thursday night—same time, same place.