Words by: Kristin Smith | Images by: Scott Galbraith
The Dodos :: 06.19.08 :: The Independent :: San Francisco, CA
To "go the way of the Dodo" means to become extinct at the hands of humankind. While many artists may feel that their work may eventually lead to exactly that, singer-songwriter and guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber need not worry. The Dodos are here to stay, as evidenced by their sold out performance at The Independent.
Originally known as Dodobird, a one man acoustic act, guitarist Meric Long and Logan Kroeber joined forces in 2006 to form The Dodos, which combines bluesy, folky acoustics with bursts of metal-like intensity. Long's apparent and eclectic influences range from West African Ewe drumming to country blues, while Kroeber's progressive, rhythmic drumming takes center stage and compliments the unique sound. The result is an emotional roller coaster with Long's clear, resigned voice hooking the listener over sweetly complex guitar rhythms, culminating as Kroeber accents unique rhythms by bursting passionately into the melody.
They are joined by Joe Haener, who I jokingly called "the junkyard artist" as he plays an array of instruments ranging from what looked like a child's piano to a garbage can, and does so adeptly and amazingly well. While their passion and investment are clear, it is still astounding to realize just two or three guys produce these complex sounds. One fumbles to box The Dodos into any one genre, as they combine metal, blues, indie rock, psychedelic folk and pop. Judging from the crowd at The Independent, the result is well received. Extremely packed, I had to win a spot near the stage to observe the band, which is apparently gaining in popularity as much of the audience sang along with Long to almost every song and shouted requests from both Beware of the Maniacs and their new album, Visiter (see JamBase's review of their latest here).
Based in San Francisco and jokingly billing themselves on MySpace as "Happy Hardcore," The Dodos invited their audience to join the emotional journey through many of their melodies, such as the sweet and longing "Ashley" and the introspectively intense "God?." Promoting their new album (named after an elementary school student's drawing and gift to the band), The Dodos are currently on tour throughout the United States and Canada, and later this summer, Europe.
Watching or listening to anyone do something they are passionate about is attractive, and with this theory in mind, The Dodos are one of the most appealing acts I've seen. This incomparable group will certainly redefine the meaning of "going the way of the Dodo" with a sound that resonates well beyond San Francisco.
The Dodos are on tour now, dates available here.
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