Deerhoof, Ben Butler & Mousepad, D. Rider | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Deerhoof, Ben Butler & Mousepad, D. Rider Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Tue., Feb. 15, 8 p.m. 2011

In the cover story from the February issue of the Wire, the four members of Deerhoof talk so differently about the making of the new Deerhoof vs Evil (Polyvinyl) that it's hard to believe they're all referring to the same album. Bassist and singer Satomi Matsuzaki says they used deliberate rhythmic experimentation, with everyone playing drums, in hopes of making their music more danceable. Drummer Greg Saunier makes the process sound like a free-for-all—everyone brought songs, he says, and everybody shredded everybody else's ideas, with no plan to guide them and no studio time to focus their efforts. Guitarist John Dieterich explains that he chose to emphasize the "ugly" and "garbage" sounds of his instrument, and fellow guitarist Ed Rodriguez praises the same creative chaos Saunier seems to think is a little absurd—he's impressed by the way his bandmates can separate criticism of ideas from criticisms of one another. Personally, I think the difficulty Deerhoof must have in reconciling their disparate viewpoints into coherent musical statements is a big part of why they're one of my favorite bands—hard work and open, searching minds make for reliably great records. On Deerhoof vs Evil, the massive backbeat of "Qui Dorm, Només Somia" provides only one of many ways to parse the meter—the band slathers on polyrhythms created with guitars, keyboards, and hand percussion to create competing accents and subdivisions, pitting stumble against swing and burble against stomp. "No One Asked to Dance" veers toward late-60s psych-pop, with acoustic guitars, organ, and brushed drums supporting Matsuzaki's delicate, gorgeous vocal melody. The music retains Deerhoof's signature collision of fractured post-Beefheart rock and sugar-sweet hooks, but that dichotomy has never sounded more natural. They connect the two poles of their aesthetic with such playfulness and imagination that their music isn't just fascinating—it's also incredibly fun. 17+. -Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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