Visiter by San Francisco band The Dodos is their second full length and first for Frenchkiss. Originally formed in 2006 under the moniker Dodobird as a one man acoustic act, Meric Long would gig around SF playing folky guitar w/ a combination of loops and ambient keyboards. Having already studied West African Ewe drumming, Meric got turned onto country blues fingerpicking and sought to create a band where the drumming could be a center role and help bring out the syncopated rhythms coming out of the acoustic guitar. Through a chance introduction by a roommate, Meric met Santa Cruz transplant Logan Kroeber, who had also been experimenting with drumming, but in the area of progressive metal. Eventually the band changed their name to the Dodos, through constant harrowing from first tourmates Peter and the Wolf, and got a rehearsal studio where they'd spend long hours improvising the music that would become their first record Beware of the Maniacs. The band quit their day jobs as a line cook and a printer and hit the road in Oct. 2006.
The Dodos' principal concept behind Visiter was to reconnect with the energy and intensity of their live show. They decided to return to Type Foundry Studio where Beware of the Maniacs had been recorded. With producer/engineer John Askew back at the helm, they began expounding upon what they had learned since the previous record. The basic drum and guitar takes were recorded live simultaneously with very minimal post production. Type Foundry's warehouse-sized live room led to experimentation with mic placement, capturing a variety of ambient & natural sounds. At one point during tracking, the audible din of a thunderstorm inspired an impromptu horn session between Meric and guest trumpeter, Cory Gray. A small section of this can be heard between the songs "Fools" and "Joe's Waltz" on the record.
Visiter was completely written while on the road from the fall of 2006 to the summer of 2007.
The name of the record came from a drawing a kid did for them when they played for his special education class at Dorsey High in South Central on a road trip down to LA. With all of their time being spent on the road, Meric's lyrics drew heavily from his experiences while touring. They would come home for days at a time, and then leave for a month, always coming and going, which pretty much shaped every relationship the band had during that year.
The Dodos toured in 2007 with Les Savy Fav, Akron/Family, Jennifer Gentle, Wovenhand and Peter and the Wolf. 2008 will bring even more touring for them with a Spring tour confirmed dates at Noise Pop and SXSW.
San Francisco's Maus Haus sounds like a confection of Kraftwerk, the Beach Boys, and Sonic Youth, ground up and re-formed into a filet of raw cool. Amid bursts of glitchy noise, dirty drums, and buzzy synthesizers, the band keeps the whole thing fun--with catchy vocals and hypnotic rhythms. The resulting sound is startlingly unique yet strangely familiar.
Since the release of 2009's sprawlingly strange Lark Marvels, the live band has refocused from a 7-person stage-filling ensemble, to a powerful 4-piece stripped down to the essentials. The upcoming seven-song Light Noise, slated for fall 2012 release by Om Records' new imprint Lavish Habits, features an instrument previously rejected by the band — the guitar.
"Their full-length debut, Lark Marvels, [is] packed with fuzzed-out trippy gems and surprising patches of indie-inspired melody. While Maus Haus have previously garnered comparisons to Silver Apples and Captain Beefheart, Lark Marvels reveals additional influences from Add N to (X), Kraftwerk, and Nuggets-era pop." --Flavorpill
With humble beginnings in the heart of Cincinnati – where neighbors throw block parties that farm animals are also invited to – two friends, Jacob Merritt and Isaac Karns, began playing music. The two grew to four including Joey Cook and, most recently, Curt Kiser, and humble song-writing turned prolific. The next three years saw the release of three full-length albums, Everything Is Alive, Everybody Come Outside and One Of Us - with the band receiving critical acclaim from the likes of KEXP, WOXY, Spin and more. And 2012 has promised us another, Heaven.
With a new label home in Austin-based, Modern Outsider, Heaven, lives up to it's lofty name and is Pomegranates at their very best and most diverse. Unlike past albums, Heaven grabs you just as soon as the first note drops and it doesn't let go. "Pass Away" is pop perfection and shows us what we're dealing with. While most bands don't have one decent vocalist to speak of, Pomegranates have two. And they're not decent. They're amazing.
In past recordings Karns was the forceful vox, Cook the quirky tenor. While the balance between the two still remains, both vocalists have progressed far beyond these pigeon holes. On "Sisters", Cook sings with such clarity and restraint he transcends far beyond the trappings of indie rock and leaves no listener questioning his gender. Equally on "Dreams", Karns is unrecognizable from past performances as he drifts into dreamy falsetto. All the while Jacob Merritt’s propulsive drumming leads the way and is matched only by Curt Kiser's shimmering guitar tones.
On Heaven Pomegranates showcase their musical diversity and uncompromising vision. From Pink Floyd swirls on the rollicking "Letters", to the stripped-down piano stylings on beat-driven, "Surfing the Human Heart", the album reads like the best of roller coasters. A unique blend of stirring and surprising psychedelic dream rock that's as tender as it is ass-kicking: Pomegranates own this. Sweet, thoughtful, innocent, direct, wild - Heaven has clearly come to earth. What could be more deserving of your listen?
Pomegranates are Jacob Merritt, Isaac Karns, Joey Cook and Curt Kiser. They've shared the stage with Peter Bjorn and John, Menomena, Spoon, Wye Oak, French Kicks, Headlights, Islands, Ra Ra Riot, Phantogram, Jimmy Eat World, Blitzen Trapper, Ted Leo, Figurines, Aloha, The Besnard Lakes, Young the Giant and more.