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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tonight in Music: David Dondero, the Color Bars, Experimental Dental School

posted by on April 23 at 10:50 AM


David Dondero, Pufferfish, Modern Arms, World History
(Comet) Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst may have become the household name, but he owes a huge debt to wandering troubadour David Dondero. Even a cursory listen to one of the latter’s fine solo albums reveals the inspiration behind Oberst’s sensitive, intelligent warble—the shaky timbre of the voice and the way keen observations weigh on the narrator even when there’s subtle humor involved. Oberst has paid off his debt to Dondero by releasing Dondero’s last two records on his Team Love label and exposing one of his favorite artists to a whole new audience. If you’re a fan of Cassadaga and its wide-eyed-but-not-quite-innocent musings, you’ll want to jump on the Dondero bandwagon as well. BARBARA MITCHELL

Listen to David Dondero:
“When the Heart Breaks Deep”


The Color Bars, the Kindness Kind, Sam Squared
(Tractor) The Color Bars relocated to Seattle from New York in 2005 or so, with an already-complete, already-terrific release, Making Playthings, in hand. The album of concise pop promptly turned the heads of many local lovers of Beach Boys–influenced songwriting, just in time for the band to disappear and go to work on their next release. Kairos at Infinity was put out on the band’s own imprint late last year, revealing they have as much in common with Of Montreal as Brian Wilson. If you’re looking for a local band to be your special secret, the Color Bars are it—for now. MATT GARMAN

Click here to listen to the Color Bars.


Experimental Dental School
(King Cobra) Oakland trio Experimental Dental School (Ryan Brundage on drums, Shoko Horikawa on Casio and sampler, Jesse Hall on guitar and vocals) come from the same experimental musical school as fellow Bay Area bands Numbers and Deerhoof, whose Greg Saunier helped mix the band’s new album, Jane Doe Loves Me. Like Numbers, EDS stick forks in analog synth sockets and gets nasty, electric sawtooth-wave shocks. Like Deerhoof, they pair their noisier bent with delicately off-kilter pop, switching from merry-go-round lilt to prog scales to punk gallop. But EDS’s spark-spitting broken toys and rewired electronics give their songs a distinct peripheral flurry of buzzes, chirps, squeals, and burps. ERIC GRANDY

Listen to Experimental Dental School:
“Jane Doe Loves Me”

As always, find more in our online listings.

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