The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
6:30 p.m. Wednesday Oklahoma Memorial Union 900
Asp, Norman cac.ou.edu free
When The Dodos’ Meric Long sings for “a means to conjure you up,” he isn’t referring to the San Francisco indie-rock act’s long-extinct namesake. It’s possible “Good,” off this year’s “No Color,” is an open letter to the elusive sound he and bandmate Logan Kroeber have been looking for since their 2005 inception.
“The closest we got to it was on the last record, but it was just a certain quality of sound that comes out of heavy drums and acoustic guitar when they’re together,” Long said. “When they’re playing at the same time and recorded the right way, they produce a thing that we have in our minds that we can’t exactly reproduce because of the difficulties of engineering and recording. It’s not a natural sound. The sound we’re going for is really cheating what’s organically possible.”
The attempts are percussion-heavy with, in Long’s words, the drums grasping at a semblance of what’s happening in the band’s other half: “If you’re playing the acoustic guitar in the style that I do, which is pretty aggressive, if you were to put your head inside the sound hole of the acoustic guitar, what would you hear?” Hear their interpretation when they play a free show tonight on the University of Oklahoma campus. Seize the opportunity while you can, however; their hectic schedule for the last few years is slowly tapering off, and their success has taught them a hard lesson about working musicianship.
We’ve just become more snobby. —Meric Long
“In 2008, when things started to pick up for us, we were super-busy. There were so many things coming in that we had to pretty much drop everything and tour the entire year,” Long said. “We’ve gotten older and are trying to plan out our years a little better. Having another year like 2008 — I don’t think we’re ready for that.”
Their brief fall jaunt likely will end with The Dodos back home in the Bay Area, flexing creative muscles instead of racking up miles. Long said their recording style has become “more stand still-ish” of late, with him laying demos to tape instead of working the songs out live and playing them the same night onstage, due to constant touring.
“The way we wrote songs before was very much off-the-cuff; we’d write something and then play it that night,” he said. “Now, we’re slowing down and trying to find new ways to write. Just finding a different way to write a song is a thing we’ve had to try to do to keep ourselves interested and excited about making music.”
Perhaps The Dodos have figured out how not to go the way of the dodo.
“Given our age and our health and our mental insanity — or sanity, I mean! — we’ve had to learn how to say ‘no’ to things and be more careful about what we do,” Long said. “We’ve just become more snobby, I guess.”