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There was a bit of irony involved when we ventured to NYC's most carnivalistic of venues, Spiegelworld. The magnificent, wood and canvas tent that sits oh so awesomely on Pier 17 derives its' name from a Dutch word meaning mirror tent; an appropriate reference as it's a place plump full of plenty of aesthetic allusion and deception. But The Dodos, the band who sold out the venue, are none of that. Theirs' is a craft that offers absolutely nothing to hide behind. Theirs' is a brand of boozy, electric roots that's elemental, yet completely unique unto them.

Combining Meric Long's whiplash strokes on a couple of visibly bullied, acoustic guitars, Logan Kroeber's explosive barrage of stout and strong percussive rhythms - themselves bashed out on drums that most closely resemble a set of marching quads, and newcomer Joe Haener's ornamental fills of swelling vibraphone (plus the occasion thwack! on a metal garbage can), The Dodos set power and pulse to Long's beseeching vocal melodies. The results are powerhouse highlights like "Red and Purple", "Fools", and "Jodi". - david pitz

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Artist Bio

Visiter by San Francisco band The Dodos is their second full length and first for Frenchkiss. Originally formed in 2006 under the moniker Dodobird as a one man acoustic act, Meric Long would gig around SF playing folky guitar w/ a combination of loops and ambient keyboards. Having already studied West African Ewe drumming, Meric got turned onto country blues fingerpicking and sought to create a band where the drumming could be a center role and help bring out the syncopated rhythms coming out of the acoustic guitar. Through a chance introduction by a roommate, Meric met Santa Cruz transplant Logan Kroeber, who had also been experimenting with drumming, but in the area of progressive metal. Eventually the band changed their name to the Dodos, through constant harrowing from first tourmates Peter and the Wolf, and got a rehearsal studio where they'd spend long hours improvising the music that would become their first record Beware of the Maniacs. The band quit their day jobs as a line cook and a printer and hit the road in Oct. 2006.

The Dodos' principal concept behind Visiter was to reconnect with the energy and intensity of their live show. They decided to return to Type Foundry Studio where Beware of the Maniacs had been recorded. With producer/engineer John Askew back at the helm, they began expounding upon what they had learned since the previous record. The basic drum and guitar takes were recorded live simultaneously with very minimal post production. Type Foundry's warehouse-sized live room led to experimentation with mic placement, capturing a variety of ambient & natural sounds. At one point during tracking, the audible din of a thunderstorm inspired an impromptu horn session between Meric and guest trumpeter, Cory Gray. A small section of this can be heard between the songs Fools and Joe's Waltz on the record.

Visiter was completely written while on the road from the fall of 2006 to the summer of 2007.

The name of the record came from a drawing a kid did for them when they played for his special education class at Dorsey High in South Central on a road trip down to LA. With all of their time being spent on the road, Meric's lyrics drew heavily from his experiences while touring. They would come home for days at a time, and then leave for a month, always coming and going, which pretty much shaped every relationship the band had during that year.

The Dodos toured in 2007 with Les Savy Fav, Akron/Family, Jennifer Gentle, Wovenhand and Peter and the Wolf. 2008 will bring even more time on the road with festivals and tour dates in the works in the United States, Europe, Australia and Japan. - frenchkiss records

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The Dodos

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