Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Deerhoof - Two Hoofs Up (Oooooohhh!)

If someone wandered into the Troubadour from the streets, only to hear twenty seconds of Deerhoof's set, they might alert the authorities. Why is there a small Japanese woman hopping around like a bunny? What drummer has only two drums total? WTF is this? These are all valid questions, and if only experienced in small clips, someone might mistake Deerhoof for a pre-teen band. However, taken in the proper context (in my opinion, a live show), Deerhoof are a daringly original (now) trio that owe their existence to Jazz.

Theme and variation, one of the basic tenements of Jazz, is the structure of Deerhoof's songwriting. They take a simple melody line ("Wrong Time Capsule" is a great example), and slowly build tangents off of it. Thus the melody is the theme and the tangent riffs are the variation.


Although Deerhoof uses a jazz structure, they immediately turn it upside down and make it into a pop song. The result is a quirky, upbeat tune that spirals its melodic loop farther and farther out- until it breaks away. This repetition and constant layering isn't very apparent on the band's albums; however, watching them at the Troub, each song was extended and improvisation became a key role in the experience.

One comparison I made while watching Deerhoof, was their common ties with The Locust. They might sound like strange bedfellows at first, but hear me out. The Locust is another band that took free-jazz and repetitive riffs, and made a unique sound. Therefore, both bands actually rely on the same musical foundation. The difference is that, while the Locust chose to present their sound as a nightmarish, space alien apocalypse, Deerhoof decided to walk the line between pop and noise. How off beat can we make a song, but still have people whistling it?

The boys (and girl) also have a new disc coming out at the end of January called Friend Opportunity. Here is the tracklist:

01 The Perfect Me
02 +81
03 Believe E.S.P.
04 The Galaxist
05 Choco Fight
06 Whither the Invisible Birds?
07 Cast off Crown
08 Kidz Are So Small
09 Matchbook Seeks Maniac
10 Look Away

[mp3] Deerhoof - Wrong Time Capsule
[mp3] Deerhoof - Milking
[mp3] Deerhoof - The Great Car Tomb
[mp3] Deerhoof - Holy Night Fever
[mp3] Deerhoof - Sealed With A Kiss

3 Comments:

Anonymous krist said...

YES DEEERHOOF!!!!!

great!

you rock!

krist

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off-topic:

The elusive Cat Power played the Vic in Chicago last night for 3 hours.

And we were there, thinking of you!

Love,
Rufus & Maude

6:25 AM  
Blogger BWH999 said...

That must have been great. I hope you were sitting! I love when an artist settles into a space, and just can't be stopped. I had a similar night with Badly Drawn Boy about 5 years ago.

Miss you guys!

10:17 AM  

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