The iconic Henry Miller Library inches closer to the end of a historic season with The Dodos.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, MGMT and John Waters represent a sliver of the goodness that took pay cuts to perform at the revered Henry Miller Library in just the last few months. With the summer quickly coming to a close – although Fleet Foxes, Thurston Moore and Ryan Adams still remain on this year’s roster – The Dodos return to Big Sur Friday to provide one of the remaining spectacles worth checking out in the magical and intimate surroundings of the South Coast.
Media outlets regard the San Francisco duo’s recent release No Color as the record that has brought The Dodos back to form, thanks to an intense collection of in-your-face acoustic jaunts and haphazard percussion with heart-pounding vocals and the occasional slow jam.
Two months prior to releasing No Color, The Dodos toured with the New Pornographers and became friends with singer Neko Case.
“She was a fan of our music and luckily she was available to sing,” Long says.
Both guitarist/vocalist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber learned a lot from Case while they worked in the studio.
“Everyone works differently,” Long says. “[Neko] came in and did a lot of vocal singing and afterwards I went back and redid a lot of my takes singing. Just seeing her sing and the way she belts her voice, it just inspired me to try to emulate that. It got me motivated, to push my voice harder.”
After laying some acoustic groundwork, Long and Kroeber took time in the studio to build in a little more bulk.
“We wanted to emphasize the heavier side of the band on this album,” Long says. “It’s all about heavy strumming and gnarly rhythms.”
But there’s also plenty of complex fingerpicking that adds some tasty drama to the extremity of the strumming.
“Good” is a rapid race of fluttering guitar making love to Long’s voice, which has a slight resemblance to Morrissey.
“I’m putting all my strength into hitting the strings as hard as I can,” Long says. “I think the direction this album took us in was more electric, but the songs are built upon what we know how to do, which is play acoustic.”
THE DODOS play 7:30pm Friday, Aug. 26, at Henry Miller Library, a quarter mile south of Nepenthe Restaurant on Highway 1, Big Sur. $30. 667-2574, www.henrymiller.org.