The Dodos

Johnny Brenda's Presents

The Dodos

Palehound

Wed, November 14, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is 21 and over

All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

The Dodos - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
The Dodos
To make Certainty Waves , their seventh album as The Dodos, guitarist Meric Long and
percussionist Logan Kroeber had to forget everything they knew about what it meant to be the
Dodos.
Like the duo's breakout sophomore album Visiter (which celebrates its 10-year anniversary in
2018), Certainty Waves finds The Dodos embracing the unlimited possibilities of a time when
there were no preconceptions of what the band should sound like. Questions like whether the
band needed to be more than just “acoustic guitar and drums,” and just what exactly the ratio
should be of acoustic vs. electric guitar suddenly took a backseat to the realization that so much
emphasis was mistakenly being put on form rather than spirit .
Perhaps not surprisingly, this epiphany occurred while the band was re-learning Visiter for a
show in which they were to perform the record in its entirety.
Recalls Long: “At the time that show happened, I was a little bit lost in terms of which direction
the record should go. We had a handful of recordings, nuggets, and song potentials, but they
weren't songs yet, and months had passed without any real progress. I was kind of debating
whether to drop the kitchen sink, simplify things, or just leave them be."
But a funny thing happened when he sat down to listen to Visiter for the first time in eight years.
“It completely surprised me how much electric guitar is on that record,” reveals Long. “The
narrative had always been we were just acoustic guitar and drums.”
This ostensibly simple observation was pivotal in unlocking a new approach to the material Long
and Kroeber would later put to tape in the studio.
“Rather than thinking about the end result or considering the reaction of the listener, I tried to
give in to gut reactions, first impulses, however silly or untrue to form they may be,” says Long.
“If it was exciting in any way, we pursued it without hesitancy or question.”
What began to emerge from the band’s rehearsals was a quasi post-punk sound that Long
immediately gravitated toward. It felt new and different, yet somehow still fundamentally
“Dodos.”
And so, Certainty Waves was born.
Speaking of the aforementioned spirit, album opener “Forum” has it in spades: a fanfare-esque
synth intro, thumping drums, trumpet bursts and fist-pumping “Hey!”s -- not to mention a guitar
line that wouldn’t be out of place snaking its way through a Strokes album.
Later, “SW3” employs different tactics to achieve its own frantic vitality, intertwining acoustic
guitar and clicking drumsticks in a beautifully syncopated rhythm.
They’re the kind of songs that might not have existed had The Dodos immediately started work
on a new record after finishing their previous one (2015’s Individ ), as they were usually inclined
to do. Instead, Long -- the band’s primary songwriter -- stepped away from music for a time after
the birth of his first child, before returning in May with the debut album from his synth-based solo
project FAN.
"Making the FAN record [ Barton’s Den ] was a bit of a crash course in recording, but it really
opened up a lot of new possibilities for me in how I thought about making records since there
were no guidelines,” says Long. “It's without question that Certainty Waves would be a
completely different record, or perhaps would not have existed, had I not done Barton's Den .”
Long eagerly applied this newfound sense of freedom to his approach to The Dodos, and
subverting one's own processes and identities quickly developed into a central theme during the
creation of Certainty Waves . It’s also a sentiment reflected in the album’s title -- the idea that
what once seemed so certain will likely prove not to be in the future. That it was only a wave
passing by.
“ Certainty Waves is our midlife crisis record,” acknowledges Long. “Who we thought we were,
how mistaken we were, how an interference in the trajectory can flip your understanding of what
came before.”
Palehound - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Palehound
The sophomore album from the Boston trio Palehound, A Place I'll Always Go, is a frank look at love and loss, cushioned by indelible hooks and gently propulsive, fuzzed-out rock.

Ellen Kempner, Palehound's vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter explains, "A lot of it is about loss and learning how to let yourself evolve past the pain and the weird guilt that comes along with grief."

Kempner's writing comes from upheavals she experienced in 2015 and 2016 that reframed her worldview. "I lost two people I was really close with," she recalls. "I lost my friend Lily. I lost my grandmother too, but you expect that at 22. When you lose a friend -- a young friend -- nothing can prepare you for that. A lot of the record is about going on with your life, while knowing that person is missing what's happening -- they loved music and they're missing these great records that come out, and they're missing these shows that they would've wanted to go to. It just threw me for a loop to know that life is so fragile."

Palehound's first release for Polyvinyl is also about the light that gradually dawns after tragedy, with songs like the bass-heavy "Room" and the gentle dreamy album closer "At Night I'm Alright With You" feeling their way through blossoming love. "The album is also about learning how to find love, honestly, after loss," says Kempner.

Since forming in 2014, Palehound -- Kempner, drummer Jesse Weiss (Spook The Herd), and new bassist Larz Brogan (a veteran of Boston DIY who, Kempner posits, "had 13 local bands last year") -- have taken their plainspoken, technique-heavy indie rock from the basements of Boston to festivals around the world. A Place I'll Always Go was recorded in late 2016 at the Brooklyn complex Thump Studios with the assistance of Gabe Wax, who recorded Dry Food. "I would put my life in his hands," Kempner asserts. "I trust him so much."

A Place I'll Always Go builds on the promise of Palehound's critically acclaimed 2015 album Dry Food with songs that are slightly more reserved, but no less powerful. "Flowing Over" rides a sweetly hooky guitar line, with Kempner using the fuzzed-out upper register of her voice as a sort of anxious counterpoint to the riff's infectious melody. "That song is about anxiety," says Kempner, "and when you're sad and you listen to sad music to feed it and feel yourself spinning all these 'what if's and 'I'm terrible's in your head."

"This record represents a period of time in my life way more than anything I've ever written before," says Kempner, who notes that the swirling "If You Met Her" and the piano-tinged "At Night I'm Alright With You" could represent the opposing poles of the record. "One of them is about love, and the other one is about death -- it was a really healthy experience for me to find my own dialogue within that," she says. "There's so much that you learn and read, and other people's experiences that you internalize, that you try to then base your own on. It was helpful to carve my own path for that."

Part of what makes A Place I'll Always Go so striking is the way it channels feelings of anxiety -- heart-racing moments both exhilarating and crushing -- into songs that feel well-worn and comforting. The hushed confessionalism of "Carnations" and the fugue state described in the stripped-down "Feeling Fruit" are snapshots of moments marked by big, confusing feelings, but they're taken with compassion and honesty -- two qualities that have defined Palehound's music from the beginning.
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125
http://www.johnnybrendas.com/