all words: Andy Hess
all photos: Julian Vu
Martin Dosh, better known as Andrew Bird’s drummer, is masterful at what he does. Looping beats, keys, drums and the occasional vocal sample to create a smörgåsbord of sound with his co-patriot saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist Michael Lewis, Dosh is an intriguing experience in the live setting. The music comes out of the speakers in fragments as a back beat ebbs and flows before magically syncing together in a wash of beautiful noise.
I’m not too familiar with Dosh’s recordings, but I can attest to his live show. It’s astonishing. Dosh will start a track by tapping across the strings of his open keyboard before adding a layer of keys and drone. Then he’ll place some well timed drum fills to put in the gaps. All the while, Lewis is laying some bass or saxophone melody. Then the track comes together with a unifying, thunderous crash of drums and added percussion. It’s a lot like watching a chef in their kitchen. There are pieces of food, or in this case music, scattered across the room before being mixed and mashed into a final dish. It was delicious.
I knew I had fallen in love with Portland’s White Hinterland during their last song of the night, Justin Timberlake’s “My Love”. I absolutely loved Futuresex/Lovesounds and most pop songs hit that pleasure center that reminds me of my childhood that was filled with ridiculous pop music. The rest of their set was great, but the previous 45 minutes of music paled in comparison to that slow jam of a closer.
Casey Dienel and Shawn Creeden play music that is played best loud with the bass turned all the way up. The deep bass beats reverberated through the walls of DC 9 after a few tweaks from the sound guy. Once the sound problems were fixed the rest of the set was pure bliss that is grounded in R&B, but even then it’s still hard to pin down the group. The group delves into different sounds and genre hop all over the place — from trip-hop to new wave.
No matter how seamlessly they blend genres I can’t help but hear the more accessible parts from Bitte Orca in their music. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I hope they keep working towards something unique. From the display of the show at DC 9, they are well on their way.